When was the last time you went beyond the first page to find something you were searching for on Google? Therein lays the importance of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) in any online business. It is not an exaggeration to say that SEO has become one of the most significant aspects of an e-commerce business. It leads to greater visibility on the search engine which, obviously leads to increased traffic on your website. A good SEO campaign, unlike direct marketing, has a subtle but effective way of nudging a prospect into becoming a paying customer.
It is a closely guarded secret of how the ranking system exactly works in a search engine, but it is definitely not rocket science to figure out how to feature on top. With the combination of the right keyword, good content, and a few more ingredients, it is easy to remain on the top of any search result page. However, it is unfortunate that many tend to make a blunder in the implementation of an ecommerce marketing strategy that is crucial to their business.
In this article, we shall discuss some of the Shopify SEO mistakes that store owners make and how to avoid those mistakes.
1. Not using Google Search Console & Bing Webmaster Tools
By not registering with Google Search Console & Bing Webmaster Tools you are ignoring to inform the two most important search engines that your website exists. Without such acknowledgment, it is quite possible that no traffic is guided towards your website. Irrespective of any SEO attempt, there is no way to get any favorable results. How many prospects do you think will remember the exact URL of your website? The answer is the reason why it is paramount to register your Shopify store website with the major search engines.
It is quite straightforward to register your Shopify website with Google Search Console as well as Bing Webmaster Tools. All you need is to prove the ownership of the website. Following the verification process, it is advisable to submit an XML sitemap to both the services to help index your website faster and make the process easier. The sitemap file is automatically generated for every Shopify store.
2. Not using SSL
Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates are ways to ensure that a particular website is secure and encrypted. In addition to search engine giving preference to SSL certified (https://) websites over less secure (http://) websites, most of the internet browsers now discourage the user from visiting any non-SSL certified website by flashing security warning. It is due to these reasons that having an SSL certificate becomes a necessity to perform SEO.
Luckily, every Shopify subscription comes with a free SSL certificate for the website. If you’re creating a new Shopify store with a new domain bought from Shopify, then it can be done effortlessly. Although, if you're shifting from another platform to Shopify, and want to get the SSL certificate, you might need to walk the extra mile to ensure no negative impact hits the search engine position. It is advisable to get the help of the Shopify technical support team.
3. Not doing the keyword research
Without keyword research, SEO is irrelevant. Researching keywords gives marketers a better understanding of the demand for certain keywords for better SEO. It isn’t just about figuring out the number of searches for a particular keyword, but it is about exploring the many varied ways that people use language to research an idea or topic. So, by not doing the keyword research, you are cutting off the source of data that is necessary for any SEO campaign.
It is only by performing proper keyword research that we can determine how popular each keyword is and how difficult it would be to rank for them on SERPs. It is also recommended to take advantage of the keyword research tools available in the market to make the SEO campaign more productive.
4. Not having a fast-loading Shopify store
Any attempt to optimize a web page for higher ranking in the SERP depends on two factors, the content and the user experience. The user experience depends heavily on the speed a page could be loaded. A page that takes longer to load not only adversely affects any SEO attempt; it also leads to abandonment, which is not good news for any business.
To have a fast loading webpage, it is advisable to keep the design light, simple, and without any unnecessary functionality. When you are creating a website at Shopify, you get access to tons of website designs that are ergonomically designed for efficiency. Avoid using images that are large in size. Take advantage of the apps that are available in the Shopify app store to edit the images for the best result.
You may find useful: https://ampifyme.com/blog/how-to-make-your-shopify-store-faster
5. Not using ‘clean’ URLs
Keeping the URL clean, not only makes the URL looks better and easier to remember, it allows the search engine to spider the website better, which is the most important thing for effective SEO. It is necessary to keep the URL unique but it does not mean that you include special characters and symbols for the sack of making it unique. For example, if you were selling a custom wallet, it is advisable to use a URL that says, ‘www.yourdomain.com/customwallet’ rather than ‘www.yourdomain.com/lther/cw/p685.php?ref=14556ctmwlt’. Right?
There are ways in which a URL can be kept clean without compromising its uniqueness. With Shopify, there is no need to worry because the system will automatically generate a URL that is significantly cleaner than the example above. If you need to further clean it then you can do that manually by going to 'edit website SEO” and changing it in the 'URL and handle' box. If you do change a Shopify URL, make sure that you tick the 'create URL redirect' option. This lets Google know that you have changed the URL.
6. Not having the perfect page titles
Page titles introduce the visitor as well as the search engines to the topic of the webpage. It lets the search engine estimate the relevancy of a page to the search’s query. When you have page titles that are coherent to the content of the website, you are completely destroying the changes getting any traffic.
So, while performing SEO, it is necessary to update the page titles that will best describe the content of your Shopify store. For best results, keep the title brief to about 50-60 characters, use the target keyword in the title and keep the language simple.
7. Not using headings properly
The heading is what guides the reader, in this case, the search engine to quickly provide a glimpse of what lies within the website. It is true that heading does not specifically impact SEO directly but it helps to improve the quality of the website, which means a better experience for the visitor. As discussed earlier, good user experience means better SEO.
To use heading effectively, it is necessary to keep the language simple, the text to the minimum and if necessary, it is not a bad idea to invest a little on a good heading design.
8. Not having engaging meta descriptions
A meta description describes and summarizes the contents of your page for the benefit of users and search engines. Generally, Google and other engines will often show the meta description as a summary of the page on the search result. So, there is an opportunity to showcase your Shopify store to garner more traffic to your store.
For the Shopify store, it can be done easily in the dashboard by clicking on the ‘edit website SEO’ link. It is necessary for the meta description to include the researched keywords and to be highly relevant to the content of the website with keywords. It is necessary for the meta description to include the researched keywords and to be highly relevant to the content of the website with keywords.
9. Not using Alt text and optimized file names with your images
The purpose of alt text is to make the web more accessible for everyone. With alt text or alt attributes, a visually impaired user can understand the image with the help of the screen reader. How it is important for an SEO perspective is a fact that it provides better image descriptions to index the image properly by the search engine crawlers. It also enhances the experience of an online shopper because it is usual for shoppers to search for a similar-looking product.
With the rise of Google image search, it has become a necessity to optimize the file name and include alt text wherever necessary. It is highly advisable to insert keywords in the alt attributes, and file names to be relevant to the product being sold.
10. Not having product reviews/testimonials on your store
The reason for such emphasis on the rating system by any business is the fact that people believe them. When a product or service receives a good rating, it provides a sense of security to the shoppers. Not including product reviews and testimonials on the website raises questions in the mind of the shoppers regarding the quality of the product or services being offered.
The Shopify store website comes with tools to include blog posts and leave reviews and testimonials. Including review is a great way to assure the shopper of the quality, but it is not enough because of rampant usage of fake and paid reviews. It is advisable to include review and testimony of verified consumers even if the review is not 100% positive.
11. Having broken links with 404 errors
404 errors or the broken link error is one of the worst issues that can significantly hurt any SEO attempt. For an e-commerce business, it is impossible to avoid this due to its dynamic nature. A product available today may not be available tomorrow.
Every Shopify store dashboard comes equipped with easy to use tools to redirect the broken links to a relevant page. Instead of manually monitoring each error, you can pick a Shopify app that can automatically track and fix your broken link.
12. Not having AMP version of your store
With mobile devices outnumbering computers, it is apparent for a search engine to adopt the mobile-first indexing for better user experience on mobile devices. Google gives SEO benefits to AMP-enabled mobile pages. Having an AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) version of the website can translate into gaining priorities in the search result.
There is no need to redesign the web page for AMP version; what you can do is install apps like AMP by AmpifyMe from the Shopify app store to optimize your store with AMP for better SEO.
13. Not adding rich snippets to your content
Rich snippets allow search engines to better understand what information is contained on each web page. With its help, a search engine can display more information about the actual result. The reason why it is significant in SEO is that it enhances the experience of the user, which carries a major scoring point in SEO.
Adding a rich snippet is not hard, but when you add it to make sure you need to test your rich snippets to ensure they appear on Google search results exactly how you want. For the Shopify store, there are apps available to help create and publish rich snippets for best SEO.
14. Not publishing blog posts regularly
Publishing blog posts regularly on your Shopify store website tells the search engine that the website is active, which increases the chances to rate higher and feature on top of the search result. A blog post is a great way to boost SEO, it helps to maintain relevance. An interesting blog post enhances the user experience of the visitor, which is an assured ticket to great SEO.
When you have a Shopify store, you can create a blog post and publish it easily on the store website effortlessly. However, do not publish a blog post for the sake of keeping the website active, make sure the content is interesting and relevant; it should be crafted around the researched keyword. If the content is irrelevant, it will negatively affect your SEO.
15. Not having a process to create backlinks
Backlinks are considered as one of the most important search engine ranking factors. It is like approval from one website to another with respect to its quality. The more quality backlinks you have, the better you rank on the search engine result.
There are multiple ways to create backlinks; being a Shopify store gives you an ample opportunity to earn as much you need. Blog post on your website is a great way to earn backlinks, and you can further amplify it by promoting it.
16. Not keeping people on your Shopify site for as long as possible
In SEO, the length of time a user spends on a particular website is known as the “dwell time”. It is one of the parameters used to rank a webpage. The longer the dwell time, the more likely it is to perform well in the search result. So, if you are looking to score better in SEO, it is paramount to keep the visitor on your Shopify store as long as possible. How do you achieve that?
There are multiple ways to achieve that, on top of the list there are:
- Keep the design of the website that is welcoming and assuring. Make the visitor feel that they have come to the right place to find what they were looking for. Keep the website light to ensure fast loading. Keep the navigation structure simple and easy for the visitors to toggle from one part of the website to another.
- In addition to the product and services being offered, try adding content that is interesting and those likely to resonate with the target audience. It could be in the form of a blog post, detailed product review, testimonials, and more.
- Videos are an excellent way to engage with the visitor. A well-made video can communicate with the audience that is impossible with text. Also, it can be an effective medium to keep the visitor engaged for a long time.
- Encouraging visitors to leave a comment about their experience can also significantly increase the dwell time.
All this can be achieved effortlessly for the Shopify store. There is no shortage of design to make your Shopify website intriguing. There are tools to include videos and blog posts on your website too.
For any business to thrive, there is a need to have steady consumers. In an e-commerce business, it is an attempt by the business owner to convert a visitor to a paying consumer. The main objective of SEO is to garner genuine traffic to a website. It is not rocket science to figure out SEO, but unfortunately, most of the marketers end up making some of the silliest mistakes when it comes to SEO. The majority of it is due to a lack of information. Throughout this article, we have discussed some of the common SEO mistakes and how to avoid them. Having a store with Shopify has up to a certain level minimize the SEO effort due to the tools and apps that are available for the Shopify store owner. There is no problem in making a mistake, it gives you an opportunity to learn something.
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