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In this guide you will learn all of the major setup pieces to your Shopify SEO.
Number one, search engine optimization is a combination of five elements:
Blogging – updated 10-21-15
Social Media – added 10-21-15
This is a comprehensive list of all of the important major SEO elements for any page on your Shopify store (products, categories, blog, etc.)
Title Area (Top of the Page)
IMG ALT Tags
Meta Description Area (Bottom of the Page in Shopify)
URL & Handle
On-Page Optimization is the process of setting up your store’s content outline to be readable by the search engines. Think of the web as a Big Book that Google, Yahoo, and Bing indexes and reads. Obviously there are millions of websites, blogs, and stores online, but how do the search engines find information to begin with? The card catalog system.
Do you remember going to the library as a little kid? Even though I am only 31, I remember going to the library, looking up a book in a computer, then having to go to a card catalog to pull a card to eventually find a book in a section. This is what search engines do in one split second.
Search engines like Google read these little pieces of information about a page called “Meta Data“, then it reads the meta data on every web page indexed into Google search, and whichever website has the best On-Page SEO, Backlinks, and Content will most likely rank highest on Google search. This process is obviously not solely achieved through proper On-Page SEO, so let’s move on to Off-Page Optimization.
Off-Page Optimization (Updated 10-21-15)
Off-Page Optimization involves Link Building and Content Generation.
It is not what you say about yourself and your credibility that matters, but more so what others have to say about you. This is especially the case when it comes to Off-Page Optimization to your website. Back in the early 90’s, Google started making head-way on Yahoo by looking at the web in this manner.
Google now looks for quality over quantity of backlinks and blog posts that are associated with your website.
Therefore, let’s move on to the importance of content and blogging on your Shopify store.
Blogging (Updated 10-21-15)
You will hear all the time that content is king if you do your research. Let me tell you why.
Whenever you add content to your website, you are adding new real estate on the web of how Google and customers can find your website. For example, we have a client that sells designer swimwear, and one of the primary content strategies that we have told them about is how to optimize their blog for SEO.
If you think of your blog as your own personal newspaper and that you need to keep it up to date on a bi-weekly basis and distribute it across all of your social media, then that is the right mentality to have when focusing on the blog in your Shopify store. Lastly, make sure to use the meta tags within the blog post to target alternative keyword searches for that content piece as this will really boost the search-ability of that post on Google search.
Social Media (Updated 10-21-15)
The use of social media for SEO purposes is definitely a ranking factor when looking to market your website to Google search. The main reason is that Likes, Re-Tweets, shares, and followers are all pretty hard to fake online when looking for reputable businesses. These are the type of things that Google looks for when they are looking for reputable content and websites on their search engine.
It all boils down to online trust. The more trustworthy that your website looks from a social, linking, and content standpoint, then the better your rankings will be over time. Therefore, it is always wise to keep up with your social media, especially Facebook, Twitter (buy-able tweets), Instagram, and Pinterest (buy-able pins). One really nice tool to manage your social media through is Hootsuite.
Hootsuite allows you to add on all of your social media accounts into one single profile, so that when you add a new product to your store you can blast that product out to all of your social media accounts with one click.
How Google Search Works
When the two Founders of Google were creating the first version of their search engine they first indexed all of the information on the web by “Crawling” the web and storing the information on a server. Next, the two Founders had to make sense of this stored information. The Founders found these things in the background called “Backlinks” and they essentially counted these links as votes. The more “Backlinks” or votes that a website had, the higher that website’s information was ranked on Google search.
Obviously quite a bit has changed with Google since the early 90’s. So what does this mean for the modern day online business owner such as yourself?
Google continually makes updates on how they rank websites throughout the year. Therefore it is no longer as simple as just gaining backlinks to your website. Google now looks for both Quantity and Quality in “Off-Page” links and content. This is much harder to fake and black hat SEO tactics are now a thing of the past.
Martin is a Shopify Expert, a Bigcommerce Partner, and a Trust Radius author on all things internet marketing in the E-commerce industry. He has worked with Ford, eBay, Amazon, and Channel Advisor on client projects. Transparency, trust, and supporting entrepreneurs are what makes Martin truly passionate about his craft. He also likes good food, wine, and skateboarding.
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We are a creative internet marketing agency that delivers strategic marketing solutions. Currently we work with clients throughout the US and Canada. Titles under our belt: we are Shopify Certified Partners and Shopify Experts for three years running. Specializing in the Shopify platform since 2009. Rooted in beautiful Denver, Colorado.