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March 9, 2022
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Issue 5, The Beginners Guide To Shopify SEO

A beginner guide for new e-commerce store owners on how to conduct Shopify SEO to encourage growth, boost traffic and engage a wider audience.

Issue 5, The Beginners Guide To Shopify SEO

The Beginner's Guide To Shopify SEO

Welcome back. Thank you for joining us for the newest Shopify Best Practices. If you’re new here, click here to read our previous issue.

As an online store owner, you've likely wondered how to get your products to the top of Google. You've probably heard that achieving high rankings in search results is called search engine optimization (SEO). 

There are probably a couple of questions arising at this point: What is SEO? How do you perform SEO in an e-commerce store? In this guide, we'll explain the basics of SEO and show you how to optimize your website for search engines.

What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization is the process of improving your website's content so that it attracts more organic traffic, or the people who find your store through search engines, as opposed to paid ads or other marketing efforts.

A healthy SEO strategy is key for the success of an online business. There are no two ways about it. If you want your store to be found when people search, you have to actively work towards improving SEO. With e-commerce, SEO is even more important because there are so many stores selling the same products. On some days, you might even find a dozen or more competing stores selling an item, and all of them will be using SEO.

How Do You Apply SEO To Your Shopify Store?
SEO can be broadly applied to a Shopify store in many different ways. From optimizing your blog posts to your product descriptions, there are plenty of ways to improve your search engine rankings. SEO keywords can be inserted into almost every facet of your store.

Generally, SEO can be broken down into two parts:

On-page optimization refers to the different things you can do on your actual website that will help increase your rankings in search engines like Google, like including keywords in titles and meta descriptions as well as product descriptions.

Off-page optimization means improving your position in search results by getting links from other sites with high authority that point back to yours (also known as “back-linking”).

What Is Keyword Research?
Everyone wants their online store to rank higher on Google to be able to attract more customers and generate more sales. After all, if your e-commerce store can’t be found online, it can’t attract new business.

You need to know what terms people are using to search for what they want. This process is called keyword research and it is the first step in optimizing your Shopify store for the search engines.

One popular SEO strategy is to find and use branded terms. Branded terms are search terms that include the name of your brand, or a variation of a brand or product. These terms are ideal for Shopify SEO because they can attract a highly qualified audience who is already familiar with your brand. Here are some of the most famous branded terms; "Apple iPhone" or "Yankee Baseball Hats." For your store, consider using your brand as an SEO term when describing your products and services.

Shopify SEO keyword research is the process of finding high-traffic, low-competition keywords that you can easily rank for in Google. For example, if you searched for "sneakers," that would be considered a generic keyword. Generic keywords are very common and highly competitive (not to mention expensive). You'd be competing with huge brands like Nike and Adidas for that term.

On the other hand, if you search for "best vegan sneakers for running," that's called a long-tail keyword phrase. Long-tail keywords are typically less competitive to rank for and have much lower search volume (aka fewer people search for them).

The best way to do SEO keyword research is to start with low-hanging fruit (long-tail keywords) and work your way up to more competitive terms. You can do this using tools like Google Analytics, SEMRush, or Ahrefs.

How To Optimize Shopify URLs
Shopify stores come with several built-in features that are great for helping you use SEO on-site. One of those features is your URL. Shopify automatically gives every product and collection page a URL based on its title or name. For collections, it will use all lowercase letters, and for products, it will use capitalized words (unless the title is all uppercase).

While this works for most stores, some merchants will want to customize their URLs for one reason or another. We recommend using an SEO term in your URL that you are trying to rank for to help boost your chances in the search results. For example, if you are a sell flowers to wedding receptions, you should consider targeting the keywords "bridal flowers" or "wedding flower shop." Using one of these terms in the URL will help the search engines rank you higher, allowing shoppers to see your store when they search for those terms.

How To Title Tags And Meta Descriptions On Your Products
Shopify allows you to write titles, tags, and descriptions on your products and collections. Here you can describe your products and tag them with SEO terms. 

Search engines compare your tags with page content to help find your store page easier. That’s why you should place SEO terms in all of your titles, descriptions, and collections. The best way to do this is by using unique, brief, and clear descriptions using your most important keywords.

Meta descriptions are brief text bits shown in the search engine results after your tags. Each one of your store pages should receive one, including your product collections and blog posts. Meta descriptions are short descriptions of the page. Using an SEO term here will also help boost results and increase traffic.

Our Takeaway
Over the past year, the number of DTC brands has grown significantly, making it more important than ever before for brands to create a digital presence and stand out from the competition. As a DTC entrepreneur, implementing basic search engine optimization techniques will vastly improve the visibility of your online store.

Want to learn more about how to use SEO to keep content updated regularly, optimize collections and blog posts, and track your results with the Shopify app store? Follow us and check out our library of resources with the Vector Blog here.

Issue 5, The Beginners Guide To Shopify SEO

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