2024 Shopify SEO Guide: Tips & Tricks

Apr 24, 2023featured, SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) plays a critical role in the success of any online store. In the ever competitive e-commerce landscape, having a well-optimized website is essential, and Shopify has emerged as one of the most popular e-commerce platforms for businesses of all sizes. However, simply having a Shopify store is not enough. To truly maximize its potential, it is crucial to implement effective SEO strategies tailored to Shopify’s unique features and functionalities. In this article, we will delve into the world of Shopify SEO, exploring key techniques and best practices to help your online store rank higher in search results, drive targeted traffic, and ultimately boost your sales and revenue. Whether you’re a seasoned Shopify user or just starting out, this guide will provide you with actionable insights to optimize your store for search engines and improve your online visibility. Let’s dive in and unlock the power of Shopify SEO!

If you’re running a Shopify store, you know the importance of standing out in the digital marketplace. SEO is your silent salesperson, working tirelessly behind the scenes to draw in potential customers. Let’s dive into some key areas where you can rev up your Shopify SEO and give your store the spotlight it deserves. 

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Using URLs to Optimize Your Shopify Store

First things first, let’s talk about your store’s URLs. Like the aisles of a well-organized brick-and-mortar store, your URLs should be clear, clean, and intuitive. Here’s how to ensure they are SEO-friendly:

  • Keep URLs short and sweet, but also rich with relevant keywords.
  • Avoid unnecessary words and characters that don’t serve the user or search engines.
  • Use hyphens instead of underscores to separate words, as they are more search-engine friendly.
  • Ensure each page’s URL reflects its hierarchy and content — this helps both users and search bots understand the page’s context.

Shopify has unique URL structure that is important to understand.

How are URLs Structured on Shopify Sites?

Shopify has an identifiable URL structure, which isn’t fully customizable. The only part of a Shopify URL you can change is the slug – the last part of a URL. This can be frustrating for some sites because of the lack of customization; however, there are ways to optimize URLs depending on the page type. Let’s explore the different page types and customization options.

  • Collection URLs
    Product categories are called “collections”. Collections have the following URL structure: https://example.com/collections/[collection-name]. You can define the collection name.

     

  • Tag URLs
    You can tag related products. For example, you could tag all t-shirts that have a US flag on them with the tag “USA flag”. All t-shirts with a US flag will then show up by going to https://example.com/collections/t-shirts/usa-flag. You can’t edit, copy or change metadata on tag URLs.
  • Product URLs
    Product URLs have the following URL structure: https://example.com/products/rocky-mountains-t-shirt. Similar to collection URLs, you can only change the URL slug, not the path leading up to it.

  • Page URLs
    For pages that don’t have to do with products, like an “About Us” page for example, you’ll use Pages. Page URLs have the following structure: https://example.com/pages/[page-name].

  • Blog Article URLs
    By default, Shopify will create a blog overview page at https://example.com/blogs/news. Blog articles have the following URL structure: https://example.com/blogs/news/[article-name]

Shopify Product URL Considerations 

Products Available Under Different URLs

Since there is a collection for t-shirts, the Rocky Mountains t-shirt is available under https://example.com/collections/t-shirts/products/rocky-mountains-t-shirt which would be canonicalized to https://example.com/products/rocky-mountains-t-shirt.

Issues with Products Available Under Different URLs

This isn’t an ideal SEO situation because search engines would initially crawl https://example.com/collections/t-shirts/products/rocky-mountains-t-shirt on the collection page, which would then send them to the canonical URL https://example.com/products/rocky-mountains-t-shirt. This can be a waste of crawl budget and confusing for search engines when trying to figure out which URL to index.

This can also lead to backlinks being placed on the wrong URL – the one that’s canonicalized. This dilutes the value being passed from the backlink. 

A Solution to Products Available Under Different URLs

You can update the theme’s code to directly reference the canonical URL. This is will stop Shopify from linking to the product URL that’s canonicalized. 

Steps to fix this: 

  1. Log into the Shopify admin console
  2. Go to Online Store > Themes
  3. On the right, click ••• and Edit code

  4. Under the Snippets folder, select product-grid-item.liquid
  5. There, replace <a href=”{{ product.url | within: current_collection }}” class=”product-grid-item”> with <a href=”{{ product.url }}” class=”product-grid-item”>

*Note, the name of the file will vary depending on the theme.

Product Variants in Shopify 

Product variants are products that are available with slight differences, for example, shoes can come in different sizes and colors. 

When you define product variants in Shopify, it automatically appends a ?variant=$id to the end of the URL. 

For example, the Rocky Mountains T-shirt could be available in white and grey. The grey version is defined as a variant and can be found at https://example.com/products/rocky-mountains-t-shirt?variant=123456789

This can be a drawback because the variant URL is canonicalized to the main product, so it won’t be indexed and ranked by search engines. Meaning, if someone searches specifically for the grey Rocky Mountain t-shirt, it won’t appear in the search results. 

If users are constantly searching for specific variants of a product, the best course of action might be to create the variants as separate products rather than product variants. This way each variant can be indexed and ranked in the search results. 

Product Redirect from Collections Overview

On the Collections overview page, https://example.com/collections/all, there are links to redirected product URLs. 

For example, on https://example.com/collections/all there would be a link to https://example.com/collections/all/products/rocky-mountains-t-shirt. That URL redirects to https://example.com/products/rocky-mountains-t-shirt

This is another situation that can waste crawl budget. You can adjust the theme to link directly from the /collections/all product overview to the correct product URL.

How to Implement Redirects in Shopify? 

To manage redirects in Shopify, try the following: 

  1. Log into the Shopify admin console
  2. Go to Online Store > Navigation > View URL Redirects
  3. Click on the Create URL redirect button
  4. Define the redirect source URL in the Redirect form field, and define the redirect target in Redirect to
  5. Save redirect

Note that you can import and export redirects in Shopify. However, you can’t set up redirects using RegEx, so you have to fill in redirects manually or import them. 

For more details, view Shopify’s documentation.

Can I customize Metadata in Shopify? 

Your meta tags serve as the window display for your virtual store. They should entice and inform simultaneously. Here’s how to master the craft:

  • Write compelling title tags that accurately describe the page content while incorporating your target keyword—keeping them under 60 characters to ensure they display fully in search results.
  • For meta descriptions, entice your audience with a clear value proposition within 155-160 characters.
  • Use unique title tags and meta descriptions across your site to avoid duplication which can dilute your SEO efforts.

Note that you can define title tag and meta description templates rather than manually entering them for every product with the use of a third-party app. Shopify doesn’t support this feature on its own.

Collection URLs 

Shopify generates metadata for collections. You can customize metadata for collection URLs. 

Tag URLs

Shopify auto-generates metadata for tag URLs. Shopify doesn’t have a dashboard to manage tags, so titles and meta descriptions can’t be customized on tag URLs.

Product URLs

Shopify generates metadata for products. You can customize metadata for individual products. 

Page URLs and Blog Articles

Shopify generates metadata for pages and blog articles. You can customize metadata for page URLs and blog articles.

Can Headings be Customized in Shopify? 

For the most part, your Shopify theme determines which text is placed within your headings. 

This is what is common in most themes:

  • Home page: the store name
  • Collection pages: the collection name
  • Product pages: the product name
  • Blog article: the blog article name
  • Pages: the page name

You can add additional headings to pages that allow additional content. For example, you can add additional headings on collection pages. 

Are Canonicals Possible in Shopify? 

There are no options in the Shopify admin console to change canonicals, but you can adjust them in the theme’s code.

How to Do Robots.txt in Shopify?

Shopify has a default robots.txt that’s the same for every store. It prevents access to account, checkout, and cart pages, internal search result pages, and a few other pages that may lead to duplicate content issues. 

You cannot edit the robot.txt file within Shopify.

How to do XML Sitemaps in shopify? 

Shopify creates XML sitemaps automatically. There is no way to change the XML sitemaps.

Are Shopify Sites Responsive?

All Shopify themes offered by Shopify itself are fully responsive. Third-party themes may not be fully responsive. Check responsiveness  with Google’s Mobile Friendly test

Do you need help with your site’s SEO? Contact us to learn more about how we can help!

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