Shopify SEO Checklist For 2024 – The Ultimate Guide

With Shopify, you can easily create attractive-looking online stores that reflect your brand’s true image. But you will ultimately need a Shopify SEO checklist to boost its search engine visibility and funnel more store traffic.

The logic here is simple – the better your Shopify store rank in SERP, the more visibility and clicks it will receive.

And, in the ever-growing crowd of Shopify stores, SEO is the best way to stand out and achieve a higher ranking in SERP. For this reason, investing in Shopify SEO is crucial for online retailers.

You can follow the Shopify SEO checklist 2024 presented in this post to optimize your Shopify store for search engines.

Shopify SEO Checklist

Shopify store creation isn’t limited to selling online. It involves brand building, store visibility, customer conversion etc. Here’s an ultimate Shopify SEO checklist that will enable you to achieve it all.

1. Start With a custom domain name

Shopify offers a free subdomain that looks like this – your-name.myshopify.com. Well, it’s quite apparent that it’s not good from a marketing or branding point of view. But, the domain name can potentially boost the click-through rate of your Shopify store and hence achieve better visibility. Therefore, a solid Shopify SEO strategy begins with a good domain name.

Here are some pointers for choosing an SEO-friendly domain name for your Shopify store:

  • Keep it short and easy to remember.
  • Prioritise a TLD, specifically a .com domain.
  • Shopify stores are all about branding; therefore, choose a brandable domain.
  • Avoid special characters like a comma or a hyphen.

2. Select a super speedy and responsive Shopify theme

Shopify theme is the central structure that holds all the elements of your Shopify store. On the one hand, it impacts the overall look of your Shopify store, while on the other, it impacts the responsiveness and speed of your store. These factors influence SEO too, especially after Google’s page experience update. Therefore it is vital to choose a responsive and fast Shopify theme.

Shopify themes

Here’s what to look for in a Shopify theme;

  • It aligns with your brand’s image.
  • It is geared toward better conversion and sales.
  • It’s responsive and can easily adjust to different screen sizes like mobile and tablets.
  • It’s fast, so it helps in SEO and enhances user experience.

3. Utilize Shopify’s built-in SEO Tools

Shopify includes built-in SEO tools to streamline the store optimization process to some extent.

Some Shopify SEO features are automated like;

  • Auto-generated canonical tags that curb duplicate content issues.
  • Auto-generated robot.txt and sitemap.xml files.
  • Automatic title tags are added automatically to your store name.
  • SSL certificates which Google takes as a ranking factor.

Other than that, you can tweak some of the parameters yourself:

  • You can edit meta descriptions, title tags, product URLs, web pages, etc.
  • You can tweak the alt text of images to optimize it for SEO.

4. Set up Google Search Console

Search Console displays data directly from the source. Therefore, it is the perfect way to assess how Google sees your Shopify store. Besides, it’s the simplest way to evaluate various problems Google bots will encounter while crawling your website.

Here is what Google Search Console can show about your Shopify store:

  • Keywords that you rank for.
  • What’s the click-through rate (CTR) of your Shopify store?
  • Indexed pages of your store.
  • Indexing and crawling issues on your store and more.

That’s why it’s prudent to set up a property in GSC and make the most of the information available about your Shopify store. Amongst many things, GSC allows you to;

  • Submit sitemap.xml.
  • Test robot.txt files.
  • Track indexing of the page.
  • Track your store positioning in SERP.

5. Submit sitemap – The most Crucial Step in Shopify SEO

A sitemap is the map of your entire site. It contains a list of all the pages, categories, files, videos, and images, as well as information about how they link with each other. In short, it directs search engine bots to crawl and index your website effectively. That’s why creating and submitting a sitemap is vital for better crawlability of your website and, by extension, higher chances of ranking in SERP.

6. Keyword Research

SEO on Shopify or any other platform begins with comprehensive Keyword research. It’s to understand what specific search terms people use to search for something online. Therefore you must understand which keywords or phrases are relevant to your product and your Shopify store. Optimizing your website’s content accordingly will boost your website’s SEO. You should therefore conduct thorough Keyword Research.

Here are some pointers for comprehensive keyword research;

  • Think like consumers and deduce the terms a consumer might enter to search for the product.
  • Search your products or similar ones to see what results appear in Google.
  • Look for your competitors and see what terms they target in descriptions, titles, etc.
  • Try Google Suggest to explore all the related terms.
  • Use Google Analytics to track keywords that bring the most traffic. You can search related terms and create supportive content.

But above all, the best way to do deep keyword research is to use an SEO tool. There are plenty of them, but the most powerful is Semrush. It has a massive keyword database and accurately estimates the keyword’s traffic potential, ranking difficulty, search intent, and more.

Bonus: Click here to know the best tools for keyword research.

7. On-Page SEO

On-page SEO is critical to rank higher in SERP. It enables search engines to understand your site’s content better. Besides, it also details your content’s viability concerning search queries. Here’s how you can boost the on-page SEO of your Shopify store:

Shopify On-Page SEO

1. Optimize the Title Tag

The title tag is one of the most powerful criteria for SEO – therefore, it should be complete in all respects.

Here are some tips to optimize the title;

  • Make it compelling so that it attracts more clicks.
  • Make it keyword-rich but not keyword stuffed.
  • Make sure it’s around 60 words long; otherwise, it will be truncated in search results, impacting CTR.
  • Always put the focus keyword at the beginning.
  • Shopify already has a default H1 tag, so don’t add extra.

2. Optimize your meta description

A meta description is a text that appears below the title in search results. Similar to the title, the meta description can also boost CTR. Therefore, it should simultaneously be catchy and appealing to users and search engine bots.

Here’s how you can optimize the meta description;

  • Consider adding value proportions like free delivery or discount to make it catchy.
  • Keep it to a maximum of 160 characters long so that search engines don’t truncate it.
  • Don’t shy away from inserting keywords but keep it limited.

3. Write descriptive alt text for images:

In the online space, images are crucial both for selling and SEO. Therefore use quality images and optimize them for SEO.

Follow the tips to optimize images for On-Page SEO properly;

  • Give a descriptive file name to the images.
  • Give it a descriptive alt tag that explains what the image is about.
  • Use keywords in the Alt text of the image.

4. Optimize Shopify URLs

Shopify already implements a basic URL structure, but you can change it to make it more unique and SEO-friendly. Above all, the content of the URL and its path should be clear to search engines.

Follow these steps;

  • Use descriptive URLs that give an overview of the page.
  • Keep the URL as short as possible.
  • Use the focus keyword in the URL, but don’t make it stuffed
  • Use hyphens to separate words in the URL.
  • Avoid special characters in the URL.
  • Avoid filler words like ‘the,’ ‘for,’ etc., in the URL

5. Optimize Site Structure – Advanced On-Page SEO

How your Shopify store is structured has a big impact on its SEO. A properly optimized site structure facilitates both users and bots to navigate your site easily. Besides, a smooth site structure greatly enhances user experience. Similarly, a search engine crawler will easily crawl different pages on your site, index them and rank them based on the search query.

Optimize Site Structure

Here’s how to improve the site structure;

  • Keep the interface simple.
  • Keep menus and categories easily accessible.
  • Avoid elaborate hierarchies on your Shopify site.
  • Include a search box to make your store easily searchable.
  • Insert only essential links – don’t overdo it.

Shopify SEO is one of the major Shopify Development services that works wonders for a store when deployed. Read more about other ways to develop your Shopify store from our post.

8. Off-Page SEO

External links are still a powerful lever for search engine optimization. Therefore, never overlook link-building opportunities. Quality links make your site more credible in Google’s eyes. In other words, Google sees backlinks as indicators of authority and trust. Therefore, high-quality link building should be a priority for Shopify SEO.

Follow these techniques to acquire authority backlinks;

Guest Posting – Guest posting is a proven way to acquire good-quality backlinks. Besides, guest posts also help improve brand awareness and boost the brand’s credibility.

Blogger Outreach – There could be several authority Shopify stores or blogs in your niche. You can contact these store owners to collaborate and create authentic content that promotes your store. You can ask them to publish content about any content, giveaways or reviews on their blog and link it to your store. This way, you can acquire quality backlinks.

Promote Linkable Assets – One way to get backlinks is to create quality content like how-to guides, interactive infographics, etc., and submit them for publishing on high-authority blogs, media publications, etc. If your content is good, a few websites might publish or promote your content, and you will get backlinks.

Broken Link Building – It’s a simple way to get backlinks. You can use tools like Semrush to search for broken links on a website that is relevant to your niche. Once you find a product page similar to what you offer with broken links, contact the website owner, inform him about the broken links, and request to replace it with a link to your content.

Pro Tip: If you want to run a link-building campaign, here are the best Link Building Tools that you can use.

9. Fix Broken Links

If backlinks can boost a website’s SEO, broken links could be detrimental. Therefore, to keep your Shopify store, search engine optimized, fix broken links. You can use Semrush to identify broken backlinks. Once you have identified broken backlinks, reach out to the website and request to update the URL pointing to the content.

10. Content Marketing Checklist

Content is the core of all SEO campaigns. Therefore, it’s vital to craft quality content that solves user intent.

Content Marketing Checklist

Here’s a road to follow;

1. Build authority with your content

Content authority has long been associated with higher search ranking. Therefore, if you could develop content authority in your niche, it will act as a growth engine that brings you more visitors, better visibility, and higher ranking.

How to build authority with your content?

  • Post high-quality, engaging, and valuable content regularly.
  • Impart knowledge with your content to connect with your audience and build loyalty.
  • Do keyword research to find out all the relevant points around a topic.
  • Segment all the topics in keyword clusters.
  • Now create pillars and supportive content.
  • Create external and internal links to the content.

2. Ensure the quality of your content

Churning out content in high quantity isn’t enough to rank better in SERP. Google considers several factors to determine whether the content is worthy of ranking higher in search results. So, ensure your content is high quality and optimized for search engines.

Here’s how you can do it;

  • Craft concise content in lucid language.
  • Search intent is everything – make sure your content satisfies the search query’s intent.
  • Keep it relevant to the latest trends, updates, or new information.
  • Make it actionable, which inspires users to take action.

3. Fix duplicate content (Keyword cannibalization)

Duplicate content or keyword cannibalization is a negative SEO factor. It happens when you target similar keywords in multiple contents on your website. Two similar content compete for organic ranking, ultimately diluting the website’s authority and lower ranking.

Follow the steps to fix Duplicate content (Keyword Cannibalization).

4. Keep existing content up to date

Updating content has a positive impact on the website’s SEO. It could boost websites’ authority, search ranking and derive more traffic.

Here’s why you should update your content regularly;

  • Search engines love fresh and relevant content. Updating it signals the search engine that your content provides new information.
  • Users’ interests and behavior change over time. Updating content keeps it aligned with the latest search trends.
  • When you update your content, you fix its readability and engagement level. It makes content relevant and informative.

11. Make Your Website Mobile Responsive

Mobile responsiveness is directly tied to user experience. Therefore, it’s a ranking factor that could make or break your positioning in search results.

Learn why you should make your Shopify store mobile responsive;

  • Google prioritizes mobile-first experience.
  • Mobile responsive websites are faster to load and easily navigable, boosting usability.
  • Mobile responsiveness leads to a better user experience. Google rewards improved user experience with a higher ranking.
  • Mobile-optimized websites load faster, which positively impacts search ranking.
  • Mobile-optimized content has a low bounce rate.
  • Users are more likely to share your content on mobile which helps build your audience.

12. Improve Internal Linking and Anchor Text Variations

Well-optimized internal links and anchor text variations can impact a website’s ranking and visibility positively. With optimized internal links, the goal is to guide search engine bots to relevant pages in your Shopify store. It ensures better crawl ability of your store.

Here are the best practices to follow with internal linking;

  • Use relevant anchor text to help search engines understand the linked page’s content.
  • Use relevant keywords for internal linking. It boosts the relevance of LinkedIn pages for certain terms.
  • Avoid excessive internal links as they disrupt the reading flow and impact user experience.
  • Monitor internal links and fix any broken links.

13. Leverage The Power Of AI

AI is a revolution that has impacted everything, including SEO. You can leverage the power of AI for Shopify SEO too. AI can automate several SEO processes, saving time and improving output quality. Two crucial aspects that can significantly benefit from AI are Content Creation and Graphic Creation. Let’s learn how;

Content Creation

AI tools have natural language processing capabilities that enable them to create context-appropriate and relevant content. Similarly, AI content creation tools like ChatGPT, Jasper AI, Surfer SEO, etc., can speed up the content creation process, improve content quality, and support topic research.

Note – Shopify has also launched its AI-powered content creation tool, Shopify Magic. You can use it to generate content at the listing level.

Graphics Creation

AI tools can automate the graphics creation process and produce visually appealing images, illustrations, and designs. AI tools like Canva, Midjourney, Adobe Firefly, etc., can also help with editing, design recommendations, image compression, and more.

14. Social Signals Matter A Lot

Shopify stores are more about brand building, and social media can be hugely beneficial in this respect. Therefore, social signals must have a place in your Shopify SEO checklist.

Here’s why;

  • Social interactions such as likes and shares lead to more brand exposure and better brand visibility.
  • Social engagement opens the door for referral traffic and backlink opportunities.
  • Positive sentiment on social media leads to better brand credibility, which helps cements its authority and reputation.
  • Sharing content on Social Media amplifies its reach, brings more engagement, and funnels organic traffic to the store.

15. Local SEO

Optimizing for local SEO can have a far-reaching impact on your Shopify Store. There are various tools that help you optimize your local SEO. It lets you tap into local traffic, which big brands often overlook. With Local SEO, you can drive targeted traffic with minimal effort. Similarly, local traffic is mostly motivated and intent-driven, leading to better conversion on Shopify Store.

Follow the steps to optimize your Shopify for local search;

  • Strategically place location-specific keywords in your content.
  • Create and optimize Google My Business Profile.
  • Ensure the latest and most accurate NAP infiltration across all business directories.
  • Promptly respond to customer queries or reviews.
  • Engage with local audiences through social media.
  • Use Semrush Listing Management Tool to monitor and optimize your local search ranking.

16. Focus on UI UX

UX and UI of Shopify directly impact how users interact with the website and how search engines perceive it. But above all, UX and UI impact user experience, which is an important ranking factor in SEO. If your Shopify has a clear and precise interface, easy navigation, and faster working, it will lower the bounce rate and boost engagement. This will signal search engines about the Enhanced user experience, rewarding the website with a higher search ranking.

17. Make Sure to improve the speed of your website

Site speed is a crucial ranking factor – something that Google itself has revealed. It’s because site speed is directly tied to user experience, and Google heavily emphasizes user satisfaction. Therefore, if your Shopify store doesn’t load fast, it won’t rank in search results.

How to Ensure to Improve the Speed of Your Website

Follow the tips to improve site speed;

  • Compressed images

Smaller image size leads to faster loading, which lower site load speed. You can use the Speed ​​Optimizer plugin in Shopify for automatic image compressions while preserving quality.

  • Fast and responsive themes

Heavy themes bloated with unnecessary features impair loading speed. Therefore, choose lightweight and responsive Shopify themes that enhance site load speed. You can test the theme speed with the Google Page Speed tool during the theme selection.

  • Avoid usage of unnecessary plugins

Although plugins come in handy, they add an extra layer of code each time they are used, which can cause difficulty for Google to crawl the website. Besides, they also put strains on the site’s resources, downgrading its loading speed.

  • Add AMP to your Shopify store

Nearly half of Shopify store visitors come from mobile. Therefore, it’s crucial to lower site load speed on mobile. The Accelerated Mobile Pages framework (AMP) enables faster site loading on mobile devices.

  • Minimize CSS

It may happen that comments or spaces on your site’s CSS file are taking up too much space. Eliminating these extra characters will reduce file size. Smaller files load faster, ultimately leading to faster website speed. But tinkering with a CSS file needs technical knowledge. Therefore, you must call an expert to optimize your Shopify Store’s CSS files.

18. Maintenance Is Crucial

Shopify SEO isn’t a one-time effort. Instead, it’s an ongoing process that requires continuous monitoring. It helps you stay updated with changes in SERP plus enables you to gauge the impact of SEO strategy on your Shopify store.

Follow the steps to maintain an optimal level of SEO on your Shopify store ;

Regularly Audit Your Website

Website audits are a great way to uncover SEO vulnerabilities, loopholes, or gaps in SEO strategies. You can use Semrush to perform SEO audits of your Shopify store.

A website audit will reveal the following;

  • On-Page SEO issues related to meta tags, headers, URLs, keyword usage, and content quality.
  • Technical SEO issues, such as crawl errors, broken links, slow load time, mobile responsiveness, duplicate content, etc.
  • Off-page errors like low-quality links etc.
  • Errors with site structure and navigation.
  • Issues related to user experience like bounce rate, CTR, time on specific sections on the page, etc.
  • For Shopify stores targeting local audiences, website audits could reveal the effectiveness of their local SEO efforts.

Study The Data And Make Necessary Modifications

Based on your insights from Website audits, you can adjust your Shopify SEO strategy and make it more impactful. By studying the data, you can prioritize tasks, measure results and iterate and refine based on the results.

19. Provide Value No Matter What

Now, more than ever, search engines prioritize delivering relevant, rich, insightful information. Without value, no SEO efforts could pull the site up in SERP. 

Remember that it’s less about search engines and more about users. Therefore all your Shopify SEO strategies should be targeted at providing value, quality content and optimizing user experience. 

Low value leads to poor engagement, a high bounce rate, and a bad user experience. In contrast, delivering value through quality content brings organic traffic, builds trust, and drives conversions.

Related Reads:

Conclusion: Shopify SEO Checklist

That will be all for the Shopify SEO checklist. 

You must implement it in your Shopify store to be at the top of Google. 

The checklist is long, but perseverance and diligence pay off well here. If you follow the Shopify SEO checklist, you will be rewarded with tons of traffic and sales. 

Remember that SEO takes time, constant effort, and regular monitoring. But above all, user experience matters the most – providing value is the key to SEO success.

Bonus: You can eliminate the hassle and hand over the responsibility to Shopify SEO professionals. Here are the best Shopify service agencies who can do the job for you!

FAQs

What is Shopify?

Shopify is an online ecommerce portal that lets businesses build and manage their online store. It offers a user-friendly dashboard, numerous themes, and a plugin (paid and free) that facilitates the creation of visually appealing online stores.

Is it necessary to do SEO on Shopify stores?

You must optimize your store search engine to gain better visibility and attract organic traffic.

How long does a Shopify store take to rank in search results?

SEO, in general, is a long and continuous process. On average, your Shopify store will take around three months to start ranking for some keywords in SERP.

Does Shopify have in-built features for SEO?

Yes. Shopify includes a few tools to do basic SEO like automatic title generation, robot.txt file creation, etc. Similarly, Shopify apps like AVADA SEO and SEO Manager can also help you control some SEO aspects of your Shopify store.

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