The significance of Shopify SEO for Fashion Brand and how to do it right!
With over a million active user base, among all the eCommerce solutions Shopify is now one of the most popular platform. This eCommerce platform encompasses rich features and conversion optimized checkout, which let the users easily sell their products online.
Once your have decided to blend your online journey with Shopify, the only problem you may face is that – no one’s visiting your store (you’re not generating any business).
Even though your website may feature incredible products and an impressively brand positioning, but that won’t help drive results if online shoppers can’t find your eCommerce store.
Why is Shopify SEO crucial for turning your investments into your brand’s success?
- Impressive SEO could help position your brand instead of your competition
- A good SERPs ranking over digital platforms assist in boosting brand sales
- Improve keywords which later will help with Google Paid Ads especially with Google Shopping
- Increase Customer Reviews that will in return elevate Brand Credibility
For you, we have curated an easy-to-follow checklist entailing the key things you require to elevate your Shopify site’s ranking in the search results.
So let’s dive in!
1. Optimize your Fashion Shopify site structure
It may surprise you! But being well-organized not only assists the users to easily navigate through your products but also helps the search engine crawler to seamlessly perform its job.
As a consequence, Google recognizes well-mapped websites and rewards them by ranking them higher in SERPs.
Although Shopify automatically creates a sitemap for every store, yet an effective mapping demands the product information in a way it forms a perfect hierarchy.
Hierarchy is crucial in structuring your store based on the collections and their related products as shown in an example diagram below.
Implement one of the following structures to transform your site into a customer-first site:
Homepage » Category Pages » Product Pages
Homepage » Category Pages » Sub-Category Page » Product Pages
It’s quite easy to create collections and product pages in Shopify.
For a collection, log into your Shopify account. On the right-hand menu, go to “Products” and select “Collections. “Then click “Create collection.”
And to create a product page on Shopify, navigate to the “Products” option on the same menu and select “All products.” Then click on the “Add product” button.
After creating a product page, make sure to add it to a collection, in order to have a properly structured Shopify store.
After creating all of your collections and product pages, head back to the right-hand menu and select “Online Store” and then click “Navigation.” From there add all of your collections to the main menu of your store.
You can access your Shopify store’s sitemap by visiting your store URL followed by www.mystore.com/sitemap.xml.
Now that you have successfully structured your Shopify store, lets move to the next step…
2. Register your Shopify store with Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools
Upon registering your site with these services, you let the major search engines know that your website exists, and should be crawled.
Note that you should register BOTH the www and non-www versions of your domain (i.e., www.yourdomain.com and yourdomain.com), and if you’ve got a secure and non-secure version of your website, the http:// and https:// versions of each.
Although, registering a Shopify site with Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools is easy yet you can follow the below links for more information:
After registering your Shopify site with Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools, don’t forget to submit an XML sitemap, which will help to index your site accurately and quickly.
For the one who does not know how to generate a sitemap: Shopify generates a sitemap automatically for you. The URL is simply “www.yourdomain.com/sitemap.xml”, you just need to enter this link into Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools.
3. Use SSL
An “https://” website is generally preferred by the search engines over non-secure “http://” ones. Also, internet browsers such as Google Chrome display a warning message to the users visiting non-secure websites that ultimately degrades visitors’ trust.
Therefore, it’s obvious to ensure that your Shopify site is secure, and for this, you’ll need to have an SSL certificate.
Fortunately, Shopify provides FREE SSL certificates as part of its subscription plan. The store owners can activate these by going to their Shopify dashboard and then to Sales Channels > Online Store > Domains. Please ensure the SSL is activated and no errors are showing in the section.
4. Focus on your store Loading Speed
It should be noted that among all the factors considered by Google to rank a website, Page Speed is vital. It signifies that the fast-loading sites are given preference over slower ones.
However, the options concerning reducing page loading speed with Shopify are a bit limited. The reason being: rather than employing your hosting and code for your website template, you have to use Shopify’s servers and their pre-built templates.
Though there are some aspects you can work upon to make a Shopify site load as quickly as possible:
- Always compress the images using the tools like Tiny Png to reduce the size of any images before uploading to Shopify store.
- Try to use any external scripts or custom code on your site as minimum as possible
- Remove all the Shopify apps that are not in use as each app adds a piece of code to your theme
- Though Shopify uses CDN for all images, it’s always recommended to use optimized images
- Make minimal use of a large number of web fonts on your site, but try to use faster-loading web-safe fonts
- Use Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) format for your Shopify pages, to display fast-loading versions of your content in mobile search results. AMP content is often prioritized by Google Search engine while displaying search results and since pages in AMP format load so quickly on mobile devices, they’re more likely to be read by the users. You can also find some good Shopify AMP Apps which can help.
The recently introduced ‘online store speed’ report by Shopify is a boon to the store owners. Merchants can access it from their Shopify dashboards and use it to check how their store is performing among others from a speed perspective while accessing helpful resources that can assist in improving its load time.
To access ‘Online Store Speed report’, go to Online Store > Theme and then click the ‘View report’ beside the Online Store Speed section.
Also, a video performance by Shopify’s Director of Engineering, Colin Bendell, will give you more knowledge on this new report.
5. Research for Target Keywords
The most promising aspect for improving the SERP ranking and overall performance is to fuel your Shopify website with the keywords that your target audience is actually searching for.
And no Shopify SEO guide would be complete without giving information on effective keyword research, which is the foundation of Shopify SEO success.
But how to find the right keywords for your brand and products?
Below are the three key pieces for executing effective keyword research:
- The phrases and the keywords that online shoppers are using to search for similar products like yours
- The monthly search volume for each of those keyword phrases
- How difficult the competition is, to rank for each keyword.
When you have access to three pieces of information, you can easily identify the keywords to optimize your Shopify Store.
Assume that your brand is offering Swim Wears.
Now put yourself in your customers’ shoes and think of what search terms you (as a user) will use to find the products you want to buy.
Simply visiting Google Keyword Planner, you can research for your keyword as shown below:
Now that you’ve your keyword research done, it’s time to focus on the elements on your site to make sure that it performs well for your chosen keywords.
6. Optimizing the Product Pages
At this point, when you possess the list of target keywords and a logical site structure. The very next step is to optimize your Shopify pages using your keywords.
Starting with the top pages first.
Including the homepage, main product collection pages, and top-selling product pages – the pages that are the most crucial and have the best conversions.
How to Optimize Title Tags for your product categories
Now that you’ve decided what pages you’re going to optimize, let’s see how you should name the pages across the entire site.
Keywords should be used in a consistent way, such as :
Keyword 1 – Shop for Keyword 2 – Shopify Store Name
Active Wears – Shop for Active Wears Online – The Store
How to Optimize Title and Meta Description for Products
The next and significant step is to write titles and descriptions for our products and categories. Though you can use copy from supplier websites, yet it is always advisable to post original content for better SEO and Customer Experience.
Key takeaway: Try to infuse the keywords naturally into the copy to avoid getting penalized for keyword stuffing.
The alt text for images can also be optimized for SEO, but even this needs to fit naturally.
How to add alt text to Shopify Product Images
Search engine algorithms don’t index the words on your website but they index your images too.
That said, it is crucial to add the alt texts and appropriate image names.
Three main reasons as to why you should be adding alt text to your images:
- Screen Readers will make use of it to provide an image description to any visually impaired users who visit your website.
- Search engines use it to describe and better understand the content of your store
- If the image fails to load, a description will be displayed to avoid confusion.
For the images on pages and posts, you just have to navigate to your page, locate the relevant picture, and double click on it.
A dialog box will appear where you can edit various aspects of the image, including alt text.
Whereas to add the alt text for product images, find your product by clicking Products on your Shopify dashboard and click on the product image. Your image will then be opened, and on the right section, you’ll see an ‘Alt Text’ option. Click on the link to add your image alt text.
Also, make sure to infuse the focus keyword in the file name right before you upload the images to the platform because changing the file names aren’t easy in Shopify.
For instance, if you are selling gold plated jewelry in your Shopify store, ensure that the uploaded image names gold-plated-jewelry.jpg’ instead of something random such as ‘IMG9481XA-583.jpg’
7. Use Clean URLs
Google encourages the use of ‘clean’ and SEO-friendly URLs.
But what does a ‘Clean URL’ actually mean?
Clean URLs are short, simple, and understandable. For example, if you were selling women sportswear, it’s advisable to use a URL as www.yourdomain.com/woman/sportswear/ rather than www.yourdomain.com/prds/ct/p223.php?ref=14556womnsprtswr
Luckily, with Shopify, you’re not going to end up with awkward URLs, but unfortunately, the platform generates URLs that are slightly less clean than they should be.
Shopify platform adds prefixes to your pages and products:
- /pages/ before pages
- /posts/ before posts
- /products/ before products
But you should aim to ensure that whatever comes after the above prefixes is as ‘clean’ as possible, and encompasses a focus keyword, which will assist both search engines and humans to easily understand what your content is about.
To edit a page URL in Shopify, simply navigate to the page, product, or a post you wish to edit. Scroll to the bottom and click ‘Edit Website SEO’.
Then, make the required changes in the ‘URL and handle’ box (as shown in the screenshot below).
After changing the Shopify URL, make sure that you tick the ‘create URL redirect’ option, to let Google know that you have changed the URL.
Note: Changing URLs of pages that aren’t displaying in search results is easy though, but if you are thinking of changing a page URL that is already ranking high, you should proceed carefully.
Just because a high-ranking page is likely to have a huge number of backlinks to it, and these don’t count for the majority of them if you change its URL and won’t count for anything at all if you don’t tick the box to create a redirect from your old URL to the new one.
Ideally, it’s good to have the appropriate URL structure when you create your Shopify page or product, or shortly afterward. And if you do end up changing a page URL on your Shopify store, always check that ‘Create a URL redirect’ box!
Add Rich Snippet (Schema Markup)
Yes this is good we can write about it, also give Shopify support links as references where needed
In case you aren’t familiar, rich snippets are the concise and direct answers to people’s queries over search engines. The blanket term for these queries are “rich answers,”
Rich snippets tend to be the data that can be added to your content to assist web searchers and search engines to understand what your page is all about. This data is usually taken from the structured data found in the HTML code of a particular page. Pages with rich snippets look more appealing in search results than regular pages.
Rich snippets offer users to have a brief look at the value of a website before they click and visit it, which assists in decreasing the bounce rate. Hence, rich snippets can enhance the click-through rate and drive more traffic to your website.
How to get your eCommerce store to appear in Rich Snippets?
It’s true that the probability to rank out #1 on the SERP is probably minimal. However, it is uncertain as to how Google considers a perfect answer to a rich snippet query.
- Include keywords into the title tag and <h1> tag: Look for what questions are being asked by the users related to your keywords. For the featured snippets, try to include the entire search query in the page title.
- <title>Best Fashion Digital Marketing Agency | Ecommerce Fashion Industry</title>
- Leverage schema markup. Since Google uses schema markup to analyze the page content, it is vital to expand Google’s opportunities to consider your page as relevant and authoritative.
- Use the rel=“publisher” tag to increase the credibility of your links.
The above SEO tips for your Shopify store should definitely contribute to making a significant difference to the performance of your Shopify store in search results, yet there is a lot more that you should do to boost your site’s position in SERPs.
Connect today, if you’re interested in finding out more about the in-depth strategy to boost your eCommerce sales, and want to make visible improvements to your Shopify store’s performance in Google.
Since 2004 Netgains has been building fashion e-commerce website & running effective fashion digital marketing campaigns for fast-growing as well as established fashion brands. Our expertise in fashion eCommerce ensures that your brand and products are delivered to your customers in a way that makes them buy. Get in touch today!