Right now, millions of people are typing into a search box. They are asking Google or Siri to find them something. Some of those people are looking for the exact things you sell.
They want to give you their money. All you have to do is make yourself easy to find, and you can cash in on that desire.
Make an SEO investment in your Shopify store
Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the best investments you can make to drive buying traffic to your Shopify store. Once you have made the initial investment of time and effort to get things right, it will continue to pay back more and more over time, with little or no further input.
Organic search traffic has several advantages:
- Searchers are actively seeking a solution for a problem or fulfilment of a desire
- People coming from search are self-selecting as interested in your products
- Cost-free traffic after initial investment
- High rankings give you an air of authority and trustworthiness
On page optimization is key
One of the most important aspects of getting organic traffic to your site is on-page SEO. This is about the actual words on the pages of your site and other content you create. The words and context in which they are used are picked up by search engines and used to give the searcher their results.
Their are other factors that make a big impact on how highly search engines rank you, but improving on page SEO is one of the main things you can do to boost your search traffic. Just by using Shopify for your store, you are taking care of many of the other, more technical behind-the-scenes factors.
Find the right words
When searchers are looking for something, they will often use similar words and phrases to other searchers looking for the same thing. Search engines deliver results based on those words and phrases. These are called keywords.
The first step to high ranking search results is to find out what words your ideal customers use when looking to buy what you offer, or look for answers to questions related to your product.
Different keyword combinations will not only produce different results in Google, they also show different intentions of searchers.
Searching for “Red cashmere knit sweater free shipping medium” is the search phrase of someone wanting to buy a sweater right now. This phrase should lead the searcher to your product page.
“How are cashmere sweaters made” is the search phrase of someone who may or may not be interested in what you sell. This is a still a viable phrase to target with marketing content, as a way to build authority and trust with the searcher for a possible future purchase. This would be a good target for a blog post or FAQ article.
Finding the right words and phrases to include in your content can be a complicated process, and may take some learning. Here is a Shopify keyword research guide to get you started.
It’s important to remember that Google is extremely good at what they do. They aren’t looking to have the same keyword stuffed into a page over and over. Use related keywords and phrases that make sense in the same context. Google will be looking for the context of the page and the overall site when determining how well a specific page or post will show in search results.
- Find the key words and phrases of your customers searches
- Use them naturally, don’t stuff keywords where they don’t belong
- Think about the context of any given page or post when you are determining the keywords you will use for it.
Create the content people search for
“Thin content” is a big SEO problem for a lot of stores. Product pages are often left without much content, leaving search engines little reason to display them, and other pages are often just as sparse.
You can address this problem in a couple of ways.
First, write more on your existing pages. Every page can contribute to your overall SEO effectiveness. Product pages need descriptions. You don’t have to write a novel about each item, but a well-written, detailed description with keywords (where they fit naturally and make sense) will create a much better chance for that page to rank.
The same thing goes with collection pages, your home page, about page, FAQ’s, installation and assembly guides, etc.
What you really want to do is to write in a way that fits the context of the page and the needs of the customer when they are looking at that page. Matching that with well chosen keywords is a great way to build up content for SEO before you ever start blogging or intentionally using content as a marketing asset.
The second way is simply to create more good content. There are only so many pages you can create and use on an ecommerce site. You should seek to specifically create content that will draw your target market to your site.
That content could take the form of:
- Blog posts
- Helpful how-to’s
- Product or service reviews
Or anything else that will be helpful in helping your target market. Research can help you identify content topics:
- Questions from your own customers
- Forum and message board discussions
- Keyword research
- Facebook Groups, Twitter, Instagram
- Customer reviews
This content will not only help your chances of being found by search engines, it also makes it more likely that the people reading the content will feel like they have a real relationship with you. You will earn their trust, own your market space in their mind, and give them a reason to keep coming back to your site over and over.
Search engines look for specific clues as to what a page is really about, and what matters the most on that page.
Using keywords in specific areas such as the URL, the page title, headers, and multiple times throughout the text on the page shows that the page is truly focused on a particular topic. Search engines are more likely to take that page seriously when ranking and delivering results to searchers.
Images are a spot where many stores miss out on an opportunity to get an SEO edge. Image titles, filenames, and alt-tags are all clues to search engines.
Alt-tags are text that will be displayed in place of images that cannot be loaded or are blocked by browser settings. They are also used in accessibility features for the visually impaired. Since search engines read text but not images, they use alt-tags to understand what images mean on any given page.
If a search engine bot is looking at your product page and sees this:
- Image title: Cashmere red knit, medium
- Image Filename: Cashmere-red-knit-med
- Image Alt-tag: Red, knit cashmere sweater, size medium
It has a better idea of what that page is about than if it sees this:
- Image title: Item: S23445R
- Image Filename: 023243454534
- Image Alt-tag: Blank
Links leave a trail
Linking is a key clue to search engines about how pages within a site relate to each other, and how a site relates to the internet at large.
External links to other trustworthy, authoritative sites show Google that you have something in common with those sites. Those links give context to your site in a broader category. If a clothing store has links to and from popular fashion blogs, it gives support to Google’s understanding of what kind of traffic they should be sending your way.
Internal links connect from page to page on your own site. These help readers find their way through your site, and do the same thing for search engine crawlers. It allows them to more fully map out your site and understand the context of each page.
Blog posts can link to related product pages, products that go together can be linked together through products recommendations, etc. Again, do this in a way that makes a user’s experience better, and you’ll likely be rewarded.
Get your free Shopify SEO checklist
Truly effective SEO is less about tips and tricks, and more about consistently getting the basics right. If you can build a site full of well researched content, you are way ahead of most competition.
If you want to make sure you are consistently getting it right, grab a copy of our free SEO checklist template below. Each time you create or optimize a page, break it out to use as your guide. Adding SEO to your Shopify toolkit gives you a big leg up on the competition and gives you a free source of high ROI traffic.