If you're here, then you're wondering whether you made the best decision joining Shopify and if the platform is SEO ready.
The short answer
Yes! Shopify is SEO ready and it is upon you to take advantage of it and bend Google to your well and get your site ranked.
The long answer
Visitors who find your website organically via search engines will probably have superior conversion rates compared to those who find your website through paid channels, it will be immediately visible on your Google Analytics that organic traffic has:
- Higher avg visit duration.
- More pages per visit.
- Better engagement in general. (Results may, however, differ a bit if you dive into details like device-related traffic / branded queries traffic)
One thing you may fear, the results wouldn't be as rewarding as you expect them to be. Well, if you're doing it correctly, the more work you put into it the better results you will get. However, before spending most of your budget on SEO, you may have to consider other marketing channels as part of your strategy.
To help you build a better understanding of the traffic sources, see the following stats for Q2 2017 (Source Digital Marketing Report: MERKLE INC)
- Median brand advertising on Facebook since Q2 2016 increased investment by 56% Y/Y
- Organic search visits suffered a decline in the past 6 quarters, however, in Q2 2017, the overall Y/Y got a small bump, achieving almost 1% growth.
- Google produced 89% of organic search visits, up from 87% a year earlier.
- Google’s share of visits produced by mobile organic search rose to 93% in Q2 2017, up from 91% a year earlier.
- Visits produced by Google organic search rose 5% in Q2 2017, the first Y/Y increase since Q3 2015
- For average brands, the organic search produced 29% of all site visits in Q2 2017, an improvement from a quarter earlier, but roughly in line with levels from Q2 2016.
- PLAs (product listing ads e.g. Google Shopping Listings) produced 53% of retailers’ Google search ad clicks in Q2 2017
Few conclusions can be drawn out of these results, but the implicit remark that we're after is: Brands should be present wherever their clients / prospects may be.
That doesn't mean you should be intrusive, but rather be coherent, help potential clients, and guide them to find what they are looking for. You can treat the different channels as a continuum, here is an example:
- Try to improve your SEO for selected keywords that are not very competitive (at the beginning)
- You may have to pay for keywords containing the brand names of your competitors. Then potential clients, who are searching for them will be aware of your presence and offers.
- You may want to pay for the few keywords that you can't rank for on an organic level.
- Then via UTM parameters not only you'll have better analytics but also you can display custom targetted information and/or build segments for those who come from certain sources or mediums.
- Then you can build different retargeting campaigns (FB, email, display ...) for your different segments.
FB and Google generate money, mainly, through paid ads. They will always try to alter their algorithms in a way that pushes for more paid content, not the other way around. So you can have your organic content nice and ready, but at the same time try to be present on the different channels and always be ready with a Plan B in case one of your channels let you down.
As for the part that you've been waiting for, Shopify is built with SEO in mind and here is a quick list of what is available to you:
- Shopify provides the required technical information (SiteMap & ROBOTS.TXT) to search engines in order to explain the structure of your websites, and what pages should be indexed
- Shopify stores offer an out-of-the-box blog structure
- Shopify's URL structure is both human & search engine friendly.
- Example: /blogs/blog_name/article_name
- Example: /products/product_name
- Example: /product/tagged/search_terms.
PS: For the most part, this structure is perfect, however, improvements should be done to shorten blog's URLs.
- Shopify allows you to edit meta titles for all your site pages: products, collections, articles, static pages...
- Shopify allows you to edit meta descriptions. Although this might not be very Important to your SEO because of the way Google works, in most cases, Google will fetch the part of your web page that corresponds most to the search query.
- Shopify provides the necessary to help you explain images to search engines. You can modify all of your images' ALT text right from the interface. That includes: Your products, collections, images from the customization panel. Everywhere you can upload an image to your website using the Shopify interface you can add SEO related information.
- Shopify automatically adds information to your website that explains to search engines the relationship between pages (next/previous / pagination ...).
- If you buy a Theme from the Shopify theme store, you should rest assured, thanks to Shopify's strict theme policies, your theme will be in a very good shape in terms of SEO readiness. You'll get the best you can have in terms of usability and acceptability (in most cases)
That is it! Good luck and hope this was helpful.