There are several methods of attracting visitors and potential customers to your eCommerce store. One of these methods is through Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Shopify SEO is important so that your potential customers find your online store when they search for products and services provided by your eCommerce business on various search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
Search engine optimization also affects your store's usability, navigation, and user experience. Follow this guide to learn the top 5 tips for driving organic traffic to your eCommerce store. In addition to these steps there is always the possibility of getting help from an SEO Shopify expert or agency.
1. Set up your eCommerce on Google My Business
By listing your Shopify store on Google My Business (GMB) you can effectively attract more local leads to your eCommerce store.
This service is free of charge; however, the criteria is that your store is required to have some form of direct face-to-face interchange with your potential or existing customers.
How to configure your Shopify store on Google My Business
- Start by sign in on Google Maps in your web browser.
- Type in the URL of your website in the search bar and click on the hamburger-menu to select “Add your business”
- Insert the name of your business and click “Continue”.
- Select your business type, in this case “Online retail” and click “Next”.
- Insert the URL, business category, business address and position the marker on the exact spot where your business is located.
- Add your phone number and click “Confirm” to proceed with the configuration by verifying with your phone number and verification code.
- In the next steps, you can set up your business hours, add messaging and business description to let your local leads and customers learn more about your business. You can also add photos of your store.
Once you have successfully listed your eCommerce on Google My Business leads, potential customers can find your business when searching locally for specific products or services such as those listed in your eCommerce.
For instance, if your online store sells handpicked gift baskets and a person searches for “gift shop near me”, chances are your business will appear in their search results.
2. Register your eCommerce on Google Search Console
There are many good reasons why you should register your online store on Google Search Console. One of them is to monitor and detect server malfunctions and overload of traffic on your website. Another reason is to prevent hackers, viruses, and other security threats from causing damage or security breaches to your Shopify store.
With Google Search Console, you can easily ensure that all maintenance and adjustments made to your online store run smoothly and maintain an optimal search performance.
How to register your online shop on Google Search Console:
- Register an account on Google Search Console
- Submit your sitemap.xml - By doing so, you are informing Google that your Shopify store exists which enables Google’s algorithm to display your website in the search results. To learn more about where to find the sitemap URL for your online store, visit the help centre on the eCommerce platform you are using. In Shopify, all sitemaps start with the domain name and /sitemap.xml
- Add the domain or URL of your Shopify store and click “Submit”.
Done! You have now informed Google that your website is active, and you are ready to keep track of your online store's maintenance and adjustments as well as monitor any potential security threats.
3. Boost organic traffic through on-site SEO
On-site SEO, or on-page SEO as it is also referred to, is an important method for generating organic leads and traffic to your eCommerce store.
By implementing and maintaining high quality on-site SEO, you will enable search engines to reach the content in your Shopify store, either through questions or keywords which your store is ranked for.
To get started, we recommend that you read this Shopify-guide and start with the steps mentioned in the guide. In case you would like to further advance the optimization of SEO in your online store you can also get professional help from a Shopify SEO agency.
How to boost organic traffic through On-site SEO:
- Identify keywords using Google Keyword Planner or Mangools.
- Add the meta title and description of the webpage.
- Tweak the meta title, description, and URL (if necessary).
- Tweak the products in your catalogue or portfolio (meta titles, meta description, alt tag for images).
- Add 301 redirects for expired product pages or pages that have been removed.
If done correctly, and when using accurate keywords and frequently searched for questions that are relevant to your Shopify store, you help potential customers to find their way to your Shopify store.
4. Diversify methods for organic traffic
Organic traffic is any visitor clicking their way to your specific eCommerce site using a search engine, without paid advertisement.
In general, the higher traffic your shop can generate, ideally through unpaid organic traffic, the higher the sales and ROI (Return on Investment).
5 methods of generating organic traffic to your eCommerce:
1. Write high quality copy for your readers
Write your content for your actual readers and what they would want to read and provide them with the information they are looking for – not what the search engines would like.
2. Publish blog posts regularly
Make sure to post content with consistency and quality. Avoid spamming your visitors with low quality, repetitive and shallow content.
3. Use internal links
Keep visitors on your online store for longer by guiding them to relevant articles, blog posts and products through internal links.
4. Social media presence
Build and maintain your presence on one or two social media platforms.
5. Optimise results by analysing data and metrics
For instance, Google Analytics helps you track visitors and detect which keywords your visitors have searched for.
5. Optimise images in your Shopify store
Alongside search engine optimization through keywords and copy, optimising the images in your store is also a way to direct traffic and visitors to your eCommerce.
How to optimise images in your online store:
- When uploading images, make sure to compress the images before uploading them to your product catalogue. An easy way to do that is to use Bulk Resize, which is free and easy to use. By compressing the images, you can keep the image size and quality whilst reducing the file size.
- Name the images before uploading them to your online store. This picture for instance, could have been named “Makesenz Shop Cosmetic Chatelain Bruxelles”, “Masterpiece Quebec Yellow Pine Shelf” etc.
- Delete images and files from your Shopify catalogue if they are no longer in use or live.
Why is SEO important for my eCommerce store?
Implementing and optimising a high-quality SEO strategy for your eCommerce is important as it affects your ranking in various search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
People tend to mainly look at the search results on the first page on Google. The further away your Shopify store from the first page, the less organic traffic you will generate.
What is the difference between on-site SEO and off-site SEO?
On-site or on-page SEO is content optimised for search engines. On-page SEO can include modifications in the domain name, title tags, meta description, header tags, alt tag, anchor text, page speed and more.
Off-site or off-page SEO is how visitors or other websites mention, reference or link to your specific eCommerce site. On-site SEO can for example be links to your site in the form of press releases, social media mentions and tags, shares and more.
What are backlinks and how do they work?
Backlinks are also referred to as hyperlinks and inbound links. Backlinks are incoming links from other websites where your eCommerce store has been mentioned.
The more backlinks your online store has over a long-term and consistent period of time, the higher ranking your Shopify store will have on Google.
However, Google's algorithm also takes into consideration how relevant the backlinks are from the origin of where the link was posted. The backlinks work better when the websites are related.
What is the best free SEO app for an eCommerce store?
Now that you have learned the best tips for maximising traffic to your eCommerce, it's time to implement these tips and strategies into your online store. Although SEO techniques can seem daunting at first, there are plenty of useful and easy-to-use tools and apps in Shopify to help you get started.
5 of the best free SEO apps for your eCommerce
- MozBar SEO toolbar – Chrome extension tool to run competitor keyword analysis.
- SEMRush – App with a wide range of features such as position tracking, site audit, listing management, SEO content template and writing assistant and more. Paid account is necessary for most of the tools, however, some features are for free, and SEMrush offers a seven-day free trial.
- Ahrefs – Free tool to conduct keyword search and generator, backlink checker, keyword rank checker and broken link checker.
- AnswerThePublic – The app has a free and a paid plan. With this tool you can easily explore new headers for content, blog posts, articles, and FAQ by researching keyword ideas in forms of phrases and questions.
- SEO Review Tools – This tool lets you explore more than 60 useful tools for specific features, such as rank checker, duplicate content checker, content idea generator and more.