The prosperity of your online store depends on the products you sell and the keywords that you target. Keywords are the search queries that internet shoppers are Googling and Binging on! Honing these queries will help you reach out to the shoppers who have been searching for the products all this time. Here is a complete Shopify SEO checklist encompassing things-to-do & not-to-do to rank your Shopify store on Google. But before you set on a journey to improve your store’s SEO, you should know what is so unusual this year – the science behind search engines showing results to people based on their search queries.
This article not only puts forward the 2021 SEO checklist but also includes a quick recap of major announcements by Google to enhance search queries. This becomes crucial for you to know so that you can improve your Shopify store’s SEO score.
Google 2020’s Core Update & Its Impact on Shopify Stores in 2021 –
Search engines are known for not disclosing the ins and outs of how the search algorithm works. One small ripple in it can affect your store’s visibility on the internet. Experts are debating about featured snippets – recently, there was a significant drop in it. Deduplication – a process to remove identical products so a URL won’t appear in both featured snippets and organic search results.
Then there was the BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers) update in October 2019. A research paper called attention to how Google bots scan and interpret a text. That bots read it from left to right. This helps the bots in better understanding a context.
BERT update permitted bots to read a text from right to left and left to right. This way, Google can better understand the context of words instead of just words.
It’s just one of the many updates that could affect your store’s ranking on Google. If you know where the waves are coming from, you can better judge which way to take your kayaking!
- Don’t Forget About Your Audience While Researching Keywords – Many sellers spend sizable time finding those suitable keywords for their product. But they forget to consider what their target audience is searching for.
To improve the SEO of your Shopify store, make sure you begin your keyword research by figuring out your buyer’s persona. Find the search terms that are in use at the moment. Leverage analytical tools and jot down a list of search terms for your target audience.
- Don’t Spam Content – While content marketing is on the bright side, your Shopify SEO checklist, spanning content, is not.
If you are abnormally cushioning keywords in meta-tags, URLs, product descriptions, and pages, you are never going to improve your store’s ranking on Google.
- Not Having Security Encryption – To rank your Shopify store on Google, make your store secured. Keyword research and placement is just one part of the SEO game; another part is about putting forward your store on the internet and how secure shoppers feel when ordering from your store.
- Using Product Descriptions from Manufacturers – It’s not wrong to do that. But the thing is, product descriptions of manufacturers emphasize selling products to the retailers. In contrast, product descriptions of your store could convince the shoppers to buy the product.
Bot the descriptions are entirely distinct from each other. They have a diverse audience base. The rule here is – Always create unique content to rank your Shopify store on Google.
- Not Optimizing URLs – Even before your product descriptions for the talking, make sure that all of your URLs tell where users are navigating in your store.
- Ignoring HTML Language – If unique content attracts online shoppers, a well-structured HTML attracts the bots. Be sure you are working on both of them to improve your store’s SEO score. Don’t take ALT tags casually!
Ensure that all of your images have ALT tags. It’s unnecessary to sprinkle keywords in the ALT tags unless the keyword is directly related to your product.
- Prioritizing Link Building – Don’t spotlight link building during the initial days of your store-setup. Focus on expanding your product catalog and optimize product pages by including the most searched queries.
It’s a misconception – to rank your Shopify store on Google, you necessarily need an army of links on all your product images. Ranking factors change based on what query a user is searching. Gary specifically mentioned that there are numerous queries where the highest-ranking pages had no backlinks at all –
And the not-to-do things of the Shopify SEO checklist 2021 come to an end. Understanding the expectations of search engines is critical for your eCommerce SEO strategy. Now that you’re aware of what-not-to-do let’s head towards the gist of the article.
The TO-DO Shopify SEO Checklist 2021 –
So here is what you should be doing to rank your Shopify store on Google in 2021. Don’t take up all the pointers at once; start with the first possible improvement, and things will eventually sync up.
- Optimize Your Store’s Structure – How conveniently shoppers bump into what they are looking for also matters. A logical structure of your Shopify store will help you in improving your store’s SEO score. This makes it easier for Google to crawl.
Here’s what a logical structure of an eCommerce store looks like –
- Keyword Research – Any SEO checklist is imperfect without keyword research. To rank your Shopify store on Google, you need to know what shoppers are searching for. It’s all about syncing your audience’s search intent by gathering apt (and searched) keywords.
When you search for the term buy shoes online, why is Zappos the top result, and why not famousfootwear? That’s the (partial) power of keyword research.
(Please not – Google ranks different links for different people. But the point is, why do Zappos tops the result page?)
There are numerous parameters on which you can judge a keyword’s ability – volume, CPC, competition, value, CTR scope are some of them.
Here are lesser-known facts about SEO concepts
- Optimize Product Pages – With the keywords list by your side, it’s time to optimize your store’s web pages. Start with top pages like your homepage and main product collections. Here’s what you need to do –
One H1 Tag is Enough – The H1 tag is the main headline for a page, and it should have the page’s main keywords. Shopify’s page titles are by default H1 tags. Don’t add H1 tags on your own.
Remember the Length – Google adores page titles with 50-60 characters. The trick is to include your main keyword in the title and make it as informational as possible.
You can structure your page title to make it look more like a listing and less like an editorial title – consider including appropriate characters (like brackets o dash) or callout to highlight essential information.
Have a Robust Meta Description – As per Moz’s research, meta-descriptions should be between 155-160 characters (including spaces). Within this limit, you have to include your target keyword and develop the most solid copy. Avoid going beyond 160 characters.
Meta-descriptions help shoppers know what your Shopify store is all about, what they are most likely to see before they click on the link. The first impression is the last, and meta-descriptions create the first impression of your online store.
And that’s why it’s one of the essential factors of the Shopify SEO checklist. Here’s how meta-descriptions help shoppers understand what the store is all about –
Don’t Forget About Page Titles – Things you write in a page title and meta-description describe your store’s content. To rank your Shopify store on Google and capture your buyers’ attention, include keywords and have a title that allows users to take action.
Include Keywords in Your Page URL – Page title becomes a default URL but develops a better version of it. Include prim
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