KHD Review: Shopify – Is It The Right Option for Your e-Commerce Store?
An increasing number of small and startup retailers are choosing to build their store via the Shopify platform. In fact, at the moment, there are over 500,000 active stores running on Shopify, and they’ve collectively driven more than 40 billion worth of sales. But some people are concerned that while Shopify can provide them with a relatively affordable ecommerce platform to build a store that that store won’t be found online.
Is Shopify the right choice if you want to feature well in the SERPs? Here is a brief, unbiased look:
Is Shopify Bad for SEO?
There is a persistent rumor in some circles that Shopify is bad for SEO. That’s really not the case though – in fact in some ways Shopify is better SEO optimized ‘out of the box’ than many other ‘web builders’. However, to make the most of SEO for Shopify does take some time and effort. There is no ‘set it and forget it’ solution and so, for those not willing to work at SEO optimization their Shopify site will not perform as well as it could – or should – in the SERPS.
What SEO Features Does Shopify Come With ‘Out of the Box’?
Shopify comes with a few basic SEO solutions out of the box, but for most of the SEO functionality, you will need to work at it . The following functions are built into Shopify so you don’t need to worry about them.
Canonical URLs in Shopify
What is a canonical URL and how can it help rank you high in the search engines? A typical online store creates lots of urls and multiple urls of one product. Let’s say for example that you have a great lantern in your inventory and are selling them in three different sizes. The URL of those lanterns is now accessible in a lot of different ways: You can access the URL through the color filter, through the lighting collection or straight from the product index.
This creates a lot of duplicate content in the eyes of the search engines. Shopify handles this by adding a canonical url to the pages that are not the original page. This way Google and other search engines know that these pages are actually copies of the original and should not rank, only the original should rank.
Sitemap in Shopify
A sitemap is a schematic flow of your store. A search engine uses a crawler in order to index your Shopify store. In order for the crawler to visit all the pages on your store, you need to link to each and every page.
While this happens most of the time, some pages can be forgotten, for example, a landing page or collection page that you have made for a special occasion or launch. A sitemap is a blueprint with links to all the pages on your store and helps search engine crawlers immensely in indexing all the pages. Every time you add a product, collection or page Shopify will add this to the sitemap and regenerate it. This way you can be sure all your pages are being indexed by Google and other search engines.
Robots.txt in Shopify
Robots.txt is a file that lets the search engine crawlers know what pages on your store can be indexed and which pages should be hidden.
Shopify knows which pages should be hidden and generates a robots.txt for these pages. This does have a downside; If you ever create a landing page for a special date or launch and you don’t want it to be indexed so that people can’t reach it you don’t have the option to edit your own robots.txt.
Do I Need to Do Keyword Research for My Shopify Store?
Absolutely. Before you write product descriptions or promotional blog content you need to know how your audience is searching the web for the types of products you sell, and only a good, in-depth keyword research plan can tell you that.
How do I add META tags to my Shopify website?
Meta tags are something that Shopify will prompt you to add as you create each product’s listing. But you do have to give some serious thought to just what they are going to say before you do.
Even a well-optimized Shopify site in technical terms may often attract fewer clicks in the search. This is often because of dull title and meta descriptions. To avoid this write all your title and meta descriptions like (AdWords) advertisements. Make sure your meta tags are interesting to engage the search engine user and use the page’s keyword (but sparingly).
How Should I Optimize My Product Images on My Shopify Site?
Search engine bots can do a lot but they can not see. In order for them to know what is shown on images, you need to use descriptive image names. This is not only important for the relevance of that specific page but gives you also access to another important visitor acquisition channel: Image search. A lot of search engine users search for images when shopping online to see what the product looks like before they even execute a text-based search.
There is also another important reason that every image should have a good alt-tag. What happens when somebody tries to load a product page of your Shopify store but the images couldn’t load properly? Then would get to see the alt tag! The alt tag is not only used for optimal user experience but also to show relevance for that page. So if you are selling green widgets and you give your green widgets image the alt tag: “green widgets” then search engines will determine that the whole page is about the green widgets, thus giving you better relevance and higher rankings in the SERPS.
Is Shopify Safe?
Online security is still the biggest concern that online shoppers have. The advantage of using a web builder like Shopify is that they take care of the security, leaving you to worry about populating, optimizing and then running your new store store.Koehler Home Decor is a wholesaler of home decor accessories and unique gifts. Source quality wholesale merchandise at KoehlerHomeDecor.com and find tips for promoting your business on our blog.