Shopify and Shopify Plus SEO

Is Shopify any good for SEO?

If you’re an ecommerce brand assessing a potential move to a new CMS or web platform for your store, then you may come across suppliers such as Shopify. Shopify, like many other modern-day CMS platforms (ecommerce or otherwise) such as WordPress or Wix, allow businesses and marketing teams to easily write, create and publish content and product pages within a user-friendly environment without the need for coding knowledge or dev support. 

Shopify has been developing built in SEO features for a while now, and has all the basics covered. Your team will be able to influence key SEO workflows such as on-page HTML elements, schema, URL naming and redirects. Shopify also allows a simplified drag and drop page hierarchy feature, allowing you to structure your ecommerce site in a logical and user-friendly manner. Depending on other resources, Shopify is also a fast platform, which is a crucial buying decision for business owners who understand the importance of page performance in relation to conversions. Like WordPress, Shopfiy also allows you to install SEO-centric apps and plugins to help you further. 

There are some limitations such as not being able to edit sitemaps and some duplicate content risks on URL naming that your team will need to keep an eye on, however additional web development support should always be on hand to help here.

Ultimately, the optimal Shopify SEO set up is down to the inherent SEO knowledge of your team and how they approach web builds. All of the key tools are there within the platform, but you will still need to invest in professional SEO knowledge to get this right.

Do I need to set up SEO for my Shopify store?

There are a number of areas of SEO your team can influence when it comes to Shopify optimisation. Your team will not need to perform any initial set up when it comes to SEO features per se, as a lot of what you can influence is already natively built into the platform. However, there will still need to be care taken to assess key SEO elements across your important product pages and make the relevant improvements to the existing setup within the platform. For example, your team should take steps to ensure structured data enhancements are added where relevant to key commercial pages instead of leaving this field blank within the platform.

Aside from this, additional Shopify SEO setup may be required in the form of installing certain Shopify apps (or plugins) that can help you further. Shopify has a library of apps that you can readily plug and play, and these can help with areas such as image optimisation and product schema improvements. 

Do I need to install an app for SEO to work on Shopify?

No. If you have the relevant SEO to hand (either in house or externally) and due diligence has been taken to adhere to best practice SEO when building out your ecommerce site on Shopify, then your site should rank on search engines as a result of this.

Shopify apps can be useful enhancements but too many of these may actually be detrimental to SEO as some third-party code may inadvertently slow down your site, impacting conversion potential. Consider the use of carefully selected Shopify apps if there are some clear SEO limitations in your current Shopify setup and these can’t be resolved easily using dev support.

Do I need an agency/consultant to set up my Shopify SEO?

Shopify SEO is considered a subcategory of wider ecommerce SEO in its own right, owing to the platform’s nuances and differences to other ecommerce providers and CMSs. As a result, there are plenty of online guides and specialists offering bespoke Shopify SEO services. If you’ve already got a trusted in-house team or agency doing good work however, then they should be able to familiarise themselves with Shopify and how to get the most of it from an SEO standpoint.

If this isn’t the case however, then if you’re moving over to Shopify it is worth investing in a specialist Shopify SEO or ecommerce SEO specialist to aid you in this pursuit. Whether you’re starting ecommerce from scratch or are migrating over to Shopify, there is always a level of potential gains and losses in the fields of risk and opportunity, and these need to be managed by a specialist in the field.  

Who are the best SEO agencies for Shopify websites?

Aside from going down the cut-price route of hiring resources from platforms like Fiverr (which in general isn’t recommended), there are plenty of well-known marketing agencies around the world that can help you with your Shopify SEO setup. Shopify offers a partnership scheme and has a list of agency partners on their website, allowing you to toggle by industry, location and services required.    

How does Shopify SEO compare to BigCommerce SEO?

Like Shopify, BigCommerce offers all the built-in basics that an SEO team may need to improve SEO elements across various commercial pages. There is a general consensus that Shopify is slightly ahead of the game when it comes to apps, which can be important if you need specialist SEO features. This could be in relation to automatic image compression to improve site speed or more flexibility on schema markup to help improve conversions.

Instead, BigCommerce recommends partnering with a trusted agency to navigate this. This may not be required if your team has a good enough understanding of ecommerce SEO to work through BigCommerce themselves, but it does hint at a degree of lower levels of SEO flexibility when it comes to Shopify. 

How do I improve the SEO performance of my Shopify website?

SEO performance improvement for Shopify sites follows a similar trajectory to ecommerce SEO best practice in general. SEO Risks typically come when businesses are scaling their ecommerce product pages and as a result end up with thousands of product pages under various categories that may become unruly.

This will need some thought regarding sustainable site structure from the offset from your marketing team so that product pages can be built out a clean, clear structure that is future-proof and averts risks around duplicate content among other things.

For any ecommerce platform, user experience is key, and site structure plays a massive part in this. Along with this, you should focus on site speed and page performance, in particular on your core revenue-driving pages. Keyword rankings are important, but user conversion rates will be impacted if the page experience is slow.

Aside from this, your team should do all they can to optimise individual product pages with as much descriptive information as possible. This will heighten your chances of gaining rich snippet results and subsequent improved click-through rates to your core money pages.

Other general SEO improvement tactics such as link building, digital PR and content marketing all play a big role in generating more SEO traffic and improving your search rankings.

Shopify SEO Case Study

Household UK clothing brand sees marked improvement in leads following Shopify migration.

Problem: A well-known UK high-street brand who had for a long time hosted their ecommerce offering on a custom-built CMS, was struggling with competing with new players in the game when it came to SEO. Among various performance issues, the product team managing the website had limited options in terms of what they could do to improve content and existing product page offerings.   

Solution: Following a smooth migration to Shopify, the brand was able to apply page performance enhancements as well as a wide array of SEO feature improvements to its core product pages. Given the reputation of the brand, the domain had a strong backlink profile to build from, with SEO improvements during and after the migration seeing a marked improvement in search ranking visibility, user engagement on site and eventual conversions from organic.

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