Congratulations to Costume Box for launching their new Shopify Plus store!

Shopify Technical SEO to Instantly Boost Your Traffic

Posted by Marvin Fathi on

APR 5, 2020

Shopify Technical SEO to Instantly Boost Your Traffic

 

eCommerce was already growing fast before the Coronavirus pandemic hit. But the impact of COVID-19 pushed even more Australian consumers to purchase what they need and want online.

According to SalesForce, Australia’s eCommerce market growth was one of the highest worldwide in Q2 and Q3 of 2020. That trend is estimated to grow over the next few years, showing that borderless eCommerce is becoming a profitable option for online retailers. According to Statista, in Australia, the top five leading eCommerce platforms that lead the market share statistics are Shopify (27%), WooCommerce (14%), Squarespace (10%), Wix Stores (10%) and Magento (7%).

Shopify is one of the best eCommerce platforms in the market today. It's designed to help people build their own online store without the need for an in-depth technical background. Having a beautiful online shop is great, but if no one visits, you’ll be losing money.

In this article, we’re going to dig into Shopify SEO to help your website rank higher in search results so customers can find you.

The Basics of Shopify SEO to improve crawling and indexing

Crawling is the process through which search engine robots (known as crawlers or spiders) discover all the content/code of a page. Search engines will then store information they find in an index, a huge database of all the content they’ve discovered, eligible to show up in Google’s search results.

 

In order to help crawlers to be efficient, Shopify automatically handles the following SEO best practices:

Sitemap.Xml

By default, Shopify will generate a sitemap.xml file that contains links to all your products, pages, images, collections, and articles. Your sitemap will help crawlers understand what pages of your website are important.

Generally, the sitemap doesn’t need to be adjusted, but it is always better to review the file at: yourstore.com/sitemap.xml

You will then need to submit the sitemap to Google Search Console. Here’s how:

 

  • Sign in to Google Search Console. Click the “Add to Property” if it’s not done yet.
  • Select your website.
  • Click on “Sitemaps.”
  • Add your new sitemap by typing your sitemap URL.

Robot.txt

A robots.txt file is a file that tells search engine bots which URLs the crawler can access on your site. Shopify will automatically generate robots.txt for you. Be aware that different parts of the website will block search engines from crawling pages like register, login and checkout to name a few.

 

Most of the time there is nothing to worry about as the file is doing the job correctly. However, Shopify just recently allowed owners to edit their robots.txt file, which gives greater control over a site’s SEO.

 

How to edit my robots.txt file in Shopify?

 

  • Click Online Store then proceed to Themes.
  • Click Action and then click Edit code.
  • Click “Add a new template” and then select robots.
  • Click the create template.
  • Make the changes to your file.
  • Save your changes.

Redirects

Redirects are useful to use when a page is no longer relevant or has a 404 error.

Creating and managing URL Redirects on Shopify is really easy.

 

Steps to create an URL Redirect on Shopify:

  • Click Online Store and then go to Navigation.
  • Click URL Redirects.
  • Click “Create URL Redirect.”
  • Enter the old and new URLs.
  • Save redirects.

Improve the Pagespeed of your Shopify website

The most important thing when it comes to Shopify SEO is page speed optimisation. Page Speed is a Google ranking factor. So if your site is slow, it’ll not only affect the user experience but make your search rankings drop on Google’s SERPs.

The best way to test and measure the page experience and page speed is to use the PageSpeed Insights tool.

It is not always easy to build fast Shopify sites due to the nature of the platform. However, we found some easy steps that will result in a significant improvement.

1 - Reduce the number of apps installed

The main reasons why many people use Shopify apps are because they save time, have some flexibility and the Content Management System (CMS) helps them to achieve their goals. However, this strategy can affect page speed because most apps add additional codes to your pages.

Check your Shopify apps and delete those you no longer use. This may help you reduce the page load time.

2 - Add your scripts via Google Tag Manager (GTM)

Adding any third-party scripts, like Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, Hotjar, or anything similar, is usually what slows down a website.

Your online store could see a page speed boost without these scripts, but they're probably vital for your company, and probably help solve other issues. Transferring most of your third-party scripts to the GTM will already result in a significant improvement.

 

3 - Find an SEO-friendly Shopify theme for your online store

Before launching your new e-commerce site, you must choose the theme that will align with your business goals as well as an optimised and fast loading theme.

Sometimes some developers don't care about site speed but only design. It is up to you to choose the theme that will perform well for your business. Some themes are more optimised than others on the way they were developed.

Best free Shopify themes for SEO:

  • Boundless

  • Simple (Light)

  • Minimal (Modern)

 

4 - Optimise your CSS files

Another effective way to reduce the load time of all your pages is to optimise Shopify CSS files. How? By minifying your CSS. Minification helps you to remove unnecessary data on your code and reduce its file size.

Our digital marketing experts and our Shopify developers can give you suggestions for improvement to ensure that your website loads quickly for visitors. Moreover, our UI/UX web designers can help improve your online’s store layout, providing a better shopping experience for your customers.

5 - Compress your images

Images are the best way to improve the user experience of your website. Whether it's in a product page, collection page or blog post, they're everywhere.

One of the ways to reduce the size of your images is to compress them. It will help reduce the overall file size so that the image is lighter and consumes lesser bytes of a graphics file.

Here are two ways to improve your Shopify store images:

Few pictures to compress:

Go to an image compressor website and select the picture you want to compress. These tools will make it possible to reduce the size of the images by up to 80% without losing any quality.

List of free image compressor websites:

Tons of images to compress:

If you are a busy entrepreneur, there are some Shopify apps to automatically compress every image you put on your site.

  • Image Optimizer
  • Crush.pics
  • SEO Suite: Image Optimizer

See the difference between an optimised and well-designed eCommerce website. Contact us today.