If you haven't already we highly recommend you read the Shopify SEO guide series one before moving onto this article. Once you have finished reading you will be ready and raring to go on the next stage of your online marketing journey to boost visitors and hopefully revenue.
Preventing thin or duplicated content
In February 2011, a new Google algorithm was introduced that aimed to lower the search ranking of websites with thin, duplicate or irrelevant content among other low quality signals. As you may imagine this affected a lot of websites across many different industries, 12% of all search results in fact. This may not sound like a lot but with nearly 1 billion websites in existence that's quite a change for search results around the world. So, what can you do to make sure your website isnâ€™t hit by Google's Panda algorithm? - Make sure all your content is unique. Don't copy product descriptions from the manufacturer and use your own personality in your writing.
- Make sure all your meta-descriptions and titles are not duplicated throughout your store.
- Write content for readers not search engines. This includes not including the keyword too often in your copy so it flows naturally.
- Try to write at least 300 words per product and collections page and over 500 words for your blog posts.
- Did we say blog? If you haven't started already get blogging!
Once you have applied these tips look through every page of your website and ask yourself these three questions:
- Would I read this content from start to finish?
- Would I be happy sharing this page or content via social media?
- Would I buy my products after reading this content?
If you answered yes to all above, congratulations! You content has an aim and a purpose and the search engines will probably see this too. However, if you really don't think your content and on-page optimisation is not quite there yet consider using an SEO expert to optimise your website. It will definitely reap returns.
Redirect domain names
If you have a domain name you have bought that you would like to redirect to your current Shopify domain follow these steps: - If you haven't already, buy your domain. Read our article on where to buy and name ideas for your domain for some stellar advice.
- Login to your domain provider, for example GoDaddy or 123-Reg.
- Set up your CNAME point and direct it to your current .myshopify.com web address including your store name before the .myshopify.com
Set up your root domain. Choose either of these ways:
Assign Shopify's IP address to your root domain. Use an A Record through your domain provider admin console to assign your Shopify's IP address to your root domain. This can be done on the same page you setup your CNAME point. Also make sure your A Record points to the IP address 2 04.93.213.45 then click 'Save'.
Create a permanent redirect from your bought root domain to your Shopify subdomain which is where your CNAME will point to also. That said, this option is not available with all domain providers so check in their admin console. Further information on redirecting domains can be found in the outside provider manual on the Shopify website.
Connect Google Webmaster Tools
Quite a few of our clients ask how they can check the health of their website on a daily basis and we love to recommend the free software Google Webmaster Tools. Here's a brief rundown.
What does it do? It scans your website for problems such as: - Warning you of duplicate, short or long meta-descriptions and titles. Re-read above again if you're not sure why this isn't important.
A stellar online marketer never blames his tools
Providing you a daily report on your average keyword rankings in the Google search engine including clicks and click through rates.
- Let's you know which websites are linking to your website.
- Let's you know your most internally linked pages. This should usually be your homepage or landing page.
- It also lets you know more technical errors such as broken pages and server errors.
How do I install Webmaster Tools on my website? - Login to the Webmaster Tools consoel and click the red button Add a site
- Type your current store domain address
- Choose a method to verify your ownership
- We recommend clicking the Alternate methods tab, choose the HTML tag radio button and copy and paste the HTML meta tag
- Login to your Shopify console
- In the left hand side menu click Themes then Template Editor
- Click the theme.liquid page
- Paste the code after the first tag and before the closing tag
- Click Save
- Go back to your Google Webmaster Tools console and click the red "Verify" button
- Your website should receive a green accepted verification check in the Webmaster Tools console
Tips: If it hasn’t verified make sure your website is not password protected, this is common with new sites that have yet to go live. To remove password protection click “Settings”, scroll to the bottom and uncheck “Password protect your store front”, click Save.
If and when you do redirect your root domain to your Shopify sub-domain follow this whole process again and on step 3 input your root domain instead.
If you follow these Shopify SEO tips you will be well ahead of many other eCommerce stores including some, if not all, of your competitors.
In our final part of the Shopify SEO trilogy we will be delving into the art or internal linking, creating and connecting social media and uploading your XML sitemap. See you over there!