Shopify SEO Series 1: Keyword Research, Meta Titles and Blog
by Jason / Posted
As the number one experts, Shopify Builder have helped many new and existing eCommerce websites with both design and marketing on the burgeoning platform. Believe it or not, your website needs at least some Shopify SEO if you plan to rank in the top three search engines of Google, Bing and Yahoo. As Marketing Manager at Shopify Builder I will provide a 10 point check-list on how to get the very best out of your online marketing, to increase visitors and ultimately sales. When you’re ready yourself head over and see what SEO can do for you.
This week we will investigate the importance of keyword research, optimising titles and descriptions and adding a blog to your website.
1) Keyword Research
Without defining which keywords you want to rank for it’s almost impossible to gage a measurement of the success of your marketing. A keyword is a word or a combination of words that people type into search engines to find what they’re looking for.
With thorough keyword research you can begin to find out keywords that have:
High search volume
The higher the better. More visits increases the chances of more sales.
The lower the better. With less competition you can rank for the keywords you want quicker and easier.
Contain user intent
A keyword with user intent may include the words “Buy”, “Use” or “View”. They are more likely to convert visitors.
Broad match keywords
These keywords tend to be more competitive, yet have the possibility of gaining a lot more traffic. An example could be “jewellery”. That said, due to their broad nature they tend to lack user intent.
The majority of searches on the internet are this type. Although lower search volume per keyword, in bulk, they can amass great search volume if you have many and due to their specific nature, hold the key to high conversions. An example may be “ethical silver women’s jewellery”, it’s long tail, there is intent and has lower competition.
Titles and Descriptions
Once your Shopify website is created and you have applied your keyword research you want to know where on your website you can place these keywords to boost your Shopify SEO. On the back end of the platform every page on your website has these fields that can be edited using your keywords.
The meta title is what potential visitors see in their search results on search engines. You can edit this by clicking on the page and scrolling down to the “Search Engines” section, in there you can add your keywords. An expert tip is to use the keyword you want to rank for the most at the beginning of the title tag as this more weighted than words at the end of your meta title.
Be sure not to spam keywords and remember anything over 60 – 70 characters with spaces will be truncated when users see it in the search engine. A good example of a title could be “Keyword 1 | Keyword 2 – Brand Name” or in our jewellery example “Ethical Ladies Bracelets | Ladies Jewellery – Accessory Company”.
It’s quite surprising just how many individuals and organisations across the web don’t write meta descriptions for most, if not all, the webpages on their website. The meta description is also seen in the search engine results under your meta title so think of it as your 160 words to capture people who are searching for your keywords to click through onto your website instead of a competitor’s.
You can also edit this in the ‘Search Engines’ section of the webpage in your Shopify platform. As standard, Shopify will drag the first line or two of any content written on the page. The problem is that it doesn’t always accurately describe what’s on the page, it lacks a call to action and is quite often truncated.
Top SEO tips
- Use the keyword in your meta title somewhere in the meta description too
- Keep it under 160 words
- Provide a call to action at the end
- Make sure every page on your website has a unique meta description that is optimised and you will be sure to see an increase in quality traffic
An example of a good meta description for a jewellery store homepage may look like this “Welcome to the Accessory Company, the leading online jewellery retailer with 45 stores worldwide. We offer ladies and men’s ethical jewellery with many designs. Look inside.”
A URL stands for Uniform Resource Locator and is a fancy way of saying your webpage address. It tends to be forgotten as a place to optimise but still packs a punch when helping a webpage to rank. Make sure to use your keywords in your URL and you can do this by editing the URL & Handle in the ‘Search Engines’ box on each webpage within the Shopify platform. Our tips:
Don’t stuff your URL with keywords, the longer the webpage address with keywords the more likely it will be seen as spam.
- Always describe what’s on the page.
- Use hyphens ‘-‘ instead of underscores ‘_’ as it’s easier for search engines to read
- Use lowercase letters to cause any confusion when people may write the address manually into their Internet browser
For example, http://accessorycompany.com/collections/ethical-ladies-bracelets
The H1 is a heading usually at the top of your content on a page. It is important as it defines the topic or subject of the page. While the meta title does this too a H1 heading reconfirms what your page is about. You can edit the H1 on each page of your website in the backend of the Shopify platform in the ‘Write your page’, ‘Title’ field.
Although it’s called ‘title’ don’t be confused by this, it is actually a heading (H1). As it gives you another chance to optimise it’s recommended to use the keyword here too. In this example we may use “Buy Ethical Ladies Bracelets”
Top SEO Tips
- Only use one H1 heading per page
- There are no character limit restrictions for your H1 but make sure not to spam
- Use your main keyword, or secondary keyword and describe the page
The blog is an important part of your website that can be oft neglected due to time or budget constraints. With a blog setup you can achieve three things in regards to Shopify SEO:
Keep your website fresh
Search engines love to come back and crawl websites that are updated regularly with quality content. Make sure it’s written with the user in mind more than the search bot though.
Define you as a thought leader
You may have all the knowledge in the world about your products and industry but get that enthusiasm into writing and on your blog. As you write more posts you will build up author recognition and as a thought leader that will pay dividends when people who find your website through your blog posts knows what you are talking about and trust you.
Rank for keywords
You can use your blog posts as ways to target keywords that the rest of your website may not include. It can also solidify keywords you have been using across your website too.
Top blog optimisation tips
- Don’t over use keywords in your blog posts. Your writing should seem natural and be aimed at visitors not search bots per se.
- Write posts that inform, help and entertain readers
- Write a variety of pieces but aim for at least 500 words per post, but the more the better. A solid 2000 word post that is informative is worth much, much more than four 500 word posts that don’t offer any value to the reader.
You may also be interested in: How to write an effective eCommerce blog to attract traffic
We will continue with series two of our Shopify SEO checklist next week where we will delve deep into redirecting your old website to your new Shopify website, how to connect Google Webmaster Tools and preventing thin content.
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