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Shopify is not bad for SEO – in fact, it can actually be quite good
If you have worked with an SEO agency or talked to an SEO professional in recent months, you may have heard the sentiment that “Shopify is bad for SEO.” SEO agency’s aren’t a big fan of Shopify because of its early history as a platform and some of the structural issues that SEO agencies base their metrics on.
But just because it’s not traditional, doesn’t mean its a bad platfom for SEO. In fact, I would argue that platforms like Wix that don’t offer any option for getting into the code manually are a bit harder to optimize properly for SEO… but that’s a topic for another time.
Today’s topic is: Is Shopify a bad platform for good search engine optimization and what you can do to improve your SEO scores. As a web designer for Big Red Jelly, I work on websites a lot and I have also worked with SEO companies to make adjustments they recommend for SEO improvements. And I’m here to tell you I think Shopify is a great platform for SEO, it just isn’t the same as WordPress or non-CMS-based websites. So let’s get into it.
Why Do People Think Shopify is Bad for SEO?
So why does Shopify get a bad wrap for SEO? Probably because it used to be the least adjustable sites for SEO purposes. In fact, as a designer and developer on WordPress, Wix and Shopify, I’ll tell you for a long time Shopify was my least favorite platform. Here’s why:
- Designing an eCommerce store is much harder and very different from designing a general-purpose small business website.
- Built on the templating language LiquidWeb, having editable tags, meta descriptions and keyword optimization was a nightmare.
- Because Shopify was built using templates, editing outside of a single home page or getting your hands dirty with the product pages was almost out of the question unless you were willing to use a different app and pay for it monthly.
A templating language is not really a good idea for SEO edits. The initial focus of Liquid web was not focused on SEO, but instead on creating a single place for eCommerce websites to start.
Shopify was actually one of the first eCommerce sites that included a dedicated CDN, which helps improve site speed and can improve your site conversions. This was great because it helped first time store owners build a store that could be fast on the internet and also sell their products online. Before Shopify, a lot of these tools were harder to use and you needed a bit more technical knowledge to get started. I think Shopify did a great job helping bring e-commerce to the masses. However, there is no other way to put it…Templated sites are not great for SEO, especially if you can’t edit the templates much.
Even though Shopify was very frustrating to work with in legacy stores, Shopify has since been through some adjustments that have improved both the developer experience and the SEO adjustability on the site. Let’s get into what those are:
In 2020, Shopify saw a big surge of online stores gettting started due to the pandemic. That surge must have focused some people at Shopify because they made a lot of changes in the last two years.
In 2022, they finally released their long-announced and long-awaited Shopify OS 2.0. Shopify OS 2.0 came with a lot of adjustments like being able to edit with more precision on sub-pages, landing pages, and product pages. It also came with more insights into the analytics about how people use your store.
Furthermore, Shopify OS 2.0 is bringing a lot of improvements to the way you can customize your store directly. At this point, any legacy Shopify 1.0 store should probably start seriously considering what they are missing by not switching to Shopify OS 2.0.
Here are some of the most notable improvements on Shopify OS 2.0
- More advanced functions for every single Shopify plan.
- Order Automation
- Loans from the platform
- An editable SEO section for every single page, product and collection.
How to Rank higher in search engine results with Shopify OS 2.0?
First, now that Shopify stores can have multiple different templates for different pages, you can get very specific with editing each page. But it’s not immediately obvious how you do this if you are a first-timer. I’m recording some tutorial videos soon on my youtube channel to show you how to do this but in the meantime, feel free to subscribe to my blog to learn more about Shopify improvements.
Second, a lot of SEO basic principles will still apply to Shopify stores.
- Make sure you are writing copy on your website that answers popular search queries.
- Do some research before designing your website about what keywords will help your store rank better.
- Take some time on each product, collection, and page to improve your SEO descriptions.
Let’s take a moment to break each of those down a little so you know what I mean.
Make sure you are writing copy on your website that answers popular search queries.
The entire internet (broadly speaking) is here to answer questions. Where is the best place to eat near me? How do I fix my slow computer? Should I get this Mole checked out?
Every day, the average person searches dozens of questions. And odds are many of those searches are repeat searches. So what is SEO? SEO is finding the questions people are asking, and using search engine algorythems to boost your store or website as the top result.
How do you do that on a regular website?
By writing and creating content that both answers the question and shows a way to direct traffic that lands on your website to purchasing your product or service.
To get a good understanding of what problems you can solve and how best to solve them, I recommend starting at answerthepublic.com and reviewing what questions people are asking in regards to your product or service.
Then make sure you use the language on your website, product pages, the home page, and ads to target answering those questions.
“How do you do that?” you might ask. Well, the way we have done that historically is through blog posts. And whether you are a good writer or not, blog posts continue to be a huge part of improving the SEO of your website.
They provide answers to questions, give people a reason to click on your website, and if your website is designed well… they might venture around more to purchase or subscribe.
Do some research before designing your website about what keywords will help your store rank better.
Not every single question will be a question you can answer with your blog. For example, you probably won’t be able to out-SEO the keyword “apple” because Apple is going or any of the tech journalists who design content exclusively apple related already have a huge head start on you.
But what you might be able to do is answer questions about what the best screen protector people should buy for their new iPhone 13 pro max. Or maybe you could find a niche for people looking for genuine vegan leather wallet iPhone 13 cases that are animal cruelty-free. Then you could have a blog post that explores how you test your cases, how you were able to acomplish the difficult task of molding genuine vegan leather onto a wallet case, and how you were able to design a case that feels nice but also is nice for the planet and environment.
Now that’s a blog post that might get to the top of googles search results.
In Shopify, take some time on each product, collection, and page to improve your SEO descriptions.
In most Shopify stores, its actually very simple to edit SEO for your website. Simply at the bottom of each product, collection, or blog page, there is a live preview of what your search engine result will look like.
You can even directly edit that query to have it say exactly what you want it to say. Here’s a tough question though… how do you know the right thing to say for SEO content.
How to learn great SEO descriptions and Grow your business
SEO writing is definetly a skill. It’s not a traditional marketing writing that sells you better on search engines, its actually more boring language that just accurately informs users on your product or service.
For example, a website might call themselves the “Best SEO Agency in Texas.” But a good SEO tag would include look a bit more like this:
SEO, backlinks, and website optimization for google search. – Jensen SEO
Our agency of professionals will review your existing website or create a new website that is optimized for the top page and top results of a search engine. Call us at 888-886-8888 or visit the site today for a free quote!
While there are some who believe that Shopify is bad for SEO, this could not be further from the truth. In fact, with a little bit of effort and know-how, you can rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) than ever before. The key is to write copy that answers popular search queries and make sure you use language on your shopify site that answers those search queries. A little research goes a long way in this regard! If you want to learn more about great seo techniques and how to grow your business, visit bigredjelly.com today. We’re here to help small businesses succeed online!
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