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The Ultimate All-Levels Guide for Improving Shopify SEO

Lindsay Martinez

Sr. Partner Marketing Manager @ AdRoll

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A new year calls for new goals — and for Shopify store owners, one of them should be to improve your site’s search engine optimization (SEO). 

After all, SEO is never a done-and-dusted task. To rank highly on search engine result pages (SERPs), you need to continuously review keywords, cull outdated pages, and update content with new data and information.

So, where to begin? We divided this guide according to skill level: beginner, intermediate, and expert marketers. No matter your familiarity, you’ll find helpful tips and ideas to transform your SEO to new heights.

For Beginner Marketers

If SEO feels like a scary acronym that you don’t fully understand, these action items are for you:

  • Learn about SEO and SEM basics with this guide.

  • Identify keywords. Keywords— the words and phrases shoppers use to search for products — are the foundation of SEO strategy. Take some time to brainstorm a list of keywords relevant to your Shopify store.

If you’re feeling uninspired, Google’s Keyword Planner is a fantastic tool for identifying relevant keywords.

If you’re feeling uninspired, Google’s Keyword Planner is a fantastic tool for identifying relevant keywords.

  • Optimize on-site SEO. This means featuring keywords throughout your site — in page names, product descriptions, image captions, headlines, and URLs. 

    • Use relevant title tags. Title tags are the “headlines” for SERPs. Make sure title tags are as specific and descriptive as possible, so shoppers immediately know what to expect.

    • Update meta descriptions. Comparatively, meta descriptions are the short blurbs in SERPs. They should encourage shoppers to click on links while informing them of exactly what to expect on various pages.

    • Add alt tags. These are text descriptions for images — since search engines can’t identify the content of images, alt tags help them rank image content, which improves SEO. (It also helps with web accessibility.) Keep your alt tags short but descriptive.

  • Update your Google My Business profile, which helps shoppers who are searching for your brand connect with you more easily.

For Intermediate Marketers

If you’re already actively using tools like Google’s Keyword Planner or Moz, you’ve come to the right section.

  • Build your backlink strategy. Social media mentions, links from other websites (e.g., from guest posts), and reviews will help you boost your ranking.

  • Review internal links. Take a moment to see if your internal links make sense — they should provide an opportunity to further educate a shopper, answer a question, or engage them in some way. Your site’s structure should make it easy for shoppers to find exactly what they’re looking for.

  • Develop your content marketing strategy. A consistent stream of keyword-optimized content can help you rise to the top of SERPs. Remember: Don’t just write blogs or produce videos for the sake of SEO — Google wants content that addresses shoppers’ search intents.

  • Make sure your site is mobile friendly. When indexing website pages, Google will rank mobile over desktop. Check out this guide on how to optimize for mobile devices.

Use Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool to check your site speed. 

Use Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool to check your site speed. 

  • Improve your site speed. Google will rank fast-loading sites higher — ideally, your site should load within one to three seconds.

For Expert Marketers

If your brand has a full-fledged content marketing strategy, uses Google Search Console religiously, and includes optimized keywords, tags, and meta descriptions, you’re in great shape — but it’s still not the time to sit back and relax. Check out these ideas on how to continue conquering SEO:

  • Update outdated content. If you still have blog posts with “2021” or, even worse, “2020” in the title, it’s time to update them ASAP. We recommend regularly conducting a content marketing audit to replace outdated statistics and data, link to new website pages, and include fresh information. Go a step further and consider revising content by jazzing it up with new details, examples, statistics, quotes, or images.

  • Don’t be afraid to delete. If you have blog posts with low performance (either because they have outdated, irrelevant, or superficial content), don’t be afraid to toss them in the bin. The key to SEO is quality over quantity — having a ton of indexed pages won’t matter if they’re not helping shoppers move down the funnel.

  • Tap into the power of video. They’re great for engagement and SEO. Rather than reinvent the wheel, you can simply repurpose high-performing blog content into video format.

  • Maximize engagement. Make sure your content is easy to digest — for written blogs, this means using headings, short paragraphs, a conversational tone, and plenty of images to keep readers interested. Use links to guide shoppers to supplemental information, ask questions, encourage them to leave a comment, or even add a poll.

For a list of tools to help you achieve these SEO optimization tasks, check out this quick guide. Plus, explore the AdRoll app for Shopify merchants — with our ads, targeting, and analytics solutions, you’ll be reaping the benefits of SEO optimization in no time.

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