SEO Tips to Boost Your Shopify Store’s Organic Traffic
Whether you run a small online Shopify Store or have a large, established website, it’s super important to maintain a good flow of organic traffic...
Whether you run a small online Shopify Store or have a large, established website, it’s super important to maintain a good flow of organic traffic, and SEO has a huge impact on your success.
Having a streamlined and effective SEO strategy will determine where you appear in search results, and therefore, how easily customers can find you. 75% of internet users don’t even look past the first page of their search results, which shows how important it is to work towards increasing your rankings.
This can seem daunting, and you may not know where to start. So in this article, we’ll share some effective SEO strategies to boost your search engine rankings and increase your Shopify Store’s organic traffic.
But first, let’s define SEO.
What is SEO?
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is a set of strategies and best practices aimed at enhancing a website's visibility and rankings in search engine results pages (SERPs). By optimising the various elements of a website, SEO aims to improve the relevance and authority of your Shopify Store in the eyes of search engines such as Google.
The ultimate goal of SEO is to attract organic (non-paid) traffic to the Shopify website, as higher rankings in search results often means more clicks and visitors, thereby increasing the website’s overall online presence and potential for success.
Let’s dive in…
Use keywords throughout your site
Keywords are the foundation of SEO, but what are they?
Keywords are the terms people search for when looking for information, products, services, or answers to their queries.
For example, if someone’s searching for information about ‘the best smartphones’, the keywords would be ‘best’ and ‘smartphones’.
Or if someone’s looking for a local restaurant, their keywords might be ‘restaurants near me’, or ‘best Italian restaurant in London’.
Keywords are crucial for SEO because search engines, such as Google, use them to understand the content of web pages to match search queries with the most relevant results.
By optimising your Shopify Store’s content around keywords relevant to your brand, you’ll improve your chances of appearing higher up in search engine result pages (SERPs), and therefore, driving more interested traffic.
But keywords aren’t just beneficial for their relevance to user queries, they can also boost your Shopify Store’s traffic in other ways:
SEO isn’t just about driving any traffic to a website, it’s about attracting the right traffic.
By identifying and targeting specific keywords that align with your Shopify Store’s content and offerings, you can attract more customers who are genuinely interested in what your business has to offer.
In turn, this interested traffic is more likely to convert into leads or customers.
Getting traffic is actually quite easy - getting valuable traffic is the difficult part.
Content organisation and structure
Keywords help in organising a website’s content and structure in a way that makes it easier for search engines and customers to navigate and understand your site. This is because they can better comprehend the context and relevance of what’s on your Shopify Store.
Content creation and optimisation
Keyword research can also guide your content creation efforts, ensuring that your blog, about page, and website copy address the topics and questions your audience are searching for.
This results in more valuable and relevant content, which is favoured by search engines, as well as your website visitors.
Search Engine Ranking
Search engines, like Google, use algorithms to determine which websites should appear higher in search results for specific keywords.
If you choose the right keywords and phrases, effectively incorporating these across your site, you’ll improve your rankings, increasing its visibility and exposure to potential visitors.
To come up with the best keywords for your Shopify Store, you’ll need to do some research.
Here’s our 8-step process:
1 - Brainstorm initial keywords
Start by brainstorming a list of relevant words and phrases related to your products and services. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes and think about what they might search for when looking for items on your Shopify store.
2 - Use keyword research tools
Keyword research tools are useful for finding keywords you may not have thought about.
You can research how popular your brainstormed search terms are, and how easy it will be to rank for them.
Many popular tools including SEMrush, Neil Patel’s Ubersuggest, and Ahrefs also provide you with keyword recommendations that are tailored to your business, which allows you to come up with new ideas.
3 - Analyse search volume and competition.
When using these keyword research tools, pay attention to the search volume (the number of searches) for each keyword, as well as the level of competition (how many other websites are targeting the same keyword).
The key is to focus on phrases that have a lower competition score but also have a decent search volume.
4 - Consider long-tail keywords.
Long-tail keywords are more specific phrases that typically have a lower search volume, but higher intent, which means they can be valuable for attracting a more targeted audience.
Instead of one of your keywords being a generic, extremely hard to term to rank for such as ‘shoes’, consider targeting a phrase such as ‘affordable running shoes for women’. This way, search engines will recognise your expertise and place you higher up in the rankings.
5 - Analyse competitor keywords.
The keyword tools mentioned previously can help you to identify the keywords that your competitors are using to drive traffic to their websites.
You might find new ideas or discover gaps in their targeting where you can jump ahead of them.
6 - Prioritise certain keywords.
Organise your list of keywords based on relevance, search volume, and competition, focusing on the ones that are most suited to your products and have the best potential for driving traffic to your website.
It’s better to have 10 tailored keywords and phrases rather than 100 generic ones.
7 - Optimise on-page content.
Once you’ve completed your research and built your list of targeted keywords, it’s time to start naturally incorporating them into your Shopify website.
Optimising your website’s on-page elements is crucial for better visibility in search results:
- Craft compelling ang keyword-rich meta titles, tags, and descriptions to first, allow Google to better rank your site, and second, entice customers to click through to your website.
- Ensure your URLs are short, descriptive, and include your target keywords where relevant.
- Use H1, H2, and H3 tags to structure your content and make it more accessible to both search engines and customers.
- Optimise images by using descriptive file names and alt tags so that search engines can find and recognise their content more easily.
8 - Monitor and update your keywords.
You should regularly monitor your website’s performance using keyword and tracking tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console.
These will allow you to keep track of which keywords you’re ranking the highest for, as well as which ones are driving the most organic traffic to your site. Then, you can update your keyword strategy as needed based on this performance data and any changes in search trends.
It’s important to use keywords naturally and sparingly - under no circumstances should you keyword stuff! This refers to when keywords and phrases are used excessively, repeatedly, and unnaturally throughout copy. It’s a confirmed negative ranking factor, and attempting to manipulate search rankings through keyword stuffing will only cause your site to rank lower in Google’s search results.
Create high-quality blog content
Generating blog content for your Shopify store is a highly successful and cost effective strategy to improve SEO and increase organic traffic to your website.
By consistently producing high-quality, relevant and valuable content, you can boost your site’s SEO quality by positioning your Shopify Store as a solution to your customers’ queries. You also create more indexed pages for search engines, such as Google, to crawl.
Having indexed pages on a website means that search engines have crawled and stored those pages in their database, making them eligible to appear in search results when relevant queries are entered by users.
This increases your website’s visibility in search results, making it more likely for customers to discover and click on your site.
Incorporating a variety of on-page SEO tricks into your blog content will also give you more opportunities to rank in search engines and make your site more appealing to customers.
Here are 3 key reasons why generating blog content improves your website’s SEO and organic search traffic:
3 reasons why generating blog content improves your SEO
Fresh and relevant content
Blogs allow you to cover a wide range of topics and industry-related discussions, catering to your target audience’s interests and needs.
As blogs address current trends, emerging issues, and frequently asked questions, they work to generate a steady stream of relevant keywords and phrases, which search engines then recognise and index.
This enhances the site’s overall visibility, organic traffic, and rankings, boosting its online presence and attracting a more engaged and tailored audience.
Search engines like Google favour websites that regularly update their content with fresh and valuable information, which is one of the key factors considered when ranking sites.
- Google prioritises user experience. Users generally prefer up-to-date and relevant information, and fresh content ensures they get the latest and most accurate information on a topic, increasing satisfaction within search results.
If you’re providing what people are searching for, then Google will recognise that you’re giving your audience a solution, pushing you higher up into search rankings for more customers to find your content.
- Credibility and authority. Websites that frequently update their content and provide new information are often seen as more credible and authoritative experts in their respective fields. Google wants to present reliable sources to its users, and sites with lots of fresh and relevant information can provide this, and are therefore given higher rankings.
- Indexing frequency. Google’s web crawlers continuously index websites to keep their search results updated. Websites with new content are crawled more often, allowing Google to index and present the latest information to users.
- Search intent. This one is time sensitive, and ultimately comes down to how fast you can jump on a trend and write about a hot topic. Google’s algorithm takes into account the search intent of its users, and for certain queries, new content will be more reliable or relevant than older content.
- Competitive advantage. In competitive niches, websites that frequently update their content can gain an edge over competitors. So consistently providing new and valuable information shows Google that your site is more relevant than the others, which helps you to stay competitive in search rankings.
By regularly publishing new blog posts, you’re signalling to search engines that your site is active, relevant, and continuously providing value to your customers.
How to continually provide fresh and relevant blog content:
To continually provide fresh and relevant blog content, it’s important for you to focus on understanding your audience, including knowing who they are, what they’re interested in, and what questions or problems they have. This way, you can tailor your content to meet their needs and preferences.
As mentioned previously, Google recognises websites that provide a great user experience, and what better way is there to do that than providing an answer to exactly what your audience is looking for?
Be sure to also stay updated on industry news by regularly reading and following news sources, blogs, and social media channels related to your niche or industry. This will help you to stay informed about the latest trends and developments, enabling you to produce timely and relevant content that you know people will be interested in.
If you see that a topic is gaining popularity, consider creating some content around it to tap into the current interest. Use reputable sources, studies, and statistics to support your points within your article, and provide the audience with the accurate information they need to get the most value out of what they’re reading. This high-quality research will add credibility to your blog, establishing you as an expert in Google’s eyes.
Importantly, though, to create successful blog content, you must write about topics that are relevant, and that people will definitely type into the Google search engine. Think about it, if you’re writing about something that no one is interested in, or has very few searches, then it’s very unlikely that your article will be found, and there’s a slim chance that the article will help to improve your SEO or organic traffic.
One way to make sure that what you’re writing is relevant is by using keyword tools to identify popular search terms around your businesses expertise. This will help you to understand what information your audience is looking for so that you can optimise your content for better search engine visibility.
Keyword tools such as Neil Patel and SEMrush, mentioned previously, allow you to see not only what people are searching for, but how many people are searching those keywords and how often they do so, as well as providing you with other related keywords and phrases to use.
Internal linking is where you create a hyperlink that connects different pages or content within the same website, which allows customers to navigate from one page to another within the same domain. When used within blogs, internal links are typically links to other relevant blogs, pages, or key information on your site.
For example, you may want to touch on a topic briefly within an article, but don't want to include every single piece of information about that topic because it’s not the main point of that piece of content. Well, here, you could link to another blog or article that goes into a more in-depth understanding of that topic.
This ensures that your audience is getting all of the value and information that they need, as well as improving your search engine ranking, and therefore, your organic traffic. Let’s look at 5 ways internal linking can boost your on-site SEO:
- Improved site navigation. Internal links help visitors to navigate your website by providing relevant pathways to related content. When customers find it easy to move between pages and find useful and valuable information, they’re more likely to stay longer on your site and explore further. This can reduce bounce rates and increase your user engagement - both factors that search engines consider when ranking sites.
- Establishing content hierarchy. Internal links also establish a hierarchy of content on your website. By linking to cornerstone or pillar content, such as cluster articles, blog pages, or your most valuable blogs, you signal to search engines that these pages are important, and serve as central resources for specific topics. This can elevate their importance in search rankings.
- Keyword anchor text optimisation. When you use relevant keywords as anchor text for your internal links, you provide Google with additional context about the linked page’s/articles content. This can help search engines to understand their relevance, improving your website’s ranking for those keywords.
- Indexing and crawling. Internal links provide pathways for search engine crawlers to discover and index new content on your site. When you publish a new blog post and link to it from other related posts or pages, Google can easily find and index it, improving its chances of appearing in search results.
- Content relevance. Linking internally within all of your articles can establish connections between related content, demonstrating to Google that your site offers comprehensive and valuable information on specific topics. This association can improve the overall relevance and authority of your website in search algorithms.
How to create internal links effectively:
For internal linking to be beneficial, though, there’s a few tips and tricks to follow.
It’s important to choose relevant anchor text, which is the clickable text of a hyperlink. Make sure to use descriptive and relevant phrases that accurately represent the content of the linked page.
Avoid using generic phrases by themselves like ‘click here’ or ‘read more’, but instead, incorporate these into a sentence that includes keywords that provide context about the destination page’s topic. This way, readers will be more interested in, and have a better understanding of what you’re trying to show them, which increases user engagement on your website.
You should also make sure that you only link to pages that are highly relevant to the topic of the current blog post. Internal links should add value to the readers experience by providing additional information, context, or related resources, not just take them to a random page on your site for the sake of it.
Rather than creating a list of unrelated links at the end of a blog post, try to incorporate internal links usefully throughout the content. This makes the links feel natural and encourages customers to actually explore the related topics.
It would be good to identify your website’s pillar or cornerstone content, which are comprehensive, high-quality pages that cover essential topics, and use these as your internal links. By linking to these pages from multiple blog posts, you’re able to reinforce their authority and importance to search engines, which will also allow Google to recognise your expertise in these areas, pushing you higher in search engine rankings for these topics.
A backlink is when a website provides a hyperlink that directs customers to another website. These links are essential for SEO as they play a crucial role in determining a website’s authority, relevance, and popularity.
Google considers backlinks as votes of confidence or endorsements for a website - the more high-quality and relevant backlinks a website has, the more trustworthy and authoritative it appears.
High-quality blog posts are great for backlinks because they can attract other websites to link back to your content as a valuable resource.
To build a strong backlink profile, you need to:
- Create high-quality content. Content is the backbone of any successful link building campaign. Develop valuable, informative, and engaging content for not only your blog page, but throughout your website, that naturally attracts other websites to link to it. High-quality content has a higher chance of being shared and linked to by other websites in your business niche.
- Guest blogging. Contribute guest posts to reputable websites in your industry. Many websites accept guest contributions and even provide an author bio where you can include a link back to your website. Ensure that your guest posts are well-written, relevant, and most importantly, add value to the host website’s audience.
You can find an example of guest blogging on our site within this article, ‘How do I write a website brief for my Shopify Store’, contributed by one of our expert partners, Blue Horizons.
- Use linkable assets. Develop linkable assets to use within your blogs and website pages, such as infographics, images of research studies, and comprehensive guides/PDFs. These assets are more likely to attract backlinks because they provide valuable and shareable information.
- Participate in online communities. Engage in online communities, forums, and Q&A websites and chats related to your niche. Some popular options include Reddit, Quora, and Shopify groups. Here, you can offer valuable insights and solutions to customers’ problems, and when appropriate, include links to your content as reference.
Social media platforms, such as LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, are a great place to promote your blogs. They provide instant access to your audience, and increased exposure, and therefore traffic, to your website.
When you share an article on social media, it becomes not just visible to your immediate followers, but can also reach new audiences who may have never come into contact with your website before. This allows you to maintain a steady stream of traffic, and to also generate new traffic.
Likes, shares, comments, and other forms of engagement can also indirectly impact your search engine rankings. The more your content is shared on social media, the more likely it is to attract backlinks and mentions, which can positively affect your website’s search visibility.
In addition, those interested in reading your blog will likely click through to your site, increasing your organic traffic, and if they were interested enough to do this, then there’s a good chance they’ll also explore your site and its offerings.
Increasing your organic traffic through linking your blogs on social media has proven to be a very good strategy, but only when done effectively.
3 Ways to Use Social Media to Boost Your SEO
- Use engaging headlines and descriptions. Craft compelling and attention-grabbing headlines for your blog posts, as a catchy headline will pique the interest of your followers and encourage them to click on the link to read the blog. You should also write concise and engaging descriptions, keeping the text short, clear, and intriguing to encourage customers to look for more information.
- Showcase visuals. When posting about your blog on social media, be sure to include eye-catching visuals to accompany the link, such as the headline image, infographics, or videos used within your article. Appealing visuals are more likely to capture the audience’s attention and entice them to click through to your website.
- Repurpose your blog content. You can repurpose your blog content into different formats to post on social media, such as short videos, slideshows, copy, or infographics to appeal to different social media audiences on different platforms. Also, don’t be afraid to repost your blog content multiple times with different captions to retarget your audience and reach those who may have missed the original post.
When you create blog posts, you can focus on specific keywords and topics related to your business or niche.
By strategically using relevant keywords consistently throughout your articles, you increase the chance of your website ranking higher for those keywords in search engine results.
Blogging also allows you to target long-tail keywords, which are more specific and have lower search volumes, but often have higher conversion rates. These keywords can help you to reach a more targeted audience and improve the overall quality of your website traffic.
To use keywords effectively within your blog posts, you need to place them strategically in these essential locations:
- Title. Include the primary keyword near the beginning of your blog post title to make it clear to both readers and search engines what your content is about.
- Introduction. Introduce your keywords early in the opening paragraph of your blog post to establish relevance. Search engines use the presence of keywords in a blog’s introduction to understand the overall theme and content focus, as well as its value.
- Headings and subheadings. Use related variations of your keywords in headings and subheadings throughout the blog post. This helps to avoid overuse of the same words, terms, or phrases, and keeps it more interesting for the reader.
- Body text. Naturally integrate your keywords throughout the main content. Aim for a subtle writing flow, and avoid keyword stuffing.
- Conclusion. Remember to reiterate your keywords and their variations in the closing section of your blog post. The conclusion is an excellent place to include a strong call-to-action that encourages readers to engage further with your website. Including keywords within this CTA can be beneficial in guiding customers towards specific actions that align with your content’s theme.
Optimise website speed
Having a fast website not only improves the user experience of your Shopify Store but it also positively influences search engine rankings. It’s an essential aspect of SEO that directly affects how your website performs in search results and how customers interact with your content. Here’s why:
When a website loads quickly, customers are more likely to have a positive impact and stay engaged with the content, products, and offerings. On the other hand, slow-loading websites frustrate customers, leading to higher bounce rates (the percentage of users leaving the site after visiting just one page).
In fact, 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in two seconds or less, and 40% will wait no more than three seconds for a web page to render before abandoning the site.
Google takes into account user behaviour when ranking websites, so slow loading times and a poor user experience can negatively impact your search rankings. Whereas if your site loads quickly and efficiently, Google will recognise that you’re providing visitors with a good user experience.
Page crawling and mobile-first indexing
If your website is slow, search engine bots may not be able to crawl and index all of your pages effectively. This can result in some of your content not being properly indexed and, consequently, not showing up in search results.
With the majority of internet users now accessing the web through mobile devices, Google prioritises mobile-first indexing. Over 55% of website traffic comes from mobile devices, and 92.3% of users access the internet using a mobile phone.
This prioritisation also means they evaluate and rank websites based on their mobile speed.
You can learn more about the steps you can take to improve your Shopify Store’s mobile experience later on in this article.
In competitive industries, even small differences in website speed can make a significant impact on user engagement, and ultimately, on SEO performance. So having a faster website can give you an edge over competitors with slower sites.
At the end of the day, if your website is performing slow, then there’s a very high possibility that your visitors will lose patience and look elsewhere.
There are some simple but effective ways to improve your website’s speed. Remember, even making small changes to improve load times can positively impact your Shopify Store’s performance:
- Optimise image sizes. Make sure to compress and resize images before uploading them to your website, as large images can significantly slow down page load times.
If you feel limited in your coding knowledge, or don’t have a developer at hand, then there’s many easy-to-use, affordable, and accessible online tools that can help, such as CSSNano.
- Limit web fonts. Having too many different web fonts, weights, and styles used on your websites can significantly slow down page rendering.
This is because each font used on a website requires a separate HTTP request to fetch the font files. The more fonts you have, the more requests need to be made to load them, which can slow down the page loading time, especially on slower internet connection or mobile devices.
It’s generally recommended to stick to two or three fonts (two for headings and subheadings and one for body text) to strike a balance between aesthetics and website speed performance.
Prioritise mobile responsiveness
Did you know that 79% of Shopify traffic to Shopify Stores comes from mobile devices?
With the increasing use of mobile devices, it’s essential to ensure your website is mobile friendly, both for providing a great user experience, and for driving more traffic to your site.
Google prioritises providing users with the best possible experience. As more users across the internet shop via mobile devices, Google aims to deliver the most mobile-friendly websites in search results.
If your site isn’t fully optimised for mobile, you’re going to miss out on traffic. This is because your site may not be properly indexed, leading to a negative impact on its visibility in search results.
On the other hand, a responsive and ‘mobile-first’ website ensures customers can easily navigate, read, and interact with your Shopify Store, leading to better user engagement and satisfaction. Search engines love this, which means that you’ll receive a boost in search rankings, which can lead to increased organic traffic.
Enhancing your website for mobile responsiveness can also help you to reduce your bounce rates. The better customer experience your Shopify store offers on mobile, the more likely your audience are to stick around.
High bounce rates can negatively affect your SEO rankings, as search engines interpret this behaviour as a sign of poor content relevance or a low quality user experience.
How to optimise your Shopify Store for mobile
- Adopt a responsive design. Work to implement a responsive web design that automatically adjusts the layout and elements of your website to fit various screen sizes. This will ensure that your website looks and functions well on all mobile devices, from smartphones to tablets.
- Use mobile-friendly fonts. Choose legible and easily scalable fonts that work well on mobile devices. Avoid using small font sizes that may be difficult to read on smaller screens, or using overly large or complicated fonts that overpower the mobile view.
- Create a streamline navigation. Avoid complex drop-down menus that have lots of elements, and instead opt for something like a hamburger menu icon. This provides a more mobile-friendly navigation experience.
- Optimise fonts and inputs. If your website uses forms, such as contact, sign up, or enquiry, ensure that they’re optimised for mobile use. By making small adjustments such as using larger input fields and buttons and reducing the amount of text used, you’ll make it easier for your customers to interact with your forms on touchscreens.
Further steps for fully optimising your business for mobile
With more and more people shopping via mobile, if you haven’t considered creating a mobile app for your Shopify Store, now is the time to do so. 70% of customers prefer shopping via mobile apps than they did a year ago, and this figure is only going to rise!
And if you’re looking to increase your sales, improve your customer experience, and multiply your average order value, then you need a mobile app for your Shopify store.
The article ‘Should I Get a Mobile App for My Shopify Store’ covers everything you need to know about mobile apps, including:
- The benefits of mobile apps over mobile websites
- How to create a mobile app using a Shopify app builder
- The results you can expect to see after just one month
StoreLab allows you to create a professional, custom, and fully optimised app that will help you to boost sales, improve customer satisfaction, and increase conversion rates. Interested? Send us a message or learn more about our plans.
Monitor and analyse your performance
Monitoring and analysing your Shopify Store’s traffic is essential because it provides valuable insights into how your website is performing in search engines, as well as how customers are finding and interacting with your content.
And it’s simple enough to do - you can use the analytics tab on your Shopify Store, as well as all of the other keyword and SEO tools mentioned throughout the article.
Here’s what you should track using these tools:
- Keyword performance. By tracking your website’s traffic, you can identify which keywords are driving the most organic search traffic. This information helps you understand what keywords and phrases are working best, and allows you to focus your SEO efforts on optimisation for those specific keywords.
- Content optimisation. Traffic analysis also helps you to to optimise which pages and types of content are attracting the most visitors. You can identify high-performing content and use that information to create similar content or update existing pages to better cater to your audience’s preferences.
- User behaviour. Monitoring your Shopify Store’s performance also provides insights into user behaviour. You can see which pages have a high bounce rate, low time on page, or high exit rates. Understanding these patterns can help you to improve the user experience and make this content more engaging and relevant to visitors.
- Referral sources. The analytics function of your Shopify Store reveals where your traffic is coming from, such as organic search, social media, other websites, or direct visits. Knowing these referral sources helps you to understand which channels are most effective in driving traffic to your site, allowing you to focus your efforts and resources accordingly.
- Link building opportunities. Analysing your website’s incoming backlinks can help you discover which content or pages are attracting links from other websites. This information can guide your link-building efforts and help you create more link-worthy content.
Many Shopify Store owners find that SEO can slip between the cracks when promoting their website. But if you want your site to succeed, then you need to prioritise SEO.
But remember, increasing your organic traffic takes time, and mastering a successful SEO strategy is a process of research, experimentation, constant learning, and creativity.
By following these tips, you’ll be sure to conquer the SERPs and increase your organic traffic.
If you’re looking to improve the results of your Shopify store further, you can book a free discovery call with us today.
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