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23 SEO Checklist for your Shopify Store in 2023

Published on Feb 28, 2023


Updated on Aug 16, 2023

Julien Mamalian

CEO, Bloggle

There are over 200 SEO ranking factors and even more features within Shopify.

For this reason, it's difficult to know where to start when optimizing your Shopify store to rank in search engines like Google.

Here is a step-by-step Shopify SEO checklist that can take you from 0 to an optimized website that attracts organic traffic to convert customers.

Shopify SEO checklist categories 

  1. Setup
  2. Technical
  3. On-site
  4. Content
  5. Link building

Shopify SEO setup checklist

1. Create your blog

Blogging in Shopify is still alien to many merchants. Nevertheless, running an SEO optimized blog is key to improve your traffic.

But those who understand its power are reaping big. Why? A blog is like your store’s education hub used to engage readers and improve ranking.

Fitness apparel, Gymshark is an excellent example of a Shopify brand killing it through Blogging.

Accordiing to SEMrush, Gymshark receives 1.4 million organic traffic, valued at $1.8 million.

They rank for popular keywords like “arm workouts,” “workout clothes,” and “gym clothes men” which drives thousand of traffic to their page.

This is possible thanks to the robust blog section that has become an education haven for gym enthusiasts.

Shopify has a blogging feature called “news.” With the blog feature, you can:

  • Create blog posts
  • Promote featured posts
  • Create blog excerpt displays
  • Manage comments.

The feature has some limitations, though.

For example, the text area for drafting your articles is small and doesn’t give you enough features to optimize blog posts.

Therefore, you need a third-party blogging tool (ex: Bloggle)to drive traffic and generate revenue. 

2. Set Up Google Analytics

Whilst Shopify has an analytic tool that shows you eCommerce metrics, it’s not designed to give in-depth SEO data.

Google Analytics is a suitable tool for such tasks. It gives valuable insights into your business and customer behavior.

Google Analytics data include;

  • ROI from SEO
  • Audience information like location, gender, and age.
  • Number of conversions and the average conversion rate.

Set up Google Analytics and connect it to your Shopify to start using it. 

3. Google Search Console

Google Analytics works hand-in-hand with Google search console. 

The former is user (customer) centric, but Google Search Console focuses more on your website.

It monitors your Shopify page and how it performs on the SERPs. It will show you the queries bringing traffic to your store, the change in keyword ranking, and the CTR of your page on the SERP.

The tool also helps with technical SEO. For example, it will also give insights on crawl and indexation issues, core web vitals performance, and more. 

Google has a whole section of video tutorials on how to set up the Google Search console on Shopify.

4. Submit your Sitemap

A sitemap is a blueprint of your Shopify store. It helps search engines find, index, and crawl your website’s content. 

All Shopify pages automatically generate the sitemap. Once you have it, submit it to the Google Search Console you created earlier. By doing this, you give Google direct access to your store so it can find content to rank quickly.

Here’s how you submit your Sitemap to Google Search Console. 

  1. Open your Google Search Console account.
  2. Go to Index, then choose sitemaps 
  3. Click add a new sitemap.
  4. You’ll be presented with the box below. Add your sitemap URL and then click Submit.

5. Gather SEO tools

You need the right SEO arsenal to beat the competition.

There are a hundered plus SEO tools on the market, so you’d want to set your priorities even though most have similar features. 

For example, SEMrush and Ahrefs are popular SEO tools for keyword research, backlink analysis, and competitor research.

You can also make use of Shopify SEO apps that are created specifically for Shopify merchants. The apps work perfectly for image optimization, automation, backlink management, and more. 

Regardless of the SEO tool you choose, consider personal preferences like budget, ease of use, and functionality.

6. Keyword research

It’s time to use your chosen SEO tool.

Keyword research for Shopify is comprehensive, but we’ll give you a snapshot using SEMrush.

If you’re a new Shopify store, you’ll want to leverage competitors with many high-ranking keywords.

The first step is to search for a product you’re selling on SEMrush to get a competitor that’s ranking for its keyword.

For example, if you’re in the baby product space, you can search for a product like “baby diapers.”

SEMrush gives you keyword variations that you can still test out. Here’s a list based on our primary keyword. 

It also gives you related keywords with their search volume and keyword difficulty.

Once done, scroll down to the SERP analysis to see the highest-ranking page.

The collection page of Target.com ranks first for the keyword “baby diaper.” 

Click on that URL. SEMrush takes you to another page that spits out all the SEO data of Target.com, like total ranking keywords, monthly traffic, and traffic cost.

However, we are interested in the top transactional organic keywords that Target.com is ranking for. Lucky for us, SEMrush divides the keywords by intent.

Click the transactional icon to view a full report on the transactional keywords. Export those keywords to a CSV file ready for content creation.

Shopify technical SEO checklist

7. Site speed

High page speed will allow your customers to access your store in a reasonable time frame, no matter the device they use. 

While your site may encounter cases of low speed, you can control most of the factors. 

For example, you can eliminate unused apps that impact your site speed, avoid using heavy Shopify themes and fonts, fix redirects, and optimize visuals.

8. Images file sizes/compression

Heavy images slow your site speed drastically. 

So you'll want to ensure your images are just the right size to be presentable to users while not sacrificing site speed. You can use image compressor tools like compress now for the task.

9. Mobile friendly

This is a critical point because 60% of sales made on Shopify happen through mobile phones.

Furthermore, in 2018 Google rolled out the mobile-first index, meaning it would mainly use your website's mobile version to index your Shopify store.

Here are a few tips on how to make your Shopify store mobile friendly:

  • Simplify your site navigation (Eg, limiting your menu to one level of nested content)
  • Keep the main navigation bar on-site 
  • Use the correct formatting for your texts and more

Once done, run your site on Google’s Mobile-Friendly test tool to check if it’s optimized for mobile users.

10. Site structure/internal linking/navigation

A good site structure gives readers an easy time navigating your site.

You’ll want a perfect linking system that ensures every page is connected to the other.

According to Ahrefs, the recommended internal linking system is a top-down structure. The home page is the parent page and links down to subcategories which further link to other subcategories and, lastly, products. Here’s a chart.

While Shopify has some limits on how you can structure your links, we recommend that you use your ideas that can still be optimized.

For example, you can keep your links concise and readable. This makes it easy for visitors to know the page content they are about to open.

Also, use descriptive text for your URLs. For instance, if you want to add a link to a product called “white hat,” instead of using the anchor text,

“Click here to see the red hat.”

 Use this.

“Check out this white hat.” 

The latter is more descriptive and not so pushy.

11. Product schema 

Product schema is a perfect way to boost your product visibility on Google. 

It’s structured product data that gives customers more information about your products, enhancing UX.

There are multiple types of product schema with different functions like FAQs, carousels, image metadata, price range, stock availability, and more. 

For Shopify stores, most experts advise creating reviews as your main product schema. Why? Reviews make you eligible for a rich result on SERPs so you can reach the right people. 

Here’s an example of a review product schema for a Shopify blog.

Creating a product schema is a bit technical as you need to edit the codes of the Shopify themes you use. So it’s better to hire an expert to do it for you.

12. Category pages linking correctly to canonical product URLs

Duplicate content is a big problem for most Shopify stores.

For example, you’ll find out that collection pages will link to duplicate product pages by default. 

Shopify has given a solution to the problem by adjusting the product-grid-item.liquid file.

To do this, click select online stores on the left side of your Shopify dashboard. Select themes. Once done, select Actions and then Edit code.

Look for the snippets folder and then choose product-grid-item.liquid. On the same page, adjust the code from:

 “<a href=”{{ product.url | within: current_collection }}” class=”product-grid-item”> 

to this new code:

 “<a href=”{{ product.url }}” class=”product-grid-item”>

Shopify SEO checklist - On site SEO

13. Optimize titles and Meta Descriptions

Shopify has an in-built feature that lets you edit how your product appears on the SERPs.

You can add your page title and meta description on the product's details page to boost your ranking.

To do this, go to your Search engine listing preview section and click edit website SEO.

Type a title of up to 70 characters on the page title. Do the same on the meta description section using relevant phrases your customers might be searching for.

There’s also an option to edit the web address if you want to. Click save once done.

14. Optimize image alt-text

Since Google can’t read images, you can use descriptive alt texts to help it find your content. 

This is handy for Shopify as you’ll use many product images. It’s the perfect opportunity to rank your site by optimizing images and alt texts.

To add an alt text to your store, click your product image and then add alt text. Here’s an example of a descriptive alt text.

Shopify SEO content checklist

15. Publish blog posts

Remember the blog you created earlier and the keywords you researched. It’s now time to use them.

However, the goal isn’t to create articles just to fill your blog. You want to write remarkable pieces that will keep readers engaged and make them return.

Another blog has probably covered the topic you want to tackle. So how will you make it more appealing and exciting?

Four ways:

  • Focus on evergreen content optimized for search Source expert tips to make your piece more credible to readers.
  • Use a conversational tone to engage readers.
  • Use proper formatting, like solid visuals, adding relevant links, and making it scannable.

Another dilemma you might be having is the type of content to create.

We recommend following the content marketing funnel, which is divided into three phases.

  • Top of the Funnel content (TOFU): These are blog posts that answer a specific question to attract readers. For example, if you’re selling men’s suits, a perfect TOFU post can be “how to choose the right suits for a wedding.”
  • Middle-of-the-funnel content (MOFU): These blog posts build up on TOFU content. They target readers looking for more information by comparing your product with other alternatives. An example article can be  “black tie wedding suit vs. Lounge wedding suit - Side by side comparison.
  • Bottom of the Funnel (BOFU): These posts encourage customers to purchase your product. An example topic can be “best suits for weddings.” You then put your product in the first spot with a strong CTA.

16. Use blogging apps to optimize your blog

A lot goes into creating and publishing an article to your Shopify. 

Luckily, you can use a Shopify app builder like Boggle to optimize your blog posts in real- time.

Bloggle is a Shopify blog builder that helps you create optimized blog posts for your Shopify store. 

It acts as a full-suite blog inside your Shopify store, so you don’t have to use a third-party blogging site.

Here are some SEO benefits of Bloggle:

  • Blog templates to optimize your blog and keep brand consistency.
  • Increase organic traffic through SEO-optimized blog posts.
  • Update SEO blog settings like title and meta description
  • Update your blog’s URLs

17. Optimize your blog page layout (using Bloggle)

The blog layout section acts like your library. 

Your customers will spend most of their time here as they search for articles.

Bloggle gives you all the features to create a highly optimized blog layout. For example, you can build site navigation on your blog content, including the title, subheadings, menu, category, and author links.

Once you’ve mapped out your blog, you can customize it by adding elements like widgets and background images.

All these improve your blog’s aesthetics which increases time on the page. This signals to Google that your blog is valuable.

18. Build beautiful blog posts (using Bloggle)

Take a look at this blog post.

Source: ryrob

The article is not only high quality but well designed. The formatting is perfect, they’ve used an attractive font, and the images are on point.

This is an example of a beautiful blog post.

Creating high-quality content doesn’t only depend on the information.

You want someone to come to your blog and marvel at the design. However, it’s tedious to design every blog post. Most merchants opt to hire a graphic designer for the job though this incurs more costs.

Bloggle solves the problem by enabling you to use pre-designed blog templates. You can design one of your blog posts beforehand and use it for all your posts.

19. Make them conversion-focused

Creating the best blog post is one thing. Making it convert readers to customers is another.

Since you’re a Shopify store, writing a powerful CTA isn’t enough. Readers want to “see” products before they can think of purchasing them.

Bloggle lets you embed products in your articles. Readers can see what they want without moving to a different page. This increases engagement rates and boosts conversions.

20. Use Bloggle to optimize your content

You can optimize your blog post, but how sure are you that you’ve met all the SEO requirements?

Most content managers give writers an SEO checklist like the one below to follow when writing.

But it’s tedious to implement all suggestions for every post. Writers often miss suggestions hence reducing their accuracy.

Better option?

Bloggle has an SEO checklist within the blog builder. It scans your article and gives you an SEO score based on how you’ve optimized your article. It will also provide suggestions on optimizing your blog post.

Link-building checklist

Google rewards sites that get backlinks from other sites. This has two benefits:

  • Google will rank your articles higher since many backlinks show your site has quality content.
  • You tap into new traffic from the websites linking to your site.

However, link building isn’t going to Fiverr and buying cheap links from sites that no one knows exist. Although that may have worked a decade ago, Google and consumers are more intelligent now.

Here’s how you can create an effective link-building campaign.

21. Study your competitor's backlink profile

Type in a keyword for a product you’re selling on Google and search. 

For instance, If I type “sunglasses for men,” the highest ranking Shopify store is from Ray-ban.

We’re not interested in its top-ranking keywords. We want the domain names on the backlink profile. Lucky for us, Ray-ban has over 10 million backlinks, more than enough.

Once you click on the backlink icon, SEMrush takes you to a new page that gives you a comprehensive list of all the pages linking to Ray-ban.

Look through the page to get sites ready to give you free backlinks. Export them to a CSV file. 

22. Guest Posting 

Even if some sites are willing to link to your website for free, you will likely need to give them something of value in return.

Guest posting is a simple and popular way to do this. Write a free, high-quality article, and get a link in return.

Since you already have a list of websites, find their contacts using email finders and start an email outreach campaign, asking for a guest post opportunity.

If that’s too technical, you can search on Google to find high-ranking websites looking for guest posts.

To continue with our sunglasses example, you can search for eye care sites that accept guest posts. 

Here’s an example.

Collect the contacts of these blogs and reach out to them with a guest post idea.

23. Get Influencers to review your products

Influencer marketing has never been more commonplace.

Anybody can open a Tik Tok account and quickly get millions of followers, automatically becoming an influencer.

The first step is to search for blogs of influencers in your niche. Also, check on Youtube and other social media channels. 

Engage with their content by sharing and commenting. The goal is to appear on their radar.

Once done, gather their contact information and send them a personalized email asking if they’d be willing to review your product for free in exchange for a link to your site.

Here’s an example message from Neil Patel.

Getting started with Bloggle

Bloggle is designed to make optimizing your Shopify blog easy. You can create beautiful blog posts and optimize them in real time without using a third-party SEO tool.

To experience Bloggle in action, sign up today, take our free trial and see if it fits the bill. No credit card is required.

Julien Mamalian

CEO, Bloggle

After an exciting 5 years of designing and optimizing Shopify sites for well-known French startups, I launched Bloggle. Our mission? To assist merchants worldwide in crafting compelling articles that rank high in SEO and truly engage their audience. In just 3 years, over 2,000 clients have trusted us, publishing more than 55,000 articles through Bloggle. Thanks to them, I’ve learned the keys to success and the pitfalls to avoid

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