Shopify SEO in 2021: Everything You Need to Know

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eCommerce is the future of retail. In 2020 alone, the industry racked up US$ 861 billion in revenue, and it’s only projected to rise from here. This means that any business that wants to thrive in the following years should consider adopting eCommerce into its business model. But how does one start?

Shopify: Your introduction to eCommerce

One of the ways you can dive into the online retail market is through a site called Shopify. Shopify is a platform where you can build and design your eCommerce website. You can sell anything from t-shirts, makeup, jewelry, or even digital products and classes. Shopify is great for beginners and business owners who want to dip their toes into online retail without paying the huge upfront costs that come with hiring a web host server and a web development team. With Shopify, you can develop a stunning, secure, and fast website by yourself in just a few minutes. Advanced Shopify packages also include the tools to run digital marketing campaigns and customer support.

Shopify is free for 14 days, so without having to pay, you can try whether it’s the right platform for you. For succeeding months, you’ll have to pay somewhere between $29 to $299 depending on your desired plan. Shopify also subtracts a 0.5% to 2% transaction fee from your sales depending on your plan.

However, there are 820,000 sellers on Shopify as of 2020, and with the rising popularity of online shopping, you can only expect this number to increase. How can you hope to stand out among all that competition? The answer – Shopify SEO.

Shopify SEO: The basics

SEO, or search engine optimization, is a digital marketing strategy that aims to boost your product listings’ rankings on search engine results pages (SERPs). A higher rank on SERPs is desirable because studies show that the higher your rank is, the more impressions and traffic you get. Impressions are just as important as traffic because it’s how people find out about your business. You can’t get customers if the customers don’t even know your site exists, said John O. from twiftnews.

But how does SEO work for Shopify? Here are a few tips from the Shopify SEO manual.

  1. Keyword research

Like any SEO campaign, you must start with a solid list of keywords to target. Keywords are how your customers conduct their searches, and if you know which keywords are most relevant to your business, you can reach your intended consumers. Keyword research software is the best way to determine which keywords to target. They can also tell you how often these keywords are being searched. The higher the search volume of the keyword, the more companies will try to rank high on those keywords. The most competitive keywords tend to be short, generic terms like “shoes” or “menswear”, and they’re often dominated by the biggest names in the industry. For small businesses, it’s more realistic to try ranking higher in less competitive keywords.

Less competitive keywords are usually longer, more specific ones like “Nike sports bra” or “Burberry winter coat”. While these keywords experience a lower search volume, studies show that they have a higher purchase intent compared to generic keywords. This means that targeting these keywords gives you a better chance at closing a sale.

Experts say that those doing keyword research in 2021 should account for the growth of technologies like voice search. Those who use a keyboard will likely search using shorthand, while voice searchers use natural speech (i.e. “flower shop near me” vs. “Where is the nearest flower shop”). By taking these keywords into account, you can rank high for the fast-growing number of voice search users.

  1. Content production

Once you have your keywords, the next step is to incorporate those keywords into your content. Shopify lets you include a blog on your eCommerce website, and you can use this feature to upload content. Add keywords to your title, body, and other key elements, but be careful not to overstuff your content with keywords. If your keyword density is too high, the search engine algorithm might flag your webpage as spam and demote its ranking.

Besides contributing to your Shopify SEO efforts, recent studies show that content marketing is the most popular marketing strategy among consumers. Customers are more likely to watch a well-made 10-minute video than a 10-second ad. The key here is to consistently make high-quality and engaging video content. You can film product tutorials or reviews so users have a better idea of how your product performs. You can also discuss topics relevant to your industry and target audience (i.e., a gardening service writing a blog post about plant care). 

The better your content is, the more likely users will share it with others. It’s also more likely to get featured on external websites, which could get you more traffic.

  1. Website optimization

One of the ways a search engine algorithm determines a site’s ranking is if the site provides a good user experience. This means your users should have a smooth, convenient browsing experience when they’re on your website. An advantage you have with Shopify is that it already provides some of the requirements for a good user experience:

  • Fast loading speed. Shopify has the infrastructure needed to load your webpages quickly.
  • Clean and logical layout. Categories allow for content to be arranged in a way that’s intuitive to users.
  • Responsive design. Your website will display and function normally regardless of screen size and resolution.

However, you still need to do some of the work to fully optimize your site. This includes:

  • Making navigation easier through internal linking
  • Making the site more accessible to PWDs

An effective Shopify SEO strategy is guaranteed to give your business a much-needed boost not just in traffic and sales but also in brand reputation. The higher a brand is on SERPs rankings, the more consumers perceive it as trustworthy and reliable. Get started on developing an SEO strategy that works for you and your Shopify store will surely thrive. If you’re struggling, Shopify offers assistance for sellers who want to improve their SERP rankings.

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