Shopify is a wonderful solution to help business owners sell their goods online. Shopify is one of the most popular cms. CMS stands for a content management system.
One of the things that make the Shopify platform so popular, is that it makes it easy to get your products online. They have a large number of apps that handle everything from payment processing, taxes, to shipping.
it is important to note that Shopify is not just for small businesses. Some huge companies have decided to run their websites on the Shopify platform.
As good as Shopify is some problems are inherent to the cms. These are not problems that can’t be fixed, but if you don’t know that you have a problem, then it is a very large problem.
One of the biggest issues not just with Shopify but with e-commerce websites, in general, is the issue of duplicate content. Duplicate content is a problem with search engine optimization because it confuses Google.
Specifically, the problem is with canonicals. Let’s say that you have a store that sells running shoes and you have a collection of men’s running shoes. Now let’s say on your collection page you have four pages full of men’s running shoes.
The problem is Google won’t know which page of your men’s running shoes to show in the search results if the canonicals are not set up correctly.
Canonicals do not come set up correctly by default in every single Shopify theme. The point of canonical tag and duplicate content is to tell Google, yes this is a duplicate page but the original page is the one that you want to show in the search results, and you can ignore this duplicate page.
There’s no way around it.
Canonical and the problems and solutions to duplicate content are very technical. Most Shopify websites don’t even realize that they have this problem. And because of this simply by fixing the duplicate content and correctly setting up your canonical structure, you can rank higher in Google and get more traffic to your website.
If Google is confused they will be less likely to show your websites high up on the search results, and therefore you will get fewer visitors to your website.
This is why you want to make it easy for Google to understand your website and this is why you want to fix common issues with duplicate content.
More a more in depth explanation of canonicals, please read this article from Moz: https://moz.com/learn/seo/canonicalization
So how can you fix duplicate content on your store?
Well, it depends. You can hire a Shopify e-commerce expert, or you can do it yourself by purchasing a Shopify SEO course. If you hire someone to do it for you, it will be much quicker but also more expensive.
If you buy an educational course on how to optimize your website for search it will take much longer because you will have to learn the material, but it will be much cheaper.
It depends on the business. If you are a larger business then it makes more sense to hire someone to fix your website and to just get it done quickly. You will make more in sales than you will at the cost of hiring a consultant.
If you are a smaller website or a do-it-yourselfer, then you need to save as much money as you can, and by default, you have more time to invest. If this is the case then purchasing an ecommerce SEO course is the way to go.
There are so many ways that you can win by optimizing your Shopify site for search. Something nearly all e-commerce websites overlook including major stores like Patagonia and Nike is image optimization.
Image optimization is huge for e-commerce. Because you have so many products on your site to get traffic for them, the easiest thing you can do is to optimize the images.
Optimizing your images for search is technically an easy thing to do, it just takes a lot of manual work.
To optimize your image for a search you want to think of your image the same way you think of a web page.
You want to treat the file name of an image the same way you would treat the URL of a product page. If you are showing a picture of red roses on your product page, then a good name for the image might be potted-red-roses.jpg
Now that you have properly named the image file next you’ll want to give the image an accurate Alternative Text description.
Alternative text is also known as alt text. You want to think of the alt text of an image the same way you think of a page title of a web page.
Using the roses image example above, a proper alt text for the image might be: Red Roses in a Pot.
By taking the time and extra step to properly name your image files you can get a ton more traffic to your online store.
For a more thorough explanation of Alt text, check out this article from Hubspot: Image Alt Text: What It Is, How to Write It, and Why It Matters to SEO
If you look at the top of every Google search there is a tab at the top of the search results that says images.
So every search in Google also has an entire image search. These image search results get a ton of traffic, but a lot of people don’t realize this and don’t know to get this traffic all you have to do is optimize your images.
There are so many ways to win with search engine optimization that it just makes sense to get a course on Shopify SEO so you can understand how to construct your store to perform better.
Another thing Shopify owners need to be aware of is how to properly set up your collections pages and your product pages.
In general, the collections pages are the ones that will show up in Google search results. The collection pages get the most amount of search traffic to your website.
That being said you don’t want to ignore your product pages because although they show up less in Google search they can still generate a fair amount of quality website traffic for your store.
Another problem that is built into Shopify and is frustrating for people trying to optimize their SEO is the speed of the website. Due to the nature of Shopify, a website owner is limited to what they can do to speed up the website.
One of the best things you can do is to buy a quality app, which is similar to a plugin, to speed up the website.
The plugin that I like the best for speeding up a Shopify store is called hyperspeed.
Hyperspeed is pretty simple to use you just go through the settings and then the app handles the rest and it does a pretty good job of speeding up the website.
The problem is, like with so many quality Shopify apps, is that it is software as a service. Meaning you have to pay monthly for it, instead of a one-time purchase.
Hyperspeed is a great app, but it is not cheap. It costs $39 per month. It is a lot of money, but it is worth it. The reason why is because how quick a website is is critically important to e-commerce.
If a page takes a long time to load then the shopper will simply close the website or abandon it and not purchase. The speed of a website is a major influencing factor in purchasing behavior. That’s why it’s worth it to spend so much per month to speed up your website.
These are just a few of the important things you need to fix when you set up a Shopify store. It’s a great platform, and with a little understanding and hard work, you can beat much larger competitors.