Improving search engine optimization (SEO)

 

Whether you’re launching a new product, building a web presence for your retail location, or starting a dropshipping business, when you’re trying to sell online you have an important problem to solve: how do you get customers to find your store? People who find your online store in a search engine are probably looking for products like yours, so they are more likely to buy something. You can use search engine optimization (SEO) to improve the search engine ranking for your store and help customers find your products.

 

SEO overview
Many people searching for something on the internet begin with a search engine like Google or Bing. These search engines are designed to use a variety of information from websites to create a ranked list of results for a particular search query. Search engines determine which websites are most likely to be relevant to the search query, and then show the results in order of their relevance.
 
There are many factors that can make your online store appear higher in search results:
 
the number of natural (not paid or social media) links pointing to your store from other websites
the authority of the website based on engagement and other factors
the age of your domain name
website structure and content that is optimized for search engines
When you are new to selling online, it can be difficult to do much about the first three factors. It takes time to build a reputation for your brand and get other sites to link to yours. You can plan for the long term in your content strategy.
 
In the short term, the easiest way to get more traffic to your online store is to optimize your content so that a search engine recognizes it as relevant to queries related to your products. This is what we mean by SEO.
 
Adding keywords for SEO to your Shopify store
Keywords appear in search queries that people enter in search engines. For example, a person might search for blue shoes in Canada. The keywords in this search would be blue shoes and Canada. To make your store appear higher in search results, you should try to find out which keywords your customers might use to find your products, and add those keywords to your content.
 
You can use online tools to get keyword ideas and find out how often a keyword is used in a search query. It’s best to choose keywords that are specific to your products and business, but that appear often in searches. Keep in mind that the more traffic your keywords get, the more competition your store has in searches, so your store might not be shown near the top of search results.
 
 
Optimizing your site structure for search engines
You can optimize your site structure to make it easier for search engines to find all of your content. In general, when you are selling with a Shopify online store, you don’t need to worry about your site structure, because Shopify has built-in search engine optimization (SEO) to make sure that search engines can easily find all of your content.
 
These SEO best practices are automatically followed for your Shopify online store:
 
Content follows a logical hierarchy of categories.
Pages don’t use iframes.
URLs use standard characters and simple, readable structure.
You can do a few things yourself to make sure that your site structure is optimized for search engines:
Optimize your online store navigation.
Use descriptive file names for your images.
Use descriptive link text for internal links.
 
Optimizing your online store navigation
When you create a menu or a link in your online store navigation, there are a few things to consider related to SEO. It's easier for a search engine to understand the content in your store if its navigation is well organized and follows a logical order. There are a few things to consider when setting up your online store navigation:
 
Menu titles should describe their contents.
Menu items should be in an order that makes sense for your store and that shows their relationship to one another.
The link text for a menu item should be descriptive and match the title for the page that it links to.
Each page should have a link in your online store navigation.
Pages shouldn't be more than 3 clicks away from the home page, wherever possible.
You can view and edit your online store navigation from the Navigation page in your Shopify admin.
 
Use descriptive image file names
Descriptive, readable file names for images are better for search engines, because they reveal more about the content of the images. When you save an image by using camera or image editing software, the file name is often a string of numbers, letters, or dates that is difficult to read. To use descriptive file names for your images, you need to rename the files before you upload them to Shopify.
 
Note
You can’t change file names in Shopify. To use more descriptive file names for product images that you have already uploaded, you need to upload new images and replace the old images on each product page.
 
To update the name of an existing product image so that it's more descriptive:
 
On your computer, rename the original image file with a more descriptive file name.
From your Shopify admin, go to Products > All products.
 
Click the name of the product with the image that needs to be updated.
 
In the Images section, click the trash can to remove the product image, and then click Delete.
 
Click Add images, and select the renamed file from your computer to upload it to Shopify.
 
Using descriptive text for internal links
When you add a link to a page in your online store in a product or collection description, or in webpage or blog post content, make sure that you use descriptive link text. For example, if you add a link in a blog post to a product called Red hat, then good link text might be:
 
Check out this red hat.
 
instead of:
 
Click here to see the red hat.
 
Increasing the number of links to your store
Links to your online store from other websites help search engines know that your site is popular and can be trusted. There are services where you can buy paid links, but paid links might result in a lower rank for your online store in search results.
 
You can increase the number of links to your online store in a few ways:
 
Look for opportunities to list your online store on other websites.
Build relationships with other websites and blogs so that you can ask for a link back.
Maintain updated and interesting content to create a website that naturally gets linked to.
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