If you are about to open a new eCommerce store then you will still be looking at all the options available to you out there. It’s true, there are a multitude of platforms available to choose from: Volusion, Magento, Bigcommerce and Shopify to name but a few. Some of the features you may have been inspecting could include – the cost of monthly fees, amount of products allowed and free themes available. However how SEO friendly the platform is, may have also been a consideration for you too. Afterall there is no point building a beautiful e-commerce store if no-one can find it! Here is our Shopi SEO, Shopify SEO review to give you the run down of how flexible the features are.
Please note – This guide is mainly aimed at store owners rather than SEO professionals. Giving you an insight into basic Shopify SEO that can be easily implemented by the average store owner.
Shopify SEO Review: Setting Up Your Shopify Store
Before I start to analyze all of the SEO features that Shopify.com has to offer. I would like to assess the reasons that most ecommerce owners pick Shopify as their chosen platform. It is really easy to launch your online store without any HTML/CSS or coding skills at all. Also, there is plenty of material to keep you going if you ever get confused at all. The customer service, online guides and helpful forum can walk you through the process of practically everything you need to know. You can check out Shopify with a 14-day free trial on us!
Shopify SEO Review: Adding Your Products & Collections Is A Breeze
When adding products to your Shopify store there are options to make the pages more SEO friendly. These include options to specify your meta titles (page title), meta description (page description) and fine tune the URL structure of the product page. The same options are available for regular pages and collection pages too. For basic SEO this is perfect for the average store owner. It is enough to make your product pages visible in Google so that people can find them and buy from your online store. Especially if they are searching for a specific brand, or very specific description. However it is definitely not enough to just do this if you want to beat down those competitors.
Shopify SEO Review: Alt Tags
Alt tags for images can be really useful when appearing in a Google image search. You will be surprised just how visitors and customers you can acquire through Google images. Therefore the fact that Shopify make this feature so simple and easy for users is a real bonus indeed.
Shopify SEO Review: Sitemap
Shopify generates a sitemap for you which means it is simple to submit your sitemap to Google for indexing. However, some web users feel they want more control over their sitemap. Unfortunately it is not possible to edit or change your sitemap in Shopify.
Shopify SEO Review: Redirects have been solved!
In the past, you were able to change your product or collections URLs in browser. Unfortunately when you did this, you had to create a manual redirect. If this was forgotten about then you would be left with a load of 403 warnings if links were not changed. Now Shopify creates an automatic redirect every time a URL is changed, saving sites from broken links and duplicate content issues too.
Shopify SEO Review: Applications
There are many applications that have been created to try and enhance the SEO of Shopify stores. Unfortunately we have tried and tested many of these apps. They tend to give a one-click solution which actually could be damaging to rankings rather than help. Therefore our advice is to steer clear from these. Inputting meta tags that have been dreamed up by a computer bot is definitely not the way to go if you want to improve your Shopify SEO.
Shopify SEO Review: Any Criticisms?
There are certain negatives to Shopify SEO (as there is with nearly every website builder/ecommerce platform under the sun.) The main two issues are:
- The structures of the URLs:
The URL structures are easy to change (as discussed), which makes Shopify very SEO friendly. However there is a small issue that means that their is an extra bit in the URL which would be better removed.
A “better” variation would be http://storename.myshopify.com/womens-shoes
Unfortunately there is no fix for this at the moment. However it is not definite that this still effects SEO negatively in 2015.
- Product tags
Product tags are a great way of sorting through your products and making your Shopify store easy to navigate. Many themes use product tags as filters on the sides of collection pages. However product tags can potentially cause duplicate content issues. Which become prevalent when you open up webmaster tools. The good news is, although this is not perfect, duplicate content seems to be ignored by Google rather than any proper penalization occurring.
Conclusion of our Shopify SEO review
So there you have it folks! Our honest opinion of Shopify SEO potential is clear. Shopify is a powerful tool that allows users to quickly and easily set up, manage and edit their store. It simplifies web development by giving a simple cart tool – how much you modify your store is up to you, and the same can be said with SEO. There should be limitations to Shopify SEO, the URL structure and tagging system should be definite downfalls to how stores rank. However Google does not seem to penalize a Shopify store because of this. Therefore maybe because there are so many of them, they ignore the /collections/ interferance. In terms of Shopify apps there are multiple plugins available to download, however we advise to steer clear of these as they can really do more harm then good. Having an expert assess and edit your website to improve your SEO really is the best way to ensure you get good rankings.
If you are really looking for a permanent Shopify SEO solution then do not hesitate to contact Shopi SEO for a free Shopify SEO audit. We will be happy to help advise you on the next steps to ranking higher in Google.