Macro Tutorial of SEO and Usability for Shopify: The definitive guide to increase visits and sales of your store.

The objective of this macrotutorial is to analyze every key point vital to optimize the on-site SEO and the usability of your Shopify online store. Through it, we’ll fulfill two goals in order to increase your sales:

  • Increase the visit rate coming from search engines.
  • Increase the conversion rate of your online store.

This post will be updated constantly with new aspects that will be taken into account, so we advise you save it in your favorites to be able to consult it regularly.

Each of the points discussed here will have some basic recommendations to have in mind, and if appropriate, there will also be detailed explanations.

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These items will have a higher or lesser relevance in terms of the on-site SEO and usability, and that’s why we’ve graded them from 1 to 5.

  • 1. Lesser relevance
  • 2. Moderate relevance
  • 3. Relevant
  • 4. Very relevant
  • 5. Highly relevant

According to this scale, let’s check the items to consider.

Keyword Selection

 

On-site SEO relevance: 5
Usability relevance: 1

Definition

The keywords are all those expressions that our potential visitors and clients will use in a search engine in order to find the products they want to buy. Therefore, it’s very important that we choose the very best words for which we want our site to be found. Among other things, this will be a key element in the on-site SEO optimization.

Basic recommendations

In order to accurately choose optimal keywords, we must consider these elements:

  • Its popularity level (meaning, how many searches the keyword gets from search engines)
  • Whether it is a competitive keyword, meaning, is it easy or complicated to rank them in the search engines. A very common mistake is to use over-competitive words for which it’ll be almost impossible to be ranked.
  • Its position in the buying cycle. We’ve got to choose words that represent a high buying intention, so the more likely it’ll be that the visits turn into actual buying actions.

Detailed recommendations

In our free PDF, we have prepared step-by-step details on how to choose the best keywords, based on the above criteria.

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Responsive design

On-site SEO relevance: 5
Usability relevance: 5

Definition

Wikipedia defines the responsive design as:

Responsive web design (RWD) is an approach to web design aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing experience—easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling—across a wide range of devices (from desktop computer monitors to mobile phones).”

 

In present days, if there’s something that can’t be forgotten, it’s the responsive design of an online store, both from the user side and the SEO point of view. (Don’t forget that some websites get more traffic to their mobile version and some to their desktop version, and that’s something relevant for the search optimization).

Important suggestion

Make sure that the chosen template is completely responsive. There are many online tools that gives us the chance of visualizing completely how a websitelooks when accessed from different devices, which allows us to check its responsiveness. One of them is:

http://responsivedesignchecker.com

Google Analytics

On-site SEO relevance: 4
Usability relevance: 1

Definition

Google Analytics is a web-based app that offers both free and paying options. The main feature of this Google product is to track the website visits and show the pertinent statistics and data. The integration with Google AdWords allows an accurate follow up of marketing online campaigns. The e-commerce section offers selling and conversions data. In Google Analytics, we’re able to have up to 50 online profiles per account.

Basic recommendations

First of all, for installing Google Analytics, you should visit the official website http://www.google.com/analytics/ and click on the “Sign in/ Sign up” option. Remember a Google Account is needed in order to be able to use Google Analytics.

Advanced Recommendations

In our free PDF, we help you configure this tool correctly and we offer you a guide to get the most out of it.

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Google WebmasterTools

Google Webmastertools - SEO Shopify

On-site SEO relevance: 5
Usability relevance: 1

Definition

Google Webmaster Tools, ,  is an essential tool for webmasters. It helps them understand how Google search works and how it is possible to optimize the website for Google search. It’s free and available both for desktop users and mobile users. It’s a tool that works as a guide for search engines optimization, and it will show you how to fix potential problems that could damage your ranking. Having in mind that Google is the most important search engine, this optimization is a must-do in order to improve the performance of your website.

Basic recommendations

Login into your Google Account and go to:

https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/

 

When you access your Google Webmaster Tools account, you’ll see the main page in which you’ll have to add your website.

Google WebmasterTools - SEO Shopify

Click on the “Add a site” button and then provide the website URL. You’ll immediately see the site added to your account, but before you can continue, you have to verify it.

There are two types of verification:

Highly recommended method: Verify a website using your domain provider verification method.

Alternative method: Using one of the other four ways for verifying a website:

  • HTML file upload
  • HTML tag
  • Google Analytics
  • Google Tag Manager

Simply click on the method you’re willing to use and follow the step-by-step guide to complete the verification process.  To properly finish the setup process, re-write the domain, but without the www., then, tell Google what your prefer domain is. This is a very important step to work with or without www.

Go to the initial panel in Google Webmaster Tools and add the website (mysite.com). Follow the steps we’ve already talked about to verify the address.

“Once you tell us your preferred domain name, we use that information for all future crawls of your site and indexing refreshes. For instance, if you specify your preferred domain as http://www.example.com and we find a link to your site that is formatted as http://example.com, we follow that link as http://www.example.com instead. In addition, we’ll take your preference into account when displaying the URLs. If you don’t specify a preferred domain, we may treat the www and non-www versions of the domain as separate references to separate pages.”

Advanced Recommendations

In our free PDF, we help you configure this tool correctly and we offer you a guide to get the most out of it.

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Title Tag and Meta Tags

On-site SEO relevance: 5
Usability relevance: 3

Definition

It is very important to have in mind that search engines like Google don’t “see” the site as users do.They crawl and track the source code, so everything we want to be indexed by the spiders has to be properly marked according to the code standards.

The user sees:

Google sees:

Including Meta and Title tags on your website is absolutely essential. These codes are tags that must be inserted in the <HEAD>section and their goal is to help the spiders and crawling robots to accurately classify the page.

The Meta Codes or Meta Tags are tags that are meant to give information to the search engines and are somehow invisibles to the final user. This tag was the main element used by the search engines crawlers to index sites and pages, but they’ve come to be less and less important because their influence is now much smaller.

Basic recommendations

We must accurately specify all the metatags for each of the website pages. Each page must have different metatags, adapted to its specific content. Currently, the most important tags are <title> andmeta Description.

Title Tag

Title Tag is a key element regarding ranking. The best way to optimize the page’s titles is to add keywords related to each inner page, meaning, with each product or service offered on our site. This way, we’ve got a highly ranked long-tail keyword, which could generate a lot of visits to our site. This means the user will get to the specific page that answers the original query conducted in the search engine. The user may not even visit the main page.

The title is a tag found in the <head> section of each page and it may be visualized in the upper part of the browser.

This is how Google sees your page:

This is how the user sees it:

This is how it appears in the search results pages:

 

While optimizing the titles, it’s highly recommended to:

  • Use titles that are between 10 and 60 characters long (spaces included)
  • Include keywords in a coherent and sensible way, so that they are completely related to the content.
  • Locate the most important keywords to the left.
  • Use the | symbol between phrases or keywords, to achieve a structure like this one:

Keyword | Keyword 2 | Short description

Including the company name in the title is a common practice. It’s highly recommended to do it on the main page and then, take advantage of this tag to include key elements on each page.

Metatag Description

Description Meta Tagmust clearly explain the goal of a given page, following the next recommendations:

  • Short, coherent and completely content-related description
  • It must have from 70 to 160 characters (spaces included)
  • It must include keywords, but without disrupting the coherence of the text (the keyword list belongs to the Keyword Meta Tag).

Use commercial and attractive language, one that can persuade the user to visit the page while reading this description in the results pages.

Advanced Recommendations

In our free PDF, we explain the details on how to work with titles and descriptions on Shopify, as well as the apps that can be helpful.

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Headings

On-site SEO relevance: 4
Usability relevance: 2

Definition

Apart from noticing quality, relevant and unique content, when the spiders and crawlers search our pages, they don’t see all the text in the same way. They’re capable of distinguishing which elements have a higher relevance through HTML format tags.

If we want a part of the text to be considered as important, we’ve got to tag it in the source code. The two tags that prove themselves helpful are the headings with the codes: <h1/>, <h2/>, <h3/>, <h4/>, <h5/>, <h6/>and strong (<strong/> y/o <b/>.

Recommendations

It’s important that the text, while remaining coherent, alsoincludes keywords or the terms you want to rank for, inside the tags.

That’s why you can mark a part of the text as important using a title: ((<h1>, <h2>in the source code) or highlighting it in bold.

Shopify templates are ready for titles of products or main page parts, with pre-structured appropriate headings. To check if your chosen template has those or to check the source code searchfor H1, H2 or H3 codes.

 

Bold Font

On-site SEO relevance: 3
Usability relevance: 2

Definition

The situation with strong or bold features is similar as with the headings. Not only do they visually highlight a word or a complete sentence, thus emphasizing the message to the user, but they also indicate to the search engine spiders which words are more important than the rest of the text.

Bold or strong letters are tagged as <strong> and/or <b> in the source code.

Recommendations

The most important words or sentences should be highlighted in bold, and for that, we’ll try that the chosen words include a keyword or a similar word, without the text losing its sense.

It’s important not to overuse a certain keyword.Otherwise, we’ll get the opposite effect, over-optimization of the page.

 

Name of the Image

On-site SEO relevance: 2
Usability relevance: 1

Definition

Images, like everything else that is included on the website, can also offer information relevant to the search engines. Although not in the same way as they offer information to the user, since the images are more visual.

For search engines to understand or determine the value of the content on a page, we must take into account every detail, text, titles, … and yes! The name of the file that we give to the image as well. This detail is usually the most neglected one, but it isn’t less important.

Basic recommendations

Each time you upload a product image or any other image to your online store, the filename should be edited so that it includes a word that’s actually describing the content of the image. That way, the browser will understand what the page is showing to the user.

To do that, it’s important not to upload the image with the typical name IMG_98887.jpg, but to be very specific in providingthe name before uploading the image. Here’s an image name example: redcar_newmodel.jpg

Even Google advises so:

Give your images detailed, informative file names

The filename can give Google clues about the subject matter of the image. Try to make your filename a good description of the subject matter of the image. For example, my-new-black-kitten.jpg is a lot more informative than IMG00023.JPG. Descriptive filenames can also be useful to users: If we’re unable to find suitable text in the page on which we found the image, we’ll use the filename as the image’s snippet in our search results.

 

Advanced Recommendations

In our free PDF, we show you how to improve this aspect with the images that are already published on your Shopify store.

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ALT Code for Images

On-site SEO relevance: 3
Usability relevance: 3

Definition

ALT code is used to add a description for an image. This description will be visible when the user for some reason can’t see the images, or when the imagescan’t be loaded correctly.

The goal of the ALT code is to improve the page accessibility since very often the images are very relevant for understanding the page content.

Basic recommendations

That’s why every image used in our online store should have a descriptive and concrete ALT code. This way we’ll help the search engines to understand and learn more about the product we’re showing to the users.

Additionally, we should include a keyword as well.It’s advisable to use the keywordsat the beginning of the sentence since search engines give priority to the first words of a sentence (meaning, as far to the left as possible).

For example, if the keyword is “Bride bouquet”, the ALT code would be:

<imgsrc=/file/imagen.jpg” alt=”Bride bouquet with lilies”>

Below we can see the advice from Google:

Create great alt text

The alt attribute is used to describe the contents of an image file. It’s important for several reasons:

It provides Google with useful information about the subject matter of the image. We use this information to help determine the best image to return for a user’s query.

Many people-for example, users with visual impairments, or people using screen readers or who have low-bandwidth connections—may not be able to see images on web pages. Descriptive alt text provides these users with important information.Opción mediocre:

Not so good:

<imgsrc=”puppy.jpg” alt=””/>

Better:

<imgsrc=”puppy.jpg” alt=”puppy”/>

Best:

<imgsrc=”puppy.jpg” alt=”Dalmatian puppy playing fetch”>

To be avoided

<imgsrc=”puppy.jpg” alt=”puppy dog baby

dog pup pups puppies doggies pups litter puppies dog retriever

labrador wolfhound setter pointer puppy jack russell terrier puppies dog food cheap dogfood puppy food”/>

Filling alt attributes with keywords (“keyword stuffing”) results in a negative user experience, and may cause your site to be perceived as spam. Instead, focus on creating useful, information-rich content that uses keywords appropriately and in context. We recommend testing your content by using a text-only browser such as Lynx.

 

Advanced Recommendations

In our free PDF, we show you how to work with Alt codes on Shopify, as well as the best app available for your Shopify e-commerce platform.

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XML Sitemap

On-site SEO relevance: 5
Usability relevance: 1

Definition

Sitemap.xml is an XML file that allows the schematization of every page within a website, making them accessible for the search engines.

Having an XML sitemap makes the indexation easier, since the search robots will scan this file periodically. In fact, the search engines follow a limited number of links, and that’s why the existence of a sitemap will force the search engines to index every existing page on the site.

Basic recommendations

Shopify automatically generates the sitemap.xml file, including the URLs to every page, product, image, collection and published posts.

Advanced Recommendations

In our free PDF, we show the details about the steps you need to follow.

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Using https

On-site SEO relevance: 4
Usability relevance: 1

Definition

The Wikipedia defines https as:

“HTTPS (also called HTTP over TLS,[1][2] HTTP over SSL,[3] and HTTP Secure[4][5]) is a protocol for secure communication over a computer network which is widely used on the Internet. HTTPS consists of communication over Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) within a connection encrypted by Transport Layer Security, or its predecessor, Secure Sockets Layer. The main motivation for HTTPS is authentication of the visited website and protection of the privacy and integrity of the exchanged data.”

 

In SEO terms, Google has announced that using https on a website is a positive element in terms of improving a web ranking. According to Googleitself:

“Over the past few months we’ve been running tests taking into account whether sites use secure, encrypted connections as a signal in our search ranking algorithms. We’ve seen positive results, so we’re starting to use HTTPS as a ranking signal. For now it’s only a very lightweight signal — affecting fewer than 1% of global queries, and carrying less weight than other signals such as high-quality content — while we give webmasters time to switch to HTTPS. But over time, we may decide to strengthen it, because we’d like to encourage all website owners to switch from HTTP to HTTPS to keep everyone safe on the web.”

Basic recommendations:

Our advice is evidently to use https in the online store. Luckily enough, that’s very easy whenyou use Shopify, since it’s already set like that, as we can read from Shopify:

“SSL certificates are activated by default in Shopify for your store’s checkout, and for any content that’s hosted on your .myshopify.com domain.”

Advanced Recommendations:

If our store previously did not have https address – for example if we migrated to Shopify from another platform hosted on a server without SSL – at SEO level it is important that we update the sitemap of our website. In our free PDF, we explain how to do it.

Loading Time

On-site SEO relevance: 5
Usability relevance: 5

Definition

The loading time of a website is very importantbecause:

  • It’s one of the key elements used by search engines to rank a site. A long loading time will negatively affect your ranking position.
  • Website speed is a key element for an online store to be easy to use. A slow website will increase the number of visitorsabandoning the sitequickly, and this will reflect in fewer sales and fewer conversions.

Basic recommendations:

There are several techniques to improve the loading time of a website, classified as follow:

  • Server related factors.
  • Web content factors.

Having in mind that our online store is hosted on Shopify servers, we cannot change the first group of elements, so we must focus our efforts on the second group. These are the main tasks to focus on:

  • Image optimization
  • Source code optimization

Before working on these tasks, we have to consider our starting point. For that, it’s a wise move to use Google page speed test, a free online tool offered by Google that tells us:

  • A 0 to 100 score assigned to our website based on its loading time and user experience, both in desktop and mobile devices.
  • Main problems detected.
  • Proposed solutions.
Guidelines

Google page speed test is just a tool that shows the main issues that aren’t working well on our website, giving us ideas on how to fix them. It means we or our webmaster are the ones to decide which measures will be ideal to solve these issues.

  • Some of the given advice will require a good expertise level regarding technical issues, so if we cannot properly handle those tasks, we’ll have to call a webmaster or a specialized consultant.
  • Our goal isn’t to get 100 points, since that can have its negative side, too (too much time invested, an over-optimization of the website, etc.). Achieving 80 points is a very reasonable goal.
Instructions

Let’s use an example to show what’s required to use this tool:

  • The first step, evidently, is to go to the URL of this tool and run the analysis.
  • It’s advisable not just to run the test for the home page, but also for an inner page:

 

Then we should:
  • Write down the shown values in order to determinate the current situation and evaluate it after correcting some of the issues shown.
  • Write down the detected issues, ordered by importance. In our example:

It is also advisable to write down the details of each problem. Example:

  • Compressing and resizing http://www.seolution.com/…ploads/2013/11/website_traffic_006_1.png could save 240.7KiB (84% reduction).
  • Compressing and resizing http://www.seolution.com/…ntent/uploads/2013/10/raven_seotools.png could save 159KiB (96% reduction).
  • Compressing and resizing http://www.seolution.com/…ent/uploads/2013/11/ppc_management_1.png could save 153.4KiB (88% reduction).
  • Compressing and resizing http://www.seolution.com/…ads/2013/11/web_analysis_tools_002_1.png could save 126.3KiB (87% reduction).

With all this information, we’ll know exactly what our starting point is and the problems we have to addressimmediately.

Advanced Recommendations:

In our free PDF, you can see in details how to solve some of the most common problems.

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Duplicate Product Descriptions

duplicate content

On-site SEO relevance: 5
Usability relevance: 1

Definition

Duplicate content is one of the worst a SEO problems a web can face.When many pages show the same content, search engines show just one of them. In online stores, it happens really often that product descriptions show the same description shown in other online stores. This happen because typically we’ll use the description given by the product suppliers.

Recommendations

The “recipe” to avoid this issue is simple to say but sometimes complicated to implement, especially for online stores with hundreds or thousands of products. Ideally, we should write again all the descriptions, and avoid the ones given by our suppliers. An optimal solution is to focus in rewrite the descriptions of our highlight products, the ones we’ll must likely sell the most.

Blog

blog

On-site SEO relevance: 5
Usability relevance: 4

Definition

Having a blog in our online store is highly important for several reasons:

  • It improves user engagement, which translatesinto higher user permanence in our site, lower bounce rate, and more comments and interaction.
  • It has higher chances of going viral, which improves the chances for diffusion of our content, opportunity to get links and enhances our social presence via more tweets, more likes, etc…
  • It makes the linkbuilding work much easier. Webmasters will more likely link to interesting content.

Recommendations

1 – The first step is to choose the subjects for our posts, and there are three ways for doing so:

a/ Using frequently asked questions provided by ourclients/users or potential clients/users. Which questions do they ask? What their main concerns are? These questions will give us a neat idea about the issues our audience is interested in.

b/ Using the keywords we’ve already selected. We can create a post focused on each of our selected keywords. If we’ve created a 50-keywords list, we’ve already got 50 different subjects to create posts (as long as these keywords represent different concepts: we don’t want to repeat ideas over and over again).

c/ See what the competitors do: You don’t want to copy their content and strategy, but checking out what works for them may work for us. For that, there’s a really useful tool: buzzsumo. If we enter the address of other sites with similar products, we’ll see which of their posts have been shared and gone viral. This will give us a hint of what kind of content brings more success.

exit content

This information should be addressed with caution and simply as a guideline, since many things are involved in a post going viral, including evidently the promotion made around it.

These three criteria are a good enough starting point to define titles for our posts.

2 – Writing your post

For that you have to acknowledge these tips:

  • Look for an epic post, meaning, give valuable information to our readers in the subject we’re writing about. That will enhance its chances of going viral and getting natural backlinks.
  • There’s not a magic length. The criteria we should consider to decide how many words to use is relevant to the concept we’re writing about. Giving a good insight can hardly be accomplished in less than 500 words, and we’ll likely reach 2000 words if we write interestingly and in-depth.
  • We should mix different sort of materials within our post to make it attractive and likable: videos, images, infographics, etc.
  • Even if the content is mostly informative and educative, we can mix here and there with commercial ideas.
  • They should be easyto shareon social networks.

shared content

  • Also, it’s highly advisable to invite readers to do something we’re interested in. Example: if the article speaks about perfumes, our final recommendation will be inviting the user to buy our new scent. Another example: if we’re speaking about a certain idea we’ve been writing about in our post, in the end, we can offer a PDF to download with more information and data, just in exchange for their email address.
3 – Specific advice regarding our posts’ topics

Our post topics will dependon our very own website, the writing style of the people in charge, etc. But there are some basic guidelines and ideas that can prove themselves quite useful:

  • Guides and tutorials that showcase lots of information regarding a specific subject.
  • In-depth curation of resources regarding a topic.
  • “Ego-bait” posts. In these posts, we’ll gather the opinion of experts on different subjects, probably via an interview. The advantage is that the very persons giving us their opinion will help us with sharing the post.
  • Controverted posts that contrast opposing opinions.
  • They encourage the participation of our readers and this enhances the chances of the post going viral.
  • A “Google maps mashup” where you use Google to indicate information about a certain topic. Touristic routes for a certain place, cities with special events regarding our products, etc.
  • Humor posts, regardless if those are graphical illustrations or with puns and text jokes.
  • A specific subject glossary.
  • Practical advice and tips lists.

There are many, many possibilities. In any case, we have to look for a subject that is really related to our website for each of our posts (even if we give it an original or funny edge), otherwise, we’ll get traffic but it won’t help our SEO efforts.

4 – SEO Tips
  • The post title is very important. We should include keywords related to the topic we’ve written about or natural variants.
  • We have to write naturally, we should use keywords and related words, but logically and in a coherent way, not over-using them, because we’ll be facing the risk of over-optimization.
  • The post should be nice with correct links to quality external resources.
  • Link to other pages of our website in a natural way.
  • We don’t have to be obsessed with SEO improvements in our post. It’s more recommended to write naturally, just to please and correctly inform our readers.

Social Media Share Buttons

On-site SEO relevance: 3
Usability relevance: 3

Definition

There’s no doubt that social networks are an awesome way for our audience to read our content and reach our website. That’s why we should make it easy for our visitors to share our posts, and that’s something we’ll achieve by adding social media share buttons.

Recommendations

Installing an app in our online store that automatically includes social media share buttons. These two are free:

 AddThis Sharing Tool

Description by its programmers:

“Boost traffic and engagement to your store front by installing the AddThis Shopify App. With AddThis, your users can easily share your content by to over 300 of the most popular social networking and bookmarking sites, including Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. AddThis is used on over 12 million domains worldwide, supports over 70 languages, is quick to load and recognized across the web. Our optimized tools measure engagement and on page actions including sharing, text being copied, address bar sharing, and visitors following your social channels all in a powerful and easy to use real-time analytics dashboard.”

 

Social Sharing Buttons

As described by its programmers:

“Multiple social accounts incl. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, G+, Youtube, Blogger, Tumblr. Get more social share and follows. Multiple styles, sizes, colors. Responsive, mobile friendly social media icon buttons.

Broken Links

broken links SEO Shopify

On-site SEO relevance: 4
Usability relevance: 4

Definition

Broken links are links directing to non-available resources. The page doesn’t exist anymore, so the link created is known as a broken link.

This error can be produced in many different situations, such as:

  • 404 error
  • Server not working
  • Domainchange

Detecting broken links is important because they have a negative effect on SEO optimization. On top of that, users will feel disappointed and misguided.

Detecting and solving the broken links is a relevant on-site SEO task. There are several tools useful for discovering broken links.

Recommendations

We advise using the Xenu’s Link Sleuth software tool to discover broken links. We can download and install this software on our desktop computer. Once installed, we’ll use the “Check URL” option:

xenu check URL SEO Shopify

Checking internal and external links is not complicated. Also, we’ll have some neat additional options. We can click on OK to run this check:

xenu check URL SEO Shopify

Then it’ll open for us a window with every URL in our website, showing the status of our links: ok, not found.

xenu check URL SEO Shopify

This is a good way to spot broken links and fixthem, so we can avoid this problem in our SEO efforts.

Errors 404, 500…

seo shopify errors 404 500

On-site SEO relevance: 4
Usability relevance: 4

Definition

An element that affects directly the usability of a website is avoiding user frustration when there are navigation errors. It’s important to let the user know what’s happening and when there’s an error, it has to be clear so the user doesn’t think it’s his fault.

Basic recommendations

The usual way of handling this issues is creating a “404 error” custom page that helps the user find the information he was looking for.

Some good practices regarding the “404 error” page are:

  1. Make them simple and clear, only including required information. The user is looking for something he didn’t find, so he shouldn’t be offered information that is not relevant for him.
  2. Make them complete but concrete, indicating what happened: no need to say it’s a 404 error problem.
  3. Include alternatives, such as links to related pages.
  4. Include a quick access to the main page.
  5. Well-designed and with the same aesthetics than the rest of the store.

Check your template for a custom 404 error page. This will have the name “404.liquid”:

seo shopify errors 404 500

Advanced Recommendations

In our free PDF, you can see how to detect these errors so that you can fix them.

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Internal Links

seo shopify internal links

On-site SEO relevance: 4
Usability relevance: 3

Definition

While analyzing and optimizing a web page, it is important to set a plan and stick to its priorities.

As an extra advice, it’s good to consider a webpage as a whole. Don’t mix “webpage” with “website” (the later one is the whole: all the pages forming the site). The fact of taking one page alone as a wholeallows us to consider all the optimization elements together and that brings consistency and coherence to our work.

Choosing priorities among the pages that conform a site can be transferred for their relevance in the whole of the website. A good way of “detecting” a page relevance is following the depth of the page’s navigation.

Like this, the main page is a first-level page, followed by the pages one click away from the main page (second level pages) and so on.

In this formula, deep pages that will act as landing pages for the chosen criteria would have to be optimized first.

seo shopify internal links

Evidently, the know-how and strategic goals of each enterprise can make this priority order change, but it’s important to have it in mind since it is the beginning of the optimization process.

Recomendation

In order to create a good inside links structures, we recommend the following:

  • Think about including keywords in each page URL,which is always related to the page content.
  • Link to the most popular products creating a special section from the main page and from the inner pages.
  • From each product page create a section indicating related products.
  • Review the navigation structure of the whole web so that the more important pages with important keywords are linked to from the main page.
  • Review extensively that there’s no “orphan” page, meaning, a page with no link from another page of the online store.

Canonical URLs

seo shopify urls canonical

On-site SEO relevance: 5
Usability relevance: 1

Definition

The function of the rel=”canonical” attribute is to indicate to Google that the specified URL is the original page, avoiding a duplicate content problem.

This function is really useful, most of all for e-commerce sites, since while creating content and product galleries, we might create duplicate content. As an example, a product can be on different pages or collections, generating two different URLs with identical content. That’s why it’s important to determine the canonical URL, hence improve the ranking.

Recomendation

Shopify templates have this attribute available by default.We advise you to check the source code of the page to verify its existence. We should find a line like the following one:

<link rel=”canonical” href=”https://domiain.com/url-original” />

Otherwise, Shopify shows us how to include this line from our theme or template.

Duplicate content and canonical URLs

<link rel=”canonical” href=”{{ canonical_url }}” />

Usage of canonical URLs will help prevent duplicate content issues with search engines. This could occur if the same page is accessible via two slightly different URLs.

Step-by-step guide

Caution

Always backup your theme before making changes in case you want to return things to their previous state. You can duplicate your theme from the Themes page of your Shopify admin.

. From your Shopify admin, click Online Store, and then click Themes (or press G W T).

. Find the theme you want to edit, click the … button, and then click Edit HTML/CSS.

. Under Layout, click theme.liquid.

. Find and delete any lines of code above the closing </head> tag that refer to <title>, meta name=”description”, or rel=”canonical”.

. Paste the following code on the line above the closing </head> tag:

<title>

{{ page_title }}{% if current_tags %} &ndash; tagged “{{ current_tags | join: ‘, ‘ }}”{% endif %}{% if current_page != 1 %} &ndash; Page {{ current_page }}{% endif %}{% unless page_title contains shop.name %} &ndash; {{ shop.name }}{% endunless %}

</title>

{% if page_description %}

<meta name=”description” content=”{{ page_description | escape }}” />

{% endif %}

<link rel=”canonical” href=”{{ canonical_url }}” />

 

. Click Save.

Time Before Your Domain Expiry Date

whois

On-site SEO relevance: 3
Usability relevance: 1

Definition

Designing a project, dedicating lots of time and efforts to it, is a lot of work and certainly, we don’t want it to end up losing the domain we’ve chosen for it. To avoid this risk, the domains for important projects are registered for the long periods. This is noted by search engines, which rank positively this kind of commitment.

Recomendation

We should renew the domain of our online storefor at least three years.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Page

faq shopify seo usability

On-site SEO relevance: 2
Usability relevance: 4

Definition

Having a page where we answer the frequently asked questions helps us immediately in two important elements of our online store:

  • Diminish the resources for customer service, since many doubts will be accurately answered.
  • Augmenting the confidence of potential buyers and customers, raising the conversion rate.

Basic recommendations

The most common advice for creating this kind of page is speaking with thoseresponsiblefor customer service and commercial department. They’re the ones that are in touch with customers and clients, hence they know their questions and the way to properly answer those questions.

Advanced Recommendations

There are apps that are specially designed for Shopify, which will help us to set up a FAQ page simply and elegantly. In our free PDF, we show you the detail.

[cp_modal id=”cp_id_6e998″]Download it for free using this link.[/cp_modal]

Customer Testimonials

testimonials

On-site SEO relevance: 3
Usability relevance: 5

Definition

Customer testimonials are without doubt essential in any online buying process. Other customers’ opinions give us good insights regarding the product we are going to buy. Not only is having customer testimonials helpful in order to get more conversions, it’s also good for making a page richer in content and SEO terms.

Basic recommendations

It’s highly recommended to show off customer testimonials in two different ways:

  • On one hand, it’s really important to link them to the product page.
  • On the other hand, it’s also important to create specific testimonial pages in which we concentrate the most relevant (or all of the existing) testimonials. It may be even a good idea to select three or four of them and have them on the home page.

Advanced Recommendations

There are specific Shopify apps that will help us display testimonials on all product pages. In our free PDF, we show you the details.

[cp_modal id=”cp_id_6e998″]Download it for free using this link.[/cp_modal]

Security Badges

safety seal

On-site SEO relevance: 2
Usability relevance: 5

Definition

Security badges are third parties certifications that add a special confidence guarantee to the potential custumer, mainly about security issues related to online shopping.

Basic Recommendations

There are many security badges available for an online Shopify store. Some are paid and others are free. It will depend on the specific situation of our enterprise if we’ll have access or not to some of them. There are some badges only available for specific association members, for example. Once we’ve selected the ones we think are relevant, we have to place them in a visible place, for example in the footer of every page or on the checkout page

Advanced Recommendations

In our free PDF,  we show you some free stamps that we can use specifically for our store in Shopify.

[cp_modal id=”cp_id_6e998″]Download it for free using this link.[/cp_modal]

 

Contact Information

contact us shopify usability

On-site SEO relevance: 4
Usability relevance: 5

Definition

Having one, or even better, several methods to contact a web owner is an essential way of obtaining credibility among users and possible customers. In an online store, it’s even more relevant, since possible buyers will want to directly interact with the seller.

Recommendations

We must establish different contact methods and clearly offer this information in our online store. This means more than having just a contact form (not a very trustworthy method). It’s highly recommended to have a phone number, and to have it properly highlighted (it must be a free or really cheap line). We can also mention the address of our physical store if we have one, or our office’s contact information.

Community Creation

community shopify usability

On-site SEO relevance: 4
Usability relevance: 4

Definition

A community is a platform in our online store that allows our customers and potential buyers to interact with each other, discussing, sharing or showing material related to our products.

Basic recommendations

Having a community within our online store has many advantages, but it can have some disadvantages. Let’s check them out:

Advantages:
  • Higher online prestige for our online store, with a higher confidence of our potential buyers, and hence, more conversions and sales.
  • It increases traffic, both from search engines (lots of content created by the users themselves), direct traffic (from the users that regularly participate from our community) and from social networks (since all this content can be shared on social neworks)
  • It’s a good way to collect email addresses for our email marketing strategy.
Disadvantages
  • The most evident disadvantage is the effort required to build and maintain the community.
  • Also, according to the support chosen for it, there are monetary costs for having a community.
Conclusion

To decide betweenhaving or not having a community for our online store, we have to think about the following ideas:

  • If we have enough human and monetary resources for it.
  • The products we sell. Hobbies related to the products are very good for a community.
  • The fact that our audience shares demographic elements will make a community a very good idea.

We have to ponder different elements to decide if a community would be an asset or a constraint for our online store.

Advanced Recommendations

If we decide to have a community, we must take into account a very important aspect of deciding which technological platform we will use for its creation. There are multiple possibilities, but the biggest difference is whether we use apps from the Shopify environment or independent platforms. In our free PDF, we analyze both possibilities.

[cp_modal id=”cp_id_6e998″]Download it for free using this link.[/cp_modal]

Public Registration Data

domain shopify

On-site SEO relevance: 3
Usability relevance: 4

Definition

When we register a domain, there are providers thatoffer us the chance to have our data as owners hidden. Meaning, if someone makes a query of the domain in whois, we won’t have our data published

Recomendation

Always have our data public. Who will buy in an incognito store? The answer is quite evident.

About Us Page

about us shopify usability

On-site SEO relevance: 3
Usability relevance: 5

Definition

The “About us” page is one of the most important things on our site. Even if our store has a great reputation, it still is an essential element in building our customer’s trust.

Recomendation

It’s important to devote time and effort to properly design this page in order to earn credibility and confidence from our users. The more information we can share, the better. Some tips to include:

  • Contact data
  • Our history. Storytelling can help us make an emotional link with our customers.
  • Managing team.
  • Awards and special mentions.
  • Team pictures.
  • Non-governmental organizations and assistance collaborations.
  • Main clients.
  • Press mentions, collaborations…

Terms of Use

law books shopify seo usability

On-site SEO relevance: 3
Usability relevance: 5

Definition

Most countries demand from web owners to have a specific page to make the terms of use clear, mentioning the site owner and all kinds of legal elements, even more so if it’s an online store. This page is completely necessary even in SEO terms.

Basic recommendations

Logically, laws and rules will change according to the country, so we have to search advice from a local expert or a lawyer who will tell us more about the elements needed for our “Terms of Use” page. Speaking in general, these are the elements that we’ll be required to include in our “Terms of Use” page:

  • The legal owner of the site.
  • Contact info.
  • Sales conditions for products
  • Taxes info
  • Return and shipping
  • Payment methods
  • Law jurisdiction
  • Legal disclosure
  • Single sign-in
  • Web using conditions
  • Responsibility limits
  • Third party responsibilities
  • Information protection…

In terms of both, usability and on-site SEO, it’s quite recommended to go on and give more information that the templates (including Shopify’s) demand. This will show professionalism and commitment.

Detailed recommendations

In our free PDF, we show a sample legal notice that is provided by Shopify, and that can serve as a guide to develop our legal notice.

[cp_modal id=”cp_id_6e998″]Download it for free using this link.[/cp_modal]

Privacy Policy Page

monitor shopify seo usability

On-site SEO relevance: 3
Usability relevance: 5

Definition

Our Shopify online store will gather a good number of personal data, from our customers and newsletter subscribers. That’s why we need to be clear in our privacy policy. In fact, it’s a legal demand in several countries.

Basic recommendations

It’s evident that each country has a different law regarding data treatment, so again, we need to ask an expert lawyer for advice. Speaking in general, we need to be clear on:

  • Personal data gathered in our online store
  • Use of said data
  • Third party use of data
  • Rights and obligations for users
  • Data received
  • Security measures

In terms of both, usability and on-site SEO, it’s quite recommended to go on and give more information that the templates (including Shopify’s) demand. This will show professionalism and commitment.

Detailed recommendations

In our free PDF, we show a sample privacy policy provided by Shopify, which can serve as a guide to develop our legal notice.

[cp_modal id=”cp_id_6e998″]Download it for free using this link.[/cp_modal]

Permission to Use Cookies

cookies shopify seo usability

On-site SEO relevance: 2
Usability relevance: 4

Definition

There are many legal rules related to the internet, including European ones that require a public policy about using cookies. Let’s take a look at Wikipedia’s definition:

 

“An HTTP cookie (also called web cookie, Internet cookie, browser cookie or simply cookie) is a small piece of data sent from a website and stored on the user’s computer by the user’s web browser while the user is browsing. Cookies were designed to be a reliable mechanism for websites to remember stateful information (such as items added in the shopping cart in an online store) or to record the user’s browsing activity (including clicking particular buttons, logging in, or recording which pages were visited in the past). They can also be used to remember arbitrary pieces of information that the user previously entered into form fields such as names, addresses, passwords, and credit card numbers.”

Recommendations

If this law applies to our jurisdiction, we have to place a page with our web’s Cookies Policy. Naturally, its content will vary according to the local law rules and specifications, but normally, they require:

  • Cookies types used
  • Reasons to use them
  • Own and third party cookies
  • Instructions to erase them
  • If they are needed for surfing the site

We also need a disclaimer telling our site users that we actually use cookies. For that, there are specific apps. Some of the Shopify ones can be seen and compared on this page:

https://help.shopify.com/themes/customization/store/ask-permission-to-use-cookies

 

Return Policies

refunds shopify seo usability

On-site SEO relevance: 3
Usability relevance: 5

Definition

Most legal regulations demand the online sellers to offer a return guarantee for bought products. That’s why it’s really needed to provide details about this policy.

Recommendations

Create a specific page in our online store with detailed information for our potential customers about our return policy. The starting data for this page will be:

  • The maximum period for having the right to return the product. Evidently, it has to be minimum established by the local laws.
  • Method to accomplish the return.
  • Details and potentialcosts.
  • Terms and conditions for the return to be valid.
  • Replies to frequently asked questions regarding this policy.

Links to “Authority” Sites

authority links shopify seo usability

On-site SEO relevance: 3
Usability relevance: 2

Definition

Linking from our website to “authority” websites with a good ranking are helpful in terms of SEO goals. From the user’s point of view, if we want a blog that actually adds value to their search queries, linking useful resources is a clear improvement of its value.

Recomendation

We will mainly link from our blog to the external resources of interest that add actual value to our readers. If we’re not sure of the value of a resource, we will use the tag “nofollow”.

Free Macro Tutorial of SEO and Usability for Shopify:

The definitive guide to increase visits and sales of your store.

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