Congratulations on your choice of Shopify as your e-commerce platform. Shopify is one of the easiest and most effective e-commerce platforms on the web. One of the reasons store owners appreciate the platform as much as they do can be described in one simple phrase: built-in SEO optimization. If you are not optimizing your Shopify store, your site is probably not reaching its fullest potential.
SEO optimization is the process of using the latest tools and strategies that will put your site at or near the top of search engine listings for specific keywords and phrases. Although SEO is not as important as it was 5 to 10 years ago, it is still important enough for you to pay attention to it. The good news is that Shopify offers built-in support for SEO optimization.
The platform makes it possible for you to maximize your site on-the-fly by addressing:
- meta-tags and descriptions of your pages
- image file names and ALT tags
- sitemaps and robot files
- prevention of duplicate content.
Meta Tags and Page Descriptions
Search engines use meta tags and page descriptions to try to figure out what a particular page is all about. It needs this data because a computer algorithm has no means of viewing a page and interpreting it the way the human brain does. Therefore, you should be using appropriate meta tags and page descriptions that will give search engine algorithms as much help as possible. To do so, we suggest two things:
- Title Tags – Every page you create for your Shopify store should include a page title. You can set this page title when you first create the page or wait until the page is complete. Simply scroll down to the ‘search engines’ portion of the page while in editing mode to create or edit your title. Make sure your title is as descriptive as possible.
- Meta Tags – In the same dialogue box as the title tag, you will also find space to edit meta tags. This is where you actually describe what a given page is all about. Make sure to use your chosen keywords and phrases in the meta-tag description; also make sure the description matches the page title. If they do not match, some search engines might reject both of them.
Shopify gives you the opportunity to assign file names and ALT tags to every image you use on your site. Once again, use the opportunity to take advantage of your keywords and phrases. For example, rather than naming an image file shoe_1.jpg, a retailer should be a lot more descriptive. A more effective file name would be something like brown_leather_oxford_mens.jpg. A similar phrase could be used in the ALT tag (without the underscores, of course).
Lastly, you do not have to worry about manually creating a site map and robots.txt file for your Shopify site. The latest version of the platform handles that automatically. To verify yours is being generated, just direct your browser to www.yoursite.com/sitemap.xml.