Let’s face it. If you want to sustainably grow your Shopify store, you can’t afford to ignore SEO. You might think that SEO takes time before it starts driving results, or that you need to be an expert to implement it. It’s true that it does take time, and there’s a learning curve for sure. But you don’t need to be an expert to handle the SEO basics for your Shopify store’s product pages.
Ranking your product pages in search engines isn’t easy, but if you can achieve it, it’s one of the most cost-effective ways to drive high-converting traffic to your Shopify store because it’s basically like getting free advertising.
So here’s your Beginner’s Guide to Nailing SEO on Your Shopify Store Product Pages. We‘ll cover all the basics you need to know and how the right app, like Plugin SEO, can help you automate SEO so you can focus on growing your sales.
Let’s get started.
Some of the basic checks that will allow you to optimize SEO on your Shopify Product pages are:
- Right keyword/search term
- URL optimization
- Product page title
- H1 tag
- Meta description optimization
- Image optimization
1) Right keyword/search term
A lot of online sales start with a search. To capture a sale from a potential customer’s search, your store needs to show up in their search results.
That means finding the right keywords is at the core of everything that you do:
- Your store’s messaging
- Your product description
- Any other content you produce
So, it’s super important to handle keywords correctly. To do this you’ll want to spend some time really understanding how customers search for products like yours. Keyword research is a big topic in and of itself, so if you need guidance on it, check out Plug in SEO’s ultimate guide to finding keywords that drive more traffic.
2) URL optimization
When optimizing your Shopify store’s product pages for SEO, the first thing you should focus on is the URL of the page.
Here’s what a page URL looks like in search results:
Although an optimized product page URL is a minor ranking factor, having optimized product URLs helps for a number of reasons:
- They’re easier for customers to understand.
- They’re easier for search engines to understand.
- They’re easy to read in case someone posts your product URL on social media (or anywhere else).
- URL-1: https://www.chubbiesshorts.com/products/the-lil-snuggler-kids-zip-up
- URL-2: https://www.chubbiesshorts.com/products/id=139535?
URL-1 is easier to understand and clearly tells people (and search engines) what to expect on the page.
How to optimize your product page URL
- Include your main keyword/search term in the URL
- Ex: ‘kids-zip-up’ as the page is about kid’s hoodies
- Keep it short
- Don’t include unnecessary details such as product code, size, SKU details, etc.
- Include product details such as brand name and color of the product
- Use only lowercase letters
- Use ‘-’ to separate two words. Never use ‘_’ in your product page URLs
3) Product page title
Once you’ve optimized your page URL, the next thing you should focus on is the page title.
Here’s what a page title looks like in search results.
Your page title is a really important search ranking factor. Here’s how you can optimize your Shopify product page title:
- Keep the page title length to 60 characters or less.
- Include your main keyword or search term in the page title.
- If possible, try to have your main keyword or search term at the start of the page title, but don’t force it — page titles should always read naturally to customers.
- Don’t include your brand/company name in the page title. Google does this automatically if your page title is less than 60 characters in length.
Let’s say you’re selling premium/luxury watches on your Shopify store. here’s how you can optimize your product and category pages title:
This is easy enough to do for one product page. But optimizing page titles manually gets cumbersome if you’re selling dozens of products and have more than 20 pages on your Shopify store.
You need a solution that can automate this for you and follow the best practices. This is where Plug in SEO can help.
Plug in SEO provides you with a template so you can set the rules once, and then the app will follow the same rules for all the product/collection/category pages on your Shopify store, which is a huge time saver.
Here’s a peek at how this is done using the Plug in SEO app.
Your H1 tag is the first (and the most important) factor search engines look for on any page.
Here’s how the H1 tag appears on your page.
One of the most common mistakes e-commerce stores make is keeping the H1 tag on the page the same as the title. While it’s not necessarily harmful to do this you’re missing out on an opportunity to enrich your page with related keywords.
Since there’s no character limit, you can use the H1 tag to add a variation of your main keyword and more details about the product.
5) Meta description optimization
Another important SEO ranking factor, the meta description is the brief bit of text you see underneath a listing in search results.
Here’s what it looks like:
How to optimize your product page meta description
- Include your main keyword or a variation in the meta description.
- Ex: “iPhone cases”
- Keep it to 160 characters or less.
- Write with your potential customers in mind. Your meta descriptions should read well and give information on the product they’re looking for.
- Include product attributes and any high-value add-ons you offer, like free shipping, or free returns.
You might also notice in the screenshot above that if your meta description includes the exact term someone searched, Google highlights it, which increases the chances of that person clicking on your listing.
Just like optimizing your page titles, this can get time consuming if you have a big Shopify store with a lot of products.
Plug in SEO can help you can automate this, too, with meta description templates.
6) Image optimization
Images are an crucial component of your content and SEO strategy. Still, a lot of Shopify store owners don’t give them the attention they deserve.
Here are some best practices to optimize images on your Shopify store:
- Don’t use stock images to showcase your products. We repeat: don’t do this!
- Use a proper name for each of your images. It makes it easier for you to manage different images.
- Image-1: img-10046324.
- Image-2: 3-seater-luxury-sofa
- You can see how having a proper name (like the one in Image-2) helps tell you what the image is about without even having to look at it.
- Add ‘Alt text’ for every single image you add to your Shopify store.
- Include your main keyword/search term in the ‘Alt text.’
Here’s an example:
The Shopify dashboard provides you with an easy option to add ‘Alt text’ to each image you upload.
So there you have it. Six basic things you need to nail product page SEO on your Shopify store. Having these six things covered ensures a solid SEO foundation. Once you have these in place, you can shift your focus to advanced SEO activities like link building, schema markup, and more.