WHAT IS SEO, WHY IS IT IMPORTANT & HOW DO I DO IT?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. But what does that mean? And why do people keep emailing you about cheap SEO services? Is it something you need to be doing?
Search engines (like Google, Bing and Yahoo) save and list every website on the internet. This is called indexing. They do this because it helps them to categorise and suggest relevant websites.
Google wouldn’t be very useful if you searched “how to make chicken soup” and it gave you results for “how to build your own treehouse”. You’d never find get information you want.
This is why it’s really important to consider the SEO of your website. You want people who are interested in your product or service, to be able to find your website.
What can I optimise on my website?
I’m going to show you how and where to optimise your Shopify store. You can do this within several different areas: the product page, info page, home page, as well as the HTML of your theme.
Your Product Page
If you select one of your products to edit, you’ll see this at the bottom of the page. Most people miss this little area or don’t understand how to use it. Click on ‘Edit website SEO’.
After you click on it, the section will open up to allow you to edit three different fields.
1. Page title
Shopify automatically places your product title as the page title. It’s handy if you have clear product titles, but not if you have a product like my one. ‘60-12’ isn’t going to mean anything to someone looking for blue jeans on the internet.
The only person who it would suit is a diehard fan who loves the 60-12 styled jeans and buys from my store regularly.
You’ll want to have your page title clearly describe your product. Not sure what to write? Read our blog post on how to write titles.
Note that the page title has a limit of 70 characters.
2. Meta description
Shopify automatically draws your description into the meta description, like it does for the title. While my description isn’t too bad, there are a lot of things I’d like to change.
You’ll want this area to be clear and concise. It’s what will draw people into your website. To make this description easier to read, I’d rewrite all the capital letters properly. I’d also make sure that my description is the right length and doesn’t get cut off.
Keep it detailed as much as you can in as few words as possible. You’ve got 160 characters to use to tell your potential customer about your product, so don’t give them irrelevant details.
3. Page URL
Search engines like Google also include the URL in the search. I highly doubt many people will be searching ‘60-12’ while looking for jeans. Which means I’m wasting a valuable opportunity to appear in results.
If your product title is crisp and clear, you can copy & paste this into your page URL.
Alt text is designed to help describe the images for those who use a reader to access the internet. So you’ll want to describe your image as much as you can. Alt text also allows your images to show in relevant image searches.
I highly recommend using the Shopify app SEO Image Optimizer to take care of all your alt tags in a couple of clicks! What's even better is that it's free.
To do it yourself, go in to edit one of your products. Then hover over one of your images, you’ll see the ‘Edit alt text’ when you hover over the ‘ALT’. Click on that. Then add a detailed description about your product.
Will it get me to the top of Google?
Good SEO practices may see you rank higher for certain keywords, but it’s no guarantee. So be wary of those who tell you their cheap SEO package will get you to #1 on Google.
SEO does not involve posting your website link on thousands of other websites. This is typically done in order to have your website rank higher in search engine results. This practice is known as ‘black hat’. Google will punish your website for didgy practice, so it’s best to stay away from anyone who's offering to do this for you.
SEO FOR SHOPIFY CHecklist
- SEO is important because it helps search engines to categorise your website
- You can optimise your Shopify store via the homepage, product page, and info pages
- On your product page you'll want to edit the Page/Meta Title, Meta Description, and Page URL
- Alt text is designed for visually impaired users, so describe your images well
- Use Alt text to help your images show in searches
- SEO won't guarantee you the top position in searches, but it will help