Daily Archives: January 12, 2022

People of Seer: Meet Ali Wilson | Seer Interactive

By | January 12, 2022


Welcome back to People of Seer: Philly Edition! In this series, you’ll get to meet our team and learn about what makes them the best around (in our humble opinion).

đź’ˇ Ali Wilson, Paid Media Lead, Yogi and Fantastic Parent


How would you describe what you do for your job? What’s a day-in-the-life look like?

As a Paid Media Lead, I would describe my role as the glue between the Seer account teams and the clients that we work with.

I help guide data-backed strategies for our clients while helping account teams implement strategies and perform analyses. I also work with Account Managers and Associates to help them level up to become better analysts and strategists.

You were also a Paid Media Manager for about four years before becoming a Paid Media Lead. Can you tell us a bit about what that role entails?

The Paid Media Manager role at Seer is responsible for driving strategy for their clients. But it’s a lot of other things too. 

It’s working with team members who are still learning, which is exciting because you get coaching opportunities. It’s working cross-functionally with other teams like SEO, Analytics and Creative to make sure that we are not working in silos. And it’s also your own personal professional development – whether that is practicing people management by coaching associate team members, or becoming more of a cross-channel practitioner – learning more about Market Intelligence, Analytics, SEO or Creative.

With the Paid Media Manager role specifically, I felt like I always had a consistent challenge.

I wasn’t doing the same thing for more than a few months at a time because different things could change. My clients could change priorities, the people I work with could change, sometimes we would be adding more services to certain accounts.

I loved that as a Paid Media Manager there was always something new to be done.

Where do you live? What should we not miss in your city if we come to visit?

I live in Philly. The food is absolutely incredible. It’s probably the easiest place in the US to eat vegan, and to eat truly exceptional vegan food. 

You also should not miss my Guinness – stop by and meet him! He used to be a staple at the Philly office, joining me nearly every day when we were in-person. He is a pitbull/beagle/Jack Russell terrier mix. He is the most loving, snuggly I’ve ever met.

What aspects of your Seer career that aren’t part of your job description do you find special?

I’m so appreciative of the trust that leadership has in all team members. I’ve been trusted to fail, to challenge existing processes, and to take unlimited PTO. 

The unlimited PTO policy has enabled me to take some amazing trips and be present for important moments in my family’s and friends’ lives without a second thought the past 7 years, like graduations, weddings, births, and holidays.

I’m so grateful to be trusted with that and I’m really looking forward to taking advantage of this benefit when I take time off for my wedding and honeymoon in September 2022.

Now that we are a remote-first company – what are your favorite ways to get to know other team members?

I generally prefer 1:1 environments, so I **** participating in Coffee Roulette.

Seer set this up for the whole company to opt into right when we all started working remotely. Each week, you’re paired up for a (virtual) coffee chat with someone random. 

For me, it’s a really easy way to connect with someone every week without the pressure of figuring out who to reach out to. 

It’s been so nice getting to chat with new folks, people I haven’t crossed paths with in a while, and even getting the same person twice.

Who is someone in your life who inspires you and why?

My grandmother, Elsie! She’s a kickass lady who always puts family and fun first. She is always busy and having a great time – a weekend visit with her always requires advance planning. Even though I’m well into adulthood, she still spoils me like she did when I was a kid!

How would you describe what it is like working at Seer?

The culture is challenging, fast-paced, and supportive. You’ll learn a lot, really quickly. 

We have plenty of resources to help people onboard and grow, but Seer is really flexible when it comes to personal professional development – you’re encouraged to explore what you want to explore, whether it’s in your job description or not. 

We’re also not afraid of failure (something, honestly, I’m still getting used to 7 years in!), as long as you learn something from it and improve next time. It sounds exaggerated but it’s not – everyone here, in every role, is invested in your success. 

Also, access to leadership at Seer is amazing. I have had professional relationships with every executive at Seer, and usually get 1:1 time with each of them at least once per year. I hear a lot from folks who have worked elsewhere that our culture is really unique, and I feel so fortunate that I’ve been able to spend my entire career in this environment.

What are some of your favorite things to do outside of work?

I **** doing yoga! I **** the benefits to my mind and body. My mantra is “do something every day” – even if I don’t have much time, even if I don’t feel like it, I try to squeeze in at least 10 minutes. I’m always happier than I was before practicing!

I also **** seeing live music. I really miss going to concerts and am really looking forward to more in the future. Some of my favorite artists (especially to see live) are Miniature Tigers, Say Anything, Kishi Bashi, and Ben Folds. I’m a huge fan of emo music – I’m getting married in 2022 and my fiance and I are planning an emo after party.

And I **** spending time with my , Guinness. We like to go for walks and snuggle on the couch.

If I asked for your favorite Seer memories, what are some memories that come to mind?

All the get togethers we used to have at the offices – Winter Holiday Parties, Halloween Parties, Employee Appreciation Day, the Frat Party we had once…

I **** having the opportunity to connect with my coworkers in a more relaxed, non-work setting, and getting to know them as people (spoiler: they’re all amazing people).

 


Check out the data only we can give you on what make Seer a great place to work (in addition to Ali, of course!).

đź’ˇ Roles from entry level to industry veterans available in Philadelphia, San Diego, or Remote:

LEARN MORE ABOUT SEER CAREERS

 



Source link

Local Link Building 101: Best Practices and Strategies for Success

By | January 12, 2022


Google My Business (now known as Google Business Profile) and other online business listings are essential aspects of your local SEO strategy – but they’re not the only game in town.

Although the MapPack results are prominent when Google perceives local intent behind the query (especially on mobile), you can’t ignore those traditional ten blue links. Links are still an important ranking factor in Google’s organic search results. That makes having a link building strategy for your brand a must.

In this article, you’ll learn up-to-**** local link building tactics and best practices to help increase your local search visibility and give you a boost in the rankings via high-quality backlinks from local sources. But first, let’s define what a local link and link building is.

What is a Local Link?

Local links point from one site to another and serve as an endorsement for the piece of content they’re linking to. Google uses inbound links as a trust signal in its search ranking algorithm.

In simple terms, local links are different from regular links because they link to local sources, usually from specific towns or cities. When a user is looking for a particular business, organic search results will populate from that specific area (in addition to Map Pack results).

What Are Examples of Local Link Building?

For example, if someone searches for “San Diego Dentists,” Google algorithms will rely on trust and other signals to help rank the results. Local links help Google understand which web pages are most trustworthy and therefore the best answer for that person searching for a dentist in San Diego.

Local links come from individuals, businesses, and organizations of all kinds in a local community – service groups, small businesses, sports teams, schools, religious groups, news media, and much more.

While it’s valuable to gather links within your specific industry, it’s even more important to get links in your business’s geographical location and within the communities where your customers are, especially for small businesses. This is why local links are paramount to marketing a local business.

What is Local Link Building?

Local link building efforts are an essential part of any local SEO strategy. You want to get locally relevant links to help Google and others understand that you are a part of the local community.

This practice of soliciting and encouraging local links uses a variety of tactics. Local link building targets the relevant audience that will return customers from your community. It’s also a great way to connect your business to your local community while increasing brand awareness and acquiring new customers.

Additionally, building links will help you build presence and authority for your brand in your industry. It might seem overwhelming at first to figure out all the ways to get links back to your local business, so we’ll outline different ideas and tips to begin your local link building journey.

example of a local link

Example of a local link for Petco on a local news page

Tips for Creating a Successful Local Link Building Campaign

Below, we will share tips for creating a successful link building campaign and different avenues to consider.

Enter Your Business in Local Awards

Check the local newspaper and community websites for upcoming award competitions and enter the ones that are best suited to promote your business.

Join Local Business and Industry Associations

Search online and find relevant local business and industry associations, such as the Chamber of Commerce, to collaborate on content or promotions.

Partner With Complementary Businesses

For example, if you’re a local pet supply store, you might choose to offer a packaged gift set for the holidays to customers of local vets in the area. In turn, you might display the vet’s contact cards at the registers in your store. You’ll gain exposure to one another’s audiences through this cross-promotion.

Find Opportunities to Appear on Local Resource Pages

This can be a valuable opportunity for some industries. For example, it makes sense for a realtor to have a page of recommended contractors, home inspectors, and mortgage lenders. Do your research, see who has resource pages, and then reach out and see if they’d add you.

Search For Online Mentions

Find places people are already talking about your company or brand and ask them to link your business. Some sites may have misspelled your business or quoted it but haven’t linked it yet.

Sponsor Teams & Events

Many teams and events link to their sponsors, which is a great way not just to get a link but build brand awareness and loyalty in the community.

Create an E-book

While this may seem time-consuming at first, you likely have enough content and information to fill an e-book. In addition to using this content asset to get others to link to your site, you’re also building brand authority and generating customer leads.

Leverage Facebook Ads

Facebook Ads can be a great way to promote the products or services you offer while building a social media presence to attract links to your site. Facebook analytics and tools can help you market with targeted Facebook Ads to your audience.

Local Discounts

You can get links back to your website by creating discount campaigns on your products or services based on your community’s needed. Wherever associations and organizations offer discounts, try to add your business as a contributor.

Local Events

Find local events within your community and see if you can set up a booth. You can also host your own event altogether. You can get links back to your website by promoting your event or adding the ones on the content after the event.

Find Local Blogs and Websites

Whether you’re guest posting on a blog or providing an interview about important people in your community for a local news site, your community sites need content. You can insert relevant embedded links into your content that link back to your website.

Community event local link example

Example of a local link for Dunkin’ for a community event

Local Link Building Best Practices

While local link building may seem time-consuming at first, there is a significant return on investment when done correctly. With this in mind, here are best practices that will help improve any local link building strategy.

Understand Your Inbound Link Profile

One helpful tool is Google Search Console, where you can see your link history and evaluate which ones are most beneficial for your local market and which ones aren’t as helpful. After reviewing your backlink profile, you can refocus on the links that provide the best marketing insight and have the most relevance for your customers. This tool will give you insight into where you should focus your link building and give you an opportunity to evaluate the quality of your current local links.

Disavow Links Only When Necessary

Google offers its Disavow Tool as a way to let the search engine know when you do not want your website associated with an incoming link. When the tool first launched, there was a flurry of activity as SEO experts raced to disavow spammy links and those from websites with lower Domain Authority.

However, the best practice today is to only disavow links when there is a solid indication that the links in question are harming your SEO. If Google believes you may have purchased links, for example, you may end up on the receiving end of a manual penalty. In that case, you would certainly want to disavow any links that may have led to that misperception of your website.

Other than those limited cases, Google is likely to simply ignore links it doesn’t believe add value to its ranking decisions. Disavowing links is then a waste of your time.

Avoid Spammy Link Building Practices

It’s crucial to avoid reciprocal linking, buying links, and other types of link manipulation that Google can sniff out. Instead, local link building should always focus on the value you can offer another site’s audience.

It’s also valuable to see where your competitors are linked and what type of content is performing well. You can gain valuable information on your community and what they are looking for based on competitors’ links. You can see where you and your competitors sit on the search engine results page to assess how many local links you need and focus on getting links from sites that are ranking higher.

Research Linking Opportunities in the Same Way Real People Search

Another simple opportunity is to go into the Google search bar and add your location and the type of content you are looking to create. For example, you can enter “Scranton + blogs” to see the opportunities in your area. This will give you a list of results to reach out to and see if they are interested in collaborations such as blog exchanges or promotions or if you can guest post on their blog.

Suppose you’re thinking about utilizing blogs in your marketing campaign. In that case, it’s essential to consider topics related to what your target market might be interested in or answer questions they may have about a service or product and answer that within your blog.

Local link building supports all of your other SEO efforts, enabling you to rank on Google naturally and in a sustainable way over time. What’s more, it provides you an opportunity to better connect with your local community while getting in front of prospective customers in various places.

Local link building could be that missing link to take your business to the next level and have your business listings rank higher in search. Following the aforementioned tips will help you to get started incorporating local link building into your marketing strategy and start driving more qualified, localized traffic.

As always, if your business needs support getting your local link building efforts off the ground, Rio SEO is here to help.



Source link

Yoast SEO 17.9 adds keyphrase performance tracking

By | January 12, 2022


Yoast SEO added keyword phrase performance tracking to Yoast SEO 17.9, in partnership Wincher, the company announced. This lets those who use Yoast SEO to better understanding of how your posts are ranking over time in Google Search.

Wincher tool. The Wincher SEO tool is a tool that helps you track your keywords and positions over time. Here is what it looks like when you activate it in Yoast SEO:

Free and paid. This integration works with both Yoast SEO free and Yoast SEO Premium versions. The free version lets you track up to a total of 5 keywords for your entire site while the premium Wincher account lets you track up to 500 to 10,000 keywords depending on the plan you are on.

More details. To learn more about how to use the Wincher SEO tool in Yoast SEO, see this help document.

Why we care. Yoast SEO is a very popular add on for WordPress sites and this integration may be something SEOs want to turn on to track keyword performance over time. It is probably worth exploring adding for some of your client sites as well.

Yoast said “this integration gives you a better understanding of how your most important posts are ranking over time and can give you the right tools to climb to that #1 position.” I don’t know if it will help you climb to that number one spot, but it can show you if you do or how much further you have to go to hit that position.


New on Search Engine Land

About The Author

Barry Schwartz a Contributing Editor to Search Engine Land and a member of the programming team for SMX events. He owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry’s personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here.



Source link : Searchengineland.com

How to write great product descriptions in Shopify

By | January 12, 2022


How you describe your product can make or break a sale. A unique product description gives you a chance to stand out from all those stores that use the descriptions provided by the manufacturer. It helps build trust with the audience, taking away any reservations about the product or your Shopify store. Find out how to write excellent product descriptions in Shopify.


Coming soon: Yoast SEO for Shopify!

Up until now, Yoast WooCommerce SEO was the only ecommerce SEO plugin we offered. But that’s about to change. On January 18th, we’re releasing our new Yoast SEO for Shopify app! So now you can enjoy the benefits of Yoast SEO on your Shopify store too. Read more about it in our official announcement, or take a look at the Yoast SEO for Shopify product page to see what’s coming.

Why you should put the effort into your product descriptions

Sometimes, you encounter product descriptions on Shopify that don’t make sense. These are simple lists of a few features of the product or just seemingly random words that don’t correctly describe the product.

For instance, try to make your way through this description we found online:

product descriptions shopify
Part of the product description of RAM memory aimed at gamers

Say what now?

Simply listing a product’s specifications or going in hyperbole mode describing it as the best thing ever, doesn’t allow the customer to form a connection with the product. You have to list the benefits of a product and what problems it solves for the consumer. Great product descriptions are an essential part of Shopify SEO.

Write for humans so machines can understand

Writing a good product description helps people discover if that product is meant for them while also making sure that search engines understand what that product is all about to rank it for the relevant terms.

When you can’t read up on the product, you are less likely to buy it from that particular store. People use a combination of factors to determine what to buy and where to do that. With an accurate product description, you remove barriers, and you’ll offer consumers a much better shopping experience.

Besides that, you can use your style of product descriptions to give your store or products a certain charm. Developing a distinct tone of voice can help you stand out from the crowd. Of course, your style has to fit your brand, or it will be off-putting for customers.

Things to look out for when writing product descriptions

It sounds like a no-brainer, but your product description should tell your customer all they need to know about the product. But, it shouldn’t be filled with too much fluff, as that can be off-putting. They are looking for a solution to their problem and often need it quickly. Plus, you want to get the customer to convert as soon as possible, right?

While writing your product descriptions, you should avoid using words that only have meaning for people familiar with the product — in other words, jargon and techspeak. And, it shouldn’t be just about how fantastic you are. You are offering a solution, so talk about that in words that make sense and keep away from hyperbole — language that describes something as better or worse than it really is, says the Merriam-Webster dictionary. Of course, if you or your products have won accolades, feel free to mention these.

Your product descriptions should be easy to read and easy to scan. It helps to add bulleted lists to break down long paragraphs into easily digestible chunks. In our content analysis in Yoast SEO for Shopify, we added a check for this, to help remind you to add lists while writing your product descriptions in Shopify.

Don’t forget to think about SEO while writing your product descriptions, but don’t make everything for Google. You are writing for people, not for machines. Focus on their behavior and actions.

Also, we have more tips on how to improve your product descriptions and how to improve the SEO of your product pages in Shopify.

Examples of great product descriptions in Shopify

We want to present some exciting product descriptions we found. Now, in no way do we pretend that these have proven to be successful — we think these are some great examples of descriptions that stand out. We can’t see the numbers of any given Shopify store, so we can’t be sure what “success” means, so take it with a grain of salt. Use them for inspiration!

Example 1: Taylor Stitch

product descriptions shopify
Taylor Stitch uses a great design and unique pieces of content to sell their products

All you need and more from this product description by Taylor Stitch. It gives you a great sense of the uniqueness of the product — and the company that made these. What’s more, they found a very telling way to describe the heaviness yet tenderness of this particular product. That’s hard to pull off well!

Example 2: Colourpop

Colourpop is fun so it should be fun!

Colourpop is a trendy Shopify store selling makeup and skincare products. The people running the store are very good at giving its products a certain charm. Not only do they adequately describe their products and their advantages, but they also use a great structure to make it easy to scan and read. They don’t even have to use too much hyperbole to get their message across.

Example 3: Holstee

Holstee uses a short and sweet description while going in-depth further down the page

For some products, it makes sense to break up the product descriptions into a short introductory one and a longer one further down the page. This is what Holstee does on its Shopify store. The paragraph above gives you a good sense of what this product is about, what it does, and how you can use it. Please scroll down on the page to see a lot more background about how the product came to be, how to best use it, and a lot more. If you add more relevant content to your product descriptions, you might have a bigger chance of ranking for those.

Example 4: Decathlon

Decathlon combines easy to read content with enlightening icons

While not the most extended text in the history of product descriptions, Decathlon makes excellent use of supporting icons and text to make descriptions scannable and insightful. It gives a good idea of who made this product, for which audience to use under which circumstances. Customers can decide instantly if this is the product that warrants further investigation or if they should move on to the next one.

Example 5: Caseology

An example of product content on Caseology

One of the most powerful tools in your writing kit is the bulleted list. Especially for product pages, adding a good list makes it much easier for the customer to scan its most essential features. In this example, Caseology provides consumers with a good feel for the product. The list answers most questions, while the paragraph below describes why this product stands out from all the others. Yoast SEO for Shopify reminds you to add lists.

How Yoast SEO for Shopify helps you write better product descriptions

We built the Yoast SEO for Shopify app to help you get more out of your online store. Not only does it make SEO more straightforward, but it also enables you to write better content that will help you make more money. For this, we added the SEO analysis and readability analysis to the app. What’s more, we tailored these to work with Shopify and product-related content properly.

The readability analysis in Yoast SEO for Shopify

The readability analysis in the Yoast SEO for Shopify app is about making sure that your product descriptions are easy to read. It keeps an eye on the length of the paragraphs, as long walls of text don’t work for anybody—short and sweet help. The same goes for your sentences. People don’t connect with long and winding sentences — they zone out and wonder what they just read.

The readability analysis also checks your text for the use of too much passive voice. Passive voice makes your text hard to read and distant. It is better to write in an active voice. We already mentioned the list check that will suggest adding a list to your product description as these can work wonders. Do try it out!

The Yoast SEO app in Shopify
An overview of the content editor in Yoast SEO for Shopify

The SEO analysis in Yoast SEO for Shopify

The readability analysis in Yoast SEO for Shopify helps make your content rank well in the search engines. It checks if you’ve used enough text in your product description and whether you’ve used your focus keyphrase — your product title — in all the right places, from the title to image alt text and the meta description to the slug of the URL.

The SEO analysis also checks if you’ve added enough images and if these images have enough metadata so search engines can understand them. The SEO analysis does a lot more, and we encourage you to read up on what Yoast SEO for Shopify can do for your online store.

Automatically generating product descriptions in Shopify

There are a lot of developments around artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing and using these technologies to generate content for your pages automatically. While this technology has come leaps and bounds over the past year, it is not advisable to automatically create the product descriptions in your Shopify store. We understand that it is hard work to write all those pieces of text, but it is still the most valuable option.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t use these AI copywriters — they can be a great help and can kickstart your writing process. At the moment, they are not good enough to write everything by themselves without a little human help. In addition, Google is still not keen on content that an AI writes, although that might change shortly.

Product description behind a tab in Shopify

In online stores, it’s a widespread practice to save some room and put descriptions and specifications behind a tab. Doing so cleans up the interface and might make room for some meatier pieces of content as product descriptions. There is some risk to this, though. While Google said text in tabs is fine, a messy implementation might make it harder for them to read it.

What’s more, product descriptions in a tab might influence your conversion rates. Properly test the different variants. You have to see which one works best. Also, pay special attention to your performance on mobile devices as this might differ from desktop.

Have you tried the Yoast SEO for Shopify app?

Building awesome product pages and writing great descriptions will become easier with Yoast SEO for Shopify. This app will give you everything you need to write about your products in a way that both your customers and Google will enjoy. Be sure to try it out!



Source link : Yoast.com

Shopify SEO: the ultimate guide

By | January 12, 2022


In just a couple of years, Shopify has become the leading online shopping platform. It has become something of an anti-Amazon, helping small and large retailers worldwide run successful online stores with minimal effort. Although Shopify makes everything easy, there’s a lot you can do to improve the SEO of your online shop. In this Shopify SEO ultimate guide, we’ll help you on the right track. In addition, we’ll also tell you what the best SEO app for Shopify is!


Coming soon: Yoast SEO for Shopify!

Up until now, Yoast WooCommerce SEO was the only ecommerce SEO plugin we offered. But that’s about to change. On January 18th, we’re releasing our new Yoast SEO for Shopify app! So now you can enjoy the benefits of Yoast SEO on your Shopify store too. Read more about it in our official announcement, or take a look at the Yoast SEO for Shopify product page to see what’s coming.

Introduction

Since the early days of Amazon, ecommerce has been building up a storm. Every year, more and more people start to see the value of online shopping. Every day, new online stores and online shopping solutions popped up. In 2020, we noticed that storm become a tornado, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic — suddenly, everyone was forced to buy online. And that trend is not dying down any time soon. These changes in buying behavior are permanent for many people.

Just look at this chart from McKinsey, which shows the jump in ecommerce penetration quite starkly:

Ecommerce is quickly getting hold of the US shopping industry

One of the most apparent successes in the meteoric rise in online shopping is Shopify. And with the following SEO tips for Shopify, you can benefit from that rise as well.

What is Shopify?

Shopify is an online tool that helps you build and maintain an online store with ease. It is a managed platform, meaning that the software is hosted on their servers, so you won’t need separate hosting. Shopify will take care of all of this for you. You simply take out a subscription to use it to build your online shop. Currently, Shopify has several plans:

  • The Basic Shopify plan starts at $29 per month.
  • The Shopify plan is $79.
  • While and the Advanced Shopify plan is $299.
  • In addition, there’s also the enterprise-grade Shopify Plus plan.

The differences between the plans mainly consist of having more options or different discounts on various costs. For instance, you’ll get better shipping rates and lower payment costs. You can find the biggest difference in the selling internationally section: only the higher plans will let you set up an international domain and let you set up specific pricing for these countries. Also, the basic plan does not come with reporting options.

Get your store online in no time with Shopify and follow the SEO tips in this ultimate guide to get started

What is Shopify SEO?

While Shopify helps you set up everything correctly from the start, there are some things to be mindful of when thinking about SEO. As with all content management systems, you need to optimize your store to ensure it performs well for customers and search engines alike.

With Shopify SEO, you’re building a store that is technically sound and one that is tuned to what potential customers are looking for. You will use Shopify SEO in such a way that you build a much better solution than what your competitors are doing. You use research to find out what customers need, and you use the power of high-quality content to draw people in. The Shopify SEO tips also have to do with what you do to market your store in other places — both online and offline. At Yoast, we practice holistic SEO and we advise you to do the same — it’s the only way to get sustainable results.


Shopify SEO tips in a handy checklist

This is a pretty epic Shopify SEO article, and we can imagine it is hard to keep track of all the great tips. Luckily, we put all the main points in a handy little Shopify SEO checklist. Download the pdf and get started on the SEO of your Shopify store!

Does Shopify have good SEO?

Shopify makes sure that you set up your store quickly and customers and search engines can reach it. Shopify already has some basic SEO features and you can use SEO apps such as Yoast SEO for Shopify for a lot of the other tasks. Of course, this being a closed platform, the control you have over SEO is limited to what the developers of Shopify allow.

For instance, you have to use the built-in URL structure and a system to manage your products in so-called collections, but these can be sub-optimal and might cause duplicate content issues. In the rest of this guide, we will go through the SEO basics you need to have covered and how Shopify and Yoast SEO for Shopify can help you.

What are the biggest SEO issues with Shopify?

Shopify is one of the best ecommerce platforms out there. It does most things reasonably well, and with a bit of finetuning and care, it’s a solid platform to build your online store on.

Most issues with Shopify arise from its handling of different products and their variants. Shopify products can live in multiple places/URLs in your online store, and that can confuse search engines. Luckily, Shopify adds canonical URLs to signal to search engines that the one in the /products/ section is the canonical one. Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do about this but be aware of the limitations.

Another thing people have an issue with is Shopify’s rigid URL structure. It uses a system based on subfolders, and that makes for unnecessary long URLs. For instance, you can find the contact page on a regular site on example.com/contact/, but on a Shopify store, that’s always example.com/pages/contact. Unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do about this.

Shopify is listening to its community and has begun to roll out several improvements that make it even more attractive as an ecommerce platform. Let’s hope they will keep their focus and help you get the best results with your store. In the meantime, Shopify SEO apps like Yoast SEO for Shopify and the tips in ultimate guides like the one you are reading now help alleviate the various issues.

What is the best SEO app for Shopify?

Shopify is extendable, and you can choose from a broad selection of apps that help you improve your store. There are apps to help with shipping your products, designing your store, and offering customer services. Too many to choose from! Of course, there are also some SEO apps to take note of.

Some apps help you optimize images, others help with Schema structured data, and there are all-in-one SEO suites. The best one? We’re a bit biased, but we think Yoast SEO for Shopify is the one that stands out from the competition.

Yoast SEO for Shopify: Your Shopify SEO expert — coming January 18, 2022!

WordPress fans have enjoyed using Yoast SEO for more than a decade — it’s the most popular SEO plugin for a reason! Yoast SEO is for SEO experts by SEO experts. But we didn’t make it for experts only. We’ve made SEO accessible for all so that everyone working with WordPress can use Yoast SEO and get a fair chance in the search results. Over 12 million websites trust Yoast SEO. Now, Yoast SEO comes to Shopify – ready to help shop owners get more out of their stores.

Yoast SEO for Shopify not only helps store owners improve their site in a technical sense, but it also comes with an advanced SEO and readability analysis. The app will help you enhance your product page descriptions by suggesting improvements to make. These suggestions help you make the best product descriptions.

In addition, these analyses also work on your Shopify blog. Content marketing plays a massive role in getting your store noticed on Google. The Yoast SEO for Shopify app helps you write high-quality, readable content that strikes a chord with potential customers.

Of course, that’s not all the SEO app does. Be sure to check out the product page for Yoast SEO for Shopify to find out more.

screenshotscreen shot of the product analysis in Yoast SEO for Shopify
Yoast SEO for Shopify gives you feedback on your product pages that help you to improve them

SEO basics for Shopify

Shopify is a great platform to host your online shop on, but there’s a lot you can do to make it perform even better. SEO can help you get your store noticed on Google and other platforms while making it more attractive for potential customers. In this ultimate guide to Shopify SEO, we’ll go over everything you need to know to make your ecommerce site successful!

Define who you are and what you stand for

To kick things off, we need you to think about who you are. Why does your business exist, and why do you need people to visit your store and buy your products? What makes you stand out from the competition? If everyone sells the same products, what would be your number one reason for people to come to you?

Define a mission for your store. A mission is an effective way of getting into words what you have in your head. It provides a line that you can connect to your values and principles. You can use your mission as input for the SEO and marketing strategy for your online store. We have a post explaining exactly what you need to do to define a good mission and what to do with it.

Start with keyword research for your store

SEO for your Shopify store must start with keyword research. Keyword research is the process you undertake to produce a list of terms you want your products, services, or store to be found for. Doing keyword research will give you insights into your audience, which words they use, with solutions they prefer, and how they behave. Do it well, and you get to fill in your SEO strategy for your Shopify site instantly.

There are various tools out there that can help you get those insights quickly. You could use Google Trends, Answer the Public, or more professional tools like Ahrefs and Semrush. Do thorough research and find out which terms are used most often. Find out what people usually search for, and which phrases have search volume that you might aim for. Keep in mind that trying to aim for the most popular head terms only might not make the most sense — try to aim for more long-tail keywords that still attract traffic.

You should also look at the different search intents around your products or services. No one is going from not needing something to buying it in the next second. The buyer journey goes through a whole number of steps. You need to provide content for those steps.

Look at what the competition is doing

When doing keyword research, you also need to see what your competition is doing. There are a ton of competitors operating in every niche you can imagine. Whenever you are looking at entering a market — or growing your piece of the pie — you need to look at the competition. Who are they? What do they stand for? What’s their offering? Their prices? Service? How do they talk about the product? Who are they targeting and by which terms do they do that?

Looking at your competitors gives you an idea of who to beat. You might find a weakness in their store or strategy that you might make use of. Or, you can find something that gives you the inspiration to work from. Take an extra careful look at their content; are they writing thoroughly and with expertise about the product? Is that something you can improve on?

Write unique and high-quality product descriptions

Together with product photography, product descriptions are the life and blood of your online store. With good product descriptions, customers can get a good feel for a product without having it in hand. The problem is many online shops count on the descriptions manufacturers supply to stores. You can probably guess what that means; the same descriptions litter the web, causing duplicate content issues.

Writing your product descriptions can help you establish trust with the consumer. Having your content in your own words makes you more unique and lets you stand out from the crowd. Do a bit of keyword research for the products to find out which terms your consumers use. Use those terms in your descriptions and craft a compelling piece of content from that. Incorporate the details from the manufacturer, like SKU and product titles, but don’t rely on their descriptions.

Always try to describe your products as a solution to a problem the consumer might have. We have more tips on how to improve your product descriptions in your online store in general, plus we have an article on how to do that, specifically in Shopify.

Helping you improve your product descriptions is one of the standout features of Yoast SEO for Shopify. The app gives you suggestions while writing your descriptions and helps you improve both readability and SEO.

Write great titles and meta descriptions

Just as your product descriptions should be excellent, your titles and meta descriptions should be epic as well. The title and meta descriptions are essential aspects you can focus on to improve Shopify SEO. Use your keywords tactically and make sure to write something enticing those consumers will want to click.

Shopify automatically generates titles and meta descriptions for you based on a straightforward template. You can edit your products’ titles and meta descriptions, blog posts, pages, collections, and general site settings. Simply go to a specific page and open the search engine listing preview in Shopify. Here, you can add a title and meta description for the search results pages. These differ from the regular title and descriptions, as these are specifically meant for the search results. So, you might have a certain title visible on your store and choose something else to show in the search results pages.

Quickly edit the information that will show up in the search results pages

You can edit these in Shopify, but Yoast SEO for Shopify makes this process a lot easier. This SEO app comes with the incredible power of variables. Thanks to variables, you can automatically generate part of the title and the meta description based on your settings. Of course, it’s always better to write both yourself but this allows you to automate some parts of it. Which can be helpful when you have lots of products.

How to create SEO-friendly URLs in Shopify

SEO-friendly URLs are URLs that are easy to read, relatively short, and consistent. Unfortunately, Shopify is somewhat inflexible, and there isn’t much wiggle room to improve your URL structure. If you sell ugly Christmas sweaters, your Shopify collection URL looks like this:

https://example.com/collections/ugly-christmas-sweaters

The only thing you can change in this setup is the last part. Many people feel that there should be a way to have Shopify give more control over the rest.

Fix your site structure with internal linking and proper navigation

One of the most impactful things you can do to improve your Shopify SEO is to fine-tune your site structure and navigation. The more logical your site is, the better and easier customers and search engines like Google can navigate it and find what they need.

Your site structure should follow a logical path, and your collection system in Shopify should make sense. Keep it simple. You can see collections as categories, so use the collections to keep customers from having trouble understanding your site. It’s also nice if they don’t have to wade through a million products to find what they need. Make sure to give the collection overview pages the **** they need as well. At the least, give these a proper description.

Internal linking helps you give the most critical pages proper weight. By linking to your product pages from various parts of your online shop, you signal to search engines that these are important. With proper anchor texts, you can identify the destination and tell search engines in words what to expect from that link. All of this helps search engines understand your site.

For your navigation, you should keep it as straightforward as possible. Use recognizable terms and destinations as your menu should describe where a click would lead. Contact us says a lot more than Touch base!, right?

Your most important pages should appear in your navigation. While the age-old three-click rule for navigating to all the pages on your site was debunked quite a while ago, there’s still a lot to be said for keeping everything within reach. Your most important pages should be accessible without digging for them.

Make products findable with an XML sitemap

XML sitemaps are like a map detailing all the routes to the different parts of your website. Search engines use sitemaps to discover new and updated content. This also goes for your online shop. Shopify will automatically generate an XML sitemap based on your site structure. In your Shopify XML sitemap, you’ll find product pages, collections, blog posts, and pages.

You can find your sitemap at the following URL, with example.com being your domain, of course:

https://example.com/sitemap.xml

There’s a set limit for XML sitemaps of 50.000 URLs. As many sites have a lot more than that, they will generate sub-sitemaps with fewer URLs. The Shopify sitemap, for instance, can contain up to 5.000 URLs, after which the platform breaks these up into smaller parts. This has the added benefit of speeding up the loading times of these sitemaps as well.

To a certain extent, Yoast SEO for Shopify lets you control what appears in your XML sitemap. For instance, you can determine that a specific page or post won’t appear in the search results by adding a noindex. In addition, you can decide whether archive pages should or should not appear in the XML sitemaps. For the most part, though, your out-of-the-box settings will probably be good enough. But if you want to tailor your crawling, you can.

Yoast SEO for Shopify helps you determine what does and doesn’t appear in Google

Don’t add a bunch of Shopify apps you won’t use

While it’s exciting to try out every Shopify app under the sun, keep yourself in check. Many apps are bulky and heavy on JavaScript. Adding many apps will add a lot of extra code to your store as everything needs to be loaded all the time. One of the most crucial performance improvements you can make is to keep the number of apps low. Think about what you need for your store, pick the apps that do that job the best and remove the rest.

Properly working with images on your store to improve Shopify SEO

Images are an essential asset for every online store. Customers can’t get a good feel for the product without great photos. But you need to offer all those images in the best way. Optimizing your images is one of the best and quickest ways to work on your Shopify SEO.

The importance of good product images

Good product images make it clear what a product is all about. It helps consumers view products from all angles without having to have the product in their hands. Product images need to be good, as it is one of the main drivers of conversion. Good photos also can catch the eye of the shopper. Great photos get to stand out in visual search engines like Google Images, Instagram, or Pinterest.

Optimize the file sizes

One of the most significant improvements you can make to the SEO of your Shopify store is optimizing your images. It’s also something everyone can do — whether you are a seasoned ecommerce SEO expert or just starting. Optimizing your images, compressing them, and giving them proper names helps!

Average product pages might have around five or more images. If all of these product photos are enormous, hi-res files, then the loading times of your product page will go up. You need to keep your file sizes in check. There’s no need to upload 3MB photographs. Be sure to size them and run them through an optimizer properly. In the Shopify App Store, you can find several tools that can help you do this.

When uploading, Shopify already compresses images but not to a massive extent. In addition, Shopify automatically converts your images to the next-gen WebP image format and serves those smaller files to browsers that support these.

Do your image optimization before you upload the images to Shopify. If you already have them uploaded to Shopify, you can use an app to fix them. Compressing thousands of images is tedious, and there are better ways of spending your time than going through them one by one. Luckily, some tools can help you speed this up. In the Shopify App Store, you’ll find multiple apps that take care of the compression and optimization of your photos. You could try TinyIMG or Crush.pics to get started.

Lazy loading images

Another effective way to improve the loading times of your images is by lazy loading them. With lazy loading, the images will only load once they appear on the screen. Of course, you should never lazy load all your images as you want the images at the top of your browser window to be always visible. For the rest, lazy loading is a good choice.

While Shopify does some lazy loading by default, you might have to check your theme if it has incorporated it. In the past, you needed to use JavaScript libraries to get this done. Today, you don’t have to use those for lazy loading — simply use native lazy loading. This works in almost all major browsers, with Safari being the last hold-out. For Apple devices, you must turn this on manually in Safari as of now (for the curious: Settings > Safari > Advanced > Experimental Features > Lazy image loading). It shouldn’t be too long before Apple rolls it out for everyone.

<img src="https://yoast.com/shopify-seo/screenshot.jpg" loading="lazy">

Preventing CLS

While you’re at it, check if your theme enforces width and height attributes on img tags. This helps avoid cumulative layout shift (CLS), one of Google’s metrics to determine your Core Web Vitals scores. CLS happens when elements move around during loading because image boundaries haven’t been defined. This causes jerkiness, and that’s a sign for Google that your user experience is lacking. You can try this by running your online store through Google’s page quality checks at web.dev/measure. On that site, you can also learn more about why and how to optimize your site for CLS.

<img alt="screenshot" src="https://yoast.com/shopify-seo/screenshot.jpg" width="100" height="200">
<img
  alt="{{ image.alt }}"
  src="{{ image.src }}"
  width="{{ image.width }}"
  height="{{ image.height }}"
>
Many sites still have visual elements that can use a proper width and height specification to prevent CLS

Add alt text and good file names

When working on your product images, you need to take care of other things: alt texts and file names. Both describe the image for search engines. In addition, alt text is important for accessibility reasons as well. Screen readers use this to read out what’s on the image.

For alt text, keep it short and sweet. Describe the image in proper wording and don’t overdo it on the keywords.

adding alt text in shopify for SEO and accessibility
You can add an alt text in Shopify’s media editor

File names also help Google make sense of your image. Suppose your file name is DSC37612.jpg, which says nothing about what the image contains. Add something useful. So, if you sell iPhones and the photo shows a close-up of the back camera of an iPhone 13, you can give the file a name like this: iphone_13_back_camera_closeup.jpg. You see this, and you know right away what the image contains. Try to add relevant keywords as well if it makes sense.

Just as with the proper compression of images, give your pictures an appropriate file name before uploading them to Shopify, as it’s hard to fix once they’ve been uploaded. Of course, you can also delete the image you’ve already uploaded and re-upload the proper one.

Can you create a blog on Shopify?

You can create a blog on Shopify quite easily. Compared to WordPress, Shopify has a basic blogging engine, but it functions properly, and you can get started without much effort. Blogging on your ecommerce store can be an excellent way of enhancing your SEO strategy, trying to reach an audience via the search engines. It’s a wonderful way to offer customers more insights into your products and company.

Starting a blog on Shopify is very easy. Open your online store and navigate to blog posts in the sidebar. From here, you can add a blog post by clicking the green button. By default, Shopify comes with a blog called News, but you can change that to anything you want. You could also run several blogs side-by-side.

If you have Yoast SEO for Shopify installed, then there’s another way to improve your blog posts. Click Apps > Yoast SEO, and you’ll see an overview of all your products, collections, pages, and blog posts ready for you to optimize. Open the post of your choice to edit, and you’ll get the full Yoast SEO readability analysis and SEO analysis at your disposal. You can manage everything, from crawling directives for search engines to defining the proper article structured data.

Optimizing your blog posts with Yoast SEO for Shopify helps them get noticed by Google

Is blogging good for my Shopify store?

Blogging can be a good asset for your Shopify SEO strategy. For many fledgling stores, growth mainly comes from paid ads. Focusing on content marketing through a blog gives you a chance to expand your reach and form a connection with your customers. But, as with everything, it depends on how you use it. Don’t go at it randomly; you need to strategize.

First, you have to determine what the goal of your blog is. Do you want to reach new customers, build your brand, form a bond with your current customers, or do something else? What type of content would you want to share — or instead, what’s the type of content that resonates with your customers? Think about how the user might find you — in other words, map out the user journey. And don’t forget about keyword research! Use those insights to build a content strategy for your Shopify store.

When you have a strategy, you can build the blog content on your store. Use cornerstone content as a basis and add articles supporting that main content, so you can fully describe your topic from all angles — and connect everything by proper internal linking. Be sure to write high-quality, unique content that comes across as trustworthy and authoritative.

Blog on WordPress or Shopify?

WordPress is the king of blogs, while Shopify comes with a basic but competent blogging feature. Wouldn’t it make sense to simply use WordPress to build a blog and tie that into your Shopify store? While WordPress does give you more tools to create a perfect blog, combining these two is probably not worth the hassle. You would be running WordPress on a subdomain which isn’t always the best option. Unless you have particular hard-core needs, the ease of using the built-in blogging tool in Shopify probably makes a lot of sense for most people.

If you already have an excellent WordPress site, you can simply integrate your Shopify store with a plugin like WP Shopify. This does make handling your store a bit different from how you would typically do it. Primarily if you use any third-party apps, many of these won’t function correctly in this manner, due to the limitations of the Shopify API. Luckily, you can at least use Yoast SEO on WordPress and Shopify to optimize your store and site.

How to pick a good Shopify theme

Your theme is an essential part of your online shop. The theme you choose influences so many things — from branding to user experience to conversions. Everything depends on how awesome your Shopify theme is. Luckily, there’s ample choice in the Shopify Theme Store, and many of these should function perfectly fine for your store. Let’s go over a couple of things you should look out for when choosing a theme:

  • Determine what you want and need: Are you going to run a store with a single product, or do you want a theme that can handle thousands or more? The theme store has a handy selection of themes for stores with large and small catalogs. What type of design do you need? What options do you need?
  • Figure out your budget: Themes in the Shopify theme store run from free to a one-time payment of a couple of hundred dollars. Check what you are willing to spend. Free works for some, but then you hardly get support from the developer. Paid themes often come with more options and tend to be better built.
  • Check the themes in the marketplace: There are quite a few themes available, and Shopify has even structured these in several collections like the size of the catalog or the type of industry, like clothing or electronics. You can filter on different properties, like features you need for the product pages or what’s available on the homepage of a shop. Now, there are over 80 themes available in the Shopify Theme Store.
  • Read the reviews: You are probably not the first one picking a theme, so it’s a good idea to read the reviews of people who worked with the theme.
  • Check the support the developer offers: Every theme comes with documentation and support, but the level and quality of support differ from developer to developer. Read the documentation and check around. Don’t be afraid to ask your questions.
  • Make sure the Shopify theme is lean and mean: Many themes want everything and appeal to every store owner. But that means that there’s bound to be stuff built in that you don’t need. Keep in mind that all those features come at a price. Try to find a theme that has low overhead and loads lightning fast.
  • Try the demos and check out other stores that run the theme: The Shopify theme store offers demos for all the themes, and you need to check these out. Also, Shopify provides examples of stores that run the specific theme you are looking at. It’s a good idea to take a close look at those online stores and run these through their paces. For instance, run a performance test on web.dev/Measure and see how they do. You’d be surprised at the results.
  • Check mobile-friendliness: As consumers increasingly use their mobile devices to shop, it’s essential that your online shop functions correctly. Again, the theme store gives you the possibility to see a mobile view of the theme.
  • Test the user experience: The Shopify theme store also gives you a good idea of how users might experience the store. Click around, see the various layouts, check how images load, animations work, the structure of the menu, and how it all feels. You can also try out the theme on your store so you get an even better sense of how the theme feels and performs.
  • Pay extra attention to the shopping cart: Does it feel like it wants customers to move through the process as quickly as possible? Or are there elements that take away focus? Other distractions? Is there room to expand the basic cart with upsells/cross-sells, promotions, and the like? Test your cart to see if you can reduce shopping cart abandonment rates.
Shopify has a nice selection of premium and free themes

For total control, build your own Shopify theme

Having your own Shopify theme built might not be something you start with, but it offers many opportunities to take your store to the next level. With a self-built theme, you are in control, and you get to define what it looks like, what it needs, and how it functions. You can make it as lean or as complex as possible.

Building your theme is a good idea if you reach the limits of what’s possible with a pre-built theme. There’s only so much customization possible in an existing theme — both in a technical as well as a design sense. You have much more control over the conversion optimization options if you do it yourself.

Building your theme is quite complex, though, and you have to think through what you want and need. You need to plan to make sure that you don’t run into issues later on. Of course, it’s possible to go into the nitty-gritty yourself, but there are also agencies out there that can help you get this done. The developer section of Shopify has ample documentation to learn more about building and adapting store themes.

Technical SEO for Shopify

Much of what you should focus on for Shopify SEO in your day-to-day activities is content-focused. You are working on your product descriptions and content marketing, and you won’t be rebuilding your theme every day. Still, there are several things you can do to improve your Shopify store in a technical SEO sense. Let’s go over a couple of highlights.

Optimize your Shopify store for speed

Being a managed platform, Shopify works hard to provide its users with a speedy experience. There’s a lot of focus on speed at Shopify to help their customers quickly improve those all-important loading times. Fast converts!

If your store loads slowly, customers will leave it and try a competitor. Luckily, Shopify has performance high on the list of priorities. For instance, it comes with an automatic content delivery network (CDN) for hosting your content on servers near your customers. In addition, it has an Online Store Speed report that gives you insights into how well your store is performing when it comes to loading speed. For this, Shopify uses Lighthouse to get real-world results on how your store performs.

While Shopify provides a good platform by default, there are other things you can do to speed up your online store. For one, you should pick a highly optimized, lightweight theme — or get one built based on your specifications. Ensure that you properly optimize images on your site and take care not to use too many photos. Discard those sliders — nobody uses these anyway — and don’t install tens of apps that you hardly use.

Regularly running a Lighthouse test gives you great insights into the performance of your Shopify store

How to prevent duplicate content in your Shopify store

We’re talking about duplicate content when a product or content appears on more than one URL. This is not ideal, as Google might be confused as to which one is the main one. Therefore, duplicate content can hinder your performance in search.

Thanks to Shopify’s preference for collections, a specific product you add to a collection will be visible on two different URLs:

https://example.com/products/alien-ugly-christmas-sweater

and:

https://example.com/collections/ugly-christmas-sweaters/alien-ugly-christmas-sweater

Not ideal! Luckily, the second one is canonicalized to the first one, but this causes a headache. However, there is a way to ensure that Shopify only shows the original product URL and keeps that as the one linked everywhere.

For this, you need to edit the product-grid-item.liquid file in the Snippets folder and change the following code from (only edit code if you know what you are doing and be sure to make a backup! You should always have a duplicate of your theme ready in case of emergency):

<a href=”{{ product.url | within: current_collection }}” class=”product-grid-item”>

to:

<a href=”{{ product.url }}” class=”product-grid-item”>

With the new Dawn Shopify theme, this workaround is no longer needed, and it will automatically output the correct URL. For other themes or older ones, you still might want to check this workaround.

Working with product variants

Shopify works well with product variants like sizes or colors. You have plenty of options to make different combinations of whatever you like. The thing with variants, of course, is that it’s hard to get these to show in Google properly. Depending on your needs, you might not need that, but if you want the different variants of products to be indexed, you might be better off turning your variants into individual products.

Of course, you need to provide sufficiently different product descriptions and the like if you want them to turn up individually in Google.

Faceted navigation or product filters

Out of the box, Shopify comes with only a handful of filtering options for your online store — no Amazon-style mega menu for you! Luckily, there are ways of getting more filters in your navigation. There are two options: add your custom filters if you are using an Online Store 2.0 compatible theme or add an app to manage it for you.

The first option is relatively straightforward but might be limited, while the second option opens up a world of possibilities. Product filter apps give you more control over how you want to categorize and visualize the faceted navigation. In addition, they also come with intelligent options that make it easier to load filters based on loads of variables dynamically.

Whatever you pick, just make sure that the parameters generated by the faceted navigation don’t end up in the search results pages — block them in the robots.txt liquid file with a disallow rule.

Here’s an example of a faceted URL :

https://www.allbirds.com/collections/mens?bestFor=everyday&hue=red&material=wool

Editing robots.txt to determine what ends up in search engines

Shopify hired many top-notch SEO people to help expand and improve the platform’s capabilities. One of the things that came out of that team pretty quickly was the new ability to edit the robots.txt file. Having complete control over the robots.txt gives you more ways to control what Google can and can’t do on your store. This takes away one of the most significant issues that SEOs have with Shopify.

The robot.txt file is one of the crucial tools that you can use to optimize your online store or your website. It gives a way to tell Google how you want them to crawl the site. Ideally, you use this to prevent search engines from crawling less critical pages or sections of your site. For huge ecommerce sites, this is very important.

You can find your robots.txt file on https://example.com/robots.txt. Here’s what a standard robots.txt of Shopify looks like:

User-agent: *
Disallow: /admin
Disallow: /cart
Disallow: /orders
Disallow: /checkout
Disallow: /54914154724/checkouts
Disallow: /54914154724/orders
Disallow: /carts
Disallow: /account
Disallow: /collections/*sort_by*
Disallow: /*/collections/*sort_by*
Disallow: /collections/*+*
Disallow: /collections/*%2B*
Disallow: /collections/*%2b*
Disallow: /*/collections/*+*
Disallow: /*/collections/*%2B*
Disallow: /*/collections/*%2b*
Disallow: /blogs/*+*
Disallow: /blogs/*%2B*
Disallow: /blogs/*%2b*
Disallow: /*/blogs/*+*
Disallow: /*/blogs/*%2B*
Disallow: /*/blogs/*%2b*
Disallow: /*?*oseid=*
Disallow: /*preview_theme_id*
Disallow: /*preview_script_id*
Disallow: /policies/
Disallow: /*/*?*ls=*&ls=*
Disallow: /*/*?*ls%3D*%3Fls%3D*
Disallow: /*/*?*ls%3d*%3fls%3d*
Disallow: /search
Disallow: /apple-app-site-association

Shopify automatically disallows crawling for several parts of the store. It does this pretty well, and most users probably don’t have to touch this file. But for more complex or expansive sites, it might make sense to add some rules to ensure that some more advanced features don’t generate duplicate content in the search results.

You can now edit the robots.txt liquid file by going to your Online Store admin page. From there, go to the theme section and select Actions > Edit code. Find the template section and click Add new template. Click the dropdown and select robots.txt from at the bottom. Click create template, and you can start editing.

Structured data for your products

Structured data is essential in this day and age. Structured data is coded in a specific vocabulary — Schema.org in this case — that search engines read to get a better understanding of your website. Structured data describes every part of your website to Google, so it knows all about your authors, articles, types of pages, businesses, and how they connect. Of course, there’s also Schema structured data for products.

With product structured data, you can describe your product to search engines. You’ll tell them about the name of the product, the description, images, SKUs, prices, reviews, and a lot more. Search engines like Google might give your product listings a rich result in return for this valuable information. A rich result is a highlighted search result that features information about prices, availability, and even star reviews. Getting this is essential for online shops.

An example of a rich snippet for a product in Google

Luckily, most themes and Shopify itself output a bit of product structured data. If you need a more complex setup without having to code, you can use one of the structured data apps in the Shopify App Store. But there’s also another possibility: Yoast SEO for Shopify.

Yoast SEO for Shopify output structured data automatically

On WordPress, Yoast SEO has one of the best implementations of structured data out there. We built a complete graph that describes and connects every nook and cranny of your site. Google loves this! Now, we bring part of that to Shopify in our Yoast SEO app. Unfortunately, we can’t include everything we want yet as it is a bit finicky to get everything going in Shopify. Nonetheless, we succeeded and got the essential things in there, and we can now tell Google all about your products and their details.

To get Yoast SEO to output Schema, you need to go through some steps to start. A lot of structured data is added automatically, but we do need your input for some things. First, go to Apps and open the Yoast SEO for Shopify app. Go to the settings and click the Schema tab in the sidebar. Click Site Representation and fill in your store name, upload a logo and fill in the social profiles. Now, your site is ready to rock.

Schema structured data for your articles and pages

Yoast SEO for Shopify does a lot more with Schema structured data. For instance, we tell Google all about your business — what the name is, its logo, and social handles. The SEO app is flexible, so you can determine which parts of the Schema structured data you want to turn on or off should you ever want to integrate with another service.

Yoast SEO for Shopify comes with an additional structured data option to set yourself for posts and pages. For pages, you can now describe it in detail. For instance, you can tell Google that your contact page is exactly that, using a simple selection in the app. After that, Yoast SEO will add ContactPage Schema structured data to your contact page — ready for Google to enjoy.

This also goes for articles. By default, Yoast SEO adds Article structured data to every article, but you can easily change this. There are options for news articles, reports, scholarly articles, and much more. By defining this, you give search engines more details on what they can find on the page, and they have to guess less.

How to manage redirects in Shopify

Redirects are incredibly important and helpful when you are working on your site structure. With a proper redirect, you can send a customer from one URL to another URL without them noticing it. You can use this when you remove pages or products and don’t want people to stumble on dead links.

Shopify has a redirect feature built-in. For one, Shopify automatically adds a redirect when you change the slug of an existing post. You can upload CSV files with your redirects if you need to do large-scale work on your site. Or simply use the URL redirect feature in the navigation section of the admin settings. It’s a straightforward redirect feature with just two fields: one for the old URL you want to redirect and one for the new URL you want to old one to point to.

You can manage redirects via a simple URL redirect feature

Add your Shopify store to Google Search Console

With Analytics, Google Search Console is an essential tool for insights into how your store performs in search. It gives you an idea of how your site does in a technical sense — crawlable, fast, and with valid structured data — and in a visibility sense. How do people see your pages and products, and how do they interact with them? Adding your store to Search Console is a must.

Adding your Shopify store isn’t complicated:

  • Open Search Console and log in,
  • Add a new property
  • Choose either way if you’ve bought your URL from a third party
  • Choose the URL way for your examplestore.myshopify.com or examplestore.com URLs you got from Shopify (this is the only way that works)
  • Temporarily turn off the password protection (if needed)
  • Enter your domain name (including https://)
  • Copy the HTML file
  • Open your site theme settings
  • Click Actions > Edit code
  • Find the theme.liquid file and paste in the HTML tag below the head tag
  • Save and wait for Google to verify your site

Yoast SEO for Shopify makes it easy to add the verification code to your ecommerce store. You no longer have to touch any code to do that! Simply open the Yoast SEO app, go to the settings and click on Webmaster tools in the sidebar. Find the webmaster tool you want to verify — Google, Baidu, Bing, or something else — and paste in the verification code you received. Click Save, and you are good to go. Check the head of your site to see if the code is correctly added.

How to increase sales in Shopify

When you have your store up and running, the next thing will be getting those customers — and getting them to return and spend more and more. For fledgling stores, it’s not easy to rank products in the search results. You must do more to get noticed and marketing your Shopify store can get you there. Also, improving the UX can help you get those conversions up.

Marketing in addition to SEO

Every online store needs marketing. You can do many things to get people interested in your products and get them to your shop. In this part of the Shopify SEO ultimate guide, we’d like to highlight some options quickly.

Paid ads and Google Shopping

Many Shopify stores get their first customers from paid ads. Paid ads are a great way of gaining visibility quickly. You get to carefully target who you want your ads to appear for based on terms and outcomes of your choosing. There’s no limit to what you can do with paid ads — the only limiting factor being what you want to pay for those ads, of course.

Then there’s Google Shopping, where you can get your products noticed as well. Getting listed there doesn’t even cost money if you’re in selected countries, that is. There’s a Google channel app that makes connecting your Shopify store to that boundless platform easy.

Adding your products to Google Shopping is another way to get noticed

Social media marketing

Social media is vast — use it to your advantage! There are a ton of well-known platforms out there, like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, but also more niche ones, like Reddit. Get creative and find out where your audience lives. Find out what they need and connect! Build your brand, your voice, and push your store.

Video marketing

Buying something is a very delicate affair, and the more you can support your customer, the better. Video is an excellent way of getting your customers to learn more about your products. Video is booming, so don’t forget to invest in a proper video SEO strategy. We have a ton of great content if you want to learn how to do video SEO.

Email marketing

A good email newsletter is essential for your store. It is one of the most successful ways of reaching people and keeping them connected to your store. You can use email marketing to keep customers up to **** with the latest products and sales. In addition, you can also use it as part of your content marketing strategy — getting your content noticed by the right people.

Shopify comes with a dedicated email campaign app that lets you get started quickly. The first 2,500 emails per month are free of charge. Designing an email is picking a template and customizing it to your liking. You even get data to track the success of your newsletters.

Influencer marketing

Influencer marketing might be an option for you. In most niches, you’ll find influencers who’d like to talk about or promote your product. Influencer marketing is an exciting way of getting your name out there, and it might make sense for your industry.

Offline marketing

Don’t forget old-school offline marketing for your Shopify store. If you are a local store catering to a local audience, you have to think about offline marketing. Think of advertising in the local paper, printing some flyers, or doing a guerrilla sticker campaign. The options are endless.

Conversion rate optimization in Shopify

Your store should have great products, good content, an excellent design, and proper SEO to make the most of it. But even then, the chances are that you are still not getting the most out of your store. Getting customers is one thing — getting them to convert and come back again is a whole different thing.

Besides improving your store, you should also improve the experience a customer has in your store. You should try to take away any bump in the road that might keep a visitor from becoming a customer. These could be technical things — your shopping cart loads poorly. Or it might be related to your content — is the text on that CTA explicit enough? Can you find ways to improve your product pages?

This is the domain of conversion rate optimization. Start thinking about the user journey and see if you’ve missed a step in the process. Test different setups of your shopping cart to see which performs better. Put your product pages through the wringer. Track, test, change and improve!

Internationalization

Expanding your online store to markets outside your country has always been a chore. Things get complex fast, even with Shopify, getting everything set up — from international domains to hreflang, localization, and targeting. But there’s money to be made in the world, and why wouldn’t your shop have a piece of the pie?

To make selling a more viable option for online stores internationally, Shopify recently announced Markets. Shopify Markets takes the guesswork out of internationalization. It comes with automatic solutions for payments in local currencies, translation of content and interfaces, fulfillment and shipping, and even tax and custom handling.

For SEOs, the beautiful thing about Shopify Markets is the part of the international domain. Here, you can simply pick your proposed global domain setup, whether you use subfolders, subdomains, or top-level domains. A new Geolocator app helps redirect the customers to the proper domain in their respective countries. Shopify will automatically add the appropriate hreflang tags to the pages so search engines can also make sense of the setup.

How to move from WooCommerce to Shopify

One of the biggest competitors of Shopify is WooCommerce — we’ve compared them both in an article on this site. If you are looking to move from WooCommerce to Shopify, you can rest assured, as the process of migrating is pretty straightforward. First, you need to export your data from WooCommerce. Then, import your data into Shopify by way of the Store Importer app. Lastly, carefully check and review the imported data. Missing products or customers can be added manually. Check Shopify’s store migration guide for more information.

Learn more? Try the Yoast SEO for Shopify training course

In this guide, we gave an overview of what you can do to improve the SEO of your Shopify store. Of course, there’s more to Shopify — and to ecommerce itself. Luckily, we can help you on both fronts. After the launch of the app on January 18, 2022, you’ll find two online courses that develop your skills in our Yoast SEO academy. Please try the ecommerce training and the Shopify training and bring your online store to the next level.

Conclusion on Shopify SEO

Shopify is a popular platform to run your online store on. Rightly so because it is easy to use and performs pretty well out of the box. Of course, there are many things you can do to improve your store’s performance by focusing on Shopify SEO. Hopefully, this ultimate guide to Shopify SEO gave you a good place to start.

Don’t forget to download the Shopify SEO checklist and check out the Yoast SEO for Shopify app!





Source link : Yoast.com

12 Important Image SEO Tips You Need To Know

By | January 12, 2022


Think about the last time you uploaded an image to your website. Chances are you downloaded it from a stock photography site, uploaded it to the backend of your site, and then inserted it to the page.

This makes a shining example of image optimization, right? Not quite.

You’ve added a giant bowling ball weight to your site that’s slowing down the page speed. And, search engines can’t read your images without alt text.

Let’s change that.

Over 20% of all U.S. web searches happen on Google Images, according to 2018 data from Jumpshot.

SEO amateurs and pros alike know that optimizing images for your website is notoriously worth the time spent.

Dan Morgan at WebSpection got one of his photos to rank #1 in Google Images for “best person in Cardiff” in less than four days by optimizing his image.

And, Robbie Richards generated 150,732 visits by adding image alt tags, compressing images, and a few other SEO tricks.

Without proper image optimization, you’re wasting a valuable SEO asset.

It’s like the search engines are giving away Oreos and milk for free. But, you only take the Oreo. When in reality, the Oreo is way better dunked in milk.

Image optimization creates many advantages such as better user experience, faster page load times, and additional ranking opportunities. And, it’s becoming an increasingly more important role.

As Matt Southern pointed out, Gary Illyes’ statement on image search in a recent Reddit chat:

“We simply know that media search is way too ignored for what it’s capable doing for publishers so we’re throwing more engineers at it as well as more outreach.”

But which factors are most important to ensure your images are findable and don’t slow down your site?

Here are 12 important image optimization tips you need to know.

1. Choose The Right Format

Decoding all the various image formats can feel like your first time ordering at Taco Bell. But, before you can start adding images to your site, you want to make sure you’ve chosen the best file type.

While there are many image formats to choose from, the PNG and JPEG are the most common for the web.

  • PNG: Produces better quality images, but comes with a larger file size.
  • JPEG: You may lose image quality, but you can adjust the quality level to find a good balance.
  • WebP: Choose lossless or lossy compression using this, the only image format supported by both Chrome and Firefox.

For me, PNG is the unsung hero of image formatting. But, for my daily use, PNG is the way to go then convert those into WebP.

Just be careful if you’re using .jpg images inside an inline SVG format as Google’s systems can’t index these.

CheckYourImages

2. Compress Your Images

Yep, hell hath no fury like a bloated web page after uploading an image that’s not compressed.

Search engines will look at your web page like you might look at a big vat of Crisco: You can’t seriously be considering putting that on your website, right?

According to HTTP Archive, images makeup on average 21% of a total webpage’s weight.

That’s why I highly recommend compressing your images before uploading to your site. You can do this in Photoshop or you can use a tool like TinyPNG.

TingPNG also has a WordPress plugin you can use too.

However, I prefer WP Smush as my WordPress plugin. It reduces the image file size without removing the quality.

Whatever plugin you use, make sure to find one that compresses the images externally on their servers. It reduces the load on your own site.

Or, take it a step further and use an image CDN that detects the device and optimizes the image prior to delivery. Cloudinary and Imgix are two options to try out.

Increasingly.com improved website speed by 33%/2 seconds by compressing images.

I mean, there’s just something **** about faster page speed when you compress your images.

If you’re unsure how your images are affecting your page speed, I recommend using Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool.

3. Create Unique Images

You want your photos to pop on your site. If you fill your website with stock imagery, you’ll look unoriginal – like thousands of other sites that don’t stand out.

Too many websites are cluttered with the same generic stock photos.

Think about a corporate website, a consulting firm, a business that prides itself on customer service. All these websites use virtually the same looking stock image of a businessman smiling.

I’m sure you’ve seen one that looks like this:

ImageCompression

While you may have your stock images perfectly optimized, it won’t have the same impact or potential SEO benefits as an original, high-quality image.

The more original pictures you have, the better experience for the user and the better your **** are of ranking on relevant searches.

Keep in mind that large images are more likely to be featured in Google Discover.

As Google recommends in its Advanced SEO resource,

“Large images need to be at least 1200 px wide and enabled by the max-image-preview:large setting, or by using AMP.”

Do not use your logo as the image.

4. Beware Of Copyright

Regardless of the image files you choose to use, make sure there’s no copyright conflict.

The Postal Service is paying $3.5 million in an image copyright lawsuit. And, Skechers got sued for $2.5 million.

If Getty, Shutterstock, DepositFiles, or some other stock photo provider owns an image you use, and you don’t have a license to use it, then you’re risking an expensive lawsuit.

Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), you could be issued a notice if you have violated any copyright issues. If the owner of a piece of content sees their content on your website, they can issue a DMCA Takedown which you must comply with.

Google Images allows you to filter results based on those available for reuse, and Mindy Weinstein shares 41 different websites to find free images.

5. Customize Image File Names

When it comes to SEO, creating descriptive, keyword-rich file names is absolutely crucial.

Not customizing your image file name is like getting a burrito with nothing in it. It just plain sucks.

Image file names alert Google and other search engine crawlers as to the subject matter of the image.

CustomImageFileNames

Typically, file names will look like “IMG_722019” or something similar. That’s like ordering from a menu in a different language. It doesn’t help Google.

Change the file name from the default to help the search engines understand your image and improve your SEO value.

This involves a bit of work, depending on how extensive your media library is, but changing the default image name is always a good idea.

Let’s pretend you have an image of chocolate for example.

I could name it simply “chocolate” but if you sell chocolate on your website, potentially every image can be named “chocolate-1,” “chocolate-2,” and so on.

I named this image “dark-chocolate-coffee” to let users and search engines understand the image.

6. Write SEO-Friendly Alt Text

Alt tags are a text alternative to images when a browser can’t properly render them. Similar to the title, the alt attribute is used to describe the contents of an image file.

When the image won’t load, you’ll get an image box with the alt tag present in the top left corner. Make sure they fit with the image and make the picture relevant.

Paying attention to alt tags is also beneficial to the overall on-page SEO strategy. You want to make sure that all other optimization areas are in place, but if the image fails to load for any reason, users will see what the image is supposed to be.

Plus, adding appropriate alt tags to the images on your website can help your website achieve better rankings in the search engines by associating keywords with images. Even Google has remarked on the value of alt text in images.

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.

SEOFriendlyAltText

Alt text is required under the American Disabilities Act for individuals who are unable to view images themselves. A descriptive alt text can alert users exactly what is in the photo. For example, say you have a picture of chocolate on your website.

The alt text could read:

<img src=”chocolate-1.jpg” alt=”chocolate”/>

However, a better alternative text that describes the image would read:

<img src=”chocolate-1.jpg” alt=”dark chocolate coffee flavored bar”/>

Alt text is viewable in the cached text version of the page, aiding in its benefit to both users and the search engines. For further SEO value, the alt text can act as the anchor text of an internal link when the image links to a different page on the site.

7. Think About The Image File Structure

Google updated its Image Guidelines. One of the major updates they revealed was that they use the file path and file name to rank images.

Repeat: The file path and file name is an actual ranking factor.

For example, if you’re an ecommerce brand with multiple products, instead of placing all your product images into a generic /media/ folder, I would recommend structuring your subfolders to more category related topics like /shorts/ or /denim/.

8. Optimize Your Page Title & Description

Google also revealed that it uses your page title and description as part of its image search algorithm.

The Google support page states:

Check your page title

All of your basic on-page SEO factors like meta data, header tags, copy on the page, structured data, etc. affects the way Google ranks your images.

It’s like putting all your toppings on your burrito. It tastes way better with guac. So, make sure to add the guac for improving image rankings.

9. Define Your Dimensions

If you’re using AMP or PWAs, you are required to define your image dimensions in the source code.

However, if you’re not using either, it’s still a best practice to define the width and height. It provides a better user experience.

Plus, it allows the browsers to size the image before the CSS is loaded. This stops the page from jumping when it loads.

Image dimension attributes are also important for preventing Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) issues that can interfere with your Core Web Vitals optimization.

Making sure that you include width and height attributes for every image and video element is key.

This tells the browser how much space to allocate for the resource and prevents that annoying content-shifting that lowers your CLS score. Learn more here.

10. Make Your Images Mobile-Friendly

Oh, mobile SEO. At its worst, it can give you a high bounce rate and low conversions. But, at its best, it can give you more ranking power and better user engagement.

Problem is, how do you optimize your images for the mobile-first index?

Luckily, Google offers guidance on best practices for images.

In short, you want to create responsive images. This means the image will scale with the size of the site whether the user is using desktop or mobile. It adjusts to the size of the device.

Mozilla offers a comprehensive guide on using the srcset and sizes attributes to provide the browser additional source images, enabling the display of identical image content resized for the device.

It is important to format this with a different part of the attribute value on each line, as demonstrated in this example from their resource:

<img srcset=”elva-fairy-480w.jpg 480w,

elva-fairy-800w.jpg 800w”

sizes=”(max-width: 600px) 480px,

800px”

src=”elva-fairy-800w.jpg”

alt=”Elva dressed as a fairy”>

Learn more about using srcset for responsive images here.

11. Add Images To Your Sitemap

Whether you’re adding your images to your sitemap or creating a new sitemap for images, you want images somewhere in your sitemaps.

Having your images in a sitemap greatly increases the chances of search engines crawling and indexing your images. Thus, results in more site traffic.

If you’re using WordPress, Yoast and RankMath offer a sitemap solution in their plugin.

12. Add Structured Data

Structured data markup your content types to guide google and search engines to deliver better visual results. Essentially, Google could serve your images as a rich result if you add structured data.

For example, if you’re using schema markup on a product page and you label the image as a product, Google could pair this image with a price tag. Search engines skip the algorithm and use the information provided in the structured data to provide the right image.

Image Optimization Key Takeaways

So, before you begin uploading your image to your site, make sure to follow the image optimization rituals from above.

The most important thing is to make sure the image and alternative text are relevant to the page. Other key takeaways:

  • Choose the right file format. PNGs are my favorite for screenshots.
  • Reduce file size for faster page load speed.
  • Make sure your on-page SEO elements (meta data, structured data, etc.) pair with your image.
  • For crawlability, create an image sitemap or make sure your images are featured in your sitemap.

Optimizing images are no joke. With advancements in voice search technology, media is a growing importance and your entire site will benefit from taking the steps above.

Happy optimizing!


Featured Image: Paulo Bobita/Search Engine Journal

All screenshots are taken by author





Source link : Searchenginejournal.com

Smoothies Market Size, Share, Trends, Growth Analysis

By | January 12, 2022

Smoothies Market: By Preparation (Fresh, Processed), By Form (Organic and Inorganic), By Smoothies type (Fruit Based, Nuts based, Dairy Based, Vegetables, Leafy Vegetables, Others) By Distribution Channels (Restaurants, Smoothie bars, Supermarkets and Convenience Stores ) By Geography

Pain Management Market Size, Share, Growth Analysis

By | January 12, 2022

Pain Management Market: By Seviority (Chronic Pain, Acute Pain By Type ( Pain Managements **** (NSAIDS, Anesthetics, Antidepressants, Opioids, Anesthetics, Antihistamine Agents, Others), Pain Management Devices (Neurostimulation devices, Ablation Devices, Analgesic Infusion Pumps, Others), By Condition ( Cancer Pain, Musculoskeletal Pain, Neuropathic Pain, Migraine & Facial Pain, Others), By Distribution Channel ( Hospitals, Clinics, Others), and Geography

Antibiotic Eye Drops Market Size, Share, Growth Analysis

By | January 12, 2022

Antibiotic Eye Drops Market: By Dosage (Eye Drops, Gels & Creams, Tablets and Capsules, Others), By Route of Administration (Antibiotics (Fluoroquinalones, Aminoglycosides, Macrolides), Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Others), By Distribution Channel (Hospital Pharmacies, Retail Pharmacies, Online Pharmacies, Others) and Geography

Refrigerants Market Size, Share, Growth Analysis

By | January 12, 2022

Refrigerants Market: By Product Type (Fluorocarbon, Hydrocarbon, Inorganic, Others), By Application (Industrial Refrigeration, Domestic Refrigeration, Transport Refrigeration, Commercial Refrigeration, Stationary Air Conditioning, Chillers & Heat Pumps, Mobile Air Conditioning) and Geography