When choosing an ecommerce platform, you look for many different features. How it functions, what its themes look like, how its products work in the backend, and more. One of the most important features to think about is if it’s designed with good SEO practices in mind, in order to take some of the work off your plate when you’re in the process of migrating your store.
So how does Shopify stack up and address some key SEO concerns for merchants looking for the best platform for their store?
Whether it’s meta information, sitemaps, site architecture, or even domains, Shopify has all your SEO basics covered from the beginning. It’s one of the major benefits, especially if you’re just starting your journey with ecommerce. If you’re migrating to the platform, it makes it easy also to access all the necessities that you’ll want to double check and edit.
Let’s run through some of the basics covered so you know what’s taken care of:
Easily customizable URLs
Custom URLs are great for your store’s SEO. Rather than a string of numbers and letters, Shopify by default uses standard characters for URLs and puts them into a simple and readable format. If you want to change them, that’s made easy also and is found alongside meta information for each page or product.
Meta titles and descriptions are important for bots when they crawl your site, so ensuring they’re up to date and optimized is key. These are thankfully easy to find and edit with Shopify, and whenever you create a new product you’re prompted to edit the meta description. These can be edited to suit pages, products, or even categories. This allows you to easily and quickly optimize your meta information.
Shopify’s site architecture is inherently good for your store’s SEO. Out the box it automatically applies some key best practices to your store such as ensuring your content follows logical hierarchies which helps your store’s overall architecture to make more sense to bots.
In order to prevent duplicate content being submitted, Shopify applies canonical tags to products to tell search engines what the master page is. This helps to prevent duplicate content appearing in SERPs and messing with the SEO of the master page.
Site speed is a vital part of your store’s customer experience and therefore important to your store’s SEO, especially with the implementation of Core Web Vitals as a key ranking factor. 64% of customers using their smartphone expect a page to load in 4 seconds or less, and 79% say that if they’re dissatisfied with a site’s load speed they’re less likely to make a purchase in the future.
Shopify helps merchants with speed in a few ways, such as constantly developing their infrastructure to improve speed where possible, and through its Content Delivery Network (CDN) via Fastly. CDNs essentially help your content to load as fast as possible anywhere in the world by choosing a server closest to the site user. Access to this is provided at no extra cost to Shopify merchants, meaning customers get a faster experience at no expense to the merchant.
Mobile is a big deal in ecommerce; mobile commerce sales in 2021 are expected to increase by over 22% from 2020 to reach $3.56 trillion. Not only are sales on the up, but consumer expectations around mobile commerce are also growing with 59% of customers saying that being able to shop on mobile is important when deciding which brand to buy from. And if it’s important to customers and their experience, it’s important to search engines as well.
If you’re a Shopify merchant, then you’re in luck as all their themes are mobile responsive and adaptive. This means that you’ll be able to create your experience and know that it will be automatically optimized for mobile including the checkout process, allowing you to capture those mobile sales.
Merchants, customers, and search engines alike are all concerned with security when online. After all, trustworthiness is a big part of the customer experience and is important to search engines, so top notch security is necessary for a store to do well with SERPs. When a merchant registers a custom domain with Shopify, an SSL certificate is created automatically. This improves your store’s security, encrypting content and publishing it securely. In other terms SSL certificates mean your site is HTTPS and not HTTP, and having this does factor into Google’s user experience key ranking factor.
App & Expert Ecosystem
One of the biggest benefits you’ll find with Shopify in general is the rich ecosystem of apps and integrations. The Shopify App Store has thousands of apps, as well as a huge partner directory giving you access to a wide range of experts in all different areas from custom development to marketing. This gives you the freedom and flexibility to choose the tools to really enrich and grow your SEO capabilities. There are a wide range of integrations especially in the SEO department, including our own SEO Manager.
When it comes to ecommerce platforms, Shopify is built for every stage in your journey and makes the process of optimizing your SEO easy, and effective. With in-built features designed specifically for SEO, to fast load times, to a wide range of apps and experts at your fingertips, it’s no wonder that Shopify is the choice for so many of ecommerce’s biggest stars.