Your 2021 Guide to SEO

Your 2021 Guide to SEO

Your 2021 Guide to SEO

If you are new to e-commerce or you’ve been around the block, chances are you have heard the term SEO thrown around more than once. You probably know that it stands for Search Engine Optimization - but do you really know what it means or how to utilize it in your own store? We are here to give you an SEO crash course in 1000 words or less. 

SEO is writing content that is easy to find when using search engines like Google or Yahoo. 

The catch phrase of the 21st century is “Google it!”. We have the world at our fingertips, especially with roughly 80% of the world’s population owning a smartphone. Most users don’t scroll for long before they’ve “exhausted” their search and are onto the next thing. This is why those first few positions on a search engine’s results page are such a hot commodity. If a user has to scroll down to see your page’s URL, chances are they won’t see it. 

The Foundational Basics of Good SEO

How do you write content that will land you those coveted first few spots? Make sure you are using various methods to display content. Blogs, how-to guides, product pages, lists and videos are all great examples of pieces you can add to your store to boost your SEO. That means you need to be doing your research on which keywords will get you the exposure you’re looking for and then use them. Although it’s important to note that exposure and clickability shouldn’t be your only goal. If there is no substance to your content, it will provide a poor user experience for those who visit your site, which can result in low conversions. This might take more time and research than you thought, but it will be well worth it! 

We can break this down even further. Nobody will be enticed to read 10,000 words in one block on a screen. Breaking up your content into easily digestible sections and paragraphs will keep people on your site for longer - better still to have headings with the aforementioned keywords in them. And while there is no definitive answer to the ideal word count of a blog, a good rule of thumb is to approach your blogs (and any other content writing!) from the perspective of the user. Does each product page really need an essay? Probably not, a user looks for quick answers when shopping online. Even if you are writing an essay or blog post, the general consensus seems to be that it’s best to keep it short and sweet so your users can skim for the information they need. 

We should also discuss where this content will live, and how to build out a web system to gain more exposure. First, of course, is posting links to your content on all your social media platforms. This will have your page “living” in multiple places on the world wide web. It is also incredibly effective to use links inside your blog posts, lists or how-tos. Both internal and external links can help boost your SEO as the more a user engages with your page, the better the results. This could be as easy as linking to your own product page or someone else’s blog post - the point is, users can and will want to engage with your content, and therefore, boost your ranking.

How Shopify Makes SEO Easier for You

While you are mastering the art of creating quality SEO content, Shopify is in the background, doing a lot of the work for you! It might be more of the basics, but it is quite valuable. Let’s quickly discuss Shopify’s brilliant SEO features

  • Meta tags - these are the short texts that describe each page on your website. These are used by Google bots when determining your place in the search engine
  • Sitemap - this directs the Google bots to which URLs should be categorized and ranked. Shopify sites do this automatically, so you don’t have to worry about it.
  • 301 redirects - this directs traffic from a nonfunctioning URL to a functioning one without having it affect your ranking.
  • User Interface (UI) - this is what makes your site easy to navigate right from the start. The architecture is built right into the theme you use!
  • Mobile-friendly - Google is also using mobile-first indexing. This means that the mobile-friendly version of your store, as provided by most Shopify themes, will be used to determine your ranking as well. 

Time to Give Your Store an SEO Audit

Now let's review the basics for creating SEO friendly content. High ranking content will have:

  • Content with Substance
  • Sections, paragraphs and headers
  • Keywords
  • Both internal and external links

And it will also be:

  • Not too long and not too short
  • Posted on your socials
Think about your own site - how is your content holding up? Where can you make improvements? Remember that ranking higher on Google is not a task that is ever complete - it is something that requires consistent attention and effort. A helpful tip, check out the experts marketplace to find an SEO expert! Here you can find some incredible experts that will keep your store on the right track. Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself and see how high you can get!