With TheGenieLab working with several clients on SEO, and how the platform delivers to the Google Search Console, Google Analytics, Online-store's SEO features, and content marketing - it is becoming clear that Shopify is probably one of the best digital marketing platforms today. But what makes it the best? Search Engine Optimization (SEO) isn't something that a Shopify App can deliver - it has to be within its architecture and has to ensure it performs.
Shopify as a platform
Some may say that Shopify might be too rigid, or restrictive in how the Admin panel and the way it works in comparison to other platforms such as Magento, WooCommerce/WordPress, or even BigCommerce. Shopify might not have the fastest API or even the enablement of a B2B architecture. But it definitely has the power of SEO. As a store owner, you can own your content, your meta descriptions, and tags - but you don't own the CMS (Content Management System), the page inner workings, and the code base of the platform. Those parts that you cannot reach do impact SEO in the form of warnings, page speed, and user experience. These areas are seen by Google Search and it will grade you for it.
SEO Audit Warnings
Warnings come in different categories - they are not the likes of an error where there is a "mistake", it comes as an "insufficient" or "misaligned" item that requires attention. Things like "Low text to HTML ratio" - where an SEO Audit would highlight that Google would expect more text for your page to the HTML it contains. But you only control your HTML through your "theme.liquid" template file and the inner workings of the CMS engine. How much control do you have over that aspect? But wait, what if the platform you are on wasn't very efficient in how the CMS worked?
When you have "Pages have low word count", you have some control over being able to amplify your content and message. It also brings to mind that any low word count may make you think twice if this page really needs to exist, or if it needs to be combined with some other page. Your on-page SEO has to have a balance and Shopify gives you the tools to see how your page performs.
Resolving SEO Errors
When it comes to broken links and fixing up your redirects, then Shopify makes this easy. The best part is that when there are any errors found, they are easily fixed. However, there is one area that is difficult to resolve - that's anything to do with the sitemap.xml file - unfortunately when it comes to that file, editing it directly is a forbidden space for direct involvement. The only way to get full control over your sitemap is by making up your own and setting up a URL redirect to it. However, once you take on the control over your sitemap, it means that all page additions and changes must be updated manually since the CMS will still operate onto the original Shopify CMS.
SEO Tools and Shopify
There are Shopify Apps that help with checking the On-page SEO, there are tools like SemRush that checks the site with its SEO Audit, and there are tools from Google such as Google Search Console. Checking for your SEO starts with your website, and if you created it with a Website Builder, then that would probably start you in a good place. It is how you populate your site with its content that matters. If you are doing your content marketing through "keywords" and are using long-tailed keywords to bring up your profile, then you are doing your research correctly. Google search results are all about keyword matching, and the authority your keywords have over other websites. A lot of store owners focus on social media, but unfortunately, they really don't add to your site's authority. Search volumes of the keywords you pick out for your site's relevance and understanding the search queries of your visitors will put you ahead of the digital search.
Following your Digital Marketing Strategy
Sure you can do Google Ads, and Facebook Ads where the tools are pretty well refined on marketing your audience however, the passive content marketing strategies are based on understanding your audience in how they would search and find your products and services. When it comes to selling products, it is about caching the audience at the right stage of purchase intent. While your Shopify SEO tools cover many areas for content marketing, there is a content funnel that ranges from interest, intent, and specifications to product page value proposition. This translates into landing pages, product comparisons, and reviews to product pages. Either from Ads or SEO, the digital marketing strategy must follow a content funnel (or marketing funnel) in your online store.
Social Media and SEO
Social Media has its own search functionality, therefore the keywords in posts, links, and hashtags do make a difference. Some that do their searching on these platforms to find out more information might join a page, a group, or follow a feed to learn more about their interest. Today, people spend more time researching their needs and the social media marketer needs to be in tune with the SEO keywords for the best results. The only space where keywords may not be a core component is when the Email marketer puts out their news, promotions, and events.
In the world of SEO, platforms like WordPress are very capable but require more maintenance. When it comes to SAAS Cloud-based platforms, Shopify SEO is one of the best in class. They support hundreds of thousands of online stores - the pressure to deliver a competitive platform is extremely high. This is their core selling point, which requires their architecture to be lean-n-mean and super competitive to enable their customers to have their online stores compete well in their rankings. No business owner would choose a platform that does not deliver a clean SEO profile and give them an edge over competitors hosted in lesser architectures. If you would like to know more, feel free to enquire with us at firstname.lastname@example.org