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Shopify

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Nov 24, 2023

How to build an SEO plan for your Shopify store

AJ Saunders
AJ Saunders
AJ Saunders
AJ Saunders

AJ Saunders

How to build an SEO plan for your Shopify store

Many eCommerce founders focus on active marketing tactics that require constant work. Posting on social media, sending emails, or even running ads takes continued effort. 

However, focusing on search engine optimization (SEO) can help you increase sales without as much manual effort. You still need to put in the work, but it's not as creatively demanding as other marketing tactics.

In this blog, we'll discover how to build an SEO plan for your Shopify store, including your strategy, the tactics to deploy, and how to measure your progress. Sounds good? Let's go!

Why SEO is a goldmine for eCommerce businesses

Many founders believe in several myths surrounding SEO, and so they hold off from investing in it. They think it's too difficult, overly competitive, or just a mystery.

It's fine for your competitors to believe these myths as you're about to learn that thinking this way creates a goldmine of opportunities.

While they're spending their days filming yet another TikTok video or thinking up a funny slogan for Facebook, you could use some of that time to increase your website's visibility in Google and Bing.

I'm not saying you should stop using social media altogether.

But, I am encouraging you to market your Shopify store strategically by exploring opportunities your competitors aren't.

It's the best way to stand out and reach your goals quicker.

What are the key parts of SEO?

You only need to focus on 4 elements to ensure your website has great SEO:

  • Content

  • Links

  • Technical

  • UX (user experience)

Content

The words you have on the page are very important. You'll want to think about what your customers will type into Google or Bing to find your product, along with other words and phrases that give greater context.

Let's say you sell socks.

You'll want pages that target the words: men’s socks, kids' socks, and ladies' socks.

But you'll also want to ensure you mention feet, comfort, sock length, sock thickness, toes, and underwear on those pages.

By providing the search engine with better context, they'll be able to match your page to the user's search queries more effectively.

Backlinks

You need other websites to link to you.

Many wrongly believe they need a large quantity of links, but that's not true.

It's more about the quality of links.

So, focus on gaining backlinks from relevant websites that are already trusted.

Technical

Technical SEO sounds far scarier than it is. Thankfully, Shopify makes keeping the show on the road easy. 

Simply put, technical SEO is about ensuring you have the following:

  • No dead pages (404 errors)

  • Images are correctly labeled and have alt text

  • Deleted pages redirect to another live page

  • Pages have meta descriptions.

UX (user experience)

Again UX sounds like it'll take years and requires the intelligence of Albert Einstein! 

However, it's much simpler.

Good UX is about making it easy to find products, categories, and pages without having to jump through 100 hoops.

So, think about how you can make it easy to find the key information your visitor needs to convince them to make a purchase.

What should your Shopify SEO plan contain?

It's easy to get bogged down doing SEO tasks. Trying to score backlinks can take hours or days. Editing and uploading 200 new images can be equally frustrating.

Rather than talking through the tactical elements at length, I want to give you a high-level roadmap to ensure you're successful.

Key performance indicators (KPIs)

KPIs can change your life and business. A bold claim, but it's true! I like to use KPIs as a way of taking a health check.

You probably wake up in the morning and think: Do I feel Good or Bad?

That's a KPI right there! 

To me, a KPI is a specific, measurable goal that has a binary answer.

I have two KPIs to measure daily. The first: Did I start work by 8 am? and the other: Did I make $100 yesterday?

Both can be answered in a second or two and give me an overview of how I'm doing.

For SEO, you can use the following KPIs:

  • Did we hit x number of visitors yesterday?

  • Did we do $x in sales yesterday from Google/Bing?

  • Are 70% of our keywords in the top 3?

  • Is our time on site 3 minutes or more?

Monthly action points

What's the best way to eat an elephant? A mouthful at a time.

I know that seems a little and might have no relation to Shopify SEO, but it does.

If you have a super long list of SEO tasks to complete, you might feel like giving up and watching Netflix. I understand. Instead, try to break tasks down into manageable chunks and focus on taking baby steps.

You'll find that you complete tasks far quicker than if you tried to do them in a day. Also, by breaking tasks into smaller chunks, if you get bored of rewriting meta descriptions, you can switch focus on work on link outreach for an hour or two. Changing things up can be helpful.

Review points

Many of us only look forward and don't take the time to review the journey we've taken to get us here. We miss out on learning everything we could or being inspired by our process.

You should take the time each month and quarter to review what you've done and analyze the results. By doing so, you'll be able to speed up your progress.

Semrush has a great article on how to build an SEO review with templates. You can adapt what you learn to help you improve the SEO visibility of your Shopify store.

Where to start? An SEO audit, of course!

Carrying out an SEO audit is a mixture of tools, investigation, and imagination!

You can use an SEO audit tool to find technical issues, such as broken links, missing images, redirects, and pages without meta descriptions.

Next, imagine you're a visitor. Try to navigate your Shopify store and see how easy or hard it is to make a purchase.

You could ask a friend to jump on Zoom with you and try to buy a product, as you'll quickly see where there's a point of friction.

The more digging you can do, the better your information will be.

How to use what you learn to form a plan

You'll quickly find a lot of holes that need plugging. It's best not to fix errors straightaway. Instead, plan out what needs doing, how long you think it'll take, and what you need to complete the task.

From there, you'll have a better understanding and can now start to arrange tasks by how important it is to fix them or the time it'll take to solve the issue.

It's better to have an imperfect plan that you follow than to have no plan at all. So, take the time to plot out a course of action.

Creating a feedback loop to drive better, faster results

If you have a small eCommerce store, driving results can be quick. Adding a few internal links on a Friday can have a massive change by the end of the month. Updating product photos can boost your sales overnight.

But it's important to track what you've done and the result that came next. If you don't, you'll be wasting a lot of your effort. Thankfully, by tracking and measuring your changes, you can use what you learn to drive better, faster results.

Your first step to improving how you market your Shopify store

Hopefully, you better understand how to build an SEO plan for your Shopify store and aren't so scared! 

SEO is an ongoing process that requires continual tweaking and work, but it's not as demanding as posting on social media or coming up with 10 new hooks for TikTok videos.

So remember, it's a marathon, not a sprint! Be kind to yourself along the journey and reward yourself along the way.

About the author

In the last decade, AJ Saunders has launched an eBook publishing company, a global ecommerce shop, and now runs Audacious Commerce, a strategy-first eCommerce growth agency. Outside digital marketing, AJ likes dogs, walking, and exploring country houses!

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Explore Instant today to start building high-converting landing pages and sections, no-code required.

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