How to Optimize Your Custom Shopify Website for SEO


When it comes to the competitive world of e-commerce, ranking high in search results is vital for new customers and boosting sales. Luckily, Shopify stores have functionalities that can help you to optimize your website for search engines. But where do you start? Don’t worry SEO experts, this guide will show you how to unlock the SEO potential of your Shopify store! 

Content is King

Firstly, high-quality content forms the bedrock of SEO strategies and is the cornerstone of its success. Think buying guides, industry trends, or comprehensive product descriptions that delve deeper than mere features and resonate with your visitors.

The fact that this establishes your expertise as a mere by-product emphasizes the importance of good content.

Keyword Research

The core of any successful SEO campaign is through keyword research to identify the terms people use to find products like yours.  Sprinkle these keywords naturally throughout your product descriptions, titles, ALT tags, and meta descriptions. Don’t forget, keyword stuffing is a big no-no – focus on providing valuable content first and foremost. Tools like Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, or Ahrefs can help you further.

  • Focus on specific, longer phrases that indicate higher purchase intent (for instance, “wallets” compared to “handcrafted leather wallets”).
  • Analyze competitors’ websites to identify keywords they are ranking for and consider targeting similar ones.
  • Keywords can generally be categorized into four types based on what the user is looking for:
  • Informational: These are used when users seek information or answers. Used on resource pages.
  • Navigational: Searchers want to find a specific site or page. These keywords are best suited for your homepage. (e.g Youtube, a coffee place near me)
  • Transactional: These are used for product and service pages as they indicate that the user is ready to make a purchase. (e.g Buy crypto online, RVs for sale, etc)
  • Commercial: Suggests that users are researching products or services to buy. Also suitable for product and service pages (Mcdonalds coffee vs Dunkin’s coffee etc)

Add Schema Markup

Imagine a website as a box of goods and search engines like detectives trying to figure out what’s inside.  Regular website content can be like a jumbled mess to search engines since they operate on algorithms we don’t provide extra information then it will not be able to differentiate a product page from other types of content. Structured data (or schema markup) acts like labels on those goods, clearly indicating what each item is.

You could either use Shopify Apps like “SEO Manager” or “JSON-LD for SEO” to automate schema markup implementation for various content types or  perform Manual Implementation- For advanced customization, you can manually add schema markup to your Shopify theme files using JSON-LD

Here’s a brief explanation of the manual method

  • Access your Shopify store’s theme files (Online Store > Themes > Actions > Edit Code.)
  • Generate a relevant schema code and add it to the head section of the page
  •  Validate your schema markup through  Schema Markup Validator or Google’s Rich Results Test tool

 This will provide a competitive advantage by making your listings stand out in SERPs. Plus, it’ll also result in improved click-through rates causing higher traffic volumes from organic search.

Building Backlinks: The Off-page Advantage

  • Become a source for reporters/journalists

Actively reach out to relevant publications and offer your insights to establish yourself as an authority in your niche. You can also become an expert source by submitting expert quotes on platforms like Terkel, Qwoted, and HARO with a link back to your website so you can score a quality backlink. 

  •  Guest blogging:

Reach out to other well-known websites related to your niche and inquire about guest blogging opportunities. You can offer to write or post articles relevant to your audience with links to your website. You can also use Google Search Operators to find guest posting opportunities.

  • Broken Link building:

Find broken links on relevant websites and then Reach out to the website owners offering to replace those links with links to your website. It’s a win-win situation– you get a backlink and they fix a broken link.

  • Skyscraper Technique:

This technique consists of finding popular content in your niche (skyscrapers) and creating something better or more up-to-date. Then offer your improved version as a replacement

Social Media Promotion

Although not directly, your business’s presence on social media is vital for the betterment of SEO on your store. Social media can enhance brand awareness, drive organic traffic, and boost website visibility. Engaging content and strategic hashtag use can attract users and expose your brand to a wider audience. You can do this by:

  • Post consistently and at optimal times to maximize reach and engagement.
  • Utilize high-quality visuals to make your content stand out.
  • Use relevant hashtags to increase discoverability.
  • Run online contests or giveaways to create excitement and brand awareness.

Improve Website Performance

If your website is slow to load, then it’s more than likely that your visitors have bounced away and onto your competitor’s site instead.

You can measure your website performance using tools such as Google’s Core Web Vitals assessment. Some effective ways to improve your Shopify store’s performance for SEO are:

  • Uninstall unnecessary apps.
  • Shopify offers built-in SEO features, but consider apps like Plug in SEO Optimizer to manage SEO tasks and identify areas for improvement.
  • Use tools like Google PageSpeed Insights or GTmetrix to analyze and optimize your Shopify store’s loading times.
  • Compress images, leverage browser caching, and minimize CSS and JavaScript files.
  • Minimize the number of HTTP requests by combining and compressing CSS and JavaScript files.
  • If you’re not much of a tech person, you may also need help from a Shopify developer to improve your online store from the technical SEO aspects.

Optimize on-page Elements

Not direct ranking factors but well-crafted and optimized metadata of web pages can help increase the click-through rates on the SERPs.

How to write SEO-friendly titles and meta descriptions for Shopify:

  • Include primary keywords in titles and meta descriptions to increase CTR
  • Use clean and descriptive URLs that also include the relevant keywords.
  • Write compelling meta descriptions of about 50-160 characters- make sure to keep each one unique
  • You can use a SERP Simulator to write better metadata.

Custom Domains

Using a custom domain is necessary for establishing a professional online presence and improving your brand identity. Here’s why using a custom domain is important and how to effectively utilize it:

Importance of Using a Custom Domain

  • Builds Brand Identity and Trust
  • Improves SEO performance
  • Provides Memorability due to the ability to customize your web address.

Custom domains are a vital strategic decision that impacts your brand’s visibility, credibility, and SEO performance. If done correctly, it can easily drive more sales for your business and embellish your online presence.


There are many ways to improve your SEO performance, and the ones listed above are deemed most crucial. Of course, if you really are willing, then there are a bunch of other things you can practice like installing SEO apps (Plug in SEO, SEO Manager, etc), making your website more visually appealing, and running regular website audits. Remember, your SEO’s improvement is a marathon and not a race, it may take some time but always remain consistent with your efforts.  Hopefully, this post will help you with your Shopify website optimization.



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