SEO checklist for Shopify stores
All OpenThinking themes are built with Search Engines in mind, OpenThinking’s Shopify themes include a powerful SEO engine out of the box but this alone can’t make your website rank higher if the content you add to your store and how you present it isn’t optimised itself.
As you prepare to publish your site, go through the list below to ensure your store is optimised for search engines and visitors alike.
This is a Shopify SEO checklist but you can apply this to any type of website. We’re not going in detail on where to make this changes inside the Shopify admin, but we’re creating a detailed tutorial.
Before launching your site, optimise it for search engines:
- Site title – Most browsers display usually the first 50–60 characters of a title tag. If you keep your titles under 60 characters, our research suggests that you can expect about 90% of your titles to display properly in the SERPs. While writing concise titles is important for human readability and comprehension, Web spiders will take into account the entire title tag when they crawl your pages.
- Site description – Meta descriptions can be of any length, but Google generally truncates snippets to 155-160 characters. It’s best to keep meta descriptions long enough that they’re sufficiently descriptive, so we recommend descriptions between 50 and 160 characters.
- Add your location – Your business has a better chance of appearing in searches for your area if Google and your customers can see your location. If you have a business with a physical location, we recommend you create a Contact us page with your address and a map or a link to pointing to Google maps.
- Publish your location online – Create and manage online listings for your business’s physical location, serviced areas, and hours of operation. You can add this information inside your contact page or create a new one.
- Add a favicon – Your site’s browser icon or favicon gives visibility to your site’s brand. The icon may appear in search results, browser tabs, and elsewhere on the web.
- Add social sharing images – Social sharing images display on social media when you or someone else shares your site. Add one to represent your whole site, one for each page individually, and one for each blog post, product, and event.
- Add SEO descriptions – Ensure each page on your site has a unique SEO description. The text should be short and readable (50-300 characters), and summarises the purpose of the page. You can also add SEO descriptions to individual blog posts, products, and events.
- Check your page and title formats – Control how your page titles appear in browser tabs, social shares, and search engine results. You can set this for page titles, the homepage, and collection items (such as blog posts or products).
- Sign up for Google Search Console – Sign up for for Google Search Console and verify your website. After you’ve verified your site with Google, you can manage your site’s presence in Google search results and see how visitors find you.
- Sign up for Bing Webmaster Tools – Similar to Google verify your website with Bing Webmaster Tools to manage your site’s presence on Bing and also Yahoo search results.
- Submit your sitemap to crawlers – Sitemap files are generated automatically. You can find them at the root directory of your Shopify store’s domains, such as your-store.com/sitemap.xml . Copy the URL and submit it to both Bing Webmaster Tolls and Google Search Console.
- Connect Google Analytics – In order to track visits and other reporting of your website.
As soon as your store is published, we recommend you:
Best practices for content
As you build your site, keep these in mind:
- Use keywords strategically – Include text on your site (including page titles and descriptions) that matches the search terms people will use to find sites like yours.
- Images alt text – In addition to increasing accessibility for visually impaired users using screen readers, alt text provides better image context/descriptions to search engine crawlers, helping them to index an images properly.
- Give images readable file names – Image file names may also be used as alt text.
- Add tags and categories – Organise your products, blog posts, and other content with tags and collections to help visitors navigate your site.
- Link to your site’s content – Where it’s relevant, use links inside your descriptions to connect your pages on your website to each other.
- URL slugs – As you add products, collections, pages, ensure their URLs reflect the content of the page.
- Duplicate Content – You need to check that you do not have the same descriptions on multiple pages. If more than one URL shows the same content, search engines don’t know which URL to list higher in the search results. Therefore they might penalise both URLs and rank them lower.
- Keep your pages fast – To ensure your site loads fast, optimise your images before uploading them and keep them under 500kb and the overall page size under 3mb.
- Minimise apps to the minimum – Use as little APPS as possible. Apps load a lot of extra files inside your page and this is going to slow down the speed of your site. Uninstall apps that you’re not using.
- Include your keywords in your URL
- Keep URLs short
- Front-load your keywords in your >title< tag.
- Use your keywords inside your H1, H2 or H3 tags.