Is Shopify Good for SEO? A Simple Overview

The Basics of Shopify Search Engine Optimization

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Is Shopify good for SEO? Many people agree that Shopify is a powerful and versatile store-building platform, but how effective is it at allowing you to capture attention from the search engine results pages? After all, to ensure your Shopify store makes an impact, you’re going to need SEO.

The simple answer is yes, Shopify does have a number of tools available to ensure you can thrive in the search engines. However, there are some limitations too. If you want to make sure your Shopify store ranks, you’ll need to ensure you’re leveraging the features available effectively, and avoiding any potential hurdles.

Here’s everything you need to know about Shopify SEO.

Shopify SEO Features: What Can Shopify Do?

Shopify comes with a host of search engine optimization features built-in, to help you improve your chances of ranking on the search engine result pages. What’s more, if you don’t find the exact tools you need to optimize your content and images within the Shopify platform, the app marketplace offered by the company ensures you can always seek out solutions from third-party vendors.

Here are some of the core SEO capabilities Shopify offers:

  • XML Sitemap generation: Within Shopify, users can create an XML sitemap to give search engines a better understanding of your digital store’s structure. This ensures the search engine bots can more easily crawl and index your website.
  • 301 Redirects: When your URL earns a good ranking in the search engines, you don’t want to remove a broken link. Using a 301 redirect can help you to maintain your ranking for an URL, while delivering better user experiences.
  • Robot.txt files: The Robots.txt file on your site tells search engines which pages to crawl, and which to avoid. Shopify can automatically generate this file on your behalf, which saves you a lot of time and effort if you’re a technical SEO novice.
  • Mobile-friendly themes: Shopify offers a host of paid and free themes which are already optimized for mobile browsers. This helps to ensure your customers can connect with you on any device, and boosts your ranking with search engines like Google.
  • SEO apps: The Shopify marketplace is home to a host of search engine optimization apps, offering everything from meta tag development, to AMP integration, Google snippet management, image optimization, and tools for fixing broken links.
  • Fast page delivery: Shopify uses a global network and CDN, and converts images into Webp to ensure your pages will load quickly. Fast loading speeds improve your site’s reputation with Google, and deliver an excellent user experience for your customers.
  • Google analytics: With Shopify, users can easily add Google Analytics to their online store, and use the tool to access all of the insights they need for better search engine optimization. The free and simple tool provides exceptional behind-the-scenes information on SEO.
  • Canonical tags: It’s common to have duplicate links on any store with similar page contents. If the search engine indexes both links, you can struggle with SEO. Canonical tags on Shopify allows you to address this problem quickly and conveniently.
  • SSL security: Shopify stores come with an SSL certificate as standard, to ensure data shared with your website remains secure. The SSL security certificate gives you a HTTPS URL, and defines your store as secure in the eyes of Google and other search engines.
  • Basic structured data: Shopify’s structured data makes it easy for search engines to find prices, names, descriptions, and other details about your products. The only downside is you might need to have a little coding knowledge to set everything up.
  • On-page SEO: When you’re creating pages for your store or website, Shopify has a built-in SEO solution on each page, designed to help you with writing title and description tags, alt tags for images, URLs, and headings.
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Problems with Shopify SEO: The Issues You Might Face

While Shopify does offer a huge number of great SEO tools, apps, and add-ons, there are some disadvantages you might need to overcome to ensure your site continues to rank well. Most of the time, these issues can be fixed with add-ons or help from a developer.

First, it’s worth noting that while you can automatically generate a site map with Shopify, you can’t necessarily customize it. Additionally, the structured data function from Shopify is a little simplistic. You may need to consider downloading additional apps to ensure you’re providing Google with plenty of information about your store and website pages.

Another potential downside is the blogging functionality from Shopify. While you can easily create blogs on Shopify, there are some limitations to the content you can create. For instance, you can’t necessarily allow users to share content to social media without an add-on. Adding no-follow tags and outbound links is difficult, and gallery uploads can be a problem too.

When you create posts with Shopify, there’s also a risk you may encounter problems with duplicate content and canonical tags. You might need to work with a developer to ensure you’re not creating any links that would otherwise harm your ranking.

What’s more, the posts you create with Shopify can sometimes have issues with subcategories, URLs, site hierarchical structures and so on. Shopify provides a fixed hierarchal structure for its pages, without a lot of options for adding sub categories. The more you try to build out from this hierarchy, the more you’ll end up with a messy site structure, which can make your site more difficult to navigate for the search engines, and your consumers.

Finally, Shopify does have some issues with international SEO. You’ll need to ensure you’re using the right tools and add-ons to set up a multinational store and create content in the right local language.

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Shopify SEO Pros and Cons

If you’re still confused about how good Shopify will really be for your SEO efforts, here’s the simple rundown. Shopify is good for SEO in general, but it does have some limitations, like a lot of store builders. The good news is you can generally overcome the limitations of your Shopify store with apps, add-ons, and a little developer help.

Shopify SEO Pros 👍

  • Simplicity: Most of the SEO solutions available from Shopify are easy to implement, and the backend is extremely intuitive. You shouldn’t have too much trouble getting started.
  • Toolkits: Shopify comes with the majority of the main SEO options most store owners need, such as canonical instructions, 301 redirects, customizable title tags, and sitemap generation.
  • Speed: Shopify is an agile hosted platform, particularly if you choose a lightweight template and avoid adding too many “extras” to your store from the app marketplace.
  • Uptime: Shopify maintains an excellent uptime, which reduces the risk of your site suddenly going down and preventing you from interacting with customers.
  • Support: Not only does Shopify have an excellent in-house support team, but it has a vast community of developers and professionals to help you with SEO.
  • Extensibility: Thanks to the Shopify app market, you can easily overcome a range of search engine optimization issues with add-ons and integrations.
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Is Shopify Good for SEO?

Personally, I do think Shopify is relatively good for SEO. It comes with most of the basic features store owners will need to improve their chances of ranking correctly on the search engines. While there are some limitations if you want absolute control over your technical, on-page, and off-page search engine optimization, most issues are relatively easy to overcome.

The fact that you can always add extra Shopify SEO components to your store with apps and add-ons ensures you shouldn’t have too much of a problem making sure you connect with the search engines and your audience. Additionally, most of the limitations of Shopify will really only affect companies looking to get extremely advanced with their SEO strategy.

If you’re looking for a versatile store builder with plenty of SEO capabilities, Shopify could be an excellent choice.

Rebekah Carter

Rebekah Carter is an experienced content creator, news reporter, and blogger specializing in marketing, business development, and technology. Her expertise covers everything from artificial intelligence to email marketing software and extended reality devices. When she’s not writing, Rebekah spends most of her time reading, exploring the great outdoors, and gaming.

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