Common SEO Mistakes to Avoid When Using Shopify for Your Online Store

small wooden block with image of shopping cart printed on it

Shopify is a popular ecommerce store builder with numerous benefits such as a range of simple SEO tools, professional themes, and a drag-and-drop interface that anyone can use. From experience, when creating a Shopify store I find that many businesses and entrepreneurs use the basic tools, but their initial SEO strategies can be lacking and mistakes are made.

This is natural as not everyone is an SEO expert however I want to help and in the below guide, I take a look at common SEO mistakes in Shopify and how to correct or avoid them.

Importance of SEO for Shopify

SEO is vital for any ecommerce store – not just sites built on Shopify. This is because the primary means people use to find products and make purchasing decisions is via search engines like Google.

Just think of how you search for something – most likely you either know the website you want such as Amazon and go there directly, or you need advice so you type a simple search query on Google.

SEO on Shopify makes your ecommerce store and content look more appealing and relevant to Google when a potential customer makes that search query. This is done with the use of keywords and other techniques. Essentially, SEO improves the chances your online store gets more visibility on search engines which should lead to more traffic and sales.

Common SEO Mistakes in Shopify

When looking at common SEO mistakes in Shopify, it’s more a case of things you haven’t done as opposed to things you have done wrong and I have listed six common pitfalls below.

1. Creating duplicate content

Duplicate content is a no-go for SEO as Google penalises it in any form. As a result, you must make sure your Shopify content is unique on every page. Don’t simply copy and paste product descriptions for example or re-use blog content. Everything should be unique where possible. There are tools available that can identify duplicate written content and duplicate URLs.

2. URL structure and hierarchy

Shopify is known to produce a less-than-ideal default product URL structure that can negatively impact your SEO. This is because it typically produces multiple URLs for each product based on its relationship with parent categories, etc.

As a result, if you leave your Shopify URL structure as default there can be a lot of duplicate content. You can address this by using canonical URL tags for your product collection pages which makes sure short URLs are used and duplicate content is avoided.

3. A lack of backlinks and internal links

man experiencing stress while sitting in front of his laptopRegardless of the platform and if you are looking at Shopify vs WordPress SEO, backlinks are always important. A successful SEO campaign has a solid backlink structure which includes links to external sites, internal links to your other content, and backlinks pointing to your site from reputable sources.

Building a backlink profile boosts your credibility and visibility with Google and a solid internal link structure also helps crawlers access and understand your site easier for search engine rankings.

4. No SEO performance tracking

Many people think that you can simply implement your SEO and walk away but this isn’t the case. SEO needs constant attention and tinkering and you have to track your performance to make sure your investment and time is paying off.

There are many tracking tools available on platforms like Google Analytics, Semrush, and Moz Pro that provide detailed analytics on things like search rankings, visibility, and keyword viability. 

5. A lack of Alt tags and META content

On-page SEO is one of the simplest things you can do and you don’t need a heap of SEO knowledge to complete these things. However, it’s surprising how many Shopify stores don’t implement basic things like image alt tags and META tags.

Image alt tags primarily serve as an accessibility tool for the visually impaired and describe the image for screen readers but you can also use them to add keywords. The META title and description tags are what show in Google search results too and are one of the most important keyword locations on a page.

6. Limited keyword research

Keyword research forms the backbone of any SEO campaign but I often see businesses neglecting this aspect of SEO. It is possible to use logic and simply think of common search phrases customers might use on Google to generate keywords. 

However, this presents many issues and a lack of information. For example, you don’t know how competitive the keyword is or how much search volume it has. You may put all your efforts into a keyword you think is amazing when in reality it could have an incredibly low search volume and yield poor results. This is why using keyword research tools is vital for your Shopify SEO.

Keep Your Shopify SEO Tight and Avoid These Simple Mistakes

The great thing about common SEO mistakes in Shopify is that you can rectify them and the negative impact is reversible. All it takes is changing a little code, a piece of text, or a URL, for example, to instantly improve your SEO. 

A great way to check for Shopify SEO errors is to get leading Shopify SEO experts to conduct an SEO audit. This audit outlines your overall strategies, their performance, and any mistakes that need fixing, such as missing META tags and a poor backlink profile.

Article by:

Joshua George is the founder of ClickSlice, an SEO Agency based in London, UK.

He has eight years of experience as an SEO Consultant and was recently hired by the UK government for SEO training. Joshua also owns the best-selling SEO course on Udemy, and has taught SEO to over 100,000 students.

His work has been featured in Forbes, Entrepreneur, AgencyAnalytics, Wix and lots more other reputable publications.