A common question among those that are interested in Shopify as an eCommerce platform (or in Shopify SEO services) is “is Shopify good for SEO?”
Well, yes and no. There are features of a platform that can make it good for SEO, of which Shopify possesses many.
And then, there are features that cannot be built into any platform, that must be optimized after the fact.
Let’s take a look at some of them.
What Makes Shopify Good for SEO?
First, let’s take a look at some of the things that make Shopify a suitable choice for SEO. You will find that nearly all of these features are technical ranking factors.
● Great site speeds
Site speed is a critically important technical ranking signal. Google gives preference to fast sites and being hosted, Shopify offers really high site speeds. This is also important as page load speeds will make a huge impact on the customer experience. Most users will bounce right off a page if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load.
● High security
This is another technical ranking signal that impacts both SEO and UX. Again, Google will give preference to websites that are secure or have SSL certificates. On the other hand, users will not trust eCommerce websites that lack the little padlock in the search bar next to “HTTP.”
● Easy to edit data fields
Shopify’s back-end editor makes it easy to adjust metadata and page fields which are critical content ranking factors.
Bear in mind, though that this feature only makes it easy to optimize the pages. It doesn’t optimize them for you, and blank pages will not rank well in the search results, nor bring in appreciable organic traffic.
● Shopify (and its many compatible themes) are mobile friendly
That Google now does mobile-first indexing is not news. In fact, it’s more than three years old. Nonetheless, this is a technical ranking factor that once again impacts both SEO and UX.
● Automatic 301 redirects
Though you can still automatically manage the link structure of your Shopify store, the platform can be configured to automatically generate 301 redirects whenever you change a URL on your website. This helps eliminate 404 errors, which are bad for SEO.
● Automatic XML sitemap generation
Shopify automatically generates an XML sitemap which creates a logical structure for web crawlers to follow when indexing your Shopify website’s pages.
● Auto-generation of robots.txt file
Finally, Shopify also automatically generates a robots.txt file that tells robots (crawlers) what pages they should and should not index.
This helps manage your crawl budget and helps prevent un-optimized, non-user-facing pages from being crawled.
SEO Issues and Ranking Signals That Only Professional Shopify SEO Services Can Address
While those features baked into Shopify are all good for SEO, it’s important to remember that they are all technical and that there are three other pillars of SEO: on-page SEO, off-page SEO, and content.
Only a Shopify SEO company can optimize your website for the other three pillars of SEO for your online store (regardless of the platform).
For instance, Shopify SEO makes it easy for you to perform on-page optimizations, but only a Shopify SEO expert can perform the keyword research and draft fully-optimized copy for each page or an eCommerce business website.
Similarly, the same holds for content. It takes the skill of an SEO-savvy professional writer to create page copy and blog copy that will satisfy both readers and search engines, serving both SEO and content marketing goals.
Finally, there’s off-page SEO, which is effectively just a way to say “backlinks.” No platform, Shopify or otherwise, has links built in. They need to be traded, earned, or sown. Fortunately, some SEO service providers have access to high-DA websites that they can use for the purpose of link building.
So, the best option at your disposal is to work with a Shopify SEO services provider that has experience in the field – that will help you overcome the shortcomings of the platform and build out the other pillars of SEO, on top of technical SEO.