When it comes to e-commerce websites, Shopify is the most popular platform to use for many reasons. First, it comes pre-packaged with several powerful selling tools that have been tested and optimized across some of the largest and most successful online stores in the world. Second, it comes with a fully developed backend and payment gateway, allowing you to be up and operational almost instantly. Lastly, there are plenty of addons and features that you can add with a click of the button to enhance your store, without having to know anything about coding or programming.

Thanks to platforms like Shopify, brands can launch with little expense, entirely online, with unlimited scaling opportunities. There is no limit, and the perfect example is Kylie Jenner’s makeup brand, which is built on the Shopify platform and is currently valued at one billion dollars.

While that is an extreme example, there are many Shopify stores that launch and do six to seven figures a month, and the platform works for those selling from their own inventory to those running a drop shipping business model. It’s a universal e-commerce solution, but no matter how good your website is functionality-wise, you still have to get traffic to it.

You could have the best looking and performing website and the highest quality products priced right, but if nobody is visiting the website you aren’t going to generate any sales.

Being one of, if not the top result, when a potential customer searches for a product that your Shopify store sells is how momentum is gained and exponential growth is realized. This is why search engine optimization (SEO) is a major key when it comes to building a successful Shopify store.

Shopify gets a lot of credit for being the platform some of the largest e-commerce websites are built on, and while it’s a great engine to use, it’s the SEO that is responsible for bringing the buyers. Without the sales, an e-commerce store will just collect dust and eventually die.

Here are eight ways to use SEO fundamentals and strategies to scale your Shopify sales.


1. Use a minimalistic Shopify theme built for speed.

One of the nicest features about Shopify is the library of themes available, broken down by category. For the complete novice, this allows the user to select a base to build from, with all of the framework and technical aspects already working. From this starting point, a store owner can add their logo and branding and adjust the colors to match the brand. You can have a fully functional e-commerce store that looks fairly custom with just a couple hours of tweaking.

One mistake I see people make often is skipping on a simple theme and instead buying a third-party one that has too many features, which just slows the performance down, or they hire a development agency to custom build one. Not only do they end up paying 100X more, but not all designers and developers build with speed and performance in mind.

I suggest that you use the most basic theme you can find, direct from Shopify, and then customize it slightly to match your brand. Use that as your starting point, and then if the business is successful you can then hire a Shopify partner agency to further customize it. As your store grows you will think of custom features that will enhance the customer experience and increase sales.


2. Launch an aggressive content marketing effort via a blog.

Content marketing is something every business with a website needs to incorporate into their marketing strategy. Many e-commerce store owners seem to think they don’t have to blog because they are selling products, but they fail to realize what purpose the blog serves, from a customer acquisition standpoint.

When you blog correctly, you publish content that is not only interesting, but also designed to show up in the SERPs for keywords and search phrases that are likely to be typed by individuals looking to buy whatever it is that you are selling.

You have to think of each blog post you publish as being a piece of marketing collateral that is evergreen, with the ability to pull in traffic every single day, for as long as your Shopify store is online. Let’s just assume you publish a blog post every day, and each post you add brings in just 5 visitors a day with interest in what you are selling.

Over a month timeframe, you are going to add an additional 150 high quality visitors. By the end of the year you are pulling in an extra 1,800 monthly visitors from that effort. Content marketing creates exponential growth like no other channel when done correctly.



3. Optimize your product page meta descriptions for high click-through rates.

This is something I see a lot of Shopify store owners skip, and they miss a lot of traffic and improved SEO because of this oversight. If you don’t force-write your meta descriptions for your product pages Google will automatically generate them for you, and there is no guarantee they will “read” your product pages as you want them to.

When they pull this information they use bots that crawl the pages and depending on how the page is structured or coded, it could result in the wrong information being pulled and displayed in the search page descriptions.

When your product page is shown in the SERPs, you want the person to be drawn to your ranking and click-through to land on your website. You help accomplish this by writing very compelling product descriptions. Remember, they don’t impact rankings directly, so write them to attract the customer.

When your website receives a higher percentage of clicks than the other websites ranking around you, it indirectly impacts your SEO, because Google then sees your website as the more popular option and rewards you with a higher position over time.

If you don’t see an improvement in rankings, try to tweak your meta descriptions to pull a higher click-through-rate.


4. Create a conversion/funnel flow designed for mobile.

While all Shopify themes are already mobile optimized, you need to make sure that you don’t add unnecessary steps into the funnel or checkout process that will make it annoying or difficult to complete.

The checkout flow that comes standard has been tested and optimized already. That is what Shopify is known for – the simple flow and having everything designed to help you generate more sales. It’s more than a website platform. It’s more of a complete e-commerce solution.

If you do decide to use addons and plugins that alter the original path, make sure you do your due diligence first. There are a lot of third-party developers, but not all are Shopify certified. I would make sure to research the developer fully and also ready the reviews before installing any optional addons.

For example, there are popular loyalty plugins that create more of a community aspect, which is great if you anticipate repeat buyers, and there are things like upsells and cart abandonment offers that you can mix into the process to generate as well as save sales.

The plugins that have thousands of reviews and are being used on large e-commerce sites are already optimized, so you know they will not disrupt your mobile flow. I would stay far away from anything that hasn’t been thoroughly tested and reviewed.


5. Proper keyword research based on buyer-intent.

The keyword research you perform in the foundation that your SEO campaigns are built on. You need to identify the correct keywords to target, per page, so you can create content and build links accordingly.

It’s very important to understand your customer and how they are likely to naturally search for your products online in order to target the correct terms. The old days of targeting generic keywords based on search volume alone are long gone and that is a very ineffective strategy these days.

For example, you might sell a product called “red widget” and you might have that as its name on your store, but the description will need to target much more in-depth keywords and terms to help impact your SEO.

A consumer isn’t going to simply type “red widget” into the Google search bar. They might search for “red widget reviews,” “best red widgets” or “red widget sale price” if they are interested in making a purchase. You then need to find clever ways to incorporate that language into your descriptions and within the text and titles of your product pages, keeping the flow natural and not making your website reek of poorly optimized spam.



6. Create on-page strategies to keep your visitors on the website longer.

The average time each visitor stays on your website impacts your SEO, so it’s highly beneficial to put measures in place to keep them engaging with content or visiting additional pages. Not only does this help your SEO, but the longer you are able to keep them interested, the greater the chance that they eventually move to the shopping cart to make a purchase.

If you are running large-scale advertising campaigns, like Facebook ads, for example, and are pushing thousands of visitors a day to your website you don’t want to experience a high bounce rate, as it signals to Google that your website doesn’t provide the best customer experience.

First, make sure your navigation is simple. This way, if a visitor is looking for something specific, they can quickly go there. If you make it too hard you will see them leave. Assume that everyone has little to no patience. And you can’t use the number of items in your store as an excuse. Look at Best Buy for a great example. They have tens of thousands of products, but their navigation is very sleek and simple.

You can also use exit-intent popups to keep visitors on your site, shopping cart abandonment popups to give discounts and special offers to those that don’t leave, and little things like recommending additional content to engage with at the end of blog posts.

Dive into your Google Analytics data and see where your traffic is leaving and create strategies to limit those exits. Also, look for your pages with the lowest view times per page and beef those pages and resources up to hold attention longer.


7. Monitor and clean up broken links, duplicate content and redirects.

Sometimes the smallest technical errors on your website can have a significant negative impact on your rankings. I have audited several websites over the years that dipped almost overnight without any warning and after combing through the entire site it was discovered that some broken pages and duplicate content were the culprits.

With e-commerce websites, sometimes the product descriptions will show on the product’s dedicated page, as well as category pages, sale pages, etc. It’s very important that you build the site in a way that doesn’t carry over your descriptions. If you have thousands of products and that content is indexed on multiple pages it can send the wrong message to Google. Advanced themes have this sorted, but many don’t. There are tools like Screaming Frog that will search your entire site for duplicate content. If you have some technical know-how you can attack it, or if not, hire an SEO expert to clean up the mess before it impacts your rankings.

Broken internal links are also bad and Google Search Console is a great place to monitor these. Screaming Frog, as mentioned above, is a great audit tool and it will also identify any outbound links to other websites that are broken. This might all sound tedious but ignoring this is setting your Shopify site up for potential failure.


8. Write product descriptions that incorporate multiple long-tail keywords.

Your product descriptions need to be written in a way that describes the features and information that is important to the potential buyer, but they also need to be optimized to help you attract organic search traffic.

Descriptions have two parts, customer conversion and SEO, and the top Shopify e-commerce stores find ways to cleverly blend the two, creating descriptions that attract visitors and then convert them into buyers.

Some of the more clever product pages have the main description written entirely for the customer. Short and sweet with the goal of getting the person to click “add to cart” as quickly as possible. Then, below the images and out of plain site is the more detailed description, which is entirely for SEO purposes, but it’s laid out in a way that it appears just to be a more in-depth explanation of the product. This is the smart play, as it doesn’t interfere with your customers, and it positively impacts your SEO without looking overly spammy.



SEO is that one online marketing component that you simply can’t ignore, regardless of the type of website you have, from a blog that is generating revenue via ads, or a Shopify website selling physical products. Search engine optimization is vital in terms of success.

The tips above are not revolutionary and they don’t require an expensive team of executives to execute. What it does take is time and dedication. You can’t expect results to happen overnight, but when you are consistently working on all of the items listed above you will begin to see results trickle in.

What are your experiences with Shopify? Are you currently running a Shopify-based e-commerce site? What SEO strategies have you used to increase your sales? I’d love to hear some examples and feedback in the comments below.

Tommy McDonald

Tommy is an SEO professional with years of experience running highly successful SEO companies, founded SerpLogic after noticing there was a major void when it came to options for SEO agencies needing a reliable and professional one-stop outsource solution.You can read all about me in the “About” page here on our blog!

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