On-Page SEO is the is the process of optimizing various components of your website to rank in search engines.
There are 10 components that pages need to monitor:
The examples in this article will focus on Shopify sites and how to fix them.
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In general, you will be optimising for two different parties: Google’s bots and Human readers.
Since human readers aren’t the one ranking your site, Google (or Bing/ Yandex) will have to teach their bots how to interpret human actions. This will be done through click-through rates (CTR) and bounce rates.
That means, you will be working towards improving your
Let’s get started.
For E-commerce sites (specifically product pages), the important components can be grouped together into three major buckets
Overall Site Optimisation
If you are using a Shopify store, this content will also be called the product description.
In general, when someone first arrives on the page, these are the questions to answer
Here are some example screenshots:
Head to the individual products in your Shopify portal to edit the description:
If you have never written in HTML (like most of the population), this might seem daunting at first.
Think of your page as a document in Microsoft word.
In Microsoft word, we have this bar
Basically, in HTML, this bar is represented as H1, H2, H3, H4, H5, H6.
H1 being the most important.
Google puts more emphasis on content in H1 than H6 and normal text.
Make sure to include key phrases in H1.
This component has the most impact of your click-through rates on Google.
Some best practices
Type the keyword you expect this product page to rank for on Google. Check out the top listings
Try to mimic their copy to make it work for you.
Head over to the same product page in your Shopify Portal:
Meta descriptions are the short descriptions you see beneath the Titles in search results
Some best practices
Do the same thing as you did for above, type the keyword or phrase you expect this product page to rank for on Google. Check out the top listings
Try to mimic their copy to make it work for you.
You know the drill. Head over to your Shopify portal and navigate to the bottom of the product page
Perhaps the simplest optimisation on this page, image alt tags. By default, the image alt tags will be a random words and numbers.
Please change that.
Google monitors sites with proper alt tags because not only does it help inform the bots about what the page it about, it also helps them provide sites to those who might be visually impaired.
Head over to your Shopify portal and navigate to your product page to select the images you want to edit .
To dive into whether your shoppers are really finding what they are searching for, head over to your Google Search Console.
Head under performance
Filter to the specific product page you are inspecting and check the keywords click-through and impressions.
Check the top 10 words that people are clicking through on. Are those keywords visible on your page?
If not, you should add them.
These are lost opportunities because it means that your product page did rank in search BUT, your copy wasn’t interesting enough for them to click.
Head back to the section about Headers and Meta description to include some of the keywords mentioned in the search query.
For most Shopify sites, Page URLs and Internal Links are taken care of automatically out of the box.
This section is mainly for those who have larger sites (>50 products) and might have screwed something up along the way.
The bar for this is incredibly low.
Just ensure that your page URL includes what the product page is actually meant to be displaying and it doesn’t look like a randomly generated text.
Same as before, head over to the SEO listing preview to change the URL handle
This is somewhat more complicated depending on how you have structured your site.
What you are trying to optimise for is ease of navigation.
When a URL looks like this:
It tells Google and shoppers that “Blue-Gem-Evening-Gown is related to Oct- Dresses
Google will interpret it as
This will generally take a while to fix. You will need to check your pages section in your Shopify admin to see how your pages are being created.
Every Shopify store comes with SSL and HTTPS out of the box unless you made some weird configuration so we are going to skip that section.
For all of Shopify’s default themes, mobile responsiveness has already been taken care off.
This is only going to be a problem if you built a custom theme and didn’t think through all the mobile optimisations.
Head over to the Mobile-Friendly-Test to check.
Shopify is fast by default.
Your site is delivered to shoppers around the world on Shopify’s content delivery network (CDN).
There are two ways that you might have compromised this:
Font-End App Overload
Apps that interact with the front-end are tricky because although they might drive email captures and sales, there can be too much of a good thing.
Consider limiting these apps to 1-2 a page and setting them to inactive when shoppers are interacting with you store on mobile.
Most apps delete their code injection once you delete your app and according to Shopify, they monitor this on your behalf.
Custom Image CDN
For some stores, rather than uploading images directly to Shopify, they’ve opted to use a separate CDN to deliver their images.
If you know what you are doing, this could actually improve your site speed. If not, this would just be an expensive investment.
Google provides a free service that allows you to check on which part of your site is slowing down the load time.
You should run your store against this lab test to see what needs fixing.
If you want to benchmark your store against 500 others, check out this research.
Some of you might still be wondering what are the differences between on-page and off-page SEO.
Off-page SEO focuses on factors outside your site that aids in search rankings. Some examples include the quantity and quality of backlinks, branded search queries, and social mentions.
For Shopify merchants, you have most of the site configurations don’t automatically for you. You will only need to dive into more complex configurations should you try to add lots of customisations to your store.
The bulk of the work that you will be investing in will be for On-page SEO for your product pages.
Unfortunately, this isn’t a one and done optimisation.
You will have to check in once every couple of months on Google Search console to see if the changes you previously did made any difference to keywords, click-throughs & impressions.
If you need a tool that does the monitoring for you, Product Lens (product marketing platform) can help.
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