The 5 Golden Keys To Shopify & Optimising For SEO

November 2, 2023

Written as a guest post on Insaka Ecommerce Academy's site. We also had an interview for his premium students as part of the blog.

Written as a guest post by Honey Whale Labs for Insaka eCommerce Academy.

Search engine optimization can seem like a daunting and confusing task.

You shouldn’t be looking to pay for any digital advertising (Google Ads, Facebook Shop) before you’ve raised a solid SEO foundation that can bring in organic traffic that is more likely to convert and you don’t need to spend a single cent.

And it doesn’t make it easier for anyone when there’s a new youtube video/Facebook ad/Instagram ad every day selling a service about the “latest growth hacking tactic to instantly boost sales by 500%” or something along those lines. All this ever does is make you spend more money on another app that will supposedly solve all your problems. 

You only need to know 5 simple steps that will guide you and help you get to a competent point in your SEO which will allow you to begin focusing your efforts on other aspects of your online store such as content for your products, building your newsletter list, or increasing your conversion rate.

Use these 5 steps when you approach writing content and thinking about SEO in the future. Successful implementation will lead to recurring organic traffic that can help further your business. 

  1. Research your keywords

There seems to be that a lot of beginner store owners and digital marketers that struggle with this step. There are two options for you here. 

The first option would be spending some money and paying for a tool or agency that can show you the volume of traffic for a set of keywords that you research or that is prevalent across your brand and store.

The second option would be starting off with some generic keywords about your brand and products. All you need to do is think about some keywords and phrases that embody your brand and start expanding on them. 

Example: You sell cowboy hats.

Some keywords that might represent your brand or product: cowboys, cowboy hats, cowboy lifestyle, wild west.

Expanding on those keywords: “Shop cowboy hats online in South Africa”, “Cowboy hats available for sale in South Africa”, “Experience the wild west lifestyle with cowboy hats online”.

You would be elaborating on your keywords to create copy content that can be used in your digital advertising as well.

Both options will work. The first will cost you a fee, but you get valuable data that you can start (and trust) with. The second costs nothing, but you won’t be able to specifically target (and uncover) high-volume keywords at first.

  1. Search Engine Listing Previews

Your search engine listing preview is a great way for your products and pages to get found by people searching for your store —and click directly into it.

This is where you’d like to initially establish the keywords that you’ve researched. You want to create some keyword-driven consumer-enticing content in this section as this is what your visitors will see on search engines before accessing your online store. Think about having your brand keywords placed in the title, you want to be recognizable everywhere by your ideal customer.

You can find this section in your Shopify admin dashboard at the bottom of every product page, collection page, and the general page (About us, Contact us, etc.)

Tips for Search Engine Listing Previews:

  • Be as unique as possible for each listing preview.
  • Get creative with your page titles. Eg. “Shop Cowboy Hats Online – Wild West Store | South Africa”
  • Set the tone/attitude of your brand in the meta-description.
  • Put your brand name in the page title
  • Take the opportunity to use your keywords in the URL, nobody wants to click on unclear links with numbers and random letters or symbols

  1. ALT Tags

ALT tags can help you rank higher in Search Engine Ranking Pages (SERPs) by allowing site crawls to be more efficient and helping Google better understand the type of imagery on your store also allowing you to serve your images on Google Images.

You can automate the implementation of ALT tags on your product images by installing a completely FREE Shopify app called “SEO Image Optimiser PRO”.

  1. Create consistently valuable content

Start a blog. This isn’t only for your visitors to read but can also be used as a keyword bank that stores useful keywords for your brand within valuable content for your consumer. 

Not only will this boost your SERP rankings, but will also help establish you as a thought-leader in your industry and on Google.

TIP: We double up on using blogs for landing pages or informational pages. Eg. The 5 Best Leather Wallets can be a blog and a landing page. 

  1. Build relationships

Don’t be afraid to connect with other like-minded businesses/individuals who can help open the doors to their traffic. Ask for backlinks, create blog posts about other brands, and feature in online press or magazines. Get your brand out into the online world!

South Africa has only just started hitting its peak in eCommerce growth especially with the COVID-19 lockdown in effect. More and more people are willing to shop online and that should only motivate you to begin your eCommerce journey today. 

You can start earning revenue without spending on digital advertising. 

It will require some time and effort, but it will be well worth it.

Good luck.

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