Common Shopify SEO problems and how you can fix them

There is one thing that every single eCommerce store owner knows: there is no revenue and sales without traffic, and if you’ve been watching YouTube videos on the subject of growing your eCommerce store – more often than not, you will hear talk about “Facebook Ads” and PPC. Well, unfortunately, they’re not entirely correct. While Facebook Ads and other forms of Paid Advertisement placements are great options to kick start traffic flow, they largely work for seasonal products or very niche products. Both of those categories have one thing in common, they are constrained by time – meaning that long term investments into their brand recognition and search appearance provide little return in their operational time frame. On the other hand, if you are a store owner that is looking to build up a brand and long-term saleable business –  Organic traffic from Search Engines is the prime marketing channel for the highest buying traffic among all other channels that you may come across.

Being a superstar eCommerce SEO agency, we know that SEO can be confusing and almost alien to many people – as such, the awesome humans over at SEOMERCE decided to put together a list of the most common problems and  mistakes we see in Shopify stores that approach us for SEO help. So here it is, the ultimate guide to “Killer Shopify SEO Problems and how you can fix them.”

 

Shopify SEO Problem 1: Tonnes and Tonnes of duplicate page content.

This takes the top first and foremost spot on our list because this is one of the most common Shopify SEO Problems that our clients come across and thankfully this isn’t that difficult to fix if you dedicate a bit of time to really put your mind to it and get it all patched up. Unfortunately, due to the way that Shopify built their platform – more often than not, there are a tonne of duplicate tags and titles (way more than the allowable 8 before it starts to negatively affect rankings.) This generally happens due to Shopify keeping your products accessible via multiple URLs.

For example a given product may reside under:

Mystore.com/products/product1

Mystore.com/collections/collection-one/product1

Now this isn’t necessarily a bad thing as having you product appear in several places is really cool – and the collections pages allow you to leverage a whole new breadth of keywords while still ranking your products individually and thus receive more traffic. So, how do you fix this without breaking a sweat? Easy – simply use the rel=”canonical” tag.

For example, you can simply go to the Header portion of the theme’s code and throw in a tag from the non-canonical page to the canonical copy like this:

<link rel="canonical" href="Mystore.com/products/product1">

This indicates to the search engine is that these two pages are essentially “merged” as one copy appearing in multiple places. Duplicate errors BEGONE!

“Whoa, wait up – I have over a hundred pages I need to do this for?” No no – don’t worry, if for example – your store has sub collections or tags that you don’t really want to have indexed in search engines, you can just throw this into your liquid.theme to save a tonne of time:

{% if template contains ‘collection’ and current_tags %}<meta name=”robots” content=”noindex” /><link rel=”canonical” href=”{{ shop.url }}{{ collection.url }}” />{% else %}<link rel=”canonical” href=”{{ canonical_url }}” />{% endif %}

Wasn’t that awesome? Now, Shopify will dynamically change all of it for you without you having to go through each individual page.

Are you unsure of whether this problem affects you? No worries you can use our Shopify SEO Audit Tool to check which Shopify SEO Problems your site is currently experiencing and get a free checklist of steps to take to resolve those Shopify SEO Problems.

 

SEO Problem 2: My META descriptions are all the same.

This one stems from practically the same stream as the previous Problem, if your Shopify store has multiple META descriptions, you should first check that you’ve solved the canonicalization issue described above and added the rel=”canonical” tag. If you haven’t done so, go do it now – there just isn’t any reason not to do it. If you already have the tag implemented, you are facing a slightly different problem.

Duplicate content and META descriptions are possibly the single biggest ranking factor affecting set of problems that we come across, and often it is one that is followed with quite a bit of tedious cleanup.

If you have implemented the canonical tag above and are still seing some duplicates floating around you may be asking yourself “What do i do now?” The simple answer is that you would need to go through those pages manually and change the descriptions. Now – once you’ve implemented the canonical tag, the number of duplicate pages should be at 0 or drop below 10. If you are still seeing a swarm of duplicate content and META descriptions in your Shopify store – that means that you didn’t implement the canonical tag properly.

The number one culprit behind any remaining pages is using the manufacturer’s description, which the fine folks at Shopify included in the 4th place in their list of “Do-Not’s”.

Generally this occurs when people don’t want to spend the time writing their own descriptions – the manufacturers description is good enough right? Sadly, 90% of those descriptions you would be copying over are not optimized and are not going to help you get your products ranked on search results any faster. That being said – set aside a little bit of time and go through your products to make sure that each and every products has a good, helpful and optimized META description. We completely understand that with dozens and even hundreds of products, this becomes a VERY time consuming task – creating for a set of very daunting Shopify SEO Problems and we strongly recommend turning to a professional eCommerce SEO agency for help in managing your SEO efforts if you are a larger brand. This allows you to focus on your already busy list of to-do’s with the peace of mind that your Shopify store’s SEO efforts are in professional hands.

 

eCommerce SEO Problem 3: Extremely slow Shopify stores.

Let’s face it – Shopify is one big piece of software. And as such, they aren’t exactly the fastest operating eCommerce platform out there. Generally speaking – Shopify does not do a great job of handling Uncompressed Images and a million App Installs. How can we approach this Shopify SEO Problem? Here’s a handy technology checklist for anyone trying to optimize their store’s page for search engine rankings:

Are we using compressed small images?How many apps are we using?(If over 5 apps) Are any of these apps specifically slowing down our page?Is our theme slowing down page load times with a tonne of script loads?

For most of these factors – a quick Google search will get you on your way to a speedy squeaky clean site free of any page-load errors and speed issues. We strongly recommend that you seek professional help with some of these, as if done in-correctly they can cause a lot more harm than good.

And there you have it – the comprehensive list of some Killer Shopify SEO Problems, how you can identify them and then easily fix them on your own store.

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