Shopify SEO 2020: Step-by-Step Guide and Optimization

Shopify SEO 2020: Step-by-Step Guide and Optimization

Shopify is a service that makes it possible to launch your own Internet shop using its software.

Paying the monthly $29 subscription, you get quite widely functional tools for your website and the possibility to conveniently edit the wares and shop itself. You will also get designed layouts that can be edited according to your preferences.

In general, Shopify enables you to avoid a big chunk of work related to site creation.

Launch Your Shopify Shop (Step-by-Step)

Step 1. Sign up on Shopify:

Open the website and fill in the line for quick registration.


Set the password and name of the store (the name can be changed at any point in time).

On the next page, you are to provide the following information:

  • Do you sell anything now?
  • Your current profits.
  • Niche in which you are going to work.

Contingent on the first response, you will be asked to fill in a few more lines of information:

  • “I am simply studying the service” – the website will propose assistance to create a logo, name of the shop/enterprise; you can watch a webinar for beginner entrepreneurs from Shopify; the service also helps with your search for products to sell.
  • “I do not sell anything yet” – a new line will appear asking if you have items to sell. If not, the service will suggest assistance in your search.
  • “I sell but not on the Internet” – the website will ask when you would like to launch your shop and how you would like to trade (only online, only offline, or both).
  • “I have got a shop on another service” – it will be necessary to reply which service you use and why you would like to create a shop on Shopify.

If you just want to study Shopify’s services, you should choose the first option. The questions about income and shop niche can be filled in at your discretion.

Then, you can move on to filling out your personal information.

Step 2. Setting the Shop


On this screen, there is information that should be looked at to start setting up your shop.

Step 3. Choosing a Theme and Layout

Shopify has a huge variety of design layouts that can be changed without needing to dive into HTML or CSS.

Aside from free designs, there are also premium themes that can be purchased. If you would like to fundamentally change the design of your store, there is a special team of designer agencies – Shopify Experts for this. You can hire specialists to change your store completely.

Let’s begin with the search for a suitable theme:

The Theme Store

Here, you can find more than 70 styles of themes that have several variations within one layout. When this article was written, there were 8 free themes available that had 2-3 style variations.

Use filters to find preferred styles for your shop quicker.

  • Check Comments and Functionality

Before making a choice, it is recommended that you check out the detailed information on a theme, as well as feedback from its past users.

  • Viewing the Theme in Your Shop

The function View Demo lets you view how a certain theme will look in your store without having to apply it.

  • Install the Theme

Install the theme you like best and continue on.

Step 4. Edit Your Store

Themes in Shopify make it possible to change many elements. Because of this, there are almost no identical stores on Shopify.

In the section Themes, you can start on your customization. Before starting this process, it is recommended that you save your standard layout.


Here, changes can be made at a comprehensible level. The available layouts give quite a wide range of options for customization. Don’t be afraid to experiment with the appearance of your shop.

The integration of social networks to your website is also possible. The buttons tweet/pin +1 allow users to share your product on social networks with just one click.

Step 5. Add Products

To add products to the store, go to the section Products. If you haven’t yet found goods to sell, you may ask Shopify for assistance or refer to Shopify guides.


You can fill in the information on the product, upload pictures, etc. Pay particular attention to descriptions and headings. We will talk a bit later on how to correctly fill in these pages from the perspective of SEO-promotion.

Make sure that the pictures of your products are all the same size, otherwise, the appearance of your store won’t be attractive to potential buyers.

Collection of Wares

A group of products that have certain common features on Shopify is called a collection. The creation of collections makes it easier for clients to navigate your shop.

Usually, collections are depicted on the Home page or on the control panel so that a client can find the product that they are looking for without viewing the entire catalog.

To create a collection, go to the section Products Collections.


Collections can be both manual and automatic.

  • Manual– you choose and add products to a collection manually.
  • Automatic– you set the conditions for an automatic ranking to a certain collection based on particular criteria.


Payment gateways make it possible to receive payments from clients. Carefully read the pricing, commission rates, and functions of payment gateways.

Charges for a Transaction

To make transactions, some gateways can charge commissions such as a percent from the value of the product or a fixed amount each time.

Bank Cards

It is important to know which types of payments are accepted by a particular gateway. Almost all of them accept Visa and MasterCard. However, it is necessary to take into account that PayPal is becoming more and more popular. American Express should not be ignored either.

The price for the gateway transaction is added to the price of the transactions carried out by Shopify on its own. Stores in the USA and Great Britain can use Shopify Payments.

Step 6. Domain Name

It is possible to conduct a Shopify domain name search and buy a domain on Shopify. This saves time, especially if you have no knowledge about site hosting.

Usually, such domains cost around $9-14 per year. The second option is to buy a domain from a third-party supplier. The cost for these domains starts at $10 per year.

The disadvantage of the second option is that you will have to redirect DNS records on your own, which may be a complicated process if you have no knowledge and experience.

Step 7. Getting Your Internet Shop

Before launching your store, it is necessary to add information about your company, such as terms of tax payment and terms of delivery.

General Settings

Make sure that the information in Settings General is filled in.


Payment of Taxes

Go to the page of any of your products. Make sure that in front of the lines Taxes and/or Delivery required, there are checked flags if there is a need to include the cost of delivery and taxes in the price for the product.


Shopify will calculate the cost of delivery for your customers based on the rules you have sent on the delivery page.

Check the page Shipping in the settings and set rules that are convenient for you. 

Remember: the more shipping options, the less often users will leave because they cannot find suitable terms.


Congratulations! Now you have got your store on Shopify. It is time to work on how to SEO Shopify and attract your first clients.

It is worth it to start with an SEO promotion, which we will talk about further.

What Is SEO for Shopify?

Search engine optimization helps your site to climb higher than your competitors in the search result rankings. The rules of this optimization are more unique for Shopify in comparison to the other sites.

In Shopify stores, there are standard useful functions for SEO such as blogging and redirection. However, standard functions may also cause some difficulties with optimization.

Read on about the advantages and difficulties of Shopify SEO in this article.

Optimize the Website Structure

If your site is conveniently structured, users will spend more time in your shop and view more pages. This positively influences purchases and SEO for Shopify store.

How Is It Possible to Improve Navigation On the Site?

Make It Easier

Some shops have too many categories and subcategories. This will only confuse a potential customer. Try making navigation as easy as possible.

Having a convenient site structure makes it possible for the search engine robot to quickly scan your site, which will result in speeding up its indexation.

A properly structured site should look something like this:


Such a structure enables users to get to the product that they are looking for in two clicks and allow search systems to quickly scan the site.

Shopify makes it possible to conveniently structure the site according to the below schemes:

  • Home Page » Category » Product
  • Home Page » Category » Subcategory » Product

In addition to pages of categories, subcategories, and products, it is recommended to fill in the pages About us and Contacts. These pages let customers and a search robot know that your site can be trusted.

Filling out these pages alone won’t make your shop authoritative for search systems and clients, but it is a good first step on the way to your target.

Improve Site Usability

A convenient site creates fewer excuses for a client to leave it. Improvement of site usability is an endless process. That said, we are going to consider some easy and quick ways to make your shop convenient for a customer.

Speed of the Site

This is particularly important for users who visit sites from cell phones and use mobile data. Here are a few recommendations on how to improve SEO on Shopify and increase the site speed:

  • Use a theme for mobile devices;
  • Optimize pictures on the site (optimization of the size of the image);
  • Delete all the Shopify SEO apps you do not use;
  • And do not use sliders.
  • To find out more detailed information on increasing the speed of your site, read the manual from Google.

Responsive Design

Responsive designs make it possible for your store to be convenient and look well on any device.

Year after year, more and more people are using cell phones or tablets to make purchases. Adaptive design is becoming a necessity, not an additional function.

For search systems, it is important how much time a user spends on your site. The adaptive design will undoubtedly increase the average time of a user’s session from a cell phone and/or tablet.

Find Correct Keys

Keywords are the basis of SEO. According to Shopify SEO tips, it is not recommended to immediately begin with using tools. Instead, first, make up at least 5 topics related to your business that interest your potential clients.

Imagine yourself as your client. How would you search for a product that you need?

Check the ideas of your keywords with Adwords, SEMRush, and other services for searching for key phrases. Make up a table with keywords that have high hits.

Make an analysis of your competitors’ sites in your niche and check out the keywords that they use. You can check them manually or by means of special services.

Some services may even provide data on how complicated it is to get to the top 10 based on a certain key phrase. Do not use high-frequency requests with a high rate of competition when launching your shop. It is likely that you won’t manage to even get to the top 50 with these keywords.

You may try non-standard methods of keywords’ search:

  • Look for forums and subreddits related to your products
  • Social media hashtags related to your products
  • View titles, meta descriptions, and descriptions of pictures on the sites of competitors

Optimize Pages With Your Products


Before getting to this stage, make sure that you have already made the site structure easy and have collected keywords.

It is worth beginning with the homepage where, most likely, you will have collections and groups of the most often sold products placed. After this, it will be necessary to work on pages with products.

It is better to optimize everything. However, after the homepage, work on the pages with products that are well sold or have most of the views.

The majority of successful shops optimize their titles according to the below scheme:

Keyword 1 – Shop on keyword 2 – Shop name

T-shirts with a guitar – Shop for T-shirts with a guitar – Best shop

It is worth remembering that you create the page for a client, so do not overload it with keywords. If these keywords do not look natural, it is better to delete them or paraphrase.

An optimized page should have a good title with a keyword phrase that you need.

The description does not influence ranking. It is written only to help describe the product. It should be comprehensible and respond to all the questions of users related to this product.

The description is also important because most often it appears as a snippet (description under the title and link in search result). This description directly influences the number of people that will follow the link after seeing it. A good CTR positively influences SEO for Shopify store.

In the case of heading and title, remember that no matter how well you write tags for search engines, if they do not look attractive for a client, you won’t sell your product.

Be sure to check how market leaders in your field optimize their pages.

It is recommended not to ignore alt tags for pictures. This won’t take too much time but sometimes this brings surprising results.


Backlinks for search systems are a signal that your site can be trusted. This is alike to scientific articles. The more that scientists refer to your work, the higher your authority is.

Links of Suppliers and Manufacturers

Some companies leave links to the stores that sell their products on their sites.

Write to them and ask if they can place a link to your store.

Broken Links

This is a complicated process that requires a significant time investment. Find non-working links to products or services that you provide. Write to the email of the resources where these non-working links are placed and suggest that they replace these links with yours.

Broken links harm SEO for Shopify store so this is going to be a mutually beneficial deal.

Link building is quite a vast subject in SEO. It is impossible to stuff all of the important information into one section. If you want to read more on building links, check specialized resources.

Do Not Forget About Content Marketing

Having an optimized homepage and pages with products is a good beginning. However, you can achieve even more with the help of content marketing.

To be precise, it is necessary to create content that will satisfy the informational requests of your potential customers. On Shopify, you have the option to launch a blog specifically for these purposes.

Let us consider the case of a store for cat food.

Your audience is the owners of cats. This means that it is necessary to select a couple of questions that interest your audience and reply to them.

You could talk about how cat owners have problems with the excess weight of their pets for example. Open Adwords and search for how people are looking for ways to solve this problem.

“Best cat food for weight loss!” This phrase is suitable for the promotion of this shop and has the best indexes amongst the other relevant phrases.

Analyze if there are articles on the topic. If there are, try to write better content. It is important that an article is informative. I add native advertising of how my cat food is good for weight loss, however, this is not required.

A user worried about the excess weight of a pet starts googling what to do about this and finds my article. They are probably going to buy my cat food right after reading the article. Even if they don’t, this content positively influences Shopify SEO.

This is a chance to give buyers and potential clients the opportunity to find out about your brand in a way that does not require sales. This is also one of the easiest ways to get more keywords and links.

Good content marketing can get you tons of traffic as in field-specific niches, people have many questions and the Internet has few answers.

Use Only Authoritative SEO-tools

These Shopify SEO tools will facilitate the process of optimization, however, they have a small problem. It is necessary to find those services that provide all of the functions necessary for optimization.

On the below list, there are 5 tools that will facilitate the process of optimization:

Plugin SEO


  • Regular updates
  • Multilingual
  • Automatic monitoring of your store and notifications of mistakes in your email

The greatest benefit of this service is its automatic checking. Your titles, descriptions, and general optimization will be regularly checked. If the service finds any mistakes, you will be notified by email.

Smart SEO


  • Speeds up optimization of your store
  • It is unnecessary to manually fill in meta and alt tags
  • It transfers already structured data into search systems

Smart SEO makes it possible to create meta tags for all the pages, as well as alt tags for images without the need to manually edit them. This plugin can transfer data on your site for search systems. The data is already structured– JSON-LD is used for this.

SEO Image Optimizer


  • It is possible to get additional traffic from search by images in Google
  • It is easy to optimize pictures
  • No additional software or skills are required

It is unnecessary to download PhotoShop or other editors for your images to decrease the size of pictures on your site. It is possible to use a plugin that has been designed specifically for this purpose.

Optimization of images is an important aspect of increasing your site speed. It is necessary for pictures to look attractive and that they do not take too much memory due to having too-large of a size. Such pictures slow down the process of a page loading.



  • It is possible to quickly check one’s pages and get recommendations on optimization with Yoast for Shopify
  • Edit several pages simultaneously
  • Regular updates based on changes in google algorithms

This is one of the most popular and useful plugins for Shopify SEO. It is worth being studied and tried.


  • Service for complex SEO optimization
  • Analyze competitors’ keywords
  • Track your rankings by keywords
  • Check which pages (yours and your competitors’) to optimize organic traffic

SEMRush is especially useful for the search of unseized keywords that could bring good traffic unexpectedly. Also, the ability to track the ranking of your positions and of competitors’ is a beneficial tool for your store optimization.

Duplicated Content

Duplicated content is a full or partial similarity of content on various pages of one website. This is harmful to SEO because the search system cannot understand which of the pages is canonical and which should be shown in the search result.

On Shopify, duplicated content can most often be seen as duplicates of the product pages or on repeated pages of collections through pages’ enumeration.

If you have a small shop, you can manually view the site and delete duplicates. However, even in such cases, I recommend using specialized services. 

Indexation and Scanning

Some elements of Shopify SEO are unique, especially when it comes to scanning and indexation. These elements are particularly important to SEO, thus it is crucial to know the difference.


On Shopify, you cannot set the file robots.txt as it is officially declared by Shopify administration. It is possible to use a noindex tag, but this is not very effective if you want to forbid Google from scanning all of your content.

To exclude such a page from indexation, it is necessary to add in the file theme.liquid the following code:

{% if template contains ‘search’ %}

<meta name=”robots” content=”noindex”>

{% endif %}

Log Files

Shopify does not provide users with the information from log files just like it does not provide the ability to edit robots.txt.

That’s Not All

After you fulfill all these Shopify SEO tips, you will undoubtedly rise in rankings and start getting more traffic, but there is more to come. In this article, I have tried to provide you with a general understanding of what should be done for every type of shop. The search of keywords or link building however deserves being scrutinized separately.

Never stop in the improvement of your shop. Experiment with keywords, content, look for links and improve your store step-by-step, increasing indexes and profits.

This Shopify SEO guide is about continuous search optimization to improve your website. The worst thing you can do in this niche is to think that you have reached your goals and stop.



About author
Since 2014, Raimond began to engage in copywriting as a freelancer. Since 2015, he began to study SEO and became a junior SEO in a web studio. Until 2019, he managed to work in 2 companies and moved to a startup as a SEO, where he got acquainted with the ACO since the company had its own application. For the last year, Raimond has been paying more attention to application optimization, without stopping to engage in SEO.