When we talk about top rated and most used online platforms for sellers and online shops, Shopify is most certainly one of the best solutions. Today, it is considered to be one of the most popular online retail platforms in the world with almost 380,000 stores and more than $29 billion worth sales. Therefore, it has become a top choice for online retailers. As a platform it really has lots of advantages; it is easy to use, has ability to fulfill all of your specific needs and it also ensures quality SEO features.
Along with the platform’s traffic and sales increase over the last years, Shopify SEO has also been rapidly growing and will most certainly continue doing that in years to come. So, if you are new in Shopify online retail business, you need to have some basic SEO knowledge in order to increase your website visibility and get more customers. Therefore, we intent to give you some of the essential know-how in Shopify SEO in order to start or develop your online retail business.
SSL is a must-do
If you are an online retail newbie here’s an explanation; today SSL is a norm in the meaning of security technology. What does it do? It establishes an encrypted link within a web browser and web server and ensures the privacy of all the data passing in between. To cut story short, the SSL shifts an URL on any web site from the HTTP to HTTPS form.
When you have a SSL certificate as an online retailer it ensures the security of your site. The customers recognize that. At the same time it can help you getting better results within search engines. So, if you are starting your online business on Shopify with completely new domain, SSL activation is rather easy must-do, and in the long term it surely can optimize your search results. If you are not sure if a certain domain name is available or not, you can simply check it out with Shopify. This will only take few minutes.
Another situation that retailers on Shopify often confront is when they need to upgrade security level of a certain existing, still rather unsecure store by using the SSL, or when they tend to move unsecure website to Shopify from any other platform. There are things you should consider while doing that. You see, transforming the existing form of the site into the HTTPS form can impact your browsing results. To avoid that, you have to make sure that every single old link is automatically diverted into the HTTPS form.
How to do that:
- Enter you Shopify admin page and chose Online Store / Domains options
- Open the section “SSL certificates section” and then choose “unencrypted URL” – here you can see a list of all files that bring to the error of mixed content
- Choose the link of the file that causes error and paste it in Internet browser
- Download this file from the browse to your computer
- Upload this file to Shopify and copy its new URL
- Open the Shopify admin section again, find the page which includes file`s original version that has been causing error
- Once you find the original URL of the file in the rich text editor, replace it with the new URL ( it should begin with //.) and save changes
- At the end, choose “retry SSL certificate activation” option from the Shopify admin
It’s good to know that once you activate you SSL certificates Shopify will note you by itself if there are any of your pages causing errors of the mixed content.
Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools – one of the most important Shopify SEO steps
Once you’ve started your online retail business and got into some Shopify SEO basics, you should know that one of the most important steps is to register and submit your Shopify store’s sitemap to Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools. Why use both? Because they complement each other. Never the less, Google Search Console should be your first choice, considering its market share, and Bing Webmaster Tools the second one.
It’s important to point out that, compared to Google Search Console, Bing Webmaster Tools has some really original tools which can help you in testing your organic search results. We should also emphasis that both platforms have the ability of monitoring the security of your web site. In that way, you are able to review some of the potential security problems like malware.
How do you register your Shopify’s sitemap to Google or Bing?
First of all let us explain what a sitemap is? You could say that a sitemap is collection of data telling the search engines everything there is to know about the pages and posts on a certain website. It includes the data about the URLs on your website in an XML format. Sitemaps are very useful in providing information about your page’s modification frequency or which of the pages on your site are more important than the others. To cut story short, registering your Shopify store’s sitemap
To Google or Bing is a really important SEO step in order to allow web spiders to mark new pages on your store website.
Steps on submitting your XML Sitemap to Google:
- Create an XML sitemap by using plugin, extension or manually
- Copy the end URL sitemap.xml or sitemap_index_xml. (depending on the method you have chosen to make a sitemap)
- You need to be shore you are using proper and complete URL
Steps on submitting your XML Sitemap to Bing:
- Create a sitemap, copy its URL and then access your Bing Webmaster Tools Account
- Choose the property you want to submit your sitemap to
- Choose the “Configure My Site” option on the sidebar menu , after that choose “Sitemaps”
- In the “Sitemaps” option click “submit a sitemap” option and then paste the URL of your sitemap
It’s worth mentioning that once you register your Shopify store’s sitemap to Bing Webmaster Tools it will also get spotted by Yahoo web search.