Experienced E-commerce Agency for Magento/ Adobe Commerce/ Shopify/ Shopware Development

Shopify Technical SEO: A Guide to Boost Your Rank

Welcome to the definitive guide on Shopify Technical SEO! In today’s digital marketplace, where over 60% of online experiences begin with a search engine, optimizing your Shopify store for search engines is not just a recommendation, it’s a necessity. With over 1.7 million businesses relying on Shopify, standing out in search engine results has become increasingly challenging yet crucial.

This guide offers you the insights and strategies to enhance your Shopify store’s technical SEO, ensuring it ranks higher, reaches more potential customers, and achieves unprecedented online success.

Let’s dive into the world of SEO optimization tailored for Shopify and unlock the full potential of your online store.

What is Technical SEO

What is Technical SEO

Technical SEO refers to the process of optimizing the technical aspects of a website to improve its ranking on search engines. Unlike other forms of SEO, which focus on content and website promotion, technical SEO is primarily about enhancing the infrastructure of a site. Here is an overview of key things that fall under technical SEO:

  • Site Architecture – This includes how a site’s pages, content, and links are structured and interlinked to help search bots crawl and index the site effectively.
  • Code Quality & Performance – The HTML code structure, scaled loading times, page sizes, and overall onsite performance impact how search engines interpret and rank pages.
  • Mobile Optimization – Making sure pages are mobile-friendly with responsive design, tap targets, clear navigation and quick load times.
  • Security Protocols – Having complete HTTPS protection, SSL certificates, data encryption and permission protocols reassure search engines of site’s trustworthiness.
  • Indexation Tools – Leveraging robots.txt files, XML sitemaps, structured data, image alt tags and canonical tags to optimize crawling.
  • Core Web Vitals – Analyzing metrics like Largest Contentful Paint, First Input Delay and Cumulative Layout Shift helps improve site experience that search engines value.

In summary, technical SEO creates the clean site architecture, speedy performance and seamless accessibility that allows search engines to easily understand and index relevant page content. This strengthens rankings, traffic and conversions.

The technical health of a site sets the foundation upon which great content can shine bright. Technical and content SEO together build a holistic approach that lifts results.

How Does It Apply to Shopify?

Applying technical SEO to a Shopify store involves optimizing various aspects of the e-commerce platform to enhance its visibility and ranking on search engines. Here’s how technical SEO applies to Shopify:

  • Site Structure Optimization: Shopify stores should have a clear and logical structure. This includes organizing products into categories and subcategories, ensuring that navigation is user-friendly, and creating a sitemap that search engines can crawl easily.
  • Mobile Responsiveness: Shopify themes are generally mobile-responsive, but store owners should still ensure that their site looks and performs well on mobile devices, as this is a critical ranking factor for search engines.
  • Page Speed Improvement: Shopify stores can be optimized for speed by compressing images, using fast-loading themes, reducing the use of heavy apps or plugins, and leveraging Shopify’s built-in tools like automatic image compression and content delivery network (CDN) services.
  • SSL and Secure Checkout: Shopify provides SSL certificates for all stores, which not only secures the checkout process but also improves SEO as search engines favor secure sites.
  • URL Structure and Navigation: While Shopify has some limitations in URL customization, store owners can optimize their URLs by using descriptive and keyword-relevant paths, and ensuring that URL structures are consistent across the site.
  • Crawlability and Indexing: Managing robots.txt files and submitting sitemaps through Shopify’s admin panel can help search engines index the site more effectively. It’s also important to manage duplicate content issues which are common in e-commerce platforms.
  • Structured Data and Schema Markup: Utilizing structured data (like product schema) helps search engines better understand and display product information in search results. Shopify themes often include basic schemas, but additional customization might be needed for more detailed data.
  • Error Management: Regularly monitoring for 404 errors and setting up appropriate 301 redirects helps maintain a good user experience and preserves link equity.
  • Image Optimization: Properly optimizing images by compressing them and using descriptive alt tags can improve page load times and accessibility, contributing positively to SEO.
  • Content Optimization: Besides technical aspects, ensuring high-quality, keyword-optimized, and unique content on product pages, blog posts, and other site pages is crucial for SEO.
  • SEO Apps and Plugins: Shopify’s App Store offers various SEO apps and plugins that can help automate or simplify many aspects of technical SEO, from site audits to on-page optimization.

How to Improve Your Shopify Technical SEO

Optimize Site Structure and Navigation

Optimize Site Structure and Navigation

Optimizing site structure and navigation involves organizing the content of your Shopify store in a logical and user-friendly manner. This not only enhances the user experience but also makes it easier for search engines to crawl and index your site, which is crucial for SEO.

How to Do It:

  • Logical Hierarchy: Organize your products into well-defined categories and subcategories. This hierarchy should be intuitive, helping customers find what they’re looking for with ease.
  • Simplified Navigation: Ensure that your site’s navigation menu is simple and straightforward. Avoid cluttering it with too many options. A clean, dropdown menu structure often works well.
  • Breadcrumb Navigation: Implement breadcrumb navigation on your product pages. This not only helps users navigate your site but also gives search engines another layer of structure to understand your site’s layout.
  • Clear URL Structure: Ensure that your URLs reflect the site hierarchy. They should be readable and include relevant keywords where appropriate.
  • Link Internally: Use internal linking to guide visitors to related products or content. This not only improves user engagement but also helps spread link equity throughout your site.
  • Sitemap: Create and submit an XML sitemap to search engines. This helps them discover all of your pages, especially if some are not easily discoverable through links.

A well-organized site with easy navigation significantly enhances the user experience, which can lead to longer visit durations and higher conversion rates. A logical site structure helps search engines crawl your site more efficiently, ensuring that all your pages are indexed and have the potential to rank. With a structured approach, you can effectively distribute keywords across your site, which can boost your SEO.

Enhance Page Speed

Enhancing page speed refers to optimizing the loading time of your Shopify store’s pages. Fast-loading pages improve user experience and are favored by search engines like Google, directly impacting your site’s SEO.

How to Do It:

  • Optimize Images: Compress images without losing quality to reduce their file size. Use formats like JPEG for photographs and PNG for graphics with fewer colors.
  • Minimize Use of Large Files: Avoid or minimize the use of large videos and high-resolution images that can significantly slow down page load times.
  • Use a Fast and Responsive Theme: Choose a Shopify theme that is known for its speed and responsiveness.
  • Limit the Number of Apps and Plugins: Each installed app or plugin can add extra load time, so use only those that are absolutely necessary.
  • Reduce Redirects: Too many redirects can cause additional HTTP requests, which slow down page speed. Eliminate unnecessary redirects.
  • Leverage Browser Caching: This involves storing some of your site’s data on visitors’ browsers, reducing load times for repeat visitors.
  • Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN): CDNs store copies of your site on multiple servers around the world, allowing users to load your site from a server closer to them.
  • Optimize CSS and JavaScript: Minify CSS and JavaScript files (reduce their file size by removing unnecessary spaces and characters) and use asynchronous loading for JavaScript.

Implement Mobile-Friendly Design

Implement Mobile-Friendly Design

Implementing a mobile-friendly design means ensuring that your Shopify store is easily accessible and navigable on mobile devices. This is crucial as a significant portion of internet traffic comes from smartphones and tablets. A mobile-friendly site provides a good user experience on small screens, which is important for retaining visitors and improving SEO.

How to Do It:

  • Responsive Theme Selection: Choose a Shopify theme that is responsive, meaning it automatically adjusts its layout to fit the screen size of the device it’s being viewed on.
  • Test on Multiple Devices: Regularly test your site on various mobile devices to ensure it looks and functions as intended. This includes checking on different operating systems, screen sizes, and browsers.
  • Optimize Images and Videos: Ensure that all multimedia elements are optimized for mobile. They should load quickly and fit the screen size without requiring users to zoom in.
  • Simplify Menus and Navigation: Mobile screens have limited space, so simplify your menus and navigation to make them easy to use on smaller devices. Dropdown menus can be a good solution.
  • Optimize for Touch: Ensure that all buttons and clickable elements are touch-friendly. They should be large enough to be easily tapped with a finger.
  • Minimize Text Input: Reduce the amount of text input required from users, as typing on mobile can be cumbersome. Use dropdowns, checkboxes, and toggle switches where possible.
  • Avoid Pop-ups and Flash: Pop-ups can be very disruptive on mobile, and Flash is often not supported. Avoid using these elements in your mobile design.
  • Use Large, Readable Fonts: Ensure that your text is easily readable on small screens without zooming in.

A mobile-friendly design is essential for providing a good experience for mobile users, who make up a large and growing portion of web traffic. Google uses mobile-first indexing, meaning it primarily uses the mobile version of content for indexing and ranking. A mobile-friendly site is thus crucial for SEO.

Secure Your Site with HTTPS

Securing your site with HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) means that all the data transferred between your Shopify store and your users is encrypted. This is crucial for protecting sensitive information, especially in e-commerce transactions, and it’s also a ranking factor for search engines like Google.

How to Do It:

  • SSL Certificate Installation: Shopify provides an SSL certificate for all its stores, which you need to activate. This certificate encrypts data and changes your URL from http:// to https://.
  • Force HTTPS: Ensure all versions of your pages are accessible only through HTTPS, not HTTP. This can be done in the Shopify settings where you can enable the setting to direct all traffic to HTTPS.
  • Update Internal Links: After switching to HTTPS, update all your internal links to ensure they use HTTPS URLs. This includes links in your navigation, footer, product pages, and any other links within your site.
  • Check and Update External Links: Make sure that any external links you use (like those to vendor sites or social media profiles) are also using HTTPS, if available.
  • Fix Mixed Content Issues: Mixed content occurs when an HTTPS site contains elements loaded over HTTP. This can include images, videos, scripts, and CSS files. Ensure all these elements are loaded over HTTPS to avoid security warnings in browsers.
  • Update Canonical Tags: If you’ve previously used canonical tags pointing to HTTP URLs, update them to point to the HTTPS versions of your pages.

HTTPS protects the integrity and confidentiality of data between the user’s computer and the site, which is essential for e-commerce transactions. Visitors are more likely to trust and make purchases from a site that is visibly secure. Browsers often mark HTTP sites as ‘not secure’, which can deter potential customers.

Optimize URL Structure

URL structure optimization involves creating clear, concise, and descriptive URLs for your Shopify store’s pages. A well-structured URL provides both users and search engines with an easy-to-understand indication of what the page is about. Good URL structure is an important aspect of SEO, as it can improve crawlability and user experience.

Optimize URL Structure

Source: Hubspot

How to Do It:

  • Use Descriptive Keywords: Include relevant keywords in your URLs that accurately describe the content of the page. This helps users and search engines understand what the page is about.
  • Keep It Short and Simple: Avoid long and complicated URLs. They should be easy to read and remember. Shorter URLs are generally preferable from both a user and an SEO perspective.
  • Use Hyphens to Separate Words: In URLs, it’s standard practice to use hyphens (-) instead of underscores (_) to separate words. This is because search engines like Google treat hyphens as space, but underscores are not treated as space.
  • Avoid Unnecessary Parameters: URLs with a lot of numbers, letters, and parameters can be off-putting to users and make it difficult for search engines to crawl your site. Try to limit the use of URL parameters where possible.
  • Maintain a Consistent Structure: Use a consistent structure across your site. For instance, if you are using a pattern like /category/product-name for your product pages, stick with it throughout the site.
  • Lowercase Letters: Always use lowercase letters in URLs. This is because URLs are case-sensitive. Consistency in this aspect can prevent duplicate content issues.
  • Avoid Special Characters: Special characters can cause issues with crawlers and aren’t user-friendly. Stick to letters, numbers, and hyphens.
  • Redirect Old URLs: If you change the URL of a page, ensure that the old URL is redirected to the new one with a 301 redirect. This preserves link equity and keeps users from landing on broken pages.

Clear, well-structured URLs are easier for search engine crawlers to understand and index. Users find it easier to trust and click on URLs that clearly indicate what the page is about. Keywords in URLs can contribute to the page’s ranking in search engines, although their impact is not as high as it used to be.

Implement Structured Data

Implement Structured Data

Structured data, often implemented using schema markup, is a standardized format for providing information about a page and classifying its content. It helps search engines understand the context of your content, allowing them to display it in a more informative and appealing way in search results (such as rich snippets). In the context of a Shopify store, this could include product details, prices, ratings, and availability.

How to Do It:

  • Understand Schema Markup: Learn about the different types of schema (like Product, Review, BreadcrumbList) relevant to your Shopify store. The Schema.org website is a great resource for this.
  • Use Shopify’s Built-in Features: Shopify themes often come with built-in schema markup for products. Check your theme’s documentation to understand what’s already covered.
  • Add Custom Schema Markup: For additional schema types not included in your theme, you can manually add custom schema markup to your Shopify templates. This might require familiarity with Liquid (Shopify’s templating language) and HTML.
  • Use Structured Data Testing Tools: Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool and Rich Results Test can be used to validate your schema markup and check for any errors.
  • Regularly Update Your Markup: Keep your structured data up to date, especially for product availability, pricing, and new product launches.
  • Monitor Performance in Google Search Console: Use Google Search Console to see how your structured data is performing and to identify any issues that Google might have detected.

Optimize Product Pages

Optimizing product pages involves enhancing the content and structure of your Shopify store’s product listings to improve their appeal to both users and search engines. This includes optimizing titles, descriptions, images, and metadata to make them more relevant, engaging, and SEO-friendly.

How to Do It:

  • Keyword-Rich Titles: Craft concise, descriptive titles that include key product-related keywords. Ensure the title clearly represents the product and matches the search terms your target audience might use.
  • Detailed Product Descriptions: Write unique, compelling product descriptions that provide valuable information, including features, benefits, specifications, and unique selling points. Integrate relevant keywords naturally.
  • High-Quality Images: Use high-resolution images that showcase the product from multiple angles. Optimize these images for fast loading by compressing them and using appropriate file formats.
  • Alt Text for Images: Include descriptive alt text for each image, incorporating relevant keywords. This is important for SEO and accessibility.
  • Meta Descriptions: Write unique and engaging meta descriptions for each product page. Include primary keywords and a call to action.
  • URL Optimization: Ensure the URL of each product page is concise, readable, and includes a relevant keyword.
  • User Reviews and Ratings: Encourage customers to leave reviews and ratings, as these can improve trustworthiness and provide additional content for search engines.

Well-optimized product pages are more likely to rank higher in search engine results for relevant queries. Engaging and informative content can significantly improve the user experience, leading to longer time spent on page and higher likelihood of conversion. Clear, appealing product pages with compelling calls to action can drive more sales. High-quality content that meets user expectations can reduce the bounce rate.

Manage Duplicate Content

Duplicate content in the context of SEO refers to substantive blocks of content within or across domains that are either completely identical or very similar. This can be problematic for search engines as it makes it difficult to decide which version of the content to show in search results. In a Shopify context, this often occurs with product descriptions, especially for items that are similar or have variants.

How to Do It:

  • Use Canonical Tags: Canonical tags inform search engines which version of a page is the “master” or preferred one. This is crucial if you have similar products with slightly different pages. Implementing canonical tags helps prevent your pages from competing against each other in search rankings.
  • Unique Product Descriptions: Write unique descriptions for each product, even if the products are similar. This reduces internal duplicate content and can improve the SEO performance of each product page.
  • Avoid Manufacturer’s Descriptions: If you’re reselling products, don’t use the manufacturer’s standard descriptions. Create your own to differentiate your content from that on other stores’ websites.
  • Handle Pagination Carefully: If you have pagination for product lists (like in categories), make sure to implement rel=”next” and rel=”prev” tags to link paginated series correctly, indicating to search engines the relationship between the pages.
  • Handle Out-of-Stock Products Properly: Instead of deleting pages for out-of-stock products (which can create issues), keep the page alive with a message about the product being out of stock, or redirect to a similar product with a 301 redirect.

roper management of duplicate content helps search engines clearly identify and rank your pages, improving your site’s overall SEO performance. Search engines may penalize sites that have a lot of duplicate content by lowering their rankings. Managing duplicate content helps avoid such penalties.

Regularly Audit Your SEO Performance

A regular SEO audit involves systematically reviewing your Shopify store’s website to identify strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities in your SEO strategy. This process helps in uncovering issues that may be hindering your site’s performance in search engine rankings and provides insights for improvement.

How to Do It:

  • Use SEO Audit Tools: Tools like Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Ahrefs, SEMrush, or Moz can provide comprehensive insights into your site’s SEO performance. These tools can help you track rankings, backlinks, keyword performance, and other critical SEO metrics.
SEO Audit Tools:
  • Check for Technical SEO Issues: Look for crawl errors, broken links, loading speed issues, mobile usability problems, and correct use of structured data.
  • Analyze On-Page SEO Elements: Review your site’s content quality, keyword optimization, meta titles, descriptions, header tags, and image alt texts. Ensure they are effectively optimized for your target keywords.
  • Evaluate Off-Page SEO Factors: Assess your backlink profile for quantity and quality of backlinks. Identify potentially harmful backlinks that might need removal or disavowal.
  • Monitor Keyword Rankings: Regularly check how your site ranks for its target keywords and identify new keyword opportunities.
  • Content Review and Update: Audit the content on your site to ensure it’s up-to-date, relevant, informative, and aligns with the best SEO practices. Update old content to keep it fresh and relevant.

Utilize SEO Apps and Tools

Using SEO apps and tools involves leveraging various software and applications designed to optimize your Shopify store’s SEO. These tools can help automate, streamline, and improve various aspects of your SEO strategy, from keyword research to site audits, on-page optimization, and performance tracking.

How to Do It:

  • Keyword Research Tools: Use tools like Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, Ahrefs, or Moz to identify relevant and high-traffic keywords for your products and content.
  • SEO Audit Tools: Tools like SEMrush, Ahrefs, or Moz can provide comprehensive SEO audits, identifying technical issues, backlink opportunities, and on-page optimization needs.
  • Shopify SEO Apps: Explore Shopify’s App Store for SEO apps. Apps like SEO Manager, Plug in SEO, or Smart SEO can help with various tasks, including meta tag editing, sitemap generation, and fixing broken links.
SEO Apps and Tools
  • Google Analytics and Search Console: Utilize Google Analytics for tracking website traffic, user behavior, and other key metrics. Google Search Console is essential for monitoring search performance, crawl errors, and indexing status.
  • On-Page Optimization Tools: Use apps that assist in optimizing your content directly on your Shopify store, such as optimizing titles, descriptions, and images.
  • Backlink Analysis Tools: Use tools like Ahrefs or Moz’s Link Explorer to analyze your backlink profile, identify high-quality backlink opportunities, and monitor the health of your existing backlinks.
  • Page Speed Tools: Google PageSpeed Insights and GTmetrix can provide insights into your website’s loading speed and suggestions for improvement.

Build Quality Backlinks

Backlink building involves acquiring links from other websites to your Shopify store. These backlinks are critical for SEO as they act as ‘votes of confidence’ from other sites, indicating to search engines that your content is valuable and authoritative. The focus here is on quality rather than quantity; a few high-quality backlinks from reputable sites are more beneficial than numerous low-quality links.

How to Do It:

  • Create High-Quality Content: Develop valuable, unique, and engaging content that naturally attracts backlinks. This can include blog posts, infographics, tutorials, product guides, or videos.
  • Guest Blogging: Offer to write articles for relevant industry blogs or websites. In your guest posts, include a link back to your Shopify store.
  • Leverage Influencers and Partnerships: Collaborate with influencers or other businesses in your niche. They can link back to your store in their content.
  • Utilize Social Media: Share your content on social media platforms to increase its visibility. While social media links are typically ‘nofollow’, they can still drive traffic and lead to natural backlinks.
  • Engage in Community and Forum Discussions: Participate in online communities related to your niche. Offer advice, answer questions, and where appropriate, link to relevant content on your store.
  • Reach Out to Industry Bloggers and Websites: If you have content or products that might interest an industry blogger or a related website, reach out to them for potential backlinking.


In summary, optimizing your Shopify store’s technical SEO is crucial for improving search engine visibility and user experience. Key strategies include enhancing site structure, page speed, mobile-friendliness, URL optimization, implementing structured data, optimizing product pages, managing duplicate content, regularly auditing SEO performance, utilizing SEO tools, and building quality backlinks. These efforts collectively contribute to higher search rankings, increased traffic, and better conversion rates, ultimately driving the success of your online business.

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Marketing Manager of Mageplaza. Summer is attracted by new things. She loves writing, travelling and photography. Perceives herself as a part-time gymmer and a full-time dream chaser.
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