Your store leaks sales if it does not appear at the top of Google when someone searches your products, the brand names you sell, or problems that your products solve. Google in a retail study found 75% of people turn to search engines to learn about products. Search engines are used more in online purchases than any other source like social networks, apps, or deal sites.
The expert guide (you can jump to below) is a step-by-step method to setup, review, and run a rockstar SEO campaign that grows your sales in Google search. I have used it on the sites of billion-dollar companies. We use it for our Shopify SEO clients each month. We’ve moved stores from Magento to Shopify Plus using the guide to keep—or grow—organic traffic post-migration. Shopify recommend it to all store owners.
Audit your Shopify’s SEO by following the guide every six months, when you notice a drop in organic visitors, or when you are unsure of what to do next to get more buyers from search at no cost. If a freelancer or agency works on your SEO, use the checklist to review their work. (Tip: 90% of web agencies who show off their design portfolio and say they do web marketing only know the basics of SEO. You will find problems.) The audit is a map to check your store is on the path to growth.
How Your Position in Google Impacts Sales
Let’s say your store ranks number two for “womens oversize shirts”. Advanced Web Ranking’s click-through rate analysis of search results estimates you receive 15.54% of traffic for that search query:
Here is a tabular breakdown of the exact figures for your calculations:
|1||2||3||4||5||6-10||2nd page||3rd page +|
If you receive 400 visitors a month in second position, first position will see your store receive 848 visitors. That is double the results from one improvement in position.
Now translate this increase of visitors into sales. Review the performance of organic search in the acquisition section of your Google Analytics. In our example below of an SEO client, organic traffic converts at 1.31% and each session is worth $1.34 (=278243/207491):
SEO can be calculated. The extra 448 visitors should see an increase of $587 (1.31*448) in sales.
One ranking improvement for one search term is rare. Subsequent improvements for similar searches like “womens oversize dress shirt” often happen. All pages often follow in ranking higher for their optimised search terms. Rand Fiskin describes the outcome as a “rising tide that lifts all boats”.
A ten-degree adjustment can deviate a large store to unseen profit by next year. Each page, collection, product, and blog post opens a new chance to get traffic from Google.
What Growth Can You Expect?
If you weigh as much as a small car, your health has enormous room for improvement. If your Shopify has poor SEO, you have more space for growth. Should the audit show poor SEO health, you are more likely to grow from SEO than another store who passes 90% of the audit.
A second factor of rapid SEO growth involves content, or the quality and quantity of pages. Each good piece of content is a ranking opportunity. A store with 1000 SKUs has more potential to benefit from SEO, generally speaking, than a store with 1 product.
Another piece of content that performs really well for stores—that anyone can use—is articles. I think of SEO-worthy articles as detailed guides. Standard blog posts rarely see the light of top search results. If you produce a guide better than anything else online about the topic (like this Shopify SEO tutorial), you have further potential to grow from SEO.
SEO is viewed by startup stores as a cheap, bootstrap way to grow a store. It can be, but not if you are a one-man show with a few dropship products. I’m not here to bullshit you with false hopes. You will not dominate Google with a few keyword optimisations or links that come from a few hours of work per week. Investing 100s of your hours in a campaign doing the important things is not cheap. Missing sales from poor SEO is not cheap.
Is Shopify SEO Friendly?
I am a Shopify Marketing Expert with 11 years SEO experience across many platforms like WordPress, Joomla, SilverStripe, and Magento. I get asked a lot if Shopify is good for SEO.
Yes, Shopify is great for SEO. Shopify will not limit your performance in Google; performance will be limited by your ability to follow the SEO tips and best practice optimisations in the guide.
Shopify automatically handles the following SEO best practices that can be ignored in the audit: