Four common SEO problems with Shopify and how to fix them

  • February 21, 2021
  • Misc
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30-second summary:

  • While Shopify is among the most popular platforms for ecommerce services, the CMS has a variety of problems that can be troublesome for SEO
  • Best SEO practices usually use to all CMS platforms, however Shopify has numerous inbuilt functions that cannot be tailored, implying some products need more special workarounds
  • Edward Coram-James goes over problems such as limited URL structure and replicate material, offering recommendations on how to fight Shopify’s imperfections in these locations

Shopify is the most widely-used ecommerce platform, making it simpler than ever prior to for services to offer their stock online. Its user friendly CMS has actually made it especially beneficial for smaller retailers throughout the pandemic, permitting them to claw back around 94% of what would have otherwise been lost sales.

As with any brand-new site, a fresh Shopify shop will need a lot of effort on the part of its web designer to develop the required presence for users to discover the website, not to mention transform into clients. And just like any CMS, there are a couple of SEO obstacles that save owners will require to clear to make sure that their site discovers its audience effectively. Some of these obstacles are more deep-rooted than others, so we’ve broken down 4 of the most common SEO problems on Shopify and how you can repair them for your webstore.

1. Restricted URL structure

In similar manner in which WordPress divides material in between pages and posts, Shopify’s CMS enables you to divide your item listings into 2 primary classifications — items and collections — along with more basic posts, pages, and blog sites. Creating a brand-new item on Shopify enables you to note the private products you have for sale, while collections offer you the chances to bring your diverse items together and arrange them into easily-searched classifications.

The issue the majority of people have actually with this enforced system of arranging material is that Shopify likewise imposes an established hierarchical structure with minimal modification alternatives. The subfolders /item and /collection needs to be consisted of in the URL of every brand-new item or collection you submit.

Despite it being a big bone of contention with its users, Shopify has yet to resolve this and there is no option presently. As an outcome, you will require to be exceptionally mindful with the URLs slug (the only part that can be tailored). Ensure you are utilizing the best keywords in the slug and classify your posts smartly to offer your items the very best possibility of being discovered.

2. Automatically created replicate material

Another discouraging problem users have with categorizing their material as an item or collection takes place when they include a particular item into a collection. This is because, although there will already be a URL in place for the item page, linking a product to a collection automatically creates an additional URL for it within that collection. Shopify automatically treats the collection URL as the canonical one for internal links, rather than the product one, which can make things extremely difficult when it comes to ensuring that the right pages are indexed.

In this instance, however, Shopify has allowed for fixes, though it does involve editing code in the back end of your store’s theme. Following these instructions will instruct your Shopify site’s collections pages to internally link only to the canonical /product/ URLs.

3. No trailing slash redirect

Another of Shopify’s replicate material issues relates to the trailing slash, which is basically a ‘/’ at the end of the URL used to mark a directory. Google treats URLs with and without a trailing slash as unique pages. By default, Shopify instantly ends URLs without a trailing slash, but variations of the same URL with a trailing slash are accessible to both users and search engines. This can normally be avoided by enforcing a site-wide trailing slash redirect via the website’s htaccess file, but Shopify does not allow access to the htaccess file.

Shopify instead recommends that webmasters use canonical tags to inform Google which version of each page is preferred for indexing. As the only fix available so far, it will have to do, but it’s far from ideal and often leads to data attribution issues in Google Analytics and other tracking software.

4. No control over the website’s robots.txt file

Beyond the CMS forcing users to create duplicate versions of pages against their will, Shopify also prevents webmasters from being able to make manual edits to their store’s robots.txt file. Apparently, Shopify sees this as a perk, taking care of the pesky technical SEO issues on your behalf. But, when products go out of stock or collections get pulled, you can neither noindex nor nofollow the redundant pages left behind.

In this circumstances, you are able to edit the theme of your store, incorporating meta robots tags into the <head> section of each relevant page. Shopify has actually created a step-by-step guide on how to hide redundant pages from search here.

Are there any special difficulties your Shopify webstore is dealing with? Share them in the remarks.

Edward Coram James is an SEO expert and the Chief Executive of Go Up Ltd, a worldwide firm devoted to assisting its customers browse the intricacies of worldwide SEO and the technical elements of providing location-specific pages to target market.

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