Shopify web optimization 2022: The Information to Optimizing Shopify

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The writer’s views are fully his or her personal (excluding the unlikely occasion of hypnosis) and will not at all times mirror the views of Moz.

 A development we’ve been noticing at Go Fish Digital is that increasingly of our purchasers have been utilizing the Shopify platform. Whereas we initially thought this was only a coincidence, we are able to see that the info tells a distinct story:

The Shopify platform has been steadily rising in reputation all through the years. BuiltWith utilization statistics, we are able to see that utilization of the CMS has greater than doubled since October 2017. At the moment, 4.24 of the highest 10,000 websites and three.02% of the highest 100,000 are utilizing Shopify.

Since we’ve labored with a superb quantity of Shopify shops, we wished to share our course of for frequent web optimization enhancements we assist our purchasers with. The information beneath ought to define some frequent changes we make on Shopify shops.

What’s Shopify web optimization?

Shopify web optimization is a set of  web optimization changes which are distinctive to the Shopify platform. Whereas Shopify shops include some helpful issues for web optimization, equivalent to a weblog and the flexibility to redirect, it will probably additionally create web optimization points equivalent to duplicate content material. 

Among the most typical Shopify web optimization suggestions are:

  1. Take away duplicate URLs from inner linking structure

  2. Take away duplicate paginated URLs

  3. Create weblog content material for key phrases with informational intent

  4. Add “Product,” “Article,” & “BreadcrumbList” structured information

  5. Decide how one can deal with product variant pages

  6. Compress photographs utilizing

  7. Take away pointless Shopify apps

We’ll go into how we deal with every of those suggestions beneath:

Duplicate content material

By way of web optimization, duplicate content material is the very best precedence concern we’ve seen created by Shopify. Duplicate content material happens when both duplicate or comparable content material exists on two separate URLs. This creates points for search engines like google and yahoo as they may not be capable to decide which of the 2 pages needs to be the canonical model. On prime of this, typically occasions hyperlink indicators are break up between the pages.

We’ve seen Shopify create duplicate content material in a number of alternative ways:

  1. Duplicate product pages

  2. Duplicate collections pages via pagination

Duplicate product pages

Shopify creates this concern inside their product pages. By default, Shopify shops permit their /merchandise/ pages to render at two totally different URL paths:

Shopify accounts for this by guaranteeing that each one /collections/.*/merchandise/ pages embody a canonical tag to the related /merchandise/ web page. Discover how the URL within the handle differs from the “canonical” discipline:

URL In Address Bar Is Different Than Canonical Link

Whereas this actually helps Google consolidate the duplicate content material, a extra alarming concern happens once you have a look at the inner linking construction. By default, Shopify will hyperlink to the non-canonical model of all your product pages.

Shopify collection page links to non-canonical URLs

As effectively, we’ve additionally seen Shopify hyperlink to the non-canonical variations of URLs when web sites make the most of “swatch” inner hyperlinks that time to different coloration variants.

Thus, Shopify creates your total website structure round non-canonical hyperlinks by default. This creates a high-priority web optimization concern as a result of the web site is sending Google conflicting indicators:

  1. “Listed below are the pages we internally hyperlink to essentially the most typically”

  2. “Nonetheless, the pages we hyperlink to essentially the most typically are usually not the URLs we truly wish to be rating in Google. Please index these different URLs with few inner hyperlinks”

Whereas canonical tags are normally revered, keep in mind Google does deal with these as hints as a substitute of directives. Because of this you’re counting on Google to make a judgement about whether or not or not the content material is duplicate every time that it crawls these pages. We desire to not go away this as much as likelihood, particularly when coping with content material at scale.

Adjusting inner linking construction

Thankfully, there’s a comparatively simple repair for this. We’ve been capable of work with our dev crew to alter the code within the product.grid-item.liquid file. Following these directions will permit your Shopify website’s collections pages to level to the canonical /product/ URLs.

Duplicate collections pages

As effectively, we’ve seen many Shopify websites that create duplicate content material via the location’s pagination. Extra particularly, a replica is created of the primary collections web page in a selected sequence. It is because when you’re on a paginated URL in a sequence, the hyperlink to the primary web page will comprise “?web page=1”:

First page in Shopify pagination links to ?page=1 link

Nonetheless, it will virtually at all times be a replica web page. A URL with “?web page=1” will virtually at all times comprise the identical content material as the unique non-parameterized URL. As soon as once more, we suggest having a developer alter the inner linking construction in order that the primary paginated consequence factors to the canonical web page.

Product variant pages

Whereas that is technically an extension of Shopify’s duplicate content material from above, we thought this warranted its personal part as a result of this isn’t essentially at all times an web optimization concern.

It’s not unusual to see Shopify shops the place a number of product URLs are created for a similar product with slight variations. On this case, this may create duplicate content material points as typically occasions the core product is identical, however solely a slight attribute (coloration for example) modifications. Because of this a number of pages can exist with duplicate/comparable product descriptions and pictures. Right here is an instance of duplicate pages created by a variant:

If left alone, this as soon as once more creates an occasion of duplicate content material. Nonetheless, variant URLs would not have to be an web optimization concern. In reality, some websites may gain advantage from these URLs as they help you have indexable pages that might be optimized for very particular phrases. Whether or not or not these are helpful goes to vary on each website. Some key inquiries to ask your self are:

For a extra in-depth information, Jenny Halasz wrote an important article on figuring out one of the best plan of action for product variations. In case your Shopify retailer comprises product variants, than it’s value figuring out early on whether or not or not these pages ought to exist at a separate URL. If they need to, then it is best to create distinctive content material for each one and optimize every for that variant’s goal key phrases.

Crawling and indexing

After analyzing fairly just a few Shopify shops, we’ve discovered some web optimization gadgets which are distinctive to Shopify on the subject of crawling and indexing. Since that is fairly often an vital element of e-commerce web optimization, we thought it will be good to share those that apply to Shopify.

Robots.txt file

By default, Shopify creates a robots.txt file to your retailer with fairly just a few prewritten “Disallow” instructions. We discover that typically, Shopify’s default robots.txt guidelines are ok for many retailer homeowners. You possibly can see an instance of Shopify’s default robots.txt guidelines right here:

An example robots.txt file in Shopify

Listed below are some sections of the location that Shopify will disallow crawling in:

Nonetheless, as Shopify shops get larger and extra custom-made, there’s a higher likelihood that you just would possibly want to regulate the robots.txt file. Thankfully, as of June 2021, Shopify now let’s you replace the robots.txt file

In an effort to edit the Shopify robots.txt file, retailer homeowners should create a robots.txt.liquid file after which create customized guidelines to specify any modifications.

In an effort to create a robots.txt.liquid file, retailer homeowners can carry out the next steps:

  1. Login to your Shopify admin space

  2. Within the left sidebar, go to On-line Retailer > Themes

  3. Select Actions > Edit code

  4. In “Templates”, choose the “Add a brand new template” hyperlink

  5. Discover the left-most dropdown and select “robots.txt”

  6. Select “Create template”

This could create your Shopify robots.txt.liquid file. You possibly can then add guidelines to your robots.txt.liquid file by including liquid code. Thankfully, this code isn’t too tough so as to add, and Shopify does a superb job of highlighting how one can do it of their official documentation. Following these steps ought to help you have far more management over which URLs are crawled in your Shopify website.


By default, Shopify will generate a sitemap.xml index file on the URL path “”. Shopify’s sitemap.xml index file will mechanically create hyperlinks to baby sitemaps that comprise URLs of the next web page varieties:

  1. Product Pages (sitemap_products_1.xml)

  2. Assortment Pages (sitemap_collections_1.xml)

  3. Weblog Posts (sitemap_blogs_1.xml)

  4. Advertising Pages (sitemap_pages_1.xml)

This sitemap.xml file will dynamically replace as new pages are added/faraway from to the location. Typically, the Shopify sitemap.xml is sweet to exit of the field and doesn’t should be adjusted.

One factor to pay attention to is that Shopify will embody any printed pages within the sitemap.xml file. The most typical concern we see is that legacy pages which are printed however not linked to on the location get included within the sitemap.xml file. It’s value crawling your sitemap.xml to search out any situations of printed pages which are included within the sitemap however are usually not vital for search engines like google and yahoo to crawl.

Including the “noindex” tag

Whilst you can not alter the robots.txt, Shopify does permit you so as to add the “noindex” tag. You possibly can exclude a particular web page from the index by including the next code to your theme.liquid file.

{% if template comprises ‘search’ %}

<meta title=”robots” content material=”noindex”>

{% endif %}

As effectively, if you wish to exclude a whole template, you should utilize this code:

{% if deal with comprises ‘page-handle-you-want-to-exclude’ %}

<meta title=”robots” content material=”noindex”>

{% endif %}


Shopify does help you implement redirects out-of-the-box, which is nice. You should utilize this for consolidating outdated/expired pages or another content material that not exists. You can do that by going to:

  1. On-line Retailer

  2. Navigation

  3. URL Redirects

The large factor to remember is that you’ll need to delete a web page earlier than you’ll be able to implement a redirect on Shopify. Because of this you’ll wish to be actually certain you’re not going to make use of the web page sooner or later. To make this course of rather less anxious, we suggest implementing the “Rewind Backups” app.

Log recordsdata

As of now, Shopify doesn’t help you entry log recordsdata straight via the platform. This has been confirmed by Shopify assist.

Quick Simon implementation

Quick Simon is an enterprise answer that provides sturdy personalization options to your Shopify retailer, and is changing into more and more standard. In case your Shopify website is using the Quick Simon expertise, you’ll wish to ensure that you’re taking steps to regulate any potential indexing points from an improper implementation. 

Verify that Quick Simon is pre-rendering your web site’s content material in order that Google doesn’t run into crawling and indexing points. It will give Googlebot a server-side, rendered model of your website that can make it simpler for it to interpret the content material. For extra particulars, you’ll be able to learn our case examine right here

Structured information

Product structured information

Total, Shopify does a fairly good job with structured information. Many Shopify themes ought to comprise “Product” markup out-of-the-box that gives Google with key data equivalent to your product’s title, description, value and many others. That is in all probability the very best precedence structured information to have on any e-commerce website, so it’s nice that many themes do that for you.

Shopify websites may additionally profit from increasing the Product structured information to collections pages as effectively. This entails including the Product structured information to outline every particular person product hyperlink in a product itemizing web page. The nice people at Distilled suggest together with this structured information on class pages.

Every product in Shopify collections page marked up with Product structured data

Article structured information

As effectively, when you use Shopify’s weblog performance, it is best to use “Article” structured information. This can be a improbable schema kind that lets Google know that your weblog content material is extra editorial in nature. Of the entire informational content material schema, “Article” appears to be the one which Google could desire since that’s what’s referenced of their official documentation. Nonetheless, “BlogPosting” schema can be one other kind of structured information you can add to your Shopify weblog

BreadcrumbList structured information

One addition that we routinely add to Shopify websites are breadcrumb inner hyperlinks with BreadcrumbList structured information. We consider breadcrumbs are essential to any e-commerce website, as they supply customers with easy-to-use inner hyperlinks that point out the place they’re at inside the hierarchy of a web site. As effectively, these breadcrumbs may also help Google higher perceive the web site’s construction. We sometimes recommend including website breadcrumbs to Shopify websites and marking these up with BreadcrumbList structured information to assist Google higher perceive these inner hyperlinks.

Implementing structured information on Shopify

If you wish to implement structured information and have a developer available, it may be good to have them add the above structured information varieties. This ensures that these schema parts will at all times be current in your website.

Nonetheless, in case your growth sources are extra restricted, we discover that Schema App Whole Schema Markup is a superb choice. It will incorporate structured information varieties equivalent to Product and BlogPosting schema on the right pages of the location. As effectively, it would even add OfferCatalog schema to mark up each single product inside a class web page. Their assist can be improbable as they’re crew helps you with any technical points you would possibly encounter.

Bettering Shopify website velocity

One of many greatest complaints we hear about Shopify is that it suffers from slower speeds. Nonetheless, in comparison with different e-commerce platforms, we discover that Shopify performs fairly effectively. Out of the field, Shopify makes use of the Fastly CDN and leverages browser caching which provides you a strong efficiency basis. Previously, we’ve truly benchmarked the typical velocity metrics of 400+ Shopify websites. Beneath are the typical efficiency metrics of the Shopify websites we examined in our dataset.

By way of enhancing efficiency, beneath are the issues we’ll usually advise our purchasers to do:

Key phrase analysis

Performing key phrase analysis for Shopify shops will probably be similar to the analysis you’d carry out for different e-commerce shops.

Some normal methods to generate key phrases are:

Key phrase optimization

Just like Yoast web optimization, Shopify does help you optimize key parts equivalent to your title tags, meta descriptions, and URLs. The place attainable, you ought to be utilizing your goal key phrases in these parts.

To regulate these parts, you merely must navigate to the web page you want to alter and scroll right down to “Search Engine Itemizing Preview”:

Optimization Options For Metadata in Shopify

Including content material to product pages

For those who resolve that every particular person product needs to be listed, ideally you’ll wish to add distinctive content material to every web page. Initially, your Shopify merchandise could not have distinctive on-page content material related to them. This can be a frequent concern for Shopify shops, as oftentimes the identical descriptions are used throughout a number of merchandise or no descriptions are current. Including product descriptions with on-page greatest practices will give your merchandise one of the best likelihood of rating within the SERPs.

Nonetheless, we perceive that it’s time-consuming to create distinctive content material for each product that you just provide. With purchasers up to now, we’ve taken a focused method as to which merchandise to optimize first. We like to make use of the “Gross sales By Product” report which may also help prioritize that are a very powerful merchandise to begin including content material to. You could find this report in Analytics > Dashboard > Prime Merchandise By Models Offered.

Shopify revenue by product report

By taking this method, we are able to rapidly determine among the highest precedence pages within the retailer to optimize. We will then work with a copywriter to begin creating content material for every particular person product. Additionally, take into account that your product descriptions ought to at all times be written from a user-focused view. Writing in regards to the options of the product they care about essentially the most will give your website one of the best likelihood at enhancing each conversions and web optimization.

Shopify weblog

Shopify does embody the skill to create a weblog, however we frequently see this lacking from a lot of Shopify shops. It is smart, as income is the first aim of an e-commerce website, so the preliminary construct of the location is product-focused.

Nonetheless, we dwell in an period the place it’s getting tougher and tougher to rank product pages in Google. As an illustration, the beneath screenshot illustrates the highest 3 natural outcomes for the time period “fabric diapers”:

SERP for

Whereas many would assume that that is primarily a transactional question, we’re seeing Google is rating two articles and a single product itemizing web page within the prime three outcomes. This is only one occasion of a significant development we’ve seen the place Google is beginning to desire to rank extra informational content material above transactional.

By excluding a weblog from a Shopify retailer, we expect this ends in an enormous missed alternative for a lot of companies. The inclusion of a weblog lets you have a pure place the place you’ll be able to create this informational content material. For those who’re seeing that Google is rating extra weblog/article kinds of content material for the key phrases mapped to your Shopify retailer, your greatest wager is to exit and create that content material your self.

For those who run a Shopify retailer (or any e-commerce website), we might urge you to take the next few steps:

  1. Establish your highest precedence key phrases

  2. Manually carry out a Google question for every one

  3. Make word of the kinds of content material Google is rating on the primary web page. Is it primarily informational, transactional, or a mixture of each?

  4. For those who’re seeing primarily combined or informational content material, consider your personal content material to see in case you have any that matches the consumer intent. If that’s the case, enhance the standard and optimize.

  5. For those who would not have this content material, contemplate creating new weblog content material round informational subjects that appears to satisfy the consumer intent

For example, we now have a shopper that was involved in rating for the time period “CRM software program,” a particularly aggressive key phrase. When analyzing the SERPs, we discovered that Google was rating primarily informational pages about “What Is CRM Software program?” Since they solely had a product web page that highlighted their particular CRM, we steered the shopper create a extra informational web page that talked usually about what CRM software program is and the advantages it supplies. After creating and optimizing the web page, we quickly noticed a big improve in natural visitors (credit score to Ally Mickler):

The problem that we see on many Shopify websites is that there’s little or no concentrate on informational pages even if these carry out effectively in the major search engines. Most Shopify websites needs to be utilizing the running a blog platform, as it will present an avenue to create informational content material that can lead to natural visitors and income.


Just like WordPress’s plugins, Shopify presents “Apps” that help you add superior performance to your website with out having to manually alter the code. Nonetheless, not like WordPress, many of the Shopify Apps you’ll discover are paid. It will require both a one-time or month-to-month payment.

Shopify apps for web optimization

Whereas your greatest wager is probably going teaming up with a developer who’s comfy with Shopify, listed below are some Shopify apps that may assist enhance the web optimization of your website.

Is Yoast web optimization obtainable for Shopify?

Yoast web optimization is solely a WordPress plugin. There’s presently no Yoast web optimization Shopify App.

Limiting your Shopify apps

Just like WordPress plugins, Shopify apps will inject further code onto your website. Because of this including a lot of apps can decelerate the location. Shopify websites are particularly inclined to bloat, as many apps are targeted on enhancing conversions. Typically occasions, these apps will add extra JavaScript and CSS recordsdata which might harm web page load occasions. You’ll wish to ensure that you recurrently audit the apps you’re utilizing and take away any that aren’t including worth or being utilized by the location.

Consumer outcomes

We’ve seen fairly good success in our purchasers that use Shopify shops. Beneath yow will discover among the outcomes we’ve been capable of obtain for them. Nonetheless, please word that these case research don’t simply embody the suggestions above. For these purchasers, we now have used a mixture of among the suggestions outlined above in addition to different web optimization initiatives.

In a single instance, we labored with a Shopify retailer that was involved in rating for very aggressive phrases surrounding the primary product their retailer targeted on. We evaluated their prime performing merchandise within the “Gross sales by product” report. This resulted in a big effort to work with the shopper so as to add new content material to their product pages as they weren’t initially optimized. This mixed with different initiatives has helped enhance their first web page rankings by 113 key phrases (credit score to Jennifer Wright & LaRhonda Sparrow).

Graph of first-page keyword rankings over time

In one other occasion, a shopper got here to us with a difficulty that they weren’t rating for his or her branded key phrases. As a substitute, third-party retailers that additionally carried their merchandise have been typically outranking them. We labored with them to regulate their inner linking construction to level to the canonical pages as a substitute of the duplicate pages created by Shopify. We additionally optimized their content material to higher make the most of the branded terminology on related pages. Consequently, they’ve seen a pleasant improve in general rankings in simply a number of months time.

Graph of total ranking improvements over time.

Shifting ahead

As Shopify utilization continues to develop, it will likely be more and more vital to know the web optimization implications that include the platform. Hopefully, this information has supplied you with further information that can assist make your Shopify retailer stronger in the major search engines. For those who’re involved in studying extra about Shopify, you too can take a look at our Shopify web optimization Studying Middle.