SEO – What it is & isn’t: You might be new to e-commerce or looking to gain another edge in your online business. If you’ve looked around the digital marketing landscape, you’ve surely come across the term “SEO”. In this article we’re going to show you how to optimize your Shopify home page SEO to get more out of your online business.
But what is SEO? It stands for “search engine optimization” & can be deemed a science of improving websites in order to rank higher in search engines.
Why would you want that? The result of ranking higher in the search engines is that your website can gain higher visibility. This higher visibility then results in more people clicking on your website, you gaining more traffic, & potentially turning that traffic into paying customers.
How do you actually do SEO though? Well, here’s what it isn’t:
It’s not a checkbox you can tick, a form you can fill, or an app you can install into your website (although something like a YOAST plug-in is worth looking into).
SEO is more of an all-encompassing process & is all about content at its core. Essentially, you do it by finding out what people are already searching for, create content around those topics, & gather backlinks to it.
Why The Homepage is Most Important
In a general sense, your homepage is the face of your business. It’s the first impression people receive when they discover your business. It can be professional, quirky, display your brand ideals or beliefs. It can be a personal reflection of who you are or the image you want to portray.
In terms of SEO however, things can be a bit more complicated since the search engines are seeking certain parameters & as ranking factors. What makes the homepage the most important for SEO however, is that it’s the most commonly shared page you will have. Not only that, but since it’s the most shared & powerful, you will want to use it as a link hub. What I mean by this is that any inner pages that are linked from the homepage will receive additional SEO benefits & transference of page authority.
So while some might be tempted to be overly aesthetic & simply have a single image with a single word on your homepage (in a faux-apple type of way), you will be throwing away your on-page SEO potential. As mentioned previously, the basis of SEO is content. You need plenty of written content on your homepage so search engines like Google can determine what your website is all about. No content, no clue.
Step 1 – Start With Keyword Research
Anything related to SEO starts with finding what keywords people are already searching for. If you’re just starting out, the most effective strategy is to find keywords that have a low competition but a high search volume. If you attempt the more competitive words too early, your site will simply not have the required authority & backlinks to contend on the first page for that term.
Here’s a couple keyword tools that you can use absolutely free. You can even use them to find out which topics you should be writing for your blog articles or other content.
To begin, simply start plugging in terms that are related to your niche. You want to find a keyword that is contextual to what you sell & flows naturally with your brand. These terms should have a decent search volume in the few hundred or more. As far as competitiveness, you want to keep it below 20 but the lower the better.
You will want to gather a handful of terms that will be sprinkled & focused on in your homepage meta title/description tags & throughout the page.
You can get a more in-depth description & method here:
Step 2 – Meta Tags (Title & Description)
Meta title & meta descriptions are what shows up for your website in the search engine results pages (SERP). While they might not have the most effect on SEO, they do affect user experience by telling people what your site is about & what they can expect to find.
Meta Data for Iron Age Guitar Accessories (Our own E-commerce brand on Shopify)
Here’s where you can begin the next step to optimize your Shopify home page SEO.
Log into your admin, look under Sales Channels, go to Online Store, then Preferences. It will be a different process for other platforms, but generally they all have a way to edit this information. If you need help, shoot us a message & we’ll see how we can help.
So here’s what the section looks like & where you will fill in the two sections. Try to fit at least 1 keyword into your title & a couple into the description but don’t force it or stuff too many keywords. The max characters you should use for the title is 60 & for the description it’s 150, both as a best practice.
Sales Channels > Online Store > Preferences
In my example, I used my ecommerce brand that sells guitar picks & you can clearly see “guitar picks” is in both the title & description. That’s all there is to this second step. If you have Google Chrome, you can download a plugin like SEO Minion which will display the metadata from any website you’re on.
Step 3 -The Homepage Content Itself
With the more technical side of things out of the way, we’re going to give you a few very general tips on what to include on your homepage to maximize your SEO.
- Heading Structure – This is a factor for SEO that looks at what headings are used for your website. To keep things simple, only have a single H1 heading on your page, all the others can be H2 headings. We’re not going to go too deep into this concept but you can learn more about it here https://yoast.com/how-to-use-headings-on-your-site/
- Who & What – Most like to feature a hero image or featured products as their first impression. That’s fine but we recommend you follow that up with a small section that helps to define who your product is for & what it is you do. This is to remove any doubt about your offering while simultaneously increasing the searchable content on your page.
- Products – What follows next can be your product list or product category banners as one would normally expect. Adding a small 2-3 sentence description to your product categories would also be beneficial.
- Newsletter Signup – This is another no-brainer for ecommerce brands that can offer discount codes. Apart from the footer section, add a signup form higher to the top of your page so you can capture leads for your email marketing campaigns. A pop-up to accompany this effort would be worth considering as well.
- Bio & Why – Next we recommend adding a small biography or mission statement as to why you do what you do. The more personalized the better. People want to know who they’re doing business with, seems like common sense but this is just another trust factor that will only help you out.
- Blog Section – Finally, add a few of your featured blog posts to the bottom of the page & have them include a short snippet. This will include the content on the page, giving it more context as to what your website is all about. Not only that but you will be passing some of your homepage SEO benefits over to each of the blog posts listed. This is called internal linking as is a whole subject in & of itself.
These are all general considerations (not hard rules) with the core basis of increasing the amount of content on your home page. You don’t have to write long paragraphs to describe every item on your homepage but 2-3 sentences here & there adds up & also helps with user experience. Adding more links on the homepage also helps with implementing an internal linking strategy which benefits the smaller pages on your site such as blog posts. The interlinking works by passing power from your most authoritative page down to your lesser active pages.
Throughout the home page you should also consider peppering in a couple of the keywords from your earlier research. Again it’s important not to stuff keywords wherever you can, but if there’s a natural flow & you can include a keyword in some of the smaller headings, then why not. Finally it’s worth remembering that google considers anything below 300 words as “thin content” so let that be the benchmark.
The core principle for SEO is content. What we advocate is filling your homepage with text-based content so the search engines AND visitors know what the context of your website is. In other words, add the who/what/where/why.
Shopify Home Page SEO starts with keyword research. You have to discover what keywords are already being searched for in the highest quantity & with the lowest competition to get the highest return on investment.
These keywords are then fitted naturally into your meta tags to describe your website. This meta data is what people see when your website pops up in the google search so you have to make it enticing to want to click, be descriptive of what you do or offer, and include a keyword or two within context.
Finally, these keywords are strategically added to your homepage & written text content is implemented throughout. We recommend adding a couple of methods to capture email subscribers to grow your mailing list, as well as adding reviews or testimonials to boost your credibility. Last but not least, is to showcase your blog articles or other content pieces on your homepage to pass on some of your homepage’s SEO authority over to them, which will make your entire domain stronger.
If you need any help with implementing this, feel free to contact us anytime or send us a message on Instagram @Atlas.Vision
We specialize in these copywriting & on-page SEO implementations and even offer small business marketing packages that go more in-depth with these techniques.
You can find our services in our shop or services page or Contact Us to get a custom quote.
Thanks for reading, we hope you found this useful!