Complete Shopify SEO Checklist & Site Audit to Rank in Search
How do you rank your new Shopify Site in Search? Use this complete Shopify SEO Checklist and Site Audit Template to ensure your site will rank in Google Search.
The number of Shopify stores is increasing daily, especially due to the pandemic. According to a Genus.AI report, Shopify stores tripled from 1,287,547 before the COVID-19 pandemic to 3,882,345 after the pandemic. This shows the growing competition, which can impact your Google rankings.
Suppose you’re just launching your Shopify store or looking to improve your existing website’s search engine rankings. What are you going to need? A complete Shopify SEO Checklist, of course. In that case, this guide will provide you with the necessary steps to increase your visibility and drive more organic traffic to your online store.
Why do you need to start with this Shopify SEO Checklist?
Because it’s imperative to understand what your existing site weaknesses are and how to improve them.
Is your website performing as what you expected?
Is your website fast, but not converting any sales.
Are people leaving your site without viewing many pages?
A comprehensive Shopify SEO Checklist will help you perform the analysis necessary to lay out a roadmap for your SEO implementation.
WHAT IS A COMPREHENSIVE SITE AUDIT?
A site audit is an in-depth examination and analysis of your website. It covers the factors that regulate the visibility of your site in search engines such as indexed pages, page errors and site speed.
An audit requires some tools together with your keen eyes, knowledge, and experience to understand the opportunities. It will render you an understanding of what’s working and what’s not as well as where to concentrate your efforts.
WHY DO YOU NEED TO START WITH A SITE AUDIT CHECKLIST?
Search engines are getting pretty darn smart. More importantly they change constantly with self learning AI. They are implementing numerous changes on how they work out the search results when someone does research. Not to mention, they make a lot of small and progressive updates every single day especially Google with more or less 600 updates every year.
All of these changes and updates decide whether you’ll make it into the first-page listing or get left behind on the fourth page. You also need to be aware of how these changes affect your rankings, how your website is working, and how customers see your site – this is where site audit and a site audit checklist come in.
A site audit is a crucial part of the business. It is a vital step before you conduct any major changes on your websites such as a full overhaul or refresh as it can serve as a marker, so you’ll know when something went wrong and for how long it’s been going on.
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE?
A comprehensive Shopify SEO site audit and website checklist will take three weeks or longer to complete. As for smaller sites who want to get an overall sense of their performance, an audit might only take 2 to 3 days. Regardless this site audit checklist will make sure you’re looking at the right elements.
HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?
A website audit must be part of your annual marketing budget. The cost heavily depends on whether it’s for an eCommerce based site or an information based site. It’s also going to depend on the level of complexity and size of the situation as well.
Typically, it will start at $500 and can go up to as high as $5,000. The auditor that you will hire will take whatever analysis they will use and then contrast and compare data from those reports. The auditor will use his or her expertise to make a compilation of evaluation of what those data mean for your site and your business. The skills of the auditor are what you are paying.
Bear in mind that expertise is the key to acquire a satisfactory result. Hence, your audit is only going to be as good as the person who conducts it. Otherwise, if the auditor is not that competent, you’re simply not going to get the right data to make the changes you need. Compare any proposals you receive agains this site audit checklist to make sure you’re getting what you need.
WHAT SHOULD YOU EXPECT?
A website audit can be very time-consuming and tedious, but most marketers abide in doing so because they know very well that it’s necessary to the success of the website. Hopefully, you’re one of them.
With Google’s continual improvements and algorithm updates, the best practices are changing. And reevaluating your digital strategies is among one of the only ways to keep up with these changes.
With the right resources and ample time, a website maneuvered in house. It doesn’t need to be difficult or stressful, but it requires careful planning. You need to be certain of what you’re looking for, how to check those updates and how to make changes.
TYPES OF WEBSITE AUDITS
You can do a site audit on just about anything and everything. It just depends on what you want to achieve for your niche and other areas that you want to focus. We’re going to cover the 7 essential items for a proper audit, so get ready here’s your comprehensive Shopify SEO Checklist.
1. SEO (STRUCTURAL QUALITY) AUDIT
Kotton Grammer, from SEO Miami, says a good audit should cover all technical SEO elements. An SEO audit examines your website to look for any potential technical issues and areas that need improvements.
For On-Site SEO:
- Are the titles unique for each page?
- Do titles have 50 – 65 characters?
- Do description tags have characters between 150-160 characters?
- Do description tags not stuffed with keywords?
- Are the URLs SEO- friendly?
- Do titles use H1 for headings?
- Do subheadings use H2 and H3?
- What are the fonts used?
- Does the web site have a unique logo?
- Does it have a favicon?
- Does the website content fresh contents?
- What is the length of contents on post pages?
- Are the contents optimized for featured snippets?
- Does the web link internal pages?
- Is there a variation in the use of anchor text?
- Is the web trying to rank high for competitive keywords?
- Do images have ALT tags?
- Are the image files descriptive?
- Is the size of the image file optimized?
- Do blog comments have ‘nofollow’ tags?
- Do external links from untrusted sites have the ‘nofollow’ tags?
- Do banner ads have ‘nofollow’ tags?
- Do pages with no contents or have duplicates have no index and no follow tags?
- Is there an excessive ad above the fold?
- Are the pages checked for illegal use of 301 and 302 redirects?
- Does the site apply canonical link (rel=canonical) to pinpoint the original content?
- Is the site checked for broken links?
- What is the average loading time for the home page?
- What is the average loading time for other pages?
- Do relevant pages have links from the home page?
- Do relevant pages have links from the sidebar?
- Does the main menu have a user sitemap (HTML)?
- Does every detail page have a ‘related posts’ section?
- Do all site pages have an author?
- Does the site contain a breadcrumb on all pages?
- Does the site have a 404 page?
For Off-Site SEO
- How many and what are the types of inbound links?
- What and how many opportunities to get new links?
- Is there a competitor analysis?Link
2. CONTENT AUDIT
Isabelle Jordan, professional SEO content writer, says that you have to create useful content, set up an effective sales funnel, and follow the best SEO practices at once. You have to consider SEO and content creation alignment which is essential for both online promotion and sales growth.
A content audit identifies which pages need improvement or if there’s a need to create a new one in light of keyword analysis. It also determines which pages are the strongest on a domain and create a plan on how to elevate them.
Here’s the following checklist for content audit:
- Does the homepage have a clear description of what you do or provide?
- Does the site’s landing pages contain engaging paragraphs with unique text?
- Do blog posts have or use creative headlines?
- Does the site provide fresh contents on a regular basis that users will read?
- Are the texts on the pages written for humans or search engines?
- Are the blog posts educational or sales-driven?
- Does the site use a copy of a promotional material or print brochure?
- Does the site possess duplicate content on several pages?
- Does the site have grammar or spelling issues on its pages?
- Does it use numbered or bulleted lists to communicate key lists?
3. USABILITY AUDIT
Naman Modi, SEO expert, says usability is a key component of your website and how it’s ranked. Focus on E-commerce Tips with the singular goal of improving website usability for your customers; this in turn will boost engagement and increase conversions.
Websites may have good traffic and numbers, but their sales conversion rate is still low – this is where usability audit enters. Usability audit checks a site’s critical tasks against basic usability standards and business goals. Along with other areas, this audit is very useful in reviewing the conversion rate of users across the site.
Here’s the following checklist:
- Is the site receptive or responsive?
- Is the site optimized for mobile?
- How good are the site’s user interface and user experience?
- Does the site have easy navigation?
- How fast is the loading time?
4. SOCIAL MEDIA AUDIT
Marc Botolome, SEO strategist, states that social media has become the primary stage for brand to consumer interaction, providing a gold mine of engagement. And it is in these social media channels that you stand to gain a fighting chance for ranking on search engines. If you’re looking to boost your SEO and give it an extra edge, read on and discover why social media optimization may just be your secret weapon.
An effective Social media audit aims to figure out how a website should be using social media to obtain the highest possible ROI. The audit’s output helps improve social media strategy backed with analytics data for recommendations and that’s why it’s included in this site audit checklist.
Here’s the following checklist:
- Do all pages have social media buttons?
- Does the site have a Facebook page for business?
- Does the site have a Google page for business?
- Does the site have a Pinterest page for business?
- Does it have a twitter account?
- Do all of its social media profiles get optimized for SEO?
- Does it have a like box for Facebook?
- Does it have an RSS and Newsletter registration?
5. WEBSITE PROMOTION AUDIT
Jason Chow, Outreach Expert for WebRevenue, says Uniqueness is rare, and website owners who understand this are a step closer to reality than most. 99.99% of websites aren’t unique, and getting the correct information will contribute to your website’s success.
Whether you are looking to hire a consultant to complete one with you or completing an audit in-house, conducting a website promotion checklist is a must. And the sooner, the better. A website promotion typically includes:
- Content analysis
- Keyword analysis
- Backlink review and identification
- Technical Audit for the website
- Competitor review
6. BACKLINK AUDIT
Chris Hamil an expert in backlink building, says the most critical component for fixing or building up a site’s rankings is to run a backlink audit. It’s an essential step that can’t be overlooked, because ranking isn’t just about links — it’s about the types of backlinks and their quality.
The websites linking to your website are critical as it can affect your site’s overall visibility. Thus, conducting a backlink audit is also a necessary step in your site audit checklist. Backlink audits will help you identify risks of a penalty or quality issues.
- Does your site have bad links patterns?
- Is there any unusual growth in linking domains?
- Is there any abrupt drop in linking domains?
- Do the linking domains grow or fall over an extended period?
- Does anchor text overreach 10%?
- Do links have low domain authority?
- Do 25% of the referring sites from a top-level domain (TLD) have no association with the major target country?
- Where do most of the links come?
- Do links have nonsensical or completely unrelated anchor text?
- Are there any backlinks that come from the sponsored WordPress themes?
- Are there any links that originate from a content farm?
- Does the site have backlinks that come from generic web directories?
- Are there any backlinks that come from free-for-all link sites?
- What are the most linked to pages of these backlinks?
7. ADWORDS AUDIT
Jane Crighton, marketing professional, says business owners need to really pull up their socks and put in the work to stand out from their peers online. And Google AdWords is an effective advertising tool that would help you with this.
An Adwords Audit is a fundamental component in your site audit checklist, because it provides insight into both paid and organic keywords and because it costs money. You’re willing to pay because you want to show your ads on Google, but with Google Adwords you can lose a lot of money if you don’t audit effectively. Thus, it only fits that you do a thorough Adwords audit for your site too. It will identify how well they’re performing and what’s the best way to target your spending.
Here’s the following checklist:
- Is the naming structure of your account understandable?
- Is your AdWords linked with other properties of Google?
- Are the campaigns well-structured?
- Are the ad groups properly segmented?
- Do you have conversion actions that define the success of your campaigns?
- Does your site already have the AdWords Conversion tracking tag?
- What is the selected option for ‘Campaign Features’?
- Which type of device is driving results?
- What are the targeted locations of your ads?
- Do you have an Ad Scheduling?
- How are your ads being delivered?
- How is the utilization of your budget?
- What is the method of delivery you use?
- Do you have active ads for your ad groups?
- How many keywords does each ad group have?
- Do you add negative keywords to ad groups?
- Do you follow the guidelines of Adwords?
- Does your ad contain any grammatical and spelling issues?
- Is the message of your ad compelling?
- Do you have any expired offers to one of your ads?
- Do you run an A/B test for your ad copies?
- Do you have the right landing page link for your ads?
- Did you optimize your ad to boost its Ad Rank?
- Do you have keyword conflicts?
- Do you have any prospect search terms?
- Do you have any poorly-performing keywords?
- Do you use the correct match type for the keyword?
- Do you use broad match type keywords?
- Did you enable count calls as phone call conversions?
- Do you schedule your call extensions throughout operational hours?
- Do you do a review of your automated extensions?
- How many site link extensions did you add?
- Do you inspect if your remarketing lists are drawing visitors?
- Do you have multiple remarketing lists?
- Do you inspect the devices and locations that your ad is targeting?
- Do you have any demographic specification that you like to introduce?
- What’s the placement of your ads?
- Do you use display ads and images for display networks?
- Do you update your product feed on Merchant Center?
- Do you analyze the search terms report?
- Making sure to check for missing attributes
- Do you optimize your shopping campaigns with RLSA (Remarketing List For Search Ads)?
If you ask experts like Kotton Grammer, from SEO Miami, you should never neglect a website audit. Just in case that you don’t know, an in-depth site audit is always advantageous to you. This comprehensive site audit checklist will make sure you cover all your bases.
Your site will keep growing regarding page rankings and traffic – both of which are the major life net of your site. And more importantly, a site audit checklist will help you boost your return on your investment (ROI).
Feel Free to Download or Reference this Handy SEO & Site Audit Infographic:
What Comes After Your Site Audit? Implement the Following Shopify SEO Checklist on Your Site:
First Things First, You Need to do Keyword Research
Keyword research is an essential part of search engine optimization (SEO) for any e-commerce website, including a Shopify store. By targeting specific keywords in your website’s content and metadata, you can increase your store’s chances of ranking highly in search results for those terms.
Here are some steps you can follow to do keyword research for your Shopify store:
- Identify your target audience: Identifying your target audience is crucial as you have to create your marketing strategies based on them. Know and understand your target audience to ensure successful marketing.
- Make a list of relevant keywords: Consider the words and phrases your target audience might use to search for products like yours. Use a keyword research tool like Google’s Keyword Planner to find additional ideas and estimate the search volume for each keyword.
- Evaluate the competition: Look at the other websites ranking for the keywords you’re interested in. Are they high-authority websites with many backlinks or smaller sites with less competition?
- Prioritize your keywords: Once you have a list of potential keywords, you’ll need to decide which ones to focus on first. Consider the search volume, relevance, and competition for each keyword. You may also want to prioritize long-tail keywords.
All this requires expertise. You can pull this off independently if you are well-versed in SEO knowledge. However, hiring a professional SEO expert is wiser if you want the best results for your Shopify store.
When selecting an SEO expert and consultant, go through the individual’s or firm’s website and portfolio. It will give you an idea of what expertise the service provider has.
You can also check their experience and client testimonials on the website. You can go with someone like Peter Rota, who has abundant experience working with local, national, and international clients. He also has a client review score of 4.9 out of 5 based on several client testimonials.
Selecting an expert like Peter Rota can help you find the right keywords to rank for. This can be extremely beneficial in the long term.
Create Unique and Specific Product Descriptions
You should always use a keyword tool to get an idea of how many monthly searches your keyword gets. The more people who search for it, the more competition you will have.
Use the same keyword tool to see what words people use in their queries and which are most relevant to your niche. This will help you create product descriptions that are specific enough for your customer but still attractive enough for Google’s algorithm to consider them relevant when someone searches for those keywords.
Also, ensure having detailed descriptions. Having irrelevant or half information in the product descriptions can lead to cart abandonment. For instance, a recent Baymard research showed that 10% of eCommerce sites have insufficient information in product descriptions.
On the other hand, consumers require specific product information, such as ingredients, dimensions, images, compatibility, etc. Hence, having insufficient data can lead to cart abandonment.
Page Speed Optimization
Page load speed is crucial for user experience and SEO purposes. This can also help improve conversions and make more sales. A recent site speed report from Portent shows that websites that load within a second are likely to have three times the conversion rate compared to those loading in 5 seconds.
- Optimize images. Optimizing your photos allows you to load them faster and save your users from waiting a long time to see the image on their screen. Optimization includes resizing, compressing, and cropping.
- Use a content delivery network (CDN). The CDN helps to serve static content from different servers worldwide, so it can load very quickly in any part of the world.
- Use a caching plugin for WordPress or other CMSs like Drupal/Joomla, as this will significantly speed up your website by delivering static elements of pages via cache instead of re-executing PHP scripts whenever someone revisits those pages or refreshing them manually using the browser’s refresh button.
Image Alt Text
Alt text is the text that appears when an image cannot be displayed. It’s one of the most important parts of SEO since you want to ensure that your target keyword is included in this text. You should use your target keyword as the alt text for all your images, which should be unique for each image.
Image descriptions and alt texts can also make your posts accessible on social media platforms. A recent tweet by the TwitterAccessibility account shows that only 0.6% of Twitter images are accessible.
By adding alt texts and image descriptions, you can make your social media posts accessible to consumers. Hence, if someone is looking for a product on Twitter, your post can show up, potentially bringing the person to your Shopify store.
Have a Blog
Having a blog on your Shopify site is one of the best ways to get more traffic and build your brand. It’s no surprise that Google loves blogs because they are great for optimization and can help you rank high in their search engine results. Blog posts also appear in search results on social media channels, which means more exposure for your products.
You can write about anything from product reviews to industry news or other topics that help build an audience and drive sales. Whenever someone reads one of these articles, they will see your store as the source, which increases the trustworthiness of the content by association.
For a more in-depth Shopify SEO Guide, check out this post.
This Shopify SEO Checklist will help store owners who want to rank their websites high on Google search engine results. It includes keyword research, references to tools, product descriptions, page speed, and other SEO practices.
With this Comprehensive Shopify SEO checklist, you can ensure your store is optimized and ranking high on Google. Remember that SEO takes time, so don’t panic if you don’t see results immediately. Keep at it, and your store will soon rank well in search engines.