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Technical SEO Problems Your Shopify Store May Encounter

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    Shopify has a user-friendly interface that enables beginners to build a website in less than a day. 600,000+ businesses worldwide have used it to launch websites. While its accessible drag-and-drop editor streamlines that web development process, it also offers minimal on-page SEO customization features. Not knowing how to solve Shopify SEO problems can hurt your overall website performance.

    Even minor hassles like misleading title tags could serve as a roadblock to increasing eCommerce sales. Fortunately, these Shopify issues have straightforward fixes. If your shop hasn’t been generating sufficient traffic lately, keep reading. This article explains how a few SEO tweaks will help your store generate traffic, reduce bounce rates, and improve conversion rates.

    Misleading Title Tag Field

    Title tags and meta descriptions play a crucial role in page visibility. Google crawl bots scan them for keyword relevance, while readers check these fields before visiting a web page. Neglecting your title tags can cause your traffic to drop. 

    Shopify allows eCommerce entrepreneurs to optimize their on-page title tags conveniently, but the platform has misleading guidelines. Shopify allows the meta title and description to span 70 and 320 characters, respectively. 

    Although Google publishes title tags with this character count, it might not appear correctly on search engine results pages (SERP). Each entry can only work with a limited number of pixels. If your title tags exceed a specific character count, Google automatically cuts them to fit the allocated screen space — typically 600 pixels.

    Ignore the character count limit on Shopify’s title tag field altogether. Keep your meta title within 50 to 60 characters and your meta description around 120 to 150 characters instead.

    Automatic Duplicate Content

    First-time web developers might not realize this, but Shopify automatically creates duplicate product pages. The platform generates a canonical URL for every category you link to a product. As a result, Shopify redirects each collection URL as a canonical URL for internal links, even if it should represent the product category.

    The worst part about this is that most Shopify category pages contain multiple product models and variants. A single shirt could have four variations. Having four canonical URLs for a single category prevents you from maximizing your SEO link equity.

    Fortunately, Shopify problems involving duplicate content require minimal coding. Go to your online store, press themes, scroll down to actions, then choose edit code. Click on the snippets folder and search “product-grid-item.liquid” via Ctrl + F.

    Change this code: ​​<a href=”{{ product.url | within: current_collection }}” class=”product-grid-item”> into <a href=”{{ product.url }}” class=”product-grid-item”>. Adjust for relevance if your pages have unique coding. 

    Inability to Edit robots.txt Files

    Shopify regulates File Transfer Protocol (FTP) access. Web administrators cannot access or edit their robots.txt files and FTP because the platform already has a pre-coded file in place. Admittedly, this feature makes web development easier. However, the convenience of a pre-coded file hampers your SEO customization options.

    Unfortunately, the pre-coded file does not include a customized sitemap. Since you cannot add a NoIndex or NoFollow tag to nonexistent product pages, Google crawl bots will continue scanning them for link equity. Remember: internal linking pages with no value hurts your site authority.

    To hide irrelevant pages from your Shopify store, manually code robot.txt tags into your <head> sections. Go to the themes section of your online store, select the edit code feature on your theme, then scroll down to the theme.liquid section.

    Paste this code into the <head section> to exclude search templates:

    {% if template contains 'search' %}

    <meta name="robots" content="noindex">

    {% endif %}

    Paste this code into the <head section> to exclude pages:

    {% if handle contains 'page-handle-you-want-to-exclude' %}

    <meta name="robots" content="noindex">

    {% endif %}

    Set URL Structures

    Since Shopify classifies as a third-party platform, it reserves the right to regulate how its network’s overall content management system. Unfortunately, this regulation means the platform can impose a set URL structure. Users have to structure their URL as www.brand.com/collection/category or www.brand.com/product/subecategory.

    Limited URL structure optimization might not seem as urgent as other Shopify problems, but it does impact your overall site performance. Both Google crawl bots and site visitors treat the URL as your page address. The lack of optimization makes it challenging to find, thus reducing site visibility. Fortunately, Shopify follows a straightforward structure.

    Whether you use a basic or premium plan, Shopify’s URL structure is absolute. However, you can still use highly searched keywords as your one- or two-word slug. 

    ​​Locked Tag Pages 

    Tags streamline page organization and make your website content navigable. Unfortunately, Shopify prohibits tag page edits. Ideally, tag pages should include organized tags and labels that guide readers through the content accordingly. For instance, let’s say you sell pens. You can arrange your tag pages as:

    • /collections/ballpoint-pens/
    • /collections/ballpoint-pens/red-ink
    • /collections/ballpoint-pens/blue-ink
    • /collections/ballpoint-pens/black-ink

    Since you cannot publish content in individual tag pages, Shopify redirects and assigns each URL as canonical. This issue also stems from the platform’s page duplication.

    To resolve this issue, add the following code to the individual <head> sections of the pages that you want to categorize:

    {% if collection.description != blank %}

    {% if template contains ‘collection’ and current_tags %}

    {% if current_tags contains ‘long-sleeve’ %}

    <h1>Long Sleeve Shirts</h1>

    <p>This is your custom text about </p>

    {% endif %}

    {% endif %}

    Technical SEO Problems Your Shopify Store May Encounter

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Do I need SEO for my website? 

    Yes, you need SEO for your Shopify site. It can help you boost your credibility, earn more traffic, and improve your online visibility. Plus, you'll achieve all of those results without spending a cent on ad space. Beyond that, SEO is a great way to improve the overall experience your target audience has with your brand.

    How do I speed up my Shopify optimization? 

    To optimize your Shopify site speed, make sure to choose a lightweight theme and reduce large image sizes. Try to limit any third-party apps and compress large image files.

    Does changing my Shopify theme affect SEO? 

    Changing your Shopify theme may affect your SEO. While your Google Webmaster Tools and Analytics will stay the same, a new theme could affect other factors such as loading speed and overall user experience. 

    Does Shopify have built-in SEO? 

    Shopify's storefronts have built-in SEO features that can help you optimize your content. Some SEO features such as canonical tags and sitemaps are generated automatically for every Shopify site. 

    Why is my Shopify store not on Google? 

    There are several reasons why your Shopify store may not be appearing on Google. One key reason is that your site may be too new, which means it hasn’t been indexed by Google. Submitting your sitemap to Google Search Console may remedy this. 

    Any Shopify issues with SEO are just some of the reasons why your shop isn’t turning a profit. Keep auditing your site if you still don’t generate enough traffic. Troubleshoot issues that compromise your page ranking, bloat page size, slow down page loading speed, and hurt your brand authority. Keep in mind that several factors affect eCommerce website performance.

    Also, don’t feel afraid to invest in your eCommerce store. Attracting qualified prospects and converting them into customers goes beyond resolving common Shopify SEO problems. A full-scale marketing plan helps you reach new heights. Just make sure to follow quantifiable, analytical metrics when measuring eCommerce ROI and gauging profitability.

    Is your eCommerce store not generating enough traffic? Bliss Drive can help you get more exposure! Contact us today for eCommerce SEO services and attract qualified leads and prospects.

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