To hear the words “I’m a small business owner” is no more a cause for surprise.
Almost every person and their dog have dreams of starting a side hustle. Small businesses account for 99.9% of all businesses in the U.S.
Social media and the internet are to thank for this. They make showcasing your business to the world possible.
Of these, Shopify is one of the best resources for a business owner. There’s a reason why 1.7 million business owners sell globally on Shopify.
This graph indicates that the number of buyers from Shopify has also increased steadily over the years.
In order to make your Shopify store stand out to your shoppers, you need a dash of creativity and quite a lot of SEO planning. Here’s what to look out for when choosing Shopify themes for SEO.
A survey by Statista shows that a whopping 92.6% of internet users access the internet using their mobile devices. So it’s safe to say that most of your customers see your products on their cell phone screens.
A mobile responsive website is easier to access. The site loads quicker and can be viewed from any device. This will reduce the bounce rate.
A responsive website is also easier to navigate. So it’s likely your customers will spend more time on the website.
Such parameters are scrutinised by Google in its ranking process — just in case you need another reason.
A Shopify theme with elaborately coded functions may look good. But it will increase the loading time of your website. And as the loading time increases, so does the bounce rate.
This infographic shows that with a one-second increase in page load time, the bounce rate increases by 4-5%.
According to Google’s John Mueller, the average loading time of a webpage should be 2-4 seconds. And for an e-commerce website, even 2 seconds is pushing it. Anything more than that will impact your SEO ratings.
It is also easy for search engines to crawl more pages if the load time is quick.
So when you pick your Shopify theme, ensure that it is lightweight. And if it still does not load in the recommended time, use compression tools to get to a good loading time.
Customisable product pages
With so many small businesses and e-commerce websites, a monotony has set in. If you want a successful business, you need to break that monotony.
Some Shopify themes make it easier to customise pages than others. Pick one that has a preset theme similar to how you want your page to look. Then make simple customisations to make it stand apart from other websites. This way, the theme won’t become heavy.
This will increase your conversion rate, which will in turn boost your SEO ranking.
Another aspect to consider should be the product catalogue size. Some themes allow you to display a large inventory. A fashion website would need this. But for a smaller inventory, a focused theme should suffice.
Yes, it’s natural to want the best, highest resolution images on your website. But if it’s too heavy, it will impact your site’s speed.
If your Shopify theme takes care of image optimisation, your work decreases.
Choose a theme that does the following:
- Resizes images automatically to optimise speed and make them responsive
- Automatically changes image formats to WebP files
Image tags are another important aspect of search engine optimization. The algorithm uses alt tags to accurately index the images on your website. Ensure the theme lets you customize the tags.
Automatic sitemap generation
A sitemap lists all the pages on your website. Having a well-defined sitemap makes it easy for search engines to crawl your website.
Even if there aren’t internal links to a page, the sitemap will ensure that the page gets crawled.
Fortunately, all Shopify plans come with an automatic sitemap generation.
Where does your target audience live? Do they speak a language other than English? If yes, then your Shopify theme should support language translation.
This will improve the user experience of your site, which increases the “time-on-site”. This is an important parameter considered by Google when ranking websites.
If you have an international customer base, ensure the currency also changes according to the country of the visitor. This is another way to improve the user experience.
Meta tags contain information about the website and are held in the HTML document. It cannot be seen in the front-end, but search engines and website crawlers can read it.
Sometimes, search engines use metadata to rank a website or to display snippets.
If your Shopify theme allows you to customise the metadata, you can control how Google views your website. So choose a theme that lets you customise the metadata.
Increasing the conversions should be your main goal as a business owner. Abandoned carts are the last thing you want to see. Sadly, if the checkout process is anything more than 3 steps, then it is likely that you’ll lose customers.
These are some of the factors that lead to abandoned carts:
- Surprising customers with the shipping fee on the last step
- Forcing customers to sign up to complete the purchase
- Not being transparent about the shipping time
Though cart abandonment isn’t a direct ranking factor, Google does track which page your customers left from. The algorithm might notice that many people are leaving the site before checking out.
To prevent cart abandonment, choose a theme that simplifies the checkout process. If it doesn’t allow multiple payment gateways, then give it a wide berth.
Ensuring your SEO strategy is successful
The success of your business relies heavily on how Google indexes your website. And nailing the SEO is crucial. That’s why it’s best to err on the side of caution and hire the best Shopify expert. With the website development portion out of your worry, you can concentrate on running your business.
If you still want a hand in the pie, here are some of the best SEO-friendly Shopify themes you can choose from.
This Shopify theme is suitable for large and small catalogues. One of the best features of this theme is the product filtering ability.
It features a grid layout that is suitable for all types of businesses. Buying Vantage also gives you free access to stock photos on Shopify Burst.
This theme is speed tested by Shopify.
This is a free theme by Shopify. It is one of the best options if you want an image-heavy website. It can support all your high-resolution pictures without compromising the speed.
The theme has a minimalist design which is perfect for highlighting your images.
Since the theme is made by Shopify, there is guaranteed customer support.
This is a theme that has been designed for showcasing products and services. It allows you to customise forms. This is a good marketing feature to keep customers coming back.
It also has product tables and featured product highlighting abilities. This will increase user engagement and hence, conversions.
Artisan also has a quick buy feature that is helpful to decrease the cart abandonment rate.
This is a drag-and-drop theme that is easy to customise. Organic is a responsive theme that is well documented, modern, and clean.
It is an SEO optimised theme with a built-in language translator and attractive product pages. This theme was designed for stores that sell organic products.
This is a minimal theme that’s suited for furniture and interior decoration stores. It is a mobile responsive theme with powerful features. This makes it a user-friendly theme.
Space offers users endless customisation features to make the storefront unique. The theme is also SEO optimised.
Though it may sound scary, SEO is not the terrible beast it’s made out to be. Follow the mentioned best practices for a successful business.