If you have an online store or are considering adding this kind of platform to your business, then it is very likely that you are using Shopify.
Much like with any other site, having a Shopify site needs to be optimized for search engines to ensure it gets the right kind of attention online.
Having a Shopify site is not enough to make money online, as you need to generate organic traffic and ensure people are interested in what you are selling.
Without traffic, your Shopify store will have no customers and will, therefore, not make money.
As with any other websites you can create for your business, search engine optimization takes several forms for Shopify.
One of the most effective tools for optimizing Shopify stores for search engines is through link building.
Developing a link building strategy for any website is essential to generating organic traffic through search engines, as well as reaching more people elsewhere.
This same process can be done for your online store, and there are specific ways to target the search engine algorithms to represent domain authority and therefore gain a higher ranking.
The higher your ranking in search engine results means that more people will see your store, click the link, and be pushed through the sales funnel.
In this guide, we are sharing how you can do this for your Shopify site and generate more revenue for your business through links.
What Is Link Building?
Firstly, we need to discuss what link building is and how this works within search engine optimization.
Every website should develop a link building strategy to increase its rankings in search results and generate more internet traffic, including ecommerce stores. A link building campaign is done by connecting with other website owners that have high domain authority to share link juice and audiences.
Your backlink profile, which refers to the websites that refer back to your Shopify site, is a way of showcasing relevance and authority to search engines, which in turn is used to rank results.
The top-ranking pages in any search are those that are deemed by search engines to be the most relevant and reliable.
As these are the top-ranking pages, they also get the most traffic because most users will not go past the first few pages when looking for an online store, blog post, or service.
Link building is an SEO tool that can increase your domain rating and, therefore, your ranking on search engines to bring more traffic to your online store.
How Do Links Improve SEO?
This particular SEO process should be used by ecommerce owners as much as standard site owners and content creators because of how effective it is.
As we have mentioned, link building is a process of connecting with high-authority websites by acquiring backlinks.
Backlinks are links from one website to another, and in this case, are the hyperlinks on other websites directing users back to your content or store.
Building links can be a useful tool when increasing your ranking in search results because it showcases trust and reliance.
The fact that there are many referring domains linking back to your site is a good sign for search engines like Google, causing them to rank your site higher so you can reach more people.
Of course, link building is not the only way to increase your search traffic, but when paired with other SEO tools, this can be incredibly useful for stores.
It is vital that you generate high-quality links during this SEO strategy, such as renowned brand mentions, to ensure the best results.
The whole purpose of link building is to show authority and reliance, which can only be provided by similar high-quality referring domains.
The more focused you are on quality rather than quantity as you try to acquire links, the better the results will be for SERP ranking.
How Does SEO Work For Shopify?
While all websites need to work on SEO if they want to increase search traffic and, eventually, business revenue, the process can vary for an ecommerce store.
Most online stores are run through Shopify, which is a leading ecommerce platform that already gives your site a sense of reliability.
As Shopify is so widely recognized, it is easy for users to see what your website is about and how it works, but this platform can alter your link building efforts.
It is important to note that while the same kind of SEO tools can be used for Shopify sites and any other website, the overall organization of Shopify can affect the best process for this.
SEO and Google
As a store owner, you need to first understand how SEO works on Shopify before you can begin using tactics such as link building because it may not work the same as it does for any other websites.
SEO is a way of tailoring your website to fit in with what Google and other search engines like to ensure you rank highly and get noticed by users. This means that website owners need to have a good understanding of what Google looks for and how this works with their site’s link profile.
As we have mentioned, Google’s goal is to find the best content for users based on keyword relevancy, domain authority, and reliability.
Not only does the way a particular website is run, its link profile, and content marketing come into play when ranking results, but so does the way users interact with it.
Your website needs to satisfy user intent from the very first link, which means it needs to be easy to navigate and it needs to be informative.
You want to ensure that users are able to spend time at your website, as opposed to clicking on and off the link immediately because it does not look right or provide the right kind of information.
How long users spend on each website can also impact your ranking on search engine results pages (also known as SERPs), so the website architecture of your store is also incredibly important.
Website architecture refers to how your website is organized, and when it comes to ecommerce stores, there are usually several resource pages as well as product pages that will be included.
Being able to understand what Google looks for when it comes to their search results, as well as how your Shopify site is organized from the offset, will make the process of SEO easier for you to manage.
SEO On Shopify
Unlike other websites, there are some specific internal links and pages that will be present on a Shopify site that can interact with your SERPs ranking.
The organization of these pages can make or break your SEO efforts and will determine where link building is needed the most.
Shopify Architecture And On Page SEO
Every store on Shopify contains multiple pages that need to be organized so users have a good experience on your site, as well as make sense to Google.
This is what sets Shopify sites apart from any other, and it can interact with the best SEO methods to use for better ranking.
Professional link builders understand the way Shopify websites are organized and how this translates to Google, which then informs the way they need to build links for better ranking.
While users can edit and recalibrate their Shopify site to offer more or fewer pages, there are some page types that come as standard and can be seen on all online stores. For simplicity, these standard categories are:
- Informational Pages (such as About Us and Contact)
- Collection or Category Pages
- Product Pages
- Blog Posts
In terms of organizing your website architecture for better SEO and user experience, both of which are intertwined, you need to think about what people want from you.
Improving Organisation For SEO
As an online store, most users are going to be interested in your product pages first but then may also want to learn more about your business or contact the team for inquiries.
Of course, this can vary based on the kind of site you are running and your target audience.
You can determine what is most valuable to users and what gets the most clicks by performing competitive research in your industry, but whatever you find, you need to ensure that users can operate your website to get what they want within three clicks or less.
For example, this may mean linking to your category page as often as possible compared to your homepage in outreach campaigns.
How Shopify Can Help SEO
Time is money in all forms of business, especially those online where there is a lot of competition.
Users want a fast and simple experience with any website, so you need to be able to deliver results quickly, but you also want to ensure they spend enough time on your site for it to register with Google.
There is a very fine balance between SEO and user experience which you should aim to meet when organizing your website.
Without this initial organization, it will be difficult to work on other aspects of SEO and connect with referring domains for better ranking.
Shopify can handle a lot of the additional work that goes into optimizing a website behind the scenes.
As a store owner, you do not have to worry about site speed, for example, no matter the site explorer used by your audience.
Shopify is optimized for all kinds of explorers, and websites operated through this platform do not have to adjust the behind-the-scenes operation.
However, there are other areas of SEO that you need to work on yourself if you want to get better results, such as the site architecture.
What Do Users Want?
The first step to any improvement is understanding what you are currently working with and, therefore, how this can be improved.
Now that you have a better understanding of Shopify and the way your site may be structured, it is time to consider the other SEO factors you can work on.
How To Get More Links For Shopify Sites
As we have already mentioned, link building can be a very useful tool for ecommerce sites but not all of these methods are going to work on Shopify.
There are various methods that can be used to generate high-quality backlinks from one site to another, but not all of these are suitable for exclusively ecommerce platforms.
This causes many store owners to struggle when it comes to developing a link building campaign because they do not know where to get hyperlinks from or how they can be used on their site.
It is possible to generate links for your store using some of the same methods you may use for any other website, as well as with some new techniques too.
- Keyword Research
No SEO campaign will be successful without keyword research, and this even applies to generating links.
After all, you want to ensure that your work is being shared in similar circles and reaching the same kind of audience, so you will research relevant keywords first to find the right platforms to connect with.
With the right keywords, you can optimize all your content and ensure it gets noticed in the right searches, as well as find competitors as well as other resources to work with.
There are some key findings you will derive from researching keywords that can inform the rest of your content, as well as highlighting issues that may be present.
You can consider how competitor websites make use of keywords and which particular words get the most attention from customers.
Keywords need to be used consistently throughout your content to ensure your website appears in relevant searches, which includes any meta description of images or products on your site.
The same keywords should also be used in anchor text for backlinks to make it easier for customers to find your site in standard searches as well as from referrals.
- Guest Posting
Guest posts are some of the most successful ways to get more backlinks and connect your site with high-authority ones.
As the name suggests, this kind of SEO requires you to create content and reach out to other sites to request publishing your work (with a backlink) on their platform.
Not only does this contribute to your link profile, which can increase your ranking on SERPs, but it also offers referral traffic.
You will be platforming yourself to a whole new audience with such content, and this will encourage them to visit your site in return.
Introducing Shopify Blog
Content creation is common on any website, but those running a Shopify store may struggle as this is not their main focus.
This is why you need to make use of the Shopify Blog feature and publish content regularly here.
Your blog will be the thing reference in any guest post you manage to publish, as well as being a great platform to attract links this way.
While the blog may not be the main concern for your customers, it can be a great tool for generating hyperlinks.
This is a great tool for sites to use instead of paid ads, as it can be done to generate free links and result in more success.
- Repair Broken Links
Not only do broken links impact the user experience on your Shopify site, but they also affect your ranking on SERPs.
This kind of technique can help meet the balance needed on this platform for the best results, and you may be surprised by how many internal links were impacting your ranking by being broken.
In a bid to keep your content relevant and your website easy to navigate, pages get deleted, and content may be replaced.
This can all lead to broken or damaged links that you may not even be aware of, and these will continue to impact your ranking in the background.
Repairing damaged hyperlinks is a way to ensure your current and past efforts in SEO are not going to waste and should not be ignored.
How To Repair
There are some great tools for SEO that can highlight the broken links on your website and help you repair them, such as Ahrefs.
It is also possible to do this work manually by checking the internal linking across your site and seeing where issues lie in terms of deleted or moved content.
When it comes to repairing internal linking, there are several methods you can consider based on the kind of broken link you are dealing with.
As the owner of the website, one of the best things you can do is try to repair links yourself by connecting the broken link to the next relevant thing you have on your site.
For example, if a particular products page has been renamed or moved, you want to direct the broken links to the next best thing.
If it used to be linked to ‘tees,’ but you have now updated the organization of your website to ‘t-shirts’ or even ‘tops,’ make sure to redirect all links that were to the non-existing page to these similar categories.
- Find Unlinked Mentions And Ask For Links
If you have been working under the same domain for a while, it may be likely that other websites already reference your company.
Many websites, such as blogs or article-based sites, may reference a particular brand without a backlink, and this is a missed opportunity for you to generate more traffic.
Do a search of your brand on Google or similar platforms to locate any unlinked mentions you may have generated over the years.
Once you find these mentions, reach out to the website owner or the author and ask them for links back to your content.
This is a standard request and something that can be easily rectified on their behalf, making it one of the easiest ways to generate links without additional content.
When you do request links to be added to your references, make sure to offer an exact anchor text that the website owner or writer can use instead.
With this exact referencing, which links back to your homepage, it will be easier for people to find your website from searches of the same thing.
Finding Unlinked Mentions
You can keep track of your unlinked mentions by setting up Google alerts for the name of your brand and regularly searching Google News for your company.
There are some premium tools that you can also consider to search organic listings for you, such as Mention or BrandWatch.
However, even doing this research yourself for a few hours each week can make such a difference to your website’s success, so it should not be ignored.
- Consider Your Most-Used Links
Before generating any new links, you may want to consider looking into what is already working for your site and whether these same links can be reused elsewhere.
Of course, backlinks play a large part in the domain rating of your site on Google, but they can also be a useful tool for bringing in more potential customers.
Considering this properly may help reveal other areas where links are being used for your website and where more traffic can come from, which in turn will contribute to your SERPs ranking over time.
You can access your referral traffic using Google Analytics and see where people are finding your links and what type these are.
Through this, you may find that sponsored links, for example, are getting you the most clicks, and these therefore need to be used more.
For an online store, you want to consider more than just the links that are getting you the most clicks but that also have the highest conversion percentage.
Through links, you not only want to increase traffic but also ensure that these people are spending money on your site.
Using this information, you can find out what the best kind of links are to your website as well as ideas for other platforms to reach out to for guest posting, sponsors, and similar SEO methods.
- Create A Statistics Page
All Shopify sites have more than just a page for products, and this architecture can be used to get links.
Creating a statistics page is a great excuse for more links to be used on your website and to connect your work to other platforms without impacting the user experience of your site.
This page can also become a great reference point for other creators or journalists to use during their research, and in many cases, these articles will link back to your site, as opposed to the sources of the statistics in the first place.
The kind of statistics page that you will generate will vary based on your audience and store focus, and it should be relevant to your audience in some way.
By having a specific niche, as well as using the best resources and findings possible, you can create a winning page that offers value to the people who need it most.
The Next Step
Once your page is uploaded to your website, you can partake in an outreach campaign to journalists and bloggers where you offer out your page instead of the sources they are currently using.
As long as your page has more to offer, the swap makes sense, and you have more backlinks as well as on-page connections to other resources.
As an ecommerce site, the way that you develop your SEO strategy to ensure better rankings and increased internet traffic may vary from any other site.
The way that Shopify is organized, as well as the requirements of Google, all play a part in the best kind of methods you need to use when optimizing your site on this platform.
This does not mean to say that your prior knowledge of SEO cannot come in useful here, as there are some similar methods you may have used for other sites that can come into play on Shopify.
There is simply a new balance that needs to be met when working on SEO for this kind of website as well as a different structure to consider.
In terms of increasing your Shopify site’s ranking on SERPs, generating links is perhaps one of the most effective ways.
This is because not only does it impact the way your store is seen by Google in terms of relevancy and authority, but it can also work on generating more traffic.
With more traffic, your rankings will increase, but there are also more people to put through the sales funnel at the same time.
Scott Calland is a highly regarded content specialist with an English Degree. He has a passion for creating compelling content as a UK journalist that engages, informs, and entertains readers. With over 10 years of experience in creating news publications as a reporter, Scott has developed a keen eye for detail and a deep understanding of how to craft content that resonates with audiences. Working closely with data analysts Scott’s research on topics is unrivalled for latest news updates.
Scott is also an investor in Searcharoo.