Shopify and SEO: Is Shopify Good for SEO?

Last Updated: January 26, 2024

In This Article

Search engine optimization (SEO) is crucial for driving traffic and sales to ecommerce stores. As one of the most popular ecommerce platforms, Shopify offers both advantages and disadvantages when it comes to SEO. 

For online retailers using Shopify, optimizing their store for Shopify and SEO can significantly boost discoverability and growth. But how SEO-friendly is the Shopify platform? What are the pros and cons of using Shopify for SEO?

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll examine if Shopify is good for SEO and the best practices merchants should follow to maximize search ranking potential. 

Key SEO Considerations for Shopify Stores

While Shopify offers SEO advantages out of the box, merchants should focus on these key areas to maximize search visibility:

Quality On-Page SEO

On-page SEO refers to optimizing individual website pages to improve search ranking potential. Quality On-Page SEO Enhances Visibility. This requires ensuring your Shopify store has:

Targeted page titles and meta descriptions – These appear in search engines and should include relevant keywords.

Optimized content – Product descriptions, blogs, and other content should focus on what customers are searching for.

Effective URL structures – URLs should be simple, human-readable, and keyword-optimized. 

Fast page speed – Shopify builds fast stores, but merchants should still optimize images, plugins, etc. to maximize speed.

Proper headings and alt text – Heading tags and image alt text help search engines understand content.

With the right content optimization, Shopify stores can fare very well in on-page SEO.

Technical SEO Factors 

Beyond content, Shopify merchants must ensure their store has:

Mobile responsiveness – A mobile-friendly store helps with ranking and user experience. Shopify is mobile-ready.

Strong security – An SSL certificate and following security best practices helps with SEO and trust.

Effective site architecture – Shopify allows user-friendly IA but merchants should still optimize navigation. 

Schema markup – Adding schema improves how search engines parse content.

Sitemaps – XML sitemaps make it easier for search engines to discover new content. 

pageSpeed Insights – This Google tool provides page speed optimization recommendations.

Attending these technical SEO factors will pay dividends in rankings.

Link Building

The quantity and quality of external links pointing to a Shopify store is a key ranking factor. Merchants should build links through:

Content marketing – Blogs and content help earn organic links.

Outreach – Proactively request high-quality site links to your store.

Partnerships – Coordinate links with relevant blogs and businesses.  

Reviews – Generate links to your website through local review building.

Mentions – Pitch your store to be included in roundups, lists, and stories.

Link building takes work but can greatly boost Shopify store visibility.

Ongoing Optimization

SEO is an ongoing process. Shopify stores should be continuously optimized by:

  • Improving page speed and technical factors
  • Creating new content  
  • Updating existing content
  • Building additional links
  • Monitoring rankings and traffic  
  • Keeping up with SEO best practices and algorithms

Optimization is how Shopify merchants build sustainable SEO success over the long term.

Conduct Keyword Research

High-value keywords and long-tail variations are identified based on their search volume and competition. Long-tail keywords are more specific and less common, but they often attract a more targeted audience and can have a higher conversion value despite lower search traffic. 

In the context of Shopify and SEO, these keywords should be strategically placed in various parts of your online store such as titles, URLs, image alt text, and content to enhance visibility on search engines. Keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner, AnswerThePublic, Semrush, and Ahrefs can be used to identify relevant keywords.

Create Useful Content  

Creating useful content for Shopify and SEO, such as blog posts and guides, can help answer buyer questions and target more keywords. This content can then be promoted across various channels to increase visibility and drive more traffic to your site.

The content should be original, comprehensive, and relevant to the keywords you are targeting. It should also provide value to the user, answering their questions and providing useful information.

How Shopify Stores Rank in SEO

Shopify makes it easy for merchants to get a professional ecommerce store up and running quickly. However, some initially question whether the platform delivers effective SEO capabilities right out of the box. 

So how do Shopify stores stack up against other e-commerce platforms in SEO? In general, Shopify stores can achieve strong SEO results. The platform is search engine friendly, providing a solid foundation that merchants can build upon.

In the following ways Shopify stores can rank in SEO:

Technical SEO Advantages

Shopify builds sites using clean, semantic HTML code optimized for search engine crawling and indexing, enhancing both Shopify and SEO. This includes proper use of header tags (H1, H2, etc.), image alt text, schema markup and more. 

Shopify’s themes and infrastructure also enable fast page load speeds on both mobile and desktop. Quick speeds improve organic rankings and conversion rates. 

Furthermore, all Shopify themes are designed to be 100% mobile responsive, adapting to fit phones or tablets. With mobile representing over 50% of web traffic, mobile optimization is imperative for SEO success. 

Shopify also constructs simple URL structures by default for pages and products, with the ability to customize slugs. Clean URLs boost clickthrough rates from search listings.

Content Optimization Capabilities

The Shopify platform provides native meta description fields for pages and products, enabling merchants to craft customized summaries visible in search engines. Shopify also allows easy blog integration, facilitating content creation for targeting informational keywords.

Combined with the technical advantages, Shopify delivers a robust foundation aligned with core SEO best practices that merchants can build upon through content, UX and search engine optimization. While the platform won’t automatically rank sites in Shopify and SEO contexts, it sets up stores for SEO success.

How Shopify Supports SEO

In addition to technology, Shopify also provides SEO education and support for merchants.

Shopify’s combination of tech, apps, and guidance provides end-to-end SEO capabilities for ecommerce stores.

Educational Resources

Ecommerce Shopify and SEO Guide

This comprehensive best practices guide covers core optimization areas like keywords, site structure, product pages, technical factors, and more. It enables DIY execution for merchants.

Shopify Academy Courses 

The free online courses teach SEO fundamentals, walking through beginner topics in a structured format. This helps merchants learn skills.

Shopify Blog

Regular educational articles showcase proven SEO tips and tactics for the Shopify platform, keeping readers up-to-date on the latest best practices.

Community & Assistance 

Shopify Forums

The forums facilitate discussions where merchants can get SEO questions answered by peers or Shopify experts. Feedback and ideas are shared.

Shopify SEO Experts

For personalized one-on-one guidance, Shopify’s in-house SEO specialists offer consulting based on store-specific needs and goals.

Monthly Webinars 

Live monthly webinars explore trending SEO subjects in detail through presentations and Q&As, delivering timely education.

Facebook Community

The merchant discussion group enables idea exchange and networking between Shopify store owners interested in SEO.

Shopify leaves no SEO stone unturned, granting merchants access to helpful tools, actionable education, community support, and expert assistance.

Shopify SEO Apps and Integrations

A benefit of the Shopify platform is its extensive app store featuring hundreds of third-party integrations. Many of these apps can enhance SEO capabilities for Shopify stores.

Some top SEO apps for Shopify include:

SEO Image Optimizer – Automatically optimizes images for faster loading. 

SEO Booster – Helps create SEO-friendly content and meta descriptions.

Link Whisper – Finds linking opportunities to build links. 

Serebro – Provides detailed SEO audits and recommendations.

Schema – Adds schema markup to enrich search results.

Yoast SEO – An all-in-one SEO tool for content optimization.  

The Shopify app ecosystem offers great flexibility to extend SEO tools as needed. Apps make sophisticated SEO easier.

In addition to SEO-focused apps, there are also helpful complementary apps for:

Site speed optimization – Optimizing images, caching, etc. to improve page speed. 

Link building – Apps to identify link prospects and outreach.

Marketing automation – Automating SEO and content workflows.

The app store robustly covers critical SEO capabilities and areas for optimization.

This can be achieved through outreach and partnerships with industry websites. The more domains linking to your site, the more authority your site has in the eyes of search engines.

How Shopify Themes Support SEO Optimization

Beyond apps, Shopify’s themes are another way to extend SEO capabilities.

Technical Optimization

Optimized Code

Well-coded theme backends utilize clean HTML, efficient CSS, and web best practices for improved crawlability and indexing by search engines. Less bloat also quickens page speeds.

Fast Load Speed 

Minimalist, lightweight themes without excessive functionality streamline page loading. Quick speeds enhance organic rankings and conversion rates.

SEO Settings

Built-in theme customization settings make optimizing titles, meta descriptions, alt text, etc. simple for merchants without coding skills. 

User Experience

Responsive Design

Mobile-responsive themes adapt sites for optimal viewing across all devices. Strong mobile UX improves rankings as Google favors mobile-friendly sites.

Simple URLs

SEO-friendly themes generate clean, readable pages and product URLs without excessive parameters. This improves clickthroughs.


Well-organized menus, site IA, breadcrumbs etc. aid internal searchability and enhance visitor experience.

Themes handle foundational SEO without development needs, facilitating optimization.

Shopify SEO Limitations

The primary challenges with Shopify’s SEO stem from its nature as a closed platform, which restricts full customization in both Shopify and SEO aspects. This lack of flexibility, compared to platforms like Magento or WooCommerce is often seen as a significant disadvantage by many technical SEO experts. 

To address some of these issues Shopify users can resort to purchasing Shopify apps or seeking assistance from developers. However, certain problems necessitate further customizations that Shopify does not currently support. In such cases users can only wait for Shopify to incorporate these changes in future updates.

Here are a few limitations:

Restricted Access and Customization

Shopify’s platform restricts access to backend code and servers, which can limit the scope of technical optimization. This means that users cannot directly manipulate the server-side code or database, which can limit certain Shopify and SEO strategies or custom functionalities. Additionally, Shopify’s themes and URL structures are predetermined, which can restrict customization. 

While Shopify does allow for some customization within its themes, the fundamental structure of URLs and the overall site architecture are set by the platform. This can limit the ability to implement specific SEO strategies or to customize the site to a specific design vision.

Potential Duplicate Content

Duplicate content can negatively impact SEO as it confuses search engines about which version of the content to index and rank. Shopify and SEO experts are aware that platforms like Shopify can inadvertently generate duplicate content across pages. Shopify uses safeguards like canonical tags to mitigate this. 

Canonical tags tell search engines which version of a webpage is the original or preferred one, helping to prevent duplicate content issues. 

Despite these safeguards, Shopify users need to monitor their sites for potential duplicate content and ensure canonical tags are correctly implemented to maintain optimal SEO performance.

Difficulty Targeting International Markets 

While Shopify simplifies the process of localizing your online store, it does not provide automatic translation services or support for country/language URL subdirectories, which are important for international SEO. 

This means that while you can manually translate your content and set up separate stores for different regions for effective Shopify and SEO integration, Shopify does not automatically generate URL structures optimized for different languages or countries.

This can make it more challenging to optimize your site for international audiences and may require additional tools or manual work.

Reliance on Apps and Experts

Maximizing the SEO potential of a Shopify store often requires the use of additional apps to supplement the platform’s built-in features. These apps can help with various aspects of Shopify and SEO, such as keyword research, meta tag optimization, and more. 

However, the effective use of these apps and the overall SEO strategy often requires expertise. 

As a result, many Shopify store owners choose to invest in SEO experts who can help optimize their site, implement effective SEO strategies, and navigate the complexities of SEO on the Shopify platform.

FAQs About Shopify SEO

Q: Is Shopify capable of efficiently managing SEO for large-scale e-commerce sites?

Indeed, Shopify is designed to scale and can adeptly handle SEO for e-commerce stores of all sizes, from small to large.

Q: How critical is it to optimize Shopify stores for mobile devices in terms of SEO?

Mobile optimization is essential; Shopify’s commitment to responsive themes significantly contributes to SEO by enhancing the mobile user experience.

Q: Does Shopify automatically produce XML sitemaps for SEO?

Yes, Shopify generates XML sitemaps automatically, which helps search engines in the effective crawling and indexing of a site’s content.

Q: What are the issues with duplicate content on Shopify, and what solutions exist?

Duplicate content can be an issue on Shopify, but it can be managed with the use of canonical tags and other SEO best practices to ensure a robust SEO profile.

Q: Could the customization restrictions of Shopify hinder the execution of sophisticated SEO tactics?

Although Shopify presents certain customization constraints, businesses can still execute powerful SEO tactics through meticulous planning and site optimization.


SEO is indispensable for Shopify and other ecommerce merchants to gain visibility and drive growth. Optimizing for search requires a focus on both technical factors and content, key elements in Shopify and SEO strategies.

While Shopify isn’t a magic SEO button, the platform does provide a robust foundation for strong optimization. With Shopify’s built-in SEO advantage combined with merchant optimization effort – including leveraging apps, themes, and educational resources – Shopify stores can achieve high search engine rankings and traffic, thanks to the synergy of Shopify and SEO.

In summary, Shopify is good for SEO, offering merchants many opportunities and tools to maximize search visibility. But SEO does require hands-on execution. With the right blend of technology and strategy, Shopify stores can excel in both SEO and ecommerce success