Shopify SEO Guide: 4 Steps to Boost Organic Traffic in 2023
Are you looking to take your Shopify site to the next level in 2023? You might have heard of the old adage that “content is king”, and while that’s still very much true, there are several other essential parts of an effective SEO strategy. After all, increasing your organic website traffic is one of the most important steps toward success — but how do you do it?
Fortunately, there are several SEO tactics that can help you attract more visitors and boost engagement. In this article, we’ll go over 4 proven strategies to boost organic website traffic to your Shopify site in 2023, so you can be sure that your website is reaching its full potential.
Write for Humans, Not Machines
If you have even a passing knowledge of SEO, it’s likely that you’re at least broadly familiar with the Helpful Content Update rolled out by Google in 2022. If you’re not, let us briefly explain: as part of its latest algorithm update, Google aimed to ensure its users “see more original, helpful content written by people, for people, in search results”. This entails focusing on people-first content that offers genuine value to the user rather than content that is clearly produced with the express aim of appealing to search engines.
That’s not to say that following SEO best practices is no longer essential — it’s still vitally important to include relevant, high-volume keywords in your content, for example. But instead, you should be focusing on creating satisfying, valuable content while also ensuring it’s optimized for search engines — not the other way around. You might consider enlisting the services of an agency that specializes in creating SEO-friendly yet engaging content, such as Seeker.
Here are a few tips to creating helpful content that will appeal to humans as well as search algorithms:
- Consider whether your content is actually providing value to your audience — are you simply summarizing what’s already been said, or are you offering value or insight they couldn’t find elsewhere?
- If your title poses a question, make sure your content provides the answer — if a blog post is titled “What’s the best time of year to visit Barcelona?”, your users will leave frustrated and unfulfilled if the blog itself avoids answering the question directly.
- Try to avoid producing content on a wide range of disconnected topics simply to hit as many different niches as possible — it’s better to focus on a smaller range of relevant topics where you can offer genuine expertise.
- Don’t get hung up hitting on a word count — sure, long-form content is typically favored by search engines, but don’t assume that more words automatically equals more helpful. Focus on the quality of your content, not the length.
Create Content Clusters
A key facet of Google’s ranking algorithm is E-A-T, which stands for expertise, authoritativeness, and trust (and it’s now being expanded to E-E-A-T through the addition of experience). This denotes that content conveying expert-level knowledge of a particular subject is likely to be favored by search engines over that which appears to have been written by someone with limited experience or know-how. This links back to the requirement for helpful content, of course, as content produced by a subject matter expert, is likely to be more valuable and, therefore, more trustworthy.
In a content cluster, you organize your content into pillars and sub-topics, clustering semantically-related content together to improve your website’s architecture, enhance the user experience, and assist search engines in understanding what your content is about. Instead of covering a vast range of unconnected topics with no hierarchy or structure — which conveys more of a ‘jack of all trades, master of none’ quality — clustering content (and focusing on your primary areas of expertise) shows that you know what you’re talking about.
The benefits of using content clusters include:
- Helping to establish your brand as an authority within its field.
- Helping your target audience find exactly what they’re looking for.
- Improving the user experience by creating a more navigation-friendly page structure.
- Providing more opportunities for internal link building between related pages.
- Boosts organic traffic by helping search engines understand your content and identify contextual links.
Focus on Search Intent
When it comes to your keyword strategy, building organic traffic is often dependent on thinking about the intent behind the search terms you want to rank for: high-intent keywords are those which indicate a high likelihood of a user carrying out a particular action — for example, making a purchase or finding an answer to a specific question — and optimizing your content for these keywords is likely to have a positive impact on the click-through rates of consumers searching with intent.
We typically split user searches into four categories based on the type of intent:
- Navigational queries are based on the intention to reach a particular page on a specific website (e.g. “MotoCMS website builder templates”).
- Informational queries are performed with the intention of acquiring information or finding the answer to a question (e.g. “Best design template for a beauty website”).
- Transactional queries are based on an intent to purchase a specific product or service (e.g., “Buy website builder templates online”).
- Commercial queries are made by consumers who are looking to buy a product or service but want to find some more information about it first (“is Avvi a good blog template?”).
High-intent keywords are often very specific, meaning they might not generate as much volume, but there’s typically less competition for them. This is where long-tail keywords come in: search queries with low volume but high intent, which are likely to drive an action from the user. Long-tail keywords can be great at boosting not just click-through but your conversion rate — particularly if you place focus on commercial and transactional keywords.
A mobile-first approach is beneficial for many reasons: for one thing, mobile traffic accounts for more than half (55%) of all global web traffic, with that percentage only likely to continue growing over the next decade. But mobile responsiveness is also an essential part of an SEO strategy — in the words of Google, “users will find it easier to get relevant, high-quality search results that are optimized for their devices.” Clearly, having a mobile-friendly website will impact your ability to rank highly among search engine results pages (SERPs). Choose a website builder that allows you to create responsive layouts by default, saving you time and money.
But instead of simply opting for a mobile responsive website, you should design your content mobile-first rather than desktop-down. Since most of your users will be digesting your content via a smartphone, you’re likely to build more organic traffic if your site has been designed expressly with mobile users in mind. Tips for optimizing your site for mobile devices include:
- Think content-first: Mobile-first means broadly the same thing as content-first. Make your content the absolute priority and avoid cluttering your pages with nonessential elements distracting user attention.
- Focus on simplicity: The mobile experience should be seamless, so don’t over-complicate it. Avoid including excessive links or unnecessary animations, and try to limit the number of clicks a user needs to perform.
- Prioritize page speed: Mobile users are typically time- and attention-limited, so they won’t be prepared to wait longer than a few seconds for content to load. Measure your page speed — using a tool such as Pingdom — and remove anything that could slow down your site, such as large images, plugins, or messy backend code. You can compress your images to boost your loading speed using online tools like Colorcinch.
It goes without saying that SEO is a constantly evolving concern and one which requires agility and adaptability. In 2023, boosting organic traffic is all about focusing on people-first content, establishing your authority and expertise, going after the long tail, and optimizing the mobile experience above all else. Equipped with this knowledge, you can take your Shopify site to the next level in 2023 and beyond.
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