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Updated: April 29, 2022

Important Shopify SEO Issues to Look Out For

Shopify is among the most popular and successful eCommerce platforms available and it’s no accident. It offers powerful, user-friendly features as well as seamless processing for e-commerce shops of all types. However, just like everything else, it is important to understand the particulars of each ecommerce platform before choosing the best one for your business. So, let’s take a closer look at Shopify.

Enrich your eCommerce Solution using Shopify platform
Enrich your eCommerce Solution using Shopify platform

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Enrich your eCommerce Solution using Shopify platform

What exactly is Shopify?

Shopify is an online marketplace that permits nearly every business to establish an online shop or an in-person store to sell their merchandise. Additionally, Shopify is an ideal platform for different vendors to market and sell their products and services.

From established entrepreneurs who wish to advertise a product that has been years ahead of schedule to an artist from the local area who is just getting their business up and running, Shopify currently helps hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs across 175 nations get their venture on the right track. The platform houses more than 1 million companies, and is the third-largest retail site in the United States, only falling just short of Amazon or eBay.

Here are some of the ways you can advertise your product or brand through the platform:

  • Physical goods, including things that are made with your hands or that you have made
  • Digital goods like eBooks, downloads and email templates, etc.
  • Consultations and services
  • Memberships, such as subscription boxes or access to exclusive content for members
  • Experiences with tickets
  • Lessons and classes
  • The process of renting out physical products

Is Shopify bad for Search Engines?

Shopify has proven its value to companies around the world, but it also has SEO issues. In the realm of online shopping SEO is also known as search engine optimization (SEO) plays a crucial part in how successful the business is, as websites that rank higher appear more prominently on search engine result webpages (SERP).

Shopify could have some problems with SEO in the same as Squarespace and BigCommerce are both plagued by SEO issues. They operate with a restricted platform that is hard for the average Internet user to modify. It is because users can’t simply access the website’s back-end and make modifications to enhance SEO.

For instance, sitemaps are generated automatically and cannot be edited, and difficult to edit URL structure and users aren’t able to immediately access Robots.txt. We delve deeper into some common Shopify SEO issues below.

Most Important Shopify SEO Issues

First, what exactly does Shopify SEO mean? It’s exactly what you imagine it to be. Shopify SEO is nothing more than optimization for a search engine that is designed specifically for the Shopify online store. While you are able to create blogs and enhance your SEO using other integrated tools, it could also bring out a variety of Shopify SEO problems. What you must be aware of are:

  • Implementing canonical URLs
  • Locked robots.txt file
  • Automatic breadcrumb navigation
  • No custom tag pages
  • Duplicate content

As you can see, these SEO issues are a lot to do in the tech SEO aspect. We’ll provide suggestions for dealing with these issues later.

Shopify SEO Issues

Technical SEO Issues on Shopify

The technical issues in the Shopify SEO could be more important to your new venture than you realize. While the limitations specific to Shopify’s platform might not be obvious initially but you’ll soon notice a stagnation in your progress that could be difficult to break.

Canonical URLs for Shopify Online Store

Canonical URLs comprise the HTML component that makes up the element link. The canonical URL allows Google (and the other engines) to search the page and arrange it in a way that is appropriate.

If there’s an issue with the canonical URL issue, duplicates of identical content are transmitted to Google which may cause harm to SEO.

For instance, the URLs below made up are all very similar, and Google could not determine which is most relevant.

  • hats.com
  • www.hats.com
  • https://m.hats.com
  • https://amp.hats.com
  • https://hats.com?ref=twitter

Canonical URLs Shopify SEO Problems are related to the same pages which are accessible through multiple URLs. Although Shopify has a redirecting tool, it won’t function effectively if the site you’re trying to use it for already exists. Furthermore, those who aren’t familiar with the field of SEO are likely to struggle to figure out the most efficient way to get the results they’d like.

Breadcrumb URLs

If it is done in the right manner, a navigation system using breadcrumbs can simplify the steps that a user must take to navigate to a more advanced page. But, another Shopify SEO problem is the way it generates breadcrumb URLs for items within the same category.

This has to do with the canonical URL problem mentioned above since there’s usually more than one version that is the URL within Google’s search index. The conflicting URL structure of Shopify makes it hard for users to locate the information they need because Google offers different versions of the same page.

Working with robots.txt files

Robots.txt is a kind of file that communicates with crawlers of search engines to inform them about specific pages or files a crawler is able to ask for from your website. This type of file is usually utilized to control and monitor crawler traffic to your site.

This is the point at which Shopify SEO issues come to the fore: they don’t allow users to modify robots.txt files by themselves. In this instance, Shopify communicates with Google and other search engines to inform them what pages should be crawled.

When you examine the back-end of your site, you’ll discover a long list of URLs Google cannot allow to show on its search results page.

Shopify’s products or vendors which contain a space or the letter “+” in the URL will be excluded from Google’s database. Two-word vendors or products that appear in a URL such as “/collections/vendors?q=barre+class” will be blocked.

The robots.txt file’s oversimplification on Shopify’s platform can be a nagging issue to many businesses. However, it presents additional obstacles to bringing their product or service placed in front of the appropriate target market.

List of URLs Google cannot allow

Working with tag pages on Shopify

Every user-friendly website must be organized in the back-end and the simplest way to do this is to use tags. Tags aren’t just an easy way to organize the contents of a Shopify store, but also aid users in identifying the items they’re searching for on your website.

The main drawback of working with tag pages in Shopify is the inability of users to make the pages more efficient quickly. Let’s take, for instance, the use case, where you build an e-commerce website for headwear using Shopify. The tags for product pages will be similar to the ones below.

/collections/women-hats

/collections/women-hats/fedoras

/collections/women-hats/berets

/collections/women-hats/straw-hats

In this instance, “women’s hats” is the main page for the collection and particular variations of product pages like “fedoras” as well as “berets” are available on tag pages. Unfortunately, additional Shopify SEO problems prevent users from adding content on these kinds of pages. To add content, there are two options:

  • Change Your Shopify theme: Shopify’s platform comes with themes fixed that can be modified to allow for customization. If you wish to add content to certain pages, a code has to be included. Additionally, this tag should be added to any page that requires customization which is a lengthy and laborious procedure.
  • Get an application for Shopify: There’s a myriad of add-ons and apps that you can install on your Shopify website. However, they do not have any of the most current applications or add-ons that allow users to edit the pages completely. control over pages. Moreover, the extra apps could slow the speed of your website.

A lot of Shopify users aren’t familiar with the use of tag pages. This is yet another obstacle to overcome.

Duplicate content

A major and frequent Shopify SEO problem is duplicate content. Duplicate content refers to multiple variations of the exact content, which are linked to different URLs. If the same content is featured multiple times this can affect search results. Additionally, Google may not know what content to highlight and which ones to hide which could be negatively impacting websites.

The issue with tags on Shopify is related to the duplicate content issue. Since tags are used to organize certain Shopify items, it results in separate pages that have to be indexable. These pages will display identical content to that found on the collection pages producing duplicate content.

To prevent this problem from occurring, Shopify users will have to manually de-index their tags. It is also possible to add tags with content however only when you are able to navigate Shopify correctly.

Issues with content Creation on Shopify

New Custom Fields

Another difficult Shopify SEO problem is its inability to create custom fields. Custom fields can be used to keep data permanently linked to every contact. If you’re planning to create a Shopify store that has many customized add-ons and changes it could be costly due to the addition of custom fields.

In contrast to open-source platforms which permit customization of every page and category, product, or even the entire page, Shopify does not allow its users to modify these items effortlessly.

Limitations for meta description

Meta descriptions and page titles let visitors know what your page is going to cover prior to them opening your site. Google generally uses the width of a pixel to determine the amount of text that should be displayed in meta descriptions and titles.

However, Shopify employs character limitations to define the length of page titles and meta descriptions may be. This is a problem when you have the desired page title or meta description in your mind, but it ends with text that is too long. The process of editing the text isn’t an issue but it is a minor problem that becomes more annoying as time passes.

Problems with blogs on Subdomains

Content marketing is an essential element of any brand that is successful even those who are just beginning their journey with Shopify. However, Shopify comes with many restrictions that make it incapable of being a robust blog platform.

Finding a solution to this problem isn’t easy, but it’s possible. The first step is to install WordPress because it’s impossible for you to store it in a Shopify subfolder, you’ll need to place it on an external website. This can be a difficult job for people who aren’t familiar with the process.

Can You Get Good Search Engine Results on Shopify?

As the world is becoming more digital, it’s essential for businesses, big as well as small to develop an appropriate SEO strategy that will allow them to grow and thrive. However, Shopify’s SEO issues have users having difficulties in doing this which ultimately takes an impact on the brand’s growth.

SEO is one aspect of marketing via digital channels that could quickly become a chore and overwhelming particularly for new Shopify customers who have been trying to get their site and brand up and running, but not contemplating how to get in the first position on Google’s page of results.

While it’s possible to work over certain SEO barriers that Shopify provides, it requires a substantial cost for Shopify sellers.

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Our experts can help

If you’re seeking advice from experienced SEO professionals – our group of experts at Comrade can walk you through the most important features that are part of Shopify as well as SEO for e-commerce. These aspects will affect your business. We are not only experts in and are knowledgeable about SEO however, but we also have a specialization in helping brands expand their reach through Shopify modifications. Our team can assist you with Shopify and SEO issues so that you can concentrate on what you are best at. Contact us now, and we’ll be happy to give you a complete assessment at no cost. It’s as easy as that.

I hope you enjoy reading this blog post.

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About the Author
Stan Bogdashin
Stan co-founded Comrade Digital Marketing and serves as its marketing strategist and IT expert recruiter.
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