Shopify has grown to be one of the most widely used platforms to start off by small businesses who don’t really have the budget to hire expert development skills. In fact, their total revenue in the second quarter of 2017 was $151.7 million which accounts for almost a 75% increase from the previous year.
It is definitely a very feasible alternative for initial steps in the world of ecommerce, considering how it has many useful features, and how it is extremely simple and easy to use at the same time.
So it seems like a very preferable and obvious package for small ecommerce businesses on the whole. But there are some technical SEO issues with Shopify that you need to know. According to Brock Nevsky of A Plus Digital, these are problems that can cost you a lot if left unchecked.
Here are 6 common technical SEO problems in Shopify and tips to fix them:
- Duplicate title tags – Shopify has this habit of keeping all your products at multiple numbers of URLs. For example, a product of yours say, a shirt, may be available at yourstore.com/products/shirt and also www.yourstore.com/collections/autumncollections/shirt. This is mainly because Shopify relies a lot on collections.
Fix: You can use the rel=”canonical” tag to let Google know which of all your identical pages you want to make the main page.
- Limit for title tags and meta descriptions – Shopify usually gives users a character limit for title tags and meta descriptions, but this is not very reliable given that Google actually determines the width of titles and descriptions in terms of pixels. This might mislead you from being able to optimize your content effectively.
Fix: You can go to Google and use a “site:” command to find out the length of your title in pixels.
- A forced URL structure – Unlike other ecommerce platforms, Shopify forces its users to maintain a folder – subfolder structure for all URLs. For example, if your regular webpage URL reads yourstore.com/returns, the Shopify URL for it would be yourstore.com/pages/returns.
Fix: Unfortunately, there is no fix for this particular problem.
- Image ALT tags – Unlike other ecommerce platforms, Shopify makes you set the ALT tag only at an image level, which means you will have to keep re-entering the ALT attribute wherever you use the image throughout the website.
Fix: Not so much of a fix, but you can make your ALT text very descriptive and not very inclined towards keywords.
- Restricted access to robots.txt – Shopify restricts users from editing their FTP and robots.txt files, and there will be no XML sitemap declared. The sad thing is that there is yet again no fix for this one.
- Finding SEO problems – Last but not least, many people don’t even know what’s causing their SEO issues in Shopify, let alone fix them. And there is no option in Shopify to check either.
Fix: You can install and use the Google Webmaster Tools on your Shopify web store. It can crawl on your site and show you all the issues.