Shopify SEO: The Definitive Playbook

Never again struggle with Shopify SEO. This in-depth playbook shows you our tactics, tools, and script tricks to grow revenue through search.

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Shopify SEO Basics

Like with any website, Shopify SEO begins with the fundamentals before you can dive into the technical aspects and strategy. These pre-steps are Google Analytics setup, Google Search Console setup, and a fast responsive theme.

Beyond that, many of the basic SEO features are built-in to Shopify:

  • Title Tag customisation
  • Meta Description customisation
  • Default Robots.txt and editing capabilities
  • Automated XML Sitemap
  • Fast, reliable hosting with a CDN
  • Blogging platform
  • Schema is usually integrated into most themes

But as you may have heard, there are a number of downsides too:

  • No control over URL structure
  • Automated tag pages
  • Automated vendor, type, and default collection pages
  • No server log file access
  • Product variant limits
  • No true multi-store functionality

All of these downsides are manageable, we'll cover how to resolve most of these throughout this playbook, but they're worth considering and understanding.

For more platform advantages and disadvantages, read our Shopify SEO Review and Shopify Plus SEO Review.

Will Shopify SEO work for you?

Before covering technical issues or page-level tactics, it's important to understand the SEO potential for your brand. This step is called Keyword Research.

Keywords are the words or phrases users enter into search engines. Keyword Research is the act of finding, choosing, and prioritising those keywords based on data from various SEO tools.

For Shopify brands, you'll most likely have the highest SEO revenue potential from Collection pages.

Learn more about Keyword Research for Shopify.

Site Structure

Once you have all your keyword research, you should have identified dozens of additional collections to create. For example, "sofas" would become: X-seater sofas, [material] sofas, [colour] sofas, etc.

By creating new collections targeting these keywords, you open up more entry points for your products, potentially gaining millions of visitors/year:

As you're unable to create sub-categories (a downside of Shopify), you'll need to set the hierarchy of these through smart internal linking. You can do this with:

Technical SEO

Search engines "crawl" your website to access all your pages and content. Technical SEO is the process of optimising how search engines are able to crawl your website.

Before you start improving specific pages or targeting keywords, it's important to have a quality crawlable website. Here's some resources to help with that:

On Page SEO

Once your overall site is up to quality, it's time to improve specific pages for your target keywords. For a Shopify site, there's likely to be many pages so it'll be important to prioritise this based on the potential.

Below are some resources to guide you through this:

Beyond these general recommendations, there are 3 key page types you'll want to prioritise with your On Page SEO work:

Homepage SEO 🏠

Your homepage can often target a big broad keyword. Usually this keyword will have the highest individual search volume, as it'll be the broad catch-all for your store. A store selling supplements, for example, would likely target "supplement store".

Collection SEO 🛍️

Collections should target broad categorisations of your products like "3-seater sofas" or "leather sofas". In most cases, collections should be your highest source of search traffic and revenue.

Product Page SEO 📦

Product pages have the highest conversion as keywords usually revolve around specific product names or features. These may not have as much search volume, but they should be a key part of your overall strategy.

Content Marketing

Beyond your bottom of funnel (homepage, collections, products) it may be worth looking at opportunities for content marketing, especially for low or single product stores. Shopify has a built in CMS for blogging, which isn't as strong as platforms like WordPress, is more than sufficient.

The best way to use this is for creating review and middle of funnel type content, along with informational posts for topical authority. Our Blogging on Shopify post below and other resources cover this in more detail.

Shopify SEO Apps

Our stance on Shopify Apps is likely quite controversial, we don't believe there's any pure SEO apps that are worthwhile using. Most of them seem to create more issues than they resolve.

Instead we use apps for other functionality that indirectly supports SEO. Here are some examples we'd recommend:


  • Link: App Store
  • Rating: 4.7 (317 reviews)
  • Pricing: $20+/mo

This is our single favourite Shopify app. Matrixify allows us to bulk update products, collections, blogs, etc. Our use cases include bulk updating title tags or meta descriptions, bulk updating meta fields for SEO functionality, and other bulk product page fixes.

  • Link: App Store
  • Rating: 4.8 (973 reviews)
  • Pricing: $4.99+/mo

Large images are usually the crux of page loading times for Shopify stores. is one of many apps that resolves that by automatically compressing images on upload.

Or you can use our free image compression tool (non-app).

Logeix Lab

We're bending the rules slightly as Logeix Lab isn't actually an app, it's a free browser extension. But it has numerous Shopify and SEO features built in for quickly auditing your pages, editing pages in Shopify, previewing SEO details, etc.

Shopify SEO Development

Shopify has a few minor issues, or lack of features, that'd be ideal for SEO. Rather than using Apps for this, we recommend some light theme development work. Below are some guides on how to customise various theme elements for SEO.

Shopify SEO Checklist

Based on everything we've covered in this playbook, here's a full Shopify SEO checklist featuring all the factors:

Expand ▼

1. Fundamentals

2. Technical SEO

3. Homepage

4. Collections

5. Products

6. Blog Posts

7. Site Speed Optimisation

8. Backlinks

Shopify SEO Examples

If you'd like to see practical examples of these tactics and strategies being used, check out some of our case studies below. Inside you'll see not only the results, but also the strategy we designed and implemented for them.

Square Repair

The client is a small phone repair shop with two employees and a low marketing budget looking to grow nationally.

Organic Traffic Growth:
Read case study

Armstrong Supplies

This is an online-only store for buying building materials, supplies, and equipment in the UK.

Organic Revenue Growth:
Read case study


The client is a natural ingredients store for making soap at home. Their no-nonsense approach is loved by many with over 100,000 online sales.

Organic Traffic Growth:
Read case study

Shopify SEO Playbook Chapters

Below you'll find links to each of the main chapters of the playbook, if you'd prefer to read it in order.

Chapter 1

Is Shopify good for SEO?

A detailed review of the features, benefits, and downsides of Shopify from an SEO perspective

Chapter 2

Keyword Research for Shopify

Here’s how to find your target keywords for each type of page on your Shopify store

Chapter 3

On Page SEO for Shopify

A detailed guide to optimising your collections, products, and pages for your chosen keywords

Chapter 4

Technical SEO for Shopify

Here’s how to find your target keywords for each type of page on your Shopify store

Chapter 5

Blogging on Shopify

Here’s how to turn your blog into the biggest source of organic traffic for your site

Chapter 6

Link Building for Shopify

A guide and tips on how to approach link building for brands on the Shopify platform

Chapter 7

Shopify Speed Optimization

A detailed tutorial on how to make your Shopify site load lightning fast (incl. example code)

Chapter 8

SEO for International Shopify Stores

A guide to expanding your store into multiple languages and/or countries, the setup process, and SEO implications

Chapter 9

Shopify Plus SEO

A detailed breakdown of the SEO changes moving to Shopify Plus and how to resolve potential limitations

Chapter 10

Shopify SEO Checklist

The full checklist wrapping up all 9 chapters for how to optimise your Shopify store for SEO

Popular Shopify SEO Questions

What is Shopify SEO?

Shopify SEO refers to search engine optimization (SEO) improvements for websites powered by the Shopify platform.

Shopify has many SEO features out of the box, but it also has a few flaws you’ll need to be aware of.

We’ll cover how to both leverage the built-in SEO functionality and how to use a little customisation to make your Shopify store more SEO friendly in this eBook.

How to edit Shopify SEO?

Your standard SEO elements including Title Tag, Meta Description, and URL Handle can be customised under the “Edit Website SEO” section of collections, products, pages, and blog posts or under Online Store > Preferences for the homepage.

Shopify SEO vs Wordpress

Both platforms are great and offer plenty of flexibility for SEO. The main difference is WordPress allows additional flexibility, which can be used effectively by a knowledgable SEO, or cause a significant number of issues if unchecked. Shopify on the other hand offers a little less flexibility, but much easier to manage and out of the box the SEO is arguably better.

Is Shopify SEO Bad?

Not at all. In recent years, Shopify’s SEO has improved significantly and today it’s a great platform with more than enough customisation to achieve anything you need.

We dive into this in Chapter 1.

Why is my Shopify store not on Google?

There could be many reasons why your online store isn’t showing up in search engine results:

  • Your website is new. Search engines constantly find and index new sites, but if your site is new, then it might not have been indexed yet. You can try to speed the process by submitting your sitemap to Google Search Console.
  • You have a password on your online store. If your site is password protected, search engines won’t be able to access it.
  • You are on a trial account. Search engines can’t index trial stores.
  • You recently migrated from another platform and Google haven’t indexed the changes. Be patient, and make sure you’re redirecting the old website properly.
  • Your website isn’t optimised enough. This is different to being “indexed”, but if you’re not ranking where you want for a key phrase, your website likely hasn’t been optimised enough for this yet.

You can check if your website is indexed by searching in Google, it should display most pages from your website in the results.