Shopify Collections & SEO. What You Need To Know
Posted: Mar 18 2016 / Richard Bairstow / We are Underground
We all as shopkeepers should know that titling our products clearly is paramount for SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). Naming your product 'B7X19' is not going to get any traffic from a customer search on Google.
Naming your product is as simple as understanding what your customer is searching for and then using the same keywords in your product title. The same is not always as obvious for your collections or categories.
Collections and how you position them are important when it comes to capturing organic traffic. The same rules apply to being on the end of what customers are searching for, but of course, you have multiple products within a collection and so the copy (text) you use can be open to some vaguery. The simple answer is to make sure that you only place items in a collection that you already have planned.
All fine as long as you can draw straight lines on products. For example;
Clothing / Apparel
But what if you have a conceptual collection like 'Funny T-Shirts' or 'Slogan T-Shirts'?
You need drill down through 'T-Shirts' and then split them into a new set of rules and, therefore, the way that you present the collection to search engines changes dramatically. Each word that you choose can have poor or good results when it comes to appearing high up in natural searches.
A good friend who runs a successful T-Shirt store told me that he never puts up a collection without a reason. The reason being that he expects a certain amount of searches for the products within the collection and he uses a particular tool for that purpose.
Enter Google Trends
Google trends is one of the top ten tools you should have in your playbook when it comes to both deciding on what product to stock in your shop and how to present it to the 'searchaverse' as I like to call it.
We will publish another post showing the difference between traffic types, but for now, we are only looking at natural searches by people who are probably using Google or something similar.
So let's break down a simple query using Google Trends to see how it informs the way in which you will present a collection.
[insert graphics and annotation]
1. Interest Over Time
You can see the search Volume for 'Funny T-Shirts'. Sometime around 2010, the search reached it's peak and has dropped off fairly steadily since then. You could write a paper on why that may be, but as a busy shop owner you probably don't have time :)
2. Regional Interest
A no-brainer, but intriguing nonetheless and invaluable if you are thinking of stocking funny T-Shirts if your customer base in the Middle East. You probably shouldn't bother.
3. Related Searches Top and Rising
The meat of the search when it comes to looking at keywords to aid your SEO and how to present your collection.
You can see the alternative searches in the 'Top' column, and this may inform a future collection. We can see that 'Cool T-Shirts' comes up close to 'Funny T-Shirts'. If I could define universally what 'Cool' was, I reckon I'd be on to something. Everyone has a subjective understanding of 'Cool'.
Now look at the 'Rising' column. The data displays searches that are more frequent albeit more general. These shouldn't be ignored, though.
For example, many searches are narrowed down specifically to reduce the results. Why would I search for 'T-Shirts' when I can cut that down to 'Men's T-Shirts'? Gender is a specific requirement when it comes to categorising clothing.
So we can take this information and create a collection that reads:
'Funny T-Shirts For Men' or 'Men's Funny T-Shirts'. I am confident now that we will be somewhere on a natural search that leads to my collection.
A very simple view on SEO, but as with most things to do with the web, simplicity is best. The detail in your copy should exist within the description of your product (not to be confused with the Product Title)
So if you have a funny men's Star Wars T-Shirt, then make sure your bases are covered in the description:
'Soft 100 percent cotton Star Wars T-Shirt for men. Available in various sizes and colours.'
Here is the link to the search we used for the purpose of this article:
We hope that you found this post interesting and just a reminder that the best-keyworded collection in the world is nothing when the landing page looks sub-standard. Thankfully, that is an impossibility if you are using it in tandem with one of our beautifully crafted, responsive Shopify Themes. Come and take a look!
Richard Bairstow is the founder and CEO of We are Underground and is recognised as a leading authority in the Shopify Theme marketplace with 5 of the best selling published themes within the Shopify theme store and over 20,000 active Shopify customers.