How to Drive Traffic to Your Shopify Store With SEO

How to Drive Traffic to Your Shopify Store With SEO

Driving quality traffic is essential to the success of your Shopify store and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the most consistent and cost-effective way of doing so. By putting your store at the top of the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), you make it easier for potential customers to discover your products and shop from you. 

In fact, more than 50% of consumers discover a new brand through Google search. But with millions of ecommerce stores out there right now, it’s easier said than done. 

There’s an oft-told joke in the SEO world that the best place to hide a dead body is page 2 of a Google search. Even though pages are no longer a thing with Google’s adoption of the continuous scroll interface in December 2022, the fundamental goal of SEO is to still put your website among the top 10 results where most interactions happen.

Learning how to drive traffic to your Shopify store through SEO can seem intimidating at first but it’s all about understanding the mechanics of search engines and user behavior, and then making strategic adjustments to your website by incorporating that knowledge. In this guide, we’re sharing some of our proven Shopify SEO tips and strategies to help you increase your organic traffic and sales. Let’s get to it without any further ado!

How to Drive Traffic to Your Shopify Store With Technical SEO

Search engines send out bots that crawl through your site’s content, following different links and fetching web pages, and then store that data in their database through indexing in order to determine your site’s relevance and SERP ranking. The job of technical SEO is to make it easier for search engines to crawl and index your site. But it’s also equally important for enhancing the overall user experience of your store. For example, because page speed is a ranking factor, a slow website will not only be demoted in SERPs but will also cause potential customers to bounce off.

Essential Integrations and Site Indexing

Before you learn how to drive traffic to your Shopify store with backend tinkering, ensure that you’ve already integrated Google Analytics and Google Search Console with your store. Most sites are password protected when they’re under development, which prevents users as well as search engines from accessing them. So after you’re done making the technical SEO changes we’ve shared below, our Shopify SEO tip is that you make sure to turn off the password protection and make your site indexable.

Also, if you haven’t done this already, get on a paid plan and buy a custom domain for your store. An online store with the domain name “” looks amateurish and doesn’t instill confidence in users.

Making Your Store Load Faster

When it comes to understanding how to drive traffic to your Shopify store, one critical aspect often overlooked is website speed. You won’t shop from a store that takes ages to load and neither would your customers. In fact, 53% of mobile users abandon a website if it doesn’t load within 3 seconds. There are multiple ways to improve your store’s speed but first use the free PageSpeed Insights tool from Google to determine where your store stands currently. If there are issues with your store’s performance, you’ll see several recommendations in the diagnostics report that you can implement. 

A screenshot of a report generated by PageSpeed Insights

An alternative Shopify SEO tip is to go to Online Store > Themes on your Shopify dashboard to see the page speed report and get useful insights about how your store compares to other similar stores which you can then use while figuring out how to effectively drive traffic to your Shopify store. Other than that, follow the actionables below to make your store load faster.

  • Optimize your images – Images constitute a large chunk of your website’s weight, causing it to slow down. Compressing your images by just 20-30% can significantly improve loading time while maintaining quality. Although Shopify by default displays images in WebP format, ensure you upload JPEG and WebP format for your images because they have a smaller file size. 
  • Optimize for mobile users – Roughly 58% of all website traffic worldwide comes from mobile phones, so use a fast, mobile-responsive theme such as Booster or Turbo. Tweak the images, font, formatting, and navigation until it’s mobile-friendly. Install the ‘AMP – Accelerated Mobile Pages’ app to optimize each page for faster mobile browsing. This is how you can drive traffic to your Shopify store and actually rank for it.

Structuring Your Site & Fine-Tuning Navigation

A well-organized website not only makes it easier for users to navigate but also allows authority  to be passed from one page to another which sends positive signals to crawlers, resulting in better rankings. Here are some Shopify SEO tips to improve your store’s navigation experience:

  • Organize the pages in a logical hierarchy to make it easier to find products. It should go like this- Homepage > Category Pages > Sub-Category Page > Product Pages.
  • Implement strategic internal linking to make navigation within pages easier.
  • Add important pages such as About Us, Contact Us, and top categories in the main menu.
  • Install a breadcrumbs app to display a clear navigational path down the category tree to users and search engines.

Optimizing Your Product URLs and Removing Duplicates

URLs are other important aspects of making your site easier to navigate for users but they also serve a significant role in helping crawlers understand how your website is structured which is also how you drive more traffic to your Shopify store. Default Shopify URLs are unnecessarily lengthy and can be simplified by going to the ‘Products’ section and clicking on ‘Edit website SEO’ under ‘URL and handle’ of each product.

Here are some useful Shopify SEO tips for good URLs:

  • Keep it simple, short, and descriptive. 
  • Avoid using numbers and special characters.
  • Use hyphens to separate words.

Another optimization you need to make in order to drive traffic to your Shopify store is removing duplicates. Shopify allows customers to access product pages directly and through the collections page, which leads to duplicate URLs. For example, a product named ‘Pink cat bowl’ under the ‘Feeding’ category can be accessed from:


This can be fixed by going to the Snippets folder under Store > Themes > Actions > Edit Code and then replacing this bit of code present in the product-grid-item.liquid:

<a href=”{{ product.url | within: current_collection }}” class=”product-grid-item”>


<a href=”{{ product.url }}” class=”product-grid-item”>

Modifying Your Robot.txt File and Submitting Sitemap

The robot.txt file tells search engines which pages to crawl and index so it can learn how and where to drive traffic to your Shopify store. It’s automatically generated by Shopify to block access to unnecessary pages as well as pages with sensitive information such as customer data and the admin section. It can be modified by going to your dashboard and then Settings > Apps and Sales Channels > Online Store > Open sales channel > Themes > Actions > Edit Code > Add a new template > robots. You’ll have to create a robots.txt.liquid file which is the recommended way to make changes to your robot.txt file.

Some useful modifications you can make to improve your SEO are:

  • Disallow crawling obsolete directories, files, and tag pages.
  • Keep sensitive information secure.

Next, you need to submit your XML sitemap to Google Search Console because this is how the engine can drive traffic to your Shopify store. Sitemap is a file that contains all the information about your site, essentially a blueprint, that makes it easier for search engines to crawl and index your website’s content. Shopify generates a sitemap for you by default so you just have to do the work of submitting it. Follow the platform’s official guide on how to find and submit your sitemap. After that’s done, all you have to do is wait for your site to be indexed and then come back to troubleshoot issues such as broken links and redirect errors.

Technical SEO can be a rabbit hole once you get into it, so if all of this sounds too confusing for you, we highly recommend hiring an expert instead of reading Shopify SEO tips. You wouldn’t want to make a mistake and end up damaging your store’s backend structure. 

How to Drive Traffic to Your Shopify Store With On-Page SEO

Another pillar of search engine optimization, on-page SEO, involves developing and optimizing your store’s frontend content with proper formatting, internal linking, keyword integration, and accessibility features such as alt text. It’s a direct way of telling users and search engines what your store is all about and determining your website’s relevancy for different search terms. For on-page SEO you need to know two things- how to research keywords and how to integrate said keywords.

Researching Keywords

Nailing keyword research is essential in learning how to drive traffic to your Shopify store and requires a deep understanding of your customer’s search intent and then targeting terms and phrases with the right search volume. Search queries can be categorized into three types:

  • Navigational – When the search is made to locate a website or page. For example, typing ‘Shopify’ into the search bar instead of entering the URL to go to the website.
  • Informational – When the search is made to gain information. For example, “How to drive traffic to Shopify stores?” or “Shopify SEO tips”.
  • Transactional – When the search is made with the intent to purchase a product or service. For example, searching for the latest “Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5”.

Before purchasing a product, users conduct their own research to get more information. In fact, according to Google, 51% of shoppers use Google to research a product before buying. A person searching for your brand directly most likely intends to make a purchase, so the keywords you choose should primarily target informational and transactional search queries. 

For example, if your store sells pet products, you’ll likely want to rank for terms such as “best cat bowls”, “best dog toys”, “buy cat tree”, etc. But if you are a Shopify developer, you’ll want to rank for a phrase such as “How to drive traffic to my Shopify store?”. Looking at the People Also Ask and Related searches sections is another way of understanding search intent and finding keywords.

A screenshot of the ‘People also ask’ section on Google

There are two main types of keywords – short-tail keywords (also known as head terms) and long-tail keywords. Short-tail keywords are 1-2 words and long-tail keywords contain 3 or more words. A successful on-page SEO strategy needs a balanced mix of both. Once you know where to begin with selecting your keywords, take advantage of keyword research tools such as Moz (free) and Ahrefs (paid) to get deeper insights and select keywords with decent search volume and low to moderate ranking difficulty that you can use to drive traffic to your Shopify store. 

*Important Shopify SEO tip: Ensure that you select unique primary, secondary, and tertiary keywords for each page to prevent keyword cannibalization which leads to your pages competing with each other for the same keyword.

Optimizing Content With Keywords

After Google’s Helpful Content Update, more caution than ever is required while inserting keywords. Your keywords should be added naturally to the content in three places—metadata, images, and the page content itself. You can add your primary keyword to the URL as well but it’s not necessary and should be avoided if it sounds forced because it won’t help you to drive traffic to your Shopify store.


Title tags and meta descriptions, also known as metadata, provide information about data, i.e, the content of a page. A compelling title tag and meta description are key to getting users to click on your website. When a user makes a search, the title tag is displayed at the top followed by the meta description like in this example below. 

A screenshot of the first result when searching for “best cat bowls”

Your title tag should:

  • Be between 50-60 characters
  • Begin with the primary keyword
  • Include your brand’s name
  • Include your unique selling proposition (USP) if possible

Your meta description should:

  • Be between 150-160 characters
  • Include the primary keyword early on
  • Include the second keyword if possible
  • Include your USP
  • Include your brand’s name
  • Have a clear call to action (CTA)


Users are visual searchers, and since images make up a significant part of your website’s user experience, it’s important to optimize them because this is one of the ways to improve your SEO and drive traffic to your Shopify store. One Shopify SEO tip is to keep your images high-quality and give the files proper names written in lowercase and separated by a hyphen. For example, red-paw-shaped-cat-bowl.jpeg is a good file name, img0115.jpeg is not.

You also need to add and optimize alternative text or ALT text to each image (excluding website elements such as banners, backgrounds, etc.) because it’s not only an important accessibility feature that helps visually impaired users but also gives you positive points from search engines. Your primary keyword can also be added to both the file name and alt text.


Formatting is one of the ranking factors for search engine visibility and should be paid attention to if you’re considering how to drive traffic to your Shopify store. Your content should be broken down into paragraphs and formatted with proper title, H1, and H2 headings to improve readability. Note that you should have no more than one H1 heading on each page.

Primary keywords should ideally be incorporated into the title and a few of the sub-headings as well as the paragraphs and should be spaced evenly after every 60-100 words or so. Secondary keywords can be placed after every 150-200 words and tertiary keywords can be placed every 250-300 words. But don’t force it, what is important is that they are placed naturally and somewhat within the parameters of this ideal frequency.

How to Drive Traffic to Your Shopify Store With Off-Page SEO

Search optimization strategies that take place outside of your website are referred to as off-page SEO. This involves generating quality backlinks for your website from high-authority websites to improve your experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trust rating. In case you don’t know what a backlink is, it’s a link on an external site that directs to your website. You can either generate them passively, which is slow, or actively, which requires winning the trust of others.

Shopify SEO tips for generating passive backlinks:

  • Offer amazing products and excellent service that will have people talking and drive traffic to your Shopify store.
  • Be active on public forums and social media to attract customers and respond to your customers’ queries to win their trust to get them to naturally create content tagging you.
  • Publish helpful blogs that others will link back to. Businesses that blog have 55% more traffic and get 97% more inbound links.

Tips for generating active backlinks:

  • Set up a Google My Business profile to attract local customers.
  • Reach out to journalists and bloggers for press release campaigns.
  • Request influencers and bloggers to give you a backlink.
  • Join podcasts and ask them to link to your store in the description.
  • Publish helpful content on guest blogging sites.
  • Reach out to websites that have mentioned you without linking and request them to link to you.

See our ‘Backlinks in SEO: Creating Powerful Connections’ guide to learn more about how to drive traffic to your Shopify store by generating backlinks through active outreach.

Implement Shopify SEO With Coalition Technologies

SEO works slower in delivering results when compared to social media and Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ads, but it’s more sustainable for your business in the long run owing to its compounding effect. By following the best Shopify SEO set-up tips, you’ll be able to tap into the power of search engines and have a steady stream of organic traffic flowing into your store in no time.

At Coalition Technologies, we know how to drive traffic to your Shopify store by combining effective content marketing with technical know-how. We’ve helped thousands of clients perfect their Shopify stores and generate millions in revenue through organic traffic. Get in touch with us to learn how we can help you too.

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