Getting your store/business to appear in organic searches on search engines such as Google or Bing is not as complicated as it may seem. Essentially, your goal when optimizing your site for search engines is to make it easy to crawl, show authority (with backlinks and content) and show relevance to the keywords you want to rank for.

One thing to keep in mind is that getting your website to appear in search results for very competitive searches is very difficult and can take some time. SEO is a long- term play when it comes to building and growing your business. If you are looking for quick wins, consider paid advertising and even social media.

However, if you’re prepared to put in a little time to build your site and be patient with the results, SEO can pay off tremendously and long term surpass paid advertising results.

Take it from someone that has launched businesses that were in a highly competitive market, I still managed with the right strategy for my organic (SEO) traffic to be at time 4-6 times more profitable and lucractive than Facebook Ads, Instagram and other paid forms of advertising.

This checklist is going to cover as much of the foundation as possible.

Setup Recommended Tools

Install Google Analytics – It’s a free solution that provides you in depth information on your sites traffic and origin. A must to reference when observing market penetration and formulating marketing plans.

Use a Keyword analytics Planner tool: What better way to determine where to start when you can have a tool to determine the search volume of keywords and get keyword ideas to try and rank for.

What would you search to find your products?

What do you think your customers search?

From there, the keywords and phrases that have the highest searches should be the keywords and phrases you are focused on ranking for.

Page Optimization

Keep your page titles under 70 characters so they aren’t truncated in results.

Write good page titles that are human-readable. Make sure they include the keywords you are trying to rank for but don’t over-optimize or make it a string of keywords.

Keep your meta description under 150 characters. This is the text under a page title in a search result. Ensure it clearly describes the page and also include keywords but again, don’t over optimize. Each page’s meta description should be unique.



Ensure you include a keyword in your page URL. Again, don’t over do it. Ensure your images have descriptive ALT tags and filenames.

Create a link building strategy. Link building is the process of getting other websites to link back to you. Search engines such as Google see this as a factor in terms of your website’s authority. The more websites that link back to your store or specific pages on your store, generally the higher Google will rank those pages for particular keywords. Read our guide on backlinks.

Great idea is utilize the SEO tool to also monitor competitors linking strategies, since that will give you ideas on who to collaborate with and even use to attract traffic and steer them away from your competitors.

Create a content strategy. What are keywords and phrases your customers might be searching for when doing research just before buying your product? Create high quality content on a regular basis around those topics so that potential customers discover you. For example, if you’re selling guitars, you might want to write blog posts on topics such as “how to learn guitar for complete beginners”, “the 5 best guitar chords to learn for beginners”, or “how to change strings on your guitar in 5 minutes”.

Ensure every page on your website has at least 250 words of descriptive
text. Search engines like Google crawl and index pages based on what those pages are telling them. If you aren’t doing a good job of including enough words (and keywords you want to rank for) on each page, then you will have a more difficult time ranking for those keywords.

Informational pages and blog posts should have at least 500 words. In general, if you can write more, you should. You also don’t want to artificially increase the word count because that won’t help. Quality is more important than quantity.

Avoid duplicate content. For examples, if you have more than one page with the same product description, it’s a good idea to use the canonical tag on those pages. Shopify allows you to easily do this through themes customization.

Write unique product descriptions. Keeping with the last point, all content on your website should be unique and written by you. For example, don’t use product descriptions from manufacturers.

Consider adding product reviews to your product pages. This will add more content to your product pages and help them rank for long tail keywords.

Setup redirects. Don’t delete pages or content without first setting up a redirect. Even if you remove a product that no longer exists or that you no longer sell, setup a redirect so that any indexed page gets redirected. If you don’t know where to redirect the page, simply redirect it to your homepage. To add a redirect in Shopify, read our documentation on how to easily set one up.

Reputation Building

Setup your business on other platforms such
as Facebook, Twitter,LinkedIn and Google+. Try to ensure you register the brand name so that the URL appears as This helps customers find you when they search “Business Name” in their favorite search engine.

Create business profiles on review sites and sites that will allow you to manage your reputation. For example, Amazon, Google Business, Yelp, Four Square, TrustPilot, and Epinions. This helps by allowing a backlink to your website and ranking for searches such as “Business Name Review”.

Other Ranking Factors

Ensure your store is mobile friendly. Every Shopify theme is mobile responsive, but if you’re not using Shopify, check to see how it looks on a mobile device. Some of the sites I managed and developed for companies almost immediately saw over 80% of its sales and traffic coming from mobile platforms. User friendliness is key.

Ensure your store is fast. Speed is a ranking factor, use Google Page Speed Tools to see how your store’s performance can be optimized.

Final Thoughts

Once you’ve gone through this checklist, your website is set to start ranking. Remember to give it some time, especially if your store is brand new. Some things you should consider putting frequent time into are creating content and working on building relationships, and getting backlinks.

If you don’t already, start blogging and creating content. According to Search Engine Journal, companies that blog have 434% more indexed pages. More indexed pages means more opportunities for searchers to find you, learn about your brand and purchase your products.


April 19, 2017 by Richard Rodriguez

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