The barrier to get a product live and selling on your Shopify store is pretty low. Pop in a product image, title price and like magic, your product can be sold to millions of people around the world.
What many merchants don’t know is that the way they add products effects who will see it and hopefully complete their purchase. With a few simple tricks that are included right in your Shopify product details you can boost SEO and improve your rankings.
I like to take a top down approach when adding product, so lets start with the title. Your title should be descriptive and include important features of the product. If you are selling items from a popular manufacturer, try adding it to the title instead of using the vendor option.
‘Logo T-shirt’ – Ok
‘3-D Logo T-shirt Red’ – Better
‘Nike 3-D Logo T-Shirt Red’ – Best
We can also change the title tags in the SEO section at the bottom of the product page, but we will cover that later.
This is where your high school writing class comes in handy. Google actually rewards you for having original product descriptions, so you should take advantage of the opportunity. Being descriptive here can help SEO, but more importantly explain to your potential customers what they can expect when buying the product. Explain what it is down to the details inculding, fabric content, place of manufacturing, and/or special features. You can use full paragraph form or bullet points, which may help readers move through the features and not get scared by large blocks of text. I prefer using a short description sentence and some bullet points.
The lightweight Shawn Jacket is the newest in our collection and keeps you cool and dry when commuting to work on those rainy days.
- red heather color
- 90% cotton/ 10% polyester
- imported from Canada
- water-resistant outer shell
- packable design with velcro straps
- woven label at back neck
- two-side pockets, and one kangaroo pocket
- free shipping qualified
Many merchants overlook the importance of their product images. Images should be professionally taken, then saved to an optimized format using Adobe Photoshop or the like. I like to take a high res image, then click Export>Save for web option in Photoshop, and adjust the settings to reflect the needed pixel dimensions.
I typically save the images at 1500px x 1500px for square at 72dpi and then move the quality slider to get an image that is under 150kb.
You want the smallest image size possible, as long as quality isn’t sacrificed, to ensure that your site loads quickly. Even a couple seconds of extra load time can increase bounce rates and send customers shopping somewhere else.
Image Alt Text
I’ve seen many stores ignore the image alt text, but it’s such a simple task and one of the only few things you can do to improve your seo with built-in Shopify features. Click the ALT button where you load images in, then enter your text, which can just be a short description of what’s in the product image. Do this for every single product on your store!
Product variants are going to differ from store to store based on your offerings of size, color, and price, but there are a few things to keep in mind. Overall, fill out as much information you possibly can in these fields. Make sure each of your sizes has inventory tracked so you don’t oversell your products and have to apologize to a purchasing customer. SKU numbers can be either made according to your internal system, or generated automatically by Shopify. If your product has a Barcode (ISBN, UPC, GTIN, etc.) click edit on the variant and enter it into the proper field on the next screen.
If you make your product and don’t have a UPC number, it might be a good idea to create one, so that you can easily send your product to a Google shopping feed or sell on Amazon.
It’s also a good idea to add a color to each variant, even if you don’t display it on the front end of your site, because it will be also be required if you want to utilize Google/Amazon sales channels.
Search Engine Listing Preview
I’ve also seen countless stores neglect this area of the product page. It’s hidden at the bottom, but the search engine listing preview should be edited for each product. Your title can be either the same as your product title, or you can add some keywords if you wish. Your meta description can be the same as your product description, but shorten it to make sense at 160 characters or less.
Your url should be short and to the point, but include unique words from the title. If you duplicate products to make adding similar items easier, make sure you check this portion of the listing because it will also be duplicated from the original product. Again, this is one of the few ways to effect seo from within Shopify, so best to take advantage.
This area is where you choose which channels you want your product published to. Shopify has many great integrations such as Facebook, Ebay, Pinterest, and Amazon, which give your product more opportunities to be seen. Building a webstore is great, but driving traffic is often difficult and expensive. By adding more sales channels, you can ensure your products are being shopped, but be aware some come with extra fees, like Amazon (roughly $40 per month). Also be aware that when your product is marked available in your online store, it can be seen on your site, so while you are adding and editing products make sure they are turned off.
Here is where you keep track of your product internally. This section is mainly up to the store owner’s preference, and if you’d like to keep track of product type (jackets, footwear) or vendor (adidas, supreme), you do it here. Some themes will have options to show your vendor entries on the collection or product page, but best practice is to enter the vendor and product type whether you are showing it or not. This allows products to be easily categorized by type or vendor in smart collections.
The organization section also tells which collection the product is included in, and also has a tag field to add keywords. You can also use these tags as a condition on a collection, for instance product tag is equal to ‘footwear’, which automatically adds the product to a footwear collection. The organization tab is very important for the navigation of your website, and should be a well-thought out system before your site even goes live.
While the product editing page seems fairly simple, many shop owners fail to take advantage of its features and speed through the process. Take your time and put some thought into descriptions, seo, and organization. Standardizing your process for adding product will lead to better search results, and makes recreating that process easier in the future. If you are adding the products to the backend now, you might have to teach someone else to do it in the future when you have a large number of products.
If you have any questions about the process, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org