Guide on Technical SEO for Shopify Stores (2023)

When it comes to search engine optimization for Shopify stores, there’s a lot that needs to be done. While we have spoken about on-page and off-page Shopify SEO, there’s another important aspect to look into - Technical SEO. 

In this post, we aim to guide you through everything you need to know about technical Shopify SEO. 

Understanding Technical SEO for Shopify

Technical SEO for eCommerce is the art of optimizing your website to ensure search engine crawlers and indexers can effectively interpret and navigate through its content. It plays a crucial role in the overall eCommerce SEO strategy. 

The primary objective of technical Shopify SEO is to enhance a website's architecture, ensuring that it is easily understood and valued by search engines. By implementing technical SEO, you can signal to search engines the significance of your eCommerce website, ultimately leading to higher rankings. 

Shopify SEO Checklist: 9 Tips for Improving Your Technical SEO for Shopify

To improve your online presence and drive increased traffic to your eCommerce store, here is a step-by-step breakdown of technical SEO best practices.

1. Conduct an Audit

In order to improve user experience and build a strong foundation for the best SEO practices, it is important to conduct an SEO audit that can identify both opportunities and exit points. 

Using specialized auditing software such as SEMrush and Screaming Frog can be very effective in this process. These tools can help you to thoroughly analyze your website's performance and identify any issues or areas requiring improvements, enabling you to optimize your site. 

By addressing these aspects, you create a solid foundation for better search engine visibility, increased organic traffic, and overall success in the competitive eCommerce landscape.

2. Check Your Website Structure

The structure of your website plays a crucial role in improving your Shopify SEO. A well-organized and logical website structure not only helps search engines navigate and understand your site better but also enhances the user experience. 

Take the time to review your website structure and make necessary adjustments for long-term success. Here are some tips to help you check and optimize your website structure -

  • Hierarchical Categories and Subcategories: Organize your products and content into hierarchical categories and subcategories. This helps search engines and users easily find the information they are looking for. Take the time to plan and structure your categories based on relevant themes and keywords.
  • Intuitive Navigation: Review your website's navigation and make sure it is intuitive and user-friendly. Users should be able to easily navigate between different sections and find what they are looking for without any confusion. Implement clear and concise menus that guide users to the right categories and subcategories.
  • Internal Linking: Implement a strong internal linking structure throughout your website. Internal links help search engines discover and index pages more effectively, and they also assist users in navigating related content. Use anchor text that accurately describes the linked page.
  • Breadcrumbs: Include breadcrumbs on your website to provide clear navigation paths for users and search engines. Breadcrumbs show the hierarchical structure of a page and help users understand their location within the website. Additionally, search engines use breadcrumbs as a clue for understanding the organization of your content.

3. Check Your URLs

URLs play a significant role in your eCommerce technical SEO. They not only help search engines understand the structure and content of your website but also contribute to a good user experience. To ensure your URLs are optimized for search engines and user-friendly, follow these tips:

  • Keep URLs Simple and Descriptive: Opt for simple and descriptive URLs that accurately reflect the content of the page. Include relevant keywords whenever possible to help search engines and users understand what the page is about. Avoid using long strings of numbers or unnecessary symbols in your URLs.
  • Use Hyphens to Separate Words: When constructing your URLs, use hyphens to separate words instead of underscores or spaces. Hyphens are considered more search engine friendly and help with readability. For example, use "" rather than "\_category/product\_name".
  • Avoid Keyword Stuffing: While it's essential to include relevant keywords in your URLs, avoid keyword stuffing. Overloading your URLs with too many keywords can make them look spammy, and search engines may penalize your site. Aim for a balance between descriptive and concise URLs while including relevant keywords naturally.
  • Limit URL Length: Try to keep your URLs as short and concise as possible. Lengthy URLs can be difficult to read and remember for users, and search engines may truncate them in search results. Use only the necessary information while making sure the URL accurately represents the content.

4. Secure Your Website

When it comes to Shopify SEO, website security should be a top priority. A secure website not only protects your users' sensitive information but also contributes to better search engine rankings. Follow these tips to ensure you have a secure website:

  • Implement SSL Encryption: Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption is crucial for protecting data transmitted between your website and your users. Make sure your website is equipped with an SSL certificate to establish a secure connection. This not only provides a secure browsing experience but also sends a positive signal to search engines. In fact, Google considers SSL as a ranking factor, giving preference to secure websites in search results.
  • Regularly Update and Patch: Keep your website's software, plugins, and themes up to date. Outdated versions can have vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit. Regularly check for updates released by the developers and apply them promptly. Additionally, enable automatic updates whenever possible to ensure you have the latest security patches.
  • Strong Passwords and User Authentication: Use strong and complex passwords for all your website accounts. Avoid using common passwords or personal information that can be easily guessed. Enforce strong password policies for your users as well. Implement two-factor authentication (2FA) for an extra layer of security, which helps prevent unauthorized access to your website.
  • Regular Backups: Regularly back up your website's data to protect against any potential data loss or security incidents. Backups can be a lifesaver in case of any security breaches or website issues. Store backups in a secure location, separate from your website's server. Test your backups periodically to ensure they are working correctly and can be restored when needed.
  • Secure Payment Gateway: If you have an eCommerce store, use a secure payment gateway to ensure the secure transmission of payment information. Make sure your payment provider complies with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) requirements. Display trust seals and security badges prominently on your website to assure customers that their information is safe.
  • Monitor for Malware: Regularly scan your website for malware and malicious code. Malware can cause serious harm to your website's security and reputation. Use security plugins and online scanners to detect malware or suspicious activity. If you detect any issues, take immediate action to clean and remove malware from your website.

5. Pay Attention To Your Site Speed

page speed optimization report

PageSpeed Insights report for the Amazon website

A slow-loading website can lead to higher bounce rates, lower search engine rankings, and decreased customer satisfaction. To ensure your site speed is optimal, follow these tips:

  • Optimize Image Type and Sizes: Images are often the largest files on a web page and can significantly impact loading times. Compress and resize images to an appropriate size without compromising quality. Use image optimization tools and formats like JPEG or WebP to reduce file sizes and improve loading speed.
  • Minimize HTTP Requests: Each element of your webpage, such as images, scripts, and stylesheets, requires an HTTP request to be made to the server. Reduce the number of HTTP requests by combining CSS and JavaScript files, using CSS sprites for multiple images, and minimizing the use of external scripts.
  • Leverage Browser Caching: Enable browser caching to store static resources locally on a user's device, allowing subsequent visits to load faster. Set an appropriate caching policy to specify how long the resources should be stored. This reduces the need to fetch resources repeatedly, improving site speed for returning visitors.
  • Minify CSS, JavaScript, and HTML: Minification involves removing unnecessary characters, whitespace, and comments from your CSS, JavaScript, and HTML files. Smaller file sizes lead to faster load times. Use minification tools or plugins to streamline your code without affecting functionality.
  • Prioritize Above-the-Fold Content: Above-the-fold content refers to the portion of a webpage that is visible without scrolling. Prioritize loading this content first to provide a better user experience. Delay loading less critical elements, like images below the fold or non-essential scripts, until after the initial rendering.
  • Regularly Monitor and Test: Continuously monitor and test your website's speed using tools like Google PageSpeed Insights, GTmetrix, or Pingdom. These tools provide insights into areas for improvement and help evaluate the impact of optimizations. Regular testing ensures that your website maintains optimal speed over time.

6. Mobile Responsiveness is Important

mobile responsiveness of website


In today's mobile-centric world, having a mobile-responsive website is crucial for both user experience and eCommerce technical SEO. More than 50% of all online traffic is generated by mobile devices. And due to the rising use of smartphones and tablets, Google has made it a priority to deliver mobile-friendly search results.

With the majority of online searches happening on mobile devices, search engines like Google prioritize mobile-friendly websites in their rankings. Here are some tips to ensure your eCommerce website is mobile-responsive:

  • Implement a Responsive Design: Responsive design is a design approach that ensures your website adapts and displays properly on various screen sizes, including mobile devices. It allows your website to adjust its layout, images, and text to fit the screen dimensions, providing users with an optimal viewing experience. Implementing a responsive design ensures your website is mobile-friendly and improves user engagement.
  • Use Mobile-Friendly Formatting: Use legible font sizes and clear, concise headings and subheadings. Break up long paragraphs into smaller, easily scannable sections. Avoid horizontal scrolling and ensure that buttons and links are large enough to be easily tapped with a finger.
  • Enable Mobile-Specific Features: Mobile devices offer unique features that can enhance user experience. Leverage these features to improve your website's mobile responsiveness. For example, enable "click to call" functionality for phone numbers, use device geolocation for location-based services, and enable touch-friendly navigation elements such as swipe gestures.
  • Optimize for Local Searches: Many mobile searches have local intent, such as finding nearby stores or services. Optimize your website for local SEO by including location-specific keywords, updating your Google My Business listing, and ensuring accurate NAP (name, address, phone number) information. This will help improve your visibility in local mobile searches.
  • Utilize Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP): AMP is an open-source initiative that aims to provide fast-loading mobile web experiences. Implementing AMP can significantly improve your website's mobile performance by stripping down unnecessary elements and optimizing code. Consider implementing AMP for your eCommerce product pages to provide a lightning-fast mobile browsing experience.

7.  Work on Link-Building

Building high-quality and relevant links to your eCommerce site can help establish authority, increase organic traffic, and improve your overall online presence. Here are some tips to enhance your link-building efforts:

  • Create Compelling Content: Great content is the foundation of a successful link-building strategy. By creating high-quality, informative, and share worthy content, you increase the chances of other websites linking back to your site. Develop engaging blog posts, product guides, infographics, and videos that provide value to your target audience and encourage others to reference and link to your content.
  • Guest Blogging and Contributor Outreach: Contribute guest posts to authoritative and relevant websites in your industry. Write insightful articles that showcase your expertise and provide value to readers. In your author bio or within the content, include a link back to your eCommerce site. This can help drive traffic, expand your audience, and build authoritative backlinks.
  • Invest in Business Directories and Local Listings: Submit your eCommerce site to reputable business directories and local listings. This not only helps customers find your business but also provides valuable backlinks. Make sure your business information is consistent across all directories, including name, address, phone number (NAP), and website URL. Focus on directories that are relevant to your target audience and industry.
  • Leverage Social Media for Link Building: Social media platforms can be a powerful tool for link building. Create engaging and shareable social media content that links back to your eCommerce site. Encourage your followers and customers to share your content and link to your website. Engage with industry influencers and relevant communities on social media platforms to build relationships that may lead to link opportunities.
  • Monitor and Disavow Toxic Backlinks: Regularly monitor your backlink profile to identify any low-quality or toxic backlinks. These may include spammy, irrelevant, or paid links that can negatively impact your SEO efforts. Utilize tools like Google Search Console or third-party SEO tools to identify and analyze your backlinks. If you find toxic backlinks, disavow them promptly to prevent them from affecting your search engine rankings.

Remember, link-building is an ongoing process that requires time, effort, and strategic planning. It's essential to focus on quality over quantity, as search engines value authoritative and relevant links.

8. Check Your Robot.txt File

The "robots.txt" file is a powerful tool that influences how search engines crawl and index your eCommerce website. By properly configuring and regularly checking your robots.txt file, you can improve your technical SEO and ensure search engines understand which pages to crawl and which to exclude. Here are some tips for effectively managing your robots.txt file to enhance your eCommerce website's visibility:

  • Understand the Robots Exclusion Protocol: The robots.txt file follows the Robots Exclusion Protocol, which allows website owners to communicate with search engine bots. It tells search engines which pages or directories to exclude from indexing. Familiarize yourself with the syntax and commands used in the robots.txt file to ensure accurate configuration.
  • Keep Sensitive Information Secure: If your eCommerce site contains sensitive information, such as customer data or admin sections, it's crucial to keep them protected from search engine crawlers. Use the robots.txt file to block access to these areas by disallowing indexing and crawling. This helps prevent sensitive information from appearing in search engine results pages (SERPs) and keeps your website secure.
  • Allow Access to Important Pages: While you may want to restrict access to specific areas, it's equally important to allow search engines to crawl and index your important content. Make sure to include directives in your robots.txt file that allow access to your key landing pages, product pages, blog posts, and other valuable content. This ensures that search engines can crawl and display these pages in search results.
  • Remove Unnecessary Directories and Files: As your website evolves, certain directories or files may become obsolete and unnecessary for search engine indexing. Regularly review your robots.txt file to identify and remove any directives that exclude directories or files that are no longer essential. This helps avoid unintended blockages of content that should be accessible to search engines.
  • Update Your Robots.txt File After Site Overhauls: When you redesign your eCommerce website or make significant changes to your site's structure, it's crucial to review and update your robots.txt file accordingly. The new structure or URLs may require adjustments to ensure that search engines can successfully crawl and index your updated content. Failing to update your robots.txt file may result in improper indexing or exclusion of important pages.

9. Check Your Site for Duplicate Content

Duplicate content can negatively impact your eCommerce website's search engine rankings and user experience. It is essential to regularly check your site for duplicate content and take necessary measures to address it. 

Duplicate content can arise from various sources, such as product variations, similar product descriptions, or URL parameters. By conducting a thorough audit, utilizing tools like Google Search Console or specialized SEO software, you can identify duplicate content issues. 

Once identified, you can implement solutions such as canonical tags, 301 redirects, or consolidating similar content to ensure that search engines understand the preferred version of your content and avoid dilution of SEO efforts. 

Wrapping Up!

The primary goal of any eCommerce business is to be easily discoverable on popular search engines like Google and Bing. So, how can you achieve this? By implementing a range of well-established strategies and tactics, as mentioned above.

It's important to remember that eCommerce Shopify SEO is a long-term commitment, requiring sustained effort and patience to yield significant results. It's a marathon, not a sprint.

If you find yourself in need of assistance in developing or refining your technical SEO for eCommerce, don't hesitate to get in touch with our team of Shopify experts

We're here to help you achieve optimal visibility for your eCommerce business.

Recommended reads: 

  • Definitive guide to eCommerce SEO for Shopify stores
  • Shopify SEO tips for eCommerce homepage
  • Shopify SEO tips for product pages
  • Local SEO tips for Shopify stores
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