This blog is a part of our series on Shopify store SEO tips from experts.
A website’s homepage is like an introductory “hello, welcome to our store” version online. You want it to be appealing, customer friendly, and informative. While this is obvious, there is some debate on whether there is a need for homepage SEO specifically.
However, the homepage is the place first visited by your potential customers when they arrive. And it is also visited by search engine crawlers. To all these visitors, you want to convey who you are and what your brand offers on the home page in a way that aids conversion.
Considering how ecommerce sites have a bounce rate of 20%-45%, it is essential to make your website, especially the home page, its best version with SEO.
In this blog, we will address some things you can do to better your Shopify SEO on the homepage.
What is home page SEO?
The process of optimizing the homepage of your Shopify store for search engines with headers, meta descriptions, headers, and several other factors directed toward a homepage is called homepage SEO.
These individual factors like meta description and titles tell these crawlers the story of your brand. It defines you on the internet. This in turn leads to clicks on your website and conversion to purchasing products. So if you want to make it count for larger amounts of visibility, and visitors with lesser bounce rate, then you have to focus on homepage SEO.
Why is homepage SEO important?
Whenever someone visits your page, you want them to learn the gist of your business within seconds. Optimizing homepage SEO helps you do that as a result of the optimization. The best part is that optimizing for your customers and search engine crawlers are similar except for some specific technical details.
When you add all the details necessary to follow good SEO practices, you get relevancy from the perspective of search engines. You show up for more relevant search keywords, which can improve your business eventually.
The homepage SEO ultimately affects other pages too. For a solid Shopify SEO, you want to cover all bases and ensure your homepage serves as a path to the other pages on your website to encourage a shopping journey.
How to optimize the Shopify homepage for SEO?
There are numerous ways in which you can optimize your Shopify homepage SEO, but here are some of the tactics our experts recommend following:
1. Introduce yourself - Explain what you do!
At a glance, it is essential to convey what you do and how you do it. They don’t have to be paragraphs like an “About us” page. They can just be a few sentences that convey the tone and purpose of your brand in a simple manner.
In the example below, you can see how the cereal brand Magic Spoon describes their offering in a sentence. It is simple and succinct, and you can understand what the brand offers.
2. Your logo is important
This is quite obvious, but often people forget to make their logo a prominent part of the homepage. Often people forget the names of brands, but they will remember the logo. The logo gives your business identity.
Additionally, don’t forget to make the logo clickable throughout your site. Ideally, the click should lead them back to the homepage.
Below is the homepage of the skincare and beauty brand, Bliss. Immediately when you look at the page, the logo stands out, and if you see it enough times, you will associate that with their brand.
3. Navigation across your website
Navigation is what it sounds like – easy navigation helps your customers understand where to find what. If a customer is coming across a website for the first time, a report claims 38% of them look a the page layout and navigation. It also tells Google the narrative of your website and helps associate your company with all those product options.
It is important to have order in this navigational system. You want people to understand the flow of your website easily, and the idea is to keep it simple.
In the example below, you can see the homepage of the beauty brand, Look Fantastic. The navigation is self-explanatory and straightforward. From the homepage, there are several places that customers can check out, and all of them are listed clearly. This also decreases the bounce rate, and people are more likely to check out a site that isn’t riddled with complications.
4. Use keywords well
The number one way to pave a path between a customer looking for something on Google and it leading to you are keywords.
Keywords are indicators to the search engines about who exactly you are, what kind of searches you can be shown for, and what your relevancy is to them.
Understand the keywords in your industry and learn your competitor’s keywords and what do they usually rank for. Then use the keywords on your homepage. Make sure you use the primary keywords you want to rank for, your brand keywords, and other target keywords.
However, the key is not to sound spammy by overstuffing your page with too many. Create a balance, or else you will be ignored by search engines like Google.
The example below shows how Beauty Bay uses their brand multiple times on the homepage. They use the target keywords sprinkled across the homepage as well.
You want to have a hierarchy and structure to your Shopify store, and this comes from headers.
While creating headers, you will have options H1 to H5. Using them logically shows the crawlers the flow of your website and makes more sense.
Additionally, you have to incorporate keywords into the headers as well. The H1 tag must always include the primary target keyword.
6. Image SEO with engaging visuals
When someone first lands on your site, the first thing they will notice is visual. They will look at the colors, and images and decide if they want to continue engaging with your page.
To make them stay and navigate, you want to use visuals that are relevant to your brand, convey the messaging clearly and are not just stock photos when they aren’t relevant to the message.
You also want to add “alt text” to the image, which gives search engines information about what the image is all about.
In the example below, you can see the beauty brand Charlotte Tilbury’s home page. They focus on inclusion and diversity using their beauty products, and that messaging is clearly seen here. They also use consistent colors to build the brand image.
7. Social proof
Nothing speaks to a potential customer more than another user’s testimony. And this is why your homepage should also have user testimonies as social proof. So when you think about crucial homepage optimization best practices, this is the one to follow.
Firstly, encourage users to leave reviews or tag you on their social accounts with a review. Once they do, take their permission and use them on the website.
You can leverage the right keywords in the social proof as well. Use the words most searched for in your industry and add them tactically while describing the review. This helps you reduce bounce rate by intriguing customers and impressing search engine bots.
In the example below, you can see how the skincare brand The Inkey List has used a customer’s photo of before and after results while using their product. They have also used words like “skincare routine to target blemishes.” Such long tail keywords are a gold trope of opportunity for you to inculcate into your homepage.
You can also show social proof for Shopify SEO by showing what your brand stands for.
In the example below, the skincare brand 100% Pure showcases that they do not test on animals, making them a cruelty-free brand. Such values are important to several buyers; looking at it at the front and center would convince them to explore the website and make a purchase.
8. Do internal linking well
Internal linking is an essential part of Shopify SEO. You link some words randomly based on your choice, and whenever someone arrives on that page through the homepage, it gets some page authority passed on. Now if you are mindful about the type of words you use in the links, the anchor text of the link becomes recognized as a keyword you care about. This takes care of two factors!
In the example below, you can see how there are several internal links placed on the homepage of the apparel brand NEXT.
In another image at the footer of the homepage, you can see how they have provided several internal links to navigate the entire site. This is helpful for the customer and search engines.
9. Meta description
Meta descriptions are little snippets of descriptions you see along with a company’s name whenever you look them up on Google. These provide opportunities to use keywords, capture the user’s attention in a few seconds and get a click out of them.
In the meta description, be sure to mention your brand at least once and the words you want to be associated with your company.
In the example below, you can see how BodyShop uses their name and keywords, such as cruelty-free beauty products and skincare, in the description. This lets the customers know exactly what type of products they are selling.
Ensure you follow the best practices while writing meta descriptions and keep it within 150=160 characters.
10. Use the right CTA
CTA or Call To Action is an important part of any page. Its the button which promotes action and eventually improves conversion rates.
Therefore, you want to be extra careful about what you do with this limited real estate on the homepage. You want to sound engaging, generate curiosity, and also encourage action.
The right way to do CTAs is to test it out. Do some A/B testing based on different colors and text and check which works out the best for you.
In the example below, you can see how the beauty brand Fenty uses “Bring the drama” as a CTA for their eyeliner product. It is a creative line and has the potential to make you click. Because, of course, you want the drama!
11. Content is key
Content gives you ample opportunities to plug in all the right target keywords, convey your message succinctly and show Google you are creating unique valuable content.
Don’t overwhelm users with too much content that is hard to read; this would be counterproductive to your Shopify SEO. Instead, use sentences when needed and place them under different headers.
In the example below, you can look at the crisp copy on GymShark’s homepage. The copy focuses on the customer and what they can do, and it sells their product indirectly.
Blog posts are an integral part of content generation for Shopify SEO. They are excellent for gaining the right traction for keywords, being informative and placing yourself as an authority. Therefore, if you have a blog, dedicate a section to it on the homepage. This helps you address more keywords and reduces bounce rate.
12. Add schema markups
Adding schema markups for your website means having a search result of your brand that looks like the example below. Nordstrom, the popular apparel and accessories brand, can see different snippets of the result, providing a variety of links for customers to click on.
You can do this for your homepage for Shopify SEO by adding a code to the site. The code will direct search engines result pages (SERPs) on how to show your company when someone looks for you. You can define it however you want and have different links displayed.
13. Maintain the loading speed
Think of the number of times you have closed a web page because it took too long to load. That frustration is exactly what you want to avoid for your customers. According to a study, if you can reduce the load time by even one-tenth of a second, it can result in conversion rates increasing up to 8.4% for retail websites.
As an ecommerce site owner, you know how significant the increase in conversion rates is. So you can check your Shopify store’s speed on this speed test page by Google. Understand where you stand and improve. You can do this by reducing the size of some images, avoiding too many redirects, cleaning up the code, caching web pages, and so on.
14. Keep your design responsive
A lot of shoppers use different devices throughout the day. They may want to log in through their laptop when taking a break at work and want to relax and shop on their mobile when at home. Either way, you must provide an equally good experience on both devices. If not, you could lose the customer.
Responsive designs are adaptive to any screen, and the homepage will adjust based on the device. However, many businesses are also following the mobile-first approach, which is also recommended by Google today. This design prioritizes mobile design and then other layouts. Both these approaches help you provide a good customer experience, and if you aren’t focusing on them, you should!
Enhance Shopify SEO and transform your ecommerce homepage
The 14 points above will help you address wherever your Shopify store might need to improve in the SEO game. Fixing the problems and doing homepage optimizations will help you attract more customers, more search engine results, and, thus, more sales.
However, this might be too overwhelming if you are a small team or don’t know where to start. But you don’t have to worry; there are Shopify agencies like XgenTech to help you.
They provide ecommerce businesses with expertise to enhance website experiences and data-driven marketing plans.
Book a call with XgenTech today to understand more.