Shopify E-Commerce SEO: Optimizing Shopify Collections, Sub Collection pages for Optimal SEO

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Usually referred to on E-Commerce sites as category pages, the popular Shopify CMS has a specific term called “Collections.” When it comes to the practical use, Shopify Collections are the same as E-Commerce category pages in that organize a number of the site’s products under a specific category so that customers can quickly navigate and to find relevant products. Users have come to expect a category/collection page on your site that feature product images that belong to that collection.

Shopify Collections SEO

As you may know, anything that’s good for the customer experience will be a positive for search engine optimization. This is especially true with Collections pages. After all they are usually the second most important pages on yours E-Commerce site after the home page. We’ll get into how and why having SEO-optimized Collections pages in  Shopify are critical to your site’s overall SEO effectiveness. Here’s eight basic SEO tactics that are necessary to rank your product collections.

1. Know Your Collections Keyword Targets

Before we get into any of the actual on-page work, we have to know what the final organic search goal will be for the page. This means determining and identifying the best keyword and keyword phrases that we strive to rank this Collections page for. Without a realistic keyword(s) that is relevant to the products in the collection, one that has a high-demand (search volume), and ideally a conversion-leaning tilt, we don’t know where we’re going.

2. Create a Collections Title / Headline

As soon as you determine the keyword(s) you want to target for your collection page, click on “”Create Collection” within Shopify. Once you do, you’ll be prompted to fill out two fields. The first is the Collections title field, this determines the visible headline text for the page. By default, filling out this field will also automatically set the SEO title tag and the header (h1) tag of the page. More on that in a second.

3. Create a Collections Description

Next is the description field. Like the Collections Title field, the Collections Description is not only seen by the user/visitor, but also sets the SEO meta description. The SEO description is the block of text — usually 2-3 sentences that appears below the SEO title in the Google search results.

4. Decouple SEO Title from Collections Title

We don’t want to explain something that has already been explained quite well elsewhere, so we’ll leave you with how to edit the SEO Title and decoupling it from the Collections Title from Northcutt.

There is a separate section of the Create collection page that allows you to set the title tag and meta description separately. You can do this by scrolling down to the Search engine listing preview section and clicking on Edit website SEO. This allows you to edit the title tag and meta description separately from the title and description for display on the page itself.

Why? Because it’s important to be able to optimize both. *Usually* when we want to have control over both the Collections Title is more editorial while the SEO Title is more for… well, SEO. Not just that, SEO Title have limitations on the character length.

5. Add SEO Content to Collections Pages

Having worked with E-Commerce companies in the past, one of the biggest issues of a collections/product category page is there’s rarely room or urgency to add content. Requesting to add 300 words at the top of the page makes little sense as it takes up valuable space “above the fold” and places hurdles for the visitors to buy the products — which is the ultimate goal.

Though it’s true that placing content on the page where SEOs would ideally want text, there needs to be a compromise here. I see SEO content as secondary on Shopify/E-Commerce Collection, Sub-Collection. and Product pages.

That said, SEO content is required for a page rank — so what should one do? Many E-Commerce companies add a couple sentences near the top of the page, but often add content at the bottom of the page above the footer — that’s proven to be a popular and effective for search, and just as importantly, a compromise between SEO and User Experience, Product Teams, and Design. For this, we recommend that the content be around 300-400 words that concisely describe the page to a user, content that includes the target keyword (and semantically related terms), and or another SEO-trained writer to help you write the perfect text.

Create Shopify Sub Collection(s)

In order to build SEO authority to your Collections page, it requires Google to recognize you are an actual authority and for C-Commerce sites that means your Collections page have to have a depth of product.

You can’t hope to rank on a competitive term like iPhone cases when you only offer two iPhone cases displayed on your site. Ensure you are choosing the right Collection, one that has ideally hundreds of products that can sit underneath that collection. If you have many products, find a way to break those down into sub-collections each with several products that make sense, and ones that can logically sit under the main Collection page. Expanding on the above example, something like “blue iPhone cases” or “Hello kitty iPhone cases”

Of course that doesn’t mean you won’t rank if you only have a dozen of the products you’re selling, you just might not have the inventory to create sub collections and that’s okay. If you’re a smaller vendor, you might want to focus on the specific benefits of the unique products you sell by optimizing the Product pages for each of your individual products instead.

Optimize Shopify Product Pages

As the same as above recommendation for Sub Collection pages, the actual product pages themselves play a critical role in building SEO authority, depth and context to the sub-collection pages above them. When optimizing a product page, include the Collections and Sub-Collections target keywords in the product descriptions when possible. it not only improves the search visibility of that page itself, but supports the parent pages specifically the Sub Collections and Collections pages so that those pages can potentially rank for more, and more relevant, search terms.

Internal Links

And it’s extremely important to link your product pages to the Sub-Collection pages and to the Collections Pages, and back down again. This shows that all of these pages are related and should be considered when Google comes to ranking each of those pages. A couple of easy ways of ensuring that these pages are tied together is through the global navigation, through breadcrumbs, and/or placing internal links to Collections and Sub Collection pages in the footer.

Bring It Altogether for SEO

From an SEO perspective, if collections are also optimal for search and users, they not only tell the search engines what your page are about, but also allows your customers (and potential customers) to find your products with as few a clicks as possible. That’s just good ecommerce SEO.

The goal of E-Commerce websites is not only to bring visitors to your site from the search engines, but to have a good experience that will have them buying one of your products. You can have them all work together.

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