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All About Search Engine Optimization

Written by Ryan Smeltz


Posted on June 22 2020

What is SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. The optimization of your website for search engines is essential in allowing your site to show up when people input searches on the internet. SEO is the means of allowing your website to surface in Search Engines. Search Engine Optimization will help you increase the traffic that your website receives. By optimizing, you transform your website into a more available content; the Search Engine will be able to trust your website and start presenting it to internet users more often. 

Search Engine Optimization plays an important role that determines the credibility of your website. Without SEO, your site’s competitive chances lessen, which allows your competitors’ websites to gain more exposure compared to your site. Proper optimization of your website allows Search Engines to rank you higher in Search Engine results; your sites will appear first in the results when people search data on the internet when you optimize essential aspects of your website.

Before Google ever came to existence, the first Search Engines linked you with websites that accurately contain the exact keywords you are trying to search for. Two Ph.D. students from Stanford during 1996, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, were doing their academic research papers when they noticed that sources containing keywords does not mean it is relevant to their study. Rather, the relevance of the sources relies on other papers that cited it. By applying this concept in web searching, Google emerged. Now, every Search Engine uses that citing concept to provide you with website results.

Keywords are crucial as it allows users to search for words, sentences, and phrases, and receive results of websites that actually contain the keywords that they are looking for. With keywords, Search Engines are able to determine what your website is about. This is the On-Site component. On-site optimization means that your website is full of keywords that are relevant to what your website is about.

Backlinks help Search Engines gain trust on your website. Backlinks are responsible for allowing your websites to rank higher in search engine results. This is the Off-site component; These are links that originate from another website that links back to your website. Examples of these are articles, social media posts, and blog posts. The more legitimate the website that backlinks to your site, the better the search engines will trust your site. 

What is a Search Engine?

The internet has a significant amount of database openly available to people. There are millions of registered websites on the internet. What allows us to locate the sites we desire among these websites are Search Engines and its algorithms. Almost every person using the internet relies on using search engines because of its reliability to accurately provide you with the correct websites based on your search input. Examples of search engines are Google, Yahoo, Bing, AOL, and Ask. But most people use Google for searching what they want.

When you search something in the Search Engine, it provides you with websites relevant to what you are trying to find, both in keywords and the actual content of the site. Search Engines will show links with the highest credibility and accuracy of information. The results will both show company paid ads relevant to your search and organic websites in which the Search Engine deems connected to your search input. Search engines provide you with a ranked result of websites that are containing the most relevant and accurately contain keywords. The rank begins with the highest accuracy and relevance shown on the first page down to the lowest on the last page. These results on the first page of the Search Engines are also the most clicked and visited websites in its category.

Search Engine Optimization is an essential step in utilizing the search engines to the advantage of your websites. By optimizing your website, your site climbs the search ranks and increases its visibility and accessibility to people searching on the internet.   

Improving your website’s SEO

The best way for search engines to locate and link your content is by optimizing your site structure. Searching in search engines will give you results of what you are looking for by rank. Any website’s goal should be part of the golden triangle; the top 3 results which have the highest chances of clicks from people. The top 3 results, or at least the first page, is what most people only check. It is rare for people to scan every page down to the lowest rank of the results. Usually, when people cannot find what they are looking for on the first page, they only change the keywords and check another list of first page results.


Your On-site optimization, such as Keywords, is a significant factor in your site that helps Search Engines recognize your website. Keywords are words that people usually type in the search bar of search engines when finding something they want. You will want to get as many significant keywords as possible on your website. Having the right keywords on your website increases the chances of gaining more visitors. The people who are searching for keywords that are relevant to your website are your ideal visitors. They are your ideal visitors because they are looking for exactly what you are offering based on the keywords they searched. They are the most likely to convert into customers once they arrive at your website.

To look for the correct keywords for your website, you must first identify some factors regarding the keywords. Make sure the keywords are relevant to your site and how much traffic it generates. You should also check how many other websites are using the keywords and are successful with it. You may use tools that specialize in providing keywords that have a higher search rate. There are a lot of tools in Google that specialize in keywords such as Google Analytics, Google Webmaster Tools, Google AdWords Keywords Tool, and many others.

On-site Optimization

Yes, keywords are essential in increasing your website’s search engine optimization. But keep in mind, it is also significant that your website’s content is also relevant and needs to contain content with quality. In fact, your website’s content as a whole contributes to your SEO. Search Engines will show your website more often and with a higher search rank depending on the relevance of the content your site contains to the keywords you intend to use. You need to build the relevance of your website based on your goal through titles, meta descriptions, headings, subheadings, images, videos, and originality of content. The content of your store needs to be interestingly engaging while wisely using your chosen keywords. Search engines do not focus solely on the keywords your website contains.

Text like the filename of images in your website, descriptive page titles, or short explanations of what your page is about, embedded in your HTML, are integral aspects of your site that you would want to optimize. These days, even the URLs itself contain information regarding what the link is about. Keep your website content updated regularly, too. Search engines consider websites that regularly update content as relevant sites.

Off-site Optimization

Your website’s contents alone are not the only thing that needs attention. Another one of the most essential steps in gaining the trust of search engines is having other websites link back to your main website. These are backlinks that allow Search engines to recognize your website through other websites. The more reliable a website is that links back to your site, the more your own website becomes reliable. To do this, you have to create quality content such as articles, social media posts, and blog posts. It is somewhat like an advertisement through a different website, recommending people to visit your site. Your off-site efforts contribute significantly to your website’s search engine optimization.

Optimizing your Metadata

Do not forget about the metadata of your website. The metadata is text that appears as your website title and text below the results of the search engine. The title metadata is your website's main page title that displays what your site is about. Think of a clever way to include your keywords in your title metadata while also being an informative and engaging title. You will need to review and update your title metadata as your site evolves.

Be sure to also include essential keywords in the meta description of your site. Create your meta description legibly and easily readable. It should be no longer than 135-160 characters long. Nowadays, Google is testing longer snippets.

The title metadata and meta description is like an advert; encouraging people to click on your website. Make sure that your meta description is compelling while being relevant to the actual content of your website. If you can, try to add elements of snippets like star ratings in your metadata to further solidify your site’s credibility.

Using Alternative Text

Alt text or alt tags are utilized within the HTML code; describing the function and appearance of images on your website. If a picture is not able to load and show up, and alt text will display in place of the image. By having a description within the images of your site, you expand the range of your site’s keywords. Which, in turn, allows further investment in search engine optimization.

To have an effective image alt text, be very specific with the description of it to help optimize it for search engines. But don’t forget that too many keywords are not necessary. Be descriptive with the alt text and avoid including “image of” and “picture of” as it is already assumed that your alt text refers to your website image.  

Shopify’s Built-in SEO

When you set up a store in Shopify, you can use Shopify’s SEO. Shopify has its built-in Search Engine Optimization. Some of the Search Engine Optimizations are already taken care of by Shopify for you. Shopify automatically adds Auto-generated canonical tags, it also auto-generates your site’s sitemap.xml and robots.txt,  and auto-generates your store theme that handles title tags, and store name. 

Shopify’s interface is openly customizable, allowing you to edit your store content so you can optimize it the way you want it to be. Content such as title tags, meta descriptions, image alt text, and URLs for products, collections, blogs, and webpages are all customizable.



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