Depending on what your business is, Shopify is not bad for SEO. In fact, Shopify comes with some pre-built settings and capabilities that can help eCommerce businesses achieve optimal, best-practice SEO optimization.
On the other hand, these capabilities can become limitations for businesses with different models, or companies that have websites up just for branding purposes. It can also prove to be difficult for site owners who want more flexibility with their CMS solution.
Shopify’s Advantages for SEO
Shopify has been part of Google’s ‘More Ways to Shop’ initiative, meaning that Shopify merchants already have an advantage with instant eligibility to be featured in Google’s shoppable grid & carousel results.
Shopify also has a pre-set robots.txt file and dynamic canonical tagging rules that ensure Google isn’t crawling and/or indexing your pagination URLs, product variants, individual customer review URLs, transaction pages, facet filter parameters, and other page types that are a crawl budget eater on other eCommerce sites.
The CMS also contains a preset of a number of page templates for everything an eCommerce website needs (T&C pages, checkout processes, product pages, collection pages, website navigation, a homepage, blog content, etc.).
Finally, Shopify’s SEO tools are also relatively easy & intuitive to use for small businesses that won’t have an active webmaster/developer involved. Some common options for SEO optimization, like switching meta descriptions and title tags, adding alt text, or making changes to the navigation, are easy to locate and edit even for a newbie in SEO & web development.
Shopify’s Disadvantages for SEO
Shopify is rigid to edit – there is a block builder, but what you can add or remove from a page template depends on the page type. Anything else needs to be edited in Liquid – a templating language based on Ruby.
The added presets & configuration are not useful for every business – as mentioned in the introduction, if you won’t use your site to sell products, or you want to build your own page templates, the added presets become more of a hurdle to bypass. These are not just hurdles from a cosmetic perspective, but from a functional one, too – for example, editing canonical tags can only be done in Liquid, and not via any apps (plugins) or editor blocks.
If you already have a Shopify store and are noticing poor SEO rankings, you may wanna check out our Shopify SEO services:
If you have a business that will mainly focus on building landing pages and writing content, then Shopify should probably not be your first choice. Contact Fire&Spark if you need consultations on which CMS platform you should be using for optimal SEO performance.