SEO - Meta Titles & Descriptions
One of the largest sources of traffic can be from your website being found in search engines.
How is it being found though? Also, how can you make it easier for customers to find you? This is essentially what SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is all about! Usually, when people see the term “SEO”, they are understandably overcome with uncertainty and fear about all the hard work it can involve. Don’t worry! The aspects of SEO I will cover today are actually quite simple!
Today, I’m going to cover how you can write the meta titles and descriptions for the different pages of your Online Store to make it easier for customers to find your website so they can potentially purchase your products.
Accessing the SEO Settings for a Page
Whether it’s a collection, product, blog or informational page, the SEO Settings are accessed the exact same way. You essentially just scroll to very the bottom of the page in the Shopify admin and click “Edit Website SEO”.
It will look like this:
After you click the blue text, the section will expand so you can write what you want:
This won’t impact the titles and descriptions shown on your actual website, it just changes this information in regards to what search engines see for your website. The title can have up to 70 characters and the description can have up to 320 characters.
Why is Changing this Important?
When you change the meta titles and descriptions, it isn’t just to make it so the information is displayed nicely in search engines. The primary reason to do this is so you can control how customers are able to find your website’s pages by typing in certain words. Basically, you can control what specific search words will return the pages of your website. This is commonly referred to as the “keywords”.
What should you Write?
When deciding what to write you primarily should consider one simple question: What will customers write in the search query when trying to look for the products they want?
Simply put, a properly written title and description should contain relevant information/words and entice the customer to click it! Writing a list of different words for example, isn’t too enticing or helpful in regards to SEO.
You should write the title in such a way that it clearly identifies what the name of your store is and what the exact product is so it contains words customers may search. If it is unclear or contains irrelevant information, the customer may consider clicking on a different website rather than yours. You might think adding a long title increases your chances of the page being found in a Google search, but if the words are something no one would type then it defeats the purpose of what you are trying to accomplish. Adding your store title means customers can also find your store’s pages by typing in the store name and the product they want to find.
The description should be written in plain sentences that would make someone want to click on the search result. Similar to the title, it should also contain words that someone may search to find the page/product. Since you have room to write more here, it’s important to consider how different customers may search for the same thing using different words. So try to think of those different words and find creative ways to use them in a sentence. If you feel you are offering an especially competitive price, you can even mention the price in the description.
For example, if someone were to search for “Bamboo Sunglasses”, for your page to be found, it should contain these words in the meta title and description somewhere.
Getting a Search Engine to see your changes
Although you have probably written some awesome meta titles and descriptions by now, it won’t be of any use unless the search engine is aware of your changes so it can show them to users. Shopify will usually do this on its own eventually, but it can take some time. To speed things up you can get a search engine to show your changes by submitting your sitemap.
I wrote a detailed article covering how to submit your sitemap to Google right here.
For other search engines, a quick search about how to submit your sitemap should return some “How To” guides. Google is the most popular search engine used of course, so at the very least it’s good to submit your sitemap to Google.
Best of luck working on your SEO! Please feel free to share any of your own tips or comments to improve SEO below!