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If you’re looking for the best Shopify theme for SEO with quantifiable and measurable evidence and proof, instead of reading and believing some affiliate article at the top of Google written by someone who thinks that the term ‘SEO-friendly’ in a theme’s description means that a theme is good for SEO… then please continue reading this article!
We all know scaling organically with Shopify is hard – all you have to do is Google SEO issues Shopify and you’ll see my article at the top of English-speaking search engines all over the world which explains technically why Shopify is not perfect for SEO.
Whilst the technical SEO core of Shopify is OK, the theme you use on top of that, how it is designed, built, engineered, coded, and optimized can have an ENORMOUS effect on how well your store can and will perform in the organic or ‘un-paid for’ search results [SERPs].
What you have to remember is that the vast majority of themes on the market, both in the Shopify theme store and other 3rd party websites, are built by designers and web developers, not SEO or technical SEO experts.
In brief, my agency has built the world’s best Shopify theme for SEO and in this article, I’m going to try and convince you why with over 90 reasons why.
In my opinion, and that of several hundred other professional brands and independent retailers across the world using the theme, our new OS 2.0 theme is the best for SEO because it has:
- Optimized, Algorithm-aligned Code for all devices.
- Mobile First & Friendly Design
- A Phenomenal Page Load Speed of just 491ms [Desktop & Mobile – 99 and 85+ on PageSpeed Insights respectively].
- Over 90 SEO & Conversion-Boosting Features
- Will Save You over $3000 per year on apps.
AND – is the ONLY theme in the world that has built-in, fully-optimizable, high-converting, non-conflicting product filter pages.
These SEO Product Filters typically increase a store’s organic visibility in the search engines by 1900% in weeks – it really is the next generation of Shopify OS 2.0 theme – exclusive to Kristin Mark Digital®, it’s called RankHigherTheme®.
Background to RankHigherTheme®
We’ve been technically re-engineering Shopify themes for SEO to help them perform better in the search engines since 2010.
We got tired of unraveling and fixing other theme designers’ technical SEO mess and bad code design and development that seriously hinders a theme’s ability to perform organically in the search engines.
So we decided to engineer and develop our own world-class, SEO-friendly theme template, the very best in its class. In 2018, we started a mission to build the best Shopify theme for SEO and have been developing and improving it ever since.
All other Shopify themes are built to look good by designers and developers that take no responsibility whatsoever for how well your theme performs in the search engines.
Ours do, and we do. They look good, help you drive more traffic, and convert more organic sales, especially with page load speeds like this!
If you’re still using a slow, outdated 1.0 theme and you’re keen on learning more about OS 2.0 you can click this link to discover the benefits of Shopify OS 2.0.
We’ve been helping retailers maximize their organic revenue with e-commerce SEO since 2010. We’re experts in technical SEO and optimizing e-commerce platforms to make them perform significantly better in the search engines.
When Shopify came along, we couldn’t believe that no one seemed to care about how well it performed in the search engines, even Shopify itself.
Shopify is known for its technical SEO issues:
- Forced hierarchical structure [not perfect for link equity distribution]
- Images delivered via Content Distribution Network [can’t fully optimize images]
- ***In-accessible product filter/tag pages*** [duplication penalties that harm rankings/blocked URLs in the search engines – Shopify’s biggest SEO issue].
- 3rd Party App Installations [many cause major technical SEO issues that hinder organic performance and have no regard for SEO].
As multi-award-winning Shopify SEO experts, we have designed the world’s first Shopify theme that has FULLY OPTIMIZED, PRODUCT FILTER/TAG Pages.
Our Shopify product filter app unleashes 1000’s more store URLs in the search engines, whilst completely eliminating collection page duplications.
A typical Shopify store with 50 collections and 20 product filters in the sidebar will increase its organic visibility by 1900% in weeks.
What Makes A Good Shopify Theme For SEO?
When you look at some of the research around this from some of the world’s leading SEO authorities like Neil Patel, Search Engine Land, Moz, etc. they all come up with pretty much the same answers.
Several factors make a Shopify theme good for SEO. These include:
- Responsive Design: A theme that is mobile-friendly and responsive across multiple devices is crucial, as Google includes mobile-friendliness in its ranking factors.
- Speed and Performance: A fast-loading site is preferred by search engines. A theme should be optimized for speed to ensure users don’t have to wait long for the website to load.
- SEO-friendly URLs: Your Shopify theme should allow for the customization of URLs, enabling you to include relevant keywords.
- Structured Data: Google uses structured data (also known as schema markup) to better understand the content of your website. A good Shopify theme should support the inclusion of structured data.
- Header Tags: Themes should allow customization of header tags (H1, H2, H3, etc.). These tags help search engines understand the content structure.
- Clean Code: A well-coded theme is more likely to be favored by search engines. Messy code can slow down your website and cause indexing issues.
- Image Optimization: Image alt attributes should be easy to update, as search engines use these to understand images on your site. The theme should also support techniques like lazy loading, which improves page load times etc.
- Social Media Integration: Social signals are another factor that search engines consider, so a theme that makes sharing to social media platforms easy is beneficial.
- Easy Navigation: A well-structured, easy-to-navigate site can help search engines understand your site content, and it also improves user experience.
- Support for Blogging: Content is crucial for SEO. A Shopify theme that has robust blogging features can help you regularly add fresh, relevant content to your site.
It’s important to remember though, that while the theme plays a part in SEO, there are many other on-page and off-page factors that also affect your rankings and SEO.
When you look at my ecommerce SEO process for example, you’ll see that I attribute about 50% of the SEO process to technical, design, and UX which is why your theme choice is so important…
And why we set out on a mission some years ago to build the world’s most technically advanced Shopify theme for SEO.
Take a deeper dive:
Advanced SEO Features
At the core of our theme are these unique SEO features that so many other well-known theme developers seem to ignore.
***AAP® Technology*** – AAP stands for Algorithm Aligned Platform. Our themes have been technically aligned with Google’s algorithms, quality guidelines, and 200+ known ranking factors. Our themes are built by multi-award-winning SEO & web design experts who have been responsible for improving the organic performance of e-commerce stores worth $100 M since 2010.
Mobile-First Design – Google’s index is now based on how well your site is aligned and performs for mobile usage. The mobile-first design ensures your store will be fully responsive across all mobile desktop & tablet devices whilst ticking all the boxes for Google’s latest major algorithm update.
***Advanced Product Filters*** – Add up to 8 x customizable product filters in the collection page sidebar for things like SIZE, COLOR, PRODUCT TYPE & MATERIAL, etc. Our totally unique product filters allow you to unleash thousands more optimized and non-conflicting URLs in the search engines to drive more traffic.
It’s the only product filter technology in the world that generates unique URLs, meta titles, meta descriptions, h1 tags, indexable content, and alt= tags ensuring fully optimized filter URLs with no duplications.Kristin Mark
Every other app in the Shopify app store blocks these pages from the search engines altogether significantly reducing the number of pages you have in the search engines or they cause mass Google duplication penalties which seriously harm your site’s rankings! Is your theme currently using product filters? Then you’re losing out either way.
Optimized Canonical Programming– With our optimized canonical programming technology, we are able to eliminate any content and metadata duplication penalties across your whole site. Shopify is renowned for mass duplications – our theme can fix each and every single one of them if you know what you’re doing.
Advanced Structured Data Mark-Up – enriches your store’s data and displays optimized content in the search engines for maximum exposure and click-through rates including product info and reviews, etc.
Open Graph & Twitter Card Mark Up – Ensures the right content and information about your web pages is shared across social media for maximum social exposure.
Banner Typography Overlays – Keyword-rich text on banners that are crawlable by Google allows you to pass link equity from one page to another helping specific pages rank higher for chosen keywords.
Here are some more of the 90+ advanced SEO and conversion-boosting features of our new Shopify OS 2.0 theme that makes it head and shoulders above the rest when it comes to performance in the search engines.
With this theme, you can save over $3000 per year on SEO and conversion-boosting apps.
Top Header Customizer
Highly customizable top header and navigational layout settings to create unlimited different top header styles.
Most themes won’t allow you to do this but we have created perhaps the most customizable theme ever to cater to all kinds of styles and designs in just one advanced theme.
Customizable Header Section
Fully customizable navigation menu settings. Create multiple styles, layouts, and configurations. Our theme allows you to combine multiple navigation menu types.
Mega menus with images
Create stylish mega menus with imagery to promote your brands, collections, and product types. Place an image in one or two different sections of the mega menu.
Dropdown Menu Option
Create standard drop-down menus for your header section. These menus can sit alongside mega menus or they can stand alone on the navigation menu
Banner Grid Sections
Create unlimited homepage layouts with highly customizable banner grid blocks with customizable fonts and typography settings as well as choosing from three different styles of CTA buttons; original, alternative or underlined.
Again, the highly customizable text overlays are perfect for SEO and internal linking. Pixel height and widths can be controlled as well as the column widths so your grid layout designs are literally endless, for block or masonry wire-frame layouts.
Convey your store’s unique selling points with configurable service icons. Choose from the full range of Font Awesome Pro icon set to communicate your brand message. Three different size settings to choose from so there is no need for CSS skills.
Featured Products Grid
Promote any number of products anywhere on the homepage with our featured products grids. Change the numbers or create multiple rows of products by creating a custom ‘featured products’ collection and then by linking to it from the homepage. Create as many products as you like.
Blog Post Grid
The blog post feature grid allows you to promote your blog’s content to help drive more content to your blog which will help your Shopify SEO. Choose how many blog posts you’d like to display and which content.
Choose either a full-width newsletter call to action or a smaller version for the footer section and customize all content within it to help build your store’s list to help with promotional and marketing strategies.
Custom Footer Menus
Providing shoppers with as much information about your store as possible is essential for improving conversions which is why we’ve built a customizable footer section so that you can create extremely useful links to the style guide, delivery information, terms, and conditions, returns policy, login, register, track my orders, etc.
Choose the number of columns you wish to display and the number of pages you wish to link to by creating custom menus.
Choose the number of columns you wish to display and the number of pages you wish to link to by creating custom menus.
Collection Page SEO Content Section
Most theme developers don’t include a section for content on a collection page, crazy!
It’s essential for ‘on-page’ optimization and helping your store’s collection pages to rank in the search engines to help drive more traffic and sales.
Fashion stores need lots of filters. Our standard product filters allow you to create up to 8 product filters to appear in the sidebar. With clothing, you’d typically expect to see filters by brand, product type, color, size, price, and material, etc. so we’ve created the ability to add them as standard. We’ve also ensured that these product filter pages ‘canonical’ back to the root collection, eliminating duplicate content and metadata penalties from Google.
AAP® Product Filters
If you’re serious about supercharging your organic performance and revenue then you must seriously consider upgrading to AAP®. This technology for Shopify is the first of its kind anywhere in the world. It allows you to create 1000’s and 1000’s of additional product filter pages that are optimized and will rank in the search engines.
Sort by Filters
Sort by filters allow shoppers to filter collection page products by:
- Price: Low to High
- Price: High to Low
- A to Z
- Z to A
- Oldest to Newest
- Newest to Oldest
These are ideal for user experience and help shoppers find whatever type of specific product they are looking for and at what price.
Product Hover States
Our product hover states are great for user experience and conversions. They quickly allow users to click either ‘view’ or ‘add to cart’ with a simple click of the mouse on hover. A notification pop-up informs users that the item has been added to the cart.
Customizable Product Tabs
Displaying the right information at the right time to shoppers at various stages of the purchasing cycle is crucial for maximizing conversions. Our customizable product tabs are perfect for doing just that. Product Description and Product Reviews tabs are hardcoded and then there’s the ability to add other ‘sitewide’ product tabs for things like delivery information and sized guides.
Integrated Product Reviews
We have included Shopify’s free product reviews app in the theme which means that all you need to do to add Shopify’s free product review app and this feature will work on your store, eliminating the need for editing and updating theme file code.
Item In/Out of Stock Indicator
When a product is either in or out of stock, this field on the product page will automatically update informing the shopper if the product is available or not.
Customizable USP Text
Our customizable USP text allows you to edit text on every product page to help improve conversions. These messages on the product pages above the fold could be messages like:
- Free Worldwide Delivery
- Order Before 2pm for Next Day Dispatch
- Up to 20% OFF use 20OFF at Checkout
Whatever the message, you can change it to suit your business model.
Similar or related products will appear at the bottom of each product page to help with cross-selling and upselling.
Integrated Social Sharing Icons
No additional coding is required. Allow shoppers to share your products on their social media accounts with the click of a mouse. No need for expensive, heavy-duty 3rd party social sharing apps that slow your site down.
If you want to attract links to your store, you need to publish great content. This is essential for improving your organic rankings.
We’ve styled the blog landing pages with a modern, crisp layout that suits fashion and clothing. Again, social sharing comes integrated with the theme and there’s even a customizable sidebar that allows you to configure which posts, menus, or links you wish to appear.
As you can see from the features and functionality above as well as the advanced SEO features included as standard, it will be hard to find another Shopify OS 2.0 theme on the internet that would compete.
With theme version upgrades, there really is no need to shop elsewhere and this is why we think that this really is, the best Shopify theme for SEO, fashion, clothing, jewelry, furniture, technology, sports, and printing on the market.
If it’s more than a theme you are after to help you scale your business by 6 or 7 figures in 6-12 months then please check out my e-commerce coaching program for established, professional retailers and brands.
- Is there a specific Shopify theme that is best for SEO?
- The landscape of Shopify themes is vast, certain themes are known to be more optimized than others. The most SEO-friendly themes will have a clean code structure, efficient use of resources, and streamlined designs that emphasize user experience and accessibility. In my opinion, RankHigherTheme is by far the best Shopify theme for SEO.
- How important is mobile optimization in a Shopify theme for SEO?
- Mobile optimization is paramount with Google’s MobileInexing. With a significant portion of users accessing sites via mobile devices, search engines like Google prioritize mobile-friendly websites. Google employs mobile-first indexing, meaning they primarily use the mobile version of the content for indexing and ranking. Therefore, ensuring your Shopify theme is mobile-optimized is not just crucial for SEO but also for user experience.
- Does page load speed affect SEO and do certain themes load faster than others?
- Page load speed is intrinsically tied to SEO. Google says that 20% of conversions are lost for every second of page load (that’s a lot). Search engines prioritize providing users with the best experience, and waiting for a page to load is not part of that. Themes that are bloated with unnecessary code or heavy elements tend to load slower. It’s always beneficial to opt for themes known for their speed and to regularly test your site’s load times, making necessary adjustments when needed.
- Can I customize an SEO-friendly Shopify theme without affecting its SEO capabilities?
- Customizing themes is a natural part of making your online store resonate with your brand. However, it’s vital to approach customizations carefully. Unoptimized images, addition of bulky code, or removal of crucial SEO features can negatively impact your site’s SEO performance. Always be thoughtful about changes and, if possible, consult with an SEO expert when making substantial modifications.
- Do themes with rich snippets or schema markup offer better SEO?
- Themes that come pre-equipped with rich snippets or schema markup offer a distinct advantage. Schema markup helps search engines understand the context of your content, which can improve how your site appears in search results, often enhancing click-through rates. For e-commerce sites, this can lead to enhanced product listings with reviews, prices, and availability right in the search results. This is built in as standard in Rankhighertheme.
- How do I know if a theme is coded well for SEO?
- Identifying a well-coded theme can sometimes require a bit of technical knowledge. However, there are indicators: adherence to web standards, clean and streamlined code, and positive feedback from other users, especially those who are tech-savvy. It’s also beneficial to use SEO auditing tools that can provide insights into any potential code-related issues.
- Is it necessary to use an SEO app with my Shopify theme?
- While many Shopify themes tout their SEO-friendliness, there’s always room for improvement. SEO apps often provide advanced features like keyword tracking, deeper analytics, and optimization suggestions. While they aren’t always necessary, they can give your site an extra edge, ensuring you’re leveraging every opportunity to improve your site’s visibility.
- How do regular updates to a theme affect SEO?
- Updates to themes are generally designed to improve functionality, security, and performance. They can address bugs, integrate new best practices, and ensure compatibility with the latest technologies. For SEO, these updates can be beneficial as they may improve site speed, user experience, or other SEO-relevant factors. Always remember to backup your store before implementing updates to prevent any potential issues.
- How do built-in blogging features in a theme impact SEO?
- Content is a powerhouse for SEO. Built-in blogging features that are robust and user-friendly encourage store owners to engage in content marketing. Regularly publishing quality content can drastically increase your site’s visibility and position you as an authority in your field. Themes that provide intuitive blogging tools can greatly simplify this process and make SEO-rich blogging more accessible.
- Does the use of heavy visual elements or animations in a theme impact SEO?
- Visual appeal is essential for user engagement, but it’s a balancing act when considering SEO. Heavy visual elements or intricate animations can slow down your site, particularly if they aren’t optimized. Slow load times can lead to increased bounce rates, which search engines interpret as a sign of a poor user experience. When incorporating visual elements, always optimize them and consider their impact on overall site performance.
When exploring Shopify themes, it’s essential to keep the broader picture in mind: a harmonious blend of aesthetics, functionality, user experience, and SEO. Use a theme designed and engineered by SEO AND development experts.