Shopify SEO “Breakthrough”: 10 Steps from Three Problems with One Tool + Two More

Aaron Orendorff

by Aaron Orendorff

Apr. 12 2021

What you’re about to read, watch, and put into action … is the ugliest, down-and-dirtiest article I’ve even published.

We’ll be adding better screenshots and more detail throughout the week. You know, as long as the Shopify SEO “breakthrough” holds. In addition, you can grab the Google Doc version here — if Google Docs works (it’s been up and down all morning).

For now, “speed” is of the essence.

(See what I did there?)

The problem stemmed from three things:
  1. Our /blogs were ranking like mad; our /pages, weren’t 
  2. Core Web Vitals — via Google Search Console — “CLS issue: more than .025” were literally failing on every URL on the site
  3. We were getting “wonky” errors on a few “off-brand” SEO comparison tools

Google’s PageSpeed Insights is helpful for telling you something is broken. It wasn’t particularly helpful in diagnosing why or how to fix it.

The breakthrough came via Chrome Inspect > Performance > “Start profiling and reload page”

So, we went HAM — a very technical SEO term — in our Shopify Theme …
  1. Made the navigation bar “static”; i.e., eliminated Javascript animation
  2. Deferred the “Cookie” bar (pop-up) and set it to “Limit tracking for customers in Europe”
  3. Ruthlessly reordered the theme.liquid for loading and “deferred” scripts
  4. Removed all text “decoration” from all H1s-H5s; all but the simplest <span>
  5. Also, removed “&nbsp;” to ensure the source code contained clean as f*** keywords … but I doubt that mattered
  6. Tested metadata via Moz and edited as necessary
  7. Installed Schema Plus for site-wide structured data
  8. Added “hidden” — but not really hidden — links to /pages in the homepage body
  9. Ran, re-ran, and re-ran (then, re-ran and re-ran and re-ran and re-ran, etc.) PageSpeed Insights
  10. Submitted error (Fix) validation via GSC 

Aaron Orendorff

Aaron is the VP of Marketing at CTC. Previously the Editor in Chief of Shopify Plus, his content has appeared on Forbes, Mashable, Entrepreneur, Business Insider, The New York Times, and more. Connect with Aaron on Twitter or LinkedIn (especially if you want to talk about bunnies or #LetsGetRejected).