Yoast SEO for Shopify review
In recent years, Shopify has gone from strength to strength to become a leading shopping platform for online retailers and shoppers. A place where both small and large businesses can run their companies side by side and in harmony, requiring minimal effort (and having an anti-Amazon reputation) is perhaps why it has become so popular.
However, most recently, Yoast SEO has made an app for Shopify with the intention of helping business owners to easily optimise their stores in order to increase rankings and generate more sales.
Here’s an extensive review of Yoast SEO for Shopify, including both the pros and cons so you can make an informed decision as to whether the app is right for you:
What Does Yoast SEO For Shopify Do?
Before we get to the pros and cons list, it’s important for you, as a store owner, to know what the new plugin actually does. In simple terms, it helps to incorporate all of the important search engine optimisation features needed to run a successful Shopify store easily.
According to Yoast, it “makes sure your online store meets the highest technical SEO standards, without you having to do a thing.” What’s that saying again? Minimum effort, maximum satisfaction? But as well as essentially making your life that little bit easier, it also “guides you with making your product pages and blogs findable and easy-to-read.”
Some of the most helpful features it includes are:
- It helps you to create SEO-friendly blogs and product pages which will allow you to rank higher in search engines.
- It helps you to easily optimise your content for keyphrases which not only allows you to write naturally but also improves your content and makes it more accessible and visible for your audience and search engines.
- The plugin has a Google and social preview which helps you visualise what your products look like from a consumer’s perspective.
Yoast SEO For Shopify Benefits
OK, so the features listed above are obviously some of the benefits of the new plugin, but depending on where you’re at in your Shopify/business journey, the Yoast app may be more advantageous for some than others. Let’s begin…
It’s Good For New Stores
If your Shopify store or your small business is relatively new, for example, 6 months old or younger, purchasing the Yoast SEO plugin is probably a good and sensible idea. This is because Yoast is great for helping you with your copy, internal linking, focus keywords, meta descriptions, and how your site is structured – especially if you’re not fully equipped to build and ride the SEO wave on your own.
The plugin also overrides any previous SEO work you’ve already done and guides you through replacing it with a more targeted approach to help you generate leads and sales. This can be especially helpful if the SEO work you’ve started doesn’t prove to be working as well as you’d like.
It Has the Same Interface as the WordPress Plugin
The Yoast SEO plugin has the same interface as the WordPress plugin, which is extremely handy if you already know how to navigate the site. This makes it quicker to begin optimising your website, as you don’t have to spend hours learning a new system.
If you have WordPress premium, you’ll also notice that the SEO analysis keyphrase synonyms are the same, too. For example, you’ll be able to discover your LSI or semantic keywords (search phrases related to your main targeted keyword) just like you would on WordPress.
When carrying out this research, you’ll need to make sure you’re using the synonym or semantic keywords, as it provides you with varied ways of saying your focused keyword. This gives web users more of a chance of coming across your site. Basically, you’re not just working to rank your focus keyword, you’re working to rank for all variations of it.
You Can Easily Optimise Important Features
The plugin allows you to easily optimise your titles, meta descriptions, and your schema markup. (Schema markup is otherwise known as structured data. It’s a coding language that helps search engines like Google to understand the content on your pages better in order to provide more informational results on the SERPs – Search Engine Results Pages – Google’s response to a consumer’s search query).
And when navigating the plugin, you have easy access to be able to include products, search products, and decide how they’re going to be displayed on your Shopify store for the Google SERP. Essentially, what the Shopify and Yoast collaboration does is allow you to optimise each and every one of your pages based on different variables and incorporate them into one app.
So, for companies who don’t have a team around them to customise code everything, the Yoast SEO plugin seems to be a great option to easily optimise your products, pages, blogs, collections, and even product tags.
*Sidenote: For the schema to work properly, you’ll have to give Yoast a helping hand. While a lot of structured data is incorporated automatically, you’ll need to add your store name, upload a logo and complete all of the social profiles.
This brings us on to the next benefit…
The Plugin Has Schema Structured Data For Pages and Articles
Yoast SEO automatically adds the important structured data that helps search engines understand what your site is about, which in turn helps to get your website noticed on Google and improve your results on Google Shopping.
What this means is that the plugin will tell search engines about your business (name, logo, social handles, etc). The app is very flexible as it allows you to turn off and on individual structured data if you ever wanted to blend with another service.
The plugin also comes with a further schema structured data choice, which lets you set it yourself for pages and posts. For example, with pages, the plugin will allow you to describe it in detail. You can let Google know via a selection in the app exactly what your contact page is, and Yoast SEO will add the said page data to your actual contact page.
You can do this with articles, also. Yoast SEO for Shopify automatically adds structured data to every article, and you can choose between reports, news articles, scholarly reports and more. This defined data provides Google with more information on what they can find on your page which results in less guesswork for the search engines.
Yoast SEO For Shopify Disadvantages
It’s important to note that not everyone will vibe with the Yoast SEO plugin in the same way. While there are case studies out there praising the app, it has also received mixed reviews, and at the time of writing, there are still some bugs that Yoast are working out.
It Overwrites All the SEO Work You’ve Already Done
While this has already been mentioned in the benefits section, (primarily a pro for inexperienced SEO’ers) it can prove to be a major problem for those who are experienced when it comes to search engine optimization.
For example, once the app is installed, all the work you have previously done will automatically be erased. This can be a problem if you’re an older store that has already built up your SEO, e.g targeted keyword research, product tags, title tags, alt texts, meta descriptions, etc. So, if you’re happy with how your store is running, you might want to hold off installing the plugin just yet. It also may be worth waiting until the next plugin update comes out, as it would be a crying shame to lose everything you’ve worked so hard on.
If you do install the app, make sure you have a backup in case you find you don’t resonate with the Yoast SEO plugin and want to replace your previous work.
You Can’t Customise Your Own Facebook Schema
In the Google preview section, Yoast provides you with some helpful bars to make sure that all of your meta descriptions, slug and titles are in line with what Google wants to see. For example, if the bar is green, it means that all of your copy essentially ‘passes’ the readability guidelines. When the bar turns orange, it lets you know you need to change something in order for it to be optimised perfectly. (It might simply be that your title is too long.)
However, while you can customise data for pages and articles, there doesn’t seem to be a way to do the same for your Facebook schema. Instead, it seems that Yoast pulls the information from the item page schema, which means you have to leave it as whatever the title, rating, price, etc. you added in the default settings earlier.
If search engine optimisation specifically for Shopify is what you’re interested in, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t give the Yoast SEO plugin a try. At first glance, it’s a useful tool and it does exactly what it does for WordPress, in that it provides you with focus keywords, readability analysis, and SEO analysis.
Just be careful if you’ve already established your SEO and you know what works for your Shopify, as you could risk overriding your previous work if you don’t have a backup.
But at $29 a month as well as offering a 14-day free trial, if you want to boost your SEO with minimal effort, you may as well give it a go.