Time to implement: 15-20 minutes.
Google Webmaster Tools
So it turns out that Google has created a way for you to make their job of discovering your store, and properly categorizing it, easier. It's a free service, and it's called Google Webmaster Tools (google.com/webmasters). This tool is a way for you to help Google find your store and show it for the correct search queries.
It's also a way for Google to tell you about any errors or problems they find when indexing your store, to communicate how you're showing up in search results, and to let you know which of your pages is getting the most traffic. (They also offer some good educational material.)
Let's walk through how to submit your Shopify store to Google Webmaster tools:
Go to google.com/webmasters and create your free account, or sign in. If you already have a Google Account - and most of us do, you'll just sign in, no need to create an account.
Add your site
Verify your site
Don't let this scare you. Hopefully you or someone technically inclined can handle this. If not, don't worry! Just click the "Alternate methods" tab, select the "HTML tag" option.
Then navigate to your Theme's "Template Editor" in Shopify, look for the "theme.liquid" file under the "Layouts" folder. Open that file and at the top, just under the
<head> tag, paste in that whole "meta" tag line that Google supplied.
Whichever method you chose, you'll now want to click the "Verify" button at the bottom of the page.
If you've done everything correctly, you'll see something like this:
Click continue and you'll be taken to your shiny new Webmaster Tools dashboard. There are a lot of good things in here to explore and learn, which I'll leave to you (or perhaps a future guide), but there is one very important thing left to do, and we'll cover that next.
Submit a sitemap
Google has this very nifty way that you can tell it exactly what pages on your site that it should index. And you know what's super-nifty too? Shopify has done all the hard work for you.
First, look for this link on your dashboard:
Then just click the red button and in the text box type "sitemap.xml"
Click the "Submit Sitemap" link and guess what? That's it. Thank you Shopify, that was easy.
Shopify keeps this sitemap continually updated as you change your site so you'll never have to worry about this again. Cool, right?
- Do you have a bricks and mortar store? Promote that on Google Maps/Google Places
- Are you using Google Analytics? If not, I very highly recommend it. It's free, and it's easy to set up. Do it today.