5 Shopify SEO Tips to Get Your Store to Rank Before Black Friday

Oct 25, 2022

shopify seo tips

It’s getting to be that time of year again when friends and families get together to roast turkey, raise a glass, and express what they’re thankful for. And with that comes, you guessed it, some amazing Black Friday deals and promotions to be had. If you run an online store, you need your holiday offers to rank front and center in front of shoppers – which means your SEO better be on point. You probably know that’s not always a small feat, which is why we’re here with some solid Shopify SEO tips to boost your store’s ranking on Google and other search engines well before Black Friday comes.

They include:

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1. Use an SEO App to Save Time and Effort

seo tool

Many Shopify SEO tips say to use an app or tool to help you boost your store’s SEO. And this is absolutely true, as it’s a huge time and effort-saver, especially when you have limited time to capitalize on Black Friday shopping. SEO tools do the work for you, so you can focus on other areas of your business. For example, the Plug in SEO tool offers:

  • SEO and keyword checks and instructions for products, collections, pages, and blogs
  • Periodic SEO health check reports
  • Templates to bulk-edit meta titles and descriptions
  • Integration with Google Search Console, which helps you monitor and troubleshoot your site’s ranking status within Google search results with real-time traffic data
  • A handy keyword tool with recommendations

An SEO app like Plug in SEO helps you with the many tedious optimization tasks you need to get your store ranking higher. Our SEO templates help you set your own guidelines that the app follows for your current and future products, collections, and/or categories. Or, use our automated templates to bulk-edit multiple meta titles and descriptions at the same time.

The tool works with built-in Shopify SEO features, maintains the existing SEO set up in your Shopify admin, and includes image ALT text template setup, broken links 404 checker and fix directions, instructional videos, live Google preview, and speed and blog checks and instructions.

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2. Make Keywords Work for You

Another main point on the list of Shopify SEO tips is keywords. These are the terms and phrases users enter into Google or other search engines and how you get organic traffic, or visitors coming to your site through a search engine (which you don’t pay for). Keywords are absolutely crucial to your SEO strategy success.

Essentially, if your content isn’t being searched, your site won’t get traffic. Targeting inapplicable or irrelevant keywords is wasted time, effort, and money, as is trying to rank for highly-competitive terms since the chance of success is so low. The key is to create compelling, ranking content that brings visitors to your store. Here are some keyword-related items on which to focus your attention.

Conduct keyword research

The best way to conduct your Shopify keyword research is in advance by creating a list of terms you’d like to rank for. It’s important to try to rank for as many as make sense for your business since the more keywords you rank for, the more conversions you’ll see. You’ll need to collect the following information for each term:

  • Keyword
  • Volume (monthly)
  • KD (keyword difficulty)
  • CPC (cost per click)
  • Current rank

Then, use these keywords in your website copy, blog posts, paid ads, and emails.

Get Black Friday-specific

black friday keywords

You’ll want to target Black Friday-specific keywords to drive store traffic from shoppers searching specifically around the shopping event. Using Google Search Console’s Queries report, review your historic data from last year’s Black Friday sale. What keywords did shoppers find your store with?

Add those keywords to Google’s Keyword Planner for more ideas, and focus on seasonal keyword volumes. Then, segment the results by month to find trending terms for Black Friday. Since the planner doesn’t tell you exact search volumes and the competition score is only for paid search, you’ll need another keyword research tool, like Ahrefs or SEMrush, that shows you exact monthly search volume and auto-suggests related keywords.

The holidays are a super competitive time with paid advertising and listings from giant national retailers, so don’t waste energy and time trying to target highly competitive terms like “buy sneakers online”. Instead, follow these steps to find keywords with more of a product-specific research intention behind them:

  • Choose high-volume terms like “holiday gift ideas”. This is something that many people will search for when they’re simply looking for ideas.
  • Consider your customers’ buying intentions – who are they shopping for? Create terms around them, for example, “holiday gifts for kids”.
  • Then, think of appropriate holiday gift types based on what you sell. You’ll want high search volume and niche relevance, and low competition keywords.

Don’t forget about Black Friday long-tail keywords

The steps above will help you generate a list of very specific long-tail keywords that will inform your content strategy for Black Friday sales. These terms don’t carry a high search volume with them, but they’re super-targeted and successful at matching what someone is specifically looking for, so their likelihood of conversion is pretty high.

For example, someone might be looking for “red velcro kids sneakers” and if they see a relevant page come up, they’re more likely to click and make a purchase than they would from a more general search for kid’s sneakers. As well, questions are ideal terms for content marketing resources like video tutorials, gift guides, or product roundups.

When it comes to assessing long-tail keywords, ask yourself:

  • About the user intention behind them (research, comparison, purchase?),
  • Whether they’re relevant to your product offerings, and
  • If the search volume justifies the keyword difficulty.

Tools like Answer the Public are helpful for finding long-tail keywords related to product categories. As well, Google Trends is a great tool to show changes in seasonal trends and find new search terms along with their current search volume data.

Add keywords to your Shopify store’s content

seo issues log

Once you have your keywords you’ll need to intersperse them into your site’s content. To boost SEO, Shopify recommends adding them to your site’s page titles, ALT tags, meta descriptions, and body content on each page. Your SEO tool will tell you if there are issues with your keywords, so be sure to check out any red flags it points out.

Here are some keyword tips to help you succeed:

  • Be sure the keywords sound natural and aren’t repeated too much.
  • Match your site header to your page’s content. This may sound obvious, but you need credible content that correlates with the topic your header says it’s covering. Search engines can tell the difference and will penalize sites accordingly.
  • Be brief and to the point – people are on your site for a reason and they don’t have time to read fluff. Go for at least 350 words on landing pages and 500 words on blog posts, while making sure you’re clear and on-point.
  • Never plagiarize content from another vendor or site (or anywhere, period). Copying content from a higher-ranking site will just solidify their ranking, anyways.

Add image alt text

Google and other search engines read what’s known as image alt text within your image content. This is a short description of your image and another spot to add your keywords, and it’s easy to do so in Shopify’s admin panel.

For instance, if you’re showing a photo of black shoes, your alt text could read “women’s black heels” as it describes the shoes in the way someone might search for them.

womens black shoes

Edit page titles and meta descriptions

Your page title carries a lot of weight, as users will see it and decide quickly – literally in milliseconds – whether to click or move on. So, it should be concise and meaningful to what you sell and specific enough for what someone might search for. For example, if you sell sneakers, titles with keywords like “men’s sneakers”, “casual sneakers”, and “sporty sneakers” work well.

When writing page titles:

  • Be descriptive,
  • Keep it to 70 characters or less, as search engines crop longer titles, and
  • Add target keywords as close to the beginning of your title as possible.

A meta description is the text snippet underneath the title in a search engine result. It clearly and concisely explains the product, service, blog post, or web page being shown. The user should immediately know what the product is or what your store offers within the first line of your meta description.

When writing meta descriptions:

  • Use the main keyword or keyword variations,
  • Stick to 320 but ideally 160 characters or less,
  • Think like your target customer and write about what they want, and
  • Mention value-adds like free shipping, warranties, or gift-wrapping.

Plug in SEO helps you streamline the process for creating page titles and meta descriptions with easy-to-use templates.

meta descriptions

3. Create or Reuse Landing Pages With Black Friday Deals and Promotions

It’s a good idea to have relevant Black Friday (and Cyber Monday) landing pages for your store that target these events with your relevant keywords, since that’s exactly what shoppers will be on the hunt for. For example, to get the best prices, shoppers will typically search for a brand or product name along with “deals”, “discounts”, or “promos” and may also include “Black Friday” along with it. Using the same keyword selection strategies mentioned earlier, you can incorporate meaningful and relevant terms into your product and promotion-specific landing pages.

Ensure your page content, titles, and meta descriptions all reflect the category and items you’re promoting for Black Friday. It’s easy to reuse or repurpose old holiday and gift pages by updating the products and keywords for this shopping event. Just be sure to review every detail, including product descriptions, images, and URL slugs. Redirect old URLs to the current season. And, to boost your rankings even further, add some internal links to your page that are relevant to Black Friday, such as collection pages, complementary product pages, or previous holiday shopping pages.

Pro tip: get ahead of the game and be proactive by drafting your pages well in advance of Thanksgiving weekend. You can use a 302 (temporary) redirect rather than a 301 (permanent) redirect so that the pages are hidden until you’re done optimizing and are ready to publish them to the world. Be sure to add the pages to your sitemap and your store’s navigation so that returning customers can access the same deals as new customers. Aside from saving you time and last-minute crunch stress, the benefit of this is it allows website crawlers time to scan, index, and bring up your site in search results to as many viewers as possible.

4. Review Past Black Friday Trends and Successes

Reviewing what’s happened in the past can give you great insight into what you can do to see the same or better success in the future. To get a sense of your past trends and successes, first, check out your Search Terms report from Google Search Console to get a sense of where your Black Friday organic search traffic will originate. This report will give you a solid idea of the pages that generated the most traffic and the search terms people entered to find your store and products. Keep in mind that these tools can be complex, so you’ll need to give yourself plenty of time and patience to understand the data they show you.

Then, take a look at what happened through other channels besides Google or search engines including social media sites, affiliates, and email or web push campaigns. Which channels drove the most traffic and conversions? Make those channels your priority for this Black Friday, too.

5. Check Your Site’s Performance and Load Times

speed report

This list of Shopify SEO tips wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t mention performance checking. No matter the season or shopping event, your store needs to load quickly and work seamlessly, but this is especially true for Black Friday events since you have a lot of potential traffic and sales at stake. If visitors get a poor user experience from things like slow loading times, glitches, incomplete forms, or missing images, they’re likely to leave and move on to your competition, spiking your bounce rate and lowering your income.

When this happens, Google or other search engines’ algorithms notice and rank your store lower than others, regardless of the things you might be doing really well. So, be sure to check your site for these elements so you don’t get caught in the lower ranks of Google:

  • Slow loading speed (on both desktop and mobile)
  • Broken anchor links and URLs
  • Mobile-friendly score
  • Site indexing issues
  • Duplicate, redundant, orphaned, and outdated pages or content
  • Unsecured pages without an SSL certificate

And don’t forget, using a tool like Plug in SEO can help speed up this review.


With these Shopify SEO tips in place, you should be well set up with a higher-ranking store to accept more traffic and enjoy higher sales this holiday shopping season. Happy selling!

Shopify SEO Tips 101: Use Plug in SEO

Plug in SEO is the top Shopify SEO app to boost Black Friday traffic, sales & revenue.

Try free for 14 days. No credit card required.

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