Internal linking is one of the best ways to improve organic search rankings by passing link equity across the site and helping search engines (and humans) access deeper pages.
Last week I shared internal linking plugins for WordPress. Here’s how to improve interlinking on Shopify.
Collections are built-in functionality on Shopify to organize products into categories. Collections can help surface product pages otherwise buried in the pagination.
Consider creating many collections for your products, such as:
- Type. “Dresses” and “Jackets” as examples.
- Demographic. Gender, age group.
- Purpose. “Party Dresses,” “Cocktail Dresses.”
- Seasonality. “Summer Dresses,” “Spring Break Shirts.”
- Color. “Black Dresses,” “Red Shirts.”
- Sizes. “Petite Dresses,” “Large Sweaters.”
Research the words and phrases shoppers use to search for products like yours. Then create collections around those terms.
Also, use keyword gap analysis to find segments that competitors rank for but your site does not.
Shopify supports “automated” collections, which groups products by tags or all or part of set criteria. But you cannot manually curate automated collections. For example, you cannot manually remove products from a collection unless you change the criteria. You can, however, hand-pick products to include in collections with no criteria.
Creating a collection launches a separate page linking to those products.
But Shopify’s primary navigation does not automatically link to collection pages. Unless you add links to them, collections are inaccessible to search engines and won’t contribute to a site’s interlinking.
Breadcrumbs have long improved organic rankings, especially on ecommerce sites with hundreds of products and dozens of category pages.
Breadcrumbs create reverse interlinking — from, say, sub-pages to a pillar page.
Shopify offers default breadcrumb navigation. Category Breadcrumbs, a third-party app, extends the default functionality to include all collections, making internal linking more effective.
The app provides breadcrumb schema (supported by Google), making the architecture of a Shopify site easier for search engines to understand. It costs $5 per month with a 10-day free trial.
3. Related Products
Related product links appear on individual product pages, pointing visitors to similar or complementary items. Site owners can personalize these recommendations to each visitor, but those personalized links are not crawlable and thus not search-engine friendly.
For SEO, consider adding static related product links on each page.
Relatify is a popular Shopify app for generating static related-product links based on tags and collections. The app costs $3.99 per month with a 7-day free trial.
4. Contextual Links
Contextual links reside next to relevant content and thus carry more “power,” presumably.
Always add links to product pages from internal blog posts. However, manual internal links are less effective on sites with tens of thousands of pages.
Link Whisper, another Shopify app, makes contextual linking easier. It crawls a site’s pages — collections, products, blog posts — and recommends internal links, implemented with a single click.
Link Whisper generates a report of each page’s incoming and outgoing internal links. The app can ignore certain words to help refine its recommendations. It costs $7 per month with a free 7-day trial.