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Can you change the Shopify URL Structure?

Written by

James Dooley

James Dooley

Shopify can be a great platform for ecommerce businesses, and it is the go-to for most online stores. There are some great tools and features on Shopify that make it easy to get started with ecommerce, but this does not mean it is free from issues.

One of the main issues online store owners face when it comes to optimizing their Shopify stores is within the Shopify URLs. Most of the links on Shopify will follow a standard default set out by the platform, and this is not always the best for optimization.

After you have spent a long time creating a brand and developing a website, you want to ensure your hard work is noticed. This is where search engine optimization comes in, and there are many ways you can improve your website so it ranks higher.

The higher your website ranks in search engines, the more traffic you will generate, and this can be converted into paying customers.

As a leading SEO agency, we have worked with many ecommerce businesses over the years and continue to provide a great service for improved online traffic. We work to help our clients bring more traffic to their online stores and help improve their revenue through optimization.

There are many ways we can provide this, including optimizing URL structure for better SEO, and we are happy to work with all needs. If you run an online store and are looking to improve your site for better SEO, then you have come to the right place.

Contact us today to learn more about our services and to request your free no obligation quote.

Shopify’s default URL structure

Before we can talk about SEO and how URL structure plays into this, we first need to look into what you are working with currently.

Shopify has a default structure for all links, and this is not always the best from an SEO perspective. Before we can learn how to edit website SEO, we first need to understand the Shopify URL structure as it stands:

Product Pages

Shopify creates URLs pointing to different pages on your website every time you make one. When it comes to Shopify product pages, product URLs are, by default, a subdirectory under your collection pages or category pages based on the theme actions of your website.

This means all product URLs will be formed like this example: /collections/collection page/product pages/name of the product.

Shopify automatically opts for the longer version of any collection URL or product URL because of its focus on breadcrumb functionality. This is a default setting for most Shopify sites but can be altered through your Shopify dashboard and by customising the theme you use.

To customise any default setting like this, you do need access to the code of your Shopify site as well as to have some experience with altering code to ensure you make the right decisions.

This can be a complicated process and one that has an impact on other aspects of the site, so it is best to work with a professional like those on our team. Contact us today for your free no obligation quote.

Collection Pages

Although it may be a complicated process, it is possible to modify the Shopify URL structure for product pages. The main issues come from collection pages which is how all your product URLs are categorised.

There are two major issues for online store owners in the way collection pages are structured:

  1. The term collections is required
  2. Subdirectories are not supported in collection links

This will appear in any Shopify store as it is simply how the Shopify URL structure works.

This means that there is no way you can edit code to begin building the new form of URL, which is better suited to ecommerce, but there is another solution.

When it comes to improving the collection page URLs on your website, you should switch from a subdirectory structure to a flat URL structure. This means on your Shopify store, the URL redirect will be like this example: /collections/specific product URLs as opposed to offering categories.

There is no way to remove collection URLs from any of these URL structures, but with additional work elsewhere, this does not have to be too much of an issue. Collections can become useful when other aspects of SEO have been used across the website, as collections can help customers find what they want when they finally enter your site.

For best results, collections need to be as specific as possible, which means your site could have a large range of collections to organise products in.

Blog Pages / Posts

It is common for a Shopify store to offer additional content in the form of a blog or the occasional post. This is a way to develop a relationship with your audience and offer more information about the brand.

From an SEO standpoint, blogging is a great tool to get noticed, as with the inclusion of keywords, each blog post can be SEO-friendly. It can also be a great way to share your store on multiple platforms and draw organic traffic. With all these benefits, it makes sense for you to consider having a blog on your Shopify site.

However, as with the overall site architecture and the internal links created by Shopify, there are some issues. Many blogs on Shopify have a weird URL structure, especially if they title this section of the website ‘blog’.

With this name, you will find your blog URL reads blog/blog, with all blog posts coming after this. This URL redirect is long and unattractive and, because of this, does not translate well onto other platforms.

The URL structure appears this way because of the built-in blogging platform on Shopify. Every Shopify website has a blog URL built-in, and this is set up to allow for multiple blogs on a single website.

Each single blog URL is set up to operate like categories on a traditional blogging platform, making it easy for customers to trawl through Shopify sites to find what they are looking for. While this can be a good thing, when navigating this Shopify URL structure, you need the full URL. Simply navigating through /blog/ is not enough, and you will not find the page you need.

To create user-friendly blog URLs, store owners should think carefully about what page or blog post they are going to be creating and how this will reflect in the URL.

Like other Shopify links, you cannot customise the URL structure. You can customise the name of your blog, which in turn will change the links coming from here, so try to keep it simple.

Other Pages

Due to the site architecture of Shopify stores, you cannot change links for any other pages like you cannot with collections or products.

Based on the name of each page, product categories, or collections, the URL structure does not have to cause issues in terms of SEO.

If you do want to make changes to the way URLs are structured and improve the SEO of your website, then you have come to the right place. As a leading SEO agency, we have helped many businesses increase their search engine ranking and get the attention they deserve online.

Contact us today for a free no obligation quote.

Why this can be bad for SEO

The default URL structure on Shopify can create some problems when it comes to SEO because of the blanket rules that usually apply to ecommerce.

When we talk about URLs for ecommerce search results, there are some things that you should strive for, such as:

  • Keep all URLs short as possible
  • Include the main keyword
  • Maintain a user-friendly directory structure
  • Avoid repeating words

However, as you can see with the default Shopify URLs, these do not always apply. It is possible to ensure that all links used on Shopify tick these boxes, but as this has to be done through manual work, it can be quite time-consuming.

Search engines will use URLs to determine which results are relevant and reliable. URLs can show the quality of a website, which in turn increases search engine rankings, which is why you will want to make time for changing URLs for SEO.

To keep your URLs organised, it is possible to create collection pages for each product material, colour, or even type. This will be a suitable option for SEO if you have a lot of products in the same category, for example, multiple forms of t-shirts or office chairs.

A filter page can be used within collection URLs to organise your products and help redirect your customers to where they need to be. Collections are the best way to go when grouping products on Shopify and can still contribute to SEO based on the keywords you use.

It is best to ensure that collections are as specific as possible for SEO purposes.

For example, collections will appear as domain/collection page/filter within collection/product pages. As you can see, these URLs can become fairly long in their structure, especially when working with multiple collections or product specifications.

While it is easy to see the connection between these site migrations, which can help customers work through the sales channels on your site, it is not always the best in terms of standard ecommerce SEO. However, as a Shopify stores owner, you simply have to work with what you have.

This can be done by:

  • Including the full keyword into the product page URL
  • Create each of the product page URLs as separate collections
  • Make use of the Shopify product tags or similar features to set products in their designated collections

It is important to note that these will not be integrated into the faceted navigation by default on Shopify, which means you will have to manually link these from menus and collection descriptions instead.

As this needs to be done with each link, it makes sense to work with professionals who have a great understanding of SEO and the Shopify URL structure. When you want to edit website SEO, contact our team, as we can help.

We have been working in SEO for many years and help ecommerce businesses get the attention they deserve. Call us today for your free no obligation quote or to learn more.

How to change your Shopify store URL structure

While it can be complicated to change URLs on your Shopify store, there are some workarounds for you to try. There are two main techniques to consider when it comes to changing URLs for better results on search engines:

Use product tags

If you do not want to edit code but still want to improve the way links appear for every Shopify product, then you can try using product tags. This is a good technique for sites that want to add a small number of product folders.

When it comes to adding product tags to URLs, let us look at a Gymshark example: collection/mens-t-shirts/black. The product tag in this URL is the colour of the T-shirt, whereas the men’s t-shirt is the product grid item.

Product URLs need to be customised to make them more SEO friendly as well as make them easier for customers to navigate, which can take a lot of work. This is why when customizing any product URL on Shopify, it is best to work with professionals like us.

We can help transform the link to any Shopify product URL into an optimization tool and ensure that your site operates well on search engines. While there are some limitations in place for any Shopify product URL, with our experience and skills, we can work around this for greater SEO.

Using product tags is just one of the ways that we can improve the optimization of a product URL, ensuring the following URL contains keywords and collection page links for better navigation.

Contact us to request a free no obligation quote for our services and see how we can help.

Add custom functionality to standard pages

There are some rare cases when adding product tags is simply not enough, in which case this may be your better option. Based on your theme and the overall layout of your Shopify site, it may be possible to develop custom solutions for URLs.

No matter what kind of custom solution you try to create, it is important to note that you will have to work within the constraints of Shopify.

Some examples of an improved product URL have manipulated the structure for improved SEO. For example, some stores opt for using a page within the product URL instead of a collection URL. This offers the same kind of organisation from the home page to the product but can make for a neater link to your main domain.

Based on the needs of your website, you may also want to use a URL variable to redirect from this page title to another area of the site. This is a fairly complicated process and one that does not necessarily offer greater SEO for your domain, but it is an option we can work with if required.

As we have a lot of experience with Shopify SEO, we can work with you to determine the best path for altering URLs, whether this be through collections, product tags, or a URL variable. We can take the hard work out of SEO and aim to provide the best service to all our clients.

Contact us for your free no obligation quote.

Tips for migrating from another platform

There may come a time when Shopify no longer provides what you need, and your store has to migrate to another platform. This is not a job to take on lightly and can take a long time to get right.

Working with an SEO agency like ours is the best way to migrate your Shopify store while ensuring all your work for search engines, and marketing does not go to waste. We have helped clients change their platform from Shopify to other platforms and continue to offer optimisation for search engines regardless.

Contact us today for a free no obligation quote.

When migrating a website from Shopify, we know there is a long process ahead of us. There is some tough work ahead, and we will always start with the following steps:

Changing URLs

When you migrate from Shopify, you will have to change your domain URL. Changing the domain URL is unavoidable when moving from one platform to another, but the way you go about this may vary based on the kind of site you currently run.

For example, your current Shopify store may only be accessible through a specific domain, and everything linked to this will be affected. All collections and every page under this will redirect audiences back to the main domain, and this needs to change when moving from Shopify.

It is not recommended to change your domain alone because any mistake can result in a loss of traffic to the pages of your website. Our team can guide you through this process and ensure that no traffic is lost.

We do this by first crawling the website to get a complete list of every page title, collection URL, and post URL that may be affected when changing the domain. Using this information, we can then plan and create the replacements on Shopify.

These replacements can be made more SEO friendly, for example, by creating specific collections for your products on the new platform for better product management. This will be done on Shopify first before it can be moved to the new platform.

Redirect old URL structures

Once we have the replacement page on Shopify, we now need to redirect every page from the old structure to the new one.

Redirects can be created on the Shopify Redirects section, which can be accessed from your Shopify Admin account. The tools you need to modify your website can be found in the left-hand sidebar once you have logged into your account.

Every page will need to undergo this process, along with the collections we have created, to ensure that customers visiting the old structure of your website will be redirected to the new page. This also applies to search engines, and by redirecting every collection URL or product URL, you will not be missing out on traffic, even from an organic search.

To ensure that the right product URL is linked following redirection, you will need to edit the theme of your website. From the Themes tab, find Actions and Edit Code. Within this, you should find the snippets folder and click on the product grid item.liquid to edit.

Make sure to click save following any modification within the code to ensure it works.

Deleting or Removing old pages

If, in your new structure of a domain, you are wanting to get rid of some pages, then you will need to make sure to redirect customers to the most relevant pages that you are taking with you.

An SEO-friendly way of doing this is with a collection scroll, where you can redirect customers and search engines to the closest collection page. To prevent duplicate content and missing traffic, the process is a little more complicated than this, but at its core, you are redirecting from one collection to another.

As you can see, there is a lot of work that goes into migrating your online store, and you have a lot to lose if you do the wrong thing. This is why working with an SEO agency like ours is the best way to go.

Contact us today for a free no obligation quote and learn more about how we can help.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you remove /collections/ from category pages?

Having /collection/ in your URLs on Shopify is a default setting and cannot be removed.

However, the phrase collection can be replaced with page if this is something you prefer but it is not always necessary, as a page means the same as a collection.

Can you remove /products/ from product pages?

Product is a key part of any product page URL on Shopify and cannot be removed, even when you edit code and click save.

Can you use sub-directories / sub-folders for international stores?

It is possible to set up subdirectories to change the language on your website to make it accessible to international users. It is usually recommended to make separate international store URLs, but you can change the language this way.

For better SEO, it is recommended that you create separate URLs for your international customer base, for example, separate UK and US sites. These can be connected by the main domain and lead customers to the right site for their needs based on canonical URLs.

What’s the best approach for international store URLs?

The best approach for international stores is to create either subdomains or separate top-level domains for each country.

Customers can find the right website for their needs using the canonical tag you have set up, which will separate duplicate content and ensure that search engines know which version of the website to recommend.

This kind of URL is a way of telling the search engine to recommend only one version of the website in their ranking based on keywords, location, and other factors.

Whatever the relevance and authority of the main domain will be assigned to the canonical URL to ensure customers are finding what they need.

Final Thoughts

Shopify has a very rigid URL structure, and this does not always offer the best in terms of SEO.

There are some specific rules when it comes to ecommerce URLs, and these do not always apply to Shopify stores. While there is not a lot you can do with the main URL structure, there are some ways you can modify links to make them better for search engines as well as customer navigation.

It can be a fairly complicated process to modify such rigid aspects of Shopify, which is why it is best to work with SEO experts like those on our team. We are a leading SEO agency that has worked with many forms of ecommerce businesses over the years, helping to increase traffic and generate more sales.

If you would like to bring traffic to your site and get more customers into the sales funnel, then you have come to the right place. Our team is happy to help and work in all areas of SEO.

Contact us today for a free no obligation quote.


James Dooley
James Dooley

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