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How Product Tags Can Boost Your Shopify Store’s SEO

Written by

James Dooley

James Dooley

Are you new to the Shopify website or just trying to improve your Shopify results in online search engines? You may have heard of product tags for use in your Shopify online store, but are you aware of how to use product tags and meta descriptions in your online store to boost your Shopify tags SEO?

If you are not sure how to get the most from Shopify product tags or are just interested in how to boost your online store in search engines, then we can help with this. We are specialists in how to use meta descriptions and meta tags for search engine optimization.

With over a decade of experience in improving our clients’ search engine listing results, you can be sure that we can help your business. Below we have outlined information regarding Shopify product tags and search engine optimization.

If you would like to find out more about what we can do to help improve your search engine listing results, please do not hesitate to contact us. Our friendly customer service team can give you support for your online store and arrange further meetings regarding your company’s search engine optimisation.

What are Shopify Product Tags?

Shopify product tags are a way to classify the products that you have available in your Shopify store. You can use Shopify product tags to filter the search results within your Shopify store so that customers can find what they need quicker and easier.

The easier your online store is to navigate, the more likely it is that you will see repeat customers shopping with you. The ability to narrow down the items that are being viewed on a website can be helpful for those who are shopping for a specific item.

You can add Shopify product tags so that your customers can more easily filter the search results on your site. If you sell clothes, for example, you can add tags to state which item of clothing each product is.

If a customer then wishes to find jeans, they can apply a filter for jeans on your Shopify store; this will show the customer every item of clothing that you have applied the tag jeans to. A customer can choose to remove the filter or change it to another within the search results if they wish to view other products you sell.

You can apply multiple product tags to the same product to ensure that it will show when any applicable filters are chosen. So, for the example above, if you have a pair of blue jeans, you can apply the ‘blue’ filter, which means that the jeans will show if the colour blue is chosen for the filter in addition to if jeans are chosen.

Why are Product Tags Bad for SEO?

Although product tags are brilliant for anyone ordering on your online Shopify store, Shopify product tags are not as good for improving the SEO of your website. The reason for this is due to the fact that product tags create a page for each item you tag.

This means that if you have a collection of jeans and then you add product tags for the colour of each pair of jeans. Then if additional product tags are added for style, fit, gender, and size, you will have an excellent filter system for your customers. However, each tag will create a page for the same pair of jeans.

So, for the example above, every pair of jeans you have applied the above Shopify product tags to will have six pages with identical content. You will not be able to change or customise the meta description or the content of any of the pages.

This will lead to issues when customers complete an internet search for your products, as there will be far more search results than available products. All of the results will have unappealing titles showing ‘jeans tagged “colour _blue,” which is not going to entice new customers.

Further problems are presented once your customers click on the product page from the results shown in search engines. The page information, including the collection, headings, meta description, and page content, is the same as the parent page for the collection.

Each of these pieces of information are important for improving the SEO of your shop or websites in search engines. So, having the same information included on each page will not be helpful for your shop overall.

Additionally, you cannot customise any of the information on the Shopify pages that would help tagged collections pages improve your SEO. This will result in three issues that are common problems for those who are trying to boost SEO in search engines:

  • Thin content: this is a term that covers any content-related issues that will reduce the SEO of a website or page.
  • Wasted budget: any budget that you have for search engines and crawl resources will be going to waste on duplicate content, with pages that could improve your website SEO and important page content being missed by search engines.
  • Lost SEO Opportunities: Although some of your Shopify pages will have great keyword options. Without the ability to edit or customise title and meta description information, the SEO opportunities for your pages will be reduced.

You can check what impact Shopify product tags are having on your SEO by choosing from any of the popular internet search engines to understand better what shows when customers search.

You can further troubleshoot your search results and SEO results with the help of SEO specialists or using the information found via search engines online.

Product Tags as Keywords in Page Content

You can boost your SEO by using Shopify product tags as keywords within your page content. Search engines understand the information on the Shopify page in the same way as a human would read it, meaning that if the product tags are shown within the main keywords on the page, content search engines will pick them up.

Including the product tags as keywords will boost your page on search engines and within search results effortlessly. However, you should be aware of the placement of these keywords and product tags, as where they are shown on the page does matter.

Including the Shopify product tags within the main body of your Shopify page will ensure they are picked up by search engines. Having the product tags further down in a smaller font will ensure they are still read. However, they will not count as much for search engines.

You should avoid having product tags that are hidden or only included as a meta keyword tag that will often be completely ignored by a search engine.

It is also important that product tags represent a small portion of the keywords and page content on each page. Too many product tags will be seen as keyword stuffing which will cause your page to be penalised in a Google search.

If you wish to use more than three or four product tags as keywords on your product page and still avoid being penalised in a Google search, there are steps to take to turn more product tags into a positive. You can add more content to your page, like detailed product descriptions.

Product descriptions are an excellent way to boost your page’s content with relevant keywords and improve your Shopify SEO. You can give your customers more details about the products available, satisfy search queries, and include Shopify tags while meeting the rules of the Google search console.

Product descriptions should make up between 80 and 90% of the content on your Shopify store, on product pages, and on related blog posts. If you follow this rule for your page’s content, then even 20 Shopify tags used as keywords should not negatively impact your Shopify SEO.

Product tags as keywords in the URL

Additionally to the keywords, you can boost your Shopify SEO by including Shopify tags as keywords within the page URL. If you create a collection page on Shopify that includes the product tag, you can then create a URL that includes the product tag and collection page in the URL.

If you use keywords, for your Shopify stores, in the URL for either a new product tag or existing tags that you have included in a new collection, this can improve your site SEO.

When using product tags as keywords in the URL, you will need to ensure that you have enough content for each page too. Similar to when using product tags in your page content, Google Analytics will ignore the keywords in your URL if the content is not there on the page to improve your SEO.

When creating page content for SEO-friendly URLs, the important thing is to not duplicate content. On page, SEO improvements will happen from keywords in your URL if Google Analytics detects unique content. Duplicate content will be largely ignored, meaning you will be less likely to have your eCommerce store show up in Google or other search engines.

The positive with duplicate content is that Google does not apply a penalty to your page or website. If you duplicate content, it will simply be ignored. Although this will not improve your site’s SEO, it will not be damaging in the same way as a Google penalty would damage your site.

Product tags in your URL are treated as content by a search engine. So, while they will not immediately boost your SEO in the same way as other techniques, the more unique content you have from an inventory page, compelling product descriptions, or a blog post, the better this will be long-term for your site.

If you are able to set up tags in your URL quickly, they are worth including. However, if you are new to creating URLs or product tags and this will take you to time to get set up, there are quicker and more effective ways to boost your SEO.

Is my Website’s SEO Affected by This?

If you are using product tags rather than organic traffic to attract online business, then yes, your website’s SEO is likely to be affected by everything that you do. Therefore, it is important to ensure that everything you do on your site, every tag name you use, or the blog post you publish is going to improve your SEO and make your site more user-friendly.

If you are planning to tag products or are relying on a high search volume following marketing campaigns, you should check that each of the different tags and search terms are linking to your products page. You can check how the product tags are working for each new page you have created.

To do this, you should complete an online search for the intitle tags on the website you are using. For online merchants, this will mean searching for the online store name/collections/intitle:tagged.

You will then be provided with a list of all of the product tags that have been used within the online store. If there are no tags showing in this list, you will need to begin a manual check of each of your collections. This check will be to ensure that your filter options are set up correctly and that the automatic collection the tag should point to is working correctly.

You can also check the source data and source code of each page on your online shop. This will give you information by clicking view page source from the available menu when you right-click on the page.

You can also check for any meta tags for Canonical tags or Noindex tags. You can complete a search for this within the page you are on using the ctrl + f shortcut, then type noindex or canonical into the pop-up box. If nothing shows, then neither of these meta tags are impacting your online store.

If you do find a canonical tag, you should ensure it is pointing to the main collection rather than in a loop or to itself.

If you are still having issues with your online store SEO or Shopify apps, see the below suggestions to improve your SEO.

1. Canonicalise

If you want to have a canonical tag to highlight your collection pages, you should have a setup similar to this:

<link rel=”canonical” href=”” />

If you wish to make changes to this, you will need to change the theme.liquid template file to change the <link rel=”canonical” href=”{{ canonical_url }}” />

to {% if template contains ‘collection’ and current_tags %} <link rel=”canonical” href=”{{ shop.url }}{{ collection.url }}” /> {% else %} <link rel=”canonical” href=”{{ canonical_url }}” /> {% endif %}

This command change to canonical tags notifies any search engines or search queries that the tag page is duplicated and advises that the other tag page is the page to index rather than the page that has been arrived at. Remember to click save before exiting the command section to ensure changes take effect.

If search engine results follow this instruction, this will reduce any thin content issues that have arisen from having separate tags and page titles for the same product.

You should ensure that you do not set the same URL as canonical and noindex as the contradiction to index the canonical link and not index any of the pages will cause further issues for your SEO in search engine results.

2. NoIndex

As mentioned above, you can set any product tags to not be indexed but still be followed by search engines in their search engine results. This means that although the page links will be followed for product tags, without indexing each individual page. This can be helpful for multiple pages created from the tag name allocated to the product without impacting the collection description for the items.

To complete this change, you will amend your theme.liquid to include the below code:

{% if template contains ‘collection’ and current_tags %} <meta name=”robots” content=”noindex, follow” /> {% endif %}

If you have previously indexed any of the pages, you have now set the meta description to ‘noindex, follow’ they will be removed from the search engine index in due course. Again remember to click save before moving away from this page so that changes take effect.

There is not a big difference between choosing to canonicalise or noindex your product tags in terms of how results are structured. Data used to improve your SEO is similar for both options. The important thing is to ensure that you are consistent in whichever option you choose.

However, neither of these options will save your crawl budget.

3. Block Crawl

Shopify has made some recent changes to what you can modify within its website, meaning you can block tag pages and tag names being crawled at all. You can modify the robots.txt on Shopify to ensure that robots cannot access collection pages. This will also include the product tags.

There is a potential downside with this option; choosing to block crawlers from accessing the collections in this way will also block access to default product pages. If you are new to search engine optimisation, we would recommend that you consult someone with experience in blocking crawlers before you click save on this option.

However, in contrast to the previous two options, this one will fix your crawl budget while stopping the pages from being indexed.

4. Use Them As Sub-Categories

You can alternatively customise the product tag pages by changing the title tag, meta description, and page content. Instead of having a collection showing for Jeans and another collection for jeans/blue, you would just have one collection for blue jeans.

The title and meta description would be changed to make the collections easier to navigate for customers while also streamlining the pages on your site. By customising the meta description and title tag, you can also improve the SEO of your store by making all of the pages easier to navigate to.

However, as discussed above, customising the title and meta description details or the title tag is not easy to do on the Shopify website. Shopify meta descriptions are not easy to customise, making this a difficult way to improve your Shopify product tags SEO.

Final Thoughts

When trying to improve your Shopify product tags SEO, it is not simply a case of adding or changing product tags; there is a lot more work that will go into improving your SEO. You will need to ensure that you have the best possible title and meta-description information linked to each product and page.

A title tag alongside unique meta descriptions for each of your product pages will help to improve your SEO. However, it is important that you are using the title tag, page title, and product information in the right way to improve your Shopify product tags SEO.

If you are using a meta keywords tag that is years out of date, this will not improve your Shopify product tags SEO, no matter how specific your page title is. You should always ensure that your page title is descriptive and that each page title is distinct enough to be separated by a search engine. You may have also heard of a page title as a meta tag.

It is important that you have enough additional unique content on your Shopify site to link to each product or collection. This can include product descriptions, product images, or a linked blog post. A blog post is an excellent way to show your customers additional information about a product without cluttering up the product pages.

A blog post can also allow you to expand on the information included in title tags which allows your store to be more structured. Data used by search engines, including alt text, will help to boost your SEO in addition to the product information included in your store.

Alt text is an excellent way to add details to product images that you are featuring in your store. The keywords included in the alt text you add can also count toward boosting your SEO. To add alt text to an image, simply select the image and click edit; there will be a description box you can add the alt text into before saving your changes.


James Dooley
James Dooley

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