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Put Your Best Foot Forward When it Comes to Search Engines

It’s Friday, it’s the end of the day, and your client comes to you with a new product launch that happens on Monday. Now you have to get through in time to still make it to that happy hour and you may miss some little details that can make a difference. 

Here’s a detail that you don’t want to miss unless you want to risk the brand, and in effect you, looking rather unprofessional.

When you create a new page / article / product in Shopify and simply set the title at the top of the page without making any other changes, this is the title that appears in the search engines. That seems like an obvious thing to note, but a lot of people actually don’t realize that, and that is why you see some pretty wonky titles sitting on search engines… and you’re probably skipping those websites.

Here’s another thing worth mentioning. What if you NEED the title to be something different. Perhaps you need to name each product something specific on the back end to stay organized, but something completely different on the front end to appease users and the client.

Here’s what you can do if you want a different title to appear in the search engines than the title of the project. First, you will scroll down until you see this section:

Click “Edit website SEO” and you will see this area:

If you write another title in the Page title area in this section, then this new title will have priority to the title of the product, and only this one will appear in the search engines. While you’re at it, you should also write in a nice little description in the Meta Description area as well, and make sure that it is less than approximately 200 characters. This description will show up right below the title, and should feature many keywords from the page it directs to.

There are cases when themes create the titles that appear in the search engines from code in the theme.liquid file, adding the shop name at the end of the title for example. 

Let’s say we want to create a dynamic title that functions something like this for your product so that you don’t even have to worry about it when you’re cranking through a lot of them at once. 

First, you need to check if any Page title is used in the Search engine listing preview area (the image above). If yes, the title that appears in the search engines will be formed from [Page title] + “-” + [Shop name]. Otherwise, title is created from [Product title] + “-” + [Shop name].

The code for solving this could look like this:

{% if template contains 'product' %}
{% if page_title != product.title %}
{{ page_title }} - {{ shop.name }}
{% else %}
{{ product.title }} - {{ shop.name }}
{% endif %}
{% endif %}

 And there you have it! 

Pretty simple stuff, but certainly something you should think about and remember next time you’re plowing through product page after product page without truly considering all of the various pieces that end up being user-facing.

Now get out and go to your happy hour, before you get another client email! 

Want to drive more quality traffic to your site from Organic Search? Contact us for help.

Alex Kravchenko
Partner | Search & Digital Outreach
I am the search-engine whisperer. I deep dive through your website and uncover opportunities in organic search improvement, keyword optimization, and ultimate maximization of your ROI. I collate all of these opportunities into a series of executable SEO implementation guidelines and guide our web developers and marketing team to make sure it is set up to the highest scrutiny of optimal SEO best practices. Once it is running, I monitor and analyze your SEO statistics to ensure your SEO doesn’t step out of line again, after all, you just know how to speak it’s language.
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