The Value of SEO Optimization for Both WordPress and Shopify
As you build and manage your e-commerce website, establishing a powerful online presence is crucial in today’s competitive market. It’s estimated that over 20% of all retail purchases will occur online in 2023. That means you must be at the forefront of design, search engine optimization, and organic marketing to effectively boost your online store’s visibility and attract potential customers.
SEO is the process of optimizing your website to rank higher in search engine results, which increases the chances of potential customers finding your products or services. Our clients often ask us, “Is WordPress or Shopify better for SEO when building an online store?” The answer is nuanced. Consider the pros and cons of each platform so you can make an informed decision before you set up your e-commerce shop.
SEO for Shopify
Shopify is a popular B2B e-commerce platform that allows online retailers to build, customize, and manage their virtual stores using an array of tools and features. According to DemandSage, over 4.5 million websites use Shopify to run their e-commerce businesses. Additionally, almost 649 million people purchased something from a Shopify store in 2022.
Pros of Shopify
Shopify’s simple built-in features are the biggest reason for its popularity. Retailers can easily build their storefronts, optimize their online marketplaces for search engines and improve their organic marketing.
Shopify also automatically generates sitemaps and handles canonical URLs. These steps ensure that search engines can efficiently crawl the website. Additionally, the platform allows you to easily edit title tags, meta descriptions, and image alt text, which will contribute to your website’s SEO performance.
Plugins can also help with keyword research, on-page optimization, and content creation. Shopify also supports social media integration and email marketing campaigns that can enhance a retailer’s reach.
Consider some additional benefits of using Shopify:
Shopify’s basic interface is easy to use, even for people with limited technical skills. This means you can set up and manage your online store without the help of a web developer.
Fast Load Times
Shopify’s infrastructure ensures fast load times for your online store, which is essential for providing a good user experience and improving SEO rankings.
You’ll also get a daily speed score to show you how fast your store is performing. You can work toward increasing the score to improve the experience customers will have on your site.
Shopify regularly updates merchant themes for you, ensuring that you always have access to the latest features and security patches.
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Cons of Shopify
Using Shopify for SEO and organic marketing comes with some drawbacks.
Limited Customization Options
Shopify’s design templates and themes may not be enough for businesses with unique branding or blogging requirements. Having access to limited customization possibilities can be frustrating when you want to create an optimized website that also fulfills specific brand requirements.
Duplicate Content Issues
Shopify’s default setup can create duplicate content issues, which will negatively impact SEO. For example, your product pages may have multiple URLs based on different category page filters, which can result in Google penalties. Fortunately, there is an easy fix for this, but you have to be comfortable getting into the theme’s code editor.
Basic Blog Functionality
Shopify’s basic blog functionality is limited compared to other blogging platforms, which can make it difficult to create and promote your blog content for organic SEO content marketing. Some people prefer to install a WordPress blog onto their Shopify store because they like WordPress’ robust blogging features better.
SEO for WordPress
WordPress is a highly customizable content management system that runs 43.3% of all websites worldwide, making it the most popular CMS platform available. In fact, more than 500 new WordPress sites are built daily, compared to the approximately 70 new sites built on Shopify each day. Because the WordPress community is so prolific, businesses have access to a lot of support to help them build their e-commerce store or blog and improve their online presence.
Pros of WordPress
WordPress is well regarded for its blogging tools and SEO capabilities, making it a popular choice for businesses looking to improve their website’s search engine ranking. For example, WordPress provides a wide range of SEO-friendly themes designed with clean and well-structured code, which makes it easier for search engines to crawl and index your website.
Additionally, WordPress has over 58,000 free plugins, such as Yoast SEO and All in One SEO Pack, which help you easily optimize your blog content, meta tags, and other on-page elements, ensuring a solid SEO foundation.
Consider these additional benefits that WordPress has on your SEO efforts.
Extensive Customization Options
Unlike Shopify, WordPress has virtually limitless customization options via thousands of free and premium themes, allowing you to create unique online stores and publication websites tailored to your needs.
If you have coding knowledge, you can dive deeper into customization with custom CSS and child themes, which enables you to make more extensive changes to your theme’s code without affecting the parent theme when it gets updated. This flexibility empowers you to create a truly unique and personalized website.
WordPress is an open-source platform, meaning it’s free to use. This makes it an attractive option for businesses on a budget and allows anyone to get started immediately. Because WordPress is free to start, you can check out the pros and cons of the platform and see if it’s the right fit for you before you invest valuable resources into running it.
Custom Post Types
WordPress allows you to create custom post types, categories, and tags. These enable you to organize and display your content in a way that best suits your website’s purpose. For instance, you can create posts for events, products, or customer testimonials. You can then assign those custom classifications to categorize and filter the content, making your page as user-friendly as possible.
Cons of WordPress
While using WordPress has a lot of advantages over other platforms, it’s essential to consider some of its limitations before deciding if WordPress or Shopify is better for SEO and content marketing.
Steeper Learning Curve
WordPress’ basic platform is relatively easy to manage for simple websites, but if you want to build an online storefront and start accepting payments, you must utilize e-commerce plugins. They are not automatically built in.
Finding specific plugins and getting support for them when things go wrong can often be a frustrating experience if you’re first starting out. Doing so requires a lot of research to make sure you’re using the right tools in the best way possible.
While Shopify ensures that its servers are secure, WordPress users are responsible for setting up their own SSL encryption. Due to its popularity, WordPress can be a target for hackers who can take over your site. If your website is attacked, customers may feel uncomfortable giving you their financial and personal information, which means you will likely lose profits.
Typically, hackers cannot get in through WordPress’ core software; however, the plugins you use pose the biggest security risks, especially if they are unsupported or outdated. Regularly updating plugins, which is your responsibility, is a must when using WordPress. You may also need to consider additional security measures to protect your e-commerce business.
Slow Loading Speeds
Some WordPress themes and plugins can slow down your website. This is especially true if they have a lot of built-in features. Slower loading speeds can negatively impact user experience and hurt search engine rankings. To mitigate this issue, choose lightweight, optimized themes and use plugins that help with caching and image optimization.
Is WordPress or Shopify Better for Your SEO Needs?
So, is WordPress or Shopify better for SEO? Both WordPress and Shopify have their advantages and disadvantages. The best platform for your business should be made on a case-by-case basis. Keep in mind your technical expertise, budget, blog goals, and store design when determining which platform is the best fit for your SEO and organic marketing needs.
If you have limited technical abilities and a heavy focus on making online sales, Shopify may be a better choice for you because it offers a user-friendly interface and built-in SEO tools.
However, WordPress may be the preferred choice if you want more control over your SEO efforts, extensive customization options, and access to comprehensive blogging tools.
Start Optimizing for SEO on WordPress or Shopify
Whether you choose WordPress or Shopify for your content management system, prioritizing SEO will be vital to your online success. Mastering effective SEO strategies can require a lot of time and resources to stay up to date with the latest trends and ensure optimal website performance.
Let BKA Content help you with your SEO and organic marketing needs on any platform. As experts in the field, we have the tools and resources necessary to achieve your SEO goals, no matter how lofty they are. Check out our organic SEO packages designed to help you improve search engine rankings, drive traffic, and ultimately succeed in a competitive online marketplace.
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