Starting January 18, 2022, Yoast SEO will be integrated into the Shopify platform as an app. In short, this means retailers on Shopify will be able to utilize Yoast to improve the “findability and readability of your pages”.
As per their blog post on the topic, Yoast SEO for Shopify: “outputs all the needed SEO meta data and a complete Schema graph for your site,” which is essential for search engines to better understand your page.
The catch? It won’t be free. While the original Yoast SEO for WordPress is already offered as a freemium product, Yoast SEO for Shopify offers a 14-day free trial but will cost $29 per 30 days. Let’s explore what this new integration means – especially for people in the eCommerce sector.
What is Yoast SEO?
If you have ever built, managed, or worked with WordPress for your business in the past, you may be familiar with Yoast SEO. As one of the oldest and best search engine optimization plug-ins for WordPress, Yoast has an immense reputation for helping contextualize many of the core tenets of good SEO in a way that helps countless content managers and producers create high quality pages.
Established in 2007, Yoast SEO is best known for its simple three bullet, color-coded SEO quality indicator.
Based on countless different SEO metrics, Yoast scores individual pieces of content on your site as either red (needs improvement), orange (OK), or green (good), and creates an in-depth checklist of items for you to improve on to boost your rating.
Yoast SEO for WordPress, the original product, guides you through the process of improving your web content by giving you suggestions on various elements of your texts, including your title width, key phrase location and frequency, text length, outbound links, and meta description quality.
Yoast also provides automated feedback on other site elements, ranging from readability to user experience. One of its most important features is the fact that it automatically adds structured data to your posts, boosting visibility by search engines without intrusively altering the way your content shows up for users – essentially leaving data breadcrumbs for the search engine bots that crawl websites to rate and rank them.
While available for free, many of Yoast SEO’s strongest features are offered through its Premium package. Yoast SEO for Shopify will only be available in its Premium form.
Yoast is useful. It helps many sites greatly improve their SEO with just a little bit of input, and while not as effective as a dedicated team, it is by far the most popular SEO plugin for WordPress, and by extension, millions of different sites.
But why integrate with Shopify? Why now? And why do we care?
The Importance of SEO in eCommerce
Yoast’s move to work with Shopify and create the equivalent of their popular app for the largest eCommerce platform can be attributed to one simple thing: the meteoric rise of eCommerce, especially in the wake of the pandemic.
While online retail has been growing significantly for years, it has picked up steam considerably in the last two, and isn’t showing any signs of slowing down.
This move is an effort by both Shopify and Yoast to capitalize on the growth of eCommerce especially among SMBs, alongside Shopify’s aggressive tactic of expanding in other directions, such as its new integration with both Google and Bing.
Yoast made this explicitly clear in their post explaining why they’ve created a new app for Shopify, even going so far as to point out that this breaks their tradition of only releasing Yoast SEO software for open-source platforms. Expanding into Shopify means no longer having all eggs in one basket, while simultaneously offering one of the best beginner tools for generalized SEO on the fastest growing eCommerce platform on the web.
And yes, SEO still matters for storefronts and product pages, just as much as it would for other kinds of content on the web. With search engines investing more heavily than ever in online shopping, small-to-medium retailers especially are best served working on their SEO to improve visibility for their products, grow and solidify their customer base, and cash in on massive growth.
As for product features, Yoast SEO will work just as it does for WordPress, offering the very same features as Yoast SEO Premium, at a different price point.
We’ve mentioned that both Google and Bing have launched their own expanded Shopify integration apps earlier last year, signaling the growing importance placed upon eCommerce in the past year, and the commitment made by both search engines to make it even easier for retailers to get their listings seen online.
Yoast SEO’s app isn’t quite the same thing, however. Rather than promote visibility in product results alone, it will also help product listings show up organically in non-shopping search results across the web.
The rapid digitalization of retail has made it even harder for smaller businesses to get their foot in the door. These tools are tremendously helpful because they finetune product listings and pages, helping SMBs set their products apart from the ever-growing, ever-evolving competition.
What Does This Mean?
In summary, Yoast SEO is breaking its own established mold by expanding its famous app to Shopify as well, signaling the emerging importance of SEO in digital retail, alongside last year’s Shopify + search engine integrations by both Google and Bing.
This move seems to benefit small-to-medium online retailers the most, bringing a host of important search engine optimization tools to organically improve visibility and traffic on product listings and product pages through shopping search and traditional search results, while helping both Yoast and Shopify capitalize on the booming eCommerce market.
If your business is in online retail, then this is another sign to start working on your SEO for not just on-site content, but product pages and listings as well.
Need help getting your SEO off the ground? Give us a call and get started on improving your search rankings today.