shopify vs wordpressBryan Miller

6 minute read

Shopify SEO vs. WordPress (WooCommerce) SEO: Which is Better?

Published 2022-10-03T06:00:00 by Bryan Miller

When you’re attempting to build and maintain a successful eCommerce website, there are many different factors that you should take into account if you want to make sure that the modern audience is receptive to your site. Among the most important aspects of any website is the search engine optimization (SEO) that’s implemented.

Without this form of optimization, it can be difficult for eCommerce sites to generate the amount of traffic that’s needed to increase revenues and grow a business. Keep in mind that more than two billion people are set to perform online transactions during 2022, which is partially the result of the move towards online services that occurred following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The SEO tools you opt for largely depend on which platform you’re using with your eCommerce website. Two of the most popular platforms for companies looking to go digital include Shopify and WooCommerce, the latter of which is available through the WordPress CMS.

Both of these platforms have their own distinct advantages and disadvantages. If you’re selecting an eCommerce platform based primarily on SEO, there are many factors you should consider. This guide offers an in-depth comparison between Shopify and WooCommerce SEO features to help you identify which one is better for your website.

What is SEO & Why Does it Matter?

SEO refers to search engine optimization, which is a process that involves making improvements to your website that increase visibility on search engines like Bing and Google. When someone inputs a query into the search engine that relates to the products or services that your business provides, it’s important that your website is towards the top of the search results, which ensures that visibility for your website is high.

If your site pages have a high amount of visibility, it’s more likely that users will visit your website, which means that traffic and revenues could increase. When SEO is properly implemented, it can help you improve the strength of your brand.

Most users who enter a word or phrase into a search engine will click on a website in the first five results, which means that websites that rank lower than this may not be selected on by many users. Along with your eCommerce website, proper SEO will make the content management system you use more successful.

seo plugin

Shopify vs. WordPress SEO: An Overview

Each web development platform has its own list of pros and cons when it comes to SEO flexibility. The exact business needs you have will also play a part in determining which platform suits your business the best.

Pros of Shopify for SEO

There are many benefits that come with using Shopify for SEO, which include:

  • Quick load times
  • Built-in mobile optimization
  • SSL certificates
  • SEO-ready
  • Optimized HTML5 and CSS coding
  • SEO app support

Loading times are a primary ranking factor that Google takes into account, which is largely the result of most users leaving websites that take a long time to load. Shopify offers fantastic load times that are typically faster than WordPress as well as other self-hosted solutions.

The reason that Shopify has quick load times is because of its lightweight applications. All eCommerce stores that are built on Shopify use back-end server technology that scales well with computing resources, which ensures high speeds.

Shopify vs WordPress vs Magento e-commerce solutions

Shopify users are also given access to SSL certificates for the monthly fee they pay. These certificates are designed to provide eCommerce stores with high-end SSL encryption. Without an SSL certificate, Google and other search engines would penalize your website in regards to SEO positioning.

Another top benefit of Shopify is its inclusion of built-in mobile optimization, which Google views highly as a key ranking factor. Having an eCommerce store that’s optimized for mobile devices is likely the only way to retain customers who mainly view websites from their mobile devices. Shopify automatically uses a mobile theme architecture, which means that your store will be instantly optimized for mobile.

Shopify is also known to be SEO-ready right out of the box. Shopify has designed their CMS with the goal of getting rid of most technical aspects of search engine optimization. While there aren’t a large number of SEO features available with Shopify, all of the basics are provided. For instance, XML sitemaps are automatically produced by Shopify. Title description and meta tags can be customized to suit your preferences.

Another notable benefit of using Shopify for SEO purposes is that they offer numerous SEO apps that you can download to extend the platform’s SEO functionality. A primary SEO feature available with the Shopify platform is fully optimized HTML5 and CSS coding, which isn’t provided WooCommerce. Shopify has its own CSS editor that’s known as Liquid. Because of the use of optimized coding, Shopify websites tend to come with better user experiences and faster load times.

google search website traffic trends

Pros of WordPress for SEO

With the use of WooCommerce, WordPress offers many SEO features and services that site owners can take advantage of. These benefits include:

  • Customizable code that’s optimized for SEO
  • Many SEO plugins
  • URLs that are search-engine friendly
  • Strong blogging support

WooCommerce was designed with SEO in mind. In fact, the SEO plugins available with WooCommerce provide you with the ability to access every facet of your website’s design, which means that your website can be customized as you see fit. The URLs provided with WordPress are also customizable. You can alter the permalink URL’s structure to ensure it adheres to the SEO requirements that Google maintains.

Among the most beneficial aspects of using WordPress and WooCommerce is the access you get to numerous SEO plugins. For instance, the Yoast SEO plugin is a highly effective SEO optimization tool that can be instantly implemented into the design of your website. With this tool, you can easily customize names, images, meta details, servers, and image compression.

When using WordPress, you’ll be given strong blogging support. WordPress began as a blogging platform. Over time, the blogging features have improved even more from their strong base, which is something that can’t be found with Shopify.

wordpress logo

Cons of Shopify for SEO

There are also some issues that you’ll likely encounter when using Shopify, the primary of which extend to:

  • Less technical customization options
  • Relatively limited URL customization
  • Limited blogging functionality
  • Costlier

Shopify doesn’t allow users to alter the SEO aspects of the website. While the platform is user-friendly, this benefit means that you won’t be able to perform customizations that improve on the SEO features already provided by Shopify.

Compared to WordPress, Shopify also has very little blogging functionality. Search engines like Google and Bing will rank engaging content highly when it comes to SEO ratings. Even though Shopify websites are able to have blogs, the functionality is very basic and doesn’t include many blogging features.

The URL structure customization is highly limited compared to WordPress and WooCommerce. Keep in mind that optimized URLs are considered to be essential for a modern website. Lengthy and messy URL structures tend to be penalized by Google.

Another issue with Shopify is that it costs more to use when compared to WooCommerce. When paying for Shopify, the most basic package costs $29 per month. While Shopify is easier to use, this premium you pay might not be worth the extra cost.

cost of shopify seo

Cons of WordPress for SEO

Even though WordPress has many SEO features, there are a few issues that you should be aware of, which include:

  • The need for manual SEO configurations
  • Slower speeds
  • Not being optimized for mobile devices and CSS

Shopify wants users to be able to bring their storefront online as quickly as possible. While this creates issues because of the lack of customization options, it means that starting a website isn’t that difficult to use. WordPress offers many fantastic technical customization options. However, the only way to get the most out of these options is to have some manual SEO expertise.

You’ll also discover that themes aren’t optimized for mobile or CSS. While the Shopify architecture is automatically SEO-friendly, most WordPress themes aren’t optimized for mobile devices. You’ll likely be tasked with purchasing a theme that’s already highly optimized or optimizing this theme on your own.

As mentioned previously, WordPres is considerably slower than Shopify, which is mainly the result of Shopify’s optimized server architecture and simplified code. The speed of your WooCommerce storefront depends on the current health of the servers, image compression, database optimization, and usage of site plugins.

Which is the Better CMS for SEO?

When you’re searching for the ideal CMS for your SEO needs, there are many factors to consider, the primary of which include performance, functionality, pricing, and simplicity. Each platform has its advantages. For instance, Shopify may be ideal for site owners who want to create an eCommerce storefront and bring it online without any coding knowledge. This platform is automatically SEO-optimized, which means that you don’t need to do much to improve your website’s optimization.

While both Shopify and WordPress have an easy-to-use interface, WordPress has many more customization options that can extend your site’s functionality, which makes WordPress a great platform for site owners who prefer creating a highly unique website where they have complete control over the site’s design.

What is Local SEO and how is it different?

As for performance, Shopify is much quicker than WordPress because of its simplistic design. On the other hand, this simplicity comes with a cost. As mentioned before, Shopify costs more than WordPress. A Shopify package can cost you anywhere from $29-$299 per month depending on your needs. In comparison, WordPress is free to use as long as you’re fine with the basic features. Even the more feature-rich packages only range from $4-$45 per month in price.

Both Shopify and WordPress are great options for your SEO needs. If you want a CMS that offers high speeds and a simplistic interface to bolster your search engine rankings, Shopify may be the way to go. In comparison, WordPress is a highly sought-after solution for site owners who want substantial SEO customization and a more affordable pricing structure.

Bryan Miller

Bryan Miller

Bryt Designs

Bryan Miller is an entrepreneur and web tech enthusiast specializing in web design, development and digital marketing. Bryan is a recent graduate of the MBA program at the University of California, Irvine and continues to pursue tools and technologies to find success for clients across a varieties of industries.

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