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How to Write a Search Engine Listing Preview in Shopify (with examples)

how to make your search engine listing preview

What’s that SEO thing at the end of the product description page on Shopify?

It’s really easy to overlook and even to ignore. It’s automatically filled out, so do you even need to worry about it?

Short answer: yes!

It seems small but it’s one of the most important things you can do for your site’s search engine optimization. Your search engine listing preview is a great way for your products to get found by people searching for the products that you have listed on your site—and click directly into them.

Think about it—how do you choose what to click on when you google for a product?

You look at the name of the page and the mini-description—in other words, you look at the Search Engine Listing Preview.

This article is specific to Shopify, but most carts and blogs will have essentially the same options.

The Elements of the Search Engine Listing Preview in Shopify

There are three elements of the preview in Shopify, the page title, the meta description, and the URL and handle.

View each of these as separate opportunities to showcase your product. It takes a little bit of insight into your ideal customer because SEO is all about knowing what people are looking for and actively giving it to them.

Most people won’t spend more than 30 seconds on a search so keep in mind that you have to convince someone to click with a glance.

3 General Tips for your SEO Description

Don’t be creative. This isn’t the time for flowery language, people aren’t googling for that, say exactly what it is that you’re offering. Save the pretty words for your actual page.

Be clear. You don’t have very much space to make an impression, so say exactly what you’re offering and the selling points. If you’re solving a problem or your product offers benefits that people are searching for, try to include them.

Use the space you have. You don’t have very much space and what you do have is powerful. Make it count!

1 – Page Title

Your page title is what people will see when they find your product by searching and what will show up in the tab at the top of the page next to your flavicon (the little picture on the left side of the tab)

Here, you want to put the words that your ideal customer is searching for to find this product and your name.

Your potential customers need to know what this product is and who you are immediately.

Typically, when I make these I suggest adding at least one descriptive word too. It adds to the keyword search and it makes your product slightly more specific than most of your competitors.

Example

Your company is called BabyTime.
Your product is organic cotton baby blankets

Typical Page Title: Organic baby blanket – BabyTime

Actually google “organic baby blanket” and look at all the listings there. You’ll never rank using an SEO title like that because they all say EXACTLY the same thing.

Rankable Page Title: Baby Blanket. All Natural Organic Cotton, Cozy and Soft | BabyTime

See the difference? You captured the keywords that your ideal customer is searching for, the title is super clear, and your name is listed there. The first words are the product because that’s what they’ll see in the tab so if they click to a different tab, they will still see “Baby Blanket.”

Why put your name in the page title?

I get this question a lot. It has a simple answer: you want to be recognizable everywhere by your ideal customer.

Remember that google doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It uses search history and viewership to show relevant results. If you’re focused on SEO at this stage, there’s close to a 100% chance that you’re also focused on targeting people on social media, creating reliable content, and showing up really consistently to your ideal customer.

Google knows that and they’re more likely to show your content when you’re active. The more your name is seen by the people you want in your sphere, the more they’ll remember you and recognize you. The more you’re recognized (read: clicked), the more you’ll be shown to other people searching for the same keywords.

So yeah, always put your name in your SEO Title – that includes blogs and the meta information for your website as a whole.

2 – Meta Description

A Meta description is the little description below your Page Title on google and other search engines.

Shopify will auto-populate these with the first 300 characters of copy from your description. That isn’t the worst thing ever if you have great PDPs but in reality, you want this to be a super short PDP in and of itself so that the people that click show up with the hottest buying intent possible.

This is where your ideal customer reads exactly what she needs to in order to click into your product.

Because you already made the title completely clear, you don’t have to introduce the product at all and you get to talk about the benefits of the product. Use your main keywords again, make it nice to read, remember who you’re selling to, and be honest.

Example

We’ll use our same baby blanket example. Since we’re pushing organic cotton, we can also assume that the ideal customer cares about things like sourcing and quality — great to guarantee that. Put a couple extra little bits of love about your product that appeals to your customer and that sets the product (and your brand) apart.

Meta description:

Every blanket comes with a guarantee that it is made by hand using sustainably-sourced organic cotton of the highest quality. The edges are hand stitched to prevent fraying that baby fingers can get caught in, and they are pre-washed to ensure the safest, softest touch for the most sensitive new skin.

3 – URL and Handle

This one is easy to overlook because Shopify will automatically populate your link with the title of your product – and potentially a bunch of numbers.

No one likes chunky, ugly links with bunches of numbers and weird stuff. People don’t click on those.

Just take the 4 seconds and change the link to something pretty and SUPER clear so that if you were just looking at the link you would know exactly what you’re going to see.

Take the opportunity to use your keywords – don’t use words like and, it, a, the.

For our example it would be something like this: .com/organic-cotton-baby-blanket

A Finished Search Engine Listing Preview

Here’s the finished search engine listing preview filled out!

Rankable Page Title:
Baby Blanket. All Natural Organic Cotton, Cozy and Soft | BabyTime

Meta description:
Every blanket comes with a guarantee that it is made by hand using sustainably-sourced organic cotton of the highest quality. The edges are hand stitched to prevent fraying that baby fingers can get caught in, and they are pre-washed to ensure the safest, softest touch for the most sensitive new skin.

URL and Handle:
babytime.com/products/organic-cotton-baby-blanket (that’s not a real link)

That’s it! If you have questions, put them in the comments below.

Disclaimer: this is an example that I made up. We don’t work with babytime, and I did a quick search for the domain before this article was published and it wasn’t being used at this time. There was something similar that did not sell baby blankets.

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

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