SEO: How to do SEO for Shopify

Table of Contents

Whether it’s your e-commerce site or one that you made on Shopify, you need to elaborate your products and present them to the customers the best way you can with all the design and aesthetics you apply to your website. But all this would be for nought if they can’t reach your website when they search for the products on search engines and your site doesn’t pop-up on the first page of results. You can overcome this issue with a concept called Search Engine Optimization or SEO, which will help your website stand out in the search engine results, whether it be your product or a Blog you wrote on choosing the best product. To do that, follow the steps below to understand how it should be done.

  • Keyword Research
  • Buffer/Pumper sites
  • Diversity and Velocity AKA Random Links
  • Make Your 2.0s into Pumpers
  • Manual Profile and 301 Shorteners
  • Public or Private Blog Network
  • Guest Post, and 301 Domain Redirect

Keyword Research

The biggest reason you are not earning decently is that you picked the wrong set of Keywords. Keywords are the specific term you want to rank for.

The biggest misconception is Keywords Competition.

So breaking down the keyword competition, it can be categorized as follows:

  • Super Easy: Top ten search results on Google or other search engines have no On-Page Optimization for Keywords and are not strong domains.
  • Easy: Top ten search results on Google or other search engines have a couple of On-Page Optimization for Keywords but they are not authority sites.
  • Relatively Easy: Top ten search results on Google are all Optimized for Keywords but no authority sites.
  • Medium: Top ten search results on Google or other search engines have full On-Page Optimization and a couple (Maximum) Authority Sites.
  • Hard: Top ten search results on Google or other search engines have more than three Authority Sites Optimized or three sites with an excellent backlink profile.
  • Very Hard: Top ten search results on Google or other search engines have Six or More Authority / Strong Backlink Profile Domains.

Here, the authority site is a site that is trusted. It’s trusted by users, trusted by experts, trusted by other websites and trusted by search engines.

Some people might find it hard, but in reality, out of the top ten sites on the first page of search results, if six are Behemoth sites, one can be sure the other four have put a LOT more effort into Search Engine Optimization. It is assumed to not waste time.

What does this mean for you?

You want to rank Acne as a keyword for the product you want to sell. Look in the top ten search results : (Google search was done on a TOR browser)

  • WebMD
  • The Atlantic
  • Salon
  • (Acne Forum/Community with Exact Match Domain)
  • Elle (The Magazine)
  • (Knock – Off WebMD)
  • Wikipedia
  • Three American Institutes / Libraries

Ranking your keyword here can be considered as VERY HARD. Some of the sites are Optimized for the Keywords, others are exactly referencing the Keywords. To be realistic, what are your odds of knocking out all ten of these sites? Not much. If anyone could rank ACNE for a few days it is highly doubted that these huge sites which are targeting the Keywords will not knock my site off the top ten.

The biggest issue with people not making money is related to Keyword’s research. Most likely if you’re not earning any money or can’t rank, it is possibly because you are:

  •  Picking Keywords you will never rank with (High Competition)
  •  You are picking Keywords with no search volume (Spending $100+ in the marketplace to rank a Keyword which has 100 searches TOTAL is stupid for most people).
  •  Not using a buyer’s Keywords (Acne may make more with Adsense, but ‘how can I get rid of acne’ will sell your product).
  •  All of the above.

If you pick keywords with no commercial intent, low search volume and high competition, you will never make money with your site. Keywords research is the end-all, and be all of SEO. Learn how to research keywords before doing anything.

Lumping together with Keywords Research is On-Page Optimization(On-page SEO) and Site Structure Optimization. You can still rank with bad On-Page and site structure optimization with enough links, but it makes the entire process harder. Do yourself and your wallet a favor and learn On-Page Optimization.

Re-Cap: Be smart and research Keywords FIRST. Optimize your site well.

Buffer / Pumper Sites

Pumper sites have niche curated content and usually unique to stay on
Google’s search engine results, and when the traffic accesses the pumper
sites, it gives links to your website or blog pages to increase traffic
on your page, this is how it pumps traffic.

While starting any project that is aiming to rank, building a few web 2.0 products right away with a single filler article and letting them age is the best. It does depend on Keywords competition to some extent. For super easy Keywords, build ten of web 2.0 products and let them start ageing. For a higher competition, build at least twenty.

Web 2.0 is a blog.

Blogger, Word Press, Tumbler, etc. You want to build your web 2.0 products as Do-Follow links. You can get No-Follow in a far easier way and helps to work with as much efficacy as possible.

Do-follow links are normal links that any webpage has that leads to another webpage within it or outside it. Whereas No-follow links are naturally opposite and do not lead to other webpage or site.

However, this is applicable only for the web crawlers that the search engines use.

This is done because people leave their links in comments and suggestions to improve their backlinks and search engine values, which builds a false type profile of the site and shows greater value than it really is. Thus to avoid that, a no-follow request is entered automatically by sites so that the web crawlers do not overestimate the linked webpage.

After a few weeks, add an article with a link. The article on your web 2.0 products can be all the same article if you want to save money. Take that article, manually edit the copy for as many web 2.0s as you have. Then put it through a spinner. Once it is spun, re-read it and edit out mistakes. Now you have as many unique articles as you need. Do not complicate things here. Make it unique manually, make sure it can be read and it will stick.

Your Keyword selection depends on what anchor you use for the 2.0. If you pick easy competition Keywords, you will not need stronger links like PBN or Guest Posts. Do not complicate things. If your Keywords are easy, most of the web 2.0 products should have mostly the exact anchor match. The web 2.0 adds authority to your site and will be your ‘power’ links. For the higher competition, web 2.0 products will just be for authority.

These web 2.0 products will become pumper sites in a later step, but you should build them first and let them age.

Re-Cap: Depending on your Key Words competition, build 10 – 20+ web 2.0 products and let them age. Make them on Do-Follow platforms.

Diversity and Velocity AKA Random Links

After building the web 2.0s, a steady velocity and diversity are required. For a normal site, you will have junk links. Let’s be real here. It should look natural and mimic natural growth. If on day 7 from launch, 10 web 2.0s were built and for the next ten days have ZERO other links and then a week later 10 new web 2.0s appear, it looks suspicious. It is best to stay to the side of caution and use the ageing time for web 2.0s to build some content.

Another way to get velocity is using a GSA or Google Search Appliance. GSA is an SER or Search Engine Ranker software that builds backlinks 24×7 for your site. It is preferred to start using GSA SER for this part, but you can buy links from the marketplace for diversity. This is not a GSA guide, but to keep it simple, you should build these links:

  • Social Bookmarks
  • Social Network
  • Article Submission
  • Blog Comments

If you are using GSA, create different projects for each type of link and watch the program until it builds the amount you want. GSA can verify more links than you intend on making. Usually, a strict filter of under 25 OBL (Outbound Links means total external links found on backlink giving webpage) and over a PR 3 is used. PR (Public relations) does not mean much, but it was found out that it filters out bad sites this way.

For those who do not have GSA, or are completely new, this is what it all means:

Build Social Bookmarks to each page you want to rank. The benefit of Social Bookmarks is the fact they are often No – Follow and help the pages get indexed. You would need a couple of Bookmarks to point to the page. This is about a low velocity and has a good ratio of No – Follow to Do-Follow links, and staying below the radar.

Social Network is basic Facebook / Reddit / Ect shares. Just post the link on a social network platform. Again, normally No – Follow mimics a real site sharing content. Take this opportunity to make real social pages for your site. It helps content get indexed quicker.

Article Submission is sharing a piece of your content on another site to place a link. These should be Do-Follow platforms and like every other link, just a couple.

Blog Comments are fantastic. If you do these manually they will stick. Make sure you have your anchor as a hyperlink or branded. Blog Comments can pass a good amount of link juice and mimic a natural site.

Diversity and velocity link building are all about making the backlink portfolio look natural. Junk appears in any real site, so try to look natural with imitation. Every Anchor in this section is either Branded or a Hyperlink. Do not risk over-optimization with junk links.

Re-Cap: Keep Velocity by building Blog Comments, Article Submission, Bookmarks, and Social Network Shares. Only a couple links a day to make your page look like it is naturally growing. Post only on good sites with TF / CF / PR, or whatever other metrics you want to use.

Convert your Web 2.0s into Pumper sites

A Pumper Site (Or Buffer Site) is a Web 2.0 made to pass link juice. This is why your web 2.0s should all be Do – Follow. To NOT get your web 2.0 De – Indexed, start slow and ramp up velocity like your actual site.

This is not a tiered link guide, but to understand what lies ahead, we need to know what tier links are.

First-tier links are basic backlinks that directly links to your webpage or blog from another webpage or content. It is simple and does not require much efforts.
Tier two links are links that connect to a piece of content outside your webpage, which connects to your webpage. In short, it is like a backlink to a backlink.

For instance, you commented on a post of your niche and inserted your website link in it or in the bio, then after the comment or guest post is published you go and share that guest post or comment out there on social media platforms, this becomes the second tier backlink.

For Very Easy Keywords, the aforementioned web 2.0s will be enough to rank your keywords. It is suggested that you build links to all of your web 2.0s.

You want to start with Contextual and Do-Follow links only. This means Article Submissions, other Web 2.0s, and Micro Blogs. Contextual will help you rank longer than Spam and stick around longer.

Over the next several weeks, build a few hundred Contextual Do – Follow links to each 2.0 and monitor your rankings. If your keywords are dancing or moving up, great. If not, build the third tier of any links you can get your hands on. If you are using GSA, it is great at everything but Web 2.0s, because the program is not good at building web 2.0s and will waste a lot of resources for no real gain.

In total, around 500 Contextual links to each web 2.0 is a good ratio. This may sound like a lot, but it should be  spread out over 30 – 90 days. So a handful of links to each 2.0. After building all of these Contextual links, build some Blog Comments with strict filters in GSA or buy from the market place. You are looking for LOW OBL (Outbound links), high PR / TF comments which pass a good amount of link juice for the minimal effort you put into it.

Re-Cap: Build Contextual, Do – Follow links to your 2.0 until you rank.

Manual Profile and 301 Shorteners

This may be a little Blackhat for some of you. Things like a URL Shortener can be playing with fire, but it works and they are cheap and easy to make.

For people with a tad higher competition, as in anything over an Easy Key Words, you need more link juice to rank. It can be done by building a URL Shortener first and sharing it on Social Media. This is something perfectly normal, many companies and businesses use this type of link for Social Sharing.

Then build a handful of URL Shorteners to your Web 2.0s. Again, Do-Follow only. Then blast away with another tier two of links. All Contextual and Do-Follow. This should make your Key Words move and spike all the metrics on your Web 2.0 (PA, DA, TF, CF). This makes your normal 2.0 links far more powerful.

Next, build about 10 Do-Follow Profile Links. Profile links are links on sites like Amazon or Twitter that let you post a link in your profile, and are often Do – Follow. These links are NOT contextual and often do not get indexed unless you force them. Use a hyperlink or branded term for the Profile links.

Then spam them with at least 1,000 links. This is because you may need to build another tier of links later on and want more power for your Profile link. This will force it to index.

If you run your profile through one of the metric sites, you will find your little link is now a high PA, DA, TF, CF, etc link. This type of link works amazingly well.

Re-Cap: Build two sets of URL Shorteners. One set to share your Money Site link, and another to spam which points to your 2.0. Finally, build Profile links to your Money Site and blast them with links.

Public or Private Blog Network

Again, if you did your Key Words research well, you will not NEED PBN links. If you built the aforementioned 2.0’s, Diversity and Velocity links, Profile links and URL Shorteners, your Key Words should be ranked. If you picked a medium competition or up Key Words, you may need more power.

Before you spend money on a PBN, it is suggested that you build another set of Web 2.0s. Maybe your Keywords were a harder competition than you thought. Maybe the competition increased since you started. Try free platforms before you invest more money.

It is always best to go with your own PBN – A Private Blog Network. But being realistic, and know that you do not have a PBN large enough for everything, you can go public.

Some caveats are, you are NOT going to get a great link for $1. This is why its mentioned after EVERYTHING else, plan on paying good money for good links.

These links must be an exact match to anchor. Do not waste power or money for a branded link.

You will find three different types of PBN being sold out there. They are:

  • Public Network where you can get 100 posts for something like $20.
  • Public Network with ranging prices.
  • Public Network with high metrics.

No matter what you buy, it is a public network you have no control over.

If you go with the first option, you need to point them to a Web 2.0 Pumper site. If you go with the second option, go ahead and risk it how you would like. Even if you pay $10 for a PBN link, it is still risky.

The third option is the special seller option, which offer links at limited availability, provides no reports (For your safety), all sites have high TF, and offer some security. The second and third options can look a lot alike. If your budget allows, go with the most powerful network which appears to be the safest. You should only need about 10 PBN links to rank a Medium competition in addition to everything else. If you do not rank, your PBN is not good or the Keywords are of higher competition.

Re-Cap: If you still can’t rank, you picked something too hard. Use a handful of PBN links.

Guest Post, and 301 Domain Redirect

If you need anything stronger than a PBN link, your Keywords are too difficult for your betterment if you are a newbie. If your Keywords will not budge and are a high competition Keywords and you want to rank, you now have enough links in your backlink profile to sprinkle in a handful of SAPE links. If you are going with over a handful of links, you need a Web 2.0 to act as a buffer.

Real Guest Posts will help you rank. Treat it like a Web 2.0 and build links to it after it ages a bit. You will find more than one type of Guest Post.

A 301 Domain Redirect is a sure-fire way to rank. The domain does not even need to be related to help you rank. If you are working with Keywords this difficult, it is best to limiting one 301 per URL and hosting account for Redirection. Besides, you want to ensure the domain has good metrics and is spam-free. Naturally, you will build links to the 301.

If you noticed, the context got vaguer the further we went along ‘how to rank’ guide. The reason is simple, if you can’t rank with the aforementioned options, you need to test and learn how to do the rest. Plus, you picked keywords which is far too challenging for a newbie to take on.

Re-Cap: 301 Domain and Guest Post can put you over the top, but is not worth the expense or effort. With EASY Key Words, you will not need this.


In Conclusion….

  • Do Keywords Research and On-Page.
  • Build Some 2.0s.
  • Diversity and Velocity with Bookmarks and Blog Comments.
  • Build links to your 2.0s.
  • Build 301 Shorteners and Profile Links.
  • Public Blog Network.
  • Guest Post & 301.

You can now rank and make money off of any Keywords.

This entire process should take from 30 days to 180 days. After each step takes a step back, let your Keywords bounce a bit and see what you are dealing with. If it vanishes from SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) it is about to make a comeback. If it knocks down a bit, it will come back stronger. If it pops up a couple of places or does not move, move to the next step.

You can condense all of this if you want, but a slower burn is better because you do not want to waste resources. If the keywords rank with step one only, why move onto step two? Food for thought.

The last note to newbies is the best advice you will ever get: Mimic those who are successful.

The most practical example is doing your homework and picking the BEST SEO service in the marketplace which gets results. Buy the service and find out what types of links they make. On your next project, build those same links.

For every seller (other than PBN sellers), you can rebuild their SEO package yourself or for a fraction of the cost and the seller already did the work for you and made an SEO blueprint.

If something was confusing in this short guide, it was intentional. Use the search function and find your answer. You will get more out of this if you find your answer and it will make a lot more sense. Always test, and never use the same process twice.


How to Rank in 2021 – Manual Beginner Method

It is 2021, and things do change in SEO. Then were the days’ when pure spam would not only rank but last enough to make a healthy ROI. Now? Even this guide is a bit outdated. Some months were spent testing the normal link building methods and trying to find a system anyone could use without much monetary investment.

This is not a flashy update. Or the best. It is a sweat equity guide. You can make the top three with work with a medium competition keyword easily. That is what we will be discussing.

Domain Preparation

The next few sections are link building you point at the home page. Most people want to rank inner pages. For one page sites, a different, less long term strategy is better. Domain prep is designed to index a site, add ‘authority’ and some link juice to the domain. A few of the prepping links will be reused as well (like social media).

Starting with domain prep is much like it always was. This is only applicable to long term sites and newsworthy sites now. In the past, it was easy to get a Press Release for any junk with even a web 2.0 site but now sites are getting rejected.

A press release has little direct SEO value. It does help with branding and indexing. It is rare to get traffic from a Press release, but you do get a good amount of  no-follow links.

A Press Release will also often get denied for content-less sites. I don’t mean not having articles, but the better the PR Network, the more likely pure review sites get denied. These are more expensive networks anyways.

A PR does some magic when you look for niche-specific news websites. These are often not in regular PR networks and require manual outreach. Google is your friend here (“niche + press release”).

A press release can cost money. If you cant afford it (or can build other no-follow links and don’t mind waiting for indexing) you can skip a press release.

Then build all social media and big brand profiles. For the big platforms, like Twitter or Facebook, you want to properly fill out the profiles and post a couple of updates. These help with indexing and you can eventually use these for traffic, but now you want the profile links.

After that build some foundational links on major community sites. Think question and answer sites and forums like yahoo answers and Quora. The problem? SERPs have changed.

People no longer see yahoo answers in top 50. Forums are rarely seen as well. Quora is still visible in the searches. Some forums and community sites do appear. You need to do your homework. This is commonly called parasite SEO. Find a platform that still ranks.

Example Site Quora.

Try to speak on Quora as it is well known and now has some nice features. Will you get direct ranking boosts? No. Will it rank for long tails easily? Yes. Will it give you traffic? Yes. And you get some no-follow links.

Quora now offers payment (albeit small) for some question askers. After having featured answers, everyone knows that a single ‘hot’ answer quora emails users about will get hundreds of views, if not thousands. If you get a popular quora user to answer (you can request answers) you get more views.

A nest trick is to ask a question and answer it yourself. Many people have done it and it is a blatant advertising method. But it passes.

Web 2.0

This is something to do for long term sites. Think of this as a cheap PBN. Put a few articles on a Web 2.0 and let it index. Then add a couple of articles with links to non-competitor websites. Go against the grain and link to small niche sites in your niche and authority sites. For niche sites, pick sites which are popular in social media, as finding related non-competition websites via keywords research is a pain.

Then add an article with a mention of your brand and a link to the homepage. An example is an SEO article. Contextually you will have a sentence link “when researching SEO, I found XYZ world is a popular source for SEO tactics.” You link the text XYZ world to its URL.

Over time  add filler content, other OBL and link to your website’s inner articles. It is a slight footprint. Beef this up with tier two links to all inner pages of the web 2.0s. Mainly article directory, social media, and blog comments.

Guest Posting

Next, try to get Guest Posts. Which is Manual Outreach. This often will take weeks to hear back if you do. But one or two Guest Posts will help do the heavy lifting.

Have three primary types of home pages to use on websites. One is a feed for new articles. Two is the main page about the site or business. Three is a long article targeting a keyword.

For an article containing and targeting a keyword, the domain preparation will do a lot of the SEO work for you to help you rank your home pages targeting term.

Ranking an Inner Page

This is why you are reading this guide. Once you have foundational links you can post and rank an article. Once an article is posted you want to share it on social media. Make sure it is indexed.

Then you move onto link building for the inner page:

  • 10 x Web 2.0
  • 10× Article Submission
  • 20× Document Sharing
  • 25x Social Bookmarks
  • 10x Image Sharing
  • 5x Video Links (think youtube)
  • Niche Links (Q&A forum)
  • Social Signals
  • Possible PBN or Guest Posts

Article Submission and Niche Links

Most of the link types are self-explanatory. Use article submission sites that are moderated or have minimal spam. For example, medium or (formerly) ezine. The auto-approval sites are spammy and can hurt your SEO.

Niche Links are Q&A sites or forums related to your niche. It has little SEO value aside from relevancy but it can bring traffic. You do not need a lot of links for these.

The goal is to be where you should be. If you know about a popular forum in your niche. It is all traffic and no follow relevant links, but you get good anchor text diversity for low effort.

Sharing Links

The most important factor is to have something worth sharing. Create great infographics (free with sites like canvas) and post them to sites like Imgur. You also can try to pitch your infographic as guest posts.

A side note is that the Guest infographics doesn’t work well in all niches. Don’t expect an SEO to give you a link. It works better when you reach out to real bloggers with a small following.

Document sharing is the same way. A short eBook or PowerPoint is ideal. Your work and not a spun garbage document. Create something people would want to share.

Possible PBN or Guest Posts

Public blog network posts or bought guest posts. If after three months you are stuck in SERPs you may need some outreach. If you do keyword research well you won’t need these. But for medium and harder links you will need these.

Aim for five posts a month in addition to other link building. The key is consistency. You won’t make it up in SERPs with one Guest Post in most cases.

Excluded Links

You may have noticed that some of the common link types are missing. Such as blog comments. It has been observed that over 90% of blog comments never get approved. And if you try to communicate with the blogger or website owner, about half get approved with no link.

The blog comments that do get auto-approved are junk. These are great for tier two links. Or building relationships with websites. Use them, but not for direct SEO benefit.


Real Example

Started in January with medium competition keywords, the foundational links were already built to the home page. SERPs were filled with big niche sites. Health niche. All the sites have hundreds or thousands of pages. There were three sites that was worth the concern and the keywords were of medium competition.

January to March, the aforementioned steps were followed. By April it was on page three.  Guests Posts were later added that was earned by outreach. This is where manual blog comments helped.

After five Guest Post, the site made it to page one. Then normal link building was resumed while some Q&A links brought direct traffic.

By May the site moved to top 3. This was due to CTR and superior content. The Q&A answers were listed at SERP 7 – 10. Those did vary but are often featured as a first related result in a google search.

Why were 5 months spent to rank a term?

It was worth it. The term is only 3,000 monthly searches. But the traffic converts into clients. It makes a good ROI on this keyword.

With easier keywords, even in 2021, you can rank fast. Lower competition rank with the provided method quicker.

No matter the traffic, or searches, you need to be able to convert. For some niches, social media converts better or will give you a better ROI. Any trending term or item will typically do better with social media. For example, remember fidget spinners? Do you think kids googled fidget spinners and waited a week for them to be drop-shipped? Or would kids have bought them locally or on social media?

Or if you need a plumber, do you google “plumbers in Bronx NY” or post on social media “who can fix my toilet?” Some terms have a better return on investment with SEO.

If you can get more or better-converting traffic with social media, SEO should not be your priority at first.

Before you build a single link you know how you can make money with it and whether the effort is worth the outcome.

Which Tier?

Tier two or three is not always needed. Tier two is needed if your links will not easily index or you have weak links. Weak links are links that have little link juice.

Your spammy web 2.0 may never index. So before you blast with tier two, make sure they worthy of indexing.

For every tier one web 2.0, you build you have the option of a profile link. Those need a lot of tier two links to guarantee to index. But it is advisory to skip the profile links as they may never index when you first start or are manually building links.

You can slowly start creating tier two links. When using a software, limit GSA to 25 to 50 links a day at first. Only a few will stick. Limit tier two to blog comments, bookmarks, microblogs, article submission and web 2.0s if possible.

For long term projects, the higher quality tier two the better. For the above example, tier two web 2.0, some social bookmarks and high metric blog comments, plus social signals were used. Tier three is the kitchen sink.


2021 and Beyond

SEO has trends. Websites change what content they accept. Google changes link weight and index rates. But the fundamentals are the same. Build links and rank. The higher quality your links, the longer they last. The harder they are to get, in practicality, the longer they last and the more effective they are.

Spam does work. Cheap PBN links work quicker (but drop quicker). But the goal with this update is to give a novice a chance to rank consistently.

The best way to learn is practice. You learn by doing. Will this guide be updated in 2022? Maybe. 2023? Not likely. Someone else may help point you in the right direction, but only you can put in the effort.

Ankit Srivastava
Ankit Srivastava
Ankit is a Computer Science engineer by education. He graduated from JUIT, India with a bachelors in Computer Science. Ankit runs a variety of online businesses in the field of mobile apps, SAAS Ecommerce stores and a small design and development studio. He is founder of Android app MusiqX which has generated over 4 million downloads worldwide along the founder of and You can reach out to him on his Instagram or Facebook
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