Recently posted the below in Shopify's discussion forum but after speaking with Shopify they suggested I make my post here to see if any of the experts are able to help out with this job.
I was browsing competitor sites that carry the same product as my shopify store and something occurred to me. Take a particular product like our Alden 403 Indy boot. Here's how URL is displayed on competitor sites (I've used asteriks' instead of their site name).
Notice that their URLs for this particular product contains brand name... alden. None of our products have the brand name in URL. As our customer very often shops by brand I would think having the brand name in URL is important and would help a potential customer find us easier?
I started to modify this manually in the back end of shopify by adding in brand name and creating a URL redirect so I don't get 404 Page Not Found.
Here's the current URL for the same product on our site:
I've been adding brand name slowly and changing them to the following:
I was reading that google likes shorter URL names and penalizes search results for extraneous or unnecessary things in page title. That being said why do the URLs for all my product pages have all this extraneous information on the back end? See bolded portion of the URL below:
Thinking all of this additional weight is harming my SEO.
So, I'd like to know the following and am hoping to get a quote for the following work:
When the page name or URL is generated can it automatically add the brand name in rather than having to do it manually for each product? Is there a way to do this en-masse for already existing product? Does it even matter?
How does one remove all the extraneous numbers and variant information at the back end of my product URLs? Does it even matter? Can this be done automatically for all our SKUs
Thanks very much and I look forward to learning from this wonderful community.
I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Yes, you can definitely have it automatically update to all products in your store, but I don't recommend it from and SEO point of view - unless your store is very new.
Take all your products and export them into a csv file, then open it up in a spreadsheet, and highlight all of those product names and copy them into a notepad text file. Then, upload that list into a scrape tool like Scrapebox, which allows you to add a word in front of a list of words. Then export that list, and copy and paste the list back into your CSV spreadsheet.
Next, delete all your products - yes delete them all, then import your new CSV file into shopify. It's fast, and effective, and also terrible on your SEO.
The reason I don't recommend this, is if you're an established store with backlinks and all your URLs are indexed by Google, once you delete your original URLs and upload the new ones, it's like you're starting all the way over again - almost. Google will derank you because all your URLs will be coming up with 404 errors.
If you're a brand new store, it won't be a big problem since Google sandboxes (ignores) new websites for a few months before they start ranking them. That's in order to build trust and make sure you're not delivering spam content.
I'd just stick to manually doing them. The reason this works as opposed to the other option, is that Shopify automatically redirects the old URL to the new one, so Google still sees all your products.
I hope this helps, and let us know if you need some specialized Shopify SEO!
Also, to answer your other question about removing the jargon at the end of the URLs - this is not possible using Shopify, and that's because it's a self hosted platform in which you cannot access things like htaccess files which would normally be able to take care of this issue by redirecting your traffic to a cleaner URL.