Are there SEO downsides to using custom product types?

Solved
OliviaMichaelCo
Pathfinder
97 7 18

Hey guys.

 

Last month when I set up the website and started adding products I was new to Shopify and how it worked. I kinda just fumbled my way around and just made it work by trial and error.

 

The business has had a booming start and we're already planning an expansion in products, however, I want to make sure that everything is set up correctly before we do that.

 

When I started adding products, I used the product type to differentiate between the types of candles we make, fragrance oils, essential oils etc. I'm now thinking is that I should have used the standard product type of 'candles' and then added a tag of 'essential oil candle' in order to group them into collections.

 

So could someone tell me if it's beneficial to use the standard product type for our products and split collections by tags, or if there's no real difference? I've also noticed I can actually have a standard and custom product type, but I've no idea how that would work or why you would do that.

 

Many thanks.

Rosalind.

Accepted Solution (1)

Accepted Solutions
Niki_K
Shopify Partner
288 28 81

This is an accepted solution.

Hi @OliviaMichaelCo,

 

the main difference between tags and product types is that you can add multiple tags to your products but only one standard and one custom product type (standard – predefined, custom – your own product type for your store). 

 

So answering your questions, you can create an automated collection with a rule either for a product type or for a product tag – you can even combine the conditions. I like using tags – you can use more tags for various scenarios – e.g. if you plan to create a collection "Christmas candles", then I would add a tag "christmas" or e.g. you plan to create a collection "Bestsellers" or "Limited edition". You can add more of these tags to a product while product types are more about the "type" of the product such as "Raw candle wax" or "Candle making kits". And as mentioned above, you can use only one standard and one custom product type. 

 

Plus, Shopify’s search function relies on tags to a large extent, so when someone would be searching for Christmas scent and writes "Christmas" in the search bar, it relies on the tags mainly. 

 

Hope this helps!

 

 

 

 

 

Send me a link to your store to niki@hey.com and I'll help you out.
For more info what I do, visit nikikozak.me

View solution in original post

Replies 4 (4)
JoesIdeas
Shopify Expert
1646 141 421

On the SEO side, it just looks for what's crawlable on your page, it doesn't matter what backend fields you're using to organize collections / categories.

 

So I would form logic collections - it doesn't matter if form them by tag, product type, etc, just that they're crawlable in your navigation (going to Essential Oils lists your essential oil products).

 

Of course, an SEO professional (I used to be, but out of the game too long to know the exact cutting edge tactics) would be able to do a detailed audit specific to your store and give advice on optimization, but in general SEO principles remain the same: Make things easy for your user, and make the content on the page clearly indicate to search crawlers what it is.

 

Also don't forget about image SEO - make sure you're using alt attributes on all your product images, this helps them to show up in Google images, which people use as a way to shop. It can be painful to do manually, here's the way I do it automatically: https://speedboostr.com/shopify-image-seo.

 

I used to work with a guy with 15+ years SEO experience, here's an interview I did with him that could give you some ideas if you're looking for tips and tricks from a pro to implement in your store: https://speedboostr.com/interview-with-an-seo-expert.

 

Good luck with your Google rankings

 

 

• Creator of Order Automator (automation app to save you and your team time on admin tasks)
• Shopify developer for +10 years
• Contributor at Speed Boostr (Shopify optimization / dev team)
• Guy who likes to help people
Niki_K
Shopify Partner
288 28 81

This is an accepted solution.

Hi @OliviaMichaelCo,

 

the main difference between tags and product types is that you can add multiple tags to your products but only one standard and one custom product type (standard – predefined, custom – your own product type for your store). 

 

So answering your questions, you can create an automated collection with a rule either for a product type or for a product tag – you can even combine the conditions. I like using tags – you can use more tags for various scenarios – e.g. if you plan to create a collection "Christmas candles", then I would add a tag "christmas" or e.g. you plan to create a collection "Bestsellers" or "Limited edition". You can add more of these tags to a product while product types are more about the "type" of the product such as "Raw candle wax" or "Candle making kits". And as mentioned above, you can use only one standard and one custom product type. 

 

Plus, Shopify’s search function relies on tags to a large extent, so when someone would be searching for Christmas scent and writes "Christmas" in the search bar, it relies on the tags mainly. 

 

Hope this helps!

 

 

 

 

 

Send me a link to your store to niki@hey.com and I'll help you out.
For more info what I do, visit nikikozak.me
OliviaMichaelCo
Pathfinder
97 7 18

Hey @JoesIdeas 

 

Thank you for the reply. I've just added a standard product type and kept the custom too. As for SEO I'm doing well and managed to get some of my products top-ranked on Google already after just a month. I always add alt-tags to everything (I work as a consultant on mobile apps and websites and this is a key accessibility criterion for us).

 

I will possibly do a full SEO review soon, thanks for the advice.

OliviaMichaelCo
Pathfinder
97 7 18

Hello @Niki_K 

 

I was more interested in product types primarily. If there was a benefit to using standard predefined product types vs. the custom product types I have added myself.

 

You've provided some good food for thought though. I think I will go back through my products now, while I only have 10 or so and tag them up properly and use standard product types. This way future products can adopt the default product types and I can use tags for my collection rules.

 

Thanks,

Rosalind.