Unfortunately, Shopify stores aren’t thinking about how they can maximize their collections on Google (i.e., what makes collections unique, a strategy for collections, how to SEO collections). That lack of strategy is hampering their growth and leaving money (and traffic) on the table.
Too many people think of collections as a scarce resource and only add a few to their store. The magic in collections is using an individual collection to bring highly relevant niche traffic to your store and displaying relevant items for that traffic, like so:
- Pick a niche long-tail keyword (~3-5 words long, like ‘vegan chocolate gift boxes’)
- Optimize an individual collection to target that keyword (with the SEO title, collection title, and collection description)
- Point visitors toward the most relevant products in that collection for their search
The magic of collections is that you can have unlimited collections on your Shopify store, each targeting a different niche keyword. That means you could add a dozen (or a few dozen) collections to your Shopify store, have each target a niche + relevant keyword, and grow your store’s traffic 🚀.
What’s the deal with collections on Shopify, anyway? What are they?
The best metaphor for a collection in a Shopify store is an aisle in a physical store.
Imagine, for a moment: you’re walking into a physical store, and on the window is the store’s name: “Kai’s Vegan Chocolaterie.”
You walk in through the front door of the store. The shopkeeper (named Kai) welcomes you, hands you a chocolate sample, and then directs you to the aisles for browsing:
- One aisle has vegan chocolates
- Another is full of vegan brownies
- Yet another is full of vegan gift boxes
Let’s think about your aisle-browsing experience:
- Each aisle (or display) is full of relevant merchandise.
- Like items are clustered together (you’d expect chocolate bars to be on the same display with each other)
- At the start of each aisle is signage to help explain what you’ll find on this aisle and highlight any current promotions or specials.
That’s very similar to how collections work:
- Collections group like-items together (i.e., this collection is ‘Organic Vegan Easter Chocolate’ collection)
- Collections improve the browsing experience. Instead of paging through 73 pages of mixed-together ‘All Items,’ customers can directly head to the relevant collections that what they want.
- Collections feature messaging at the top that says, “Hey, this is what you’ll find in this collection.” (i.e., Collection Description) and highlight any relevant deals, promotions, or specials.
If you were adding aisles to your physical store, you’d quickly run into limits and constraints:
- The physical size of your store. Sure, you can want to add another six aisles. But if your store is already full, you will have difficulty finding the space for new aisles.
- The cost of adding an aisle. Adding another aisle can be an investment. Depending on the scope, you might need planning, design, demolition, and development.
- The time it takes to add an aisle. Maybe you have the space and the capital. But if your store has customers, you’ll have to decide between disrupting the customer experience or only doing the work during off hours.
However you slice it, real-world constraints and limitations arise when adding new aisles to a physical store.
The elites don’t want you to know this, but collections in your Shopify store are free.
The magic of the internet is that it lets you ignore many real-world limits and constraints.
You can add one (or a dozen) collections to Shopify without running into those real-world limitations. The cost of adding a new collection to your Shopify store is minimal.
- Click a few buttons
- Type a few words
- Add a few products
You could launch a new collection targeting a niche keyword in just a few minutes, and that’s all it takes.
Because you’re an online store, the cost of adding an additional collection (aisle) to your store to near zero. Sure, it takes some time to add a collection and write the content, but that’s much less time, effort, attention, and cost than adding a new aisle to a physical store.
Why ‘niche’ collections are SEO magic for your growth 🪄
You can (and should!) go wide and niche with your collections. Because your Shopify store isn’t constrained in terms of space, you can add collections targeting niche keywords.
As I talk about in this guide on Keyword Research and Collection SEO, the best way to use collections is to target niche + relevant keywords (like ‘Vegan Chocolate Gift Boxes’ or ‘Vegan Valentine’s Day Chocolate Boxes’).
Why are you better off targeting more niche keywords? Because more generic and higher traffic terms (like ‘chocolate’) are much more competitive and less relevant. You’ll see more success by targeting smaller, more niche keywords with less traffic.
For example, there are ~250,000 people searching for ‘chocolate’ each month. Those people are looking for a vast range of chocolate-related things, and only a few are looking for vegan chocolate boxes.
Even if Kai’s Vegan Chocolaterie could rank #1 for ‘chocolate,’ they’d see an incredibly low conversion rate from that traffic because what they’re offering isn’t relevant to most of those searchers.
In comparison, just ~390 people are searching for ‘vegan chocolate box’ each month. All those people are in the mood to buy what Kai’s Vegan Chocolaterie is selling. If our Chocolaterie could rank #1 for that more niche, long-tail term, they’d likely see an incredibly high conversion rate for that traffic.
This is where the magic of collections comes to play.
You can have the same products in two collections and have each individual collection targeting separate (but related/relevant) keywords.
For example, you could have ~five vegan chocolate box products that you retail and sell. But those same five products could be presented in different collections, each collection targeting a niche keyword like:
- Vegan Chocolate Gift Box
- Vegan Chocolate Heart Boxes
- Vegan Valentine’s Chocolate Gift Box
- Vegan Anniversary Chocolate Gift Box
That approach to collection SEO and keyword targeting lets you go wide + niche with your collections and attract more relevant traffic to your store.
- The best real-world metaphor for Shopify collections is aisles of merchandise in a physical store.
- The best way to use collections is to have individual collections target niche (3-5 word) keywords. Those niche, long-tail keywords are less competitive and convert better.
- Your Shopify store can add an unlimited number of collections. You don’t have to deal with real-world constraints, like finding space for a new aisle.
- You can maximize your collection SEO by having individual collections target relevant niche keywords (i.e., Vegan Chocolate Gift Box, Vegan Valentine’s Chocolate Gift Box) and reuse products across collections.
Want an outside look at your store’s SEO?
Do you need an expert, outside look at your Shopify store’s SEO and collection SEO?
With an SEO + Growth Teardown (doubleyourecommerce.com/services/teardown/), you’ll get actionable feedback on your store’s SEO and ‘do this, not that’ advice on what to change and fix to grow.