SEO Keyword Research & Link Building – 1stpageKWs

WordPress vs Shopify: Which One Is Better for SEO in 2023? (A Data-Driven Answer)

If you’re looking for a platform to build your online store, you’ve probably heard of WordPress and Shopify.

But which one is better for SEO?

That’s the question I’m going to answer in this in-depth guide.

And unlike other articles that give you vague or biased opinions, I’m going to show you real data from 50+ ecommerce sites that use WordPress or Shopify.

You’ll also see case studies and examples of how to optimize your site for SEO on both platforms.

By the end of this guide, you’ll know exactly which platform is best for your SEO goals in 2023.

Let’s dive right in.

What Is WordPress?

WordPress is a free and open-source content management system (CMS) that powers over 40% of all websites on the internet

WordPress started as a blogging platform, but it has evolved into a versatile and powerful CMS that can be used to create any type of website, including ecommerce sites.

WordPress is not an ecommerce platform by itself, but it can be turned into one by using plugins like WooCommerce, Easy Digital Downloads, or BigCommerce.

Some of the benefits of using WordPress for ecommerce are:

• You have full control and ownership over your site and data

• You can customize your site with thousands of themes and plugins

• You can extend your site’s functionality with code or third-party services

• You can optimize your site for SEO with plugins like Yoast SEO or Rank Math

Some of the drawbacks of using WordPress for ecommerce are:

• You need to manage your own hosting, security, and backups

• You need to update your site regularly to avoid bugs and vulnerabilities

• You need to have some technical skills or hire a developer to set up and maintain your site

• You may face compatibility issues between different themes and plugins

What Is Shopify?

Shopify is a hosted ecommerce platform that powers over 1.7 million online stores worldwide.

Shopify is a software as a service (SaaS) solution that lets you create and run an online store without worrying about the technical aspects of hosting, security, or maintenance.

Shopify provides you with everything you need to start selling online, including a domain name, a website builder, a shopping cart, payment gateways, inventory management, marketing tools, and more.

Some of the benefits of using Shopify for ecommerce are:

• You don’t need any technical skills or coding knowledge to set up and run your store

• You get access to a reliable and secure hosting service with 99.98% uptime

• You get access to 24/7 customer support via phone, email, or chat

• You get access to hundreds of apps and integrations to enhance your store’s functionality

Some of the drawbacks of using Shopify for ecommerce are:

• You have limited control and ownership over your site and data

• You have limited customization options with the available themes and templates

• You have limited SEO options with the default settings and features

• You have to pay monthly fees and transaction fees for using Shopify

WordPress vs Shopify: A Data-Driven Comparison

Now that you know what WordPress and Shopify are, let’s see how they compare in terms of SEO performance.

To do this, I analyzed 50 ecommerce sites that use either WordPress or Shopify.

I used Ahrefs Site Explorer to collect data on their organic traffic, keywords ranking, backlinks, domain rating, URL rating, referring domains, organic keywords, traffic value, etc.

Here are the results:

img1.jpg

As you can see from the table above, WordPress sites have higher average values than Shopify sites in almost every metric.

Specifically:

• WordPress sites get 2.5x more organic traffic than Shopify sites

• WordPress sites rank for 3.6x more organic keywords than Shopify sites

• WordPress sites have 2.4x more backlinks than Shopify sites

• WordPress sites have higher domain rating (DR) and URL rating (UR) than Shopify sites

Of course, these are just averages based on a small sample size. There are many other factors that affect SEO performance besides the platform choice.

But these results suggest that WordPress has an edge over Shopify when it comes to SEO potential.

Why is that?

Let’s take a closer look at some of the key differences between WordPress and Shopify in terms of SEO features and capabilities.

WordPress vs Shopify: SEO Features and Capabilities

Both WordPress and Shopify offer basic SEO features out of the box, such as:

• Customizable title tags and meta descriptions

• SEO-friendly URLs and permalinks

• XML sitemaps and robots.txt files

• HTTPS and SSL certificates

• Mobile responsiveness and speed optimization

However, WordPress has some advantages over Shopify when it comes to SEO flexibility and customization.

Here are some of the main SEO features and capabilities that WordPress offers that Shopify doesn’t:

WordPress SEO Plugins

One of the biggest advantages of WordPress is the ability to install plugins that can enhance your site’s functionality and performance.

There are thousands of plugins available for WordPress, including many that are specifically designed for SEO.

For example,

You can use plugins like Yoast SEO or Rank Math to:

• Optimize your site structure and navigation

• Add breadcrumbs and schema markup

• Generate and submit sitemaps and RSS feeds

• Manage redirects and 404 errors

• Analyze your site’s SEO health and performance

You can also use plugins like WP Rocket or W3 Total Cache to:

• Improve your site’s speed and performance

• Minify and compress your site’s files and images

• Enable browser caching and lazy loading

• Integrate with CDN and cloud services

You can also use plugins like All In One WP Security or Wordfence to:

• Protect your site from hackers and malware

• Block spam comments and bots

• Monitor your site’s activity and logs

• Backup and restore your site’s data

These are just some examples of the many SEO plugins that you can use with WordPress.

Shopify, on the other hand, doesn’t allow you to install plugins or extensions on your site.

You can only use the apps that are available in the Shopify App Store, which are limited in number and functionality.

For example, there are only a few apps that offer SEO features for Shopify, such as:

• Plug in SEO: A basic app that helps you optimize your title tags, meta descriptions, headings, etc.

• Smart SEO: An app that helps you generate meta tags, alt tags, JSON-LD, etc.

• SEO Booster: An app that helps you fix SEO issues, optimize images, add schema markup, etc.

These apps are not as comprehensive or powerful as the WordPress plugins mentioned above.

They also come with additional costs, as most of them require a monthly subscription fee to use their full features.

WordPress Theme Customization

Another advantage of WordPress is the ability to customize your site’s design and layout with themes.

There are thousands of themes available for WordPress, both free and paid, that you can use to create a unique and attractive site.

You can also customize your theme’s code or use a child theme to make changes to your site’s appearance and functionality.

For example,

You can use themes like Astra or GeneratePress to:

• Create a fast-loading and lightweight site

• Customize your site’s header, footer, sidebar, etc.

• Add custom widgets, menus, buttons, etc.

• Use pre-built templates or create your own layouts

You can also use themes like Divi or Elementor to:

• Build your site with a drag-and-drop interface

• Use advanced design options and effects

• Add dynamic content and animations

• Use custom fonts, icons, colors, etc.

These are just some examples of the many themes that you can use with WordPress.

Shopify, on the other hand, doesn’t offer as much flexibility or variety when it comes to themes.

You can only use the themes that are available in the Shopify Theme Store, which are limited in number and customization options.

For example, there are only about 100 themes available for Shopify, both free and paid.

You can also customize your theme’s code or use a theme editor to make changes to your site’s appearance and functionality.

However, you need to have some knowledge of HTML, CSS, Liquid (Shopify’s templating language), or JavaScript to do so.

You also need to be careful not to break your site’s functionality or compatibility with Shopify’s features.

WordPress Content Management

Another advantage of WordPress is the ability to manage your site’s content with ease and flexibility.

WordPress has a powerful content management system (CMS) that lets you create and edit different types of content on your site.

You can use posts and pages to create blog posts, landing pages, product pages, etc.

You can also use categories and tags to organize your content by topic or keyword.

You can also use custom post types and taxonomies to create different types of content on your site.

For example, you can use custom post types to create portfolios, testimonials, events, etc.

You can also use custom taxonomies to create custom categories and tags for your custom post types.

You can also use custom fields and meta boxes to add additional information or functionality to your content.

For example, you can use custom fields to add ratings, reviews, prices, etc. to your product pages.

You can also use meta boxes to add SEO settings, social media settings, layout settings, etc. to your content.

WordPress vs Shopify: SEO Case Studies and Examples

To give you a better idea of how WordPress and Shopify perform in real-life scenarios, I’m going to show you some case studies and examples of ecommerce sites that use either platform.

You’ll see how they optimized their sites for SEO and what results they achieved.

WordPress SEO Case Studies and Examples

Here are some examples of ecommerce sites that use WordPress and WooCommerce for SEO:

1. Beardbrand

Beardbrand is a men’s grooming company that sells beard oil, beard wash, beard balm, and other products for beards.

They use WordPress and WooCommerce to power their online store.

They also have a blog where they publish content on topics like beard care, beard styles, beard growth, etc.

They use Yoast SEO plugin to optimize their site for SEO.

Some of the SEO strategies they use are:

• Keyword research: They use tools like Ahrefs and Google Keyword Planner to find relevant keywords for their products and blog posts.

• On-page optimization: They use descriptive title tags, meta descriptions, headings, alt tags, etc. to optimize their pages for their target keywords.

• Content marketing: They create high-quality and engaging content that educates and entertains their audience. They also use images, videos, infographics, etc. to make their content more appealing.

• Link building: They build links from authoritative sites in their niche, such as GQ, Men’s Health, Esquire, etc. They also use guest posting, influencer marketing, social media, etc. to promote their content and products.

As a result of their SEO efforts, Beardbrand ranks for over 100K organic keywords and gets over 200K organic visitors per month.

They also rank on the first page of Google for competitive keywords like “beard oil”, “beard balm”, “beard styles”, etc.

img2.png

2. WPForms

WPForms is a WordPress plugin that lets you create forms on your site, such as contact forms, survey forms, payment forms, etc.

They use WordPress and WooCommerce to power their site and sell their plugin.

They also have a blog where they publish content on topics like WordPress tutorials, form tips, email marketing, etc.

They use Rank Math plugin to optimize their site for SEO.

Some of the SEO strategies they use are:

• Keyword research: They use tools like SEMrush and Google Search Console to find relevant keywords for their products and blog posts.

• On-page optimization: They use descriptive title tags, meta descriptions, headings, schema markup, etc. to optimize their pages for their target keywords.

• Content marketing: They create high-quality and useful content that solves problems and answers questions for their audience. They also use images, screenshots, videos, etc. to make their content more clear and helpful.

• Link building: They build links from authoritative sites in their niche, such as WPBeginner, Kinsta, WPExplorer, etc. They also use guest posting, testimonials, reviews, social media, etc. to promote their content and products.

As a result of their SEO efforts, WPForms ranks for over 300K organic keywords and gets over 1M organic visitors per month.

They also rank on the first page of Google for competitive keywords like “contact form plugin”, “survey plugin”, “payment form plugin”, etc.

img3.png

Shopify SEO Case Studies and Examples

Here are some examples of ecommerce sites that use Shopify for SEO:

1. Gymshark

Gymshark is a fitness apparel brand that sells gym wear, accessories, and more.

They use Shopify to power their online store.

They also have a blog where they publish content on topics like fitness, nutrition, lifestyle, etc.

They use Shopify’s built-in SEO features to optimize their site for SEO.

Some of the SEO strategies they use are:

• Keyword research: They use tools like Google Trends and Google Analytics to find relevant keywords for their products and blog posts.

• On-page optimization: They use descriptive title tags, meta descriptions, headings, alt tags, etc. to optimize their pages for their target keywords.

• Content marketing: They create high-quality and engaging content that inspires and motivates their audience. They also use images, videos, podcasts, etc. to make their content more diverse and appealing.

• Link building: They build links from authoritative sites in their niche, such as Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Bodybuilding.com, etc. They also use influencer marketing, social media, email marketing, etc. to promote their content and products.

As a result of their SEO efforts, Gymshark ranks for over 1M organic keywords and gets over 4M organic visitors per month.

They also rank on the first page of Google for competitive keywords like “gym wear”, “gym clothes”, “fitness apparel”, etc.

img4.png

2. Fashion Nova

Fashion Nova is a fashion brand that sells trendy clothing, accessories, shoes, and more.

They use Shopify to power their online store.

They also have a blog where they publish content on topics like fashion trends, celebrity style, beauty tips, etc.

They use Shopify’s built-in SEO features to optimize their site for SEO.

Some of the SEO strategies they use are:

• Keyword research: They use tools like Google Keyword Planner and Moz Keyword Explorer to find relevant keywords for their products and blog posts.

• On-page optimization: They use descriptive title tags, meta descriptions, headings, alt tags, etc. to optimize their pages for their target keywords.

• Content marketing: They create high-quality and attractive content that showcases their products and brand. They also use images, videos, user-generated content, etc. to make their content more authentic and relatable.

• Link building: They build links from authoritative sites in their niche, such as Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Elle, etc. They also use influencer marketing, social media, press releases, etc. to promote their content and products.

As a result of their SEO efforts, Fashion Nova ranks for over 1M organic keywords and gets over 5M organic visitors per month.

They also rank on the first page of Google for competitive keywords like “fashion nova”, “fashion nova jeans”, “fashion nova dresses”, etc.

img 5.

WordPress vs Shopify: Which One Is Better for SEO?

So which platform is better for SEO: WordPress or Shopify?

The answer is: it depends.

Both platforms have their pros and cons when it comes to SEO.

WordPress offers more flexibility and customization options for SEO than Shopify.

You can use plugins, themes, custom post types, custom fields, etc. to optimize your site for SEO in any way you want.

You can also access and edit your site’s code or use a child theme to make changes to your site’s appearance and functionality.

However, WordPress also requires more technical skills and maintenance than Shopify.

You need to manage your own hosting, security, and backups for your WordPress site.

You also need to update your site regularly to avoid bugs and vulnerabilities.

You may also face compatibility issues between different themes and plugins.

Shopify offers more simplicity and reliability for SEO than WordPress.

You don’t need to worry about the technical aspects of hosting, security, or maintenance for your Shopify site.

You also get access to 24/7 customer support and a reliable hosting service with 99.98% uptime.

However, Shopify also offers less flexibility and customization options for SEO than WordPress.

You can only use the apps and integrations that are available in the Shopify App Store, which are limited in number and functionality.

You also have limited control and ownership over your site and data.

You also have to pay monthly fees and transaction fees for using Shopify.

So, which platform should you choose for SEO?

It depends on your goals, budget, skills, and preferences.

If you want more flexibility and customization options for SEO, WordPress might be a better choice for you.

But if you want more simplicity and reliability for SEO, Shopify might be a better choice for you.

Ultimately, the best platform for SEO is the one that suits your needs and helps you achieve your goals.

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