Arabic Shopify SEO
If you are seeking help with getting more Google Arabic traffic to your Shopify website you’ve come to the right place. Arabic SEO for Shopify websites is unique compared to doing SEO on other platforms. Arabic Shopify Support has traditionally been almost non-existent since the Arab world isn’t a priority region for the company. In light of this, almost any solution to get Arabic SEO to work is not going to function properly in the beginning without getting some help or knowing how to do some custom setup. That said, once you understand some of the common issues with getting a bilingual Shopify website to be optimized for Arabic, Shopify is a great platform that can help make it really easy to sell to Arab customers around the world.
The Most Important Part of Setup for an Arabic Shopify Store
First, no matter your target audience in the Arab world you should at least have an Arabic and English Shopify bi-lingual website. This is because many Arab customers throughout the Arab world will prefer to use Arabic on your website but others who are used to using the web in English will prefer to use the English version of your store. You want to have both Arabic and English on the same domain for example everything in English would exist in the main directory on Example.com and all the Arabic would exist on Example.com/ar/. Each language page should have its own URL or address so it can get indexed properly. Trust us, that getting this right will go a long way towards making your Arabic ecommerce store more likely to succeed.
Langify for English and Arabic Shopify Websites
Several translation apps are available for Shopify but the one we’ve found works the best for Arabic is Langify. This is for a few reasons. Langify uses separate URLs for alternate language versions of pages while keeping each language under the same domain. This is essential for SEO because it allows the Arabic Shopify pages to get index properly and makes it easy for other Arabic websites to link to the the Arabic pages directly. Almost all other Shopify translation apps fail the test regarding this key feature.
Langify also has all the important meta fields and allows us to do most of the technical changes we need to do. As an added benefit Langify is much cheaper than some of the competitor apps and in our experience has better machine translation from English to Arabic for Shopify stores.
Theme – Arabic Themes For Shopify
We strongly recommend either buying a theme or creating your own theme that is designed to work with right to left (RTL) languages. This isn’t a requirement, but it will save you a lot of time and money by not having to create separate RTL CSS code to make sure the website looks good in Arabic. We have worked with websites that were not set up for Arabic and created the CSS styling to make it work with Arabic its just much easier if this is already done.
If you are looking for an Arabic Shopify theme and don’t already have a theme, reach out to us and we can send you a list of some of them that we like right now. Do not assume a multilingual agency that specializes in Shopify knows what they are doing when it comes to Arabic, many of these agencies do great work in many languages but they don’t have native Arabic speakers on their teams so they will make mistakes that will cost your store sales.
Shopify RTL CSS
It’s important to note that many premium paid themes don’t work well with right to left languages even though they work great with Arabic. To make Arabic RTL CSS work well with some premium themes you literally have to edit the code every time the theme gets an update and add the RTL code to it again. So unless you have a coding background or you have a developer available to work with you on updates you should get a theme that is setup for Arabic.
Currently we are not aware of an Arabic Shopify app that allows you to have Arabic URLs. This isn’t ideal for SEO but since this is a smaller ranking factor it probably doesn’t have more than a 1% impact on the overall SEO of the website.
Manual Translation vs Machine Translation
While many websites can get some results using the built in machine translation in Shopify translation apps typically you can get 10X better results with manual translations because Google knows the difference between machine translation and real Arabic content written by a native Arabic translator. That said if you have a limited budget it can make sense to start by using machine translation for some pages but on your most important pages pay to have manual translation done.
Translated Content vs SEO Optimized Arabic Content.
Even if you have a professional translator write all your content its important to note that your website still might not rank for the right Arabic keywords. This is because most translators don’t really know how to write SEO optimized content and likely never do any keyword research to know which keywords to target. To get the best results we recommend actually writing unique optimized Arabic content that is based on Arabic keyword research for your Shopify collections, categories, articles and important product pages.
Optimized Arabic titles, meta descriptions, and images
As with SEO on any platform once your keyword research is done you want to make sure you write and assign title tags, meta descriptions, H1 tags, and alt texts for images to important pages. Langify has these fields in their app so your success will depend on how you use them and how well your keyword research was done. Since these are elements are common to all SEO projects you can read more about them in our Arabic SEO guide.
Other Issues to Optimize For
Some of the other common issues we see on Arabic Shopify websites include the following:
- Issue with font kerning that separates Arabic letters that should be together
- Not using Arabic calls to action and buttons
- Not having clear information about shipping and returns in Arabic
- Forgetting to optimize your shopping cart for Arabic speakers
Though we don’t have time to go into detail about all these issues we will likely cover them separately in a future article.
We hope this helps.