Search engine optimization (SEO) is crucial for any ecommerce business looking to drive more traffic, leads, and sales. With the right ecommerce SEO strategy, you can get your online store pages ranking higher in search engines like Google and Bing for your target keywords.
This definitive guide to ecommerce SEO will teach you best practices and techniques to improve your ecommerce website’s SEO.
What is Ecommerce SEO?
Ecommerce SEO refers to optimizing an ecommerce website and its product pages to rank higher and get more visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs). The goal is to attract more organic traffic from search engines, increase website conversion rates, and ultimately boost sales and revenue.
Unlike regular website SEO, ecommerce SEO requires optimizing multiple pages – category pages, product pages, blogs, etc. Ecommerce SEO also focuses heavily on technical elements like site architecture, page speed, security, etc.
With the right ecommerce SEO strategies, you can achieve:
- Higher rankings for target product and category keywords
- Increased organic traffic to your online store
- Improved website conversion rates
- More product views, adds to cart, and sales
Why Ecommerce SEO is Important?
Here are some key reasons why ecommerce SEO should be a priority:
- Majority of traffic comes from search engines – Studies show over 50% of website traffic comes from organic search. SEO helps tap into this traffic source.
- Tougher competition – Ecommerce is highly competitive. SEO helps you rank above competitors for keywords that drive revenue.
- More sales – Higher SERP rankings bring more traffic and directly translates into increased orders and revenue.
- Higher ROI – SEO provides a better ROI compared to paid search and other marketing channels. The traffic is also of high quality.
- Brand visibility – Ranking for your brand and product names improves visibility and establishes authority.
- Sustainability – SEO traffic is more sustainable and consistent unlike paid search traffic that switches off when campaigns end.
As an ecommerce business, you simply cannot ignore search engine optimization. Let’s look at some best practices to optimize your ecommerce website for SEO.
Ecommerce SEO Best Practices
Here are some key areas and best practices to focus on for effective ecommerce SEO:
1. Ecommerce Site Architecture
A proper information architecture is foundational for good SEO. Some best practices:
- Use a responsive layout with mobile-friendly design. Ensure a positive mobile user experience.
- Structure your product categories and sub-categories in a logical information architecture. Don’t go over 3 levels deep.
- Use SEO friendly permalinks for product and category pages – example.com/category/sub-category/product-name
- Implement breadcrumbs navigation to help Google understand the site structure.
- Set up correct 302 redirects if you change your permalinks structure. Use 301 redirects only for permanent URL changes.
- Avoid duplicate content by using canonical tags.
Having a clean site architecture helps Google crawl and index your important ecommerce pages better.
2. Technical SEO Audit
Conduct periodic technical SEO audits to identify and fix issues that impact performance. Some areas to check:
- Page speed – Check page load times on mobile and desktop. Optimize images, enable compression, eliminate render blocking resources.
- Site indexation – Verify site pages are crawlable and fully indexed in Google Search Console. Submit new pages.
- Structured data – Implement schema markup for products, product rating, brand, local business address, etc. Helps Google understand the content better.
- Mobile friendliness – Test site on Google Mobile Friendly test. Fix issues like small taps target, content sizing, load times.
- Security – Switch to HTTPS and fix any flagged security issues. Important for both SEO and customers.
- Site maps – Submit XML, image and video sitemaps. Helps Google discover new site content.
Regular technical SEO audits help maximize site visibility in search engines.
3. On-page SEO
Optimizing individual product and category pages is crucial for ecommerce SEO success. Some key on-page best practices:
- Title & Meta Description – Include important keywords in title tags and meta descriptions. Keep them under 60 characters.
- Target Keywords – Identify relevant keywords for each page based on search volume and intent. Optimize content for them.
- Content – Create useful, original content that answers searcher questions and uses keywords naturally. Include benefits, product features, visuals etc.
- Headings – Use keyword focused H1, H2, H3 tags to highlight important content.
- Page Speed – Optimize image sizes, enable compression, minify CSS/JS to improve page speed. Faster pages rank better.
- Internal Links – Link to high authority and relevant pages on your site to pass link equity.
- Schema Markup – Implement schema for products, brand, reviews etc. Helps search engines understand the content.
With the right on-page SEO, you can expect to see higher click-through-rates and conversions for your product and category pages.
4. Keyword Research for Ecommerce SEO
Thorough ecommerce keyword research is crucial for any successful ecommerce SEO campaign. Here are some tips:
- Identify keywords with high search volume that are relevant for your products and categories. Use Google Keyword Planner or other tools help find such keywords along with search volume data.
- Do competition analysis to find keywords your competitors rank well for. Use tools like SEMrush, Ahrefs or Sistrix.
- Analyze your existing site content and identify keywords that are driving traffic and conversions. Expand on those keywords.
- Go beyond generic keywords. Target long tail keywords too like “blue denim shirts for women” rather than just “shirts”. Include variations like synonyms, questions, comparisons etc.
- Group keywords by product/ category page to create targeted keyword lists for optimization.
- Track keyword rankings and add new keywords on an ongoing basis.
Thorough keyword research provides the foundation for your ecommerce SEO efforts.
5. Content Marketing
Creating regular high-quality content is required for sustainable ecommerce SEO results. Here are some tips for ecommerce content marketing:
- Create long-form informational blog posts targeting your buyer keywords. Include images, videos, infographics etc.
- Produce shorter social media and video content to promote your blog posts and products.
- Answer common customer questions in FAQ schema markup pages. Helps search visibility.
- Develop link-worthy content assets like guides, ebooks, tools etc. and promote them.
- Repurpose content into different formats like text, video, audio, slides etc.
- Promote new product arrivals, offers, events through content.
- Curate content covering industry news, trends, expert advice etc. Provides value.
- Optimize content with target keywords. Promote it extensively via outreach, social media, PR etc.
Ecommerce SEO Tools
The right tools can simplify and enhance your ecommerce SEO efforts. Here are some must have tools for ecommerce SEO success:
- Google Search Console – Connect your website to monitor indexation status, fix crawl errors, submit sitemaps, check performance for Google searches.
- Google Analytics – Track website traffic sources, on-page activities, conversions to identify opportunities for optimization. Integrate with Search Console.
- SEMrush – Leading SEO tool for keyword research, site audits, backlink analysis, rank tracking, competitor research and more.
- Moz Bar – Browser plugin for quick access to domain authority, page authority, link metrics, keyword data as you browse sites.
- Screaming Frog – SEO crawler to audit technical SEO issues like duplicate content, indexation, broken links, page speed etc.
- Ahrefs – Backlink analysis, organic traffic data, top content/landing pages, SEO metrics to optimize.
- Google Keyword Planner – Find keyword search volumes and competition data for SEO. Integrates with Google Ads.
- Rank tracking – Automated solution to track keyword rankings across search engines.
- XML Sitemaps Generator – Easily create and upload XML sitemaps of your website for search engines.
- Google PageSpeed Insights – Check mobile and desktop page speed performance issues and suggestions to optimize.
The right set of SEO tools will make your ecommerce SEO activities more efficient and effective. Try out different options to see which ones work best for your website and strategy.
How to Get Started with Ecommerce SEO
Here are some steps to help you kickstart SEO for your ecommerce store:
1. Do an SEO audit – Use a tool like SEMrush or Screaming Frog to audit your ecommerce site’s technical SEO issues, identify optimization opportunities and fix any errors.
2. Set up Google Analytics and Search Console – Connect your ecommerce site to monitor traffic and performance. Submit XML sitemaps. Resolve indexing issues.
3. Perform keyword research – Use Keyword Planner and other tools to identify high volume keywords related to your products and categories. Organize them into lists.
4. Optimize on-page elements – Update page titles, meta descriptions, headings, content, schema etc. to target priority keywords. Improve page speed.
5. Produce SEO-friendly content – Create blog posts, guides, FAQs, videos etc. answering buyer questions to rank for informational keywords. Promote them.
6. Get backlinks – Build high-quality backlinks from relevant websites to improve domain authority and keyword rankings.
7. Track progress – Use Search Console data, rank tracking and analytics to monitor organic traffic, rankings and conversions. Refine keywords and strategy.
8. Stay updated – Learn about Google algorithm updates and ecommerce SEO best practices. Continuously optimize your ecommerce SEO.
Focus on quick wins first by optimizing top priority pages targeting high volume keywords. Then build out your ecommerce SEO strategy gradually to improve overall organic presence.
By following SEO best practices outlined above diligently, any ecommerce site can improve their SEO significantly. Use this ecommerce SEO guide to identify gaps in your current strategy and work on them. SEO is an ongoing process – you need to continuously refine your SEO to stay ahead of algorithm changes and competition. With a solid SEO strategy, you can increase organic traffic, boost conversions and sales for your e-commerce store.
Contact 427 Digital for more!