Search engine optimization (SEO) for eCommerce websites plays a vital role in creating a strong online presence, attracting customers, and boosting sales. Unfortunately, many eCommerce store owners are unable to optimize their sites properly. They spend months or even years of hard work building their eCommerce site but still can’t get any traffic. As over 50% of global eCommerce web traffic comes from search engines, you need an effective eCommerce SEO strategy to help you rank high on search engine result pages (SERPs).
Many online articles offer general SEO tips, but very few address the specific needs of eCommerce websites. That’s why we’re here. Our brief guide will help you reach your eCommerce SEO goals and direct buyers to your online store.
Understanding the importance of eCommerce SEO
The products/services you sell may have their place on the internet, but can people actually find them? Getting visitors to your site is the critical first step to acquiring loyal customers. ECommerce search engine optimization aims to make your online store more visible among search engine results. It helps you reach your target audience without paying for ads that are not only more expensive but also less effective.
The SEO process typically involves optimizing headlines, product descriptions, metadata, etc. There should be a dedicated page for each product or service that you offer. However, non-product-related pages deserve attention, too. These include blog articles, the homepage, the FAQ page, about us page, and contact page.
Best SEO practices for eCommerce websites
Choosing good keywords
Although keyword stuffing does not work anymore, keywords still matter. To make sure customers find you in their search results, you should start with a targeted keyword list.
Conduct thorough keyword research before choosing a keyword. Analyze how competitive the keyword is, how often people search for it, and what they want to find when they enter that keyword. A keyword with a high search volume will get you more active searches. A high CPC (cost-per-click) means that a keyword is extremely competitive, which means you should use a long-tail alternative.
Make sure you include your primary keywords in your headlines, subheadings, descriptions, meta descriptions, and image alt tags.
Conducting competitor research
If you don’t know where to start with on-site optimization, begin from your competition. You can learn a lot from your competitors, especially the larger ones. Focus on keyword usage and start by analyzing the keywords on their homepages and top product pages. To check whether a website is optimizing for a particular keyword, you can use the Moz browser extension to see the SEO title and description used in your competitor’s title tags. SEO tools like SEMrush can help you find out what keywords your competitor is ranking for. Also, check how they use the specified keywords to optimize their landing pages.
Homepage eCommerce SEO
Most businesses focus their SEO efforts on the homepage. Although it’s not the only page you should optimize, it is an essential page to focus on.
- The homepage title tag is one of the key elements of on-site search optimization and one of the primary things to pay attention to. Since it appears in search results, it should be up to 70 characters long and appealing to search visitors. It should contain your business name and the main keyword phrase you are targeting.
- Your homepage meta description should be 160 characters long. It is a short description of your business that appears in search results below the title tag. Its purpose is to motivate visitors to go to your website.
- Once they arrive at your homepage, visitors should find enough information about your business (but not too much). Keep your homepage content clear and concise. A cluttered homepage will confuse not only your visitors but also search engines.
Product page optimization
Writing a few sentences about each product and adding an image or video is not enough. Your product pages require more information to be spotted by search engines.
- Consider adding a common search term or keyword phrase to the names of your products.
- Optimizing images helps you improve website speed as well as its ranking. To optimize images for search, you should reduce file size, pick appropriate file names, and write alt tags. The file name should contain the product name and main keyword. In addition, include product names and keywords in your images’ alternative text.
- The video on the product page should educate potential users about the product itself. It can contain the necessary product information, instructions on using the product, or testimonials from previous customers.
- Include FAQ content on your product pages to increase your conversion rate. Customers are more likely to buy from a company that answers their questions.
- Allowing customer reviews, even the bad ones, is a great way to enhance brand credibility and encourage visitors to make a purchase. If you get negative reviews, make sure you respond appropriately instead of ignoring them.
No matter how big or small your site is, website architecture is an integral part of SEO for eCommerce sites. You want your visitors to be able to flow through your website and quickly locate key pages. Focus on creating a distinct hierarchy of navigation, from the homepage to product categories, and finally to the products you are selling. Make sure people can find everything they need within not more than three clicks.
Internal links serve to increase time spent on site by encouraging visitors to keep exploring the site. Links leading to popular products or informative blog articles can make your site more engaging and help improve SEO. Create a clear internal linking structure that is not too deep and that’s easy to follow.
Getting backlinks from trusted websites tells Google that your site deserves a higher ranking. Posting guest blogs on high-quality websites within your niche is an easy way to build links. Send an email containing your guest post ideas to blog owners and ask them to give you a chance to write for them.
An eCommerce site with a responsive design offers a better user experience, which results in higher rankings and increased web traffic. Ever since Google introduced its mobile-first index, mobile-friendliness has been a must for all eCommerce websites.