Online entrepreneurs are constantly at the mercy of search engine optimization to help drive traffic to their website. However, there is a lot of information out there on what SEO means and how it works. This post will give you the basics that every entrepreneur needs to know about ecommerce SEO. It’s not too late!
What Is Ecommerce SEO?
Ecommerce SEO is all about optimizing your site in order to rank higher for keywords related specifically to your industry or niche market. For example, if you sell pet food online then keywords like “pet supplies” or “pet shop” would be relevant terms you want your site optimized for so that Google knows this page is relevant when someone searches those words on Google Search Engine results pages (SERPs)
Ecommerce SEO: A Simple (But Complete) Guide
Follow our bit by bit, noob-accommodating manual for Ecommerce SEO to build your online store’s Google traffic and drive more sales.
Many people get Ecommerce SEO wrong. They center around positioning for super serious high-volume terms.
Suppose that you sell men’s clothing.
Here’s the most clear term you might need to rank for:
Let’s take a look at the top ranking pages.
So what’s the alternative?
Focus on ranking individual product and category pages for less competitive terms.
Prefer video? Here you go:
Getting Started - Ecommerce SEO Guide
First things first…
Head over to SITE CHECKER AUDIT TOOL and start crawling your site for errors.
You will not require the results of this until some other time. Yet, as it takes time to audit, I suggest getting it going immediately.
Also, I’ll nip this in the bud right now:
Here’s the reason this is super-significant:
Practically all online business stores highlight many structures which gather individual subtleties from clients. So it’s acceptable practice to ensure ALL data is scrambled (not simply credit card data).
Google has additionally affirmed that there is a (slight) rankings help for destinations serving content over HTTPs. That is one more motivation to do this the right way.
1: Keyword Research for Ecommerce Sites
Without this, you’ll be flying visually impaired—depending on ‘premonition’ to drive your mission.
Yet, how would you do Keyword Research for an online business website?
It’s very basic, really:
- List every one of the pages on your site;
- Find and guide fitting Keywords to each page.
And, yes… you should do keyword research on a page-by-page basis.
This is how I recommend doing keyword research for any website.
Each of these requires a slightly different approach.
1.1. Get a Complete Inventory of the Pages On Your Site
Go to: yourdomain.com/sitemap.xml.
It should look something like this:
Use the Scraper plugin (Chrome) to scrape this list of URLs.
Here’s the XPath to use:
If you haven’t yet launched your Ecommerce site, do the same as above but for an existing competing site.
You can then steal their site structure, categories, and products as a starting point.
To find an appropriate site for this purpose, try this:
1.2. Prioritize Your Pages
Toward the beginning of this part, I referenced that you ought to perform Keyword research on a page-by-page level.
In any case, I realize you’re thinking:
“I have like a bazillion pages here! Do you truly anticipate that I should allocate keywords to and optimize each page independently!?”
Indeed, I do.
Yet, I do comprehend that this can take forever, so here’s a speedy stunt:
Streamline the main pages FIRST.
On the off chance that you have Ecommerce following set up in Google Analytics, you can get a harsh feeling of the main pages by going to:
Behaviour > Site Content > Landing Pages > sort by revenue (high to low)
1.3. Find and Map Keywords to Each Page
Now that you have a list of prioritized pages, you can start finding and mapping keywords to each of them.
- Head keyword (i.e., the primary keyword you want to optimize the page for)
- Some long-tail variations (i.e., other keywords that may drive targeted traffic to the page)
Let’s start with the lead keyword.
Step 1. Find a Head Keyword
Believe it or not, looking at the keywords you already rank for can be the best place to find an appropriate head keyword.
You can find these with CognitiveSEO Site Explorer.
Step 2. Find Long-Tail and Related Keyword Variations
Long-tail variations can be found in different ways.
For starters, that same Organic Keyword Suggestions report is often a good source of long-tail and related keyword variations.
Just remember to investigate the SERP for each one to make sure the search intent is similar — i.e., the top ranking pages are either ecommerce product or category pages).
2: On-Page SEO for Ecommerce Sites
Now we know which keywords and terms each page should be optimized around, it’s time to start implementing those findings.
2.1. Optimize Your Meta Titles, Descriptions, and H1’s
Optimize Your Meta Titles, Description and H1
The first steps to optimizing your ecommerce site for on-page SEO is determining what keywords you want that page to rank best. Once you have a list of targeted keywords from the previous step (step 1), use them as well in your meta title, description tags and HTML headings <H2>. This will help search engines understand more about each individual webpage content without having to actually click it through which can be time consuming when there are so many other pages out their competing for those top spots!
It’s easy to see why some Ecommerce stores do this… many have tens, sometimes even hundreds of thousands of pages. Writing unique titles and meta descriptions for each is a daunting (and boring) task. But here’s the thing: A templated approach isn’t ideal because there’s just no way to truly optimize each individual page when doing this. So I recommend you take a hybrid approach: Put the bulk of your effort into writing well-optimized tags for the most important pages then use template method for other less critical ones
2.2. Optimize Your URLs
Ecommerce URL slugs can get crazy.
Ecommerce URLs are often longer than other types of web addresses, but they can be made more readable and catchy with the following tips: Keep them as short and sweet as possible. Include your primary keyword in a descriptive way that reflects where you’re going on the page (e.g., “summer-clothing”). Make clear which section of your website it links to by including hierarchy or context words; this will help ensure visitors know what is about to appear before clicking through for further information. Use hyphens (-) rather than underscores _or_ spaces to separate words when writing Ecommerce URLs because these characters have special meaning within computer programming language code — don’t use any others instead! Avoid using URL parameters if at all possible
Here’s what I suggest as a starting point:
- yourdomain.com/category-name (category page)
- yourdomain.com/category-name/subcategory-name (subcategory page)
- yourdomain.com/category-name/subcategory-name/subcategory-name (sub-subcategory page)
- yourdomain.com/category-name/subcategory-name/subcategory-name/product (product page)
Here are some more tips for writing effective Ecommerce URLs:
- Keep them as short and sweet as possible;
- Include your primary/head keyword;
- Make the hierarchy and context of the page clear;
- Use hyphens (-) to separate words. Do not use rather than underscores, spaces, or any other characters;
- Avoid URL parameters (where possible)
2.3. Write Unique Product & Category Descriptions
Look at almost any big Ecommerce retailer.
You’ll see that they include unique descriptions on their category pages:
When it comes to SEO, the more content you have on your website in terms of written word and images, the better. For example: if a visitor is viewing an individual product page but they’re not looking for that specific item (maybe something caught their eye elsewhere), then having additional information about other products or categories will help them find what they were originally searching for. This way when Google crawls through and indexes all our pages with its algorithm-driven search engine later down the line, there are no surprises – everything makes sense!
When it comes to e-commerce, there are two reasons you should always write unique descriptions: It tells visitors more about the category or product they’re viewing and helps Google understand what your page is all about. Remember – no one likes a copy/paste job!
Here are a few guidelines for this:
- Include your head target keyword in the description;
- Sprinkle in long-tail variations, synonyms, and LSI keywords (where appropriate—don’t shoehorn!);
- Make sure they’re well-written and readable for visitors;
- Tell visitors things they may actually want to know! (duh!);
- Don’t ramble—keep them short and sweet
2.4. Add Schema Markup
How would you prefer your products to be displayed in the SERPs?
It’s a no-brainer, right? The latter (with Schema markup) is not only more eye-catching, but it also provides the searcher with more information which can increase CTR by up to 30%.
This brings more traffic. Which results in more sales.
What’s more, Google uses this information to help understand your content. (e.g., is it a product page, category page, blog post, etc.—this is very useful for Ecommerce SEO).
For this, you could use the schema.org Product markup.
There are a lot of different properties you can add to this schema property, but here are some of the most common, and the ones we recommend adding to product pages:
3: Technical SEO For Ecommerce Sites
Have you ever wondered what technical SEO is? It’s the way search engines, like Google, rank your site. The goal of this blog post is to provide some tips on how to optimize your ecommerce sites for better rankings in search engine results pages (SERPs). This article provides information on: On-page optimization techniques with an emphasis on content and page titles; Off-page optimization techniques including social media marketing and link building.
3.1. Find Deep (or Orphaned) Pages
You want your category and product pages to be as easily-accessible to visitors as possible, so structured them in a way that they are no more than ~three clicks away from the homepage – good structure: Homepage -> Categories -> Subcategories -> Product; bad structure: Homepage > Category >Category etc. But while this is a good rule of thumb for small sites, it’s not always feasible with large ones because there might be too many categories on each page or certain products may need their own landing pages, which means you’ll have “orphaned” content meaning these individual pieces won’t connect back up to any other major parts of the site like Site Map or search console.
3.2. Find Keyword Cannibalization Errors
What is keyword cannibalization? Essentially, it’s when a single website unintentionally targets the same keyword across multiple posts or pages. This can cause confusion for users who may think there are duplicate articles on the site and start to explore other websites instead of reading what they came here looking for in the first place! For example, let’s say you write an article about how many oranges need to be cut up during Halloween season – but forget that your company also sells orange juice concentrate (you could consider this as useful information)! Your readers will likely fail to find any trace of those juicy details buried deep within another unrelated post all because you didn’t put much thought into which keywords would best describe your content before publishing it–a mistake commonly known as ” Keyword Cannibalization”
4. Link Building for Ecommerce Sites
Ecommerce sites have a lot to juggle on the back end. They need to be sure that their systems are running smoothly and that they can ship products in a timely manner. But with all of these responsibilities, it is easy for ecommerce websites to fall behind when it comes to link building. Link building is essential because it helps your site rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). There are many ways you can start link building for your ecommerce website including guest blogging, social media marketing, and by submitting content. In this blog post, we will cover some quick tips about how to get started with link building so you don’t get left behind!
4.1. Find Sites Linking to Your Competitors’ Homepages
Have you noticed that some of your competitors are getting more traffic and converting better than you? You may be wondering why, when they have less content and a smaller reach. What if it’s because they’re linking to their homepage from other sites across the web? In this post we’ll show you how to find these links so that you can replicate them for your own site.
4.2. The ‘International Alternative’ Technique
The International Alternative Technique is a way to leverage the power of your competitors. Find another company that has an audience in markets where you do not, and then contact them mentioning how it could be beneficial for their readers if they also linked to you because there may be some similarities between what both companies offer.
Here’s how this works:
- Find a competitor in a different market (e.g., one serving the Caribbean, if you serve the US)
- Find blog posts recommending/mentioning that competitor
- Request that they link to you too, as it “might be useful for their UK-based readers”
5. Content marketing for Ecommerce Sites
Content marketing is the best way to stand out from your competitors and increase sales. And for Ecommerce sites, it can be an even more powerful strategy because consumers are often making a purchase decision with little information about you or what you offer. This article will focus on how content marketing affects conversions rates in ecommerce stores as well as other tips that may help boost conversion rates too!
Why You Should Use Content Marketing: The first thing we’ll discuss here is why using content would greatly improve any business’s potential success online today – including yours if you’re reading this post right now! Here are some of the many benefits of incorporating at least one form of effective copywriting into your daily routine — whether by utilizing social media posts/blogs.
No SEO wheels were reinvented here. But if you follow the advice given in this guide, I can pretty much guarantee that you’ll fare better than 90% of your competitors.
SEO for ecommerce is a complex topic. I’ve covered some of the basics in this post, but there are many more considerations when it comes to ranking well with search engines. If you’re looking for an expert who knows what they’re doing and can get your site ranked better than ever before, schedule a consult today!