With so many eCommerce websites on the market, the competition is fierce. And every company is trying to be number one.
Hence, whether you are launching a brand-new eCommerce site, or you want to improve the existing one, you could probably use some helpful tips and tricks!
From the very beginning is important to highlight the significance of SEO. According to a 2017 study conducted by SEMrush, 38% of the retailer traffic was from organic search (in comparison with only 2% from paid ads).
That’s why you need to optimize your eCommerce site and try to rank better than your competitors.
You should start with:
- Keyword research
- On-site SEO for eCommerce Sites
- Technical SEO for eCommerce Sites
- Content marketing for eCommerce Sites
- Link building for eCommerce Sites
1. Keyword research
One thing that’s essential for both on-site and off-site SEO is thorough research. It comes down to two main categories: keyword research and competitor research.
For the keyword research, you can use one of the tools available online (paid or free). Ubersuggest is one of them.
When searching for keywords relevant to your website, try to be as specific as you can. For example, if you’re selling t-shirts from organic cotton, you should avoid the keyword “t-shirt” because it is general and with a very high volume.
Try to make the query as specific as you can and look for both keywords and long-tail keywords (consisting of 3 or more words).
If you have trouble inventing new and original keywords, you can search for new ideas using simple tricks. You can open the Amazon website and write down in the search box what you are selling and look for all the suggestions that will come up (For example organic t-shirts for men).
You can try the same with Google: write down your keywords and wait for the automatic suggestions in the search bar. Wikipedia is another source from where you can get ideas for new keywords and some useful synonyms. (In our case it listed words like tee-shirt, T-shirt, V-neck, etc.)
Once you find the keywords to use, you should look up their search volume. Though higher keyword volume may seem more appealing, it will also mean that it is highly competitive. Thus, you should opt for lower keyword volume, so you can compete against it.
Regarding the competitor research, you can see what keywords your competitor ranks for, and either try to compete with them or try to find new, related keywords with lower volume. While doing competitor research, observe their website, the structure, and architecture, the content, etc.
Look for things that are “missing” – what features do you think the site can have and make the overall experience better. You can try to copy and adjust some of the things they use, but always try to be original, to offer something more, and “fill in” the things that they don’t have.
As for the URL architecture, you should always have two things in mind: One – try to make the website as simple and scalable as you can. And two – keep every page three or fewer clicks from the homepage.
2. On-site SEO for eCommerce Sites
Once you’ve found the keywords to use and set up the site architecture, it’s time to optimize the product categories and pages.
Start using modifiers, click magnet words, and description tags to targeted keywords. All these can help you show up for more long-tail keywords. Some of the best click magnet words you can use are for example 40% off, sale, free shipping, etc.
You can use these click magnet words and phrases for the description tags and maximize your page’s CTR.
Another essential thing for a good eCommerce site is the content. You should create high-quality content, preferable with 1000 or more words, and sprinkle the keywords in it. Be careful to not overuse them – the ideal count of keywords per content is 3 to 5.
Creating different, quality content for eCommerce sites with similar products can be a tough job. Try to get an authentic copy by describing the features, highlight the advantages of the product, write down something about the manufacturer, and so on. Just don’t copy the same text for every product.
Keep in mind how the URL for each page will look. Instead of simply generic letters and numbers, make a short, keyword-rich URL.
To make sure you’ll stand out on Google search results, you can try to add rich snippets. They list the page ratings, reviews, prices, and more. While there is no guarantee that Google will list the rich snippets for your pages, you can try to add a markup Schema manually through Google Structured Data Markup Helper.
Some other useful on-site optimization is internal linking. You can link pages to other high-priority pages on your website, but don’t overuse it for one single priority page. Make sure there is an authentic connection to the page you’re linking to.
3. Technical SEO for eCommerce Sites
The eCommerce Sites usually have lots of pages, so it is not unusual for some of them to have an issue. You can use the Raven tools to find the issues on your website and learn how to fix them.
The most common issues are linked to the title or description tags (for example pages that are missing a meta description, or pages with too long or short titles). Other problems can be broken links and duplicate or thin content.
For example, if your website has too many pages that can be a problem. A huge number of pages can make it more difficult to create authentic content for each of them. Probably all of these pages are not performing equally, so, one solution is to identify the pages and delete or noindex them (for example if you have a different page for different shirt sizes or colors).
4. Content marketing for eCommerce Sites
We’ve emphasized the importance of good, high-quality content, but it’s not so easy to just sit and write it all down. Especially if you have a broad range of products and pages. The places from where you can get inspiration and ideas are online groups, forums, chats on the product that you’re selling.
For example, by browsing forums where people discuss clothes from organic cotton, you can get familiar with the words and phrases your potential customers are using. Later you can use these findings and implement them in your content alongside the keywords.
5. Link building for eCommerce Sites
Once you’ve optimized your website, you can try and build links to your website. The main virtue here is communication. You should find pages, shops, or people that work in the same industry and try to connect with them. The goal is to find a mutual interest and get a backlink.
In our example, we can offer to provide organic t-shirts for fitness trainers for a home workout video. In return, they can list our website in the description of the video.
If the backlinks come from websites with high domain authority, that can improve the rankings of your own site.
Once you’ve done all the things listed above, you must know that your job doesn’t end there. With search engines changing and improving algorithms daily, you must adapt and make changes along the way.
Even though SEO optimization may seem complicated, it serves to improve website traffic, ranking, and sales in general. And that is what you wanted in the first place, right?
Violeta Bojkovska is a passionate content writer and avid content consumer. She’s a short story author, guest post blogger, and a firm believer in the startup “zebra culture.” She loves to write about food, travel, technology, and startups.