Did you know that retail ecommerce revenues are expected to reach $6.54 trillion in 2022? It means if you want your ecommerce business to thrive and maintain steady profitability, you must have a robust digital presence. And if your website doesn’t rank high in search engines’ results, you’d run very slim chances of drawing in consumers, which would directly impact your bottom line. In this article, we’ve created a list of seven ecommerce SEO best practices that would help increase your website traffic and in turn, sales.
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What is Ecommerce SEO Best Practices?
Put simply, ecommerce SEO best practices refer to the strategies that are implemented to optimize an ecommerce website in accordance with the guidelines of leading search engines so that it ranks higher in search results. Click To Tweet
It might sound difficult but, in reality, it isn’t that challenging as long as you’re following the best practices the right way. You might already have implemented some of these strategies but keeping the fierce competition in this field in mind, it has become important than ever to utilize the major ecommerce SEO best practices.
Why Should you Follow Ecommerce SEO Best Practices?
You may ask “why I should implement ecommerce SEO best practices, especially in this era of ubiquitous social media and dominating email marketing”. Here’re three key reasons why you should.
SEO generates traffic and thus, sales
Online search has become an integral part of the buyers’ decision-making process. A study by Forrester revealed that 71% of customers start their journeys by utilizing a search engine to find out new products, services (reach), or brands. It means, if your website’s pages aren’t visible, a smaller number of people will know what you’re offering and, as a result, both your sales and growth will become limited.
On the other hand, the increased number of conversions generated by SEO can recuperate the money you invest in the implementation of ecommerce SEO best practices.
SEO gives your site an all-round improvement
While maximum visibility and better organic rankings matter a lot, user experience is also a key consideration for achieving your business objectives.
It’s evident from the above statistics that if consumers have poor service experience with your website, you’ll most likely lose them. And as a fact, positive user experiences have become a fundamental element of getting success in the SERPs.
When you implement quality SEO, not only it improves your site’s user experience but also other crucial aspects including site speed, quality of content, security implementations, among others.
SEO helps your site become trustworthy and credible
When your ecommerce website reaches the top of the SERPs, users understand that it’s considered credible and trustworthy by the search engine and hence, they should consider it in the same way. And when more users trust your site, the more the search engines will trust it and place higher in the SERPs. Over time, it establishes authority that comes from doing quality SEO.
Ecommerce SEO Best Practices to Boost your Sales
We recommend these ecommerce SEO best practices so that you can boost your site’s rankings and conversions, while not getting penalized in search. You’d also learn how to implement them properly on your website.
Leverage the power of relevant keywords
In order to get the most out of your SEO efforts, you not only need to rank on page one of the search engines but rank for the right results as well. And that’s exactly where the importance of keyword research comes into the picture.
Put simply, you’ve to make your product information easily searchable to both search engines and shoppers. To attain this, incorporate your targeted keywords and phrases that consumers are most likely using to locate products similar to yours. Once, you’ve got a list of them, implement them in your web pages, URLs, content, headlines, image descriptions, page titles, metadata, etc.
Google Ads Keyword Planner is an effective tool to find relevant keywords.
In addition to using generic keywords, it’s extremely important to focus on incorporating long-tail keywords. Moz reveals that 70% of the entire search traffic originates from long-tail searches.
Two unique benefits of using long-tail keywords are less competition and better conversion rates. Since the number of websites targeting these keywords is lesser than the ones targeting high volume keywords, you’re most likely to rank for them.
And long-tail keywords come with high commercial intent and carry elements like product name, model, brand, etc and hence, they tend to help increase the conversion rate.
Craft unique content
This is one of the ecommerce SEO best practices that help your website gain an overall SEO boost. A strategic content marketing approach can greatly increase your online traffic, leads, and in turn, customers over time.
When you link your best-performing content to your product and category pages, you give them more ranking power. If your website doesn’t have lots of products to speak of, you can create an informational blog encompassing your targeted keywords to rank for them. This post will guide you to start content marketing for ecommerce.
Then you can use keyword research to identify topics that proactively address your consumers’ concerns and questions. High-value content encourages your potential consumers to spend more time enagaging with your brand. Take a look at the below image to understand the true potential of content marketing.
There’re lots of content marketing strategies that you can use to improve your SEO. From long-form articles or blog posts, whitepapers, and guides to videos, infographics, user-generated content, product reviews, and more – you can draw in your readers through different ways and optimize your ecommerce website with high-value content.
It’s also important to stay away from any kind of duplicate content including product copy and product descriptions. These days, lots of websites are being penalized for this issue and thus, your goal needs to be craft new, unique content whenever you plan to post something.
Optimize your website for mobile devices
Did you know that Google officially declared, in 2015, that the number of mobile searches surpassed desktop searches? Take a look at the below image to understand the global mobile share of ecommerce.
Mobile page optimization involves some crucial factors like improving your site’s loading speeds, eliminating any unnecessary content from the pages, removing sidebars and popups, keeping critical aspects above-the-fold, and displaying your CTA button prominently.
However, among all these, ensuring fast loading speeds is the most important thing that you need to focus on. Take a look at the below image to learn how it affects your conversion rates.
You can use the Mobile-Friendly Test tool from Google to see whether your web pages are mobile-friendly.
If you find that your site isn’t loading quickly, you can take different approaches to accomplish it. These include,
- Using a Content Delivery Network
- Reducing page size
- Specifying image dimensions
- Optimizing your ecommerce platform configuration
- Switching to fast hosting servers
MobileTest.me is another excellent tool that lets you check how your website will look on different devices.
Focus on building links to your website
Link building is one of those ecommerce SEO best practices that need a little bit of expertise to succeed. While high-quality links can help your website rank better, low-quality links can affect the traffic to it adversely. Here’re some strategies that you can use to get high-quality links.
Strategic content marketing
Useful content like in-depth guides, research data, list posts, etc. perform the best when it comes to quality link building. Therefore, creating such pieces of content and distributing them across various top-ranking sites can help you get high-quality links.
This is another useful strategy that not only makes your brand heard on the internet but also helps in getting quality backlinks. Try to tap into your already established audiences, as well as, interact with other brands from your niche. But remember that if you want to accomplish your goals through guest blogging, you’ve to create high-quality stuff. These have to be as good as the pieces that you’re uploading to your own website.
Broken link building
This lesser-known method of building backlinks involves finding problems like 404 errors on a website and informing them about it. Since you’re doing them a favor, they might be ready to link out to your website.
To know more about link building tactics you can check this post.
You can use Check My Links – a Google Chrome Extension to identify broken links on a website.
Make your site’s technical SEO right
It’s extremely important to incorporate your target keywords into your web page’s URLs, meta descriptions, title tags, and content to help them rank in the search results. You should also remember that if a search engine’s bots cannot index your ecommerce site, it’ll be of no use even if you’ve got an amazing website.
You can use Google’s URL Inspection Tool available in Google Search Console to check whether a particular page is indexed. If you find that it isn’t, try the following tactics.
- Removing crawl blocks in the txt file
- Including the page in the sitemap
- Removing rogue canonical tags
- Ensuring the quality of the pages
- Adding effective internal links
It’s also important to correct on-page issues like having the incorrect length of meta descriptions (160 characters maximum) and meta titles (50 to 60 characters), improper internal linking, etc.
In addition to these, focus on organizing your website structure to help the search engines understand where to find your most essential content.
You can discover all of these and more by conducting a technical SEO audit of your site. While minor SEO audits can be performed monthly, you should have a full audit every six months or when the site experiences a major overhaul.
Make your site’s design user-friendly
Your website, as well as, the product pages must not detract the shopping experience. Remember that even if you’ve got some finest products in your niche at the best prices, shoppers will get frustrated and navigate away from your site if they find it impossible to search or difficult to navigate.
User-friendly design is a crucial aspect of SEO and if a search engine finds that your site experiences a very high bounce rate, your rankings might start to slip. On the contrary, a well-designed ecommerce website can help reduce bounce rates and can encourage visitors to browse some more pages, even if they don’t immediately find what they want.
If you’re starting to design your site and not sure of the elements that would make it simple yet effective, browse some of your favorite websites and try to learn from their designs. Focus on things like what do you like about their navigation and design, what you don’t like as a visitor, etc. It’d probably help you get a clear idea of what your visitors might prefer to see on your website.
Accept customer reviews
Customer reviews can help improve your site’s overall SEO in many ways. Here’re the key ones among them.
Fresh user-generated content
We’ve already discussed the importance of unique, relevant content, and reviews offer a great deal of them, coming from your users directly.
Search engines favor highly-rated sites
The search engines consider the rating of sites and favor those with the highest ratings. And reviews not only act as your authority and social proof but also help to improve your ratings.
Improves long-tail keyword traffic
As reviewers are the users of your products, the language of the pieces written by them will naturally be similar to the one used by your target audience. Hence, if you can get customer reviews consistently, it’ll help you target more traffic via the right keywords.
It’s important to understand that the effort you make with implementing these ecommerce SEO best practices to improve your website can pay off with greater discoverability of your brand and products and in turn, higher sales. Click To Tweet
While the fact is that implementation of SEO is a difficult and time-consuming process that only a few ecommerce business owners can invest in, those, who can, experience the highest return over time.