Over time, the ecommerce landscape has grown exponentially and so does the competition. Therefore, if you want your ecommerce website to grow and maintain profitability, you’ve to rise above the cutthroat competition.
Now consider the assumption that says by 2040, a whopping 95% of purchases will be done by ecommerce. It means the opportunities in this landscape are truly limitless and as an ecommerce business owner, all you need to do is place your store prominently in front of the online searchers. And this is exactly where ecommerce SEO ranking factors become imperative.
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How to Effectively Perform Keyword Research for Ecommerce?
Google by far remains the undisputed leader in the search engine landscape.
Therefore, we’ve handpicked the ranking factors that Google considers crucial. And it’s also safe to say that considering these factors will work well for the other search engines too.
In this article, we’re going to discuss eight essential ranking factors that you must consider to dominate search.
What is Ecommerce SEO?
While any website can benefit from SEO, it becomes absolutely crucial when it comes to ecommerce websites. Put simply, ecommerce SEO refers to the process of making your ecommerce store rank as high as possible in the SERPs. Click To TweetBy ranking high, you generate more organic traffic to your store, which ultimately results in more sales.
Why Should you Invest in SEO for your Ecommerce Website?
Unfortunately, lots of ecommerce websites are created with no to little consideration of search engines despite SEO’s ability to generate the highest ROI of all ecommerce marketing campaigns. Of course, strategies like paid advertising or social media marketing are great and can draw in a significant amount of traffic but they need a constant effort and a good amount of monetary investment as well. On the contrary, SEO needs only upfront effort – to rank high in SERPs.
If you’re still feeling hesitant about whether to invest in SEO, take a look at these statistics.
Search engines are responsible for generating 37.5% of all traffic
- The internet is where 63% of shopping occasions begin
Hopefully, by now, you’re convinced enough about the true potential of SEO in helping an ecommerce business grow.
Let’s take a look at the way Google ranks a website.
The Process Behind Google Search Rankings
Before we delve into Google’s method, let’s see what exactly rankings refer to, in terms of SEO. If your online store gets a number one ranking on the SERPs, it means that your website would be the first result (excluding featured snippets and promoted results) when people search for a specific term.
Now, if we consider the fact that websites on the first page enjoy the attention of 75% of the internet users. It’s truly required to appear on page one if you want to increase your online traffic and conversion rates.
It’s a well-known fact that when we search something on Google, it displays results that it considers are the most relevant based on the keywords (search terms) entered. Apart from keywords, search engine rankings depend on various other factors as well. When indexing the main content of a page, Google, according to its Search Quality Ratings, evaluates factors like,
- Expertise, trustworthiness, and authority
- The objective of the page
- Quality and amount of content
- The reputation of both the website and the content creator
- Information about both the website and the content creator
Now, the ranking algorithm takes these under consideration and determine SEO ranking.
Therefore, when you address ecommerce SEO ranking factors, you let Google understand when your web pages are relevant to specific search queries, so the links will get clicked and your site will be visited.
How to Monitor your Ecommerce Site’s Keyword Performance?
Once you’ve got an effective SEO strategy in place for your ecommerce website, it becomes crucial to learn how your web pages are doing on the SERPs. Here, we’ve compiled five keyword rankings checker tools that would let you learn how Google sees your website.
This tool from HubSpot helps you get personalized reports based on metrics like SEO, performance, mobile-friendliness, and security. Once you plug in the required information, it’ll generate a score together with a detailed report.
This is offered by SEMRush and lets you track the ranking for your website for target keywords. You can also track historical ranking with this tool.
Offered by Ahrefs, this is one of the most accurate keyword rankings checker tools available on the market. It comes with features like device and location tracking, competitor analysis, among others.
With this simple tool, all you need to do is enter your site’s URL and the keywords you wish to track and it’ll get you a detailed keyword ranking report in a couple of clicks.
This full-fledged website promotion tool comes with a feature called “Rank tracking” that lets you check Google keyword rankings. It offers features like competitor analysis, historical rank tracking, etc.
8 Ecommerce SEO Ranking Factors that you Must Focus On
According to SEO experts, Google’s search algorithm uses more than 200 ranking factors when it comes to ranking websites, as well as, pages. But you don’t need to be swamped with the number as all of them don’t carry equal importance. Therefore, we decided to come up with this list of the eight most essential ecommerce SEO ranking factors addressing which would help your website rank high.
With its mobile-first indexing, Google is getting increasingly closer to prioritizing the mobile-friendliness of content. It means Google is drawing the results from mobile-optimized websites first, instead of sites geared to desktops.
It’s clearly understandable from the above image why the online sales landscape is predicted to be dominated by mobile. Therefore, if you still haven’t optimized your website for mobile, you’ve to do it now. Things you need to consider include ensuring you’ve got a responsive site, easy readability, accessibility and navigability, and ensuring prominent display of your essential content.
Page speed is one of the ecommerce SEO ranking factors that belong to the technical optimization category. Sometimes, bulky, complex and non-optimized ecommerce sites might take a longer time to load. But it’s important to keep in mind that each second of loading may cost you a transaction and revenue. Take a look at the below image that depicts how slow loading time affects an ecommerce website.
We’d suggest you to use tools such as Lighthouseor WebPageTestto measure page performance, accessibility, etc and make improvements if needed. While it’s true that an ecommerce website with a significant number of product category pages each having lots of products and images can generally be larger than other websites, you’ve to ensure that the page loading time remains within three seconds or less.
Web page content
In the SEO landscape, optimized, unique, and structured content is one of the most crucial factors that help Google in its key objective of providing outstanding UX (user experience). Apart from the main keywords, remember to incorporate LSI or Latent Semantic Indexing keywords not only to help Google understand what results to display but to boost your rankings as well. You can use tools like LSIGraph to generate LSI keywords associated with your target keyword.
It’s also important to remember that Google not only wants your content to be high-quality but to have a good number of words as well. Take a look at the below image to understand how content length impacts rankings.
Therefore, try to create longer content that has a minimum of 2,000 words but don’t stretch out unnecessarily.
And utilize high-quality visual content to improve your site’s SEO ranking.
Remember that effective image SEO can bring many benefits your way including better ranking in image search, fast page load time, positive user experience, etc.
While as an ecommerce business owner, you must focus on creating the most secure environment in order to protect your customers, domain security is a crucial ranking factor also. By adding an “s” at the end of your URL’s “Http” part, you can display Google that you’ve used encryption to secure your website. It also proves that you’ve gained an SSL certificate.
There’re different types of SSL certificates that cater to different purposes. You can check this post out to learn which one would be the best for your ecommerce website.
Did you know that most of the websites with high ranking are at least a couple of years old? Take a look at the below image that represents the result of a study by Ahrefs.
It means, if you create a brand-new website, add high-quality content to it, and build lots of relevant links, you still may not get as much search traffic as an older site does. But if you’ve had your ecommerce website for a while and optimized it properly, you already stand a better chance of ranking high.
High-quality backlinks are authoritative referral sources that greatly help in improving your site’s ranking. In fact, they account for 30% of an overall page score.
When your site is linked to a trustworthy website, it also looks more trustworthy to the search engines. Google’s PageRank algorithm keeps score of the websites that have quality backlinks. It evaluates both the number and authority of the links to your site and gives an authority score between 0 and 10. You can try out the following link-acquisition methods to get links from high authority sites.
- Create high-quality and informative infographics
- Make use of social networking sites
- Utilize press release websites
- Do guest blogging
- Write valuable comments on high-value blogs
Apart from these, carry out periodic backlink audits and stay away from spammy, low-quality, and theme-inconsistent links.
Brand signals help Google understand that you’re legit – a proof of your trustworthiness, credibility, and existence. Additionally, if you can build brand signals effectively, it’d impact your overall brand equity in a positive manner. Some of the key categories that together form brand signals include,
- User queries
- Mentions on the internet
- Activities on social platforms
- Verifiable identity
Therefore, provide clear and comprehensive details about your brand, be active on top social platforms and relevant niche platforms, and focus on guest posting on relevant, authoritative sites. You can also use branded anchor text when linking back to your ecommerce site in order to establish authority. Take a look at the below image to understand what is a branded anchor text and how it can be used.
Put simply, the more you can make your user-generated content or UGC visible, the higher its possibilities of appearing in relevant search results. If you’re thinking that how it can improve your search ranking, here’re the key reasons.
- UGC can help you with keyword optimization because it often naturally contains long-tail, relevant keywords, which are less competitive and far more effective.
- UGC can boost your brand’s visibility on social media platforms, which itself is a crucial ranking factor.
- UGC is proof of authenticity because the chances of being biased are far less with it.
However, it’s important to manage UGC properly, which includes content posted in your online community and that posted on external platforms. Ideally, you should use social listening tools to keep track of how your brand is perceived by people.
The key to getting high ranking in search results isn’t just about addressing the ecommerce SEO ranking factors we mentioned above. It’s also about understanding people since the key objective of Google is to provide its users with the best experience. And providing great customer experience is all about answering potential customer questions, offering better navigation, and providing detailed information.