Ecommerce SEO is very different from traditional organic search engine optimization. I’ve written extensively on this topic, but the goal of this article is to provide an at-a-glance guide for eCommerce businesses so they can quickly identify areas that are critical to their online success. The checklist below has 10 items essential to every eCommerce company, and I’ve also included a list of resources that I recommend for further study.
Make sure your website is designed for conversions:
One common mistake eCommerce companies make is to assume they have a fully-functional site simply because they can open it in a browser and see their products listed. Many eCommerce websites are set up in this way.
However, while seeing products on a page is obviously critical, the only purpose of each page on your site should be to directly help your visitors complete one or more actions you are trying to get them to complete – whether that’s adding an item to their cart, signing up for an email newsletter, making a purchase, etc. If it doesn’t do anything towards helping you achieve these conversion goals then it’s just wasted money and effort – no matter how many products are listed on it.
For eCommerce SEO purposes, I recommend using Google Website Optimizer A/B & Multivariate testing tool which allows you to test any element on your website against another version of that element.
For example, blue CTA button vs. red CTA button to see which one performs better in terms of driving conversions.
Make sure your website is fast and properly optimized:
Page speed is another critical factor for eCommerce SEO strategy, as well as overall user experience. Studies have shown that both users and search engines place a high value on page speed, so this is definitely an area you don’t want to neglect. You can use tools like the Google Page Speed Insights tool or YSlow to analyze your pages and get specific suggestions on how to improve their performance.
Keyword research is still a very important part of eCommerce SEO, although the approach is a bit different than for traditional SEO. For eCommerce, you want to focus on finding keywords that are both relevant to your products and have high commercial intent. This means that people who are searching for those keywords are more likely to be interested in making a purchase.
You can use various tools to help you find these keywords, including the Google AdWords Keyword Tool and semrush.com. Once you have a list of target keywords, make sure you use them throughout your site – in titles, metatags, descriptions, etc. – to help improve your rankings in search engine results pages (SERPs).
Make sure your website is properly indexed by search engines:
One common mistake eCommerce companies make is to assume that their website has been indexed by search engines. However, just because your site is live doesn’t mean it’s being indexed. In fact, many websites aren’t indexed at all, which means they’re not showing up in search engine results pages for any keywords.
You can use Google Webmaster Tools to check whether your website has been indexed and to find out if there are any errors preventing it from being properly indexed. If your website isn’t indexed, then you’ll need to take steps to correct the problems so that indexing can occur.
Optimize your product pages for better rankings and conversions:
Optimizing your product pages is critical for both eCommerce SEO and conversions. The more relevant your product pages are to the keywords being searched. The higher you’ll rank in SERPs and the more likely people will be to purchase from you.
Everything from your titles and metatags to URL structure and content should be optimized for conversions. Even things like image alt tags can have a big impact on CTRs (click-through rates), which influences rankings.
Write a blog:
Blogs are a great way to get links back to your website – especially if they contain original, quality content that is useful for readers. They’re also a great way to build an audience who will visit your site regularly and keep up with any new products/services you may launch in the future.
It’s a good idea to include links back to your product pages from other parts of your website, especially from within blog posts and content you’ve published. These can be very powerful for eCommerce SEO purposes because they make it easier for search engines to crawl books and give them more authority in terms of ranking. In addition, internal linking makes it easier for users to navigate through your site. And find the products/services that interest them the most.
Sites like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn are a great way to communicate directly with potential customers and build a strong community around your brand. They’re also a great way to get traffic back to your website. Especially if you use them to publish blog posts, news about new products/services, and other updates.
Getting user reviews for your eCommerce business is a great way to boost trust in Google’s eyes. Positive reviews are more likely to get indexed by Google. Which improves rankings while negative reviews can have the opposite effect. So it’s important to encourage users to leave honest feedback after making a purchase from your site. A good way of doing this is by sending an email survey after they’ve received their order. Ask them whether they are happy with the service they received. And ask for any suggestions they might have on how to improve things in future.”
Sites like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn are a great way to communicate directly with potential customers. And build a strong community around your brand. They’re also a great way to get traffic back to your website. Especially if you use them to publish blog posts, news about new products/services, and other updates.
Improve customer experience:
One of the easiest ways you can improve eCommerce SEO efforts is by ensuring that users have a positive experience on your site. This includes things like making sure any checkout processes are fast and easy. Shipping times are accurate and billing information is secure. The better user experiences you offer. The more likely they will be to return again in the future – which will help drive repeat sales that are so important for eCommerce businesses.
Use keyword-rich anchor text:
Anchor text is the text you use to hyperlink to another page on your website. When used correctly, it can be a powerful tool for SEO purposes. You should try to use keyword-rich anchor text as often as possible. This tells Google that the page you’re linking to is relevant to the keywords you’re targeting.
Images are a great way to break up large pieces of text and add visual interest to your pages. However, they can also slow downloading times if not optimized correctly. Which is bad for both user experience and SEO. You should always use compressed images on your website while making sure that they are of a high enough quality to be printed in books or used for an individual article.
A good way to improve eCommerce SEO is by building links from other websites through guest blogging, directory submissions, and more. These not only give you new backlinks but also show Google that the sites linking to you are relevant. Which can help drive up rankings in the future. That said, it’s important not to place too much focus on link building. If you make it sound like you’re specifically asking for links rather than simply trying to contribute useful information then you could actually lose rankings as a result.”
Encouraging users to share your content on social media and other websites is a great way to get more traffic. And, by extension, more sales. You can do this by adding social sharing buttons to your pages. Providing exclusive discounts for those who share your content, and more.
Use long-tail keywords:
Long-tail keywords are specific phrases that people are more likely to use when they’re looking for something specific. They’re also easier to rank for than generic keywords, as there’s less competition. So if you want to improve your eCommerce SEO, you should start targeting long-tail keywords as often as possible.”
Publish high-quality content:
One of the most important things you can do for your eCommerce SEO efforts. It is to publish high-quality content on a regular basis. This will not only help you attract more visitors but also keep them engaged with your website. Which can help boost rankings in the long term.