4 SEO tips for your e-commerce website
Last modified: 2019/10/23 | Approximate reading time 5 mins
As a business owner and an e-commerce one at that, it’s likely you have a few things on your mind when it comes to your website: traffic, sales, traffic, sales, traffic. In most cases, an excess of traffic leads to an excess of sales. But of course, the main challenge of running an e-commerce business is getting customers to your site in the first place. Excellent SEO is the way to drive high-quality traffic towards your business, so what are the best practices?
With the added pressure of constantly updating Google algorithms and trying to stay on top of content marketing trends, it can be difficult to know where to start. We’re going to lay down some of the best SEO practices for an e-commerce site, as well as the reasons why these practices are important.
Here are 4 SEO tips for your e-commerce website
Before you begin applying SEO strategies to your e-commerce site, you’ll need to understand how it works. Search Engine Optimization is a process which allows you to generate more organic traffic towards your website. Let’s use Google as an example. Every time someone searches a query in Google, they are given their search engine results page (SERP.) At the top of the page will be the paid ads, and following these will be the organic results. With e-commerce, there will also be sponsored Google Shopping ads at the side of the page close to the paid ads.
When it comes to SEO for an e-commerce site, it’s all about making sure that the product pages of your website make it on the first page of search engine results. As should be obvious, the further down the line your website finds itself, the harder it will be to get a steady flow of traffic and thus, convert customers. Top results are going to grab the bulk of traffic, and so incorporating better SEO practices as tailored to an e-commerce site is absolutely necessary to be successful.
1- Keyword research
If you’ve read anything about SEO before, it’s likely you’re familiar with the suggestion that you should start with keyword research. This practice is paramount to anyone taking SEO, though some of the main principles of keyword research have changed. It is important to note that keyword research for an e-commerce website will be conducted in a few different ways. You’re looking to rank for commercial keywords rather than information keywords. You’re looking to target the buying intent of the consumer.
The best place to start is by understanding the terms of your marketplace and essentially what your consumers are searching for in relation to your products. Divulging this information will help you to understand how to approach organic search and come up with goals based on this information. Keyword research can be conducted through a number of free tools found online. When using this tool, choose keywords based on their search volume as well as how much competition is associated with the word.
Another way to see what consumers are looking for is to use the Google suggest function. Begin by typing a phrase that relates to your business in the search engine, then watch the search auto-complete. The bottom of the page will also offer some additional related search queries. In addition to using a keyword research tool, this is an excellent place to gain some crucial insight into how your customer is searching. You can also complete a similar task in Amazon, as this platform is obviously much more product-focused. Do bear in mind that long-tail keywords (three or four words in length) are still highly favoured, and offer higher conversion rates.
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2- Your 2019 Performance
If you’re a new business, this tip obviously won’t apply. But, if you’ve been around for a few years, we’d highly suggest looking at how your SEO practices played out in 2019 so you can improve for 2020. Look in Google Search Console to find keywords that sent the most traffic to your website. Try not to get too hung up on specifics or numbers, and instead use this information as a marker through which to set goals for 2020. Another area of your website to look at is which pages drove natural search performance. If there are pages that could perform better, make sure to take the initiative and update these. How keywords and certain pages perform will help you to plan for SEO in 2020.
3- Website structure
Your SEO is directly affected by the way that your website is structured, especially when it comes to an e-commerce site. Of course, you’re running an online store and thus, you want to make it as easy as possible for customers to make purchases. Since you’ll probably be adding and taking away product over time, you’ll want your site to be structured in such a way that it’s easy to scale as your store expands. It would be a pain to have to re-organize your site every single time a new product is added. Another note is to make sure every product page is just a click or two away from your main page. Your home page is the one that holds all the authority!
Simplicity is key when it comes to e-commerce, as the process towards final purchase should be streamlined. There are plenty of specifics when it comes to the web design of an e-commerce site, and for these, we’d suggest checking out our article.
4- On-page SEO
So, by now you’ve completed your keyword research, correctly structured your website for sales and set some solid goals. Now, it’s time to look at specific pages and how you can optimize them. The pages you should be considering are product category pages and product pages. Depending on the platform your e-commerce site is operating on, you may already be taking advantage of built-in SEO features. Other features that will require your optimization skills are as follows:
- Add keywords to title tags and meta descriptions;
- Edit alt text for product images to include keywords;
- Edit file names to include keywords;
- Change URL’s for blog posts, web pages, products, and collections;
- Reduce lengthy product descriptions;
- Bulk up thin content.
Also worth considering is that modifiers such as deals, discounts, free shipping and so forth will offer a boost in your traffic as well as your spot in search engines. This is because Google looks at the clickthrough rate and will rank you on this as well. Bear in mind that piquing the interest of consumers is just as important as appealing to the search engine itself!
There are plenty of additional necessary strategies when it comes to taking on SEO for an e-commerce site. However, the information we’ve offered is foundational to direct you towards having a stronger, goal-focused, e-commerce platform.