The Ultimate Guide to SEO for ecommerce Websites
A hard truth – if you don’t get traffic to your eCommerce website, you can’t make sales. Traffic doesn’t fall from the sky.
So, the thought of eCommerce SEO crosses our minds once or twice when it comes to growing ROI for online retail stores.
Needless to say, ecommerce SEO for online stores is an effective cum affordable way to increase visibility around your brand, consistently get high-quality organic traffic, and make a huge difference in your sales.
What Is SEO for eCommerce?
eCommerce SEO is the method of driving more organic traffic from search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, and others. It makes your online store more visible on the search engine results pages (SERPs). Increased visibility means when people search for products you sell, your site will rank and you’ll get more traffic.
An eCommerce SEO helps in improving brand awareness, fill the marketing funnel (i.e. delivering marketing messages that speak to people who are in different stages of the buying process), rank your content better, expand remarketing audiences, improve user experience, rescue paid search costs and create lasting value.
A comprehensive guide to SEO for eCommerce Websites
Strategies for the best eCommerce SEO begin with keyword research, especially for two important pages:
- Category pages
- Product pages
Identify those high-value search terms that your target audiences use. Keywords for eCommerce websites are different from most keyword research. Why? Because most sites care about information keywords, like:
You also need to rank for commercial keywords like this:
Are you able to spot the difference?
Informational keywords are for information. Blogs and content-centric sites care about these keywords.
eCommerce keywords care about COMMERCIAL KEYWORDS that show buying intent.
Prioritize Your Pages
Performing keyword research on a page-by-page level is important. But, start with the most important pages FIRST.
Ensure that your site has eCommerce tracking set up in Google Analytics to get an idea about the most important pages. To get a rough sense of these pages, go to:
Behavior > Site Content > Landing Pages > sort by revenue (high to low)
Optimize Your Homepage
Good homepage SEO is vital for eCommerce websites. Keep call-to-action front and center. Keep menus short and sweet. Make it easy to get back to the homepage. Make site search visible. For better SEO results, follow the below instructions.
Homepage Title Tag
Include your business name with the main keyword phrase you are targeting. Create a title within 70 characters and keep it appealing.
Homepage Meta Description
A meta description is a short description of your business within 160 characters. It is displayed in the search beneath the title tag. Briefly sketch out the content and quality of the page to encourage people to visit your website.
Create homepage content in a way that helps visitors learn more about your business and products in a clear and precise way. A cluttered homepage or too much information confuses visitors and search engines.
So a big ‘NO’ to too much information! Just feature your top few products or services with your unique selling proposition on the homepage.
User-friendly Site Structure
A user-friendly site structure is great both for users and SEO. Because, a flat, simple architecture enables browsers to easily find the products they want.
You need to develop a distinct hierarchy of navigation, right from your homepage to product categories to the products listed within them.
The rule of thumb is to ensure visitors can reach everything in a maximum of three clicks to any product from the homepage.
You can do this with internal linking. Internal links serve two purposes.
- They boost eCommerce SEO as they show how pages are related to one another
- They increase time on site by prompting people to further navigate your site
Try to add links to relevant products or to information-rich blog articles. This improves eCommerce SEO, making your site more tempting for deep dives.
Choose the Right URLs
For optimal ranking for eCommerce SEO, create the right URLs. Rand Fishkin, the CEO & Co-Founder of SEOmoz, has shared a few URL guidelines for the best SEO strategy for eCommerce websites.
- Create URLs for real, live humans to read and interpret as accessibility matters to Google.
- Use the main keyword in URLs, because they show up in search results.
- Make short URLs – in fact, try to keep it below 50 to 60 characters.
- Use the main keyword in the page title. No need to include the full page title in the URL.
- Avoid including stop words, like “of,” “and,” “the,” and “a,” unless they’re part of the keyword.
- Don’t overuse keywords and avoid pointless repetition.
Keep these guidelines in mind when deciding URLs for your product and category page.
Avoid Broken Links
Broken links are confusing for your site visitors and search engines. Ultimately, links let Google understand your site structure and entrust that you’re sharing valid information.
However, monitoring all links manually is difficult and time-consuming. So, use online SEO tools like the Broken Link Checker plugin or Screaming Frog. If you make any changes to the URL of a page, remember to set up a 301 redirect and let search engines know that the link has been updated.
How to Choose the Best SEO-friendly eCommerce Platform
Choosing the best eCommerce platform for SEO is very important as it has a direct impact on your business. There are many platforms but not all of them can be suitable for your business. Some of the popular platforms include:
Know more about finding the Best eCommerce Platforms for SEO.
Speed Up Your Site
A site that loads fast is key to an excellent user experience. To ensure your store is fast, optimize your images, consider a CDN (content delivery network), set up caching, choose a great host, and limit the number of plugins, more code, and more weight on your site.
Secure Your Site with HTTPS
As a store owner, you collect personal information from your customers. Make sure that their information is encrypted and safe. If people browsing your eCommerce store don’t feel safe, they may jump to your competitor’s website.
In addition, Google has declared HTTPS a ranking factor for websites. Also, your competitors may have moved to HTTPS because HTTPS prevents cyber criminals from intercepting the data and the information your customers enter on your website
To obtain an HTTPS certificate, connect with the ResultFirst team.
SEO strategy for eCommerce websites can be complex and challenging due to search engine algorithm updates and excessive industry jargon. It can take time to carry out and get the hang of this whole SEO thing.
But, if you heed this eCommerce SEO guide, it will certainly be worth the effort. Thorough and correctly-implemented optimization can yield potentially far higher click-through rates and sales than through paid search.
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