SEO has become the driving force behind success in today’s eCommerce environment, but it’s also one of the most complicated and confusing elements to grasp and conquer. To help you navigate this complex world of online marketing, we’ve put together this complete guide to eCommerce SEO, optimization and best practices.
What Is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
Search engine optimization is the process of optimizing a website for search results with the goal of earning higher web traffic levels. It is basically an online strategy where you improve your site’s visibility. The better your site’s visibility, the more you are likely to attract customers to purchase your products or avail of your services.
So, how does it work?
Major search engines like Bing and Google deploy bots to crawl web pages. These bots go from one site to another, gathering every single piece of information about every page and add them in an index. After that, algorithms are created to analyze the index, all while considering various signals and factors to determine which pages should appear in every search query.
Now, one of the most important element in SEO is keywords. Keywords should be integrated into content without appearing to be forced or too repetitive in order to appear natural. It’s also important not to over-optimize as it will hurt your rankings in the long run.
And how do you find relevant keywords to incorporate into your content? The answer is through keyword research. It is the process of finding and analyzing the words and phrases that people are using to search for your products or services. It’s an important part of any eCommerce marketing strategy because it helps you understand what your customers are looking for and how you can best serve them.
Keyword Research Tools
To find relevant keywords, you can use keyword research tools like SEMrush, which will do the work for you automatically. Such tools will use big data sets and advanced algorithms that calculate volume, keyword difficulty, competition, and more.
Why Do We Need to Care about Search Engine Optimization?
Search engine optimization is important for a number of reasons. First, it helps you extend your reach and gain more potential customers. These customers may be those who are in distant places that traditional marketing methods cannot reach.
Another benefit that SEO brings is it can help you get higher quality traffic to your site. This means you don’t just attract spammy traffic. Rather, you get site visitors who are truly interested in your product or service offering. So, if your website is offering free downloads for standard ps 2 keyboard driver, with SEO, you can get site visitors who are looking to download this tool. And this leads us to the next benefit of SEO, which is the fact that it can help you improve your conversion rate.
Fourth, it can help you build trust and credibility with your audience, and it can help you stand out from the competition. Also, it can help you make more money. This is because, the more the visitors that reach your website, the higher your chances of converting them into potential customers.
The Two Pillars of On-Page SEO
There are two main pillars of on-page SEO: content and code. Great content will help you rank for the right keywords and get found by the right people. And optimized code will make sure your site is fast and easy to crawl for search engine bots.
Let’s talk more about these two below:
In the world of SEO, it is quite normal to come across the saying that content is king. Well, we couldn’t stress the importance of content in SEO enough. Quality content can catapult a website to the top of search results. However, at its worst, it can drag a website down and cause a site to get penalized.
Source codes aren’t actually that scary. These tidbits of information are what browsers read to know what content is to be displayed. A source code contains a plethora of elements that are critical for SEO, including title tags, meta descriptions, heading tags, and a lot more.
Meta tags are snippets of text that shortly describe a page’s content; they aren’t visible on the page itself but only in the page’s code. Title tags are the most important meta tags, and they appear in the head section of the page. Search engines use them to understand what a page is about and decide whether or not to show it in search results.
Some eCommerce SEO Best Practices to Make Your Site More Searchable
If you run an eCommerce site or hire any web development agency houston for your store, search engine optimization (SEO) should be high on your priority list. Not only does it attract potential customers to your site, but it also leads them directly to the product pages they are searching for instead of just sending them to the homepage of your website, which may not have what they want.
1. Do keyword research properly
If you want your eCommerce site to be more searchable, you need to do keyword research. This involves finding out what words and phrases potential customers are using to search for products like yours.
You can use online tools like Google AdWords Keyword Planner and Moz Keyword Explorer to find relevant keywords. Once you have a list of keywords, you can start incorporating them into your site’s content, titles, and meta tags.
For example, if you sell running shoes, you might include the word running in one of your product descriptions or in the title for that page.
2. Link internally
Adding links to your pages helps Google understand your site better and can also give your shoppers an easy way to navigate to related products.
Here are a few ways to do internal linking correctly:
- Add links from the homepage to each of the other pages on your site
- Have hyperlinks that take visitors to other relevant parts of your website, such as similar items or recently added products
- Create linkable titles with clear language (e.g., Men’s Shoes)
- Include keyword phrases in those links (e.g., Men’s Running Shoes)
- Reinforce search engine friendly URLs with keywords where possible
- Use short URLs when possible to make it easier for visitors to type them into their browsers ‘ address bars
- Link images to target websites if you’re using photos and illustrations found elsewhere on the web
- Create descriptive alt text so screen readers have an idea of what images look like before they click through
3. Use anchor text effectively
Anchor text is the visible and clickable text in a hyperlink. It’s what tells users and search engines where they’ll be taken when they click on a link. As far as SEO goes, anchor text is important because it gives search engines an idea of what your site is about. Plus, it can help you rank for certain keywords.
For example, if you’re selling running shoes online, running shoes should appear somewhere in your anchor text. Use anchors strategically:
Give people (and search engines) clear indications of what content lies ahead with strategic use of anchors. Linking to product pages from within blog posts not only helps readers find products but also establishes the relevancy of that content for those who might not have found their way there organically yet.
4. Optimize your meta description
If you want your eCommerce site to show up in search engine results pages, you need to optimize your meta descriptions.
Meta descriptions are the brief summaries that appear under each result on a SERP. They give searchers an idea of what they can expect to find on your site if they click through. Without properly optimized meta descriptions, not only will your page be unlikely to rank well, but it will also be unlikely for anyone to even click on it in the first place.
Keep these tips in mind when crafting yours:
- Put keywords or key phrases into the content area of your description. You want them to pop up in the text so Google and other search engines know exactly what’s on offer on your website.
- Use concise language so people don’t get bored and move onto another site before they have time to check out your product or service offerings.
- If appropriate, include a call-to-action that encourages visitors to contact you with questions or comments about what you offer—perhaps by using wording like contact us today! or ask us anything!
5. Keep your titles short and concise
It’s no secret that eCommerce and SEO go hand-in-hand. If you want your online store to be successful, you need to make sure it’s optimized for search engines. But what does that entail?
Well, one of the most important aspects of search engine optimization is ensuring that your titles are short and concise so they can show up in Google search results as well as a user’s social media feed. Keep titles like Clothing Store: Everything You Need in One Place! to Clothing Store Huge Selection Low Prices Today Only Deals! for optimal results.
Shorter posts mean more words per post which helps with SEO. Also, shorter titles will get your readers engaged faster because they won’t have to spend time trying to read through everything you write on a post.
A shorter title also allows them to skim through and find something of interest quickly without having to scroll down on the page. And since longer posts will typically result in lower rankings on SERPs, keeping it short but sweet will help keep your site at the top of Google searches.
6. Target long tail keywords
Long tail keywords are highly specific, niche-oriented keywords that businesses can use to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). The best long tail keywords are those that accurately reflect the content on your page and are relevant to your target audience.
To choose the best long tail keywords for your eCommerce business, start by brainstorming a list of potential keywords based on your products and services. Then use a keyword research tool to check the search volume and competition level for each keyword.
Finally, choose the long tail keywords that have high search volume and low competition. If you want to go further, you can use Google Adwords Keyword Tool to find related keywords with similar or same meaning. Once you’ve chosen some promising long tail keywords for your site, it’s time to get started with an eCommerce SEO strategy.
7. Use quality and clear photos to showcase products
People love visual content. In fact, studies have shown that articles with images get 94% more views than those without. When it comes to product pages, using quality photos is even more important. After all, your goal is to sell the product, not just write about it.
If you can’t take high-quality photos yourself, consider outsourcing them to a professional photographer who specializes in photographing products for ecommerce sites.
8. Observe proper site structure
Creating a well-structured website is critical for success in the eCommerce world. It helps search engines understand your site and makes it easy for customers to navigate.
Here are some tips for proper site structure:
- Use a simple, easy-to-understand navigation scheme
- Organize your content into logical categories
- Use keyword-rich titles and descriptions
- Create unique URLs for each page
- Include a sitemap
- Optimize your images
9. Consider using link building strategies for eCommerce sites
Link building is another important aspect of eCommerce SEO. By building links to your site, you can increase your site’s visibility and organic traffic. However, link building is vast with so many strategies to learn. Not to mention, it can be a time-consuming process.
Here are some tips to help you build links effectively:
- Identify your target audience and which type of content they would find helpful and insightful.
- Create high-quality content that is link-worthy.
- Reach out to other websites and blogs in your industry to see if they would be interested in linking to your content.
- Be sure your website is properly optimized. This way, webmasters will be enticed and convinced to link to your website.
10. Use testimonials and press releases
If you’re running an online store, you know that buyer feedback is of the essence. Not only will it give others the idea about what to expect from your products and services, but it will also play a crucial role in SEO. It will signal Google whether or not your business is legit or if your products are of excellent quality. So, if possible, encourage your customers to leave feedback or give testimonials so you know what to improve and work on.
And if you have new products or services to launch, take advantage of press releases. Craft a detailed copy and submit it to PR sites to build links and let interested individuals know about what you have to offer.
11. Create payment gateway listings (Google product listing ads, Merchant Center Data Feeds)
Product Listing Ads (PLAs) are a great way to get your products in front of potential customers who are searching for what you sell.
In order to make sure your PLAs are seen by as many people as possible, you’ll want to make sure your product data is optimized for Google Merchant Center. This includes making sure your product titles and descriptions are clear and concise, your product images are high-quality and accurately represent the product, and your pricing is up-to-date.
It’s no secret that eCommerce sites need to be optimized for search engines. This can lead to higher rankings and more traffic, which results in more sales. However, many eCommerce website owners are still struggling to figure out how to optimize their websites in the most optimal way that can help them acquire traffic and leads. Hopefully, this guide has walked you through everything you need to know to set up an effective eCommerce SEO strategy.