SEO is every online business’s secret weapon, as long as they know how to use it. Great ecommerce SEO can make the difference between a business that sells and one that stays hidden in the shadows.
SEO for ecommerce differs from usual SEO practices because more emphasis is placed on the products themselves. Focus is squarely on improving conversion rates, product-led copy, and giving customers the ultimate e-tail experience.
Not following the right SEO for your online store could be losing you money. The solution? Implementing the right SEO practices and habits for your ecommerce store so it’s easy-to-use for your customers and makes sense to Google.
Here is how to manage ecommerce SEO.
Why is SEO important for your ecommerce store?
SEO is a tool that allows ecommerce merchants to have longevity and business success in a changing market. It’s less expensive than pay-per-click (PPC) and more futureproof than investing in marketplaces. Good SEO will drive more organic traffic to your ecommerce store and encourage repeat sales. Whether you are just starting out or looking to improve an existing online store, take a look at these easy on-site SEO hacks for your ecommerce store.
Do your research
The place where all good SEO begins is with your keywords. This is one way to keep your website ranking above your competitors, but for ecommerce keyword research you also need to think about user and buyer intent.
Amazon is a great SEO research tool for your online store. The search function offers useful insight to customers’ shopping behaviors, and how they buy online. You can also look at Amazon’s product organization for inspiration for your own store (although be careful not to copy them too much as they do operate on a slightly different model to traditional one-brand online stores)
Keep an eye on your competitors to see what they’re up to. Is there anything that you can learn from the way they are doing things?
Write killer content – amazing product descriptions are both sales pitches and a chance to hit keywords and optimize your site. Use them wisely.
Don’t ignore category descriptions – these can be another great way to add more keywords naturally…and add value to customers.
Create more content for your site that doesn’t directly apply to a specific product. Buying guides and helpful tutorials are perfect for SEO.
Tip: Content doesn’t always have to be written. It also can take the form of photos, graphics and videos. Use the right SEO practices for this type of content so your site continues to shine.
Focus your attention on technical SEO
It’s all well and good focusing time on your marketing strategy and writing great content, but if you neglect the technical side of SEO, your site will instantly become less search-friendly.
Things like user experience (UX), indexing, usability, page speed, and metadata all contribute to your site’s overall success: take a holistic approach with your SEO.
Get to grips with the basics of site crawling and indexing to better understand your site and how you can improve its current crawl budget.
Conduct an audit of your site to identify any current indexing or usability issues and how you can fix them. Depending on your content management system (CMS), you may be able to fix some smaller SEO issues like 301 redirects and browser caching yourself with plugins and add-ons.
Consider an online store builder as they ensure that your site’s structure is SEO-friendly from the ground up. They are great for beginner merchants, but even a dedicated ecommerce environment will need SEO upgrades and support on a regular basis in order to remain competitive.
Free SEO tools and browser plugins, like SEOquake, are great at giving you an overview of your website performance, but they can only tell you so much. It’s easy to get sucked in by ‘free SEO audits’ and not really get much value out of the advice. You will probably need to ask for expert advice to help you fix complex issues with your site: a little money spent on technical SEO now means that your business will grow in the right (digital) direction!
Tip: Using an ecommerce platform means you can spend less money on web development, and more money with professionals who can help optimize your site. A good ecommerce store needs to look good, but don’t ignore the technical SEO elements that should underpin an attractive site design.
Install tools to help you manage SEO
The only definitive way to know your SEO practices are working is by using dedicated tools that give you constant data from your site. Domain authority and trust flow can be good indicators of your site’s power and backlinks, whilst other tools can show you more in-depth data and metrics.
Use free tools like Screaming Frog to crawl your site in real time and get important data about on-site optimization and metadata.
Use Google Tag Manager to take your Google Analytics to the next level and really get granular with your attribution models.
Paid tools will give you more information about your site and traffic. Tools like Moz, Majestic and SEMrush offer a range of good features that will open up a plethora of information about your site and areas for improvement: use these to help you optimize for competitive keywords.
Hook your SEO tools up with key sales data like customer lifetime value and average order value to help you work out the effectiveness of your SEO strategies.
Check your website’s metrics frequently. It’s recommended you have a deep dive every two weeks.
SEO doesn’t have an immediate impact, so don’t be put off by slow results. If you invest the time then you will soon see the benefit.
Tip: Don’t get too caught up in endlessly analyzing data and site metrics for parts of the site that don’t really matter for customers. Only focus on ones that make the most sense for improving customer experience.
Harness the power of links
Links boost your site’s power and help to create a web from your site to others, connecting the dots for Google to understand what your site is all about. It will increase organic traffic to your site, which will in turn increase conversions. Both internal and external links throughout your site will increase your site’s power and create a strong and successful online business.
Outreach to relevant blogs in your niche to guest post on their site. Some will be happy to have informative and interesting guest posts on their site, and you can then include a backlink to your site in your author byline. Buying guides and how-to posts always do very well.
You can also use sponsored posts to publish an article on another site for a small fee. You can include links back to your own site to build power and spread the word
Run campaigns that encourage people link to your site. Things like discounts and major offers or give-aways are great for building links
Use internal links for good SEO and to create a better user experience for customers
Tip: Links from powerful websites will establish more power to your site. Aim for other sites that already have a lot of power to increase your own.
SEO is a crucial component in doing well online, and ecommerce is no exception. Keeping up-to-date with new SEO practices and maintaining an optimized site will increase traffic and allow your store to grow and flourish. What SEO updates can you make to your online store today?