eCommerce SEO - What You Really Need to Know

eCommerce SEO refers to the search engine optimisation of an online shop with the goal to increase search engine results rankings. It involves researching and using keywords, product page optimisation, link building, adding regular original and quality content, and improving website structure.

Why is eCommerce SEO Important?

The benefits of eCommerce SEO include:

  • generate regular and quality website traffic from search engines 

Organic website traffic refers to visitors who come to your website directly from a search engine such as Google or Bing, as compared to paid traffic from Google Ads or Facebook. Search engines are used to help people find the information they are specifically looking for. It is in the best interest of a search engine to show users only the most relevant and quality results they can. This is because they want to keep people using them so they can continue to have visitors who will potentially click on their paid advertisements, so the search engine can make money. This requires you to regularly create and add original, high quality, relevant and sort after content to your website so it 

  • make your brand more visible

Through having your website appear more often in search engine results, your business is seen by a wider audience than those who just visit your website. Having a highly visible brand gives customers confidence in your business, helps them to build a positive and ongoing relationship with you, and quickly associate your products with your business. 

  • help customers find your store quickly

eCommerce SEO ideally results in customers quickly finding your products online in search results, clicking through to your website and completing a purchase or other CTA. For example, the ultimate result would be that when a potential customer uses Google to find a specific product which you sell, it shows the meta description for your product in first position on page 1 of Google, with your competitors listed below. But simply being on page 1 itself significantly increases the likelihood of website visits.

  • expand your audience

Having a large variety of content on your website that is related to your business industry attracts more people than just shoppers. For instance, blog articles can provide them with useful information on their purchasing decision or to solve one or more of their problems. 

  • reducing paid advertisement costs

Another way to get visitors to your online store is via paid advertisements using Google Ads, Facebook, Pinterest and from other websites. The benefit of using paid ads is instant traffic without needing to wait for or do SEO. But once you stop paying for ads, the traffic from them stops. Investing time into SEO for your online store gives you the ongoing benefit of traffic long after you have completed it. However, it's not a do once and it's done task, but does require regular work.

Creating Your eCommerce SEO Strategy

Planning and research are crucial for creating a top performing online shop SEO strategy. This process starts with setting yourself some clear and SMART goals about what you want to achieve: What does a successful online store achieve? Be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound in your goals. Once you know what you are aiming for, you can get to work developing your eCommerce SEO strategy, which is likely to contain the following things:

  • Keyword research

Keywords are the words and phrases somebody enters into a search engine to find information. Keyword research is the process of finding and then selecting the most suitable words and phrases to integrate within your website. There are plenty of keyword tools available to help you select the most suitable words. Ideally you are wanting keywords that have high search volume and low competition numbers.

  • Competitor research

By knowing what your competitors are doing online, you are better positioned to make decisions about what your business needs to do and how best to do it. Note down what information they have on their website, if they are collecting email addresses for newsletters, the keywords they use, any paid advertising they are doing and what they post on social media. 

  • User intent

User intent refers to what your best guess is about what a visitor to your site will do and identifying ways you can help guide them through this. Put yourself in the shoes of a customer - which page will they land on first, then go to next? What buttons will they click? What colours will attract their attention? What is their ultimate goal when visiting your website?

  • Headings and sub headings

Headings and sub headings are used by search engines to identify what a web page is about and where the key information can be found. By using headings or heading tags correctly, you are not only organising your page into easily recognisable and readable parts, but also informing search engines what the page is about and which part is the most important. 

  • Meta tags

Meta tags are the small snippets of text which are mostly not visible to people visiting your website. They are however, text which search engines use to help identify what a specific page is about. You can optimise your meta tags by focusing on the menu button text, meta title, meta description, keywords and filename for every page a product on your site.

  • Product description optimisation

Your product descriptions don't only get read by your customers - search engines read them too! This means that each product description requires optimisation for SEO and enough information for the customer to make a purchase decision. Each product description needs to be original, describe the key features of the product, the benefits of using the product and the most suitable keywords.

  • Social proof

Social proof helps to increase customer confidence in your products and is a key factor that search engines use when ranking websites. Enable product reviews for each product on your website, and ask for customers to leave reviews on social media for you. 

  • Internal links

These are links between pages in your website. Also known as hyperlinks, anchor text (the words themselves that are clickable) help visitors find additional information easily and quickly on your website. Anchor text is also used by search engines to understand why a link exists and find other information more easily. 

  • Backlinks

Backlinks are the links from other websites to yours. A backlink shows a search engine that another website feels that the information on your page they have linked to is of high quality and worth sharing with their audience. A search engine will take into consideration the anchor text, quality and content relevance of the original website and the one being linked to when determining how they should rank the backlink. 

  • Content marketing

Written content is important for websites because it is one of the major points a search engine will rank a site on. Content marketing is about providing useful and relevant information to your target audience on topics within your industry, in an educational way and not a selling way. It helps to grow your online visibility, build positive relationships, encourage regular visits to your website, grow your audience and develop loyal followers who are happy to promote you.

  • Technical SEO

Technical SEO is not something you need to worry about when your website is built using our platform. That's because we've done all the hard work for you. Technical SEO refers to the usability of your website in both the design and programming. When a website has great technical SEO, search engine spiders can crawl and index content easily, the site is fast to load and is mobile friendly.

  • User experience

User experience refers to what a visitor does, feels and thinks when on a website. The user experience honeycomb states that a website is judged by visitors on its desirability, usefulness, credibility, accessibility, value, usability and how easy it can be found. 

Remember that it is not just your products and associated online store content that requires SEO - the rest of your website does on an ongoing basis too! Your next step is to check out our every growing collection of SEO resources so you can improve your website SEO yourself! 

Tags: ecommerce  seo  

Posted: Friday 18 August 2023