Search engine optimization (SEO) is crucial for the livelihood and success of any ecommerce website. After all, people can’t buy from you online if they can’t find you!
To rank high in search engines for the keywords you want to target, you have to optimize your website accordingly.
Check out the ecommerce SEO tips below to learn how to get visitors to your website and turn them into buyers.
- Do keyword research to find the right keywords for you
- Use structured data on your ecommerce website
- Optimize your product images for search engines and customers
- Improve your website speed
- Optimize your website for mobile
- Optimize your URL structure
- Stay away from broken links
- Do internal linking right
- Focus on link building
- Avoid duplicate content
1. Do keyword research to find the right keywords for you
Any ecommerce SEO strategy starts with identifying relevant keywords and adding them to your ecommerce site.
What are the terms you want to rank for?
Say you’re selling aromatherapy products. Your ecommerce site should probably include common terms like “essential oil” or “scented candle.”
However, it’s important to understand that there’s a lot of competition in that market. Many ecommerce websites will be fighting over general terms like these.
That’s why you should dig deeper to find long-tail keywords. While fewer people search for these, they’re more specific, which means the competition is lower. For example, some long-tail keywords might be “ceramic essential oil diffuser” or “white ceramic diffuser.”
You can check how competitive the target keywords you select are by using SEO tools like Google Keyword Planner.
Since you own an ecommerce store, you’ll want to focus on a specific type of user intent on your landing pages: the transactional type, where the user is looking to buy something.
If you want to delve more into content marketing, you might consider starting a blog where you also answer users’ informational inquiries. They might wonder “how to use ceramic diffuser” or “how long can you burn a candle.”
However, your main task as you get started with ecommerce SEO is to optimize your product pages, product categories, product names, and descriptions to rank for relevant keywords.
2. Use structured data on your ecommerce website
The structured data markup is a handy feature to add to your ecommerce website, as it helps search engines provide users with more information about the products you sell directly in the search results. This will be even more motivation to click!
Display your star rating, number of reviews, price, and availability to increase CTR and give your customers a better user experience.
If you’ve created your own ecommerce site and are technologically savvy enough, you can add structured data yourself.
There are plenty of guides that can help, like this one from Google Developers that provides you with code you can copy and paste for different features. If you can’t do it alone, talk to your developer who can easily help you implement it.
3. Optimize your product images for search engines and customers
Images are an excellent on-page SEO tool for any ecommerce site. Using low-quality images is one of the main ecommerce site mistakes you want to avoid.
Just as people want to see the food before they order, they also want to see the product before they buy—from all angles.
One of the first image optimization ecommerce tips is to make sure the photos you upload are high quality but no larger than 100KB. Otherwise, your website loading speed might suffer.
Next, if you want people to land on your ecommerce site via image search, add alt text featuring a relevant keyword to every image. Additionally, avoid file names like “image 1” and use words that describe the product instead.
4. Improve your website speed
If you want to boost your site in search rankings and get more organic ecommerce website traffic, focus on improving its loading speed.
You can check your site speed using Google’s PageSpeed Insights.
Here are some actions you can take to help your website load faster:
- Optimize images and reduce file sizes.
- Don’t use too many plugins.
- Choose your website hosting service carefully.
- Use a plugin to save a copy of your website on users’ browsers. That way, it will load faster the next time they visit.
- Use lazy loading so your product images don’t load unless the user scrolls down to them.
- Ask your developer to eliminate any unnecessary code.
5. Optimize your website for mobile
In 2019, Google released its mobile-first indexing policy, which gave websites’ mobile versions increased legitimacy. Plus, in the fourth quarter of 2021 mobile devices accounted for more than 50% of global website traffic!
Failing to optimize ecommerce pages for mobile is like throwing money out the window.
Ideally, you should create a responsive website that automatically adjusts according to the user’s screen size.
Browse your entire website on mobile and ensure that:
- all images and videos are displayed correctly,
- the website loads fast,
- all text is legible, and
- there are no on-page ads that might not work on mobile.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the user experience needs to be similar across all devices. Users should have access to the same type of content on mobile as they do on desktop.
6. Optimize your URL structure
URLs are an important factor in user experience and can boost your ecommerce SEO efforts. Not only do they tell site visitors what to expect from a link, but they also let search engines know what the page is about.
Try to avoid extremely long URLs containing lots of numbers and no relevant keywords.
A good URL for a product page featuring a white ceramic diffuser could be something like yourwebsite.com/diffusers/white-ceramic-diffuser.
Adding the keyword to the URL will help improve your site structure, help you rank higher, and draw more people to your products.
7. Stay away from broken links
Just as optimized URLs help both customers and search engines, broken links are an inconvenience for both.
Imagine a customer excited to buy a product from you, only to click on the link and realize it’s broken. That’s a poor customer experience, and your sales will suffer.
Whenever you update a URL, set up a 301 redirect so both customers and search engines find what they were looking for.
Luckily, you don’t have to track all your links manually. You can use SEO tools like Screaming Frog’s SEO Spider.
8. Do internal linking right
Linking to your product and category pages internally is like sending a signal to Google that these are important pages. This is called “link equity” or “link juice,” and it refers to passing authority from one page to another.
While this is much more impactful coming from backlinks on high-authority external websites, linking to your own content helps ecommerce SEO, too.
If you have a blog, include internal links to your products in your articles to give them a little boost and show relevant new products to your customers.
9. Focus on link building
One of the most powerful ecommerce SEO tips is to get other ecommerce websites to link to you, which shows Google you’re a relevant, authoritative website that people should see.
Backlinks will earn you referral traffic and help you sell more. However, not many websites are open to linking to product pages or category pages. You may have more luck if you have a blog that others can link to in their posts.
To earn quality backlinks, reach out to other websites in your industry and offer to write a guest post for them.
You can also get organic links by focusing on unique, high-quality content that answers people’s questions or helps them somehow—this is the kind of content people are looking for, which means it’s the kind that other websites will link to.
You can also use a service like Vazoola.com to buy backlinks.
10. Avoid duplicate content
Finally, make sure you always write unique content so that you don’t cannibalize your own website and damage your ranking in search engines.
If you sell multiple similar products, you might be tempted to use the same product descriptions or simply change a few words here and there. But that’s a mistake. Whenever possible, try to come up with unique descriptions.
If you’re reselling products that are also displayed on the manufacturer’s website, don’t just copy and paste their descriptions. Instead, come up with your own.
How to measure the success of your ecommerce SEO strategy
No matter what ecommerce SEO plan you choose, you need to track your progress and results so you can optimize the online shopping journey and bring more traffic to your website.
- Google Analytics can help you identify relevant keywords that are converting, the leads that are coming from organic search, your top-performing content, where referral traffic is coming from, and much more. Here’s how to get started with Google Analytics.
- You can use Google Search Console to check the queries that drive the most organic traffic to your ecommerce website, check the CTR of your product pages, control the indexing of your category pages, track the performance of your URLs, and more. Read more about how to use Search Console here.
We hope these ecommerce SEO tips help you craft an effective search engine optimization strategy for your online store.
If you have any other tips that have worked for you, don’t hesitate to leave us a comment and share your experience!