The Simple (But Definitive) Guide to eCommerce SEO
Burkhard BergerJanuary 27, 2022
eCommerce SEO is something that every online store should do. It greatly helps with scalability and it improves almost every metric your business focuses on. There are a variety of trends in eCommerce, but this SEO activity has remained effective for so many years.
Doing SEO for your eCommerce store can help with traffic numbers, leads, prospects, visibility, and the overall growth of your business. It has been used for years already and it is still widely utilized since its effectiveness to help a business scale has never dwindled.
So if you’re looking for a guide to help you in this process, then you’ve come to the right article. We’ve simplified every process involved in this eCommerce SEO journey so readers can apply it immediately to their business.
If you’re ready, then let’s get right to it.
Defining Ecommerce SEO
eCommerce SEO pertains to the process of making your business visible in search engines. Now you might question why is there a need to be on search engines? The answer to that is simple – to be seen by more people.
Think about it: if you run a business and only focus on serving your existing market, you’re only limited to your current buyers and the people they shared about your business.
Now compare that to the number of people who use Google to search for businesses to answer their problems. According to Review42, there are 70,000 Google searches per second which equates to 227 million searches per hour and about 5.4 billion searches per day.
Although that total number doesn’t reflect the number of searches that happen in your industry, there’s a good chance that a percentage of that goes to searching about what your business does. Whatever that number is, it’s still a better number than only focusing on your current market.
Business teams who do eCommerce SEO aim to rank on the first page of Google. They aim to reach the first page since most users don’t bother looking at the second page. Their search query is usually already answered by the websites on the first page.
Landing on the first page or the first ten results can do wonders for your business. It can increase your website traffic, improve the number of leads, make your business more legit, and have authority in your industry.
Now that you’ve understood the reasons behind eCommerce SEO, it’s time to guide you on increasing your chances of success when doing this.
8 Guides To eCommerce SEO
Guide #1: Keyword research
If you think that keywords are no longer relevant, then you’re greatly mistaken. Keywords are still considered the backbone of any SEO endeavor and are still an effective growth hacking strategy. Whether aiming to rank your website or blog pages, keywords will always play an important role.
Teaching keyword research can be an article on its own so instead of teaching this process in detail, let’s focus on the important things to do in this step.
To start things off, you can write down the keywords that you want to rank for. These keywords should relate to what your business has to offer. Keywords can be:
- Coffee shops in Manhattan
- Automobile repair shops in California
- How to sell a house online
- Digital marketing services
- Content creation classes
- Automated business solutions
- Real estate agents in Canada
- Social media marketing agency
By reading those keywords, you will notice how some of them are general while others are specific. The type of keyword you’re going to aim for will depend on you.
Another suggestion that’s worth mentioning would be the use of keyword tools. These are tools that can make this overall process a lot simpler. These applications can usually give you suggestions along with the number of searches it has per month.
In addition to those things, a great feature about using these tools would be to know which keywords are easy to rank for in search engines. Obtaining this information will save you time and effort. This can also help in strategic planning on which keywords you should focus on.
Learn more about keyword selection and how to find the one’s fit for your business here.
Guide #2: Do some competitor research
Conducting competitor research is a proven way to help your journey to eCommerce SEO. There’s a good chance that your competitors who have landed high on search engines are doing something that you’re not.
Taking a look at their website will give you ideas on what’s working for your market. You don’t need to follow everything. You can just grab inspiration and put your twist on how they do things.
You can note what type of content they are producing, how they’re doing their marketing, and how they structure their overall website. Observe if they’re using quizzes and surveys to know exactly what their customers want.
When some businesses do competitor research, the primary aspect they focus on would be the keywords used. You want to know what keywords they are ranking for to try your shot on them. Many keyword tools help you with activity. The most popular ones are Moz and Ahrefs.
Guide #3: Make your website navigation easier
You can’t attract more visitors to your website if navigating it is hard and complex. You know that a website is hard to navigate when you’ve already spent 5 minutes on it and you still haven’t found what you’ve been looking for.
This is a common mistake that eCommerce business owners tend to overlook. They think that design is the only thing that’s important for a website. But navigation also plays a significant role when it comes to converting prospects to customers.
A good rule of thumb that many people use is that web visitors should find what they’re looking for in a maximum of 3 clicks. This is an excellent rule to follow since eCommerce stores should provide the products or information to the people immediately.
Guide #4: Optimize Product Pages
Product pages are integral to your eCommerce store. This is where your visitors go to check your products out and decide whether they’re going to buy or avail of your service.
Given the importance of this particular page, you must spend some time optimizing these pages. Product page optimization increases the chances of you landing high on search engines. If you’re able to structure these pages to make them SEO friendly, more people will be able to see your business and what you’re selling.
Here are some guidelines you can follow to do this process successfully:
- Display high-quality images
- Label those images properly
- Include more than one image of the product
- Incorporate customer reviews
- Choose and use appropriate keywords
- Use proper headings
- Be detailed in your product description
- Have a clear call to action
- Make the product page organized
Remember that a great product page contains elements that search engines can find and can satisfy your prospects. This means that you need to find the perfect balance between satisfying Google and your customers.
Guide #5: Make your eCommerce site responsive
Responsive websites are the ones that fit the screen properly of any device – these can be tablets, mobile devices, and computers. Any website that doesn’t cater to devices other than computers is missing out on a huge percentage of their market.
According to SaleCycle, smartphone traffic worldwide in 2020 was already at 68%. They also reported that the add-to-cart activities in 2020 were primarily done on mobile devices. Perficient also mentioned that 68.1% of all website visits in 2020 came from mobile devices.
Given the positive data behind mobile and tablet devices, an eCommerce store that is unresponsive to these devices is clearly at a disadvantage and leaves business opportunities on the table.
To avoid this from happening, contact your hired web developers and mention how you want your website to be responsive on all devices.
Guide #6: Reduce page load speed
In today’s competitive business landscape, page speed plays an important role in a business’s success. This factor can help customers decide which business they should buy something from. Speed is that important for eCommerce shoppers nowadays. They are quick to move to the next site if the current store takes a while to load.
The average load time of the top-ranking websites in Google is only under three seconds. Bluecorona reported that 57% of people leave a page when it takes more than 3 seconds to load everything.
So if you want to aim for a top spot in Google search engine results, make sure that your website can load pages in mere seconds.
Load time can be both a direct and indirect ranking factor for SEO. It’s a direct ranking factor since Google has an algorithm called speed update. It’s also an indirect ranking factor since a slow website can increase bounce rate and dwell time.
Here are some tips on how you can improve your website’s loading page speed:
- Pick an excellent hosting provider
- Get rid of unnecessary plugins
- Enable compression
- Enable browser caching
- Use a CDN
Guide #7: Create Helpful Content
Even if you are in eCommerce, remember that content creation matters. Smart eCommerce stores have been leveraging content to showcase their expertise in their fields. They also use content creation as a way to help their market even more.
Both written and video content should be part of your eCommerce SEO strategy. Not using these things just makes you like any other store out there. Not only does content attract more traffic, but it can also help with website ranking since these contents contain keywords and other SEO elements.
There are many ways on how you can leverage content, but for starters, you can focus on these types:
I. Educational content
This type of content aims to help your market improve their lives or current situation. This content is where you can teach them how to solve the problems and issues they’re facing.
An example could be how this business uses its blog to help its market by educating them on substances and how to stop being addicted to them.
Another way of using educational content would be to teach something new to your market. These topics can be augmented reality, a new NFT project, Blockchain technology, virtual reality, and many more.
II. Answering FAQs
This works best if your market has a lot of questions regarding your product. If you create content revolving around this subject, you’re saving your market a lot of time. What’s great about this content is you can repurpose it every time someone has a lot of questions about your business.
III. Video demonstrations
Video content and video sharing platforms have been getting attention in the past years. As a business, you need to capitalize on this trend.
You can leverage this unique selling proposition in a video demonstration when your product is much easier to use than others. This type of content can be marketed to the public since it displays how efficient your product is compared to others.
Businesses that use this are usually the ones that are in the Saas industry. These applications could range from inventory management, CRM solution, to leave management software.
However, video demonstrations aren’t only limited to teaching how to use the software. It can also be about demonstrating how to do certain things that your market can benefit from. Examples could be showing how to use and do performance reviews, how to cold call a prospect using a predictive dialer, or show how some of your products are made.
IV. User-generated content
One of the most popular types of content used today would be the ones that are coming from the users of the product or service. This type of content is essential to any eCommerce store since it eliminates the questions of whether your business is legitimate, trustworthy, or a scam.
When customers see reviews from other buyers, they’ll feel more confident in buying from your store.
Look at how 3Wishes used a tweet of their customer about their Halloween costume product and shared it on their social media. This simple act of reposting user-generated content can be enough to remove doubts from your prospects.
Another way of using UGC would be dedicating a whole web page for it. Observe how this website used an entire page to display what their clients have to say about them.
Guide #8: Make shareable content
Although shares across social media don’t technically help with SEO, it still helps increase your web traffic and visibility to the public.
If you’re able to provide help through your content, people won’t think twice to share it with others if they can benefit from it too. This is the power of quality content because it is share-worthy and can greatly help people.
Plus, if you deliver great content regularly, your store will become a household name in your industry. People would be going to your store for information and they will buy your products or service since you’ve shown your expertise.
Besides posting on social media, this type of content can also act as materials for your email marketing campaigns and newsletters.
Benefits of Ecommerce SEO
eCommerce SEO is a lengthy process that requires a lot of hard work and content creation. But regardless of this, it’s important that you know the benefits of eCommerce SEO to your business.
I. Driving brand awareness
Giving your brand or business more attention is one of the best things it can get from eCommerce SEO. Ranking on the first page could bring a lot of eyes to your business and possibly turn those prospects into paying customers.
The best thing about this process is that it can be done entirely for zero to low cost. A website just needs a bit of tweaking and content creation should be planned well by the team.
II. Increases website authority
If you’re able to rank your website on the first page of Google, this will ultimately boost both your credibility and authority. A business that has authority in its industry is a credible source of information and products.
Achieving such status can bring in more clients to your business. These people will be more confident in buying items from you and sharing your business with their network.
III. It puts more people to your sales funnel
The first stage of a stage funnel is usually the “awareness stage”. Aside from converting customers, this is the stage where some businesses struggle the most – they can’t get people to the start of the funnel.
By doing eCommerce SEO, you’re naturally inviting people to the first stage of your funnel. The great thing about this is it’s not intrusive. Everything happens organically. You don’t disrupt any user experience.
This is a better choice than paying for ads to put your business in front of people. The approach of using paid ads should be used with caution since people nowadays want to discover a business on their own.
IV. Consumers trusts Google
Almost anyone who has a question uses Google to find the answer. There’s a reason why Google has been the top search engine for years. If Google recommends a site, you know it’s legitimate and contains the answers you’re looking for.
So if a prospect searches about a product you sell and Google recommends your business, consumers would be quick to click on your website. Consumers might think that if Google recommends you, there’s a good chance that you’re legitimate.
Ranking on Google is a good look to have, especially in eCommerce where there are a lot of skeptics and scams.
V. Improved sales
All the benefits of eCommerce SEO lead to improved sales in business. The increase in awareness, confidence, and trust all help in converting a prospect to a paying customer.
Ranking on the first page should immediately increase your sales if you’ve marketed your products correctly. According to Retail Drive, 87% of shoppers now begin product searches online. If Google provides your business on these searches, customers and prospects will be flooding your website.
The journey of eCommerce SEO is a long one. It will demand time, effort, and patience from your end. The most crucial trait for this journey is patience. Results don’t happen overnight, the changes in your content and website need to be seen by your market first before the business gets traction.
However, you just need to do the right things to achieve your SEO goals. Following the guides above will lead you to a path towards your SEO goals. Those are proven and tested ways that have stood the test of time.
Burkhard Berger is the founder of Novum™. You can follow him on his journey from 0 to 100,000 monthly visitors on novumhq.com. His articles include some of the best growth hacking strategies and digital scaling tactics that he has learned from his own successes and failures.
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