Are you starting an ecommerce business? Or do you want to give a boost to your old ecommerce strategy? Stay here with me to get free, high-converting traffic with these SEO tips for ecommerce!
Search engine optimization (SEO) is all about ranking high on Google.
So how do you do that for ecommerce?
- Reveal the most thorough answers to the widest range of questions around your niche.
- Get people talking about you.
- Provide a better user experience.
- Help Google understand you.
In this post, we’ll give you 9 ecommerce SEO tips that do just that. Let’s begin.
- 1. Research keywords
- 2. Fix usability issues
- 3. Avoid duplicating content
- 4. Hook users
- 5. Secure your site
- 6. Be helpful
- 7. Have a link building strategy
- 8. Optimize your copy
- 9. Update, update, update
1. Research keywords
To reach your audience, you need to talk like they do. This implies, most of the time, cutting the jargon, but it also means using the same words as they do. Mainly, keywords.
But what exactly do we mean by keywords?
A keyword is a word or phrase someone types into a search engine to find what they are looking for. For example, if I want to try some Italian food, I’ll search “Italian restaurants” or “Italian recipes”.
Google -or whichever search engine I’m using- will show a list of pages containing that phrase or its synonyms to answer my request with the proper results. You, as a company, have to find out the questions your target audience is asking and which words they are using to get Google’s attention.
Once you figured out what keywords your targeting, put them in:
- your title
- internal links
- anchor text
Of course, you should use synonyms if possible and keep keywords balanced
throughout the text. Texts with a high keyphrase density don’t read nicely. And no matter how much you try to please Google, if you aren’t pleasing your audience, that’s bad SEO.
If you are working in WordPress, as we do, check the Yoast SEO Plugin. It’s super helpful for improving your SEO score.
2. Fix usability issues
Speaking of pleasing the audience, there’s nothing more satisfying than an awesome user experience.
Picture this. You are trying to communicate with someone and you want to see eye to eye with that person (in your case, that means selling). However, they can’t even understand what you are saying, so it’s pretty much impossible.
A good web design communicates clearly and doesn’t display confusing or complex elements. Everything is in the right place so visitors can make the purchase effortlessly.
I recently mentioned Fathom analytics in another post and these folks have a super clean website: it’s incredible. No big colorful images, no pop-ups, NADA. You’re there just to get info on what they do or sign up for their service, everything else is futile.
On the opposite side, there’s this postal service website.
Forget about the words -it’s Spanish- and look at the design: you still don’t get what is going on. There are so many elements that I couldn’t fill in the form. Were they all necessary?! Did they have to be in that section of the page? NO.
The sad part is they are a huge company and they gain millions each year. With something as simple as making a mobile-friendly website, your company will avoid losing clients and have even better profits.
I included UX as an ecommerce SEO tip because Google hates high bounce rates and that’s exactly what you’ll get if you don’t optimize the user experience.
3. Avoid duplicating content
As your brand gets bigger and bigger, so does your content. Sometimes items in an online store are shown or linked to by multiple distinct URLs and that’s a problem. Especially if you’re doing it on purpose.
If Google perceives that you’re duplicating content to manipulate rankings and deceive users, your site’s ranking may suffer, or even be removed entirely from the Google index. So be careful. Don’t make these SEO mistakes.
To combat duplicate content, set up a 301 redirect from the duplicate page to the original content page.
And also watch out for keyword cannibalization! Yes, when you target the same keyword across multiple pages that makes you compete with yourself. Get therapy, my friend, don’t eat yourself.
Google ´site:domain.com “keyword”´ to see if you have multiple results with the same keyword. A good strategy as an ecommerce is to link back from every product page to your category page and optimize for the category page.
4. Hook users
I mentioned bounce rates earlier. Among the many reasons why someone might be leaving your ecommerce website sooner than expected, is the fact you aren’t getting them excited.
Here are some tips to catch people’s interest:
- Create urgency. Remember that overused acronym, YOLO? Noticing that life is short it’s what makes people treasure it more. The same applies to products, services, or promos. Launch a limited edition item and enhance consumer’s desire to buy. Give them until the weekend to get 40% off on that hat. You’ll see how they hurry to buy.
- Use video content. Because we’re living in a visual world, you need to be a visual brand. Images and videos are easier to consume so go ahead and carve nice visuals. Check out some designing tools to create graphics.
- Create holiday gift guides. Have you seen the marketing campaigns around Valentine’s day? It’s insane. And it works! So mark your niche’s important dates on a calendar and create gift guides for them.
5. Secure your site
Our recent post about Google UX Signals explained how Google is changing its algorithm and prioritizing new things. HTTP is a key factor in their new strategy.
Well, HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) is the secure version of HTTP.
Checking whether a site is secure or not is as simple as looking to the left of the web status. Although each day more and more sites have the famous lock that indicates everything is OK, there are still many who don’t.
Just look at this page. Yoast SEO, a reliable plugin, linked to it. And still, it’s not secure.
Even if you don’t handle sensitive communications, you need to use HTTPS and protect your site. For an ecommerce site where people spend their money, this kind of measure is essential.
No one wants to find malware where they put their credit card.
6. Be helpful
Let’s go back to the moment when a user makes a search online. Think about your own experience. You typically look for information rather than specific products. That’s called informational search intent and statistics show it’s the most common search intent.
So what do you do with informational search intent in ecommerce?
You link information to your product. For example, you sell computers and tablets. Someone wants to know how to choose a tablet for their kid. So you provide the solution with a post called “how to choose tablets for kids” where you give some tips and put one or two links to your products.
That way people trust you, because you provided free help with their problem, and are more willing to see what else you offer.
Go out there and make people notice you. Link building is like the online version of word of mouth.
You can spread the word:
- Searching “where to buy” to find pages that list stores like yours and reaching out to them to request to be added.
- Participating in forums like Quora. Although do it carefully avoiding passing as spam.
- Sponsor a local event to get a link on a high authority site.
- Include social integrations on your product pages for people to share your products. Social proof is a great promotion!
- Create a guest blogging strategy. Many big companies hire content writers to recommend their products or services in posts as guest bloggers.
- Start an affiliate program to get bloggers writing about your products. Aayush joined Blubrry’s affiliate program in 2017 and we wrote many posts about podcasting.
8. Optimize your copy
The eighth ecommerce SEO tip is optimizing your copy. Yes, it’s very tempting to use a template for everything, especially if you have A LOT of items and pages. But at least a slight change in each description, it’s needed.
By description, I mean your product description and your meta description. Ideally, you’ll write well-optimized copy for every page, but you can do it for the most important pages if you have too many.
For product descriptions, be as specific as possible. Give all the needed information and more so visitors don’t have to spend time wondering what fabric is that shirt made of or what will they get if they buy your online course.
Before seeing your products, though, users will see your meta description. A meta description is an HTML element that helps describe your page. Every search engine result has one: if you don’t write it, Google will show the part of your page that it considers relevant. Just like many situations, here it’s better to do it yourself.
This is what writing a meta description looks like with the Yoast plugin for WordPress.
Some extra ecommerce SEO tips to write meta descriptions are:
- Use a CTA.
- Add your keywords.
- Be specific and focus on the benefits.
You can also use tools like SEMrush On-Page SEO assistant. In fact, you should definitely give SEMrush a try since it has a free trial period.
On-Page SEO assiatnet allows you to evaluate your competitor’s copy and the SERP results. This evaluation allows you to find what elements of a page matter the most and help in higher rankings.
9. Update, update, update
Finally, update regularly. Although it’s very tempting to create your ecommerce and sit down and wait, you can’t go on autopilot for the whole year. Two main things are worth considering regularly: old content and trends.
Update old content and CTAs frequently.
There are two approaches to updating old posts: enhancements and rewritings. Some people prefer to completely rewrite posts and just keep the best paragraphs. Others change everything: title, images, length. Basically, the only element intact is the URL, which is key if you worked on your link strategy and the URL has been linked by other websites.
Of course, besides content, you should write more posts more often to improve SEO.
Do seasonal SEO: optimize for specific holidays. There’s no better moment to hook users than holidays like Christmas or Valentine’s day. Prepare for them and create marketing campaigns around them.
You should also have in mind special dates related to your niche. For a bookstore, World Book Day is their moment to sell, sell, sell. And hey, it’s also an excuse for buyers to shop!
Celebrations normally go hand in hand with promotions. Whenever you make a sale, let people know it’s a sale! That’ll help with urgency.
At the end of the day, SEO is a joint effort between many aspects of your ecommerce website. Working towards search engine optimization is also working for a better site.
I hope these 9 ecommerce SEO tips were helpful to you.
Did I miss something? Let me know in the comments!
And take care of yourselves!