E-commerce SEO Guide: What are the best practices for E-commerce websites?

Incorporate keywords into your content and optimize your content for each device to drive more traffic and generate more sales.

Millions of people search the web every day looking for the products and services they want. And most people don’t click past the first page when searching for something online.

If you’re a small business owner looking into ways to market your business, then you’ve probably heard of search engine optimization,or SEO. This is the process for tweaking the content and structure of your website to improve its search engine rankings. Usually, it involves tweaking the content and structure in Google, which has by far the biggest market share among search engines.

E-commerce SEO helps improve your traffic, get more people looking at your site, and generate additional revenue. To begin, you need to understand the basics of SEO.

What is SEO?

E-commerce SEO is a lot like SEO for any other website. You’re trying to show the bots that crawl the internet that your web page is the one most relevant to a search term. It’s how you generate organic traffic (traffic you don’t have to pay for) for your e-commerce store.

E-commerce SEO can help your page appear at the top of Google’s search engine results page (SERPs) without you having to pay for any advertising. It just takes some time and effort.

When Google and other web crawlers crawl websites, they take into account a variety of factors when determining their rankings.

  • How often relevant keywords are used on your site
  • What context those keywords are used in
  • How authoritative your site content is
  • The quality of the links on your site
  • How often do other sites link back to your page
  • How authoritative those other sites are

SEO is split into 2 categories: On-page and off-page, SEO On-page SEO involves elements on your website like the words you use, the websites you link to, the way you organize your content, and page format. External SEO involves things like backlinks to your site from other sites. Before you read any further, check out our What is SEO and how it Works article for more of the basics.

E-commerce SEO best practices

Your goal for your website is to combine on-site and off-site e-commerce SEO to achieve a high ranking on the first page of Google search results. Data shows that 67% of clicks go to the top five search results. One of the easiest things to improve on-page for e-commerce SEO is your keywords.

Tip 1: Do your homework

E-commerce SEO keyword research is somewhat different from keyword research for another type of page, like a blog. E-commerce keywords are geared toward purchase intent and product descriptions. You’re trying to gain ranking in SEO not only in the top search results but also in the top shopping search results.

Use keywords wisely

Google launched its Panda update. Since then, their algorithmic approach has changed, aiming to move high-quality, relevant content to the top of the results, pushing aside content stuffed with keywords designed to game their system.

Even if you stuff your e-Commerce site with keywords, even where they don’t make sense, it will still create a bad user experience for your customers. Keyword stuffing indicates poor quality content, and Google‘s Panda algorithm penalizes pages for it by moving it further down in rank.

You want your site to be the best, most valuable result that your audience can find for your particular category. And part of that is correctly using the proper keywords write like a human being, not a computer.

Use Google suggestions

Suggestions from sites like Google can be a huge help when trying to find the right keywords to target For example if you sell athletic shoes, type “best athletic shoe,” or just ‘best shoe’ into Google to see what suggestions come up.

Suggested searches for “best shoe” include “best shoes for nurses,” “best shoes for flat feet,” and “best shoes for walking.” You can work those keywords in your product descriptions and store pages where applicable, so Google’s crawlers know that your page is an excellent result for those terms.

Extrapolate that back to what your target audience (in this case, runners) will be searching for. You’ll need to optimize your hypothetical shoe store for terms like “running shoes,” ‘men’s running sneakers,” “women’s running shoes,” etc.

Tip 2: Target the best keywords

Four main factors determine which keywords are most relevant to your business.

  • Volume: On average, the more times a keyword is searched, the more potential there is for increased traffic to your website.
  • Competition: How many sites have the same keyword and how common is it? The fewer competitors there are, the more likely you’re going to be able to rank well for that term.
  • Relevance: How closely your keyword relates to your product—make sure to include keywords that truly match your product.
  • Intent: When people search for e-commerce SEO, they’re usually searching for specific products. For example, if someone searches for “men’s size 12 running shoes,” they’re probably looking for a certain product.

The sweet spot you should aim for is a high search volume but low to medium search competition. If you choose the word “shoes’ for your store, that might be relevant to your product but it turns up billions of results in Google alone. It’s an extremely competitive keyword.

Long-tail keywords usually have three to four words. These keywords narrow down the scope of your search results. Longer keywords are more specific, and thus they will have fewer competitors.

You can also use latent semantic indexing (LSI) keywords to improve your site’s SEO. Long Tail Keywords are phrases that are often found together, and they relate to a larger context. For example, a website that lists the words “apple” and “Honeycrisp” or “Goldendelicious” would rank for search queries about the fruit. A page that uses the words “apple,” “iTunes,” ”iOS,” and/or “iMac’s” would rank for search results about Apple.

Once you’ve found the right keywords, use them wherever they can be used naturally, and make sense.

  • Page copy
  • Product descriptions
  • Your URL
  • Headings
  • Image alt text

Tip 3: Optimize your on-page SEO

Keywords alone won’t get you to the top of search engine results pages (SERPs), but they’re an important part of your overall SEO strategy.

If your target keyword has a lot of competition, consider finding an alternative keyword.

On-page SEO includes the following elements:

  • Site structure
  • Usability
  • Internal links

Site structure and usability

Make sure your store page is structured so that it’s easy to search and use Headings, subheads, bullet points, and numbers to make pages easy to scan. White space makes them easier to read.

Another user experiences best practice is to make certain that all pages of your website are within a few clicks away from your homepage. For e-commerce websites, you want people to be able to find the products they’re looking for as quickly as possible.

You can do that by organizing products into broad categories, then narrowing them into more specific ones. For example, your shoe website might divide products into “men’s” and “women’s” and then divide those into categories like “sneakers,” “boots,” or “sandals.”

E-commerce websites often have thin or limited content on their pages compared to blog websites. They also have to contend with content duplication—some items fit into multiple categories and appear on multiple web pages. To solve this problem, it’s useful to add canonical tags to the code of certain pages. These tags tell Google which is the master version.

Internal links

Internal links increase a website’s authority on a particular topic in the eyes of Google, so they’re an important part of any SEO strategy. When you link one page of a website to another, you’re doing internal linking. As with keywords, remember not to overuse this technique, as it could get you penalized in the same way keyword stuffing would.

For example, if one mentions contacting someone at their business for more information, they naturally link that text to their contact page. If you mention a blog post you’ve written before, you can link back to that blog post to get more traffic.

Too many internal links could dilute your site‘s authority, but only use them when they make sense. Since you can create unique anchor texts for internal links, it’s a good idea to make them unique. If you use duplicate anchor text, Google might think your page is”t legitimate.

Optimize for more e-commerce traffic

Let’s say you have a conversion rate of 10%. If you’re ranking number one for a high-buyer-intent keyword, you could be scoring an additional 385 sales per month.

Both of these scenarios aren’t ideal, which is why keyword research is so important because it ensures you target keywords that are relatively easy to rank for, with decent search volumes, and have a high conversion rate.

You can use many different methods to improve your e-commerce SEO, but there are plenty of ways to maintain the quality of your site’s content. All you need to do is research the most effective keywords for what you offer and thoughtfully use them on your site. Next, make sure your site’s structure is sound so that visitors have a good user experience on your site.

Here is an example of action words being used in the meta title:

Meta Description As click-through rates become increasingly important factors in SEO (as Paul Hahr, Google Ranking engineer stated at SMX West), e-commerce brands must learn how to optimize their titles to boost CTR.

Meta descriptions should be kept at about 155 characters. If you exceed this length, Google may truncate your description. Do that, and your business will be better off than ever before.

Our Seobea Ecommerce SEO services will Increase your retention rate by offering your customers a convenient 24/7 shopping experience. We launch targeted email marketing campaigns and optimize your mobile and voice search website to create a personalized brand experience. For more please visit Seobea.