Taking advantage of search engine optimization, or SEO, is a great way for growing eCommerce businesses to save money on marketing costs.
What does eCommerce SEO actually entail? Well, SEO allows your website to be picked up by a search engine. The goal is to get your site listed on the first page of the search engine results whenever potential customers are looking for your products.
Though it takes a lot of work, it is a free way to get traffic organically (naturally) to your store without having to pay for advertising.
Why is eCommerce SEO important?
Did you know that 93% of online experiences start with a search engine? Some of these searches are in the research phase of the buyer journey, while others are in the purchase phase.
This is why SEO for eCommerce is worth investing in - because doing it right will bring actual customers who are looking to buy, directly to your store - and at scale. The more high-intent/targeted traffic you get to your store, the higher your conversions will be - resulting in an increase in revenues. 💰
Even the way images are tagged and how product reviews are listed can affect your eCommerce SEO. In an ideal world, your images and product pages are optimized so that your brand instantly shows up on the top of the search results when someone searches for you on Google, Bing, and other search engines.
SEO tips for eCommerce sites
Here are the SEO basics that you need to know before you go on an optimization spree:
- Finding and using the right keywords remains important. There are many tools like Google Adwords which will help you find the best words to target. These keywords should be used in the title, description, and features on your product pages. Currently, long tail keywords work well, especially in product names.
Once you've found your keywords, determine their potential opportunity by categorizing and mapping them.
- Research your competition. Use a tool that can provide research about the keywords used by your competitors and include them in your keyword targeting if it's not super competitive. It's also good to see how much your competitors are paying for keywords to see if you can compete for advertising on those keywords.
- Have well-written and relevant product descriptions. Having accurate descriptions of your products and using bullet points to list features helps a lot as well.
- Consider adding additional content such as blog posts and customer reviews. Quality content improves SEO for eCommerce. Blogging is a great way to get organic traffic to your website, while positive customer reviews can encourage more people to buy your product.
SEO eCommerce checklist
At this point, you may be energized about the possibilities that SEO can bring you, and are ready to take on not just your competitors but corporate brands as well.
Unfortunately, trying to rank on the top page for competitive and high-volume key words dominated by big brands is an unrealistic goal to have. But, a more attainable goal to have is to have your individual product and category pages rank for less competitive terms.
To start implementing SEO into your eCommerce store, consider doing the following:
- Optimize your homepage. This is one page you should prioritize in optimizing. Focus on the title tag, meta description, and content.
- Optimize videos and images on your product pages. Post videos on platforms like YouTube for more exposure. Make sure image titles have keywords so search engines can find them.
- Optimize your product pages as well! Make sure they include important keywords you can rank for.
- Make sure pages load time quickly. Fast loading pages are favored more by search engines.
- Focus on the content of your pages. Content should be clear and concise, while at the same time helpful for customers to learn more about your products.
- Have a responsive design for your website. The design of your website should be simple, clean and easy to navigate - especially for mobile users, as search engines favor mobile-friendliness.
- Use 301 redirects for expired products. 301 redirects tell browsers what URL they should visit should content for a page be outdated. This is useful because any authority that the old page had will apply to the new page.
- Use HTTPS for your cart and payment gateways. Securing your checkout builds trust with customers. It's also a positive sign for search engines; many speculate that making your site secure increases your ranking.
- Organized and structured data is a must. Search engines like site architecture with a clear internal linking structure that is easy to follow.
- Get rid of duplicate content. Find an SEO tool that can crawl your site and find any duplicate content you may have, as this can negatively impact your SEO.
- Optimize for voice search. Voice search is growing in popularity and there's a lot of interesting findings to think about.
While it may be a lot of effort to focus on SEO in eCommerce, you can definitely reap the rewards if you successfully start ranking organically.
By doing keyword research, optimizing the content on your site, and making sure you have good site architecture, you are laying the foundation of getting your store to rank, all while saving that cash money on search engine marketing!