Due to the rise in popularity of eCommerce platforms like Amazon, eBay, Etsy, and others, selling products directly from your eCommerce website has become more and more difficult. So how do you go about attracting customers to your website and boosting sales? The answer: eCommerce SEO.
Ecommerce SEO refers to optimizing an online store to the standards and guidelines of major search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo. It may seem daunting at first, but it becomes much more manageable when you know what you should prioritize. Adequate optimization can lead to ranking higher in search engine results and can lead to more clicks and conversions. So take a look at these 12 eCommerce SEO tips and use them to boost your website sales and traffic. It’s time to start competing with the big guys!
1. Pick the Right Keywords
Keywords are the ideas or topics that your content revolves around. Focusing on the right keywords is imperative. In fact, it affects how your eCommerce website ranks, and therefore, your ability to connect with your target audience. This means that taking the time needed to do in-depth keyword research and creating a strong keyword list will definitely pay off in the long run.
When deciding on a list of keywords to target, there are several factors to consider:
- Keyword Relevance
- Average Monthly Search Volume
- Cost Per Click
- Keyword Difficulty
- Keyword Authority
Use these criteria to assemble a list of primary and secondary keywords you wish to appear for in a search engine query and then ensure that your content reflects the keywords you wish to rank for.
2. Avoid Duplicate Content
Duplicate content is a common way product pages fall further and further down the SERPs and you may not even know why you are being penalized. Many eCommerce sites use stock product descriptions that are provided by manufacturers. Unfortunately, by doing so, they suffer duplicate content penalties imposed by search engines. So take the time to create unique and noteworthy content for all your product descriptions and all of your pages. If you find that two pages are very similar, consider removing one or combining the two.
3. Optimize Product Descriptions
Speaking of creating unique descriptions, this is a great opportunity to optimize your descriptions with keywords and phrases to help the page rank higher. Product descriptions are a great place to insert keywords. Once the consumer sees a word that was in their initial query, they’ll feel like they’re in the right place. Another great way to optimize your product descriptions is to preemptively answer consumer questions.
4. Create Convincing Meta Tags
Think of meta tags as 60 and 160 character pitches. If you are among a list of eCommerce websites a user finds on a SERP, make sure your pitch is convincing enough to get them to click on your link. For this reason, create meta tags for people, not search engines.
SEO tip: Keywords are great to use in these tags, but avoid stuffing keywords wherever possible. Instead, focus on conveying the message you want your product or brand to represent.
5. Improve Site Speed
High-quality content and killer products don’t mean much if your site takes so long to load that a customer gives up. One of the most common culprits of prolonged load times is unoptimized or large photos on the page. Tools like GTmetrix or Google PageSpeed Insights are great tools to gather insights on your page speed times and how to improve.
Unfortunately, these fixes will be more difficult to fix than some of the others we will talk about today. The good news: we’re pros here at Big Leap. In fact, we just did a bunch of work on our own site to speed things up. So feel free to give us a call. We can steer you in the right direction or do the work for you!
6. Optimize Mobile Usability
According to Statista, mobile e-commerce sales accounted for $47.8 billion across the United States, and this figure has only grown over the past decade. This goes to show that if your eCommerce website is not mobile optimized, you’re missing out on major revenue. When optimizing your website for mobile, keep these key SEO tips in mind:
- Simplify checkout.
- Optimize page speed and load time.
- Create an easy to use navigation.
- Build a responsive web page design and format.
7. Include Sitemap.xml in Google Search Console
A sitemap is a file or a list of important pages that you want search engines to find and crawl. Sitemaps also help search engines understand your eCommerce website structure better. Constantly updating your sitemap with new products and removing old products that you no longer offer will help your website show up for relevant searches and help you rank higher.
8. Utilize Internal Links
Internal linking between product pages is an easy way to increase conversions and also increase your rankings within SERPs. An easy way to incorporate internal links is to add a related products section to your product pages.
SEO tip: When internal linking, it is best to incorporate keywords as your anchor text.
9. Keep Your Store Secure
The first thing I do when I click on a new website with an intent to purchase is check the top left of the address bar and look for that lock symbol. That lock symbol shows that the site is secure – which is of the utmost importance. The quickest way to lose out on a potential sale is to not give the prospect peace of mind that their personal information is going to be safe. On top of the ethical responsibility to secure your user’s personal information, Google has declared HTTPS as a ranking factor for websites within the SERPs.
10. Optimize Product Photos
Photo optimization is often an overlooked eCommerce SEO practice, but that may be because the effects of proper photo optimization are not understood. Here are some of the benefits when product photos are properly optimized:
- Decreases page load speed time
- Boost search engine rankings
- Less server storage needed
Now all of that sounds great, but let’s talk about how you can achieve these optimizations:
- Compress image size & file size.
- Use an image sitemap.
- Optimize image alt text & title text.
- Use relevant images.
11. Gather Customer Reviews
Customer reviews are a great way to build credibility and trust, and on top of that, give insightful information on your products the description might leave out. Some call reviews a form of low-cost marketing. That is, of course, if they’re all positive. Reviews also help your website rank higher amongst eCommerce website rankings.
According to eMarketer, user-generated customer reviews are trusted 12x more than manufacturer descriptions and iPerceptions found that customers are 63% more likely to purchase a product from a site that has user reviews compared to a site that does not.
12. Fix Broken Links
One of your main priorities when running an eCommerce site should be offering the best experience to your customers. One easily avoidable pain point for your customers is to regularly crawl your website to detect any 404 errors and promptly fix them.
Google also appreciates a seamless user experience and, therefore, rewards web pages that have superior user experience with a higher ranking in the SERPs.
Tackle Your eCommerce SEO Today
This may be a lot to take in all at once and believe it or not, these are only a few of the techniques that can be used to help boost your eCommerce website. Tackling these SEO tips might seem like it is going to take a lot of work, but the important thing to remember is that eCommerce SEO is a marathon, not a sprint.
If you have any further questions or need any help using these eCommerce SEO tips feel free to contact us and ask about our SEO services. Also, check out our blog for more helpful SEO information.