If you are managing an Ecommerce site, this detailed E-commerce SEO guide is just what you need.
Running an online business is quite similar to running a brick-and-mortar store. Although there are some significant distinctions, the basic concept remains the same.
Probably the most significant difference is that when you are running an e-commerce site you have a global outreach.
However, reaching out to individuals, particularly your target demographic, is the most difficult part. Even if you do everything right, you might have a hard time bringing traffic to your site.
Running an online store is not always about selling the best product or perfecting your digital marketing strategy. It's more about reaching out to a large audience.
Your eCommerce business can only sustain when you can create brand value and turn website visitors into returning customers.
It's about how you reach out to your target audience without spending any money on advertisements through organic means.
Whether you are running an online or offline store; it all comes down to how you reach out to your customers and build an emotional relationship between them and your brand.
Brand loyalty is very important to keep your customers engaged with your business. It also encourages word-of-mouth marketing, which attracts new consumers.
In short, your marketing strategy is a deciding factor when it comes to sustainability.
You can spend thousands of dollars on advertising to drive customers to your site or improve your SEO to rank high on SERPs and get more organic search traffic.
For that to happen you will need an actionable e-commerce SEO strategy that will maximize your online visibility, improve CTR, increase conversions and make your online business profitable.
Getting Your Business Online
In this day and age of digitization, you would be considered a fool if you don't have an online presence. The internet has connected people from all around the world, for better or worse.
And it's not just people that are online. The internet has become crowded with businesses, both large and small. By now most companies have figured out that they need to be at places that are jam-packed with people. And thus they started getting online!
The E-commerce economy is booming and more and more small businesses are also getting online. People are becoming more reliant on online stores as they are more efficient and interactive.
Most people spend hours online. So it is easier for businesses to reach out to potential customers online rather than handing pamphlets on roads.
Apart from increasing the visibility and sales of your business, getting online can also help improve the credibility of your business and create brand value. But setting an e-commerce site is not enough.
Having an e-commerce website can indeed help you boost sales. But for that, your website needs to be seen by potential customers, which means you need to drive traffic to your site. If people don't know what you are selling or offering, you won't likely see any sales or profit.
But how get your product or e-commerce website in front of potential customers?
There are two primary methods for attracting online customers:
- Optimizing your e-commerce site to rank high on SERPs
- Digital marketing
If you are running an online store, you will have to rely on both of these methods to get more traffic to your site. While digital marketing can be very costly and is momentary, optimizing your website for search engines can be free of cost and bring more targeted customers to your website.
What Is Ecommerce SEO?
Ecommerce SEO is the practice of optimizing your online store to boost its exposure on search engine results pages (SERPs) and attract more organic visitors.
Your first objective as a business should be to rank high in search results for keywords and terms related to your products. As a result, when consumers search for similar items, your site will show up first, thereby increasing your sales or conversions.
Optimizing your website is a lot better than paid search. Getting organic traffic is a more cost-effective and efficient way of selling your products compared to digital marketing.
Also, the organic traffic that will be coming to your website is already in a transactional mood. They are already looking for products to buy. So there isn't much of a persuasion involved.
Ecommerce SEO not only allows you to reach a broader audience, but it also allows you to venture into uncharted territory.
With paid advertisements, it is difficult to reach out to audiences who are using ad blockers or ad blindness. This reduces the effectiveness of paid advertisements. But optimizing your website and ranking high on SERPs can help you reach out to these people without any restrictions.
There are several elements that can have a direct impact on your sales and conversion rates, but SEO is by far the most essential. Your success will be determined by your ability to attract organic traffic to your site and convert visitors into paying customers.
Just like a traditional SEO strategy, you can optimize your website with on-site SEO and off-page SEO. Optimizing your pages won't be enough to rank high. You will also have to take actions outside of your website with the potential to affect search engine rankings.
Why Do You Need E-commerce SEO?
Having just an e-commerce website and an inventory full of one-of-a-kind items won't help you sell. For that, you will need to reach out to prospective buyers.
You can reach out to potential customers in two ways:
Either spend a whole lot of money on online advertisements which is momentary, or you can put some effort into optimizing your website for search engines so that your items appear at the top of search results for certain keywords.
44% of people start their online shopping journey with a Google search. The majority of customers, whether they purchase online or in stores, use Google search to research and compare products so they can make informed decisions when purchasing online.
This data reflects how critical it is for every business to get indexed in Google. It is the first step towards selling your products online. When your website appears in Google searches you get access to potential online shoppers.
However, simply getting your website indexed isn't enough. It is important to rank high to get a certain amount of traffic to your site. And there is where SEO comes to play.
Google uses a complicated algorithm with a simple motive: to provide the best search results based on relevance, authority, and usefulness.
The internet is flooded with millions of content every day. And it is not just limited to publishing articles and blog posts.
People are also selling products and offering services online. Thousands of websites are selling similar products and the internet is littered with FBA, dropshipping, and affiliate sites. So much so that there is very little untapped niche.
Unless you bring something original or groundbreaking, you will have a hard time penetrating this crowded market.
Is SEO Important For Ecommerce Sites?
Even though there are thousands of websites providing the same items or services, Google can only show a handful on the first page of its search results.
Think of it this way, Google is a desert and the first page of Google is the oasis.
When you look up a popular keyword in Google search, Google will present you with thousands of search results that are relevant to that keyword. But most users don't even click on the fourth or fifth search results let alone go to the second page of Google search results.
There is even a saying in the SEO community
The best place to hide a dead body is page 2 of Google
Google indexes millions of pieces of content, including product pages regularly. However, only a small percentage of these pages generate revenue and drive sales. These are pages that rank high on search results.
Webpages that are ranked on page 2 of Google and so on, don't see significant traffic. This is why many E-commerce businesses strive to acquire new customers through organic means.
Ranking High On SERPs
If you have an e-commerce site that isn't ranking high on search results, you will have a hard time bringing traffic to your site.
A lot of people actually believe that SEO isn't necessary for an e-commerce business. Customers will automatically find your website if you offer the best product at the best price.
However, because there are dozens of e-commerce sites offering the same things, this assertion is false. Search engines are limited to only displaying a handful of web pages on the first page of search results. People who want to buy your product must first find your website among thousands of others.
Unless they are specifically looking to buy from your website and make a direct search, your website is unlikely to show up on top of search results if it's not optimized with the right keywords.
Most importantly if your competitors are using SEO to rank high on SERPs they are taking away all your website traffic and potential customers.
The position of your website on search engine results pages (SERPs) will have a significant impact on your sales and conversions.
An e-commerce site ranking on Google page 2 and so on, is like a brick and mortar store in the middle of the desert among thousand of similar other stores selling the exact same thing.
What are the chances that a consumer would stroll through this desert of search results and choose your shop out of an infinite number of options? The chances are probably slim to none.
This is why SEO is so important for any website that wants to rank high on Google SERPs. Optimizing your website for search engines can help you increase visibility and hence increase organic traffic to your website.
You may reach out to a target demographic without having to pay for advertisements if you rank high on SERPs. Once you've attracted visitors to your site, you may lure them with high-quality products at a reasonable price, converting them into loyal consumers.
Getting Started With Ecommerce SEO
SEO is not easy. It also takes a long time and effort to get any apparent results from search engine optimization.
But there is no alternative to SEO if you want to increase your online visibility and increase conversions. SEO may help your business grow by increasing sales and driving organic traffic to your website. And the best part….you don't have to spend a fortune to do this.
If you want sustainable sales growth for your online business you need to focus on e-commerce SEO. Yes, online advertisements can be very effective to increase your sales and drive people to your site, but they can sometimes be very costly especially if you are bidding for something competitive.
Furthermore, digital marketing is transient, meaning it will only deliver visitors as long as you continue to spend money on advertisements. When you cease running your ad, your sales will decline.
Google prefers pages that are optimized. If you want your website to stand out in Google search results & rank high on SERPs, you will need to optimize each element of your page.
Ecommerce sites should have dedicated pages for each product and category. Having individual product pages increases the online visibility of your site and attracts more organic traffic.
But optimizing your product pages is not all. You also need to optimize your non-product-oriented pages on your site, such as the following:
- About page
- F.A.Q. page
- Blog articles
- Contact page
Using your primary keywords in those pages and improving page speed are also very important. Many organic searches start with clicking on your homepage.
On-page Optimization For Ecommerce
A lot of e-commerce SEO has to do with on-page optimization. You must keyword optimize everything from your headlines to your product descriptions, metadata, internal link structure, and alt tag if you want your product to appear on SERPs for certain keywords.
Off-page SEO is also very important in e-commerce SEO. Because these sites are used for online transactions, Google wants to verify that your website is legitimate and has some authority. Backlinks are the most effective method to increase website authority. Having an active social media presence can also boost your credibility.
We will try to cover every important aspect of e-commerce SEO and how you can double your sales and revenue within months.
Planning an Ecommerce SEO Strategy
Because there are thousands of pages to optimize, e-commerce SEO may be a bit intimidating at times. However, with a well-thought-out SEO plan, you can optimize all of the elements that are crucial to improving user experience and increasing the search ranking of your site.
It's easier to identify the parts that need to be investigated when you have an SEO plan. Regardless of the industry or business size, SEO can take your business to the next level.
We've outlined all of the key elements of your e-commerce website that need to be optimized for search engines in this section. Following this process will speed up your E-commerce SEO and you can see visible results in a month or so.
Maintain User-Friendly Ecommerce Site Structure
Many SEOs and web designers sometimes underestimate the importance of site structure. It's one of the most important aspects of on-page SEO. A good site structure makes it easier for search engine spiders to crawl and index your site. This can increase the ranking of your website in SERP listings.
However, maintaining a proper site structure is not only important for search engines. It also improves the user experience on your site. An easy-to-navigate site structure helps users to find your content easily. Having a streamlined site structure makes it easier for users to go through your site. It also creates a hierarchy of pages.
Site structure is very important for websites with multiple pages and categories. Especially for e-commerce websites that have categories and subcategories. Apart from improving your SEO, proper site structure can increase organic CTR and drive more sales.
When designing a site structure, a good practice is not to go deep. Almost all of your content should be three clicks away. Especially your money-making pages and pages that get the most traffic.
Your site structure should be simple and easy to navigate. For e-commerce websites, by linking your product pages together categorically, you can make it easier for customers to find relevant products that they might wish to buy.
Also, disorganized websites are not appealing. People who are scouring the internet with buying intent won't like a website with bad navigation. They want to buy quick and easy.
If you make it difficult for your customers to shop from your website, you are also going to have a difficult time making money from it.
Optimize Content For Search Engines
We often overlook the fact that our content should be both human-readable and search engine-friendly. It is not just blogs that need to be SEO friendly, your e-commerce website should also be optimized for both humans and search engines.
Finding the right keywords and using them within your product page is a very crucial part of on-page SEO for e-commerce websites. Proper keyword placement can boost your SERPs ranking as it makes it easier for search engines to figure out what your webpage is about.
Adding metadata, naming your images correctly, adding image alternate attributes are all part of on-page SEO. How your e-commerce website performs in terms of sales and conversions will depend a lot on the type of keywords you're using and how effectively you are using them.
Apart from primary keywords, most e-commerce websites use transactional keywords in their product pages to attract searchers who are in the conversion phase of the purchase funnel.
Other forms of targeted keywords are also used to attract a target audience. Here are a few examples of target keywords you could find on an e-commerce site:
- Branded keywords
- Market segment keywords
- Geo-targeted keywords
- Competitor keywords
- Customer-defining keywords
- Product keywords
Finding the right kind of keyword is as important as finding the right product. Because your keyword is what connects you with your audience.
Keywords not only describe what you are offering it also interpret your target market and what they want. Using the right keyword in the right place can help you reach out to your target demographics.
Research Your Competition
You will encounter a lot of competition in the e-commerce sector unless you have something truly specific or groundbreaking. Whatever you're selling, there's a good chance that someone else is doing a better job selling the same thing as you.
It will be naive for you to think you can outrank your competitor just by offering a lower price. Your performance and sales will depend on how you outwit your competitors with your SEO strategy.
The best way to plan your SEO strategy is by analyzing your competitors. Find out things they are doing right and most importantly what they are doing wrong.
Use their lackings to your advantage and work on things they are missing out on. Sneaking into your competitor's marketing and SEO strategy will give you an insight into the steps they are taking to reach out to their target audience.
Researching your competition has nothing to do with spying. It's more about keeping an eye on the game. If you have no clue about your competitors there is a good chance that you won't be in the competition anymore!
Ecommerce has exploded as a result of easy internet access, and more businesses are going online. The simpler it is to develop an eCommerce store, the more difficult it is to gain traction.
With so much competition in any niche, it is hard to reach out to customers organically by ranking high on SERPs.
By researching your competition you can identify and evaluate your competitors' product, growth, and marketing strategy. This will help you plan your own strategy and understand your audience.
Ecommerce SEO Strategy
Search engine optimization for e-commerce differs from regular SEO. It takes a lot of effort and time. Every business relies on sales and e-commerce is no different. Without selling your product or services you can't make your e-commerce business sustainable.
Selling products online, however, is far more challenging than selling in a regular store. It's the same as selling on a street where there are a thousand other stores selling the same product.
But if you are the perfect spot and know how to attract customers your sales will skyrocket in no time. This is exactly what SEO does for you! It puts your website in the perfect spot where you can get the most attention from your potential customers.
Having an actionable SEO plan that encompasses all aspects of optimization, both on-page and off-page, can help your website boost organic traffic and convert more customers. With so much competition in the e-commerce sector, it is impossible to sustain without a proper SEO plan.
Yes, you may spend money on adverts to increase website traffic, but it will only be temporary. This way you will make money by spending money.
On the other hand, if you optimize your website for search engines, you are going to get organic traffic that will convert. SEO is the most economical way to reach out to potential customers and clients.
Having said that, SEO for e-commerce is not easy as there are hundreds and thousands of websites that are also continuously working on their SEO.
How to compete in a saturated e-commerce sector?
You will just have to be better than your competitors. It's both easy and complicated.
Outperforming someone who has been perfecting their game for years is not an easy task. Especially when it comes to e-commerce SEO.
There are multinational companies that are spending millions on SEO and digital marketing. Many companies have been working on their SEO strategy since the beginning and have already created a solid framework. It is not easy to compete with them when you are just starting out.
So instead of starting from scratch, you can use an SEO strategy that produces results.
As your competitors have perfected their SEO strategy over years, it's best to follow in their footsteps and see what's working for them.
No, we are not asking you to copy their SEO strategy….just the framework. You must have a thorough understanding of SEO so you can understand what works and what doesn't.
Analyzing your competition will help you uncover areas where your competitors fall short, which you may use to your advantage by focusing on those areas.
How E-commerce SEO is different?
It's awesome to have organic traffic to your website. However, increased website traffic does not always mean more sales.
When we optimize blog posts or articles we don't think about getting sales or increasing conversions. We do it in order to increase organic traffic. This is why we keep it more on-site keyword oriented when optimizing content.
But with an E-commerce site, it is different. The intent is not just to attract more organic traffic but also to increase sales. Ecommerce sites are optimized with targeting keywords to attract potential customers who are willing to spend money on the website.
E-commerce website pages are structured in a way that leads to more conversions.
Your goal with E-commerce SEO should be to attract customers who want to buy your stuff. Rather than attracting random visitors, optimize your website to attract targeted traffic.
Having said that here are a few tips and best practices for your e-commerce site.
Keyword Research & Optimization
Keywords remain the most important aspect of SEO to this day. Every e-commerce SEO strategy is built around keywords.
Keywords and key phrases are what connect your audience to your content. It is how they discover your products and services online.
When searching the internet most users use keywords or keyphrases instead of writing the complete sentence to find things. Google and other search engines have tweaked their algorithms to make it simpler for users to find what they're looking for.
This is why most pages that rank on Google are built around relevant terms and optimized with keywords that people are likely to search for. If you want your content to show up on search results for some specific keywords you need to strategically place these keywords in your content in order to rank for them.
Just like any other website, e-commerce sites are also built around keywords. Keywords are actually more important for e-commerce sites as the quality and amount of traffic you bring to your site, as well as your conversion rate, will be strongly influenced by your keywords and how you implement them.
Even if you have the right keywords, a lack of strategy and execution might cause your e-commerce business to lose revenue. This is why keyword optimization is as important as keyword research.
Keyword Research For E-Commerce
If you are new to SEO or keyword research, the easiest way to find high converting keywords is by snooping into your competitor's keyword strategy.
A lot of people have this misconception that spying on competitors means copying their work (in this case keyword strategy). But it's actually more about getting an idea about your niche and your target audience.
Looking into your competitor's keyword strategy can help you plan out your own keyword strategy for your e-commerce business. You can find keywords and terms your target audience uses to find services or products online.
Doing keyword research for e-commerce can give you a brief idea about areas where your competitors are lacking. By researching your competitors you can find keyword opportunities (keywords your competitors are avoiding) that show you keywords that have the potential to drive more organic traffic. You can use this to your advantage and attract potential customers.
By using keywords from your competing online store, you can attract a similar audience of interested, potential buyers.
When choosing your keywords there are 3 factors you need to take into consideration:
- Keyword relevance
- Search volume
- Ranking difficulty
The keywords that you target always have to be relevant to your product page. It should reflect what your page is about or what you are selling. Keyword relevance is a big factor in e-commerce businesses. Because the intent is not just to drive traffic but also increase sales.
Instead of targeting keywords that bring thousands of low-quality traffic that doesn't convert, e-commerce shops should use keywords that attract potential buyers that might lead to more sales.
Search volume for keywords
Once you have figured out which keywords are relevant, you need to look at the search volume for each keyword. It will help you decide if a keyword is worth your time and money. The best way to pick a relevant keyword is by choosing the one with the highest search volume and is likely to convert.
If you optimize your product page around a keyword that roughly gets 100 monthly visits and has a low conversion rate, you are unlikely to see any significant sales. Even if it has a 10% conversion, you are just going to sell 10 products a month. This may seem significant if you have a profit margin of hundreds of dollars per unit, but if you're selling a $10 product, it's a pittance.
The majority of e-commerce keywords are extremely competitive, making it difficult to rank in existing search results. You may also see your competitors bidding for certain keywords in order to gain the top place. As a result, ranking for keywords that hundreds of other websites are also attempting to rank for is extremely challenging.
Websites that have high domain authority and a strong backlink profile usually get to rank on top of search results. But that should not discourage you from trying to rank for these high-difficulty keywords. If you are just starting out with your e-commerce site, you can optimize your product pages with both high and low difficulty relevant keywords.
Focusing on low-difficulty keywords will help you quickly rank and get you some organic traffic. Once your site is old enough and you have some credibility in your niche, you can target high-difficulty keywords.
After you are done researching and analyzing your keywords, it is time to optimize.
E-commerce Keyword Optimization
Keyword optimization means placing the keywords strategically throughout your content that reflects the overall topic of your site.
The purpose is to assist search engines in determining the relevance of your content to any related search queries and ranking it based on your chosen keywords, which may be beneficial in attracting high-quality traffic to your site.
Optimizing your content with the right keywords can help you better target your audience.
Ecommerce websites use product keywords along with navigational and transactional keywords. These types of keywords help customers find the right product and the best deals.
Ecommerce sites are mostly product page oriented and unlike blog posts product pages don't have a lot of information in them.
Most product page follows the same framework. You will have your product title and brief description along with other minor details and the 'add to cart' field. Some product pages also have a specification and additional description fields.
You will have to use your primary keywords and other relevant keywords within this framework. Mentioning your primary keywords in your product headline, description, and metadata can really impact your SEO and improve your SERPs ranking.
Even though Google claims that LSI keywords do not exist and have no impact on SEO, including them on your product page is not a terrible idea.
Keyword research is largely based on data. Before you rush to use any keyword, look into its monthly search volume to get a sense of how much traffic you may expect each month if you rank high for it.
Also, find out the cost per click (CPC) for your chosen keyword to understand how much advertisers are willing to spend for that keyword.
How To Research E-Commerce Competitors
Instead of starting from scratch, it is a much better idea to take inspiration from industry leaders who have been in the same business for a while. Top e-commerce brands that are right now leading the industry have managed to master their SEO strategy. Brands like Amazon and Alibaba know what works best for SEO and how they can rank high on search results.
Researching competitors usually means looking into their keyword profile and their web page optimization technique. How well optimized their homepage and product pages are in terms of speed and keywords. Analyzing your competitors also includes looking into their backlink profile and finding out from where and how they are acquiring backlinks.
Although sites like Amazon and Alibaba might be too big and out of your league, you can research e-commerce sites that are within your niche. You can find e-commerce websites that rank high for your primary keyword and follow their framework for site optimization.
Most top ranking pages usually rank for hundreds of keywords. If you want to compete and be on top, you also have to rank for all the keywords that your competitors are ranking for.
The easiest way to research your competitors is by making a Google search using your preferred keyword. Once you get the search results, open the first three URLs in different tabs. Now it's time to analyze these links and find out why they rank high on SERPs.
Look into your competitor's keyword profile. How they are using their keywords in the headline. How many times they have used the primary keyword. Where are they using their target keywords and what other relevant keywords they are ranking for?
Once you are done figuring out the list of keywords your competitors are ranking for, create a draft on an excel sheet.
You can also use SEO tools like Ahrefs and SEMrush to figure out the keyword profile for a specific page. These SEO tools will also show the monthly search volume for each keyword. You can also find the keyword difficulty for each of these terms.
But most importantly these tools will show you the list of backlinks pointing to those pages.
You can use their backlink profile to your advantage and find out which websites are linking to those pages and why. You can then work on that specific part or provide something more recent or interesting that they would want to link to.
Once you are done creating content that will attract backlinks you can reach out to those website owners who are linking to your competitor's site and ask them to link to your site as well.
Link building for e-commerce sites is comparatively much easier than other websites. People usually link product images and you might also get backlinks from coupon sites if you have a running offer on your product page.
These SEO tools also include other metrics that might be helpful for you to create a successful e-commerce SEO strategy. If you really want to excel in your online business and create brand value, it will be better if you use these paid SEO tools.
You can also use Ahrefs SEO toolbar chrome extension that will show you an on-page SEO report.
Optimizing your product pages is not enough. In order to improve your website's authority, you also need to make your landing pages are optimized and are frequently updated.
Optimize Your Ecommerce Homepage
Optimizing your homepage is as important as optimizing your product pages. While the majority of your new customers will land on your product page after performing a Google search, returning customers will either visit your website directly or use navigation keywords to reach it.
Just like your product pages, your homepage should also be a priority. It should be well optimized with keywords that are relevant to your niche and most importantly….load fast.
Even if you don't expect your homepage to appear high in search results, it should be optimized because it is frequently the initial point of interaction. Most users will probably visit your homepage at one point of browsing.
Optimizing your homepage for an e-commerce site is like optimizing any other post page. It is not just about keywords and technical SEO. There are other elements that need to be optimized.
Here are the key elements that need to be optimized in order to provide a better user experience and rank high in search results:
1. Homepage title
The title tag of a webpage is one of the most important on-page SEO elements that need to be optimized. Your homepage title usually describes what your website is about and what users can expect from your site.
Most e-commerce sites usually have the brand name along with the categories that they serve in their homepage title. An optimized homepage title should include the business name and the primary keywords (categories) that they are targeting.
Even though Google said there is no limitation on how long your title should be, it is better to keep it concise. Try to keep it under 70 characters and use your primary keywords.
2. Meta description of homepage
The meta description, in addition to your title, is another piece that appears in search results. The meta description appears under a title tag on Google search.
Because it is something that your users may see while performing a Google search, it can have a significant impact on your click-through rate. This is why it is always a good SEO practice to include your relevant keywords in the meta description so users can be assured your page is relevant to their search query.
In most cases, the meta description gives users a brief overview of what's on the page. So the meta description of your homepage will decide if your audience wants to invest in your content or products.
3. Compress Images
Images make our website look more presentable and interactive. Just like the other content of your page, images also send signals to search engine crawlers about your content.
The homepages of most e-commerce sites contain a lot of images. The majority of it is promotional or product-related.
Large, unoptimized images can make your website slow and clunky as they take up the most page space compared to other elements on your webpage. This is why it is vital to optimize all images on your site to reduce the page size so your page speed can improve.
Smaller pages load a lot quicker than pages that are not optimized. Page speed is a significant ranking factor, which is why it is important to reduce the size of your images to optimize page performance. Also, it is important that you enable lazy-load so that your page only loads images when a user scrolls down to a specific image. This might cut down on the time it takes for a website to load and improve your site's overall performance.
4. Optimize your Alt text
Optimizing images doesn't just end with compressing images. One-third of all Google searches are for images. So it is not surprising that indexing all your images properly on Google is very important as it can drive organic traffic to your site.
You can optimize your images for search engines by using Alt text in all your images on your site. Alt-text is used to describe what the image is about. It is used by search engines and visually impaired persons as it allows screen readers to read information about images out loud to users. Try to add your primary keywords or related keywords in your alt text. Make sure it appears naturally within your alt text.
5. Headings On Your Homepage
Apart from your homepage title, there can be other subheadings that will accentuate the overall theme of your webpage. It helps your users and search engines understand the different sections of your pages as you break down a long page or topic with subheadings.
E-commerce sites usually have products from different categories listed on the homepage. You can label these categories with an H2 heading, to help users understand which categories these products belong to.
6. Structured data markup
Even though structured data markup is not a direct ranking factor, it is still important for SEO. If you want your e-commerce site to have rich snippets, you need structured data markup on your pages. We use structured data to help search engines better understand the content of a webpage. It uses a generic format that is easy to comprehend.
Search engines including Google extract microdata from web pages, allowing them to quickly assess the content of your website. Google then uses this format to subsequently share your website on search results in beautiful and engaging search results snippets.
With structured data markup, you will define what sort of page you have so search engines can index them accordingly.
7. Homepage loading time
Loading time is one of the most important Google ranking factors. Your page speed can influence your SERPs ranking and search experience of your users. 42% of users will leave a webpage if it takes more than 3 seconds to load.
And if you are running an e-commerce site, think of it in terms of the revenue that you are going to lose. Even if you have the most interesting homepage or products, you will lose customers if you have a slow loading page. Improving your page speed can ensure a good user experience and above anything else providing a better on-site experience should be your top priority.
People don't like waiting for a slow-loading site, especially when they are eager to shop for their favorite item. So, until you can address your slow-loading website, don't anticipate a lot of organic visitors.
8. Mobile friendliness
Google loves websites that are responsive and can work on any device. Responsive design can make your site mobile-friendly and avoid multiple redirects which can affect your SEO.
The number of mobile users has skyrocketed in the last decade. People are using the internet from remote places using smartphones. Smartphones are no longer just a communication device. Your pocket-sized smartphones can nearly do all the wonder that you expect from your desktop computer.
Just like many other companies, Google has recently shifted to a mobile-first strategy. Google has premeditated this paradigm shift and has embraced this change. With your smartphone, you can have all the information you need on the go!
The number of mobile searches has seen a staggering growth of almost 211 million, which shows that more and more people are using their phones to make Google searches. This is why Google has switched to mobile-first indexing in 2019. Google prefers sites that cater to mobile users first and it has become critical to success. If you want your website to rank high and attract more potential customers, there is no other alternative to mobile-friendly sites.
In terms of SEO, the homepage is important because it will help Google understand what your website is about. Google often crawls your homepage to find any newly published content.
The way your website appears in search results is mostly determined by your home page. When visitors search for your domain name directly on Google, Google will display sitelinks based on the categories and structure of content on your homepage.
One thing that many of us misread is the search engine optimization doesn't necessarily mean optimizing for search engines only. It's primarily for improving user usability and making it easier for users to navigate through a website with ease.
Enhance Your Site Structure
Your website structure is the most important aspect of your front-end design. An organized site structure not only enhances user experience but also helps a website improve its ranking in SERPs.
The intent of having a streamlined structure is to help users easily navigate through the website. Rather than spending too much time figuring out the structure of your site, your users should be able to focus on the important stuff…your products!
In e-commerce sites, site structure is significant since there might be several categories and subcategories, each of which contains multiple products.
A proper site structure creates a hierarchy of navigation, from your homepage to product categories to the products listed within them.
A disorderly site structure will only lead to a poor user experience and a higher bounce rate. And if there's one thing we know for sure, it's that Google hates poor user experiences.
The way your website is crawled and indexed is heavily influenced by its structure. Search engine spiders can easily explore new content if you have an easy-to-navigate site architecture, resulting in speedier SERP listings and ranks.
A good practice for site structure is maintaining a three-click rule. If your users start surfing from your homepage, make sure they don't need more than three clicks to discover any product.
Internal Linking Pages & Products
If you are not new to SEO, you already know the importance of links.
Links are a direct ranking signal and for our content to be discovered by search engines, it needs links from pages that are already indexed.
It is easier for Google bots to crawl and find a new page on the internet when it is already linked from a website or page that is already indexed by Google.
But your content doesn't have to be linked from another domain. Google also discovers new content through internal linking and XML sitemap.
Many SEO often overlook internal linking and just get obsessed with building backlinks. Yes, backlinks are an important part of SEO, but internal linking is also essential to improve your ranking and most importantly your user experience.
Internal linking can also impact your conversion rate. You have probably noticed by now that most e-commerce sites have a related product section and "people who buy this also search for" section. This is a fine example of internal linking. Perfecting your internal linking can drastically increase your sales and engagement rate as it encourages shoppers to further explore your site.
Linking to other products or using contextual links on your blog posts can really help improve the organic CTR of your site and provide a better user experience.
Internal linking also helps search engines figure out the hierarchy of your pages and products. It will eventually lead to a better search ranking.
Optimize Product Pages
Your product pages are the most important part of your online business as they are responsible for driving sales and attracting potential customers. Product pages are to e-commerce sites what mitochondria are to cells. Your product is what powers your business. So it is no surprise that our product pages require optimization in order to ensure that they continue to attract potential consumers and generate revenue.
Our product pages need a lot of attention but unfortunately, most people are busy perfecting the homepage that they forget the importance of product pages.
Most e-commerce website owners will just sprinkle their primary keywords here and there on the product page and add the product image or video and they think they are done optimizing.
But product page optimization doesn't end with adding your primary keyword in the product title. There are other elements of product pages that need to be optimized in order to rank high in SERPs.
The first thing that you need to optimize on your product page is the name of your product. Your product is how you build brand recognition. This is why it's crucial to take your time naming your product; you want something that accurately reflects your brand and value.
Naming a product for your e-commerce business is a bit more tricky. Here you also have to think about SEO apart from winning the attention of your target customer.
If you are introducing a totally new product in the market, make sure it's catchy and can be easily remembered. Also, your product name should be an easy term that can fit in the title and URL of your product page.
Most e-commerce sites use the product name as the title and the URL of their product page. It is a good SEO practice to keep the URL and title similar to your product name. Using the same name or "keyphrase" makes it easier for your product page to rank in SERPs for that specific term.
But what if you are reselling a product?
When you are reselling a branded product, it has already established a brand value. This means there are people who use the product name or certain terms to search for it online. In this case, you need to do some keyword research to find what are the terms people use when shopping for that product. You can also sneak on the top-ranking pages for those phrases to see how they've used the target keyword to optimize their page.
Also, if you are selling a generic product like "t-shirt" make sure to use generic terms like "t-shirt or tees" in your product title, so it ends up appearing in your SEO title and URL. You can be more specific with keywords like "for men" and can also mention the type of product.
Optimize Product Image
Just like any other images on your website, your product images should also be well optimized. Images are an important part of your product page. It provides your buyer a visual representation of the product, which might help people make a purchasing choice.
This is why you must ensure that the product images are clear and appealing. People are more inclined to buy from online stores that display multiple high-quality images of products from various angles. Ecommerce websites with low-resolution(blurry) product images have low conversion rates.
Using a solid (ideally white) background for e-commerce product photographs is a smart idea. It makes your website look clean and professional.
Images are important for search engines, just as they are for your customers. Images account for one-third of all Google searches, so you can understand why it is important to index your image on Google.
Many shoppers do image searches to locate items before proceeding to the website to complete their purchase. Sometimes images can send more organic traffic than web searches.
It is important to optimize your product image properly so it can rank high on image search for a specific keyword and drive traffic to your site.
There are four components to image optimization for products:
- Compressing image
- Using the proper filename
- Adding a descriptive alt text
- Using proper image format
Let's start with the file name. Many e-commerce store owners ignore the importance of image filename and use random text instead. Don't name your product images "IMAGE00101". Rather use a proper description of your product. This can be your "product name" or your "primary keyword" added with relevant text. So if you are selling a t-shirt…you can name your product image like "solid t-shirt for men" or whatever that describes your product.
Unoptimized product images tend to bloat our product page, increasing our page load time. If your website is slow and takes an eternity to load, you will see a lot of dissatisfied customers. A slower website usually creates a bad user experience. Using high-quality images in the correct format, dimension, size, and resolution while reducing the file size to a minimum will help your website load quickly.
Alt text is an HTML attribute used on <img> tags to describe the image. Even though users won't see any of it unless they look into the HTML page source, it is still an important Google ranking factor. Alt text is used to provide context to your image. It helps search engines figure out what your image is about. Alt text can also be very helpful for visually impaired users who are using screen readers. You should use alt text in all of your product images so they can rank high in image search and people can easily find them using your target keywords.
Despite the fact that compressing your image is sufficient, Google likes images that are in the WebP format. It compresses data more efficiently than JPEG or PNG, decreasing your page loading time.