Have you been trying to bring more organic traffic to your site but to no avail? Or have you heard about eCommerce SEO but don’t know what it is?
This is a normal feeling for most eCommerce stores. And to level with you, your success depends on your talent to direct traffic to your site.
If you can’t get traffic to your online store, it’s unlikely your store will last more than 18 months. It’s the cold reality of the situation, and it pays to be aware of it.
The road ahead isn’t going to be an easy one, but following this guide will put everything in place for success.
How Does Ecommerce SEO Help Your Online Business?
Some people claim that eCommerce SEO doesn’t help your online store, but this simply is not true. The idea that Google will naturally gift you traffic over time is laughable.
Think about it, if your competitors are optimizing their stores for Google and you’re not, who do you think will be getting the traffic?
Here’s a hint, it’s not the unoptimized eCommerce store.
In other words, by not optimizing your content, you’re effectively gifting the traffic to your competitors. Not something you want!
Without using eCommerce SEO, you’re chucking your potential revenue in the bin; it’s as simple as that.
The question is, what do you need to do to optimize your store and increase traffic and conversion?
The 4 Steps To Ecommerce SEO Success
Optimizing your eCommerce store using SEO presents slightly different challenges than a traditional blog.
There are four steps you need to consider, But more importantly, you need to do them in the right order.
Regular Site Audits
Matthew Woodward explains here, the most common mistake his clients make is jumping straight to link building.
The problem is if your store isn’t ready, link building is going to have little to no effect on your rankings. Let’s put it this way; you wouldn’t build a house without making sure the foundations are safe and strong.
And here’s the thing, most people will have a problem with their site. This could be:
- Hard to crawl the site
- Technical issues
- Duplicate content
- Lacking content
The only way to make sure your website doesn’t have any of these issues is by regularly running a site audit.
For this, you’ll need some SEO tools; without them, you have to use past experience and a lot of guesswork. The best tool is Screaming Frog, partially because the tool is free to use, but mainly because of how detailed the audit is.
However, the information can be harder to read if you don’t have the technical knowledge for it.
You could also use SEO tools like:
These tools make it a little easier if you haven’t got much technical knowledge. The tools will present you with all the issues and provide you with the recommended fix.
The final factor to consider is site speed. Slow sites kill user experience and destroy your rankings.
To check your site speed, you can use GTMetrix. The site will list all the speed problems with your site and show you how to fix them.
If you’re using a WordPress site, you can also include WP Rocket. This plugin will take care of most image problems you have.
Intelligent Keyword Research
Keywords have always been a significant part of any SEO strategy, and it’s not going to change anytime soon. And for this reason alone, you can see that keyword research is an essential step that needs attention.
If you want to launch a successful eCommerce SEO campaign, you need to pay attention to the keywords you’re using.
Most people will pick a keyword-based on how much traffic it brings. But you see there are other things to consider, which are just as important.
Here are the four things each of your keywords need if you want to succeed:
Intent – Your keyword needs to drive people to your store at the right stages of the sales funnel and not attract people who aren’t looking to spend money.
Search Volume – If the keyword doesn’t bring much traffic, is it worth using? Probably not! Pick a keyword with high search volume. Just make sure you research what counts as high search volume for your niche.
Competition – If your store is new, it’s unlikely you’re going to rank for high ticket keywords unless you increase your domain authority. Be realistic in which keywords you can compete for.
Relevance – The keyword needs to be relevant to the products you are selling. Imagine searching for a pair of shorts but being taken to a page that sells bicycles. It would be pretty strange, right? Well, this an all too common problem when people don’t think about relevance.
Keeping these things in mind when picking your keywords will help you avoid many eCommerce stores’ common pitfalls and really drive your conversion rates.
If you’ve worked on websites before, you’ve probably heard of on-page SEO. The thing is, eCommerce SEO presents some new challenges.
Let’s take a closer look…
Images – When people are searching for specific products online, they will often use Google image searches. Optimizing your images using keywords in the alt tag and the file name will help your products rank for images in Google.
Schema Data – It’s becoming harder than ever to make your search results stand out above the rest. That was until Schema data became available. This will list things like:
- Star rating
Displaying this information makes searchers more inclined to click your result.
Use High-Quality Images – When people are shopping online, they cannot try or touch the products you’re selling. Using high-quality images makes it easier for the customer to understand exactly what they are buying, builds confidence in the product, and avoids unwanted returns further down the line.
Use Testimonials – By adding testimonials to your products you are building trust and clearing any doubts about buying your product.
Building Powerful Backlinks
The last stage of eCommerce SEO is to start building links.
The most significant difference with link building for eCommerce stores is you need links pointing to every section of your store.
One of the best strategies for building links is:
This has to be the easiest way to win links for your store. The idea is to use your competitor’s backlink profiles to compete and outrank them.
Find the top 10 results for your keyword in the SERPs. For each URL, you need to run it through Ahrefs backlink checker.
Ahrefs will provide you with a full list of backlinks that point to that page. It’s your job to go through them and pick out the best ones.
Ideally, you want to look for sites with a high DR (domain rating).
Once you’ve whittled down some of the lists, it’s time to ask yourself, What did they do to get the link. Then simply replicate it. It could be a guest article, a testimonial, a roundup article, a podcast guest, or any of the many other ways you can win a link.
Local Ecommerce Stores
If you have a physical business that targets your local area, you might want to optimize your site for local SEO. To optimize your site locally, your page needs three things:
- A business name
- Have a local phone number
- Have a Physical Address
These three things are referred to as NAP, and it’s essential if you want to rank your store locally.
You’ll also have to claim your profile with Google, which you can do here.
Once you have all the information filled out, it will make it easier for Google to understand where you should rank.
Ecommerce SEO may seem tricky, but if you follow this guide, you shouldn’t have any problems ranking your store.
The key is to run through each section in the right order. If you do that, you’ll have everything in place for success.