To achieve success in the world of eCommerce, your business has to be visible online. If you want to sell on the internet, people need to find your store easily.
For your website to be easily discoverable online, you need to invest in SEO. Appearing on the first page of Google’s SERP cannot happen without a sound strategy.
And if you think that SEO is not efficient enough to be a priority, do know that more than 80% of all traffic comes from organic search!
So, buckle down and read this article to learn all the important tips about search engine optimization. They can prove invaluable for anyone who wants to start an online store.
1. Structure of your website
The first thing you should take a look at is your website’s structure. This is what makes a world of difference for Google’s algorithms.
If you have a properly-structured website, you significantly increase your chances of being placed highly in the search results. When you are highly visible, you also increase your odds of making more sales, boosting your conversion rates.
To start improving your business’s eCommerce SEO, start with breadcrumb navigation and clean URLs:
- Breadcrumb navigation is a type of website navigation that shows users where they are within the hierarchy of a website without having to check the URL.
- The next thing you should do is take a look at your URLs, which need to be precise, clean, readable and concise. Clean URLs are beneficial for both your visitors and Google, so they need to be intuitive and meaningful.
These two steps can impact your website instantaneously. Once you are done with them, you should look into other, more sophisticated technicalities regarding your website. These can include content formats, load times, hosting, domain name, and so on.
2. Keyword research
Let’s move on to a less technical tip that does not necessarily require web design skills or usage of HTML or CSS.
In-depth keyword research is the foundation of every SEO strategy. You have to do this the right way from day one. This is a critical stage for your eCommerce SEO efforts since it can impact all optimization that follows.
To make this easier for you, use tools specialized for keyword research such as Google Keyword Planner. A tool like this allows you to find your base keyword information. You can even collect average monthly search volume, average CPCs, and the competition of that keyword for SEM.
For starters, you need to find keywords that have a high volume of search per month but are also high intent. In other words, you want keywords that lead to customers.
Also, when looking through them, make sure that you actually Google the keywords and see if you have a chance to rank for them.
It often happens that businesses have to compete against well-known companies that have huge budgets. This is why it is worth looking for long-tail keywords to compete for.
3. Create amazing product pages
There is one relatively common mistake many eCommerce business owners make and that is copying product descriptions and making dull product pages.
When you copy and paste product descriptions from your rivals or manufacturers, you are actually working against your business.
Product descriptions and product pages are essential if you are aiming at success, so make sure that you have them optimized. Make sure to optimize all meta titles, headings, and meta descriptions.
However, do not forget about them when creating and optimizing your product pages:
- Keep everything in line with your branding.
- Make descriptions easy to read and scan.
- Take advantage of bullet points to make something easy to spot (benefits or features of a product).
- Do not forget to speak to the buyer persona through the content you provide on your product pages.
4. Do not publish duplicate content
As time goes by, it is becoming more and more difficult to produce completely unique content that can be described as your own authentic material. Teams that run online stores with tens, hundreds, and even thousands of products have a really difficult time when it comes to differentiating product descriptions and variations.
And when you mistakenly (or unknowingly) post duplicate content, that can really deal a blow to your search rankings. This happens because Google recognizes that content as something that you have copied (plagiarized) and it immediately loses value.
Of course, sometimes it is impossible to prevent this from happening. However, there is something you can do to minimize the effects of duplicate content when it comes to your search rankings.
You should either add a canonical tag or a 301 redirect for pages to ensure search engines know which pages may have the same or similar content.
5. Category pages are important
Did you know that category pages on your website are almost as equally important as product pages?
Well, they are. And they follow numerous identical principles. Category pages have to be full of unique and creative content that implements good on-site SEO practices.
Here are a few points that you should definitely consider if you decide to optimize your category pages:
- Optimize category titles from your keyword research.
- Optimize your category meta descriptions. Summarize what you offer but keep it unique, creative, and encourage users to click.
- Add H1 category tags.
- Feature description of your category page below the H1 tag.
- Feature internal links within the description.
- Include images, since visuals can really make an impact in eCommerce. Images of your products should be featured throughout the category page.
6. Improve website speed
Improving your website’s speed can make an immediate impact on your eCommerce website and user experience.
First, make sure to measure your page speed and discover what is slowing your website down. Google PageSpeed Insights can help you with this. On top of that, with this tool, you can get a real piece of advice on what exactly you should do to speed up your website.
However, do know that there are problems that tend to be more difficult to fix than others and will potentially require a developer to step in and take over.
For starters, you should try and figure out what elements of your website are slowing it down. These can be non-standard image formats, flash materials, or heavy plug-ins.
Final thoughts on SEO Guidelines for eCommerce Stores
Getting organic traffic (SEO) is never easy. This is especially true for eCommerce. However, that does not mean it’s impossible. Go through these fundamental tips again and try to implement as much as you can.
Finally, you should not expect instant results with search rankings. SEO is a game that takes time. Equip yourself with patience and remain consistent with your efforts. That is the only way to finish this game as a winner and separate yourself from your rivals in the industry.