Ecommerce SEO: The Basics
Ecommerce SEO has lots of different strategies that all focus on one thing!
Getting an ecommerce store on the first page of Google and driving traffic to it!
This can be a pretty daunting feat for anyone, let alone anyone who is new to the world of SEO.
So I am going to outline some of the best strategies you can use to give your ecommerce store the SEO boost it needs.
I will cover:
Let’s get started…
Getting your ecommerce website audited is the most important first step you should take. It gives you the opportunity to fix any issues and ensures your website is built upon strong foundations.
You wouldn’t paint a wall before fixing the holes, would you?
The same can be said for your website. You wouldn’t start building links or optimising your site if it has underlying issues that need attention.
Now you understand why you should complete a site audit, let’s take a peek at some of the things you need to look for…
- Duplicate Content
- Missing Canonical Tags
- Missing Alt Tags
- Missing or Duplicate Title Tags
- Missing or Duplicate Meta Descriptions
- 404 Error Pages
- Deindexed Pages
- 302 Redirects
There are a bunch of tools available that do all the hard work for you!
My favourite of the tools available is Ahrefs.
Go to the Site Audit feature and create a new project.
Paste in the URL and then fill out the quick set up steps.
You’ll then see the live audit happening.
Once it is complete you can start to go through the results.
You can view things such as:
Slow loading pages
HTML Tag issues
Plus all the rest of the things we mentioned earlier.
Work through each error and once you have done those move on to the warnings.
Then each time you re-run your audit you should see your health score increase.
Keyword Research & Optimization
Keywords are still a major influence within Google’s ranking factors so the research needs to be taken seriously.
There’s no use ranking for keywords that aren’t going to bring you qualified traffic.
So with that in mind here are the 4 factors for you to consider when researching keywords for your ecommerce store.
- Search Volume – review other high traffic keywords and use those as a benchmark
- Relevance – to pick relevant keywords all you need to do is think what your product can offer and it matches the keyword.
- Competition – be realistic with the keywords you choose to rank.
- Intent – you need to attract people who are in the correct stage in the sales funnel.
Use a couple of tools which take all the hard work out of keyword research.
Let’s start by taking a look at SEMrush who have a nifty little feature called “Keyword Difficulty”.
This shows you the top 10 pages that rank for a specific keyword and their domain strength it also gives you the keyword difficulty as a percentage.
Start by entering the keyword you wish to research into the search bar.
Then on the left menu click on “Keyword Difficulty“. As you can then see the keyword we entered has a keyword difficulty of 86%
To get the top 10 pages who currently rank for the keyword just click on the percentage.
Then you can figure out whether your store has enough authority to compete with the sites currently ranking for these keywords.
If you think that you won’t be able to compete then SEMRush will help you further by showing you other opportunities in there Phrase Matches & Related Keywords section.
Just repeat the process, the lower the competition then the quicker you will rank!
Here is a quick glance at where you need to be optimizing your keywords.
- The page title
- Product descriptions
- Paragraph copy
- Meta title and description
- Image file names
- Image alt tags
If done right you can make a huge difference to your ecommerce store with keywords.
There are a number of on-page SEO techniques that you need to be aware of and more importantly act upon.
Google crawlers will look at the architecture of your website and you get brownie points if its….simple.
A quick way to figure this out is to see if you can get from your homepage to your product pages in three clicks or less.
If you can’t then you have some work to do!
Internal links are mega important because they are links that you have complete control over.
They help Google recognise new content, you can use your higher authority pages to link to ones you wish to promote and they keep visitors on your website longer.
Mobile Version of Website
With everyone walking around with their heads in the phones most of the time, it just makes sense that your ecommerce store is mobile friendly!
Testimonials and reviews work because people like to see what experience others have had before they buy.
This is called ‘social proof’ and you can use this to increase the trust of your customers and also your conversion rate.
Rich Snippets are a great way to indirectly increase your SERP as they encourage more clicks resulting in higher traffic. Google will see how many clicks you are getting compared to others and your rankings will start to increase.
Integrating Social Media
Social media is a valuable tool as any interaction, be it a like or a share of your site gives Google an indication that what you have is valuable.
You can encourage this by adding social buttons. Not just the homepage but on the product pages and the blog too.
Having a blog on your ecommerce site opens you up to a whole new level of marketing with a massive increase in opportunities for traffic.
Keep it relevant and write posts that your audience will find interesting and helpful.
Remember with content it’s quality not quantity.
Speeding up your website can and will have a massive impact on your earnings!
For me, I increased my earnings by $30,000 in 6 hours!
Any store taking more than 3 seconds to load, is waving goodbye to nearly 40% of visitors.
Get a speed test done quickly and easily with GTMetrix
You’ll get your site speed…
… and a list of recommendations to focus on to improve.
Either work through the points on the list yourself or get a VA to take care of this for you.
Then make sure you retest every few months to keep your speed up to scratch.
We already talked earlier about internal links but I have saved this SEO strategy till last because it is the best SEO method of getting noticed by Google.
First of all, let’s understand what I mean by ‘link building’.
Every link that points to your website is viewed by Google as a recommendation. The more you have, the higher you will rank which in turn drives more traffic to your website.
So building links is something that every website owner should have on their agenda!
However, not all links have the same impact on your SEO.
Links that come from high authority websites will help you massively whilst links coming from low-quality websites won’t really help and may even be harmful.
So with that in mind, I am going to show you my favourite method of link building.
Competitor Backlinks – My favourite strategy!
This method lets your competitors do all the hard.
It is very simple:
Find out who is already linking to your competitors and how. It could be a guest post, a testimonial, a forum post or answering a Quora question.
Set up an excel spreadsheet, then add the top 10 websites for your keyword from the Google search results.
For example, for the keyword ‘camping hammock’ some of the top results were…
Using Ahrefs you can find all backlinks pointing to each individual URL.
Put the URL into ‘site explorer’, search and then click backlinks.
You will get a complete list of websites linking to that URL.
Have a look at site and see if there’s an easy way to replicate the link. If not then find their contact info & reach out.
Rinse & repeat for all 10 URLs.
There are a lot of other method’s to link building for ecommerce stores and the trick is to try them all and find out what work’s for you!
Wrapping It Up
We have covered the basic SEO factors for any website wishing to drive traffic to their ecommerce store by getting themselves noticed by Google.
By following these basic SEO factors you will cover all your bases and the only way will be up….. the rankings.
Matthew Woodward is an award-winning digital marketer who publishes detailed case studies and tutorials that focus on helping people grow their businesses.