Experts are out there to debate if SEO is dead. After all, social media sites are increasingly active in sending the targeted traffic to the eCommerce websites. However, still a major chunk of traffic is generated through search engines, prominently by Google. Thus, no wonder SEO for the eCommerce website has become more imperative than ever. A single data, like 44% of traffic on the eCommerce sites are sent by Google, is enough to clear much of those doubts.
Now the only question remains as to how to go about the whole process. With hundreds or maybe thousands of product pages it might strike as a great challenge. However, there would be no business to run if the steps to make these pages search-relevant are not taken sooner.
Find all your questions answered and doubts cleared in this blog on performing SEO of eCommerce business efficiently.
What is eCommerce business or eCommerce Website?
Any website that is trying to generate revenue by selling any physical or virtual product or service is called an eCommerce website. The whole concept is understood as online business or eCommerce business also. One of the most prominent examples of eCommerce businesses is Amazon that is known for selling almost anything that’s in routine home use. Then there’s a website called UrbanClap that sells services.
Read on to know what to do to have a highly functional, feature-filled and search-relevant site.
Famous eCommerce website platform
eCommerce websites tend to be very big since they have numerous pages, one for each product. Thus, the site has to be designed keeping in mind that it will only grow heavier in future. With more product pages to be added as the business expands, you need an eCommerce website platform that supports your endeavour.
Three of such platforms are popular with eCommerce website developers and designers: Magento, WooCommerce, and Shopify. Let’s see these in slight detail and for whom the platforms are useful.
Today everyone with some kind of eCommerce knowledge knows that 30-50% of eCommerce websites are developed alone on Magento, Thanks to its flexibility, customizability, scalability, ease of content management and budget-friendliness along with many other critical eCommerce website features, Magento has become the much-loved and opted for CMS for ecommerce. From a small site to a site of enterprise level can be easily achieved on Magento. What more, carrying ecommerce SEO is effortless on these sites.
Smaller eCommerce business with limited number of products (and thus individual pages) can be made quickly with WooCommerce. Surfing through the sea of features, plugins and what not to bring into existence a fundamentally simple website is not really required. This platform can perform the task in an effortless way.
Most of the features of Shopify are Magento-inspired yet since the basic work is already completed by Shopify developers, setting up a store in Shopify is very easy which comes in a monthly fee. Still, the monthly subscription fee, limited customization options and some of the core functional limitations when compared to Magento stop people from truly embracing the platform. As their choice for developing their online store which could grow bigger in future they look for free CMS like Magento.
What is eCommerce SEO
Making pages of any site searchable on a search engine like Google, Bing, Ecosia, and Duck Duck Go is called performing Search Engine Optimization or SEO in short on the website. When the techniques are focused on bettering the ranks of eCommerce websites, it is understood as eCommerce SEO.
The basics are often the same, but the enormity of the size of the eCommerce sites due to the huge number of pages with 3 – 10 image on each page, makes performing SEO on these sites a herculean task. Imagine performing SEO audit of hundreds of pages, and then correcting issues on each of the pages to make it look better in the eyes of Google. And on top of that, you need to apply every trick known to the experts on eCommerce SEO to improve increase traffic. Performing keyword research, competitor research, content creation and marketing, correcting site architecture, on-page SEO and technical SEO are just for the starters.
Why eCommerce business or website need SEO
- Search engines derive 300% more traffic that to content sites than social media, IronPaper concludes.
- 93% of online experiences start with a search engine, says Search Engine Journal.
- Google earned ad revenue of whopping 30 Billion Dollars in comparison to 8 Billion of FB, according to Fortune.
- 82% of marketers have confirmed a rise in SEO effectiveness, found out MarketDive.
And one can go on. These trends only highlight why SEO is never going to be out of practice.
Most of the owners of even the simplest of the websites find it difficult to get it ranked on the first page of the search engines. eCommerce websites with their huge size and hundreds (if not thousands) of the product pages are difficult to rank on the first page of the search engines like Google.
Then there is the huge competition coming from giants like Amazon who have aced the techniques needed to outrank mediocrely put eCommerce sites. SEO Audit and implementation of basic and specific eCommerce SEO techniques are an absolute necessity now.
15 SEO best practices for eCommerce business
With enough background given above, let us see some of the most important SEO best practices to implement on eCommerce website to start seeing some better ranking on search engines.
- Security and accessibility of the website: Every visitor wants his information to be secure and what’s important to the users is also important to the Google. To get on it, start with creating a well-coded site with SSL security enabled. Also, do not forget to add a robot.txt file created along with sitemap of the website that will inform all that is important to Google and trust the website.
- Website architecture: For any eCommerce site, its site architecture should be extremely uncomplicated; a good ground rule publicized is to not make it any deeper than 3 clicks. You will lose your sale below that for the simple reason of complexity and confusion (to the potential buyer as well as the search engine).
- Keyword Research and Analysis: Since wrong keywords are a sure way to kill your online presence and thus business, you need to get that right. There are several ways to find the keywords that matter to your site, starting with watching what the competitor is doing. The relevance of the keywords, search volume and ranking competition help to optimize the page. Focus Local not Global, starting with AdWords Keyword Tool and Moz’s Keyword Tool to learn about exact match search volume that has a low difficulty score. Completely ignore broad keywords (to keep bounce rates low) or too competitive keywords (to not feel like a failure for not ranking #1 for these).
- Competitor Analysis: Since your competitor is fighting for the same space as you are, much of your struggle is common. And if the competitor is successful in what he is doing, he is doing it right and has already done much of the hard work. Watch for the keywords he is targeting; the sites they are getting inbound links from; their inspirational site architecture (especially for products in the product category and related and top-rated products); and point of differentiation (that which is not done by them but you could). Doing all this can give an edge over them when done correctly.
- Better Meta Title and Description: An important aspect of on-page SEO, the page title and meta description is among the basic thing to be done correctly. Well-researched keyword inclusion is at the heart of the strategy to let both Google and the user know what the page is about. Meta description contains page summary in extremely short form on the search results page. Unique, short Call-To-Action within 155-165 characters using high-value targeted keywords along with special offers is all it takes.
- Header Tags: Hierarchy is an important aspect of content flow and guides the visitor through the different layers of the content. And where there’s Hierarchy, there are headers with multiple subheaders. Included in a page as H1 tag for header and h2, h3, and so on for subheaders, the content is thus formatted to attract and keep user engaged with .
- Page load Speed: Reducing the load time of your website is of significant importance in this compressed eCommerce SEO checklist. It drastically enhances the performance of your site on the search engine, more because you have made your site better for your potential buyers. Use Google’s mobile testing tool and see how it fares.
- Mobile Friendliness: Creating a mobile version of your eCommerce site is an absolute necessity now that you are determined to make Google love it. Why? Because users are going mobile to have everything on the go. You cannot be left behind in desktop, could you? And if you are not thinking of creating a separate version immediately, making your site responsive is your best bet because Google performs mobile-first indexing. Large fonts with no requirement to scroll horizontally can make your visitors stick.
- Content optimization : Focus on long-tail keywords and generate lengthy blogs of 1000-2000+) around those keywords. Take help of LSI as this will keep keyword stuffing at bay. This would also help in avoiding keyword cannibalization where different pages compete for the same keywords. Also, you should know where to use all the hard-learned keywords to develop your best eCommerce SEO strategy: in URLs; in meta title and descriptions; in images (file name as well as alt tag); in page title, header and subheader; in product description; (and don’t worry, product reviews by customers will have them anyway!). Additionally, add videos as 80% of traffic is expected to come from there sooner than later.
- Schema/Rich Snippet implementation: These are a sort of code integrated into the product page to increase the amount of information a user can come across in the search result section itself, without going inside the page. The 5 type of rich snippets: product schema, Reviews and rating schema, Price schema, product availability schema and video schema. These can enhance the user experience and motivate the user to click the page, thus increasing its CTR.
- User-interactive Landing pages: A product page often is not successful in getting the desired buyers. To reduce bouncing of potential customers and increase conversion rate, user-interactive landing pages are more successful. So the elements to make a great landing page for your ecommerce site are obvious CTA, multiple CTAs that have same goals, specific product/service description, non-inclusion of site navigation and mobile optimization of a website.
- Customer Reviews in Product Pages: Since customer reviews have a potential to change the entire sales dynamics of your eCommerce site, their inclusion is a must-have. Statistics report that sales can be pushed up to 14-76% by using customer reviews as 77% of the people make a purchase only after reading a review.
- Social Media Engagement: Even when Google has officially announced of exclusion of social signals as a direct SEO factor, you cannot leave social media out of SEO Strategy for eCommerce business if you are expecting people to love your brand and product. And guess what even Google will love you if you are loved socially as the social sharing of top ranking pages suggest!
- Links: Inbound and outbound linking of different pages is what makes web and Internet. Appropriately done, these links together deliver tremendous value for the users and Google keeps a track of such valuable pages as the links send some crucial ranking signals to the search engines. Relevancy of the content is the basis of all the content linking and only that would earn merit in the eyes of Google; the king of which is inbound linking from an authoritative site. Of course, the keywords play an important role but so does the overall page with the customer-centric and engaging content. More the authoritative sites link to your site the better its ranking gets.
- URL, Domain Age and Authority: The older the site, the better are its chances to be on the first page; 60% of the top ten sites on page one are at least 3 years old. However, that doesn’t mean that you should stop doing SEO for the newer site because you are still in the process of accumulating link juice, making Google know it thoroughly that how well the website is created, structured and delivers the promised value. Domain Authority and Page Authority of the pages of your competitor are clear markers if you are just starting out; MOZ toolbar supplies you this information for free when installed. Alternative use Open Site Explorer.
Of course, there is much length and breadth to this topic to shrink it in some 15-pointer thing on SEO best practices for eCommerce website but you need to get started somewhere. In this long journey, you can find assistance in many ways. If the amount of work overwhelms, you can rely on companies that have delivered exceptional results by performing SEO on eCommerce sites. Ficode is among such companies and excels at what it does. One chanced discussion to understand your requirement can prove to be the game changer.