SEO for E-commerce
SEO for E-commerce

SEO for E-commerce

What’s more exciting than generating consistent organic traffic for your online store? We’re assuming nothing! E-commerce SEO, just like your basic Search Engine Optimization, is essential for a versatile online presence. Whether you’re investing in paid advertising campaigns or not, SEO is inseparable from a successful online strategy. A good question to start with, what is e-commerce SEO, and how is it different? It’s about ensuring that you get your product pages in front of potential buyers, who mostly perform Google searches whenever in need of a new product or service. They could be looking for options, tips, reviews, and prices to make informed decisions when buying.

So you want your products and services to be more visible among search engine results, and ultimately rank high in SERPs. If it doesn’t, you’re probably losing interested customers with true buying intent every second. In the process of making your online store more accessible, you need to consider optimization practices that specifically speak to the demands of e-commerce SEO.

 

 

 

 

 

 

   


User-Friendly Site Architecture and Navigation

Ensuring smooth navigation for both users and search engines is essential for e-commerce websites. With several page levels and most probably a significant amount of individual products, subcategories, and category pages, it becomes necessary to provide a convenient and scalable site architecture. There are three simple tips that you can follow to secure a well-optimized site structure and better user experience for your online store:

  1. Keep it simple
  2. Keep it flat structured
  3. Keep it scalable

While it’s prudent for e-commerce sites to get extremely crowded, it doesn’t mean that it has to be intricate or lack intuitive navigational logic to follow. To keep it simple for your users, stick to a flat structure that helps users get to what they’re searching for in 2 or 3 clicks. A deep structure, on the other hand, increases the likelihood of cart abandonment and incomplete purchases. Also, a flat structure helps robots to crawl and navigate through the different levels of your website pages, which improves your rankings. Ideally, every page in an e-commerce website needs to be three or fewer clicks away from the homepage. This also helps concentrate link authority in the site’s product and category pages, which improves page rank in Google search.

Finally, scalability is indispensable for e-commerce websites to achieve and maintain a consistent and straightforward architecture. As your products and inventory expand, it should be reasonably easy to add new categories or subcategories without having to create a new layer or reconstruct existing categories.

Keyword Research for E-commerce

 

With e-commerce websites, there are two types of pages that you need to focus your optimization efforts on; category pages and product pages. Keyword research for both page types should be more focused on commercial product terms than informational keywords.

Start with Google Keyword Planner, type in a product name that your store offers and explore the keyword ideas for variations of how consumers look for it. Save the results and then move on to Google autocomplete suggestions that appear as you start searching for a particular term. At the bottom of the search results page, you’ll also find some additional related search queries.

Let’s now repeat the same process but on Amazon -formerly known as Souq in the MENA region- which actually gives you more product-focused suggestions than Google. No matter what your industry is, there’s a high chance that Amazon is selling products similar to yours. So, start typing one of the keywords that are relevant to your products into the search tab on Amazon. It will then list several suggestions related to that keyword, take note of them, these are usually long-tail keywords that are less competitive and tend to convert better. Check suggested categories as well, either by visiting a product page to see which section it belongs to or by pressing on “shop by category” to check all divisions. Repeat this process for your most valuable product and category pages.

Next, look at other competitors that are more specific to your niche for relevant category-focused keyword ideas. For less competitive and more targeted terms, include any unique feature that your products have to your categories’ names. For example, use “Healthy Cooking Ingredients” instead of just “Cooking Ingredients” if your store is health-conscious. Take a look at your industry competitors to get a deeper understanding of how they describe their products and categories for richer variations that you can compare between later on.

 

 

 

 

Keywords for Product and Category Pages

 

Now that you have a decent amount of keyword ideas and variations, it’s time to explore the metrics that can help you filter and choose your keywords:

 

  • Search Volume: This will always be the most notable indicator of whether a keyword is worth fighting for or not. This factor varies significantly for each industry, in some sectors, 100 searches per month is a lot, for others it’s nothing. With time and practice, you will get a better sense of what’s an adequate search volume for your industry. You can check average monthly searches for your keywords on Google’s Keyword Planner.

 

  • Relevance: The keywords you settle for must be relevant to products present in your website. It’s not smart at all to lure in consumers looking for something you don’t offer. Plus, there’s no way for this strategy to attract converting customers. So just double-check your keywords, and narrow them down to the ones that fit within your products and categories are more targeted to your business.

 

  • Search Intent: Another factor to consider is the search intent behind the keywords you want to target. Before you decide on a keyword, make sure it has commercial intent to guarantee higher conversion. To understand search intent, look at the competition for the list of keywords you have on Google Keyword Planner. It shows you the number of people bidding on a certain keyword. For e-commerce websites, it’s recommended to go for medium and high competition terms. When it comes to commercial keywords, the higher the bid amount is, the better.

 

  • Competition: Finally, it’s time to look at the competition volume to understand how hard it would be to rank for these keywords. You can do that through Google Keyword Planner as well. The lower the competition is, the higher your chances to rank. But as mentioned before, don’t overlook medium and high competition keywords completely as they signify commercial intent. Try to find a balance between using long-tail low competition keywords and some medium to high competition ones.

On-Page Optimization for E-Commerce

With a properly structured website and a good understanding of what people are looking for online, it’s time to start implementing the earnings of your keyword research. Category and product pages generate the largest share of traffic and sales for online stores; for that reason, it makes sense to start with keyword-optimizing those pages. Let’s go through some of the main on-page elements that are critical for e-commerce SEO success.

Title and Description Tags: Make them Interesting!

The title tag is the first thing that users see of your website, it needs to be catchy and click-worthy. Otherwise, they won’t make it to the description, category, or product pages. If users like what they see and click on the result, it means better click-through rate (CTR) which by default means improved ranking on SERPs and higher sales. Besides using your target keyword in the title tag, make sure you use modifiers like “best”, “affordable”, and “deals” to show up for more long-tail keywords. Let’s say our target keyword is “Coffee Machine”, we can optimize the title tag by adding a word or two that are commonly used in product searches: reviews, deals, best, online, free shipping, cheap, or prices.

 

 

 

Also, include attractive benefits that can get a window shopper to click for more. There are a handful of phrases that immediately attract online shoppers and can help boost your click-through rate. Some of which are “X% OFF”, “discounts”, “free shipping”, and, “sale”. Your final SEO optimized tag should be something like this: “Coffee Machine: 25% Off + Free Shipping on Electronics”. Like title tags, e-commerce meta descriptions should include click-enticing words or phrases along with the target keywords to maximize CTR. Although meta descriptions are no longer a strong ranking factor, it’s still worth optimization. With a description tag, you can include longer phrases to reiterate and emphasize attractive offers and call to action.

 

 

 

Product and Category Page Content: The More, The Merrier.

The challenge with optimizing e-commerce products and category pages is the fact that you need an adequate amount of high-quality content, crafted with conversion rate in mind. More extended and in-depth content tends to rank higher because it helps Google understand what your page is about, and also helps consumers understand all about the product without leaving your site’s page. Sounds like a lot of work? Just start optimizing the top 20-60 most important product and category pages, write 1000+ word product descriptions that will naturally include your target keywords at least a couple of times. Next step is adding a handful of LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) keywords to your content, these are words and phrases that are closely tied to your target keyword. Search engine crawlers scan for LSI keywords to help them confidently determine the overall topic of the page. If the product is a coffee machine, for example, it would make sense to include words like: “Espresso”, “Filter”, “Coffee Pot”, “Latte Maker”, and “Brewed Coffee” in your product descriptions.

 

Image Alt Texts

 

Online stores are typically very heavy with visuals, that’s why image alt tags are essential when it comes to e-commerce SEO. Also known as alt attributes, alt texts are used within HTML code to describe the function and content of images. It helps visually impaired users who use screen readers to understand on-page images. On top of improving web accessibility, alt tags provide image descriptions to search engines, helping them crawl and index images accurately. It should be fairly descriptive of the image and also keyword optimized, but without keyword stuffing attempts.

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Short Keyword Optimized URLs

 

 

Website URLs, including e-commerce sites, should be easy for crawlers to find and understand. Extremely long and overly complex URLs make your website look disorganized and make it difficult for Google to crawl and index each page, hence, resulting in lower search rankings. E-commerce URLs tend to be lengthy, as they include categories, subcategories, and products. For example, (https://website.com/category/subcategory/product.html). The goal is to keep it short and include SEO-friendly terms. For category pages, include 1 or 2 words description of the category and then follow it up with the subcategory. For product pages, include your target keyword for the product separated by dashes (-).

Win at E-commerce SEO

 

The best thing about e-commerce SEO is that you’ll be able to track its results and feel the impact of the changes you’ve made directly. Look closely at the results, whether positive or negative, they will teach you what you need to do next. This is the best way to keep your SEO wheel moving, by looking back at what you did, analysing what worked for you, and keeping a close eye on your competitors! You can always refer back to our more detailed guides on Keyword Research, On-Page SEO, and Technical SEO to enhance your SEO strategy and improve your site’s organic traffic.


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