Advanced Ecommerce SEO Best Practices & Tips (Grow Organic Traffic & Sales)
Learn about the best Ecommerce SEO practices for your ecommerce website. These techniques are proven to grow your organic traffic and sales.
Researching and choosing the best keywords that people actually use in finding products like yours is vitally important. You may think you know which search terms are best, but it is much better to actually research which terms are in use, the volume they are used, and even the competition level. Once you have these keyword terms they can be placed in pivotal site elements and in site content. This is one of the most important things you can do to improve organic search performance when you are starting out or even to tune up an existing site. There are many keyword search tools that can assist you with this such as Google Keyword Planner, SEMRush, and Google Trends. A good free tool is UberSuggest which lets you search for any term and will show related terms, search volume, paid ad costs, and competition for any keyword. You can also use it to uncover the keywords in use on any website, so it is easy to see what keywords your top competitors are ranking for. Keyword research is also essential for any paid ads that are keyword based.
Optimizing your page titles is the next step after doing thorough keyword research. Every page should have a unique title that is 70 characters or less and utilizes the top terms you have found doing research. Page titles are also referred to as Title tags or H1 tags and are one the most important ranking factors that search engines utilize. Don’t try to over-stuff your titles with too many keywords, just use natural language and incorporate the most appropriate keywords for that product or page. You should also incorporate your top keywords in your product descriptions.
Optimizing your Meta Descriptions is the next step. Meta Descriptions are basically a 120-160 character limit summary of the contents for each page on your site. Search engines will index these descriptions and display them in search results, so it is important to write informative, keyword rich descriptions that will convince people to click through from the search results page. The top e-commerce platforms have places where you enter all the Meta Data for each page and product. Do not ignore this step. Also be sure to add Alt Tags to all your images. Alt Tags assist the visually impaired and consist of keyword descriptions of the image being displayed. So it is best for SEO to add Alt Tags to all your images. In most e-commerce platforms you can add these maually at each image, but that is time consuming and it is better to utilize an app that will automatically do it for every image on your site upon setup.
Structured Data is something that each E-commerce store owner should verify is being used or should implement right away. Structured data is a coding protocol that uses schema.org vocabularly to tag elements on an e-commerce site so that search engines can better understand and display what are on a website’s pages. So for products you can use a Product Rich Snippet which tags the product title, price, availability, sizes, colors, and review stars. With this in place an organic search will display this data which makes it more eye catching and more likely that someone will click through. You can check your site for this at https://search.google.com/structured-data/testing-tool .
Use of Breadcrumb Navigation on your sub-pages and product pages is useful for both users and search engines. It helps users understand where they are within your site and allows them to easily navigate back to previous pages. It helps search engines to better understand the site structure and creates internal links which are also an important SEO element. Example: Home>Collection page>Product page .
Make sure your site has enough content. Each page of your site should have at least 250 words of unique content that utilizes your best keywords. This can be a struggle for a lot of e-commerce sites but is important for improved organic visibility. The following is how to approach content creation on an e-commerce’s site different pages:
Category Pages: It is best to write unique content for each category page describing the types of products you are selling on that page. Highlight your product features and what makes it different.
Product Pages: Some websites use a list of bullet points to describe a product instead of a typical written product description. I think it is best to use a written description that fully describes your product and utilizes keywords. You can then supplement with bullet points if you wish.
Blog Posts: Each e-commerce site owner should invest the time and resources into creating informative blog posts that answer consumer questions, or discuss topics that your products solve. Often times a blog post will be the first introduction to a brand from a consumer. It is wise to research blog post topics on sites such as SEMRush that show trending topics and keywords to blog about.
Having Reviews and Ratings on your product pages not only helps users see what other consumers think about your products, but it also increases the content on these pages. Consumers will write reviews with keywords that are familiar to them, hence increasing the number of keywords on the page and can lead to greater organic visibility for new relevant keywords. Some Review software also allows users to submit photos or videos of the product in use with their review. This provides even more social proof about the product and is a good feature to utilize.
Make sure your site is mobile friendly. Search engines prefer sites that are mobile friendly, and reward those that are with a “Mobile Friendly” label in mobile search results. It is easy to check if there are any issues on your mobile site by using the Google Mobile-Friendly test. It will show you any issues it detects such as unreadable text or an undersized button that you can then fix up.
Site Speed is an important factor in user experience and search engine visibility. If your site takes a long time to load it is likely that users will abandon the site before it even loads. Search engines will view as a low quality site and will rank it lower. So Site Speed is something you should regularly monitor and address, especially if you have just made extensive changes on your site. PageSpeed Insights is a good tool that will breakdown which elements of your site need work. Often times un-properly compressed images are the problem. There are other tools such as Pingdom and YSlow that can help with this diagnosis.
Including keywords in navigational categories is a smart way to get relevant keywords in your site structure and url’s. An example for a shoe site might be: exampleshoes.com/mens/boots/lowcut-leather-leather-mens-boot-black/ This can help improve organic visibility of category and sub-category pages. So organize your site categories in an organized and keyword rich way that can lead to easier indexing.
Fix page errors and re-direct sold out products. Page errors are commonly called 404’s and is displayed when a url is no longer valid and does not deliver a page. Typically this is a page that was removed at some point like a discontinued product and wasn’t re-directed to another page. Search engines dislike a large number of 404 errors, so it is important to regularly monitor this and re-direct them to valid url’s of similar products or categories. You can find a list of your 404 errors in Google Search Console(formerly Google Webmaster Tools). If you don’t have a Google Search Console account you should set one up as it gives you a wealth of website statistics for free.