What Is Ecommerce SEO?
Ecommerce SEO is the practice of improving organic rankings for online stores. Common tasks associated with ecommerce SEO include optimising product and category pages, fixing website architecture issues, and link building.
Why Is SEO Important for Ecommerce Sites?
To distil it: Gaining primacy on Google’s summit for pivotal terminologies your patrons quest can culminate in amplified transactions. Consider this: Nikon has clinched the zenith position for “DSLR cameras.” Hence, those on a scavenger hunt for such an apparatus are predisposed to glimpse, perhaps even gravitate towards, Nikon’s merchandise portal first and foremost. Yet, Nikon isn’t in solitary splendour. Wolfgang Digital articulates that a sizable 33% of aggregate ecommerce flux has its genesis in organic rummaging. Consequently, to usher a burgeoning influx to your goods and assortment portals, SEO stands as a paramount conduit. With this foundation laid, let us delve into the intricate roadmap to elevate your ecommerce sanctuary higher in the labyrinthine world of SERPs (search engine results pages).
How to Perform Ecommerce Keyword Research
Unearth Merchandise-Centric Terminologies
The inaugural endeavour in any ecommerce SEO journey is to pinpoint an array of merchandise-specific terminologies that encapsulate the essence of what your online commerce platform purveys.
Here’s the stratagem:
Utilise Search Proposals
These search propositions are the intuitive terms that search engines proffer as you commence typing a keyword. Predictably, these cues stem from current and active quests by users. Thus, they often resonate with trending lexicons that haven’t yet burgeoned into fierce battlegrounds of competition.
Should you contemplate any ecommerce domain that lies within your rivalry spectrum, take Chewy as a hypothetical scenario if you helm an ecommerce realm in the realm of pet aficionados. Chewy might very well be a formidable adversary. Your strategy? Key in a product from your inventory into the search bar, and discern the ensuing proposals.
This methodology is one to be cyclically employed with any ecommerce domains in your sector vending akin merchandise.
Leverage Social Media and Reddit
Social platforms are veritable treasure troves teeming with product-centric lexicons.
Commence by navigating to a social media account or a specific subreddit that magnetises your prospective clientele. Let’s postulate that you vend pet accoutrements; a visit to r/DogCare would be prudent.
Subsequently, sift through the commentary residents deposit on posts. As an illustration, certain reflections on r/DogCare frequently broach queries about canine mass.
This subtle indicator hints that a product or segment page orbiting around “canine wellness and mass” could potentially be a monumental hit.
Harness Google Image Tags
This ecommerce keyword stratagem is often shrouded in obscurity, seldom discussed. Your task? Merely input a product or its category into Google Images. As a result, you’ll encounter several tags hovering above the image outcomes. Intriguingly, these tags bear intimate ties to the keyword you’ve just deployed.
Suppose your inquiry revolves around a “cat toy”. Merging these tags with your primary term unveils a constellation of captivating product-centric keyword inspirations, such as:
- Interactive feline plaything
- Plush feline diversion
- Rodent-inspired feline trinket
- Spherical feline amusement
Engage an Ecommerce Keyword Inquiry
Should your quest be ecommerce keywords, the App Center harbours a nifty instrument worth perusing. The Ecommerce Keyword Analytics application gleans insights from premier global retail portals, aiding in the unearthing of high-yield ecommerce keywords.
Ever pondered about which laptop-affiliated keywords are power performers on platforms like walmart.com, amazon.com, or bestbuy.com? Initiate a query within this app, and behold a plethora of metrics surrounding a keyword, such as:
- Conversion ratios
Bear in mind, these keyword metrics delineate searches orchestrated on retail websites, not traditional engines like Google. Such intel unveils the vernacular of patrons amidst their procurement expedition.
Employ a Keyword Instrument
Should resources permit, a proficient keyword research instrument can effortlessly divulge myriad product-oriented keywords in mere moments.
Envision an ecommerce platform dedicated to tennis rackets. Your action? Insert “tennis racket” into a keyword tool, perhaps one akin to Semrush’s Keyword Magic Tool.
Suddenly, the tool unveils a vast expanse of prospective keyword notions. Granted, a sizable chunk might be deemed inapposite for varying reasons – perhaps the item isn’t within your inventory or the keyword’s competitiveness is daunting. Yet, with a tad bit of excavation, unearthing a selection of fitting product keywords isn’t an arduous endeavour.
Additionally, you might pivot towards the E-commerce Keywords Analytics tool to discover stellar keywords tailored to your distinct niche.
Discovering Explanatory Keywords
Having ventured this far, you ought to possess a collection of product-centric keywords tailored for optimization across product and category pages. However, such keywords represent merely one foundational “pillar” in the grand architecture of ecommerce SEO keyword research. An equally monumental pillar stands tall: the “explanatory keywords.”
Explanatory keywords, as the moniker suggests, align with terms individuals deploy whilst seeking elucidative content, distinct from typical shopping pursuits.
Suppose your digital commerce realm is dedicated to feline playthings. Explanatory keywords could manifest as:
- Techniques for cat discipline
- Recommended feeding intervals for felines
- Signs of excessive feline slumber
These keywords might not be in direct conversation with your primary offerings (feline toys, in this instance). Yet, individuals engaging with these explanatory terms potentially harbour interests in acquiring a novel cat trinket.
Distilled to essence:
Explanatory keywords may not boast stellar conversion rates but can reel in voluminous traffic. A fraction of these visitors might eventually convert. Furthermore, such keywords often lack aggressive competition.
For context, data from Semrush divulges that the product-centric term “cat litter” witnesses 49,500 monthly queries. Yet, it confronts a daunting competitive index of 80%, making ranking a Herculean task. Conversely, the explanatory query, “why does my feline neglect the litter box,” garners 1,300 monthly queries, yet with a more amiable competition quotient at 38%.
Thus, a harmonious ecommerce SEO strategy should interweave optimization of product pages with enlightening blog content centred on explanatory keywords. Such a balanced approach can usher in both quality and commendable volumes of traffic.
Unveiling methods to mine explanatory keywords:
Delve into Amazon Critiques
Amazon feedback is a treasure trove for consumer insights, spawning potential blog themes. Oftentimes, consumers delineate issues they aimed to resolve via their acquisition.
For illustration: A customer lamented wrist discomfort, noting, “Mouse usage seemed to exacerbate my wrist ailment.” Remarkably, “best mouse for wrist discomfort” draws 210 queries monthly. Each query represents an opportunity to position your solution in the limelight.
Unearthing Keywords Through Competitor Analysis
Sometimes, the most insightful keywords are those that your rivals already secure rankings for. To embark on this discovery, input a competitor’s homepage URL into Semrush’s Organic Research apparatus.
For instance, if you operate a pet commerce site, scrutinising brands like Stella & Chewy’s could be instrumental. The tool will unfurl keywords they currently secure rankings for. And if your focus veers towards blog-post suitable keywords, simply enter their blog’s URL, typically in the format website.com/blog. This reveals the keywords associated with their articles.
Employ Answer Socrates
Answer Socrates is an invaluable, cost-free resource that churns out a plethora of query-driven keywords. By their inherent nature, these are predominantly informational – as they cater to users seeking answers.
Let’s visualise you’re at the helm of a digital platform retailing gardening tools. Inputting “gardening” into Answer Socrates will craft a list of questions and associated terms frequently keyed into Google.
Deciphering Search Intent
Search intent dives into the core motivation steering an individual to initiate a Google search.
The principal variants of search intent encompass:
- Navigational: Where users are oriented towards a specific website.
- Informational: Where knowledge or information is sought.
- Commercial: Where users are weighing options, typically before making a purchase.
- Transactional: Where the intent is to buy.
Recognizing search intent is pivotal for ecommerce SEO. It ensures alignment between keywords and corresponding pages on your website. A term like “buy dog food,” resonating with commercial intent, would necessitate optimization of your product or category pages to cater to such focused searches.
Conversely, an inquiry such as “how much food should I serve my dog” leans towards being informational, hence aligning with a detailed article would be apt.
In many scenarios, a keyword’s intent is glaringly evident. Yet, this isn’t universally true.
Moreover, gauging search intent for an expansive keyword list can be daunting.
Imagine sifting through “cat toys” on the Semrush Keyword Magic Tool, resulting in an overwhelming 34,200 keyword suggestions. While this abundance is commendable, manual analysis of each keyword’s intent isn’t feasible.
The Keyword Intent Filter on Semrush simplifies this endeavour, swiftly deciphering the intent underlying keywords. Following the earlier example with “shoes,” the tool reveals semantically aligned keywords, while categorising the intent as Navigation (N), Informational (I), Commercial (C), or Transactional (T).
This capability allows you to segregate and concentrate on keywords suited for product pages (commercial and transactional) from those tailored for insightful blog content (informational).
Finalise Your Ecommerce Keyword List
When navigating the intricate world of ecommerce, the potency of long-tail keywords cannot be underscored enough. These are essentially search terms that, while drawing a limited search volume, also face reduced competition, making them a worthy pursuit for emerging websites or those not fortified with a vast backlink profile.
Here’s a breakdown of why long-tail keywords are invaluable:
- Reduced Traffic, But Higher Conversion Rates: Although these keywords might not lead to an avalanche of traffic, they typically attract a more targeted audience. This specificity often translates to improved conversion rates, as users searching with such precise terms likely have a clear intent behind their search.
- Less Competitive Landscape: One of the pivotal advantages of long-tail keywords is their inherent nature of being less competitive. This means that while juggernauts like Amazon might dominate generic search terms, they often overlook these nuanced, long-tail terms, paving the way for smaller sites to shine.
- Realistic Ranking Opportunities: Venturing into highly competitive keywords is akin to a minnow trying to make a mark in an ocean teeming with sharks. For instance, while the term “fair trade chocolate” might lure many due to its impressive monthly search volume, its competitive score of 57% implies that only the most authoritative sites stand a chance at ranking. Conversely, long-tail variations of this keyword, though less frequented, offer budding websites a genuine shot at securing a spot on Google’s coveted first page.
- Nurturing Organic Growth: As these keywords are easier to rank for, they can be instrumental in garnering organic traffic, and gradually, as the site amasses credibility and trust, it can vie for more competitive terms.
- Understanding Consumer Behavior: Long-tail keywords often provide insights into what a consumer is precisely looking for, allowing ecommerce businesses to refine their offerings, tailor content, and enhance the overall user experience.
In sum, while the allure of high-volume keywords is undeniable, it’s prudent for ecommerce entities, especially those in their nascent stages or with limited backlink artillery, to set their sights on long-tail keywords. Not only do these offer tangible ranking prospects, but they also set the stage for a more personalised, user-centric approach, thereby driving meaningful engagements and conversions.
On-Page SEO for Ecommerce Websites
The effectiveness of on-page SEO cannot be overstated, especially for ecommerce websites. This involves optimising specific elements on a webpage to ensure it ranks high in search engines and offers a stellar user experience. Here’s a comprehensive guide to mastering on-page optimization for your ecommerce site:
- Relevance: Ensure that your title tag aptly describes the page content.
- Character Length: Limit to under 60 characters.
- Use of Keyword: Incorporate your target keyword.
- Enticement: Craft it compellingly so it invites clicks.
- Bonus for Ecommerce: Highlight deals, underscore unique product attributes, or spotlight benefits like free shipping.
- While not a direct ranking factor, meta descriptions significantly influence click-through rates.
- Character Limit: Restrict to about 120 characters, optimised for mobile viewing.
- Uniqueness: No two pages should have identical meta descriptions.
- Compelling Content: Detail why a visitor should click your link. Highlight offers or unique selling points.
- Page Speed: Large images can decelerate page loading times, adversely impacting user experience and SEO.
- Next-Gen Formats: Utilise modern formats like WebP and PNG.
- Descriptive Filenames: Instead of generic filenames, use descriptive ones like “sweater-red-polka-dot.png”.
- Alt Text: Helps search engines understand image content. Should be descriptive but avoid keyword stuffing.
- Ecommerce Booster: Deploy AI-powered tools to refine image quality, generate alt texts, or enhance page speed.
- Every page, especially product pages, should feature unique content to rank in search engines and offer value to users.
- Enhance the way your page appears in SERPs using Schema markup. Implement types like reviews, product schema, breadcrumbs, business details, and FAQ schema.
- Bolster SEO by meticulously planning internal links. Choose relevant anchor texts.
- Channel authority to desired pages, especially vital for ecommerce sites where linking to product or category pages is challenging.
- Tools like Semrush’s Site Audit can shed light on your internal linking strategy, identifying strengths and areas of improvement.
In essence, effective on-page optimization is a blend of technical and creative strategies. For ecommerce sites, it’s pivotal to not just attract visitors, but to also engage and convert them. Through thoughtful title tags, meta descriptions, image optimization, unique content, schema markup, and a robust internal linking strategy, you can ensure your ecommerce site is optimised for both search engines and users.
Technical SEO for Ecommerce Websites
Technical SEO is crucial for ensuring that a website is comprehensively accessible, indexable, and comprehensible by search engines. Its significance grows multifold for ecommerce websites, primarily due to the vast number of pages they typically feature.
Consider the ecommerce brand, Stella & Chewy’s, which has an impressive 1,270 pages indexed by Google. This volume is considerably higher than many blogs or service websites, which might range anywhere from 100 to 1,000 pages.
So, how can one evaluate the technical SEO health of an ecommerce site? Here are some steps and tools to guide you:
Google Search Console’s “Index” Report:
- This tool provides insights into potential technical SEO issues affecting your site’s rankings.
- The “Why pages aren’t indexed” section is particularly valuable. Ensuring all crucial pages are indexed is paramount since unindexed pages can’t rank. This report outlines reasons behind Google’s decision to exclude specific pages from indexing.
Semrush’s Site Audit Tool:
- An in-depth crawler, this tool offers ecommerce site owners a comprehensive review of potential technical challenges their site might face.
- Here’s what the tool can help you discern:
- Duplicate Content: This is a recurrent issue with ecommerce sites due to product variations, filter combinations, etc. Duplicate content can dilute SEO value.
- Slow Page Load Speed: Essential for both SEO and user experience. Slow-loading pages can decrease on-page time, leading to reduced conversions.
- Broken Internal Links: These can deteriorate user experience and might indicate to search engines that your site lacks quality.
- Broken Images: Images that don’t load correctly can detract from user experience, making visitors less likely to convert.
- 4xx Error Codes: These errors, often arising from broken links, can hinder effective site crawling and impact user experience.
- Core Web Vitals Issues: These metrics, introduced by Google, gauge user experience. Issues here can be detrimental to your site’s overall performance and ranking.
In summary, ecommerce sites, with their myriad of pages, require meticulous attention to technical SEO. Using tools like Google Search Console and Semrush, site owners can identify and rectify technical challenges, ensuring their site remains optimised for both search engines and users. Properly addressing these issues not only boosts search visibility but also enhances the overall user experience, leading to better engagement and conversions.
Content Marketing for Ecommerce Sites
High-quality content is the linchpin for ecommerce success. Beyond a mere collection of product listings, rich, engaging content plays a pivotal role in driving traffic, building brand credibility, enhancing user engagement, and ultimately, boosting sales. Here’s how to harness the power of content for your ecommerce venture:
Create Shareable and Link-worthy Content:
- Your content should resonate with your audience, prompting them to share it across social channels and other platforms.
- Beyond product promotion, focus on providing value. Informative blog posts, how-to guides, and tutorials can help educate your audience, positioning your brand as a trusted source of information.
- Case in Point: Online store, Rover, exemplifies this strategy. Their engaging blog posts, like the “new puppy checklist,” not only offer valuable insights to readers but also subtly promote their products. By targeting informational keywords, they cater to a broader audience segment, some of whom might transition from mere browsers to buyers.
Incorporate Video Content:
- Videos can significantly influence purchasing decisions. They offer a dynamic way to showcase products, explain their features, and share user testimonials.
- A study by Quicksprout reveals a positive correlation between the number of products viewed through videos and the order values. This implies that consumers who engage with video content tend to make more substantial purchases.
- Videos can be multifunctional. Create once and share everywhere – be it on your product pages, YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, or other social platforms. This maximises visibility and engagement.
- Avoid the “create and forget” approach. If you’ve crafted a compelling blog post, think about how you can repurpose it. Maybe it can be transformed into an infographic, a podcast episode, or a video tutorial.
- Repurposing helps you reach different segments of your audience, each with their content consumption preferences.
In essence, for ecommerce businesses, content isn’t just about sales pitches. It’s about creating valuable, engaging, and shareable assets that resonate with your target audience, driving both traffic and sales. By focusing on the needs and preferences of your audience, and by diversifying your content approach, you can ensure a broader reach and better engagement.
Link Building for Ecommerce Sites
For any ecommerce site aiming to climb the ranks on Google, link building remains pivotal. The inbound links act as endorsements, signalling to search engines that your content is valuable and trustworthy. Here’s how you can effectively incorporate link-building strategies:
Guest Posting with Integrity:
Guest posting is a tried-and-true tactic for building links. The survey you mentioned shows its continuing relevance. But, as you’ve highlighted, it’s essential to maintain the quality over quantity mindset. Google frowns upon massive, indiscriminate guest posting done merely for links. Always prioritise the content’s relevance and value to the audience over the mere acquisition of a link.
Leverage Creative Product Campaigns:
Innovative PR campaigns, like the Missguided PR campaign you mentioned, can bring exponential returns in terms of both visibility and backlinks. It shows the importance of storytelling and creativity in making a product stand out and capture media attention.
Discover Untapped Backlink Opportunities:
Tools like Semrush’s Backlink Gap allow eCommerce businesses to identify missed opportunities by spotting where competitors have earned links but they haven’t. This kind of competitive analysis is a goldmine, guiding businesses on where to focus their backlink efforts.
Forge Partnerships with Suppliers:
Establishing a link from suppliers or distributors can be a powerful strategy for ecommerce businesses, especially if those suppliers are recognized and reputable in the industry. Such links are not just about SEO; they also vouch for the credibility of your business.
Engage in Industry Forums and Q&A Sites:
Participate in industry-specific forums, discussions, or Q&A sites like Quora. Providing helpful answers and establishing yourself as an industry expert can occasionally allow for natural, contextually relevant backlinks.
Create Link-worthy Assets:
Think infographics, comprehensive guides, or original research. Such assets are naturally appealing and tend to attract backlinks without aggressive outreach.
Regularly Audit and Clean Up Your Backlink Profile:
Not all backlinks are beneficial. Regularly review your backlink profile to spot and disavow toxic or low-quality links that might harm your SEO efforts.
Ecommerce SEO: Some Final Best Practice Tips
1. Prioritise Mobile Optimization:
With mobile users surpassing desktop users in ecommerce, it’s critical to ensure your website provides an exceptional mobile experience. Sites that aren’t mobile-optimised can lose potential customers and witness a drop in their Google rankings. Validate your site’s mobile-friendliness using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool.
2. Master the Art of Pagination:
Pagination, often manifested as “load more” buttons or page numbers, can pose SEO challenges if not properly implemented. Poor pagination can lead to deep site structures, impairing search engine crawlability. For robust pagination that keeps SEO in mind, ensure you follow the best practices outlined in SEO-Friendly Pagination Strategies for Ecommerce.
3. Harness the Power of Reviews:
Online reviews have a significant influence on buying behaviour. A staggering 98% of consumers deem reviews crucial during purchase decisions. To cultivate more reviews:
- Send post-purchase emails requesting feedback.
- Use non-intrusive pop-ups on your website prompting users to review products.
4. Strategically Handle Stock Issues:
Out-of-stock Products: Keeping a product page live preserves its SEO value. If an item is temporarily unavailable:
- Retain most of the page content.
- Recommend similar available products.
- Provide an option for customers to be notified once restocked.
Discontinued Products: If a product is no longer available but the page has SEO value:
- Transform the page into a comparison page, comparing the old product to new alternatives.
- Or, redirect the old product page to a relevant, existing product page using a 301 redirect.
Ecommerce SEO is a multifaceted endeavour, encompassing challenges distinct from other types of sites. From indexing to pagination, an ecommerce site demands unique strategies to optimise its presence on search engines. Armed with the insights shared in this guide, you’re poised to build a solid SEO foundation for your ecommerce venture.