In 1962, a missing hyphen in some computer code caused the Mariner I rocket to explode mid-flight, destroying the $80 million spacecraft. While omitting e-commerce search engine optimization (SEO) keywords from your website might not be so catastrophic, it may be why you’re not getting much traffic.
Developing solid e-commerce website SEO strategies is an economical yet effective method for rising to the top of search rankings. The cost-effectiveness makes SEO and e-commerce a match made in heaven.
What Is E-Commerce SEO?
By using keywords in strategic places and engaging in practices like link building, eliminating dead links and website restructuring, e-commerce businesses can optimize their stores to make them easier to find through search engines. The result is higher organic traffic.
Steps to Developing an E-commerce SEO Strategy
SEO for e-commerce websites creates customer feedback loops — the more people find you through searches, the higher you’ll rank.
Step 1: Understand the Role of Keywords in E-Commerce SEO
Search engines look for specific words and phrases that people often use. Tools like Ahref’s Keyword Explorer and Amazon’s product search bar can help you identify commonly used keywords.
Step 2: Optimize Product Pages for Search Engines
Put keywords at the front of your H1 page title. Meta descriptions, the short web page summaries users see on search results pages, should contain the most relevant keyword, too.
Optimize product images by making sure they’re properly sized and mobile-friendly, and include the keyword in the file names. It’s also a good idea to add ratings and user reviews.
Step 3: Structure Your E-Commerce Website for SEO Success
Make pages easy to find with a few clicks, and give each product its own page. The menu should be simple with clear categories and subcategories to enhance search rankings.
Breadcrumb navigation, which shows users where they are on the site and how they got there, makes sites easier to browse.
Step 4: Create High-Quality and Unique Content
By adding blogs and how-to guides, you become a trusted adviser. Product descriptions should be informative and honest. Encourage users to post their reviews and testimonials to make your page transparent and inviting.
Step 5: Enhance Website Loading Speed and Mobile Optimization
When websites load slowly, users tend to leave quickly. Solutions for this problem include:
- Investing in faster web hosting
- Making high-res images smaller
- Enabling browser caching
- Eliminating unnecessary code
- Getting rid of excessive extensions and plugins
Don’t forget to optimize for mobile to make window shopping fast and simple.
Step 6: Build Quality Backlinks for E-Commerce Websites
Getting other high-profile sites to backlink to yours makes your site more findable on Google. Strategies include:
- Getting your vendors and suppliers to link to you
- Writing guest blogs on other sites
- Creating free tools and guides for your site
- Sending news releases with site links
- Posting infographics and articles people want to share
- Having influencers and bloggers review your products
You’ll also want to comb your site for broken links and update them.
Step 7: Monitor and Analyze E-Commerce SEO Performance
Track your results to determine whether your SEO efforts are accomplishing the following goals:
- Improving your rank in search engine result pages (SERPs)
- Increasing organic traffic
- Upping your click-through rate (CTR)
- Boosting engagement and impressions
Google Analytics and HubSpot Website Grader are excellent tools for monitoring performance so you can adjust for better results.
E-Commerce SEO Best Practices
SEO is a game of details. Keep the following points in mind as you develop your SEO strategy:
Optimize Product Titles and Descriptions
Titles and descriptions need relevant keywords. Use phrases people search for in addition to single words but don’t duplicate content on multiple pages.
Improve Product Page URLs
URLs should contain keywords rather than random words or characters. Make them as descriptive as possible.
Optimize Product Images
Pages load faster when you compress images and reduce their file size. File names should have keywords and descriptions as well. Add descriptive alt text, and use image sitemaps to help search engines find your site’s images quickly and easily.
Implement Rich Snippets
Snippets on Google results show a site’s URL, the page title and a short description. Rich snippets include info like images, ratings and locations. These extra bits of information make the result richer, meaning users are more likely to click.
Enhance Internal Linking
Link your pages together with a logical structure. For example, if one of your products features customization options, link to your contact page so people know how to discuss personalization requests.
Implement User Reviews
User reviews improve search rankings and demonstrate honesty and transparency, so encourage them whenever possible and make it a point to respond to both positive and negative reviews.
Optimize for Mobile
With more people than ever using phones and tablets for shopping and browsing, it’s important to make your site visually appealing and easy to use on mobile platforms. Test the site’s features on various devices and optimize mobile page loading.
Leverage Social Media
Post products and demonstrations on your social media pages to entice new customers and encourage frequent sharing. Also, make sure you add social media sharing buttons to your product pages.
Implement a Robust Site Search
Use site-search tools that help customers quickly locate specific products. You can collect the tool’s search queries to optimize the results.
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It’s not just important — it’s imperative. SEO is crucial for generating organic search results.
Use relevant keywords in descriptions, headers, meta descriptions and image names. Make the site easy to navigate. Generate backlinks.
It depends on a few factors, but generally, you can expect to see a difference within three to six months.