Ecommerce SEO: How Online Stores Can Drive Organic Traffic
You can’t rely solely on running Google Ads and pay-per-click campaigns to drive traffic to your eCommerce website. You need to extend your reach and engage in optimizing your website for search engines to get that big slice of the pie that comes with ranking high on SERPs.
There is no doubt that SEO is the magic word behind many marketing success stories. But with more than 200 factors that Google’s algorithms use for ranking a website, how do you know where to direct your efforts?
Don’t worry, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we will help you deal with the most common challenges in eCommerce SEO with our five most effective strategies for driving organic traffic to your online store.
Let’s get those search engines running!
1. Conduct thorough keyword research
Every SEO strategy starts with keyword research, and eCommerce SEO is no exception. Before you define the keywords you want to target and re-evaluate your existing ones, you need to conduct keyword research.
In this phase, you should focus on researching the types of keywords people use the most when they are trying to find products or services similar to yours. Underline the popularity of those keywords, their traffic volume, and the intent behind them.
Extract the information that shows what kind of content usually appears in SERPs for the relevant keywords.
You might be wondering – “that’s all great, but how am I supposed to find all that information?”. No worries, we’ve got you covered!
Here is what to do when conducting keyword research:
Use the auto-suggest option on Google. Let’s say you sell perfumes in your online store. Type the words “perfume for” and see the suggestions from Google. These suggestions are what people most often type in queries when they search for perfume.
You can also check out the similar searches section to see what questions users ask regarding the subject. This will be especially useful when you decide on the topics for content creation.
Use paid SEO tools, such as SEMRush or Moz. These tools are an absolute gold mine for extracting valuable metrics, such as:
- Keyword difficulty (KD) – a metric that shows the level of difficulty when ranking for the desired keyword.
- Domain /page authority (DA/PA) – a metric that reveals the strength or authority of a website or a page.
Another keyword tactic worth considering is opting for long-tail keywords. These keywords typically get less search traffic but are a better response to search intent because they are more specific and thus offer higher conversion value.
The tools mentioned before offer long-tail keyword generators. These generators will search their massive database to come up with the best suggestion for a long-tail keyword specific to your needs.
2. Apply eCommerce on-page SEO
On-page SEO for eCommerce websites includes optimizing your site’s following sections:
- The page title and headings – make your title tags and headings as specific as possible and ensure they are keyword-driven. This is important as both of these elements appear in the search results.
- Meta description – make sure your meta descriptions are always up to date.
- Images – save your images in common formats such as PNG or JPG, insert your keywords in the image file names, and use alt tags.
- Videos – insert your keywords in the video title and video description, add tags, and include transactions and captions.
On-page SEO will help search engines analyze your website and identify the relevancy of your content to searchers’ queries.
3. Make sure your website is user-friendly
A friendly website should be user-oriented not only because Google takes user experience very seriously but also because most people will avoid revisiting a website after a poor interaction.
To make sure your eCommerce website offers an enjoyable experience to its visitors, try the following:
- Ensure your pages have a clear structure and intuitive navigation.
- Use a responsive design that offers a seamless experience across all screen sizes.
- Optimize your pages for scannability.
- Use a call to action that is easy to spot and clear in its intent.
- Make sure your website loads in under 3 seconds.
It’s also a good idea to make your website accessible to all users, including the ones that have certain disabilities, such as partial or complete blindness, restricted mobility, etc. Accessible-to-all website shows that your business has integrity and is trustworthy.
4. Enable your website to be easily crawled and indexed
A website that can’t be easily crawled or indexed will appear on Google’s radar eventually. But there are things you can do to help web crawler bots find the pages you want them to see faster and also hide the ones you don’t want them to uncover.
Here is what you can do:
- Use the robots.txt file to mark both the files and folders you want to grant access to and those that you don’t want crawlers to index.
- Always have a sitemap included in your website to give crawlers information about your website’s overall structure.
- Ensure you have a dedicated 404 page that is customized to contain links to your important pages or your website’s search bar.
- Set immovable redirects of your old URLs so that crawling bots can update their index.
5. Check and resolve any potential issues your product pages might have
Because of faceted URLs, it’s not uncommon for product pages to get duplicated and create confusion amongst the crawler bots. For your website to run like a well-oiled machine, make sure you scan it for the following issues:
- Duplicated title tags
- Duplicated meta description
- Broken links
- Thin content
- Absence of structured data
Generating organic traffic to your eCommerce store might be a difficult task to take on, but it’s well worth the trouble. Statistics show that around 39% of eCommerce traffic worldwide comes from search – 35% is organic and only 4% comes from paid search ads.
We hope our article helped you understand the importance of eCommerce SEO and gave you valuable tips on how to make search engines work for you. And maybe the next time we see you will be on the first page of Google’s search results.