Regardless of whether you are a seasoned eCommerce store owner or you’ve just started your journey into eCommerce as a career change response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the key to your eCommerce site’s success is ensuring that potential customers are able to find your online store.
To that end, the only (and hardest) way to do that is through search engine optimization (SEO).
By now, you’re probably no stranger to SEO. You’ve probably done your obligatory keyword research, optimized your pages based on those keywords, even started your own blog that you’ve been sticking with relevant content as part of your overall digital marketing strategy.
You’ve probably checked off all of the right essential SEO boxes.
So, what comes next?
The problem with eCommerce search engine optimization is that the eCommerce industry is so competitive that basic SEO only goes so far. To truly compete in your market and boost online sales, you are going to have to dive headfirst into some more advanced search engine optimization techniques.
This article will present ten tips to bring your eCommerce website’s search engine optimization strategy to a new level.
Tip #1: Perform an SEO Audit
You’ll find lots of eCommerce SEO advice and information about best practices, but, at the end of the day, your particular audience is uniquely yours. If you are committed to making the most out of an SEO investment, you’ll need to fit your SEO to what will work best for targeting your particular audience. You can start by performing an SEO audit.
An SEO audit will help you to:
- review your website’s analytics
- identify the pages attracting the most traffic and yielding conversions
- determine which pages are underperforming
- figure out which keywords your site is currently ranking for
- search for any technical issues that need correcting, such as duplicate content or broken links
- identify any internal link opportunities that you may have missed
When performing your audit, you may discover content that requires updating or content that would be best deleted entirely. You should also end up with a more solid grasp of what content formats, keywords, and topics are most appropriate for your brand and which ones best attract traffic.
Using this information, you’ll be able to refine your overall SEO strategy for better results in the future.
Tip #2: Set Up Reviews on Your Product Pages
There are a number of reasons why reviews can be valuable.
First of all, they offer up social proof helping to increase sales. They also bring added legitimacy to the products you sell and your brand, and help with search engine optimization.
Think about it. A product review adds additional words to your page, and it will, of course, include relevant keywords, helping the major search engines figure out what your website is all about.
That’s partly because they fill your page with more keywords helping to tell Google exactly what the page is all about. Furthermore, when Google discovers a valid review or rating markup on your site, it may feature a snippet in the search engine results page (SERP) showing the number of stars the product receives, as well as other information from the review.
Tip #3: Analyze Backlinks (Yours and Theirs)
Backlinks are a valuable part of a good SEO campaign, but they can often be hard to come by.
One of the best ways to further improve and develop your current eCommerce backlink campaign is to analyze your existing backlinks. Figure out which sites already link to yours and then determine what other pages they are linking to, as well as what anchor text they use. Determine what sort of value these links have regarding relevance, authority, and the amount of traffic sent your way.
Next, conduct the same research on the websites of your leading competitors. Figure out everything you can regarding their backlink profile. By doing so, you’ll be able to develop your own effective backlink strategy. It will also help inspire more ideas for websites you can connect with and what kinds of content you should be creating.
There are several excellent eCommerce SEO tools available that can help you to quickly identify your own backlinks, and your competitor’s backlinks, as well as offer actional insights.
Tip #4: Start Adding Long-Tail Keywords to Your SEO Strategy
Because so many eCommerce websites compete against the big boys, like Walmart and Amazon, it isn’t easy to rank for the broad keywords with higher search volume.
If you are a small eCommerce brand, you will have more success if your strategy focuses on long-tail keywords. That’s going to mean that you will have to come up with very specific descriptions of your products. For example, when you use a long-tail keyword like “organic facemask for blackheads and acne,” you will probably see better results than if you focus your efforts on the keyword, “organic facemask.”
You can also help your eCommerce business to make significant headway when you focus on your product keywords. For example, if your store features a product with a specific brand name that is popular among targeted audience members when you optimize for that particular brand keywords
Tip #5 Add Schema Markup
With schema markup, you can provide Google with additional information about what is on your page. A schema markup also helps Google to display relevant details related to your page within the SERPs. That can really help with click-through rates.
The most critical categories that you should include are products and reviews, when it comes to adding schema markups for eCommerce websites. You’ll be able to provide a product’s cost, availability, rating, and the number of product reviews. Sometimes, the information will show up in the SERPs, helping your eCommerce pages stand out and improve click-through rates.
Schema markup will give you an additional way of supplying details to Google directly, thus increasing your chance that information that you want your potential consumers seeing will appear even before they click through.
#6 Optimize With Featured Snippets in Mind
The layout of Google’s SERPs changes based on the search engine’s perceived keyword intent.
Therefore, if they think that the user is searching for a nearby business, the SERPs will display a map showing relevant local options. If the user is searching for specific products, the SERPs will be dominated by shopping results. If Google thinks that the user is searching for quick answers to a specific question, it may return an answer box in the SERPs. These are all examples of Google’s various snippet responses.
According to Ahrefs, these so-called featured snippets will appear in more than 12% of all of the SERPs. Therefore, an eCommerce business owner must be mindful of which keywords produce these featured snippets and how to optimize their pages to grab these essential spots.
If you’d like to optimize an eCommerce website for these featured snippets, do the following:
- Conduct a SERP analysis for each keyword included in your SEO strategy. If you want to appear in Google’s top spot, either through a traditional organic link or through one of Google’s featured snippets, you’ll want to know exactly what that top spot looks like. For every page and all content that you create, conduct a search and review the SERPs. This way you can see what is currently ranking well.
- Search for audience questions. Many featured snippets will answer questions. Look for as many questions relevant to your audience as you can, and then be sure to address them with your content. Answer the Public is a valuable keyword tool that can aid you in this research. You can also review Google’s People Also Ask section in the SERPs as well.
- Structure website content so that it matches Google’s formatting. Formatting plays a vital role in attaining featured snippet spots. If the featured snippet shows a list, your content should be structured in a list format. When a Google snippet features a short answer, you should format the content so that it includes a question, followed directly with a brief answer. You can do this using H2 and H3 tags.
#7. Be Strategic with Your Product Categories
Every category that your audience shows interest in gives you an opportunity to craft your pages to target the relevant keyword, offer helpful information, and link to every product pertinent to that category. You should work to figure out which categories are missing from your current eCommerce website right now and start working to build them.
Once you have created additional category pages with optimized relevant content, you can take them further by:
- adding internal links into those pages using appropriate anchor texts
- adding links that point to those new category pages from your menu
- using these new categories as inspiration for new blog content ideas
#8. Craft Content Around Products
Although we always recommend creating content that is meant to help rather than sell. There are ways to combine both by featuring the products that you sell.
For example, suppose your eCommerce store sells exercise equipment. In that case, you can publish a blog post or a video that shows the different exercises that can be performed with a certain piece of exercise equipment that you sell. If your store sells dried spices, create blog posts featuring recipes that use the dried spices that you sell.
Using content that is product-focused offers additional keyword targeting opportunities and can drive more traffic and conversions.
#9 Team Up with Influencers and Relevant Brands
Building links is perhaps the most challenging part of any SEO campaign, but it is vital for success. To successfully build links, you’ll need to create relationships.
Start by seeking out brands that you might partner well with. For example, does your makeup brand fit well with another brand selling skincare products? If so, maybe you can team up to create content that is relevant to a shared audience, like beauty tutorial videos. Once you enter into a relationship with another brand, you increase the likelihood of that brand (and its followers) sharing and linking to you.
You can also seek out influencers that cover topics that are relevant to your target audience and contact them about reviews or promotions related to your products. Be aware that many influencers will expect you to provide them with either payment or free products. When entering into an agreement with other relevant brands or businesses, you will be expected to promote them as well. Remember, link building is a two-way street.
#10 Use Comparative Content
While you may be inclined to avoid mentioning your competitors, fearful that doing so may drive traffic to their brand, many customers enjoy researching products before making their final purchase decision. Part of that research involves comparing two competing products.
Capturing traffic during this research stage can be incredibly useful, and you can do so by creating comparative content. Think of it as your version of the Pepsi vs. Coke debate and create content that addresses how your product compares with other top products in the same niche.
The key to comparative content is, to be completely honest with your audience while emphasizing everything that makes your product so great. You should not trash the competition, as that will likely turn off many potential customers. However, if you honestly lay out the features of both products, compare and contrast facts, publish different customer review responses, and compare costs, you draw in relevant search traffic and have a chance to capture additional customers.
SEO for eCommerce Websites Will Take Time, but Its Worth the Wait
The search engine optimization tactics outlined in this article will take a considerable amount of time to initiate, and the work won’t be easy. Still, they will ultimately improve your eCommerce website’s authority.
These eCommerce search engine optimization tactics are the best way to increase website traffic and boost overall sales.
Nowadays, more and more people do most of their shopping online, which makes eCommerce SEO the most worthwhile investment you can make if you want your business to be successful.