Ever wondered how to do ecommerce SEO? Search engine optimization is important to answer the question – what is ecommerce marketing strategy? People these days start their shopping with a search. They check where a product is available and compare the prices of different sellers. They also read reviews of the product by past users.
What online shopping mall search engine optimization does to the top of search results so that when people do the search, your site is up there on the first page (or a top page). Only a minority of searchers go beyond the first page and only a minuscule percentage of them go beyond page three.
PPC advertising management can also help you get your site to these top pages. However:
- It is an expensive option with each visitor costing several dollars
- The moment you stop the ads, the flow of visitors also ceases
On the other hand, SEO, once it begins to produce results, does not cost much, and also tends to maintain the traffic flow so long as you attend to the essentials.
So how to do ecommerce SEO? That is the topic of this post.
The Four key Dimensions of Ecommerce SEO
For most people, how to do ecommerce SEO is something mysterious and complicated. To eliminate the complexity, they might even simplify it to on-page work such as using keywords at several places on the page.
Actually, SEO has four key dimensions, some of which are easy to attend to while others are very difficult and time-consuming to manage. The four are:
- Keyword research that involves identifying the search terms that people use to search for your product, and the intent behind each search
- On-page SEO such as using relevant keywords on the page at certain important places and creating content that meets certain requirements
- Technical SEO that covers such things as site architecture, using mark-ups, sitemaps and more
- Getting in-pointing links from relevant and high-quality external sites
To produce SEO results, you need clear ideas about each of these, plus a great deal of time and sustained effort to implement each.
Purpose of Keyword Research
The purpose is NOT to find highly searched keywords and then “stuff” these keywords into your page content and meta tags. Such stuffing will repel not only readers (who find the content artificial and of no value) but also search engines (who will immediately detect a fraudulent attempt at optimization). Instead, the purpose of keyword research is to:
- Understand the questions in the minds of searchers and develop valuable content answering these questions and
- Use keywords in a natural way on-site pages so that search engines will show these when someone searches with the keywords.
How to do Keyword Research for Ecommerce Website
Start with a core search word that you think searchers will use to look for your product Next, use tools like the following to build a sizable list of keywords:
Google Keyword Planner
You need a Google Ads account to use this tool. Once you have your account open on your screen, you can access this tool under Tools & Settings->Planning->Keyword Planner (as at the time of this writing; Google has changed the access route several times). The tool will generate a number of terms related to the word input by you, along with an indication of search volumes and competition for each word.
Google Autosuggest and Related Searches
As you start entering a search term into Google, it displays a list of suggestions. Additionally, there will be a list of Related Searches at the bottom of the search results. Some of these might be relevant to your product
There are several other tools on the web that can help you build a list of relevant keywords. These include KeywordDiscovery and many others.
What do you do with the Keyword List?
You will find that the list contains short terms that are broad in its coverage, such as ‘Shoes,’ and longer terms that are narrow, such as ‘Size 7 running shoes brown.’ The latter are known as long-tail keywords and could indicate intent to purchase. On the other hand, the intent behind the broad term Shoes will be almost impossible to identify. It could be a school student researching for an essay.
This focus on the intent behind the keywords rather than the text is becoming increasingly important. Search engines are using the potential of artificial intelligence to understand the intent and find materials that answer the intent rather than material stuffed with the keyword phrase.
You can segregate the list into those indicating purchase intent, and those with a clear information search intent. The first of these could be used on your product pages while the latter could give you a list of topics to write blog posts (providing valuable information and earning the goodwill of the reader).
On-Page Ecommerce SEO
Purpose of On-page Ecommerce SEO
The goal of on-page optimization is to tell search engines what your page is about. For example, you might want to tell search engines that a product page is about brown running shoes while a blog post is about ‘how to determine your shoe size.’ Search engines will then be able to display these pages when anyone does a search with those specific words.
How to do On-Page Ecommerce Website SEO
On-page SEO starts with deciding which keyword you want to optimize a page for. It is best to optimize a page for just one keyword. Next, you include that keyword, and closely related terms, at certain places that search engines pay specific attention to:
- Meta title tag
- H1, H2, and H3 heading tags
- Body copy
- Image title
- Image alt tag
- Anchor text (particularly anchor text on other pages that point to this page)
Don’t use the exact same keyword all over the place. Use it a few times in a natural way. Use synonyms and other words that tend to be used with the keyword in the normal course. Use it only in a way that makes sense.
Have some significant amount of content say, 800 words altogether, for the page. You can make that many words with product description, list of specs, features, product reviews and anything else related to the product. Pay specific attention to avoid duplicate copy, e.g. avoid the manufacturer’s product description which is likely to be used by numerous other sellers of that product.
Cross-link the pages internally referring to relevant other pages from each page. For example, from a product page, you can link to a blog post discussing the relevance of a product feature. You will also be linking to a hierarchy of pages from the home page.
Include social sharing buttons on the pages so that visitors can share pages they like with their network.
Technical Ecommerce Website SEO
Purpose of Technical Ecommerce Website SEO
This step covers a number of different activities with differing purposes. Broadly, we can say that these activities:
- Make it easier for visitors to use the site and for search engines to crawl and index its content
- Improve the visibility of the site in search results
How do you do Technical Website SEO
The following list will give an idea of the activities involved:
- Design the navigation structure of the site to ensure that visitors are able to find what they want with a minimum of clicks, say 3 clicks at the max
- Use meaningful URLs for naming the pages instead of URLs that include a long list of parameters
- Ensure that the site uses HTTPS protocol instead of plain HTTP; in addition to making visitors feel more secure, HTTPS provides an SEO advantage
- Use a 301 redirect from deleted pages to latest versions of those pages (instead of showing the visitor a ‘404 Not Found’ page)
- Implement schema mark-ups that enhance search visibility
- Create an XML sitemap for the site and submit it to search engines. Keep the sitemap up to date
- Check page loading speed with a tool like a page speed test and do what is needed to keep it at an acceptable level
- Use robots.txt file to keep search crawlers away from the pages of your site that you don’t want the engines to index
Get in-pointing Links to your Site
We discussed the internal linking of pages of the site. This is something within your control. What we are discussing now is getting links from third party sites to your site. This is not fully within your control. (Unfortunately, this is also the most important factor to answer the question – how to do ecommerce SEO because Google determines the authority of a page based on the number of quality links pointing to it!)
People link to your pages when these have great content. What is great content? Below are some examples:
- An infographic that provides a clear view of a complex concept explaining the relationships among different elements involved
- A how-to video that shows how to use a complicated device to obtain desired results
- A thought leadership article that delivers a new perspective on a trending topic
- A series of articles that demystify a technique that is of interest to many potential practitioners
It is not enough simply to create the content. You also have to get it to the notice of the prospective audience. For example, you can share the content through a social media post and boost the visibility of the post using tools provided by the social medium.
Many people might use your content without giving you credit. You can detect such cases using tools like Infringement Report. Once you know who is involved, you can write a polite mail to the person asking for a link back to your site.
There are other ways to get links including:
- Running a contest with an attractive prize and inviting readers to share it
- Creating a resource section on a topic of wide interest and getting it listed in relevant resource directories
- Writing guest posts with valuable information with an author bio that includes a link back to your site
All links are not equal. Link from a relevant and high authority site is invaluable. On the other hand, a link from a spam directory that lists sites against payment can earn you negative value. Hence it is important to check the relevance and authority of the site linking to you.
How to do Ecommerce SEO – Summary
SEO generates comparatively inexpensive (and sustained) traffic when it is done properly. Proper SEO involves four major components: Keyword research, On-page SEO, Technical SEO, and Link building. The post discussed each of these components to answer how to do ecommerce SEO.