eCommerce SEO Tips That Actually Work
So you finally launched your brand new eCommerce website with all your products, you must be ready to start earning some money! Not so fast though – to sell your products your website needs new visitors and customers. How can you grow your website visitors? There are many ways to do this, but in this blog I will focus on easy SEO tips you can use so customers can find your products on search engines like Google – all for free!
The first tip is also the most basic yet the most important – your eCommerce website needs to be HTTPS secure across all your pages with an SSL certificate! These days it is a standard practice to include a SSL certificate with a website, there are a still a few stragglers out there. HTTPS means your website is secure so users can send important data, such as their credit card information, across your website without the fear of hackers intercepting the data. Not only that, but it is an important step to allowing your website to show up in Google search results: search engines don’t want to promote a website where user data is not safe and secure, especially if it’s an eCommerce website! Do you require help with making your website HTTPS/SSL secure? You can read our blog on how to get an SSL certificate for your website.
Before we actually begin to optimise an eCommerce website for SEO, it’s vital to understand exactly what you want to rank for and why. With eCommerce websites, it’s not just about search volume or keyword difficulty – you also need to understand the intent behind a keyword.
What do I mean by this? Well simply, the search intent is the purpose behind the user’s search. An example of this is [buy iPhone X] this keyword clearly shows that the user intends to purchase an iPhone X phone, so they are searching Google for iPhone X products. This is a fantastic keyword to target for SEO, as you are aiming for relevant and qualified traffic from people who are ready to purchase your product therefore having a high conversion rate and return on investment.
A similar example is [iPhone X]. This keyword has no clear intent – is the user looking for images of an iPhone X, information about an iPhone X, reviews about an iPhone X… the list goes on and on. This is not a good keyword to target. It’ll most likely have the highest search volume but there is no clear intent behind the keyword, so the traffic will be less qualified and therefore a lower conversion rate.
Now you understand what you’re targeting, you need to prioritise the pages to optimise. Perhaps you’ve identified you want to rank better for your iPhone products – but you’ve got 65 pages of iPhone products to optimise. Outside of the usual optimisation work, you also have to think about your budget if you decide to go with a professional agency who can handle the more technical aspects and the off-page work such as linkbuilding. It would be great if we can get all of a website’s products to rank number one for their keywords, but that isn’t going to happen. You should prioritise which pages you want to rank the highest based on the potential return on investment by looking at how much revenue you would generate from one conversion, the keyword difficulty, the work required to get the page to rank in the top 3 results etc.
An important but often overlooked factor of SEO is the URL structure. If you operate a very large or multinational eCommerce website, you’ve probably got a lot of product categories and even more products – it’s quite common that larger websites will end up making a mess of their URL structures. This not only makes it difficult for a search engine crawler to understand the importance of relevance of a product, but it also hurts user experience. URLs should always be structured in an organised and hierarchical way which makes sense to both users and bots. For example:
This URL would be for an international website with an iPhone X product targeting UK users. You can clearly identify the location (en-gb), category (apple) and specific product (iphone-x) with this URL structure.
Before changing your website’s URL structure you should always consult with your eCommerce website developers to ensure you don’t break anything.
One of the most important factors in SEO is high-quality and relevant content, and this is upheld when doing SEO for eCommerce.
Unlike brochure websites, you don’t want your written content to be the main focus of your page – you want your products to be the main focus. So we need to include quality and relevant content without distracting users from purchasing products – how do we do that? There’s plenty of ways to include content on an eCommerce website.
- Product categories: represent a great location to include content about the product category such as the brand or make of a product. This content can be included as a short one paragraph, with extra content visible behind a “Read more” tag.
- Products: are great for highly relevant content based on the specific product. This can include content such as reviews, product descriptions, product specifications etc and can be organised into tabs or accordions for better user experience.
- Blogs: represent opportunities for internal linking to your products as well as extra ways to drive traffic to your website. You can write blogs about your products, informative guides on how to use them, useful reviews about them etc which may be searched by users who are interested in your products but not yet ready to purchase. In the end, these blogs can prove a decisive factor for a user to take the final step and make a purchase.
Schema markup or structured data is a way to present additional information to search engines as a way to improve your search visibility. This won’t improve your rankings, but can have a massive impact on your click-through rate on the SERP regardless of position.
Schema markup can be used for lots of different things, but as an eCommerce website there are three main ones you want to show on your search snippets:
- Reviews: this schema markup will show your website with a star rating system on the Google search results.
- Product: this markup will show specific product details on the search results, such as price, stock status etc.
- Site links: this markup will show extra links to different pages on your website. For example, a search for a brand category can bring up a snippet which includes site links to specific brand products.
- Example: “apple iphones” search brings up your Apple product category page in the search results, but through structured data it also includes additional site links within the snippet such as “iPhone X”, “iPhone 8” etc.
Need Help With SEO?
So that’s our tips on the best things you can do to SEO your eCommerce website and drive more traffic & sales without spending a penny! But if you really want to start making money and getting traffic, you’ll eventually have to open up that wallet and start spending some money. Advanced SEO strategies which will improve your search rankings include business citations, linkbuilding, quality content creation etc – all strategies that our SEOs in Manchester can cover! If you’re interested in achieving more traffic and higher search rankings on your eCommerce website, just contact Blue Whale Media today.