Many e-commerce business owners think simply choosing the right platform to build their website will help them attract customers. While the platform does play a huge role in the smooth functioning of the website, it is crucial to optimize your site for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to target the right customers.

This can be tricky since most platforms offer do-it-yourself options, making it difficult to know when and how to get started. Also, there is no fixed formula for e-commerce SEO success. The bottom line is acquiring new customers can be tough, especially if you’re not being found by them on search engines.

Implementing the right e-commerce SEO initiatives, however, can help you gain organic traffic by enabling your online store to be featured well on SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).

This is important because 32% online shoppers use Google to look for inspiration when they don’t have a specific product in mind for purchase.  Further, SEO will help you enhance your website’s click-through rate in SERPs.

The benefits of having a robust e-commerce SEO strategy in place are hard to ignore. This post will tell you how to get it right and receive unending traffic on your website.

1.    Get Your Keywords Right

When it comes to SEO, using the right keywords in the right places is crucial. They need to be adequately present in the website’s overall copy. This, however, does not mean you stuff keywords, especially where product titles and descriptions are concerned.

Here’s what you can do – add your primary keyword in the product headline, subheadline, description, page title and meta description, and image alternate attributes. Next, include latent semantic index (LSI) keywords throughout the text. These will help Google understand what your page is all about.

But that’s not all. Perform thorough keyword research before using it. This will help you comprehend:

  • How often people search for the keyword: Also referred to as keyword search volume, it indicates the level of interest consumers are showing towards a particular keyword. A keyword with high search volume enjoys greater popularity among searchers, and can get more active searches for it.
  • What they are looking for when they use the keyword: This is helpful in understanding the user intent, which describes what people want to find when using a specific keyword in their search.

Let’s take the example of someone searching for “glasses” on Google. It’s difficult to tell if they want information on sunglasses, reading glasses, window glasses, or something else. If you’re unable to determine the user intent of a keyword, add other words to the keyword to offer a clearer picture.

  • How competitive the keyword is in the paid advertising arena: This is related to Cost-Per-Click or CPC. It tells you how much users pay per click when buying advertising based on a specific keyword. If your target keyword’s CPC is high (i.e., it is extremely competitive), consider using a long-tail one instead.

2.    Homepage SEO Matters

More often than not, businesses dedicate most of their budget to the homepage, and rightly so. It is critical you optimize your homepage by adding:

Title Tag
This is among the most important aspects of performing on-site search optimization. The homepage title tag should include your business’s name as well as the main keyword phrase you are targeting. Ideally, title tags should contain between 50-60 characters. Further, they need to be written in an appealing manner as searchers will see it in the search results.

Meta Description
This factor affects keyword rankings indirectly. It features in the search results, right under the title tag. The homepage Meta description should be written in a way that encourages users to click on the link. It should sum up your business page in no more than 160 characters.

Content
Needless to say, your homepage content should help visitors learn more about your business and its offerings. Creating content for SEO as well as users is critical. Overloading the page with too much information, however, is sure to backfire as it can confuse visitors as well as search engines. It makes sense to showcase only your top few products on the homepage along with your unique selling proposition.

Moreover, be as specific as possible about what your site offers. There are various off-site aspects that help optimize your SEO strategy, too. For example, you can optimize your social media content for SEO by making sure you add appropriate keywords into your social post copy. Once you nail the tricks for how to write for SEO, you’ll be on your way.

3.    Improve Site Speed and Lower Page Load Times

As far as improving your rankings and user experiences are concerned, the one thing Google’s algorithms constantly emphasize is having fast website speed on desktop as well as mobile.

Your site’s loading time is also a huge part of the overall user experience. Therefore, ensure your website is the fastest to load, at least among your competitors.

See to it that the images on your website are compressed for use as large-sized images significantly slow down loading times. Additionally, track down any content management application that could be using heavier product images rather than their compressed versions, and get rid of it.

4.    Optimize Content

The scope for optimizing the overall content of your e-commerce website is immense, but broadly speaking, focus on two main areas:

Product Descriptions
Write product descriptions in a way that helps you stand out from competitors. When writing them, it makes sense to think from customers’ point of view – why should people buy this particular product from you? What makes your product different from that of your competitors’?

Provide specific and meaningful details in a concise manner. Don’t forget to include the terms you are trying to rank for in the description. As mentioned, keyword stuffing is never a good idea, so perform keyword research and find those that match your products. Include them as naturally as possible in the descriptions.

Category Pages
It helps to regard category pages as separate homepages. You can optimize your page content with the keywords you want to rank for. This will make your pages easily discoverable, while improving your chances of ranking for broader terms.

5.    Streamline Your Site Architecture

Your website’s architecture plays a big role in search optimization, especially when you’re adding products and categories to your e-store. Focus on creating a distinct hierarchy of navigation – from homepage to product categories to the products under them.

Also, the internal linking structure on your e-commerce website needs to be clear, so it becomes easy for search engine bots to discover your products and services and how they relate to each other. A deep linking structure can hinder this.

Long story short, your visitors as well as search engines should be able to reach everything on your website within three clicks. So, when they land on your homepage, they should be able to get to any product page with three clicks tops.

6.    Track Your SEO Visibility

It’s no secret Google rolls out at least two-to-three major algorithm updates every year. Each update prioritizes factors that help websites engender better user experiences. From mobile-responsiveness to HTTPS protocol-enabled sites, the list keeps growing. This means you need to stay on top of current trends to avoid common SEO mistakes.

It’s extremely important to monitor and track your SEO visibility at regular intervals. Proactively tracking the organic performance of your e-commerce website can help you take timely measures to attract more and more traffic, and stay ahead of competition.

In Conclusion

When customers need a product or service, one of the first things they do is perform a Google search. They check out several options and zero in on one based on the information they find in the SERPs. It’s crucial your website appears prominently in the SERPs. If it doesn’t, you will lose out on qualified leads and genuinely interested customers. Your e-commerce website should be easily findable.

This is where investing in e-commerce SEO can pay off. It is the bridge that connects your e-store to your target audience organically. Once people land on your website, you can further engage them with your brilliant offerings, compelling content, and persuasive calls-to-action. Overall, SEO for e-commerce is exactly what you need to expand your website’s discoverability and presence, while attracting nonstop traffic.


Author Bio
: Jack Shepler is a Marketing and Search Engine Optimization expert. He founded Ayokay, an award-winning marketing, and web design firm in Indianapolis, Indiana.