Have you ever wondered, when upon typing something on Google – why a particular result ranks above the other? Well, this has everything to do with SEO. Correctly done, SEO has the power to position your eCommerce website or brand at the top.
When it comes to Digital Marketing – SEO is believed to be the most integral part of it. A properly executed SEO strategy has the power to rank a website on the first page of SERP. The popular perception is that consumers make up their minds within the first two pages of the search results, which warrants the need for an SEO overhaul of your eCommerce website.
Not only that, but SEO assisted marketing activities are also likely to be more impactful. If you’ve made up your mind about digital marketing, then you can’t do the same without SEO.
What is SEO or Search Engine Optimization?
SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the practice of optimizing content to be discovered through a search engine’s organic search results. SEO is about helping your target audience find your business from among thousands of other companies online.
Nowadays, even the idea of Content Commerce on an eCommerce website is invalidated without being backed by an adequately done eCommerce SEO. So, get to it and start an eCommerce SEO campaign – because having an eCommerce site is not enough. The same needs to be revised with eCommerce SEO to make it more effective.
How Does eCommerce SEO Work?
eCommerce SEO works by indicating to search engines that a piece of content is the best result for the search phrase entered on it. eCommerce SEO is, therefore, used to optimize the content for better visibility.
All search engines have the same goal - show the best, most relevant results to their users. Google’s algorithm works by assessing a piece of content on E-A-T (Expertise – Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness). If your content meets these standards – then it’ll rank higher on SERP.
As such, if you want more traffic to any of the web pages, you need to mold your eCommerce SEO around the search engine’s algorithm. This may even come to include revisiting pages that lack proper content and editing them. The same pages mustn't fail to show up on top on every SERP. Mobile-friendliness can become another contributing factor. Google gives preference to pages that are optimized for mobile. As such, you don’t want a desktop version of a page to load on mobile.
The best part - eCommerce SEO actions can be adjusted as the search landscape, indexing, meta tags and other variable rules change from time to time. Not only this, but it is entirely possible to develop a personalized eCommerce SEO strategy for a company.
Why Do Brands Need eCommerce SEO and What Are the Benefits?
eCommerce SEO services are needed to increase sales, lift engagement, increase revenue, and improve profits. Here are some of the other reasons why brands are committed to pursuing SEO.
The clout of eCommerce SEO is such that it can propel your brand to the top of SERP if done meticulously. Being on the first page means more eyes on your brand – which in-turn means more visibility. Every search term that results in your company getting to the top – will elevate awareness around your brand.
The higher you show in search results, the higher the brand popularity will be for your target audience. Suddenly your brand will be recognized a lot more due to it featuring at the top quite often.
Ranking higher on the search page continually elevates your brand value. People start to recognize your company as the top brand on that particular topic. What that brings is credibility – which comes from a place where people have faith and trust in your brand.
Once Google starts to position your brand at the top - know that you are already on the road to becoming the industry leader. Showing up more on a SERP around a particular phrase gives you the relative dominance you seek. It establishes your brand as the alpha.
Accessing New Demographic
eCommerce SEO creates more opportunities. Due to ranking higher on SERP and other local directories, your brand is discovered faster and across more territories. Global SEO allows for the brand to shine the world over. This ability enables brands to acquire more customers and that, too, while keeping the customer acquisition costs low.
Now that you have more prominent visibility, more people can access your content and discover your page. Due to which, the likelihood of leads is higher. Higher traffic to any of the pages means from a given sample size; means more people are likely to drop an inquiry for a chance to communicate on a later date or even subscribe to your newsletters – thereby leading to more leads.
Accurately done eCommerce SEO, will increase the traffic to your web pages from the buyer persona that matters to you. In other words, a lot of the visitors will be the target audience, not uninterested and irrelevant traffic that has no desire to transact with your company. SEO delivers qualified visitors to your web pages.
Less traffic from undesirable segments also lessens the sales team's time and effort, as they attend to prospect leads only. Compared to a time when they'd have to weed through all the junk leads and unrelated calls - before they could close a minimal amount of leads in a day.
High Conversion Rates
When more traffic from the concerned segment or target audience starts flowing to the web pages – the chances of conversions get elevated. This has to do with the visitor arriving at the exact information or assistance that he was seeking.
When the visitor finds what they were looking for, the engagement time on the eCommerce site goes up. As a result of the brand's knowledge on the subject matter - the visitor will likely spend more time and give improved retention rates to the eCommerce website. Now that their impression about the company is sky high – they've made up their mind to collaborate with you, which is nothing but another conversion.
Round the clock impact is generated when making investments in eCommerce SEO. Offline marketing (Billboards) is only visible at a particular time of the day and out of reach if you do not pass by it. Whereas eCommerce SEO has no time limit - when done right, companies reap consistent rewards of SEO.
eCommerce SEO fuelled relevant content is available 24/7. When a user searches for something related to your industry – there is a chance that your web page will be the first one they see - at any time of the day. Users can conveniently search for something, without the need to drag themselves to a seminar, expo, trade show, etc.
PPC (Pay Per Click) costs a ton, and you run the risk of emptying your cash reserves for close to no returns. On top of that, as soon as you stop spending money, the profits end right there. Now, eCommerce SEO is not the same. With eCommerce SEO, some of the work done can be lifelong – once you establish yourself at the top of the SERP – you may find yourself sitting there forever.
The best part, eCommerce SEO is economical. All you'd need is an eCommerce SEO specialist and you are on your way to earning enough revenue and profits. The ROI on SEO is way higher than on any digital marketing activity – the cost-effective measures within SEO is what makes it the top strategy to capture any KPI.
Various eCommerce SEO Services
Here are all the potential tactics you can try within SEO. All of it or sometimes even some of it will lead to better positioning on SERP and other benefits.
Content forms the backbone of your eCommerce website; thus, it needs the best eCommerce SEO care. An extensive SEO process revises the website and backlink content – by aligning it with what your buyer persona is searching for. Such a revision will improve the chances of the content getting triggered whenever someone searches for anything related to it.
A content analysis on an eCommerce website will come to include – Checking for duplicate content, copywriting articles, blog posts, or any other social media content. Besides this, you'd also need guest blog content creation to fortify your content ecosystem.
A comprehensive analysis of keywords is necessary to yield better results from the SEO campaign. An extensive eCommerce SEO process detects special, relevant, and high-volume keywords. The keywords are crucial to attracting your target audience. Also, the content mentioned above would be worthless without a vigorous Keyword strategy integrated into it. Beyond this, the keyword analysis would aim for Rank checking of keywords and predictive keywords.
On the eCommerce website, you'd want the URLs to follow a consistent and logical structure. It also won't do any harm if you started adding different categories in the URL. The role of "sub-folders" helps Google establish whether some pages come under a specific category or folder. Such a minuscule change gives Google more understanding about each page in that category.
Besides this, redirect any old URL to new pages – get forwarded to the most relevant page. Initiate "301 redirects" to preserve all the "link juice" and ensure that all the historical links continue to work in your favor. Use URL mapping to identify and insert targeted keywords to the URL structure of various landing pages. Implement Canonical tags to establish the "master page" and to make it simple for crawlers to render and index a page.
Sitemaps contain the URLs you want the crawlers to visit. Hence, these sitemaps need to be up to date and complete. Create a sitemap that includes a well-organized list of links to all the vital pages of the eCommerce website. Utilize Google Search Console for this purpose.
A comprehensive analysis of XML sitemaps is necessary to eliminate errors and ensure that search engines are processing the website as intended. Head over to the "Sitemaps" feature in Google Search Console - to double-check that your sitemap is all good. If possible, use a plugin (Yoast SEO) to dynamically create and update the XML sitemap as the site evolves.
The last thing an eCommerce website wants is to end up with broken links. Invalid links disrupt the user experience and make the site look suspicious to the visitor – which then leads to abandonment and elevates the bounce rates. Links that either don't lead to the desired content or redirect to a "404 page" – needs to be fixed.
Insert enough internal links to other pages on the website – which then helps Google to learn more about the website. Even backlinks from other trusted websites help to improve the credibility of the site in Google's eyes. Increasing quality backlinks will elevate the website's ranking.
Backlinks are critical to domain authority and ranking. A good quality backlink from a trusted and authoritative website will significantly improve the way Google perceives your website. Quality backlinks are anything that directs to valuable content on your website.
Use the right keywords for both the image name as well as the alt tag. Alt attributes tell SEO crawlers about the content within the image. Aside from this, ensure that the pictures do not take too long to load. Compress the images – use an image optimizer like Tiny PNG, Kraken, etc. to ensure that the image size is reduced while retaining the image quality.
Use lazyload to delay the image-loading till the same is exposed to the user. If none of this gets the job done, take a shot at Content Delivery Network (CDN). A CDN will host all the images and media files on its server – so when a user tries to access the page, the CDN closest to his location will load the images. CDN is especially useful when your eCommerce website receives global traffic.
In this analysis, you'd understand how your competitors are performing and what factors contribute to their success. This process helps a company to grasp which specific keywords and links may be useful for optimization.
Take a step back and assess the overall industry and your competitors, and what the search landscape looks like. Look at the competitor's domain rating, Ahrefs rank, referring domains, featured snippets and then organic traffic and keywords.
Identify the competitors, evaluate their keyword difficulty, look for keyword opportunities, dig into their backlink profile, examine site structure (overall UX), and finally learn about their social media tactics. Once done, produce a comprehensive competitor intelligence report based on your findings.
Meta Tags and Schema HTML Tags
When it comes to meta tags - write a unique title tag for each page. Keep it short, but descriptive. Avoid generic and vague titles or descriptions. Make sure to create something click-worthy, try to match search intent, and include the target keyword where it makes sense. Fix all the Meta title errors and meta description errors. Analyze and fix - missing, duplicated, too long, or too short meta tags.
When it comes to Schema tags - Add Schema markup to your HTML to improve the way your page is displayed in SERPs. It is possible to add rich snippets - both a star rating and a publication date - to a search result. Allegedly, search results with extensive rich snippets will have a better click-through rate (CTR) – as it makes the search result seem more informative. Events, videos, FAQs, recipe, etc. are all added as Schema Markups.
Use the Google AdWords and a range of other keyword research tools to see which keywords are most valuable to gain traction online. Use Google Analytics to learn more about your visitors. Monitor the organic search traffic sources to see what keywords people are using to find your eCommerce website in SERP.
Use Google Search Console Management to monitor and manage your eCommerce website’s presence in search results. Google search console is also used to identify and manage duplicate content. Use Google’s Keyword Planner to identify the most relevant keywords for your brand.
Crawling & Robots.txt
A robots.txt file lives at the root of the website. Robots.txt is a plain text file that follows the Robots Exclusion Standard. A robots.txt file consists of one or more rules. Each rule blocks or gives access for a crawler to a specified file path on that website.
It is essential to do a crawl analysis; such an analysis will often tell you when a given web page is correctly marked as non-index by a tag in the header. By doing so, web-spiders will crawl it, but not add it to the list of indexed pages.
Information architecture focuses on whether people can find the content they’re looking for on any eCommerce website. The overall architecture will include navigation, page type, page structure, wireframes, content, and more. Whatever work is done on the eCommerce site must not compromise the overall UX and provide adequate help to the customers in their journey on the site.
Always start with mobile-first and then expand to desktop. When a website is responsive, it delivers the best user experience – since its layout adapts to the type of device being used to view the site. Google gives priority to mobile-friendly websites. Use Google’s mobile-friendliness test, Pingdom, or GTMetrix to see how your eCommerce website holds up on mobile devices.
Popular eCommerce SEO Tools
Here's a list of the most popular tools that most SEO specialists would use to gain a higher advantage of competitors.
SEMRush is the fan-favorite in the SEO community. The tool scans the website rankings, sees changes and new ranking opportunities as well. It lets you understand the website's search data and traffic and compare keywords and domains. The On-Page SEO Checker allows easy monitoring of website rankings. Besides this, it shows suggestions on how to improve the website's performance. SEMRush is of great support since it lets you see your competitor's top keywords and reveals pages on their site that generate the most organic traffic.
Ahrefs is another widely used SEO tool. Using Ahrefs, you can easily optimize your website, analyze your competitors, and study what your customers are searching for. Besides this, learn from your industry's top-performing content and track your ranking progress.
From content marketers to global multinational brands, everyone turns to Ahrefs to grow their search traffic. The tool is capable of highlighting the website parts that require improvements to ensure the best ranking possible.
Another popular SEO tool is Moz. Moz is a great tool for site audits and crawls, rank tracking, backlink analysis and keyword research. It offers a suite of solutions for all your SEO needs. Moz is one of the most greatest and effective tools to gather great insights and then improve them. The Moz Toolbar allows merchants to extract great insights and metrics about each page of their eCommerce store.
UberSuggest and Answer the Public
Both of these are popular keyword tracking tools that help to identify relevant, accurate, and high volume keywords. Key-in the target keyword and the tools would show a great set of similar keywords. Answer the Public lists a plethora of questions in who, what, why and how format. This allows marketers to go straight into the minds of their consumers. Aside from this, it also offers comparisons and other related keywords. Even Ubersuggest allows a comprehensive keyword overview and shows the CPC and SEO difficulty of each keyword.
Google Keyword Planner
Google Keyword Planner allows users to research and analyze the list of keywords with their search volumes. Using this tool, marketers can find new keyword ideas relevant to their product, service, and target audience. Keyword Planner also shows historical statistics such as search volume data for all keywords. This insight helps you to decide how to use the keywords in your campaigns.
Google Search Console
Google Search Console is a free platform for anyone with an eCommerce site to monitor how Google scans their website and optimize its organic presence. Using this, you can understand how Google sees your pages. Further, from this, you are also alerted about issues on your site. Also, you can submit sitemaps and individual URLs for crawling.
Use this tool to track and acquire reports about website traffic. Google Analytics is used to track website activity such as session duration, pages per session, bounce rate, etc. of the traffic that comes to the site. Beyond this, you can also gather information about the source of the traffic. It can be integrated with Google Ads, to create and review online campaigns by tracking landing page quality and conversions.
WooRank is another tool that offers the user actionable insights. Such insghts help him to optimize the website and marketing efforts. WooRank has an instant SEO Checker and SEO Audit Tool. The tool also helps to generate customizable website reports. Aside from this, you can also perform a side-by-side analysis to unravel the competitor's keywords & strategy. Further from this - find new keywords, track rankings, local positions, rivals, and changes to search results.
SpyFu, which was earlier a PPC based tool has been revamped and turned into an SEO centric tool. SpyFu lets you learn more about your competitor's SEO tricks and avoid their mistakes – so you can avoid them in your SEO strategy. It allows you to track your SEO rankings on Google, Bing, and Yahoo. Beyond this, it lets you study competitors' keywords, organizes your keywords into groups, and allows you to trace any website's ranking for a keyword.
Deepcrawl is another useful tool that offers the best granular and comprehensive cloud-based web-crawling technologies and solutions. DeepCrawl allows for multi-domain monitoring, custom dashboards and easy management of global content. Outside of this, it offers on-page SEO recommendations, Google Analytics integration and backlink tracking on both desktop and mobile.
When a lot of the techniques mentioned above are effective and return desirable results – it’s often the collective work of all these methods working in tandem that generates the best results for the site.
For example, a hreflang tag tells Google which language you are using on a specific page so that it can serve the results in that language. On some occasions, not having the same can diminish user experience and lower the ranking on search engines – as your target audience doesn’t land on the most appropriate version of the web page.
The security (HTTPS and SSL) on the page will affect the way users view your site. On transaction sites, the lack of adequate security measures can see a detrimental effect on the conversions. Even the domain age is believed to have a slight impact on the ranking of your web page on SERP.
Beyond this, having enough quality backlinks links is equally vital to establish your authority on search pages. Headers (H1, H2) also play a crucial role in ranking, as they not only help format and structure the content but also affect the SEO. Any of this that falls out of place can elevate the bounce rates considerably.
All of the above reasons show you the true worth of eCommerce SEO and why the same can’t be overlooked if you wish to initiate a digital marketing campaign. Continuous work on search engine optimization is what will ultimately bring stupendous success in digital marketing.