You won’t make any sales if no one goes to your online store.
So before you begin optimising your website, improving your branding, or boosting conversion rates, you need to drive potential buyers to your site on a consistent basis.
That’s why, below, I’m going to show you how you can drive buyers to your website with eCommerce SEO. I’ll show you how you can audit your site, implement on-page SEO, undergo keyword research, and develop the best link building strategies.
Let’s get started!
Why Ecommerce SEO Is Important
Did you know there are over 3.5 billion searches every day on Google?
Some of these searches are from people who are looking to buy a product.
That’s why, if you owned an online shop and ranked #1 for a highly searched term with relevant intent, (e.g. your hardware store ranked #1 for ‘Buy Power Tools,’) you can make a small fortune from that term alone.
But here’s the thing.
Google will NOT naturally bring you more traffic.
You need to work on optimising your site. So if you’re not taking SEO for eCommerce seriously, you’re losing money right now.
Auditing An Ecommerce Website
First, you need to make sure your store doesn’t have any existing on-site problems like:
- Being difficult for Google to crawl
- Has next to no content (or a lot of duplicate content)
- Has a range of other technical problems (site structure or cannibalisation)
To do this, you can use an SEO Audit Tool like Screaming Frog’s SEO Spider.
How To Use Screaming Frog For Ecommerce
- Go to Screaming Frog’s website and download their software (free up to 500 URLs).
- Add your URL to the Screaming Frog ‘Start Bar’ at the top. Then hit the ‘Start’ button.
- Export the Data once Screaming Frog finishes crawling.
- Filter the results by HTML.
Now, you can see all of your on-site SEO problems. You should also save the project. Just click on File > Save.
- Duplicate Content: Go to the ‘URL tab’ and on ‘filter,’ select ‘duplicate.’
- Missing Canonical Tags: Go to the ‘URL tab,’ and scroll to the right to see ‘Canonical Link Element 1’ column.
- Missing or Duplicate Title Tags: Go to ‘Pages Titles,’ select the ‘Missing’ option and export the results. Repeat the process but select ‘Duplicate’ for ‘Duplicate Title Tags.’
- Missing or Duplicate Meta Descriptions: Go to ‘Meta Description,’ and filter the results by ‘Missing.’ Repeat the process and select the ‘Duplicate Filter’ for ‘Duplicate Meta Descriptions.’
- Missing Alt Tags: Go to the ‘Images’ tab. Then filter the results by ‘Missing Alt Text.’
- Error 404 Pages: Go to ‘Response Codes’ tab. Then filter the pages by ‘Client Error (4xx).’
- Deindexed Pages: Go to the right column of Screaming Frog, scroll down. Find the Directives Category, then click on NoIndex.
- 302 Redirects: Go to ‘Response Code Tab’ and filter the results by ‘Redirection (3xx).’ Sort by status code and find all your ‘302 redirects.’
Best Practices for Ecommerce On-page SEO
To optimise your store from the ground up, here are a few on-page SEO practices you should take into account.
Add your target keyword in the title tag to boost the rankings of your pages.
Include additional keywords and mention the problem that your solution solves to attract clicks.
Headings and Subheadings (H1, H2, etc.)
Make sure every page includes one H1 that serves as the main heading. Heading breaks are a great way to help the reader scan the page and consume your content.
People tend to use Google Images to find products. Optimise your product images by making the filename fit the product name. You should also add a relevant alt-tag.
To stand out on search engines, integrate Schema.org microdata. This allows you to include data to your description like pricing, availability, delivery time, and review data.
Internal linking is a highly overlooked SEO tactic. You can establish your own anchor text which can help you rank for top keywords. I recommend developing a strong internal linking strategy by using product recommendations.
You can use Apps on Shopify or plugins on WooCommerce to add product recommendations.
Add Content to Product Pages
Product pages are the equivalent of a retail store’s sales clerk. I recommend you always create original content in every category and product page.
Show Value Proposition
When visitors arrive on a product page, they often think about why they should buy the product. In your product description, explain the benefits your visitors gain from your product.
Think about your company and brand.
- What does your company offer that no one else does?
- What do you do better than anyone else?
Use Many High-Quality Pictures
When your customers are shopping online, they can’t touch, feel, and try the product. That’s why you should include the highest-quality picture you can so your customers can zoom in and see the details of the product.
Using customer reviews is one of the most effective ways to reduce the fears and doubts of shopping with you from new customers. It’s also a great form of social proof that allows you to boost trust, reputation, and conversion rates.
Keyword Research For Ecommerce Stores
Keywords are a critical component to eCommerce on-page SEO.
They’re responsible for bringing qualified organic traffic to your store. Below, I’ll show you the four things eCommerce keywords must-have if you want to bring in qualified buyers.
1. Search Volume
You need to make sure there is a large enough volume of people searching for the keyword before you optimise for it. Since keyword search volume can vary between different niches, you should take other high-traffic keywords as a benchmark.
When it comes to keywords, it’s not always about attracting large volumes of traffic. Instead, your goal should be to attract qualified traffic; traffic that is coming from the right stage of the sales funnel.
Ideally, you attract visitors from the purchase stage.
At the buying stage of the funnel, there are fewer people, but these people are generally keen to buy and ready to spend money on your products. To attract these visitors, you can use purchasing keywords like “discount”, “free shipping”, “buy now”, and “deal”.
You also need to pick relevant keywords to your store. If you’re not sure whether the term is relevant, look at the pages that rank in the top 10 organic positions for the keyword. If the pages are similar, then the term is likely to be relevant to your page.
Finally, you also need to select keywords that you can realistically rank for. If you’re starting out, I recommend you attack the longer tail, lower competition search keywords first, since short keywords are extremely competitive.
The Best Link Building Strategies for Ecommerce
When it comes to eCommerce link building, the more high quality links you have pointed to your store, the more it can help boost your ranks on the SERPs. Here are 3 of my favourite link building strategies.
Why spend extra money and time when you can simply take your competitors’ backlinking strategy and use it for your site?
Here’s how to get started:
- Gather the first 10 organic results for the main keyword you want to rank for.
- Use ‘Ahrefs Site Explorer’ to find the backlinks pointing to your competitors.
- Click on ‘Ahrefs Keyword Explorer’ to see how many links you need for each keyword to break the top 10 for the term.
- Export your results from each competitor and work through them. See how your competitors received these links and replicate their process.
Keep your analysis organised by creating separate tabs in one master Excel sheet. Remember to sort the links by Domain Rating and go for the more valuable links first!
Infographic Creation and Distribution
Creating infographics like ‘a buyers guide’ or ‘how to use a specific product category’ is a great way to earn extra backlinks. This type of content is highly shared and always attracts links.
You can use an infographic creation and outreach service to help you get started.
Alternatively, you can design the infographic yourself with Canva, Venngage Infographics, or Piktochart, and promote your infographic by making it easily shareable and submitting the infographic to infographic submission sites.
Google considers online reviews to be a highly important factor when ranking a website. They’re generally displayed in the right corner of a local search query.
To get reviews, you can ask both new and existing clients to leave a written review on your Google listing. Not only are reviews useful for rankings, but they also help you understand what your customers like and don’t like.
I won’t lie.
Ranking on top of the Google charts is not an easy process. Undergoing keyword research, optimising on-page SEO, and implementing link building strategies requires consistent effort.
But if you use the right tools and approach SEO in the right way, it will change your business forever.
So make sure you start with an SEO audit first.
The audit will help you build a solid SEO foundation so your website can reap the full benefits from any optimisation strategy you implement later onwards.
What are you waiting for?