With COVID forcing many retailers online, businesses are realising the importance of perfecting their SEO strategies. If you are someone with an eCommerce website, it goes without saying that your eCommerce store is vital to the success of your business. This is why it is important to follow the best practices so that your products can be seen within the varying search experiences provided by Google.
With the festive season fast approaching, it is the ideal time to optimise your website to drive organic traffic, thereby improving your sales and revenue.
Let us deep-dive:
What Is eCommerce SEO?
eCommerce SEO is the process of optimizing your online store to make it more visible on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). This is important because, with the best SEO strategies and ranking higher on Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs), your eCommerce website can be seen by potential customers.
For example, if someone is searching for “Men’s shoes” you want to show up at the top of SERP to grab their attention.
Why Is eCommerce SEO Important?
Most eCommerce websites are heavily focused on paid search, where they can drive traffic and generate sales. But focusing entirely on paid search by ignoring the organic search can be a lost opportunity in the long run.
Therefore, it is important to integrate a one-search approach to leverage the maximum out of your marketing efforts in order to boost sales.
Here are some best practices that you can adopt to improve your eCommerce SEO.
1. Identify The Right Keywords
Identifying the right keywords is the first step in eCommerce SEO. You need to identify the primary KW and secondary keywords that are relevant to your specific landing page.
Make sure to optimize your product descriptions, titles, subheaders with your main primary keywords.
It is important to do proper keyword research before finalizing the primary keywords and the supporting keywords. Analyse the search volume, cost per click and intent of the selected keywords. The best rule is to go with keywords that have medium competition in order to increase the chance of ranking higher.
2. Home Page
The home page is the cornerstone of any business and most of the SEO’s focus is on optimizing the homepage. Focus on the:
- Meta Description
- HomePage Title
The title tag is one of the most important on-page factors that influence the ranking of your website. It is important to include the primary keyword at the beginning of your title along with any secondary keyword with your brand name. According to Moz, they have generated a formula to come up with a compelling title tag.
Title Tag: <Primary Keyword>/ <Secondary Keyword> / <Brand Name>
- Meta Description
Meta descriptions are not a direct ranking factor, but they can definitely influence the ranking of your keyword. A compelling meta description can increase the click-through rate of the website. An increased CTR means the page is more likely to move up in SERP for the relevant keywords.
Another important thing to keep in mind is the character limit. Google will show the meta descriptions to only up to 160 characters, so make sure to create a compelling meta description that encourages people to visit your website within that character limit.
Web copy should be clear and concise. It should hook the audience at their first glance. Avoid bombarding with too much information. Be precise and use bullet points to highlight the important features and your unique selling propositions. This will make the users as well as the search engines easily understand your content. The more people engage with your content the more are the chances of ranking it high in the search engines.
3. Site Architecture
As an eCommerce website, it is imminent that you keep on adding new products and categories. At the same time, it is important to keep in mind that site architecture plays a key role in SEO.
Crawlers discover your important categories, subcategories and product pages based on the internal linking structure. Therefore, the structure should be easy to navigate and not too deep. The general rule is that it should take only a maximum of three clicks to reach the product page from the home page and vice versa.
4. URL Optimization
Another important factor that I see most businesses ignore is the URL structure. The URL structure should be very clear and should not be cluttered. Although URLs can include ID numbers and codes, the best practice is to structure in a way that people can grasp.
According to a study conducted by serpstat, the ideal character length of an URL is 75 characters, but URLs that have characters up to 120 words also show high indexing rates.
Moz has made an amazing cheatsheet on the URL structure. Click here!
5. Product Optimization
Product pages are the crux of your eCommerce business. So avoid the mistake of copy-pasting descriptions. Make sure that you provide a clear, concise description of your products, highlight the benefits and include bullet points.
Let’s break down product optimization further:
- Product Name
- Product Description
- Alt Text
- Product Name
The product name is the first thing that a visitor sees when landing on your product page. The product name should be very clear and specific to the product, and most importantly, it should go along with the SEO title and URL.
For example: if you are selling sunglasses, you can mention the colour, brand, and model to be very specific and make the product sound unique.
2. Product Description
Product descriptions are another important factor of the product pages. Avoid the mistake of copy-pasting descriptions. Make them unique and catchy by adding benefits and other USP’s. Use bullet points wherever possible to make it easier for the visitors to consume content.
3. ALT Text
Image optimization is another key factor that needs to be considered in an eCommerce website. With Image Search getting more and more prominent “Alt Text” makes your site more accessible and boosts your overall SEO efforts. To make it relevant:
- Limit the number of characters to 125.
- Be precise and descriptive, avoid keyword stuffing
- Make sure to place your keywords, but stay relevant to the context
- Avoid using the word “Image”
4. Reviews and FAQ
Reviews heavily influence the buyer journey by building the confidence of the prospective buyer.
Like Reviews, FAQs are also important when it comes to eCommerce SEO. Buyers will have questions regarding the products, delivery and many other concerns during their journey. So if you are unable to address their concerns, they will feel compelled to find a different store where their concerns are addressed. It is important to address their queries to keep them on the journey and ultimately convert them into paying customers.
SEO has evolved over the years. Constant updates and the introduction of new technologies is giving broader dimensions to SEO that is more than just adding keywords to your website.
Ultimately it all narrows down to providing the best user experience to the users. When we say user experience, it is not just restricted to keywords but a seamless experience in terms of website speed and navigation.
Understand your target audience, optimise your website for them and search engines will reward you for your efforts.