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Driving quality organic traffic to your eCommerce website is a big challenge. Those who are just starting out in the world of eCommerce as well as those who are already veterans both know one indisputable fact – SEO is one of the most important aspects of any website.
It doesn’t matter if you offer high-quality products, your website won’t be able to break through without good SEO strategies. It is impossible for you to get ahead in this competitive business world, and your website may fall into oblivion among countless others that didn’t know how to boost web traffic.
You need to avoid making this mistake, as the eCommerce industry is very popular. It is only growing and it’s expected to reach 2.14 billion digital buyers in 2021. If you fail to optimise your website for search engines, you will lose a lot of potential customers and profit.
Keep in mind that there are some strategies that don’t work as well as others. And you simply can’t afford to waste time and energy on strategies that aren’t efficient enough, or just don’t even work anymore.
That’s exactly why we’ve comprised a list of SEO eCommerce strategies that will certainly help you drive quality organic traffic to your website.
Why is SEO crucial for eCommerce stores?
Image from Pixabay
If you’ve worked hard on your website, you’re probably also confident that it will see a lot of sales. Once people get to your website, they can see all the high-quality products, well-written copy and enticing CTAs that will probably fascinate them and lead to a conversion.
However, before that can happen, potential customers need to actually reach your website, and that is a hard feat to accomplish. Most people will do this by using Google.
Google is the most popular search engine in the world and billions of people use it to find products and services. They perform Google searches to find various options and information on the items they are interested in purchasing.
Even though your website offers products that a certain number of people are looking for, you aren’t the only one. No matter what field of eCommerce you’re in, you undoubtedly have a high number of competitors who are selling the same products as you.
So, how do you get noticed?
The answer, of course, is eCommerce SEO. It’s not enough to simply show your products on the internet, you also have to make sure they are findable. If you learn how to increase traffic to an eCommerce website, you’re halfway through making a sale.
Below is a list of SEO strategies that can help your audience find you more easily, bringing more traffic to your website.
The first step in your SEO eCommerce efforts needs to be keyword research. Everyone knows that keywords are the staple of search engine optimisation, but it’s important to remember that learning how to do SEO for eCommerce sites is different from learning regular SEO.
This is because keywords for eCommerce SEO strategies are different than keywords used for most other websites. Content-heavy websites such as blogs care about information keywords, while eCommerce websites focus more on commercial keywords. In other words, those which show buying intent.
When you’re doing keyword research for your website, you can use tools, but you can also use Google autocomplete to your advantage. Google is famous for autocompleting searches when anyone types something in the search bar with relevant queries.
If you already have a couple of keywords in mind, this process will be even easier. Just type them into Google and see the suggested searches, which are a goldmine of potential keywords for you to use. Remember that these are all based on popular searches, so they will be very helpful.
Another place you can do this is Amazon, which is perhaps an even better option because all search results there are related to products. Even though Amazon is your biggest competitor, that doesn’t mean you can’t get ideas from it.
Since Amazon has an autocomplete function just like Google, you can search for keywords that are relevant to your products and see what this eCommerce giant suggests as autocomplete. This way, you will get insight into potential product category names and ideas for potential keywords.
When we compare all eCommerce SEO best practices, we can clearly see that on-page SEO is one of the most efficient practices you can implement. This type of SEO focuses on optimising individual web pages on your website to boost SEO rankings and drive traffic to your eCommerce website.
There are many things you can do to increase on-page SEO. Some of them include adding keywords to:
- Title tags and meta descriptions
- Alt text of the images on your website
- File names
When you’re working on your on-page SEO, it’s important to remember that you are working towards two goals. The first is convincing the search engine that your website deserves a high-ranking position, and the second is convincing searchers that your website deserves to be clicked on.
Here are some ways you can accomplish both of these goals:
Choose your URLs carefully
The URL of your website is important for both people and search engines. Here are some tips on how to create an URL that will have optimal ranking:
- Make sure it’s easy to read and comprehend without any complicated words.
- Use keywords, but avoid keyword stuffing as it will make your website seem spammy.
- Make sure your URL and title page are as similar as possible.
Write long product descriptions
If you want to increase eCommerce traffic, avoid writing short product descriptions, as they don’t include enough keywords for Google to rank them properly. Remember that Google uses the content on your page to rank your website, so if you don’t have a lot of it, you can’t hope for a high-ranking position.
Remember that the more you write, the more accurate Google can rank your website, so always write long and in-depth descriptions.
Use Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) keywords
LSI keywords are related to your main keyword, but they don’t have any similarities at first glance. Search engines use them to understand how a term and content that don’t necessarily share synonyms and keywords work together to create a bigger context.
You can discover LSI keywords while you’re doing keyword research on Amazon. To find them, look for products that contain your main keyword and see what kind of secondary keywords are used in the description.
In this example, we can see that “blender” is the main keyword, but there are also LSI keywords that appear multiple times in the product name and description.
Another thing that affects your eCommerce website SEO is the structure of the website itself and how all the pages are organised. Not only does it affect your ranking, but it is very important for user experience as well.
While this concept sounds easy in theory, it is hard to accomplish while you’re setting up a plethora of products and categories, as this can greatly influence your website structure. That is why you need a simple structure from the beginning which you can easily scale as your store grows and expands.
Simplicity is key in web design when it comes to eCommerce stores because you want your customers to find everything they’re looking for without too much effort. Make every page on your website between one and three clicks away from the homepage so you can avoid customer frustration.
To make your website structure as simple as possible, you need to avoid two things by all means – thin content and duplicate content.
- Thin content. Any content that doesn’t offer too much information but it still exists on a website can be classified as thin content. Unnecessary product attributes and product filters can lead to dozens of content pages that list only one or two products, which only clutter your website.
- Duplicate content. The name is self-explanatory. This type of content appears multiple times on your website and it can confuse Google when it’s deciding which page to show in search results. To resolve this, noindex or canonicalise (tell Google which page you want to be displayed) your preferred page.
- More dangerous type of duplicate content. This is when your website is duplicating the content of other websites. Although such duplicate content would be a reason for Google to ban any ordinary website, it is not the case for eCommerce websites.
This cannot be avoided when it comes to product pages since there are so many limitations when writing product descriptions. Another reason why eCommerce sites have many such duplicates is logistics – writing unique articles for each of thousands of products is a huge job.
However, although duplicate product descriptions will not get your website penalised by search engines, they will not help its SEO either. A real life solution are short articles for each category and subcategory. These articles must be relevant both to the niche in general and actual website products, as well as unique and linked to mentioned subcategories.
The takeaway here is that your website needs to be as simple as possible without unnecessary content. While it is important to always have content and keywords if you want to increase eCommerce website traffic, keep in mind that the quality of that content is just as important.
Optimise product pages
When potential customers arrive at a product page on your website, they will decide whether or not they’re interested in your product by examining all aspects of the page. We’ve already mentioned product descriptions, but they are only one part of your product pages.
To fully optimise your product pages for search engines, you need to work on these parts of your pages:
- Product name. If your products have unique names, that will certainly catch the eye of your shoppers, but it won’t mean anything to search engines. That is why you should add common search terms or keyword phrases that Google will recognise and know how to categorise.
The best way to go about this is to put yourself in the visitor’s position and think about what they may be searching for. For instance, if you know that a certain product feature is sought for, then it should be included in the product name.
- Images. Product images are very important as they give customers an idea of what they can expect from the products. They are also important for SEO because Google can “read” images. To optimise your images, include keywords in their filename, as well as the Alt text after you’ve uploaded the image.
In addition, Google Images search is a solid source of useful organic traffic. So by optimising your images, you will increase your chances to attract more relevant visitors.
- Videos. Customers feel more confident about purchasing a product after they’ve seen a video. Your video can provide basic information about a product, a how-to instruction, or reviews of your product. Whatever you choose, make sure to optimise videos just like images.
- Customer Reviews. Including reviews and customer testimonials on your product pages can increase your sales because customers trust them much more than they trust your advertisements or other types of content. If you display customer reviews on your website, you can increase conversion rates by as much as 270%.
- FAQ content. Having an FAQ page is another great SEO strategy for eCommerce websites, but you can also include some FAQ content in your product pages to simplify and speed up conversion. You can provide answers to basic questions a customer might have about the item and your policies.
Blog and content marketing
If you’re wondering how to drive traffic to your eCommerce site while avoiding thin and duplicate content, the answer is simple – though content marketing. This is one of the most efficient ways of driving eCommerce traffic because it gives you the perfect opportunity to fill your website with content.
There are a few different ways you can run a content marketing strategy, but the most popular and most efficient way websites all over the world use is running a blog. Blogging is great for your business, and 57% of marketers say they’ve gained customers specifically through blogging.
If you update your blog regularly, you will stay on Google’s radar which means a lot for your ranking, but that isn’t the only reason why you need to have a blog. It is a great source of information that can provide your website visitors with relevant content that will keep them coming back to your website.
Here are some tips on how to write the perfect blog post:
- Use long-tail keywords. These keywords are very specific and contain multiple words. They aren’t as competitive as short-tail keywords, since most content marketers don’t use them. Still, they can bring in a lot of high-converting traffic. This is because people who use these keywords know what they are looking for.
- Avoid keyword stuffing. This was a very popular SEO method some time ago, but now it’s something that you need to avoid. It doesn’t bring the desired effect and Google even penalises keyword stuffing.
- Add internal links. With internal links, you can spread the “ranking power” through your website and send new readers to old blog posts, which will keep them relevant.
- Include social sharing buttons. Allow your visitors to share your blog posts on their social media accounts so you can attract a wide audience and gain new customers.
Leverage local SEO
This strategy may not apply to everyone reading this guide. Still, it can mean a lot to you if you have a physical store that you want to draw attention to or maybe just want to increase your local website traffic.
There are three simple steps you need to do if you want to leverage local SEO:
- Create a Google My Business profile for your store. There is a useful feature that Google offers called Google My Business and it allows anyone to input details about their business into Google’s database. The biggest advantage of this is that it shows your business in local search results.
- Build local citations. Backlinks from other local websites are also known as local citations and they are important for SEO because they show Google that your website is popular in your area. Anything from a local website can be helpful for your SEO, such as press releases and news outlets.
- Get your website linked on local websites. Try to get local websites to include your links so you can improve local rankings, increase eCommerce traffic sources, and gain overall domain authority. The best options for this are to have your links included in locally-based blogs and news outlets.
Link building is another important part of SEO for eCommerce sites, but only if it’s done right. The most important part of link building is to get good inbound links and focus more on quality than on quantity. Just for reference, high-quality links come from high-authority websites.
If a lot of low-quality websites link to your store, the referral traffic you get from those links aren’t good for referral traffic and won’t be beneficial for business. That’s not the only downside, as Google will probably penalise your website if the links come from spam websites.
It’s not hard to spot a low-quality website, as the internet is full of them and everyone has come across them at least a few times. They contain poorly-written content, keyword stuffing, bad design, and guest posts from anyone about anything.
High-quality websites, on the other hand, are always visually appealing and contain nothing but great and diverse content. This doesn’t only include written content, but also pictures and videos, infographics, and great guest posts.
One of the best eCommerce SEO practices is to get links from one of these websites. Even though it may seem hard, there are a few ways you can earn your place on a high-quality website:
- Create well-written and high-quality guest posts that meet their standards.
- Write or co-author a research study.
- Create a visually appealing and interesting infographic.
It’s also important to remember what you should never do while link building:
- Using the same anchor text over and over for your links.
- Linking to irrelevant pages on the website.
- Linking to only one page.
Google Shopping is the perfect answer to anyone who has wondered how to increase eCommerce website traffic. Even if you aren’t familiar with Google Shopping, you have probably seen Google Shopping ads. They are the images you see at the top of your search results when you search for a product.
If you want to lead a potential customer to your eCommerce store, you can list your products directly with Google Shopping and speed up the entire process. To do this, you need to create an account on the Google Merchant Center, upload your product data, and your products will be displayed to millions of online shoppers.
Upload as much information about your products as possible and provide high-quality images that follow Google’s image guidelines so your potential shoppers know what to expect.
Bonus tips for increasing website traffic
We’ve already talked about great eCommerce traffic solutions, but there are still a few more tips for anyone who wants to know how to get more traffic to an eCommerce site. Here are some of the best tips for anyone who wanted an answer to the question “How to get more traffic to my eCommerce site?”.
Always monitor your competitors
The main point of SEO is to reach a high position on Google’s. However, millions of eCommerce websites are using SEO tactics just like you, and if you don’t know what your competitors are doing, you will never be able to outrank them.
Closely monitor your competitors and see what kind of keywords they are using to drive traffic to their websites. You can find your base keyword information by using Google Keyword Planner or a similar tool. When you sort these keywords by volume, it will be obvious which ones are the most successful.
Get the most out of your social media presence
Everybody knows that SEO and eCommerce marketing go hand in hand, but another big factor in your success is a strong social media presence. Having a social media presence is very good for business, and 73% marketers have said that social media marketing has been a ‘somewhat or very effective strategy’.
You can apply the same SEO strategies to your social media profiles as you did for your website, but the biggest advantage of having a social media presence is connecting with your customers. Get the most out of social networks, post interesting content, and form lasting bonds with customers.
Refresh your email marketing
While it is important to focus a lot of attention to your SEO efforts, you should never forget about other ways of bringing people to your website and converting them into customers. One of the most effective ways to do this is by implementing email marketing.
The first step in your email marketing is to collect an email list, and the second is to create high-quality content that will intrigue your subscribers. You can send out an email newsletter, blog posts, announcements, and so on.
Optimise for mobile
If your eCommerce website isn’t fully optimised and can cater to any device, know that you will probably lose a lot of business. Google is prioritising mobile experience, and will always rank a website that is optimised for mobile higher than one that isn’t.
Customers also prefer fully optimised eCommerce websites, as a lot of people use their smartphones for research and online shopping.
Optimise page speed
There are a lot of things Google takes into consideration when ranking websites, and one of the factors is website and page speed. If your website is slow-loading, your rankings will be low, and your website visitors will probably also leave your website due to frustration.
Here are some ways you can increase your website speed:
- Reduce redirects. The more redirects you have, the longer your website visitors will have to wait for a page to load. This is due to the HTTP request-response cycle.
- Improve server response time. To improve your server response time, check your server response time and see if you have slow database queries, slow routing, or a lack of adequate memory and fix them. The server response time should be under 200ms, anything above that indicates one or multiple issues.
- Optimise your images. Large images can also influence your page loading time, so make sure your images aren’t any larger than absolutely necessary. Also, use the right file format. The optimal format for images is PNG.
Start implementing these SEO tips today
If you have carefully read this eCommerce SEO guide, you now know how to increase traffic on eCommerce websites and understand eCommerce traffic management. There are many reasons why you should implement the SEO tips you just learned about, but the main one is to increase sales.
When you put in the correct SEO efforts and apply the right tips, you will soon see an increase in quality traffic, and that will lead to a higher conversion rate and repeat visitors.
However, before you embark on your SEO journey, you have to understand that SEO isn’t just a one-time effort. It’s something you have to constantly work on and improve so you can always be noticed by Google’s algorithm and stay on top.
Even though it takes a lot of time and dedication, it will all be worth it in the end when you have one of the most successful eCommerce websites on the internet.
If you think all this is too complex for you, the best solution is to hire a team of SEO experts. Perceptiv Digital has a proven track of helping eCommerce business with top-quality SEO services.