10 Tips for eCommerce SEO, Driving Traffic, and Increasing Sales
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the best way for you to get more traffic and make more sales without spending money on paid advertising and marketing. If your business is not visible on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) then you are definitely missing out on the ultimate opportunity to make more sales. Increasing traffic to an eCommerce store is easier said than done, so this article will be your guide to reach the right audiences and increase your sales.
Introduction to Ecommerce SEO
Ecommerce SEO is the process behind improving your online store’s visibility in SERPs to generate more organic traffic to your website. Thorough and frequent SEO practices are very important for long-term success of your eCommerce website.
Why Is SEO Important?
Your business can be in any industry, of any size: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is still essential for maximizing your profits. Search engines such as Google are now an integral part of the online shopping experience.
The Google search engine receives around 40–60 billion searches every month. For eCommerce stores, organic search means a vast potential audience and many additional prospects for your business. Over 40 percent of revenue for most stores can be attributed to organic traffic, and a relevant search influences 39 percent of online purchases.
The first page of Google receives 95 percent of web traffic. Ranking on the SERP significantly impacts how much traffic your site receives. Rising through the rankings is a huge booster to a business, as research suggests that even moving up by one spot increases Click Through Rates (CTRs) by more than 53 percent.
The numbers suggest that it is unwise to ignore the importance of SEO for your online store’s success. If you neglect SEO, you’re limiting your business’ growth. The following is a list of ways we have assembled to make sure that your site is search engine optimized:
- Keyword Research
- Competitor Analysis
- User Experience
- Improve Site Map
- On-page SEO
- Cleanup Regularly
- Switch to HTTPS
- Increase Speed
- Be Conscious of Smartphones
- Build Links
Keyword research is the first step for any successful SEO strategy. The goal of keyword research is to find out the terms and phrases people use when they search queries that are relevant to your business or industry. This also includes words that are relevant to the search intents of consumers in your industry, that is, what are people looking for when they think of your industry.
There are two basic kinds of keywords that a search query can target: information keywords and product keywords. Information keywords are terms that people look for to gather knowledge about a product, such as tutorials and how-to pages. Product keywords are terms that people use when they are looking for specific products that they need.
How to find the right keywords
There are various ways to find keywords, such as the ‘people also ask’ and recommended search options. For basic keyword market research, you can use the search bars of Amazon and Google. In the search bar, just enter the keywords that describe your product, and take notes of the suggestions that the search engine has to offer. The suggestions are selected based on user search volumes, and they provide an accurate picture of what the market needs.
To further refine your keyword research, you can always use tools. A few examples are:
By using the right tools, you can come up with a plan for creating content that gathers the attention of prospective customers. You can also find long tail keyword and keyword gaps. More on that in the next section.
Displaying the categories of your available products in a list can help users make a better choice. The Product Category Element offers four different themes.
There is a ton of competition in the eCommerce market. This allows newcomers to learn from established businesses. This is the simple step of competitor research. Except, you are not just looking at the competitor’s product. Instead, you will be looking at the tactics and skills that your competitors are using to rank themselves higher in SERPs.
First, you identify your competitors. Then, you visit their eCommerce stores and sites. Next, you carefully study their content. This is where long tail keywords come in. Long tail keywords are specific, low volume words that are exclusively used for niche markets. Since they are highly specific, they have a higher chance to convert. Finding long tail keywords for your niche is the key for increasing traffic, and you can easily do this by studying the content of existing competitors!
Once you have studied their content, you can do two things for a strong competitor analysis. First you can assess what the competitor is doing for SEO that you are not. Second, you can find the gaps in their content where you can use keywords that they have not! This is the keyword gap. Your competitors might not be using the right keywords either. Just because their site outranks you, does not mean that they are doing everything right.
Your eCommerce site’s usability determines whether customers want to buy in your store or not. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes. Think about the quality of experience that the customer is getting; about presentation and color schemes, informative and truthful content.
The customer should feel welcome when they visit your online store; ideally they should be immersed in an enjoyable experience. A well curated customer experience goes a very long way, and it is an integral part of SEO. Contrary to popular belief, SEO is not just about using the right keywords. Here are a few tips to boost your customer’s experiences:
- Plenty of product images with accurate descriptions
- Video footage of the product being used
- Details of product features and USPs
- Ratings and reviews from users
Improve Site Map
Site map and architecture ties into the idea of user experience. If your site is hard to navigate, why would a customer want to use it?
Research suggests that an average internet user stays on a site for not more than 20 seconds . You have to have the easiest site map, so that the interest of users remains engaged for more than 20 seconds. This involves easy navigating, organized categories, and an overall well planned sitemap.
You can remember two golden rules for a good sitemap:
- It should be simple and scalable
- Users should have to use minimum clicks to get to and from any internal links, preferably less than 3 clicks
- Keyword research should be used before you set URL’s and directories
You should also consider using breadcrumbs. breadcrumbs are a form of site navigation that allow users to see where they are within the site at any given page, without having to read the URL. This is particularly use for eCommerce stores since they have multiple categories and products
On Page SEO
On page SEO is the backbone of visibility on SERPs. This is where your keyword research and site mapping are going to come in handy. You are going to use those steps to build product pages and category pages that connect with your target market.
As we have listed earlier in the customer experience section, your eCommerce store is going to be full of product pages that have informative details. There are 4 ways you can incorporate keywords into your site.
1. In the URL
Putting the keyword in the URL significantly improves ranking, and differentiates you from your competitors.
2. In the title/heading
The heading is the first thing that an average customer views.
3. In body copy.
3. In body copy
Your body should consist of authentic and relevant details. For products, depending on the industry and niche, anywhere between 300 to 1000 words is acceptable.
4. In the meta data.
Meta tags and meta description, is the text that appears beneath a link on the Google SERP. Although it does not directly affect SEO, research suggests that users are more likely to click on links that have more informative meta data. This increases the Click Through Rate, which convinces Google to rank your page higher
Clean Up Regularly
All websites and eCommerce stores are susceptible to broken links. Whether it is a category that has been removed or a product that is unavailable. In terms of SEO, this is a death sentence, since it stops the customer dead in their tracks making them more likely to leave the site and visit your competitor. It is important to regularly revisit your website and thoroughly assess its internal links to spot, and fix or remove broken links.
Switch to HTTPS
An eCommerce store is a place where there is a lot of information and money exchange. It is crucial that your customer’s data, and the money transactions have a safe pathway between your webserver and the customer’s browser. For this, HTTPS protocol is necessary.
On top of that, Google has openly declared that HTTPS usage is better for SEO ranking, as it makes customers feel safe in submitting their personal information and in making online payments.
A slow loading website can be fatal. It would directly be responsible for guiding traffic away from your website, rather than towards it. According to a study , 51% of online shoppers in the US will not wait for a site to load, and would leave the purchase incomplete. Here are 3 ways in which you can improve site speed:
- Reduce file sizes and compress images.
- Add lazy loading to your images and videos.
Be Conscious of Smartphones
As an eCommerce store owner, you must be conscious of the fact that online shoppers are more likely to use smartphones than desktops. On top of this, Google announced in 2019 that a site’s usability on smartphones would significantly affect its ranking on the SERP. So you have to make sure that your images and videos are optimized for mobile viewing.
You must also make sure that the site maps and ads on your desktop version are not hindering user experience in the mobile version. A good practice can be to keep reviewing your website from your phone and your desktop, and keeping the customer’s experience in mind.
An external link, also known as backlink, is when another website links to your products or content. The more you get referred to by other websites, the higher you rank. This is known as off-page SEO.
This is no easy task. You can choose to guest write on other websites, partner with other eCommerce stores, or even pay other websites to feature your content. However, these can be far more complicated than just tweaking your own website.
Rest assured, the best way to get external links is to produce excellent content. Even if you partner with other stores, if your content is not good enough, you are not likely to stand out.
It is understandable that external links are much harder to gain. This is where internal linking comes in. Google prioritizes internally linked sites over pages with no links at all.
Aside from SEO, links can be a great way to connect customers with reviews, how-to articles, and opinion blogs for engagement and immersion. They are a great way to have a robust site architecture too!
A word to the wise: SEO takes time, consistency, and a lot of patience. There is no rush when it comes to SEO. Especially owing to the fact that search engines are infamous for changing their ranking metrics frequently.
Following all of our tips is not an easy task, but we are sure that if you even follow a few of them, you are bound to rise through the ranks in due time. To focus on sales and traffic, you can always use Page Builder tools to create tidy and easy to navigate product and catalog pages. WPBakery Page Builder and Woocommerce page builder plugins are used by more than 20% of the top 1 million eCommerce stores in the world. Let the pros handle the technical aspects, while you focus on content, SEO, and business development.
If you think this article is helpful, or if you have any questions, please leave a comment. We are always happy to help!