eCommerce SEO tips [with checklist]

eCommerce is a huge field that encompasses companies in many different industries and of many different sizes. But no matter what you’re selling or how big your company is, you need to be using search engine optimization techniques to make sure your target demographic finds your products.

Here’s why SEO is so important for eCommerce companies – and how to get started with your own search strategy. Check out these eCommerce SEO best practices.

eCommerce SEO tips and best practices

Consumers are turning to the internet for the things they need

When you need to purchase a new product or service, chances are the first thing you are going to do is search for it using Google or another similar platform. Since your customers are going to look online for their purchases, that means that your business needs to be online in order for them to find you.

Today’s consumers are also looking for efficiency, so if they can find what they’re looking for at the top of their search engine results, they’re not going to continue searching for another alternative. Good SEO for eCommerce is a must for ensuring that your website is at the top of those search engine results.

SEO is essential for keeping up with the competition

The eCommerce field is growing very rapidly. Companies are constantly debuting new products, and small companies are using savvy SEO and social media marketing techniques to reach customers. With so much competition, you’re going to need a strong SEO strategy in order to stand out.

A key part of developing your SEO strategy is to look at what your direct competitors are doing – this is actually a great way to find new keywords and web development techniques that can help you stand out from the crowd.

It’s also important to look for areas where your competitors are lacking. By identifying these areas, you can jump ahead of your competitors and become the go-to retailer for consumers interested in your products. For example, performing link building analysis can help give you an idea of your competition’s off-page SEO strategies.

SEO helps you reach your target demographics faster

Another benefit of SEO is that it helps you narrow down your focus to consumers who are most likely to actually purchase your product. By doing detailed keyword research, you can find the terms that your target demographics are searching for, and incorporate them into your website.

This helps you attract the types of customers who are most likely to actually purchase your products, instead of just drawing in a large general crowd. You can further customize your online marketing strategy with pay-per-click and social media campaigns that are optimized for your target demographics.

eCommerce SEO is a good long-term investment

When you implement your SEO strategy, it’s not going to work overnight – it can take time before your site reaches its highest possible rank on Google. However, once you implement a strong SEO framework on your site, those results can last for a very long time.

Ranking highly on Google immediately generates respect and name recognition, making your company look more professional and appealing to customers. SEO is also something you can consistently improve and build upon, so after several years your combined efforts can help you dominate the market. Investing in a reliable SEO strategy has long-term results, so it’s important to implement it in your marketing budget. SEO is no longer optional for eCommerce businesses – it’s something everyone needs to use.

Your very own eCommerce SEO checklist

Regardless of what industry you operate within, it’s a fact that eCommerce by its very nature is incredibly competitive. Your site is often competing with tens – if not hundreds – of businesses selling similar (if not identical) products to yours.

This means your site needs to capture the attention of your prospects via organic searches. It’s a fact that 44% of online shoppers begin their journey with a cursory Google search. To achieve a high ranking on the world’s most popular search engines, you’re going to need to employ some SEO techniques. With our handy eCommerce SEO checklist, you should be able to get well on the road to achieving this.

1) Optimize your page titles

All page titles should be search engine optimized. To achieve this, consider doing the following:

  • Ensure page titles are less than 60 characters long
  • Use call-to-action phrases like “buy” or “affordable”
  • If you offer free shipping, mention this in your title where possible
  • Consider using your website brand in each title page (this is known as brand optimization)

2) Improve page loading times

The average eCommerce site takes 6.5 seconds to load. If possible, you should aim for a load time of 3 seconds or less. This can be achieved by:

  • Optimizing images so that file sizes aren’t too large – but don’t compromise on quality. Use .png files where possible
  • Embedding videos from external sources, such as YouTube
  • Enabling browser caching
  • Minifying your HTTP requests
  • Minifying all development resources like CSS, JavaScript, and HTML
  • Using the best hosting service that you can afford
  • Reducing redirects

3) Offer valuable, unique content

Google takes a dim view of copied content and penalizes sites accordingly for using duplicate content, including product descriptions, blog posts, and other information. Avoid duplicate content by:

  • Checking your content is unique with a tool like Copyscape
  • Regularly updating your blog with relevant posts and backlinks
  • Engaging with existing and prospective customers to improve ranking
  • Linking to related content only
  • Remembering to “noindex” pages which do not require indexing

4) Keep it simple

A simple website structure makes for the best possible user experience. Perform an SEO audit to view areas needing improvement. It allows both users and search engine algorithms to locate relevant information. To keep your website structure simple, remember to:

  • Internally link to related products and category pages
  • Create a simple structure that helps search engine crawlers to categorize every page on your site

5) Structure your data

We cannot stress enough how important it is for every eCommerce store provider to structure their data. The benefits of this include increased conversions, a reduction in bounce rates and increased user engagement overall. Use rich snippets to provide users with the information they want to read before making a purchase. These can include:

  • Product name
  • Price, currency
  • Color
  • Shipping information
  • Availability
  • Dimensions

6) Mobile optimization

It’s been a while now since Google introduced Accelerated Mobile Pages for eCommerce. The purpose behind this tech is to make pages lighter and faster to load. Increasing numbers of shoppers are making purchases via handheld devices, and if your site isn’t mobile-optimized you can expect the major search engines to penalize it accordingly.

7) Consider guest posting

While you may think that guest posting has had its day, it remains a great way to create good quality backlinks. It also helps to increase traffic to your site. However, remember to only guest-post on high authority sites that are relevant to your industry.

8) Add 301 redirects to any expired products

You should be permanently redirecting old or expired product pages. This is to let search engines know that your old content has been moved. With a 301 redirect, you can pass up to 99% of old ranking power to your new, redirected page.

Hopefully, these steps will help you on your way to conquering the search engines. However, remember that SEO is a marathon, not a sprint – it can take up to six months before you start witnessing the fruits of your search engine optimization labor.

It’s also an ongoing process, which you’ll need to stick to with a rigid and regular timescale. If you’re unsure of whether you’ve got the time or resources to implement an SEO plan, it may make sense to outsource this work to a professional SEO consultant instead.

Invest in eCommerce SEO services

There are many aspects of SEO that you can handle on your own, especially with all of the excellent keyword tools out there right now. However, if your eCommerce business truly wants to make an impact, you need to work with an SEO consultancy.

Google’s algorithms are very complex and change frequently, and it’s incredibly difficult to keep up with eCommerce SEO best practices while also running your online business. A reliable SEO team, like Segment SEO, will help you improve your eCommerce site from top to bottom, optimizing each page for the best possible search engine performance. This is done not only with keywords but also with effective link building strategies and proper web formatting.

By developing your entire site’s structure based on your keywords, you are setting up a foundation for excellent performance for years to come. Your SEO team will also help you to update your strategy as needed to accommodate for Google’s frequent change in algorithms.

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