Any business — no matter the industry or specialty — needs to bring more customers through the door. When your front door is virtual (meaning you sell your products online), eCommerce search engine optimization (SEO) is particularly important. After all, your customers are online, so it’s vital that you figure out how to drive more traffic to your website by finessing the search engine algorithms.
Of course, if SEO for eCommerce website pages were that easy, everybody would rank number one. There can only be one group of eCommerce sites on page one of the search engine results pages (SERPs). The ones that achieve this coveted spot are likely using high-quality eCommerce SEO services to make the most of their marketing efforts.
With that said, even if you’re a newbie and are not quite ready to use an eCommerce SEO agency, you can still educate yourself about best practices. Read on to learn more!
What is eCommerce SEO?
SEO stands for search engine optimization. eCommerce SEO is the process of attracting more organic traffic (that is, people who learn about your brand organically through non-paid methods). When done correctly, your goal is to be seen by the most people when searchers look for terms associated with the products you sell. eCommerce SEO is about ensuring your products appear among those coveted first 10 spots of organic search results. After page one, your chances of being seen by searchers diminishes greatly, as you’ll be lost in a sea of thousands of competing pages.
Why is SEO Important for eCommerce
What do your customers do when they need a product or service? Many head straight to Google to find tips, options, and comparisons to make informed buying decisions.
If your site doesn’t appear in the SERPs, you’re losing out on critical access to interested eCommerce consumers. Remember, it doesn’t matter if your products have a digital footprint; if nobody can find them online, they might as well not exist at all.
This is when eCommerce SEO plays a role. It allows you to reach your target consumers without forking over cash for advertisements. Once you entice people to visit your site, you can delight them with your high-quality merchandise and services, compelling copy, and engaging calls to action.
Bear in mind, however, that you’re not just creating content for your human audience; you’re also trying to make friends with the algorithms of Google, Bing, and the rest. This act will serve you well, as this is the process necessary to get people to your site in the first place.
How You Can Create an eCommerce SEO Strategy
eCommerce SEO can be a little scary if you’re new to the idea, but don’t let that deter you. Sure, it might take a little time, but if you have a firm online marketing strategy, you should soon realize the fruits of your labor.
1. Use the Right Keywords
Don’t let anyone tell you that keywords don’t matter anymore; they’re still essential because they tell the search engines who you are and what your company is about. The difference from days-gone-by is that you don’t want to stuff keywords here, there, and everywhere just to have them in your copy. They should be mentioned in your product headline, description, meta description, image alternate attributes, and subheadlines. You should also use long-tail keywords to help Google understand the context of your content.
Don’t guess at your keywords. Use the tools available to help you analyze how often people search for specific keywords, how competitive those phrases are in the paid advertising space, and what people are actually looking for when they use those search terms.
2. Conduct Competitor Research
If you don’t know where to start with your eCommerce SEO, let your competitors lead the way. Larger companies have probably already put a lot of legwork into optimizing their sites, and you can glean a lot of information from their efforts. Analyze competitors’ keywords on their homepages and top product pages. Consider using browser extensions to see the SEO titles and descriptions of your competitors’ title tags so you can thoroughly analyze this information.
Be sure also to check out competitors’ landing pages to see how those are optimized, as well.
3. Focus on Homepage SEO
Although you should be giving attention to all of your most important pages, optimizing your homepage should be your number one goal. Be sure to add and optimize the following elements of your homepage:
- Title tag
- Meta description
4. Simplify Your Site’s Architecture
As you add products to your online store, keep in mind that site architecture plays a vital role in SEO. Specifically, you need to have a distinct hierarchy of navigation that takes people from your homepage to the product categories to the products listed within them with ease.
Search engine bots will use this navigation to learn about your products and pages. The search engines will better understand your eCommerce site when you have a clear internal linking structure that’s easy to follow. As a rule of thumb, keep everything within reach in three clicks or less. Visitors shouldn’t have to click any more than that to get to any product on your site.
Work With an eCommerce SEO Agency
If this feels a little overwhelming, you don’t have to go it alone. There are great eCommerce SEO agencies out there that do this for a living. Partner with an agency like us at Zero Gravity Marketing, and get ready to reap the rewards of your efforts!