If you’re selling on your own site, optimizing for SEO (organic traffic from search engines) is a must if you want to operate profitably.
Online stores that struggle to get traffic to their site are unlikely to last longer than 12 months, no matter how good your landing pages are or if your products are the best.
Organic search traffic is extremely profitable, as it’s essentially free. If you can get traffic from these sources over paid ads, you’ll be able to bring in much higher profit margins on your sales.
Without dedicated eCommerce SEO, you’re going to struggle to pick up the organic traffic you need to make a difference. So, whether you’re trying to rank on Google, Bing, Amazon, or even YouTube, you’re going to need a solid eCommerce SEO strategy at your disposal.
This is where this article can help. Below are the seven components of eCommerce SEO, which if executed correctly… are guaranteed to bring you success.
Keyword research helps build the foundations for your eCommerce store. But more importantly, it’s the part that’s going to help you attract more traffic.
The most common problem people fall into is picking a keyword, based solely on how much traffic it can bring.
But what it really comes down to, are four factors each of your keywords must have to be successful in their mission of driving organic traffic to your pages.
- Intent – Finding keywords with the right intention is about attracting customers at the right stages of the sales funnel for your business.
- Relevance – The keyword you pick has to be relevant to what you’re selling; if it’s not, it will turn customers away and create distrust with your brand.
- Search Volume – If the keyword you choose doesn’t have a decent level of search volume, you’re going to struggle to pick up the traffic you need to succeed.
- Competition – High competition keywords are harder to rank for if you don’t have the domain authority for it. Find keywords that have competition you can realistically compete with.
Having these four things in mind when picking your keyword will give you the best chance of success.
On-page SEO is all about making the search engines job of crawling your site as easy as possible while also appealing to your customers.
On-page SEO for eCommerce sites works slightly differently, so pay close attention. Here are the factors you need to consider:
- Title Tag – Having your keyword as close to the title’s start is a powerful ranking factor. The tile also needs to be engaging enough for customers to click on it and include H1 tags.
- Internal links – Considering how effective internal linking is, it still remains one of the most underutilized ranking factors. Internal linking helps users find new content and makes it easier for Google to find new pages on your site.
- Meta Description – Optimizing your meta description is an excellent way of squeezing in some extra keywords. And this could make the difference in whether someone clicks on your search result or moves on to the next. So make it appealing!
- Images – Make sure all your pictures are high quality and look enticing to your customers, they need to feel like the product is of good quality so you can help reassure them with great images. The images should also have their file names optimized and the alt tag adjusted to include some keywords.
- Subheadings – It’s not just your title that needs to be optimized; it’s your subheadings too. Try to have a selection of your primary keyword along with some LSI keywords. They should also use the correct heading tags H1, H2, H3, and so on.
There are plenty of other on-page SEO factors you need to consider, but this should be enough to get you started.
If you have a local business that you’re thinking of taking online, you need to think about local SEO. Local SEO is all about attracting people in the same city or the surrounding area; this is crucial to the website’s success.
Over 50% of local searches are done using a mobile device; more importantly, 80% of those searches are likely to convert.
So, with this in mind, you need to make sure your store is mobile-friendly, which you can do here.
For local SEO to take effect and drive local traffic to your store, the site needs three things:
- A local phone number that matches the business location
- A physical address
- A business name
These three things are known as the NAP, and it’s vital for local success.
But how do you do it?
- Google My Business: The first step is to claim your local profile with Google. Log into your account and enter all your business information. Once everything is completed, they will list your store in the search results.
- Citation Building – Citation building is getting other websites to list your NAP. The process is pretty easy, and most of the time is a case of listing your business in local directories.
- Local On-Site SEO – Here, you need to make sure your NAP is listed on every page of your store in the same format as your Google local listing.
Websites are a complicated business. It’s easy for errors to crop up behind the scenes that affect your ranking, or search engines’ ability to accurately read your site.
This is why your technical SEO work is essential. Technical SEO basically entails regularly auditing your site to ensure there are no technical errors that humans would struggle to find.
So, what are the most common problems?
Experience shows people usually have one to three problems with their site:
- Lack of content or vast amounts of duplicate content
- Google struggles to crawl the store
- Problems like keyword cannibalization or poor site structure
The easiest way to find out if you have any of these problems is to use site auditing tools like Ahrefs or Screaming Frog.
With tools like Screaming Frog, you can quickly and easily find issues like:
- Duplicate content
- Missing canonical tags
- Duplicate tags
- 404 error pages
- And much more!
By fixing any errors the site audit turns up, you can quickly and easily remove any technical SEO issues from your store.
Your site architecture is an essential factor because it makes it easier for Google to crawl, and creates a more user-friendly experience.
You can go very in depth on building an effective site architecture, but the basic idea is to have all of your pages within three clicks of the homepage.
This makes it easier for your visitors to navigate around your site. But more importantly, it helps Google find new pages.
Your content marketing strategy can have significant positive or negative implications for your eCommerce SEO.
The better and more engaging your content is, the more love you’ll get in Google, and the more people you’ll have organically linking to your site.
See, Google wants to see quality content on your site, relevant to your niche. They also want to see backlinks to your site, which are more likely to come if you’re putting out content that resonates with your audience.
Your content marketing strategy also includes your landing pages. While a conversion-optimized landing page doesn’t draw more SEO traffic to your site, it helps you get more return out of the traffic you are getting. This should be a key consideration in eCommerce SEO – not just getting more traffic, but getting more sales from your traffic.
Link building should be the last thing you think about when building your online store. Too many business owners make the mistake of creating links before they have everything else in place.
This is a problem because you shouldn’t be building links to a site that isn’t yet worth visiting. It’s harder to build links to an incomplete site, and these links also look unnatural in Google’s eyes. So, before you start acquiring links, make sure you have everything else in place first.
Link building can make a huge difference when it’s done correctly. Building links for an eCommerce store works a little differently from your traditional niche site.
The difference being, eCommmerce stores need links pointing to every part of your eCommerce store.
You have plenty of link building strategies out there, and if you’d like to learn more, click over to the blog by Matthew Woodward. He explains nine link building techniques he used to help attract over 300,000 visitors.
By taking advantage of these seven wonders of eCommerce SEO, you can push your store to the next level. The potential for growth these techniques offer could a turning point for your business.
Remember, traffic is the lifeblood of your online store. Your ability to drive cheap, buyer-intent traffic to your store is going to be the difference between success and failure professionally.