E-commerce, by the virtue of its offering, is a big online entity. It is about selling products reaching out to people through the digital modes of promotions, acquisition, funneling, vending, payments, and delivery.
It could be about a product or a service, proposed to end-users or businesses. In an ordinary conventional selling scenario, you have your customers coming to your store as they know about you through local print or electronic ads or word-of-mouth publicity.
But that doesn’t work for an e-commerce business, as it is not present physically and doesn’t have a customer coming to it in person. Being present digitally allows you to have various ways to be reached to the online audience, which is not the case with offline stores.
Here, one effective way to reach out to your audiences is through E-commerce SEO. It is a cost-effective, organic, and long-sustainable way to create an online search presence for your digital commerce business.
No matter which model and format of e-commerce it is – whether an online shopping cart portal, niche catalog sales, marketplace platform, or on-demand services, E-commerce SEO is the way to go.
With E-commerce Search Engine Optimization, you can well establish your reach among the users who are searching for businesses like you online. And doing it right, you can gain the leading edge in your segment outdoing your competitors.
So, how do you do it to gain the most advantage for your online e-commerce platforms? Here are the different standards and recommended practices that you need to adopt going with a coordinated action plan and you should have the most favorable results coming in.
Start with Keyword Research
It is the right selection of keywords that matter the most as you go ahead with your E-commerce SEO plan. If you don’t pick your keywords to best denote your product or service, or for that matter your business theme, you may miss on hitting the right target segment. And this could cramp your whole act of search promotions right at the very beginning and make your entire effort go in vain.
These keywords can be based on product names, business segment, service specialty, market trends built on customer queries, language precedence, industry nomenclatures, and market terminologies, and different functional search variations of these keywords.
To get this right you need to designate these keywords best serving your case.
So, how do you select the right keyword for your e-commerce site?
SEO keywords are bifurcated into two major categories – Broad and long-tail. Suppose you have an online store of footwear. So, a major broad keyword for your business will be “shoes”. This keyword has the highest search volume and has the most competition. It is very difficult to reach (and stay) on top of this keyword.
Long-tail keywords are more elaboratively framed expressions of your key phrases. Like in this case maybe something like “Women’s black wedged sandals”. These keywords are targeted to niche users and infrequent requirements and hence have limiting searches.
But these keywords are going to get you faster results as these attract lesser competition. So, if you are a new business, your strategy should be to first cover the long-tail business keywords exploring your niche, and steadily move to broad search category keywords.
While you are selecting the keywords for your e-commerce website, you can take help from e-commerce SEO tools like Keyword Planner or Uber Suggest. So, you get to choose the keywords based on search metrics comparing data across timelines and trends.
If you are still not sure what to do here, you can hire an e-commerce SEO agency for it to be handled by professionals.
Optimizing Pages for SEO
E-commerce SEO is a different game. Much different than that of a regular company or service website. It involves SEO for all primary pages, category pages, and individual product pages. You have to research for keywords for each page and plan URL Structures, Page Titles, Meta Descriptions, Alt Text, and Image File Names, Heading Hierarchy, and Rich Snippets separately for each existing or new page.
URL structures are a way of telling search engines how different individual pages relate to each other. Like Focus Slashesare meant for folders and directories. Likewise, there are protocols to list different page entities. This makes the whole structure organized and easy to read by a search engine.
Example of a URL Structure: http://www:80/something/something.html/2.html?query
A Page Title defines what the page is about. It is one of the crucial factors that build the rapport of a page with the search engine. Page Titles typically include a relevant keyword with a connected phrase that tells about which type of category, product, service, purpose, or pitch of offering it belongs to. The recommended length of a Page Title as per Google is 50-60 characters.
Example of a Page Title:[Primary Keyword] | [Secondary Keyword] – [Brand Name]
Meta Description is a way of feeding a search engine with the descriptive meaning of the content that is present on a page. It offers search bots with the necessary description of the page and assists it with indexing the page in search listings. While writing a Meta Description write it as you would write it naturally for your users and keep it focused on your keywords contained within 160 characters.
Example of a Meta Description: Hire our Digital Marketing Specialist for efficient digital marketing services that we adapt to fit your company’s needs. Contact us to learn how!
E-commerce Alt Text:
Alt Text defines the images that are present on your site. In simple words, it is a text alternative to the images, so that they could be read and identified by search engines. While you write an AltText try to include the exact immediate word that best recognizes the image while also adding modifier words like ‘sale’ or ‘best’ to elevate the search value.
Example of an Alt Text: Read [Product Name] reviews [Product Word Name]-[SKU]
Rich Snippets are an advanced alternative to meta descriptions and page titles allowing you to describe more information about the page including definition, images, questions, sources, and other important information that helps search engines to establish a better understanding of the page. This makes it offer higher search visibility to a page with results being placed on a reserved top slot above the search listings.
Example of a Rich Snippet (Q&A):
“text”: “Insert Question Name”,
“dateCreated”: “Insert Publish Date (example: 2019-3-14T20:07Z)”,
“name”: “Insert Company Name”,
“author”: “Insert Author Title”,
“text”: “Insert Question Answer.”,
“dateCreated”: “Insert Publish Date (example: 2019-3-14T20:07Z)”,
“URL”: “Insert Page URL”,
“author”: “Insert Author Name”
To help you assist with creating effective titles for your website take help from SEMRush. Make sure you plan and implement the on-page SEO strategies right with Backlinko. To get these done with greater accuracy and assurance of results you can seek the professional services of e-commerce SEO experts.
Specific Page Recommendations
To be able to succeed with your e-commerce SEO endeavor, you need to optimize each page individually targeting the keywords properly. Working out on different pages based on the suggested search engine guidelines and scheme templates, you can achieve high-quality organic traffic that includes users with high service relevance and conversion value.
Your home page is the receiving front of your website. It is where the user of your website lands first and gets the first impression of the service and value you have to offer. This is the page with the highest SEO weightage as it represents your core as a business and all the major sections and categories that lead to other pages and products are routed through it. So, while you plan the search engine optimization for your home page make sure you don’t skip these expert guidelines.
Focus on your brand name and key products while framing the titles.
Include proper Alt Text for your logo and other images defining your brand.
Don’t put too many links on the menu or the footer. Avoid any linking or content tagging practices that could be considered spammy. Place your contact information and every detail that establishes its legitimacy clearly and prominently.
Product pages are the pages where the actual sales take place. These are the pages that include the information about the product including the product’s name, type, category, description, variations, price details, status, and terms. This is where you get to optimize every product for searches going by focal SEO practices, dedicated to each page pitching for a particular product. Here, you can write elaborated product descriptions including detailed product specifications and purchase prompts. Better if it includes product videos and customer reviews and testimonials. As these are the pages that would drive the conversions.
Category pages are difficult to rank in the search pages when compared to the product pages. However, if you follow a few recommended practices as suggested by the SEO experts you can optimize categories to get favorable results. Doing this you can write content describing the category and the product range it covers. This allows you to cover the relevant keywords across the category and let the search engine bots know what you are selling in that category.
For example, if you are selling sports gear and your category is cricket accessories. You should put a page with all the details about cricket equipment and gear. This should start with a category overview that includes all the group keywords. Here you can include brands, types, styles, quality options for bats, balls, stumps, and other cricketing gear. This should further include a category that would include the list of products presented in the form of heading and subheading tags with the detailed product-aligned description of the category. In the end, it should include a summarised overview of the category page.
FAQs are a great way to add more new keywords and try variations that you have not included in the primary pages or main folds of the text. The Frequently Asked Questions section can include various questions related to your business and services that interest customers. These have a high conversational value and have answers to the queries that a typical user of your site asks often. So, it leads to better coverage of the keywords that connect you with high-intent searches.
If you don’t have an idea of what to include in your FAQs, you can check out Google AutoComplete results.
Also, it gets you better results with your FAQ page’s SEO rankings, if you include the internal links in your answers. This further boosts the searchability of the pages and makes the pages achieve better search value across a wider array of industry and service keywords covering various fringes and variations of keywords.
E-commerce Content Marketing
Content marketing is a strong way to channelize organic searches to your e-commerce website. With strategically planned content for blogs, social media networks, video marketing channels, and community forums, you can aim for great inbound value to take you to higher search rankings.
Among various factors that help your e-commerce site rank up in the search results, is blogging. Now, by doing blogs you can deploy one on your website and also reach out to high domain-authority sites for posting your blogs as a guest.
Writing articles for your own blogroll can help you achieve better scores of relevancy and recency for the website. As you get fresh targeted content updated on your website and users hitting those pages on a regular basis.
While with guest blogging, you can reach out to the vast user network of the host site and leverage the social presence they already have. Also, if you get a do-follow backlink with high-authority sites, your online authority improves and you score higher on search positions.
For more understanding of this explore HubSpot topic clusters and the future of SEO.
YouTube Optimization and Product Videos
Not including YouTube in your e-commerce promotions strategy can is a bad move these days. YouTube has tremendous opportunities for your business as it is the most followed video media platform. Also, as you see most people taking up to videos for consuming their daily dose of content – for learning, entertainment, expert tips, and news, you cannot miss having it in your search optimization plan. To get the benefit from here, you have to create your product videos and promote them on the platform optimized with your business keywords and tags. You can get help from YouTube marketing to boost your presence further across the platform and your networks. As you do this, keep updating profiles and feeds with optimized content on a regular basis, and you will have results coming your way.
Here’s a detailed YouTube marketing plan by HubSpot.
As per a report, over 80% of users say user-generated content is highly valuable and conducive for an e-commerce platform. The content created by a user like customer testimonials, product reviews, forum posts, recommendations, and referral talks, can greatly influence decision making and opinions. These are an incredibly powerful way of building a social proof of the business and promote referral buying on your site.
The user-generated content for your e-commerce site is present on various rating and review sites and community platforms which give them an amplified reach. Also, you can pull in this content to your site dynamically and keep your audience served with the latest say of the users about your business. You get to push your searches and engagement higher with this content as it feeds both search engines and users much in favor of your business.
E-commerce SEO is not a one-time task. You need to put in regular efforts doing it to best suit the trends and traits of searches to stand relevant and valid to search engines. Going by these points can lead you through search optimization for your platform easily and efficiently through the course. As you get to plan, implement, execute, and revalidate your e-commerce platform’s strategy to get higher search rankings and visibility on search engines.
If you think it is a project that you can’t handle by yourself or it is too tricky out there and you don’t want to take a chance, you can take help from a professional e-commerce SEO services company and assure yourself of professional guidance and help.