For those of you wondering, “index” is another name for the database used by a search engine. So to “index” a page is to have it added to that database. In other words, Google has discovered your page and added it to search results.
On-Page SEO Strategy
Ecommerce keyword research.
Neither of these situations is ideal, which is why ecommerce keyword research is so important — it will ensure you target keywords that are easy to rank for, have decent search volume and have high conversion rates.
However, there is more to choosing keywords than simply looking at how difficult it is to rank or how many people search for them. The following four options can help you to perform ecommerce keyword research, find keyword difficulty (KD) and search volume and uncover buyer intent:
1. Determine if you are choosing the right keywords.
A keyword matrix is a way to dig through relevant keywords and organize your spreadsheet to quickly determine the best possible keywords to use on each of your pages. It’s based on KD, search volume and search intent.
2. Use Amazon for keyword research.
This tool automatically scrapes Amazon’s autofill suggestions for any keyword you type in. Each time you search, check off all the keywords and add them to your list, then download that list to a CSV with the “Download Selected Keywords” button.
3. Find keywords through competitor research.
If you have competitors who rank higher than you in search results, you can use their site to take keyword ideas. First, type your keyword into Google, choose a competitor and scan their category and product pages for potential keywords.
It is also critical to consider breadcrumbs, an advanced navigation function that helps Google scan and index your site. You can tell if you’ve set up breadcrumbs correctly by entering your site into Google. If you see “yoursite.com -> category -> subcategory”, you have breadcrumbs set up.
4. Use Ahrefs to help you find keyword opportunities.
Ecommerce product pages.
In the URL.
Putting your primary keyword in the URL is a simple way to improve search rankings. This is especially relevant for websites competing in more competitive niches as optimized URLs are an additional way you gain the edge on your competitors to drive more traffic.
In the title tag (H).
In body copy.
In image alt text.
In the metadata.
Quality content is one of the easiest ways for your ecommerce store to rank for more keywords and build backlinks. Consider that product and category pages can only rank for so many keywords. Once you’ve maxed those out, you cannot cover any more search real estate.
Content can help to fill in those gaps. Now you can rank for both short and long-tail keywords that relate to your industry. Content marketing can increase your traffic — and ultimately your sales — and make it easier for you to build links to your site to improve your domain authority.
Technical SEO Clean Up
Ecommerce site architecture, or structure, is how you set up your navigation, category pages and product pages. At its core, it’s about getting the best, most relevant content in front of potential customers and reducing the number of times they have to click to find it.
Bad Site Architecture Example For Ecommerce.
This image is an example of bad site architecture. It takes four clicks to get to a category page, and if you want to add a product or category page, you have to hide it deep inside the bowels of your site.
Not only is this poor for navigation, but it also hurts your search rankings since your home page is the most authoritative page on your site. Internal links from one page on your site to another pass authority from one page to another
Good Site Architecture Example for Ecommerce.
Site speed is essential to your site’s ability to rank and user experience. According to a study from Radware, 51 percent of online shoppers in the U.S claimed if a site is too slow, they will not complete a purchase.
Redirects will affect your SEO, though whether it is a good or bad thing is determined by multiple factors. Search engines often rely on unique URLs to identify them. When Google reviews the page and the redirect, it will attempt to pinpoint the relevance between the new page and the original page’s keyword.
URLs are often created automatically, with many marketers leaving it as is before moving onto another page. That is a mistake and the loss of a potential opportunity. By crafting each URL as an extension of the page itself, you can increase your rankings and SEO capabilities.
In terms of your SEO strategy, Hreflang can be helpful if you have multiple versions of the same page in alternating languages, as it can help set them apart on Google. You don’t want to be penalized for trying to reach different audiences across the globe.
Within similar topics or pages, keywords can appear within several different URLs. Without the tagging of the master page, your SEO results can suffer as Google will penalize you based on the redundant search terms.
A sitemap is a file that provides information about pages, videos or other files on your site. Essentially, the sitemap works to tell Google which pages on your site are important ones, allowing them to crawl your site more efficiently.
Sitemaps are an underrated but vital part of your SEO strategy. By telling search engines where to look, you can work to move potential readers and viewers onto specific pages — raising their rankings and allowing you to dictate site traffic.
How to create an ecommerce SEO strategy
If you’re new to search engine optimization and want to learn how to rank first on Google, this SEO best practices tutorial is for you. We’ll explain the basics of SEO in a way that makes it simple and, above all, actionable.
Step 1: Keyword research
It shouldn’t be surprising that the first step is identifying those high-value search terms that your potential customers might be using. You can do that through ecommerce keyword research, which can be conducted a number of different ways.
Can you spot the difference? Information keyword searchers are looking for, well, information. Blogs and content-heavy sites care about these keywords. Ecommerce sites care most about commercial keywords that show buying intent. You can also create quality content for your ecommerce store to increase domain authority, traffic, and conversions.
Amazon and Google Suggest
You can complete a similar process on Amazon, likely a competitor of yours. The great thing about Amazon suggestions is that they’re product-focused, unlike Google, which may contain some information keyword suggestions.
Keyword research tool (Ahrefs)
Up until now, we’ve been doing keyword research on the cheap. If you have $99 to spend on a one-month subscription to Ahrefs, it can be a helpful ecommerce SEO tool, as it provides keyword suggestions, showcases your ranking, and much more.
Let’s say you compete with BustedTees.com, a geeky t-shirt ecommerce store. All you’d have to do is enter the domain into a keyword research tool like Ahrefs and click the number under “Organic keywords” at the top:
You can click on Volume to see which keywords on its website have the highest volume. You can include or exclude keywords that’ll help you narrow down your search. For example, if you notice its website name comes up as a keyword, you can exclude it from the list by typing in the brand name and checking only Keywords under Any Target.
You can view which sites link to BustedTees.com, which may give you an idea of which sites may be willing to link to your website. You can do this for any website that matches your niche. Getting backlinks helps improve your ecommerce SEO by increasing your domain authority.
Choosing the right keywords for your store
Page authority (PA) and domain authority (DA) give you insight into how difficult it would be to rank higher than these organic results. The higher the numbers, the more difficult (in general) it’ll be to unseat the result.
Which of these searchers is more likely to buy something on your site? The former, of course. A bridal shop might sell more than just wedding dresses, such as evening dresses, wedding guest dresses, or even mother-of-the-bride dresses. However, you typically won’t find work dresses at a bridal shop.
Step 2: Site architecture for ecommerce
When it comes to SEO ecommerce, how the pages on your site are organized and structured affects your search engine rankings. It also affects your user experience (UX). Basically, you want to make it easy for actual visitors and search engines to find stuff in your store.
Best ecommerce SEO tools for beginners
SEO:Image Optimizer Page Speed
This Shopify SEO app by AVADA is the perfect plug-in for helping ecommerce stores outrank competitors. It helps with image compression, site speed optimization, schema markup, and more, to ensure your website is optimized for search. It also offers 24/7 customer support.
SEOAnt SEO & Image Optimizer
The SEOAnt SEO & Image Optimizer is a free all-in-one SEO tool you can use to run SEO checkup reports, monitor SEO health, fix broken links and redirects, and boost traffic from Google. You can also bulk edit alt text and meta elements in just a few clicks.
If you own a website, you’re going to use Google Analytics. This free SEO tool tracks and reports website traffic, giving you the insight to better understand customers, optimize your store for SEO, and improve marketing ROI. As a Shopify store owner, you can connect Google Analytics to Shopify Analytics and choose specific ecommerce data to track.
You’ve seen Ahrefs at work in the above tutorial, but it’s worth looking deeper at some of its key features. Many of the features are used by ecommerce marketing professionals to create SEO campaigns and rank higher in Google. Ahrefs is a competitor of Moz and Semrush, two other SEO software companies you’ll find when researching SEO tools.
Use Ahrefs to analyze a website’s link profile, keyword ranks, and overall SEO performance. You can also use it to conduct keyword research for Google, Amazon, and YouTube. Ahrefs has helpful features including:
Best Ecommerce SEO Tools
If you want your ecommerce SEO strategy to work, you need the right tools. The following are some of the most helpful websites for finding ways to improve your on-page and off-page SEO for greater visibility in the search engines.
Use Ahrefs to optimize and track your ecommerce SEO strategy. It’s great for finding backlinks to your site as well as to your competitors’ sites. If someone has linked to your competitor, you might be able to snag a link to your own site by emailing that person and establishing a rapport. Offer to link to his or her site, then suggest one of your high-quality posts that they’re audience might be interested in.
ScreamingFrog is great for finding problems on your site, such as broken links, missing meta descriptions, and duplicate content. When you identify those problems, create redirects or add missing content so you don’t get penalized in the search engines. The free version offers plenty of useful tools, but if you have more than 500 URL extensions, you might want to upgrade to premium.
MOZ is the ideal tool when you want to track and find keywords, find link-building opportunities, and analyze competitors’ page metrics. There are free and paid versions, so you can decide how much power you need to fuel your ecommerce SEO campaign.
After looking at a backpack, Amazon recommends me another product as a bundle, which not only works great to increase the average order value, it also adds a powerful internal link to this product with great user experience.
E-Commerce SEO Best Practices
There are many different ways to optimize your e-commerce site, and not every approach is suitable for every site or product. However, some guidelines apply to every online retailer, and one of them is performing keyword research correctly.
Informational Keyword Intent
Commercial Keyword Intent
Consumers typically use commercial keyword intents when they know what they want but don’t know where to find it yet. You see this when you’re typing specific terms into Google like “buy digital camera” or “find new laptop deals.”
Determining Keyword Intent
Run a site audit to track what issues need to be fixed on your site that could be affecting user experience and organic traffic. Think of the audit as a starting point, then review it regularly to make sure you’re fixing other issues. This is under the SEO Analyzer section. One the audit has run, it will tell you your top SEO issues and how to fix them.
Answer the Public
Answer the Public is intuitive, too. Just enter your keyword on the homepage to understand precisely what people are asking. It can also help you find which topics are most popular at any given time, which might be helpful as another tool for keyword research. However, if you want further guidance, there’s a set of tutorials available.
2. Optimize Product Pages to Improve Ranking
Optimize Your Product Descriptions
A product page is interesting because it has a lot of different features that all need attention. You also want a few things to stand out from the page to gain visitors’ engagement and get them to click through.
Optimize Your Images
A sometimes neglected area of SEO for e-commerce is images. Photos are an excellent way to communicate a message and draw in an audience. However, they can also distract people from the message you are trying to convey, so be careful not to use too many images and crowd your descriptions.
Although quality images are vital to show your goods at their best, there’s more to it than that. Optimizing your images for SEO will give you higher search engine rankings and more traffic from potential customers and may gain you traffic from social media channels.
You can encourage customers to leave reviews by sending automated messages whenever they purchase. You can also set up email campaigns to send out reminders or offers once they have left a review on your site.
Part 2: On-Page SEO for Ecommerce Sites
2.1. Optimize Your Meta Titles, Descriptions, and H1’s
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2.2. Optimize Your URLs
You’ll find that a lot of CMS’ make these messy by default. For example, WooCommerce adds /product-category/ into the URL for all category pages, which looks kind of messy in my opinion. There are plugins you can use to combat this. But honestly, they’re sometimes more hassle than they’re worth. So my recommendation is not to worry too much about this unless your URL looks seriously disgusting.
2.3. Write Unique Product & Category Descriptions
2.4. Add Schema Markup
Add markup to your product pages so Google can provide detailed product information in rich Search results — including Image Search. Users can see price, availability, and review ratings right on Search results.
A category page listing several different products (or recipes, videos, or any other type). Each entity should be marked up using the relevant schema.org type, such as schema.org/Product for product category pages. However, if one item is marked, all items should be marked. Also, unless this is a carousel page, the marked items should not link out to separate details pages.
9 Simple Link Building Strategies
What makes link building for e-commerce different than, say, link building for a local store or a media site, is that an ecommerce business needs links pointing to every section of its store, including the category and product pages.
Start With Competitor Analysis
Do Guest Posting (Yeah Yeah, I Know)
Or if you want to make things 100x quicker, you can use a tool like Ninja Outreach that will not only find great places to guest post – but also pull back all of the metrics you need to make informed decisions.
Other Link Building Tactics You Can Use
E-commerce Link Building Services
Add it to the top of someone else’s job list, giving you more time to drive your brand, look at other ways of advertising, get involved in your social media community or simply just be able to finish reading that email.
Blogger Outreach / Guest Postings
Infographic Creation & Distribution
Local SEO for E-commerce
Claim Your Profile
Link Building for Local E-commerce SEO
On-Site Optimisation for Local SEO
Make sure to add your name, address, and phone numbers on every page of your store, in the same format as your Google local listing. This also makes it easy for anyone to contact you. There’s nothing more frustrating then having to search for contact details.
A review is free feedback, which you can use to improve your product, answer queries and offer solutions. If you appear visible and focus on helping users you will become more and more popular, people will pay more attention to your ads and subscribe to your email list.
Wrapping It Up
What Is Ecommerce SEO?
Ecommerce SEO is ensuring that your website shows up at the top of the search results when people are searching for products and services. This allows you to generate a stream of highly qualified traffic to convert into sales and revenue.
Is SEO Important For Ecommerce?
SEO is important for any website that wishes to appear on the first page of any search engine. Ecommerce websites need to pay close attention to SEO (search engine optimization) as this is how they will bring organic traffic to their site and generate sales. If you want to learn more about all the different aspect of SEO, take a look at my list of the 5x best SEO Presentations.
How Can I Do SEO For My Ecommerce Website?
How do you do keyword research for ecommerce?
When it comes to keyword research for an ecommerce site there are four things you need to pay attention to. These are search volume, intent, relevance and competition. If you can find keywords that fit all these then you’ll bring in an endless amount of qualified traffic.
How do I increase traffic to my ecommerce website?
You can increase traffic to your ecommerce website by performing SEO (search engine optimization) on your site. This includes performing an SEO audit to fix any problems and issues, conducting high level keyword research, adding high converting content and putting in place a solid link building strategy. In that order.
Does Shopify Help With SEO?
Shopify does include a lot of SEO friendly features that are easy for the online business owner to configure. But to see real success with Shopify SEO you also need to consider everything else from content to site speed and user experience.
While schematic data isn’t quite a direct ranking factor, these visually pleasing additions provide context to potential customers and can increase your click-through rate dramatically – especially on your most vital pages, your product detail pages.
Top-Rated Ecommerce SEO Company
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) provides ecommerce retailers with a sustainable path forward to help grow your store while boosting onsite traffic and revenue. Achieving top rankings for your most valuable keywords helps improve your site’s visibility and contributes to your bottomline. If you’re looking to positively impact your store’s growth potential, contacting an ecommerce SEO company like Coalition Technologies needs to be the first step on your journey. Our digital strategists will help outline next steps for your business with our long-term or monthly SEO packages.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of increasing a website’s rankings on search engine results. Through steady technical and development work, optimized content development, and outreach efforts, your site can become a powerhouse, leading to significant growth for your ecommerce store.
Before Building Your Navigation and Site Structure, Walk Through This Mind-Mapping Process
If you’re into organized, clean designs – and I’m not just talking a website filled with whitespace or excluding imagery; I mean piecing together your navigation logically, finding pages where you’d expect to find them, and a URL structure that follows your navigation – creating hierarchy site architecture might just become your new best friend.
Here’s an example of product schema markup from the SERP view:
Here’s an example of the product schema markup on the backend:
Here’s an example of review schema markup from the SERP view:
Even if you’re not the type to work up to your zero 404 errors in Google Search Console (or even know what that means – no shame), it’s still a great idea to do some cleaning and redirecting of your dead pages.
Step Four: Implement pagination
If you’re implementing pagination to your ecommerce site, remember to add tags to all of the pages in the paginated series, except page one. This will ensure that only the first page in your series is indexed.
In general, I don’t see any problems with internal links from articles on an ecommerce site. So if you are an expert on a topic, and you have products that belong to that topic, then maybe you will write some articles about this topic as well and give more insight on why you chose those products to sell, or the pros and cons, the variations of those products, and that is useful content to have. And that is something that sometimes does make sense to link to your product pages or the rest of your site.
So that is not something I’d see as being overly problematic. If this is done in a reasonable way, that you are not linking every keyword to different pages on your site, but rather saying this product is important, this product is important here, this is something we offer, this is something someone else offers, this is a link to the manufacturer directly. Then that is useful information to have; that is not something I’d remove.
37. Minimize Subdomain Issues
If you have a website that is updated frequently, you may want to set a shorter cache duration so that visitors always see the most up-to-date version of your site. On the other hand, if your site doesn’t change very often, you can set a longer cache duration so that visitors don’t have to download all the same files each time they visit.
Cache control can also be used to force browsers to re-download resources that have changed. This is known as “cache busting” and can be useful if you need to update a file but don’t want visitors to have to wait for the new version to propagate through the caches.
If you have a long cache duration, it may take some time for search engines to see your changes; if you have a short cache duration, they will be able to index your site more frequently but may also end up re-indexing unchanged pages more often than necessary.
In general, it’s best to strike a balance between these two extremes so that your site is cached frequently enough that search engines can index it quickly, but not so frequently that they end up re-indexing unchanged pages unnecessarily. The specifics will depend on how often your site is updated.