Online shopping has become a part of everyday life. The simplicity of being able to connect to the internet and buy what you need instead of going back and forth to stores means that more and more stores are online.
If you sell products online, getting the right SEO for your eCommerce site has never been more important.
Ecommerce sites, by their nature, don’t typically include a lot of content, which means site owners need to make sure they’re addressing other things to give their sites a competitive edge.
In this article, I’ve put together a comprehensive guide to ecommerce SEO along with other factors that should also be considered to give you a competitive edge.
As with any SEO campaign, it all starts with keyword research.
Without thorough research, you won’t really get the full picture of what people are looking for (in relation to your products).
Do your research. Find what people are looking for and make your decisions.
Product names are product names and the majority of people will know what they are looking for. In these cases, there isn’t much room to stray from working with exactly what it is. However, researching terminology and variations can be the difference between targeting your audience and missing out.
On the page
Title tags – Each page must have a unique Title tag. Your keyword research will provide you with valuable information on how keywords should be structured, terminology to use, and key terms you will focus on.
For product pages, always include the product name. Don’t try to be smart using a variation to get more visitors. More often than not, if someone is looking for a product, they know what it is called.
Meta description tags – They may not have any impact on rankings, but these descriptions are valuable snippets that can tell the difference between someone clicking on your site or going to your competition.
As with your title tags, ideally these should all be individual.
Product Description – If you are a reseller or include 3rd party products in your range, avoid using the manufacturer’s description. Rewrite it. You want this content to be unique. You don’t want to duplicate information that might be included on other sites.
You also want to avoid including links that lead to another site; for example, a « for more information, check their official website » style link. The second you pull them away from your site, you’ve lost the sale.
Product prices – Nothing will annoy a potential customer more than not knowing how much the product costs. Make sure the price is visible.
Add to Cart – Make it easier for customers to buy your products. It starts with being able to add products to your basket. If this movement is difficult from a distance or does not work, they will be sent to your competition within seconds.
You should also make sure that the price of the product is next to the « buy » button.
Make sure to regularly check for important buttons such as « add to cart » or « buy now ».
Pictures – The images of your products must be clear. Do not use images that you must have enlarged. This will affect the quality of the image.
If your images are not of the highest quality, it can give the site an amateurish impression.
Phone number – Be sure to include a contact phone number on all pages. Even if no one ever calls him, just having him there will build trust between you and your client. Knowing that they can contact when needed will add confidence.
Social buttons – Make sure you have social buttons on your pages. Help your visitors share your content. This is the online version of « word of mouth ». The easier it is for them to bookmark and share your products and pages, the wider your reach will be.
It also helps to create natural bonds.
With your on-page elements in place, it’s just as important to make sure that the technical aspects of the site are up to par as well.
Google Search Console
Any site that cares about getting results online needs performance data.
The Google Search Console is free and provides you with essential data on how Google sees your site and its performance.
Ecommerce sites are large by nature with hundreds, sometimes thousands of live pages. You need to stay on top of all possible issues. Google Search Console will help you report on key areas like site speed, broken links, and crawler errors.
The speed of a site is an important factor. If you have a slow site when someone is trying to buy something and you are going to lose sales.
So from both a search engine and usability perspective, you need to make sure that your site is fast.
As mentioned before, Google Search Console will give you strong indications on the current speed of your sites.
Search engine friendly URLs
Using search engine friendly URLs is usually one of the areas that comes to mind once a site is live or after all other SEO work has been done.
Ecommerce sites, due to their very nature of having a high page count, will have URLs made up of long strings linked to the product number, for example: « https://www.worldofwidgets.com/shop/ white-productid = 37827white / «
It would be much more beneficial to use URLs linked to the keywords: « https://www.worldofwidgets.com/shop/white-widgets-for-cans »
A descriptive URL is more friendly to search engines.
The configuration required will depend on the CMS you are using, but this should be thought about during the configuration phase, otherwise you have a world of 301s to configure.
Due to the nature of large ecommerce sites, duplicate pages can naturally be created. If a product is relevant to more than one category, you could potentially create duplicate pages.
Google recommends that canonical tags be implemented. These let search engines know that you want them to recognize only one version of the page. The tag returns the search engine to the version you want to index.
Site navigation / breadcrumbs
Site navigation must be correct.
The site should be easy to navigate. Don’t let your customers get lost.
Using navigation paths helps you add key terms (which will also add relevance) and makes it easier to use.
Giving your customers this route will also help them navigate the site. It can also be tracked by Google.
Beyond your site
If you are selling products online, you need to think about platforms beyond your own site. Online marketing is evolving all the time with potential customers increasingly using online platforms to search for what they are looking for.
If you don’t use them, not only will you miss out, but you will also miss out on natural bonding and social sharing opportunities.
The social is huge. More and more people are now using social platforms to find information and make their decisions. If you’re nowhere to be seen, you’ll miss it.