Despite what many believe, to sell online it is not enough just to set up a virtual store.
Although it is a first step, taking care of the organic ranking strategy is just as important to attract new customers to your business.
Therefore, in this article we will review what are the fundamental elements clarified by top SEO Companies, that every SEO strategy for e-commerce must have.
Is SEO for eCommerce different from other websites?
SEO also known as search engine optimization is a strategy that seeks to improve the ranking of a website to appear in the top results of a search.
This strategy can be applied on all types of websites, from blogs, virtual stores and corporate websites to SEO forums or educational platforms.
Although the method of applying SEO on all of these sites may seem similar, the reality is that there are substantial differences in the structure, functionality, and goals of each website that you should be aware of before beginning optimization.
For example, optimizing a blog post is not the same as optimizing a product page. While the first has long texts that seek to inform or entertain users to increase their time on the pages, the second seeks to close a sale in the shortest possible time.
Either way, it is undeniable that you need to implement SEO optimizations in your e-commerce as part of a complete Digital Marketing strategy. Here we explain why.
3 outstanding advantages of SEO for e-commerce
Applying an SEO strategy for e-commerce is necessary for any business looking to improve their sales on the Internet. Here are 3 good reasons to prove it.
- You attract quality organic traffic
Positioning your virtual store in the first places of the SERPs will make more people come naturally and know your products.
In fact, according to The Search Engine Journal, 93% of online activity begins with a search.
Furthermore, 44% of people who shop online start with a Google search according to nChannel. Getting more traffic, consequently, brings more sales opportunities.
In the end, millions of searches are carried out daily, evidencing the purchase intention of the users. Being positioned at the top of the results list for those queries is essential to acquire users who are more ready to buy.
For example, there are 260 monthly searches for the keyword “buy dresses online” according to SEMRush.
It is not such a high number in absolute terms, but there is no doubt that this user already has the certainty of what he wants to acquire, so attracting him to the store’s website is very interesting.
- Closing more sales
One of the main SEO optimizations for e-commerce is on the product pages.
By becoming more visible in the SERP, the users most interested in buying that specific product will land in your e-commerce with a clearer purchase intention.
This is important if you consider that 39% of all global e-commerce traffic is directly related to organic traffic according to Bluelist.
That’s why it’s time to spend time producing well-structured product pages, with striking descriptions and a technical configuration that favors search engine crawling.
- Improve the CTR of your pages
The CTR is an indicator that allows you to assess how well your pages respond to a user’s search intention.
This metric is linked to your choice of keywords and other aspects of the SEO title and meta descriptions.
In general, SEO for virtual stores helps you make the necessary adjustments to appear in the correct results and improve your click-through rate with respect to the number of people who view your website in the SERP.
An interesting practice to improve your performance in this regard is to extract insights from the Google Search Console “Search Results” dashboards.
In them you can see the queries that users make to get to your websites and possibly include those terms in the titles and meta descriptions of your pages.
Possibilities of SEO for virtual stores
Here you will know three of the areas that you should pay the most attention to.
A good practice for e-commerce is to implement your own blog and execute a Content Marketing strategy to deal with issues related to your sector or issues of interest to your users.
Having long posts – over 1,000 words – the blog is one of the most effective channels to attract organic traffic.
This resource is also very interesting when the virtual store operates in a defined niche, to ensure that users are hooked on the type of product it offers.
An example is that of companies that sell sustainable clothing. If they produce a good blog post that positions them at the top of Google for the keyword “sustainable fashion”, they can generate authority and relevance in this segment.
In fact on the first page of Google results in Mexico for that keyword there is currently no publication from an e-commerce website. These are opportunities that cannot be missed!
Positioning product pages is essential in SEO for e-commerce. And it is that these are finally the ones that will convince future buyers to buy a product.
If you do not apply SEO on your product pages to gain positions, it will be impossible for users to know your products organically.
In this content we propose the best techniques for preparing product descriptions in a virtual store.
Optimizing pages is valuable, because by bringing all your available products of the same class in one place, your potential customers will have access to all your inventory.
In addition, structuring the pages in categories is a requirement to deliver a good user experience (UX), which at the same time is a criterion highly valued by Google to classify its results.
How to do SEO for e-commerce?
The time has come for practice! Next, we will review the stages of an SEO strategy for virtual stores so that you can start working right now.
- Set a SMART goal for your strategy
The first thing you should do in an SEO strategy is define the objective you want to achieve.
To do this, setting SMART goals is ideal, because with them you can keep an organized track of your progress.
SMART goals are:
As you can see, this is an achievable goal, which is not exaggerated and can be monitored throughout the quarter and at the end of it to see if you achieved it.
- Define the keywords of your products
After establishing the overall objective of the strategy, the next step is to take care of keyword analysis. This stage is the backbone of any SEO strategy for e-commerce.
In particular, the keywords for e-commerce focus on informing or selling.
In the first case, you must have a blog to position long-tail keywords that answer your users’ frequent questions about your products. They are ideal to educate the user.
For the second case, the keywords must be focused on the products and, therefore, they are usually head-tail.
For example, users interested in an iPhone will type in the name of the latest model on Google, perhaps accompanied by the words “price” or “buy.”
If you manage to position your product page for this keyword, you will already have half a sale made.
At the same time, these keywords tend to have enormous competition, so you can’t leave out the highly-rated long-tail, such as the example we showed of “buying dresses online”.
To find your keywords, you can use Google’s Keyword Planner or SEMRush’s Keyword Research tool.
You can even scan your competitor’s website to find out what their keywords are and guide you with that!
With the keyword ideas you get, you will have to choose only one word per product to avoid the so-called “cannibalization”. For that you can use the resource of the canonical tags, which inform the search engine which page should be displayed to the user.
The objective is to choose the one that best suits what you sell and that matches the user’s search intention. Also, ideally, you should have a considerable search volume and a low level of competition.
But considering that this is not always going to happen, you can use Topic Clusters strategy. It’s about choosing a main page, which can be your most prominent product, and strengthening it with internal links on related pages.
In this way you will make the search engine algorithm understand that the product is a focus of your company. Thus, you will reach the page of this product through several different routes, with those internal links that you established.
- Optimize your product and category pages
Once you have identified the keywords that you will use in your products and categories, you should perform SEO On Page optimizations on each page.
Take care of meta tags
The meta tags are information in HTML describing the content of a page for search engines. Some of the most important ones are the SEO title, the meta description and the H1 title.
Among the optimizations you should make is the use of the keywords you found in each meta tag of your product and category pages.
Remember, each page must have a unique title and description to avoid cannibalization and duplicate content.
To create more impact on your meta tags, you can include:
- exceptional product characteristics, words that call to action such as “buy”, “learn”, “offers”, “on sale”, etc.,
- your Unique Selling Proposition (USP), such as free shipping, one-day delivery, refunds, etc.
Extend the description of your products. Product descriptions, in addition to giving your users more information about what you sell, show Google what your page is about. Therefore, you must create original and attractive descriptions.
One of the best SEO practices for e-commerce is not to copy the information you find on the manufacturer’s page, as you can be penalized for having duplicate content.
A good description has the following elements:
- is unique.
- include your keyword.
- incorporates latent semantic indexing (LSI) keywords to enrich the information Google receives.
- It has at least 500 words to avoid Thin Content problems.
Optimize your images
Add Alt Text tags to each image you upload to your virtual store.
Being the description of an image, the Alt Text must include your keyword to start positioning in the search engines.
Create a friendly URL
The URL friendly are easy to understand directions by users, as they cast key information so they can quickly know the page content.
To create friendly URLs you must take into account the following aspects:
- use the hierarchy of your page (domain, categories, sub categories and product).
- keep them short and simple.
- include your keyword.
- use hyphens to separate the words.
- avoid using parameters (color, size, price, score, etc).
Add structured data
Structured data enriches your snippets by displaying more information about your product directly in SERPs.
These data show, for example, the ratings of other users, the price or availability of a product.
Adding structured data, in addition, brings you closer to conquering the zero position of Google: we call them Featured Snippets.
For virtual stores, the most interesting types of featured snippets are those of lists and tables. It is worth optimizing your content to reach that position, since you gain a lot of visibility in the SERP.
According to Neil Patel, by working with structured data, you provide search engines with more information that can increase your CTR by up to 30%.
- Optimize your homepage
The homepage of your virtual store is the gateway to the internal pages of your website. That’s why, here more than anywhere else, you must offer the best possible user experience.
From your homepage you must link your internal pages:
- product pages
- contact pages
- category pages
According to shahid maqbool (SEO specialist in dubai) recommendation, try to include a very striking H1 title, with an image that reflects the essence of your store. Don’t forget to add CTAs linking to your best-selling products.
- Improve the performance of your virtual store
Creating a user-friendly virtual store is essential to generate more sales opportunities. So one of the best SEO practices for eCommerce is to check if everything inside your store is working as it should.
Some of the aspects that you should consider are:
- reduce loading times.
- verify that each button on each page works correctly.
- make sure the payment gateway is working.
- Optimizes the view for all devices through a responsive web design.
- Keep in mind that 1 in 3 searches on smartphones are performed before visiting an online store.