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Ecommerce SEO: The Full Breakdown Everything You Need to Know About Applying SEO Principles to Your Ecommerce Site

author image Written by: Alex Greening           Categories - Digital Marketing, SEO, SEO Tips

You’ve heard of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for websites, and you’re wondering, “How does this pivotal function relate to my eCommerce store?” and “How can I ensure my online store is getting the right exposure?”

When it comes to developing an SEO strategy for your eCommerce site, it’s important to remember that the fundamental SEO principles remain the same for every website. On the other hand, eCommerce sites present unique challenges that other websites don’t have. This means that the amount of time spent, areas of focus, and overall priorities may differ when it comes to implementing SEO.

With that being said, let’s take a look at some of the best SEO practices for eCom sites and how you can incorporate them into your SEO strategy.

What is eCom SEO?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) refers to the various steps you can take to help your website achieve high rankings in search engine results.

eCommerce SEO is all about taking the fundamental SEO principles and putting them into place to help ensure your website and product pages appear on the first page of Google results.

Why Does It Matter?

SEO is extremely important, because search engines are the primary way people discover new brands. When someone is looking for a new backpack, they don’t turn to the yellow pages or put out an ad in the paper – they run a search on Google.

If your web-based backpack store isn’t listed within the first 10 results that come up when they search “where to buy a backpack,” chances are, they will never see your website or discover your brand. That’s why SEO is so important.

Still need convincing? Consider these stats:

  • 93% of all online experiences begin with a search engine search
  • 75% of users never look past the first page of search results
  • 70-80% of users don’t click on the paid search results and only look at organic results

What are the Benefits of eCom SEO?

The benefits of SEO are endless. Here are just a few ways your eCom stands to gain from a solid SEO strategy:

  • Exposure to search engines
  • Higher rankings
  • Increased conversions and sales
  • Gain new, long-term customers
  • Have a more user-friendly site

 Tips To Build An SEO/eCom Strategy

Now, let’s get into what you actually came here for. Here are a few tips for building a fool-proof SEO strategy for your eCommerce website that will get you real results.

Prioritize Pages

Look at which pages are receiving the most traffic and prioritize them when it comes to your SEO efforts.

Create a Workflow

An SEO workflow is a set of tasks that will help you complete a certain objective. Think of it as a roadmap for where you want to go. Create a list of tasks that will help you reach a certain goal along with who should be responsible for each task.

Conduct Competitor Research

Look at who your competitors are. If they are outranking you, they must be doing something right.

Look at what keywords they are using and see if they are relevant to your brand as well. However, keep in mind that just because a competitor is outranking you, doesn’t mean they are actually using the best keywords. Other factors could be at play, such as a higher domain authority.

Consider Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)

Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is taking certain steps to help maximize the number of people that carry out a certain action with the goal of increasing conversions. This can include:

  • Signing up for your newsletter
  • Making a purchase
  • Downloading a content asset

Here are a few ways to optimize your conversion rate:

  • Combine A/B testing with SEO
  • Improve page load time
  • Create videos
  • Add strong CTAs
  • Add a pop-up on your site with a discount code
  • Incorporate a live chat bot
  • Remove unnecessary forms
  • Offer an incentive or guarantee
  • Gather testimonials and incorporate them into your site

Do Keyword Research & Use The Right Keywords

Do your research and try to identify the types of keywords your target customers are using when searching on Google. This can be done a number of ways.

Ecommerce keywords will look a bit different from other sites, because users will be looking for specific products rather than information. This means eCom keywords will demonstrate an intent to buy.

But how do you determine which keywords are relevant to your business? Here are a few tips to help you carry out your keyword research:

  • Use Google suggest
  • Use a keyword research tool like SEMRush
  • Look for high search volume, but also take into consideration the amount of competition
  • Consider page authority (PA) and domain authority (DA)
  • How relevant is your product page or category page to the search term
  • Target keywords that show a commercial intent
  • Look for search terms that are relevant to your product pages

Do a Content GAP Analysis

Think of a content GAP analysis as an audit of all of your website content. It involves taking a deep dive into your existing content and looking for areas that could use improvement.

A content GAP analysis will help you identify any missed opportunities in your SEO strategy so you can figure out how to make improvements.

Here’s what you should be looking for:

  • Pages with thin content that could benefit from some content assets
  • Keyword opportunities you haven’t explored
  • Short, poorly written blog articles that could use updating
  • Infrequent posting

How to Continue Building on SEO

Once you’ve laid the foundation for a successful SEO strategy, your work isn’t complete. SEO requires ongoing effort in order to see long-term results. Here are some ways you can fine-tune your SEO efforts as time goes by.

Optimize Your Homepage

Your homepage is usually what a new customer first sees when they land on your website, so it’s important that it makes a good first impression.

Here’s how to do that:

  • Create a strong H1 and H2
  • Add video to your homepage
  • Simplify your navigation
  • Create strong CTAs

Also carry out optimization on the back-end by optimizing:

  • Title tags
  • Meta descriptions
  • Alt text

Optimize Category Pages

Category pages are designed to target certain keywords that are frequently used by consumers. Optimizing these pages correctly can help you improve your rankings when it comes to many highly competitive keywords.

Here are a few simple ways to go about this:

  • Optimize metadata
  • Create strong, relevant headings
  • Create strong body content
  • Improve your CTAs
  • Simplify navigation
  • Include header and footer links

Optimize Product Pages

If you’ve managed to get people onto your website but they are failing to convert, the issue could be with your product pages. Here are a few ways you can optimize your product pages:

  • Use high quality images and videos
  • Include relevant keywords
  • Share testimonials and reviews
  • Optimize meta title and description
  • Consistent and clear branding
  • Create strong product descriptions
  • Add clear CTAs

Optimize Shopping Cart and Check-Out Page

Just because someone has made their way to your checkout page, doesn’t guarantee a purchase. If you make it complicated for a user to checkout, they’ll often click out without finalizing the transaction. Consider this: the average rate for shopping cart abandonment is 70%.

For this reason, it’s important to optimize your shopping cart and checkout pages to improve user experience and increase conversions by:

  • Removing distractions and create a minimalistic design
  • Adding testimonials and badges to build trust
  • Allowing guest checkouts
  • Accepting multiple payment options
  • Making the checkout process as short as possible

Simplify Your Site Architecture

Having too many pages with redundant information means users will have trouble navigating your site and consuming your content, making them less likely to convert.

Instead, make your site architecture as simple as possible. You can do this by:

  • Removing unnecessary pages
  • Merging pages with similar content
  • Limiting your main menu to seven pages
  • Avoiding drop down menus

Think of UI/UX

User experience is a critical component of SEO and should be taken into consideration when developing any SEO strategy. Here are some UI/UX practices to incorporate with your SEO strategy:

  • Use descriptive CTAs
  • Simplify your navigation
  • Improve page load speed
  • Make your site mobile friendly
  • Create an SEO friendly design
  • Create high quality content that’s easy to digest
  • Use strong headers
  • Use high quality images and videos
  • Reduce the number of clicks to purchase
  • Make your site easy to browse

Technical SEO

While not as exciting as creating videos and producing killer content, it’s critical that you don’t neglect technical SEO. The following are key components of technical SEO to add to your checklist:

  • Improve page load speed
  • Fix crawl errors in Google Search Console
  • Optimize your XML sitemap
  • Perform weekly technical SEO audits and fix errors
  • Optimize internal links
  • Add keywords to image alt text
  • Find and fix broken links

Create Fresh Blog Content

Maybe you already have a blog, but only use it to post announcements and the occasional article. Simply put, this isn’t enough. Quality content is a core component of any good SEO strategy. A great way to get new content up on your site on a regular basis is through your blog.

Make sure you are producing high quality blog articles relevant to your audience at least once a month, but ideally more frequently.

Consider Backlinking

Backlinking refers to the process of obtaining links from another website to yours. Search engines consider backlinks as a vote for your site, which means obtaining several high quality backlinks can help improve your rankings.

Here are a few ways you can gain backlinks:

  • Guest blog for larger sites
  • Offer your content as a resource
  • Get listed on directories

Also make sure that your backlinks:

  • Include your keywords in the link’s anchor text
  • Are topically related to your brand
  • Have “Dofollow” tags
  • Are from domains that have not linked to you before

Produce Video Content

SEO isn’t commonly associated with video content. However, it’s important to remember  that a successful SEO strategy isn’t all about planting keywords throughout your website; it’s about producing amazing content in any format.

Google not only looks for written content on your site, but also scans for every other type of media to get a clear picture of what you have to offer.

Above all, Google values the quality of your content, and its relevance to a user’s search terms. If that happens to be a professional, high quality, informative video combined with high quality articles and other written content, you’ll get a figurative pat on the back from Google.

As you can see, SEO can be pretty universal, however, when it comes to eCommerce websites, you’ll need to make some tweaks and fine tune your strategy to see strong results over time.

Alex Greening

Google Announces Partnership With GoDaddy

07/15/2021

Google announced on its blog this week that it was teaming up with GoDaddy in an effort to help e-commerce website owners integrate their product inventory across Google more easily.

So, what exactly does this partnership mean for GoDaddy merchants? According to Google, Merchants can now get discovered across Search, Shopping, Image Search, and YouTube with just a few clicks. GoDaddy merchants can also upload their products to Google, take advantage of free listings and ad campaigns, and even review performance metrics without leaving their online store.

GoDaddy also revealed in its own press release that GoDaddy merchants who create their first Smart Shopping campaign may be eligible for $150 worth of Google ad credits.

The ultimate goal is for GoDaddy merchants to be discovered by new customers through Google Shopping, Search, and YouTube.

“By teaming up with platforms like GoDaddy, we are able to help even more businesses make more connections with shoppers who are eager to discover new brands,” said Matt Madrigal, Google’s VP/GM of Merchant Shopping in a blog post.

Merchants aren’t the only ones Google is hoping will benefit from the partnership, though. The search engine indicated that they want searchers to have more choice when it comes to finding new, unique products from small online businesses.

“Shoppers get the most choice when they can easily discover businesses and their unique products,” said Madrigal. “And when those products get discovered, businesses can connect with more customers. We see it as a win-win, which is why we’re working hard to make commerce more open online.”

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Shopify Unite Previews Features For Developers, Merchants

06/30/2021

Shopify announced plenty of exciting news and features at its Shopify Unite event in Toronto, ON, on June 29.

Shopify Unite is an annual summertime conference held to show what the future holds for the ecommerce platform and the developers and merchants who use it.

According to Shopify, this year’s conference was about “the infrastructure, tooling, and technologies that make the future of commerce possible.”

“The internet is the world’s largest city, and Shopify is building its commerce infrastructure,” said Tobi Lütke, CEO of Shopify. “Especially over the past year, we saw independent businesses succeed by showing up creatively and uniquely in this city. The future of commerce on the internet relies on creative expression at every touchpoint.”

Read below to learn about some of the announcements that may interest digital merchants and web developers.

Zero Revenue Share For Shopify Apps

The Shopify App Store contains plenty of free and paid plugins that Shopify users can install to transform their website.

Previously, those who published apps to the online store would have to agree to a 20 percent revenue share with the company, meaning they would forfeit 20 percent of their earnings.

Now, Shopify has announced that publishers or developers whose apps make less than one million dollars will not have to share any of their revenue – and those who make more than one million dollars will only have to start sharing 15 percent.

New Online Store

Shopify is relaunching its online store, aptly calling it ‘Online Store 2.0.’

“In the past year, we’ve seen traffic double across online stores, as shoppers turned more and more to online shopping during the pandemic,” the company explained in a blog post. “In today’s world, how a merchant’s store shows up online has never been more important.”

The new launch will include an “updated theme architecture” to ensure that merchants and developers have an improved experience, including more customization.

The ‘sections’ feature will be made available to more pages on users’ sites – previously, it was only for use on home pages.

Shopify says it will be easier for merchants to be integrated into apps without having to use any code. Additionally, users will be able to add apps’ supporting assets to their theme app extensions for fasting hosting using Shopify’s CDN.

Theme Store Relaunch

Shopify’s dedicated theme store has not accepted submissions since 2018 – but the company announced that it will soon relaunch the platform for theme creators.

Shopify says creators will not have to share their revenue, similarly to how the company is structuring its app store. Instead, creators will have to a pay a one-time fee of $99 USD in order to have the ability to submit themes.

Shopify Checkout Made Easier With Apps

Shopify Checkout is an important feature for Shopify stores – it allows shoppers and merchants to have successful transactions.

Previously, Shopify Checkout only allows users to make small changes through the ‘editor’ portal – and more prominent changes can be made if users have a Shopify Plus account.

Soon, Shopify says all users will be able to make significant changes to their Checkout service.

“These new capabilities will let you build whatever it is merchants need, from simple customizations, all the way to complex user interfaces (UI) and business logic,” the company said. “This update includes checkout extensions, changes to Shopify Scripts, and a new payments platform.”

Shopify plans to elaborate on all of these announcements and more during a ‘town hall’ event on July 15.

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