When you operate a business online, traffic numbers should always be front of mind. What e-commerce SEO boils down to, is the potential to gain high-quality traffic, with a higher likelihood of converting, at consistent and growing levels, without having to pay for advertising space. For the majority of business owners, this sounds like a goldmine.
Although this is a great opportunity, it does take some work, so we’ve laid out the basics to get you started in the world of e-commerce SEO and start boosting your traffic levels and conversions.
Basic e-commerce SEO
Using SEO to boost your e-commerce store visibility can increase the likelihood of your product pages being served to users during a Google search and in turn, increases the chances of attracting new customers to your site.
To get you started, we recommend choosing a URL which is simple, comprised using some of your keywords where possible and is easily interpreted by real people. Ideally, your URL should be below 60 characters and should try to exclude ‘stop’ words such as ‘a’ and ‘the’ where possible.
Ensuring, as a basic component, that your site features descriptive and unique content which features around your offering is crucial to building a site that ranks. In-depth descriptions and suitable product titles are a great start, but if you want to go further, pages that talk about your business and even a blog can earn your brownie points in terms of being found in the SERP’s.
Extra product and business information can prove really useful to your customers, offering further explanation, how-tos and how to care for items such as technology can all optimise the user experience and build trust with your brand.
Keyword research for e-commerce stores
In order to create a complete SEO strategy for e-commerce, you need to do some research into the keywords that your customers use to find services similar to yours. For an e-commerce site, your keyword research will differ from traditional keyword research in that it needs to demonstrate buying intent rather than just simply information.
Using both the autocomplete and bottom of the page ‘related’ searches, you can generally obtain some keyword ideas in relation to your product offering. For example, you can input a few basic keywords which relate to your product, for example, ‘raincoat for children’, you can then search for this and look at the autocomplete and related suggestions for further ideas to optimise your site for.
This also works on sites such as Amazon, which will offer you similar suggestions when you search for a keyword alongside product categories which you can utilise within your onsite content to further refine your offering.
Finally, you can use organic research software to pull keywords from your competitor’s websites, such as the SEMRush functionality, which allows you to view your competitor’s keywords and rankings. You can then explore the volume, competition and relevancy of each of the keywords and determine what words to focus on in line with your customer intent.
Site structure for e-commerce stores
As with every site, an organised site structure is important for the user experience and the capability for Google-bots to crawl your site. This isn’t always necessary as easy as it seems, with the regular changing of products and categories, a site structure can quickly become messy.
Keeping your site structure simplified from the beginning can keep you from having to regularly restructure. Scalable options are also paramount, in order for you to be able to accommodate the growth of your business and product offering as it increases.
The fewer clicks the better is a phrase you should remember when creating your user journey. Your user should be able to find what they are looking for with the minimum amount of clicks, so this could entail inplementing a search bar or creating a simplified menu structure which clearly categorises prdoucts for ease of discovery as well as being able to easily return to the home page of the top level of a menu.
With e-commerce sites, duplicate content can quickly become an issue, due to product descriptions and other factors. The easiest ways to handle this is to either noindex or canonicalise the pages which you don’t want Google to serve. By canonicalising a page, you are informing Google that a certain page s the ‘master’ version and this is the best version to serve during a search.
By doing this, you can reduce the risk of diluting your ranking capabilities, and minimise the likelihood of Google serving the ‘wrong’ page to your users. If you want to move beyond this, you should look to ensure each page on your site is bespoke and feature unique content. This will lessen the need to canonicalise and improve your search capability for each product page.
SEO support for e-commerce sites
If you’re not sure where to begin with your e-commerce SEO, then why not get in touch to find out how we can support you in building your website optimisation strategy. We’ll perform a deep dive into your industry, your site and your competitors to create bespoke recommendations and tailor a site and content plan to suit your requirements and give you the best chance of competing in the SERP’s.