SEO is constantly changing, and we know how difficult it can be to try and keep up.
Having a good eCommerce SEO strategy means ongoing maintenance of both your website and your content, which can get challenging at times.
So to help you improve your eCommerce SEO, we’ve put together these 5 best practices that will increase your visibility on search engines, improve your consumers’ experiences, and boost your sales for good.
SEO best practices to power your business forward
1. Extensive keyword research is a must
Keyword research allows you to find trends and search terms that people enter on search engines and ensures you create the right type of content to improve your chances of being visible on search engine results page (SERPS).
If you’ve never thought about your eCommerce SEO keyword strategy before, here’s a step by step guide on how to do your keyword research properly:
List all important topics that are relevant to your business.
Find keywords that match those topics.
Research related search terms on search engines
Pick a bunch of short keywords as well as longer ones (e.g. ‘coffee cups’ vs. ‘coffee cups with lids’)
See how your competitors rank for those keywords
Use a keyword tool like Keyword Planner to cut down the list based on the average number of searches per keyword.
Your final list of keywords can be used to optimise your site’s pages. You’ll use them to make your titles, copy, and images more relevant and most of all, more visible on search engines. You’ll learn how to optimise your pages with keywords in the next section...
2. Your product pages need to be optimised
Improving your eCommerce SEO means ranking for your products pages too!
One of the best ways to do this if you have an eCommerce shop, is to optimise each and every product page. If you’re unsure where to start, we put together this list of ‘essentials’ in order for your product pages to be fully search engine optimised:
Don’t forget your images: One of the best and simplest ways to optimise your images is to add ‘alt’ tags (keywords that describe what is represented) to each photo. You can also name your images with keywords.
Use keywords in your titles: Use your product keywords in your product titles. If you’re trying to optimise your ‘suitcase’ product page, add this keyword to your page title. For example, Igloo Coolers uses keywords for the product, features, and design in their titles, which is likely to boost their SEO efforts:
Write quality content and include long-tail keywords in your copy: Long-tail keywords are phrases made of 3 or more keywords. When included in your copy, they can help drive a lot of traffic. One way to find popular long-tail keywords is to start typing your keyword into Google. Below, is an example of a long-tail keyword search for the keyword ‘coffee cups’:
Of course, if you followed step 1, you have a library of keywords you’d like to use.
Use relevant URLs: You might not think that a keyword-rich URL can make you jump to #1 on Google, but including keywords that are relevant to your eCommerce site or product can still help you considerably and is something that can easily be done.
3. Don’t underestimate the power of user experience
Great user experience is important to maintain customer satisfaction, but it’s also essential to good eCommerce SEO. Google is constantly trying to provide the best content out there to its users, and to ensure that your eCommerce site is optimised, you need to guarantee that it provides the best user experience.
We put this list together to help you create ever improving experiences for everyone, and improve your eCommerce SEO:
Remove all duplicate content: Duplicate content can severely affect your eCommerce SEO. Siteliner can help you identify your duplicate product pages and remove them.
Don’t forget the three-click rule: This is a web design rule suggesting that a user should be able to find any information they need within your website in no more than 3 clicks. This keeps your site simple and organised and helps Google read your website’s content better and understand its hierarchy. If it’s correctly done, this can improve your overall site’s ranking.
Improve your website speed: A slow load time will hurt you on Google, as loading speed has recently become a search ranking factor. The GooglePageSpeed tools can help you cut down your loading time, which will also improve your sales, as 47% of users expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less.
Make sure your mobile site is functional: A fully responsive website design is a must, especially in the eCommerce industry, where 67% of shoppers are more likely to make a purchase on a mobile-friendly website. And with Google moving more sites to mobile-first indexing, you better make sure yours is responsive if you want to retain customers whilst boosting your SEO rankings!
4. Interactive content is key
Regularly updated content is really important in order for you to continue to rank well in Google’s listings. Optimising your eCommerce SEO with fresh content can be challenging, but by adding more interactive content to your site, you’re making sure that your content is regularly, and most of all automatically, updated. Here’s a list of interactive content recommendations that will ensure your website’s content stays updated and therefore SEO-optimised.
Customer reviews can help you: If you don’t have any reviews, you might want to consider a review collection and management strategy. Why? Because reviews will boost your SEO whilst creating fresh, relevant content, and building trust with consumers.
Example of on-site Trustpilot customer reviews
Social media shares are great: This helps produce constant interactions on your site. Social proof, like social media shares, is used by Google to indicate the value of your pages.
Live chats help too: Having a live chat indicates that your eCommerce shop is ready to engage with consumers on a deeper level, which will help increase your customer interactions, and your sales too. Google can detect this, which will help boost your eCommerce SEO efforts.
LookFantastic offers a live chat on all pages
5. Good links (really) matter
Good content is important, we can all agree on this. But today, backlinks are still more valued by Google.
Some of you might know how challenging it is to get good quality links. No matter what your eCommerce shop sells, you can write great content that people will want to link to. There is no ‘boring’ industry. However, that doesn’t mean it’ll be easy.
It’s up to you to choose whether or not you will write about your products, or about other topics - related to your industry. The latter’s advantage is that you can probably write a lot more content, about a lot more different topics. A great brand using this technique is Red Bull:
The brand chooses not to write about their energy drinks. Instead, they write about things that their audience could be interested in: adventures, travels, challenges, sports, and more.
This will help you gain backlinks and social links, and ‘tell’ Google that your content is valuable enough to spark interest, which will improve your site’s overall ranking.
If you’re already doing something similar, here’s another technique to boost your backlinks...
Looking at your competitors’ backlinks can help you make a difference. By knowing where your competitors get their inbound links from, you can put a list of sites to approach for natural backlinks to your own content.
For example, if your eCommerce shop sells beauty products, why not find out what sites link to other online beauty stores? This should help you identify sites that are interested in your industry and the type of content you write, and therefore build your backlink strategy in order to improve your eCommerce SEO.
You can use Monitor Backlinks, which is a free tool, or Majestic if you wish to invest in a more in-depth SEO tool.
We’d like to remind you that we do not recommend using any Black Hat SEO techniques (like buying backlinks) to boost your eCommerce SEO as these could seriously harm your rankings and website.
These 5 SEO best practices should help you improve your eCommerce site’s overall ranking on search engines. We hope you found this article insightful, and we’d love to know what else helped your business boost its SEO.
Tell us what worked for you! Tweet us at @Trustpilot using #onTheBlog, or download a free copy of our Complete Guide to Reviews below.