SEO (search engine optimisation) for e-commerce websites is not optional in this day and age.
If you want to get in front of your customers, you need to be doing SEO of your e-commerce site regularly. Google is firmly lodged in your customers’ lives, for 89% of people it is their first port of call when making purchasing decisions. If you can’t see that, don’t expect your business to grow.
SEO in e-commerce is the way you will organically drive more traffic to your e-commerce website. Essentially, e-commerce SEO is a way to ensure that your product pages feature on the first page of the search engine’s results.
Of course you might not make the top ten results, you might feature on the pages further down, but the point is, the higher up the search results you are, the more traffic will come your way, meaning more buyers on your e-commerce website.
The importance of SEO in general
SEO is not just important to e-commerce websites, it is essential to any business wanting to grow.
SEO is the way in which you optimise your website for the search engines, it is the thing you do to improve your search engine rankings. SEO ranges from making your website user-friendly by loading quickly, to being mobile responsive, to posting great content that your audience want to consume.
With search engines working to help millions upon millions of people with their purchasing decisions daily, if you’re not on the first or second pages of the search results, these people aren’t coming to your e-commerce website.
The importance of SEO for e-commerce websites
SEO as you’ll know by now is key to getting your website ranked on the search engines. So why is it even more important to do SEO for e-commerce websites?
Basically, it doesn’t matter whether you are a one man band selling cookies from your kitchen or you are a multinational retailer with a footprint in every country around the world, if you want to be ranked, you need to do SEO.
3 reasons to apply search engine optimisation your e-commerce website
- SEO helps your customers find you, and with 89% of consumers using search engines to inform their purchasing decisions, if you don’t SEO your site, you won’t be in the running, because your customers simply won’t be able to see you. Meaning less sales and slower growth.
- SEO isn’t expensive. You can do it yourself (if you know what you’re doing) and done right, it can even be free, meaning no need for PPC ads when you’re organically attracting visitors to your site.
- SEO is long lasting. Unlike most forms of digital marketing whereby you see a spike when you throw money at the problem, SEO is the marathon race that keeps on giving. It doesn’t have an expiration date, there is no ‘stop paying, stop receiving visitors’ warning attached to it. In fact, the more you do and the longer you leave it, the more you will be rewarded for your SEO efforts.
So, just how do you do SEO for e-commerce websites?
9 ways to do SEO for e-commerce websites
- Use the right keywords. Keywords are what your customers and potential customers are typing into the search engines to find you. Use Ahrefs to help you figure out which keywords are the right ones for you, and use them. Even better, use long-tail keywords, the descriptions that searchers will type into the search engine, as these will really set you apart from your competition, and don’t forget to use the synonyms of your keywords as well. Use your keywords in your page titles, your meta descriptions, anywhere you think customers could look for you, you get the idea.
- Think about your anchor text. Anchor text for e-commerce websites is the text you want your customers to click on to take them to where they need to go on your site. Strategically using keywords here will only boost your SEO efforts, just remember not to use the same anchor text each time, or Google will penalise you.
- Alt text. The point of alt-text is so apparent here. If a picture paints a thousand words and is the reason why your customer will be salivating over what it is you’re selling, if for some reason that image doesn’t load, or your customer can’t see it properly, the alt-text needs to paint that picture for them. Never skip this step. Optimise all of your product images.
- Be creative with your copy. Don’t turn your customers off with dull, repetitive product descriptions; wow them with what you have, make them realise they can’t live without whatever it is you’re selling. Whip out your thesaurus and sell, sell, sell. Avoid the manufacturers descriptions, no one is interested in hearing about the spec of the product, we all want to know how this product is going to revolutionise our lives.
- Let the spiders in. By which we mean, make your URLs not just user friendly but search engine friendly too. If you want your e-commerce site to be ranked by Google, give them a helping hand and tell them what each page is. Don’t leave it up to the spiders to figure that one out on their own, it won’t work in your favour. Plus, the more efficient your URLs, the easier it will be for your customers to know what each page is about. But remember, whilst the spiders are important, they aren’t the ones with the spending power at the end of the day.
- Fix your broken links. Google rewards e-commerce websites who provide a top drawer UX to customers, so don’t present your users with a load of dead ends and Page 404 Not Found images. So not cool.
- Content marketing. 60% of consumers like to read relevant content from the brand they are buying from. 90% of customers find custom content useful. Give your customers what they want. By doing so, you will be improving your SEO efforts, and done in conjunction with your keyword research, you’ll be catching the eye of more customers organically.It’s important to understand the importance of content for ranking.
- Link building. Link building isn’t the shady black hat SEO practice that is going to get your blacklisted by Google. Link building is the process of getting reputable, relevant links from other websites in order to boost your authority and improve your search engine ranking.
- Measuring your SEO efforts. If you’ve invested heavily in your website, spent hours and £££ getting it just so, how do you know if you’re achieving e-commerce success if you’re not measuring how your SEO efforts are working? There are lots of different ways to measure your SEO efforts, the easiest is with KPIs, and you can track most of these via Google Analytics.
- Keyword ranking
- Bounce rates
- Leads and conversions
- Average session duration
So there you have it, 9 ways to boost SEO for e-commerce sites. If we’ve missed any off the list give us a shout in the comments, otherwise check out these other articles for more information on SEO best practices. If you are starting an eCommerce business, then here are 7 essential reasons your business startup needs SEO to get your eCommerce product selling off the ground.