SEO for E-Commerce: Essential Steps By Andy Nguyen In previous years, E-Commerce was limited to giant companies like Amazon, Flipkart, eBay, etc. But, with the changing times, e-commerce is being adapted with small and medium industries as well. With user-friendly CMS platforms like Magento and Shopify, business owners find it very easy to make customized websites for increasing their business visibility and digital sales. But many business owners lack SEO knowledge, which makes them unsuccessful in driving network traffic and increasing sales of their e-commerce site. You may spend thousands on building an enticing e-commerce website, but what if it doesn’t attract visitors? Or network traffic? It’s simple; you miss on clicks, you miss on sales. For gaining clicks, your site needs to be visible amongst your visitors, and the best way to reach out to them is through an effective e-commerce SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategy. What is E-Commerce SEO? Let me commence the explanation of e-commerce SEO with an illustration. Example: When you search for “Skating shoes for females,” you instantly see your site topping in the search results by Google. Image: Print Screen SEO is the process that increases your website visibility to attract ample organic traffic, which in turn helps in gaining high ranks in Google. E-commerce SEO is a digital marketing process that ensures that your site pages and your products are visible in the Google search results, thus attracting network traffic and increasing ROI. Why Is SEO Important for E-Commerce? Are you aware that: Google uses over 200 ranking factors in its algorithms Approximately 60% of the pages which rank in the top 10 Google search results are just three years old The ranking factors like a secured site, mobile-friendliness, speedy and optimized content, etc., and many more factors contribute to gaining a good SEO rank. In a nutshell, businesses target their audiences with all strategies that excite them and make them feel your presence. As said before, SEO has a direct effect on your ROI since it optimizes the website for site visibility. SEO Gives: More Site Visibility = More Network Traffic = More ROI When your SEO ranking is high, you instantly attract a lot of organic traffic (visitors), who can be converted to customers, thus increasing ROI. Interesting SEO Statistics from BrightEdge Research: 68% of the online experiences start with a search engine Organic search attracts 53.3% of the website traffic SEO attracts 1000% more traffic as compared to organic social media If you have a robust online presence followed by an effective SEO strategy, you are indispensable. You need to ensure that the users searching for you tend to find you amongst the millions of other competitors, which is SEO’s motto. Since the traffic from organic search is very high, e-commerce SEO rules the globe. The obscurities of SEO may be intimidating initially, but you will get the desired results with consistency and proper strategy and planning. Let’s have a peep into step-wise e-commerce SEO for best results. How to do E-commerce SEO, Step-by-Step? 1. Technical SEO: The main motto of technical SEO is to enhance the user experience by providing informative results, giving them error-free navigation, and ensuring HTTPS security. Implement Schema Markup: Schema Markup (Structured data) is a coded language (semantic vocabulary) for the search engines placed on the website. These markups help the search engines know your site content since they provide clear information. This, in turn, helps in providing accurate information to the end-users. These markups index your website’s content and tell the search engines about it so that they can display rich snippets (specific results like ratings, reviews, contact, etc.) along with desired results below the page title. Image Source Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper is helpful to create a schema for your website. Ensure an HTTPS Secure Connection: Cyber-crime has risen by 600% due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and this has alerted many e-commerce owners to secure their websites with SSL (Secure Socket Layer) encryption security. The visible indicators which prove that SSL is installed on a website are HTTPS (HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure) in the address bar and a padlock in the URL. Apart from that, Google has already announced HTTPS as a ranking factor in SEO, and e-commerce industries must use SSL security as per Payment Card Industry (PCI). SSL certificate is a symbol of trust and authenticity. It encrypts browser-server communications, thus keeping it secured from hackers. Since sensitive information is punched in to make an online purchase, an SSL certificate on the website becomes essential. Image Source Grab one at Cheap SSL Shop, which offers all global brands like Comodo, GeoTrust, Thawte, etc., at discounted rates. Multiple options of SSL certificates like Domain Validation SSL, Wildcard SSL, Multi-Domain SSL, etc., are available, and you can choose the best one as per your requirement. Redirect 404 Pages: 404 redirects are those errors that occur when the user is trying to open a page, but the same is not found since it may be deleted from the website or the server. But, bookmarks or links to the page may still exist, which may display this error. Hence, when a browser requests a web page on the user’s demand, the server exhibits a 404 Page not found error. Image Source 404 redirects are not good for SEO, since it impacts user experience and affects conversion rates. It can negatively impact your SEO too. Fix the error to save your network traffic. Use Online Broken Link Checker Tool to check for broken/dead links and fix the same for a high SEO rank. 2. On-Page SEO for Category and Product Pages: The term “On-page SEO” means optimizing the website’s web pages to gain more traffic and SEO. After your website setup is over, it’s time to optimize the most powerful pages, i.e., category pages and product pages which help generate massive network traffic and sales. Ensure that your home page is connected with the majority of the category pages and product pages for better SEO rankings. Image Source The above image is a clear indication of the home page linked with top category pages and product pages. If a user finds a category page, they can instantly access the products, so a channel between the category pages and product pages and vice versa makes the website more appealing to users. Image Source Tips for effective On-Page SEO for Category and Product Pages: A strong and effective keyword strategy is pivotal in the search criteria. Example: Use primary keywords in the URL or the title tags, meta titles, etc., for category pages. For product pages, a targeted keyword, separated by a dash “-” works wonders. Optimization of titles and meta descriptions Marking of product pages with Schema markup Unique product content and meta descriptions Genuine testimonials, customer feedback, and reviews Usage of high-quality images and videos Minimizing page load time Audit of product pages for duplicate contents, bad links, or other technical issues Several tools like Keyword Planner and Keyword Tool Dominator help in searching for target keywords for your audience. 3. E-commerce Content Marketing: Though your category pages and product pages can drive massive traffic to your e-commerce site, you may be losing out on prodigious traffic if you are not using content marketing strategies. Apart from quality content, internal linking, appropriate keywords, site optimization, consistent results, etc., play an undeniably crucial role in content marketing. Your SEO is bound to fail if you are not a content marketer. Hence the integration of content marketing for SEO is essential to make your site visible to search engines. Content marketing is all about giving valuable, focused, and relevant content to your target audience to gain profits. It is a combination of content, images, videos, webinars, etc., which answers the audience’s questions in a refined way. The best content marketing always amazes the audience with your products and compels them to buy the same. High-quality content, blogs, etc., can help gain more backlinks, clicks and, in turn, increase the sovereignty of the website. There are many content marketing tools like HubSpot, WordPress, Google Analytics, etc., which can help you plan, arrange and execute your marketing strategy successfully. 4. E-commerce Link Building Link building is also one of the essentials for SEO. Links signal the search engines about your website’s quality and prove that they are worthy of visibility. Hence you may have noticed that sites with more backlinks have a strong SEO position since it increases the site authority. Research indicates that links are responsible for the success of SEO by 50%. Plan a strong link building strategy by considering: Origin of the link The target of the link Anchor text If you are planning your website’s long-term potentiality, opt for natural link building instead to earn links. Never opt for manipulative methods to buy links which may result in banning your website from search results. Image Source Backlinks help in product promotions and sales, thus increasing ROI. Many bloggers love your products so much that they tend to link your site in their content or on their website. Best Link Building Tricks: Analyze competitor backlinks by using SEMrush backlinks and plan your linking strategy Use discount offers and contests to build links and promoting them Offer freebies to bloggers and influencers and join hands for linking partnership to enrich SEO Incorporate video marketing strategies Join hands with retailers and other connected individuals as partners, cross-promote products and gain instant backlinks 5. Bonus: Local e-commerce SEO: This Local SEO permits you to punch in your address and contact details, thus making you popular in your area and city. This strategy makes your site more visible in local search results by the search engines. Busy routines and hectic schedules have made local SEO more popular and user-centric. The majority of the people search Google for “near me” options, thus making local SEO noticeable. It optimizes your online presence, which entices local searches of users. Mind-blowing Local SEO Statistics: Local searches comprise 30% of mobile searches (Think With Google) 76% of the people search for nearby locations (Think With Google) “Where to find + near me” mobile queries have risen substantially by 200% (2017-2019) (Think With Google) “Store open + near me” has grown by 250% (2017-2019) (Think With Google) Image Source Tips to Optimise Your Site for Local SEO: Optimize your Google My Business Page with accurate information, which will display your store in Google Maps Work to improve your local citations, which help improve local SEO Gain more reviews to build trust Execute local Schema for gaining rich snippets which are helpful in voice searches too 6. Measure your E-commerce SEO Success: The final destination of any business is a success. The same is applicable for e-commerce stores also. Measure your SEO success results to know your position amongst competitors and take appropriate steps to improve sales and ROI constantly. Tips for Measuring SEO Success: Use Google Analytics Tool for analyzing web traffic. Ensure that you track your organic search traffic regularly and try to uplift it Track your organic revenue Check your bounce rate Check your e-commerce conversion rate Check user engagement Keep tabs on primary and target keywords to ensure their profitability SEO performance analysis tools like SEMrush help in analyzing your SEO efforts and website performance. Final Words Before plunging straight to the results (increasing conversions), e-commerce owners need to focus on attracting people to their site for converting them to customers of their products. High ranking in SEO by Google is equivalent to having a physical store on a competitive and busy street. If you are in the right place at the right time with the right price, you are bound to succeed. SEO is the method to gain targeted network traffic, free of cost, for your e-commerce site. Though e-commerce SEO demands tremendous efforts, it’s worth it when you pin down the benefits you gain. A strategically planned e-commerce SEO campaign can increase your sales ratio by driving reliable traffic to your site. This, in turn, helps in business growth. If you follow the above tips, your e-commerce store is
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