How to Do Ecommerce SEO?
In this increasingly cutthroat digital world, search engine optimization is a vital, multi-faceted process of helping your business stand out amongst a plethora of competitors.
However, doing SEO for ecommerce is an extensive task, one that you have to deal with on top of the daily ins and outs of running your store itself.
It would help you immensely to leverage the expertise of an excellent ecommerce SEO company, so that you can hit the ground running with a solid strategy and pass the bulk of the legwork on to someone else. Overall, outsourcing your SEO services will save you energy, time, and money in the long run.
But, of course, before making that leap, it is important that you have an understanding of what SEO entails. This ultimate guide to SEO for ecommerce was written with the hands-on business owner in mind. Hiring an SEO company is an investment, so it will benefit you to know exactly where your money is going.
So, let’s get started!
What is Ecommerce SEO?
Ecommerce SEO is the method of making your website rank on top of the search engine results pages (SERPs), particularly Google, the most-used search engine worldwide. With time, the best practices from your search engine optimization efforts will help your business gain more visibility on Search and entice your target market to click on your web pages, thereby boosting your web traffic, and most importantly, increasing your conversion.
In general, there are four parts of SEO:
On-page SEO is the method of optimizing your individual website pages so that each page will rank higher in the search results for your target audience.
Generally, the method includes adding keywords for the search queries you want to rank for to the page’s HTML source code and content, such as:
- the URL
- title tag
- meta description
- written content
- image alternative text
- and others
Off-page SEO, on the other hand, refers to all the methods that you perform outside your website to help it rank well in the search results. Often, website owners like yourself think of off-page SEO as building links, but it’s actually much more than that.
Other than link building, the method also includes social media marketing, guest blogging, influencer marketing, and the likes.
Technical SEO involves all the server and technical website optimizations to help the search engines “spiders” crawl and index your web pages, thereby improving your organic ranking more effectively.
The process usually includes the following:
- ensuring that your website or online store can securely receive credit card payments,
- making your site mobile-friendly,
- boosting the load speed of each web page,
- removing duplicate content,
- creating a sitemap to help the search engines understand your ecommerce website better,
- adding structured data,
- using analytics tools, and
- generally fixing technical issues in your site.
Local SEO efforts are only applicable to ecommerce businesses that also have physical stores. This is a vital method that will help you make your local customers your raving fans. With local SEO, you can gain more foot traffic in your brick-and-mortar store as well as increase your web traffic in your website.
Best local SEO practices involve:
- claiming a business listing,
- submitting your business NAP (Name, Address, Phone number) to local directories online,
- including other relevant information for local customers, such as operating hours,
- ensuring that your physical location appears in local searches, especially in Google,
- managing online reviews for your physical store,
- curating a local-centric engagement on social media, and a lot more.
Successful local SEO efforts appear on top of Google’s featured results, and normally look like this:
Is SEO Important for Ecommerce?
The answer is a resounding YES.
SEO for ecommerce is one of the most important strategies you must invest in if you want your business to gain awareness and traction online, especially in search results.
Besides that, here are four top-most reasons why SEO is important for ecommerce websites:
SEO Boosts Your Ranking on the SERPs
The search engine results pages are the most competitive areas on the Internet.
With thousands of web pages targeting similar search terms as you are, it’s crucial that you have a well-planned strategy to beat out your competitors. A strong SEO strategy presents optimized content to the search engine “spiders”. These spiders crawl, index and rank your pages so they come out on top of your target audience’s search results.
This is where SEO proves vital to ecommerce sites—if your web pages are not ranking well, you are losing half the battle of selling your items online.
However, if your ranking improves at least one spot higher in the search results pages, your click-through rate is expected to increase up to 30.8%, especially if you are in the first half of the top results on page 1.
SEO Increases Click-Through Rates
Click-through rate (CTR) is the percentage of clicks you get from your target audience upon seeing your web pages in the search results.
This rate is primarily based on your ranking on the SERPs, but there are also plenty of factors that affect it. Some of these include a catchy title tag, compelling meta description, and rich snippets—which are all improved by SEO.
Typically, search engines like Google only show the top 10 search results for a query on page 1 of the SERPs. 71.33% of customers will be happy going through the results on page 1. This means that this is the number of buyers who will not bother looking at page 2 of the search engine results, putting you at a disadvantage if you’re not on the first page.
Now, since page 1 of the SERPs gets the lion’s share of customers’ attention, it is expected that the top positions get the most significant amount of clicks to their websites. For instance, the result in position 1 gets an average of 31.7% of click-throughs.
SEO Drives Web Traffic
Web traffic refers to the number of website visitors or customers who click on your site. Traffic is normally measured in “sessions,” and it is often the metric used to tell how effective you are with attracting an audience to your online store.
Basically, the higher you rank on the search results, and the more compelling your title tags and meta descriptions are, the more clicks you get on your website. This leads to more web traffic and thus more awareness raised for your brand.
SEO Improves Your Shop’s Conversion
We both know that ranking well on the search results means nothing if you are not converting well or making more sales.
Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is a different specialty from SEO, but they sure do complement each other! Conversion rate refers to the percentage of visitors to your website who are “converted” or convinced to do a desired action (such as buying your product or service).
CRO refers to the process of fixing up your website to promote conversion. This has more to do with designing and formatting for appeal, rather than ranking on search results.
Still, SEO can further improve the conversion rate of your website by optimizing your web page to ensure your site visitors that they are in the right place. This is specifically evident in your title tags and headings, site structure, clearly defined products, and compelling calls-to-action.
Speaking of formatting for appeal, SEO can also improve user experience in your online shop. SEO can ensure that your web pages are loading fast enough for customers to keep engaging. It’s also about making your website mobile-responsive so your audience can browse and shop from your online store no matter what device they are using.
Digital buyers are predicted to grow up to 2.14 billion by 2021. This data prediction from Statista.com was made pre-pandemic, and that number is expected to grow even bigger.
People are now purchasing more and more products online as restrictions on physical stores remain stringent around the world. No wonder Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon, is set to become a trillionaire by 2026.
While you may not be the next Jeff Bezos by tomorrow, you’ll still want to get ahead of your online store competitors! To get there faster, make sure that you get the best ecommerce SEO services for your site.