Every minute people are searching for new products and services online. According to Statista, National Australian Bank (NAB), predicts that Australia’s eCommerce market value will be A$35.2 billion by 2021. The rise of eCommerce websites makes SEO for your eCommerce business very important. Your website needs to be highly optimised to match search queries on Google.
If you’re an eCommerce business and your website is not optimised for Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) value, it’s difficult for potential customers to find you.
In this post, we break down how to get your eCommerce website to rank in the top search results on Google.
What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) seems to be a buzzword in the online space. But what is it and why is it important? SEO is a big deal for eCommerce websites where search can lead to discovery of your brand and products, and ultimately, sales. Basically, SEO involves making improvements to your website so that search engines can rank your site as the best option for their users to ensure your site appears higher in the list of search results.
For example, I’m currently looking for a new water bottle. So when I enter “water bottle” in Google, the sites that appear at the top of the page have been assessed by Google as the most relevant to my search query and are likely to deliver a good experience. Search engines know that I’m most likely to click on the top results. In fact, research shows that 71% of users click on the first page of Google search results. Search engines use algorithms to asses which sites should appear at the top of the list based on a few factors which we will cover in this post.
Competition across the internet for the top search result is fierce. That’s why SEO is so important. It’s generally an ongoing process and involves a number of factors. Many businesses end up getting help from SEO or digital marketing agencies, or hire someone in-house to help.
1. Site structure is the foundation of eCommerce SEO
The first thing we want to consider is the architecture of your website. You want to make sure it’s easy for both users and for search engines to understand how things are laid out. The general rule of thumb is to make sure it takes three clicks or less for a potential customer to get from your homepage to where they want to be. This can be a particular product page, checkout or contact form.
The architecture of your eCommerce site is crucial to your SEO strategy. Without a user-friendly structure, your potential customers can be easily overwhelmed or confused. If it’s difficult to navigate through your site, your users will abandon your site.
Make sure your website structure is scalable. This means that you can add more categories and subcategories as your store grows. For example, let’s say right now, you have the subcategories ‘Stainless steel water bottles’ and ‘BPA free water bottles’, but you want to add one that says ‘Personalised water bottles.’ Even though there’s only one product, you want subcategories to keep your site structure consistent. It allows you the flexibility to add additional product offerings later on while maintaining a clear site structure.
2. Keyword research is KEY
Google’s algorithm helps people find websites that are as closely related to what they are looking for. When your website is properly optimised for SEO value, Google will deem it super useful. It will boost your ranking on Google so you can appear at the top of search results.
When conducting keyword research, each page on your website must be related to a specific search term you want your site to be known for. These are called keywords.
Finding the right keyword is important. If you don’t have a list of keywords you want to rank for, HubSpot has a helpful guide on how to find search terms that are right for your business.
Use the keyword in your Title
Once you have your list of relevant keywords, embedd them into your website title tags, meta descriptions, and URLs. Google will use this information to understand what your website is all about. Together, these SEO practices will help your target audience find your eCommerce website.
For example, if I’m searching for ‘water bottles’, your website URL and page title should mention ‘water bottles’ so Google can easily pick it up in my search. Don’t name your URL by a product ID or barcode number. The webpage URL should use the keyword. If your URL looks like this: www.quenchmythirst.com/18328328710 Google won’t be able to identify this in a search query for water bottles.
To use the keyword in your website title, embedd it using specific HTML code. The title will appear in a Google search like this:
When searching for ‘water bottles’ users are most likely to click on the first few search results Google populates at the top of the page. Second page results? Most of us don’t even get that far if we find what we’re looking for on the first page.
Don’t forget to include these keywords into your meta tags, meta descriptions and alt-text for images on your website. The more you label your pages with the correct keywords, the easier it will be for Google to pick up your site to a relevant search query.
If you don’t have access to edit these fields yourself, get your website technical expert to set this up for you with your most relevant keywords.
3. Be present on social media
Social media has become an integral part of marketing. Your social media channels for your eCommerce business can boost your sales. If you’re not leveraging social media, you’re missing out on the billions of potential customers you could be reaching.
A strong social media presence is essential to improve SEO on your eCommerce website.
If you’re not quite sure what the link is between SEO and social media, you’re probably overthinking it.
It’s quite simple.
If you have social media integrations associated with your product pages and homepages, you’re enabling your audience to share your content. This generates more traffic to your website and again, helps you rank higher on Google. If your content speaks to your target audience, they will be more likely to share it with their followers. This can boost your credibility and visibility on Google. When you increase engagement with your audience, your SEO value increases and it boosts your ‘rank’ across search engines.
4. Use SEO tools that make it easy to optimise your eCommerce website
If you’re already feeling overwhelmed by the amount of SEO work you have to do to optimise your eCommerce website don’t worry- there’s a tool for that.
SEO optimisation for your eCommerce website is an ongoing process but there are a lot of free tools out there that can help you.
If your website is setup on WordPress, you can use the plugin YoastSEO. Yoast finds the right keywords for your users and is easily installed via WordPress. It can give you a breakdown of where to improve and helpful tips on how to do so. For example, if your new blog post isn’t optimised well for SEO value, Yoast will provide analysis results with helpful feedback and tips to fix it.
Another key free tools that can help with your SEO optimisation is Google Analytics. Google Analytics has in-depth capabilities to show you what’s performing well on your eCommerce website and where to improve. It uses both visual and analytical data to create insights that can help you optimise your SEO for your eCommerce website. With Google Analytics, you can implement eCommerce tracking to record purchases and pinpoint website traffic to multiple sources. I’m sure you have a Google Analytics setup but it’s worthwhile to check if you are maximizing its capabilities.
5. Write a blog to boost SEO for your eCommerce website
If you have an eCommerce website you may not be concerned with starting a blog. However, a blog can help you leverage the keywords you’ve identified throughout your website and help to boost your rank on Google.
Once you have identified the right keywords for your website and products, creating a blog can help keep your customers and advocates coming back for more. Building a website that also attracts potential customers to your blog is a great way to engage with your audience before they make a purchase. Blog posts help boost SEO value for your eCommerce websites because it can include relevant product keywords. All of this helps to build a more personal relationship with your audiences, help boost your online traffic and sales!
These 5 tips are sure to improve SEO for your eCommerce website. If you’re already using these tips and want to learn more, check out our eCommerce resources and services.