The Only Ecommerce SEO Guide You’ll Ever Need

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Ecommerce SEO Guide

What is the foothold of the ecommerce business you just set up? Do you have a checklist? A strong strategy? Ever thought what is going to drive your sales once you set up your shop?

Like every businessman out there, you have internet on your mind, right?

If your business is not on the Internet, it will run out of business”, for the ones who took this statement a bit too seriously, SEO has probably pervaded your tech savvy minds already.

In a recent survey, Australia was termed as home to the second largest online population in the Asia-Pacific region. (Source)

Growth in Australian ecommerce since past 4 years can be narrowed down to following bar graph by a source:

Growth in ecommerce sales in Australia

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That is one tremendous surge.

You shell out huge bucks to generate leads for your business through SEO, social media, ad campaigns and what not. Yet, all the revenue you generate is either from your loyal customers or through word of mouth marketing.

Why? What about the class of new customers?

The changing consumer behaviour has shown that consumers today go for the best deals, rather than blindly sticking to their archaic dealers.

The Changing Consumer Behaviour

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True that every small time business today is capable of advertising their business online with ecommerce sites, but it’s important to understand that ecommerce SEO is a slightly different chapter. And, you’d be startled at how much money you’re losing by doing your ecommerce SEO wrong.

Here is a dummies’ guide to give you an insight of ecommerce SEO:

 

What is ecommerce SEO?

Ecommerce Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a set of tactical and strategic efforts to maximise a business website placement in search engine results with intent to increase the sales.

SEO depends on (among other factors): On-page HTML structure, website architecture, page content and keyword usage, inbound links, and a domain’s collective content.

Whereas ecommerce SEO has certain aspects that are specifically taken care of to gain a competitive edge in the business.

70% of the links users tend to click on are organic (Source).

So, you are missing out on so much if you are overlooking SEO for your business website. If you want to increase the volume of your sales and overall profit, this marketing strategy can boost your business and take it to a whole new level. Let’s see how:

 

1. Building Brand Identity – There are more than 1 billion websites on the internet today (Source). And most of them are either ecommerce websites or business websites that sit on their sweet spot to drive sales and build brand identity.

Have your website rank well

 Source

So having your website to rank well and be noticed by your customers, not just becomes lengthy, but a cumbersome process here. Ecommerce SEO campaigns help you stand out from your competitors and can help you achieve top rankings so that your brand stays visible and right at your customer’s service.

2. Obtaining Consumer Loyalty – Studies have shown that customers are more inclined to remain loyal to the websites they are referred to from search engines. This implies that maximising on your SEO will get you your valuable, loyal customers that will help your business achieve success.

Loyal customers help your business achieve success

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3. Generating Targeted Traffic – A well-run ecommerce SEO lets you generate targeted traffic for your website.Traffic driven to your site from search engines will want your website to be able to meet their needs. A targeted traffic implies that consumer is specifically looking for a product at its best price and if your business provides it, you’ve got your lead.

Ecommerce SEO lets you Generate Targeted Traffic

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Adopting a Healthy Approach to SEO

Apart from this, your ecommerce SEO can be divided into two broad sections, On Page and Off Page. The following section talks in detail about both:

On Page Optimisation

It is more like a self-development program, introspecting, learning, practising and becoming a better version of yourself.

Same way On-page optimisation comprises all of the activities you perform over your web pages to improve your page rank and visibility on search engine result pages (SERPs).

On-page optimisation is a gambit for every internet marketer, and you can mould it to generate the best results. What else can be better than that?

 

Home Page SEO

First thing first. If you have, say an ecommerce website selling electronics, what is the first thing that will compel your users to check out your products?

Your Homepage!

An attractive homepage works as a guiding factor for the consumers. It gets too much of cynosure as it’s not always the part of the primary site. Just an entry point. It is something which is viewed the most so it requires improvement to get the right messages across and set the visitor’s vision straight.

Here is a snapshot that depicts a template of how your ecommerce website homepage should look like:

How your ecommerce website page should look like

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Moreover, it shouldn’t look like a sleazy marketing gateway with a desperate attempt to sell.

What are some of the key issues to review for your home page before you can get to the bigger picture?

It should:

Key issues to review for home page

Here are some beautiful, creative designs for homepage by Shopify, you can refer to before you get your homepage designed.

Product Page SEO

Product pages are the crux of your marketing, so you should be focusing a lot of your stamina optimising them. Here are the particular qualities you want to work over.

Product Name

The title of your merchandise is vital. In many cases, it’s also included in the SEO title and address of your product page. It is the reason you should think to add a general search term or keyword expression to your goods.

For instance, if you are selling t-shirts, make sure to put t-shirt or tee in the product title. That way, the title and the URL gets keyword optimised.

As a bonus, when people share or like your product on social media channels, that keyword will be in the name of the shared post. Check out the snapshot below:

The title and URL should be optimised

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Product Specification

The meta description usually summarises the page’s content and is a 160 characters snippet tag of HTML. They are contributing factor in determining the rank of the page. Google results the page if the phrase searched for is usually present in the meta description. Your social media also uses it while you share your product at different places, so that makes it a fundamental concept of SEO.

Meta description, a fundamental concept of SEO

To find out how to optimise your meta descriptions for SEO check out this blog by kissmetrics.

Image Optimisation

Images are an essential component of your product page. Think from the consumer’s perspective. Are they more likely to buy a product from a place that represents the product from maximum angles possible, from a site that has no picture at all, or from one that has a tiny and faint picture?

The images are not only relevant to your customers but also necessary for search optimisation.

To accurately optimise your pictures for search, begin with the filename. Avoid putting images named IMG 0010.jpg in your product pages. Rather, use the product name and primary keyword such as Blue-lace-back-chic-dress.jpg. It will be more clear with the snapshot inserted below:

Images are Necessary for Optimisation

Amazon

If you have different opinions of your product, incorporate the keywords that people will use when searching for the images in search.

Plus, when you attach your pictures to your product page, insert the product name and keyword in the ALT text (the text that appears when the image doesn’t load) for the picture.

Insert Product Name and Keyword in the Alternate Text

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Check out this blog on how to optimise your title and alt text of the image.

Some of the technical aspects that need to be taken care of include:

  • Optimisation of Google Search Console Settings. Check an elaborated guide to the same here.
  • XML Sitemap optimisation. Check out how to leverage the power of sitemap optimisation here.
  • Meta Descriptions. Find more about meta description here.
  • Correct settings for robots.txt. Check out this robot.txt tutorial have a clearer picture of the same.
  • Pagespeed optimisations
  • Search Engine Friendly URLS and proper permalink structure.

Below is a snapshot to support the statement above:

Search Engine Friendly URL and Proper Permalink Structure

Source 

Let’s look at some more fundamental derivatives under On Page SEO for your website:

Site Architecture

As you are combining products and categories to your store, keep in mind that site architecture has a meaningful role in search optimisation. Largely, you want to have a distinct hierarchy of exploration, from your homepage to product classes to the products placed within them.

Let’s make it clearer with the flowchart:

Flowchart of Site Architecture

Search engine bots will find your pages and goods on your website by a clear internal linking construction that is simple to follow — and not too far.

The rule of thumb for search engines and visitors is to hold everything inside three clicks. So remember how people come to your homepage. They should only have to make a most of three steps to reach to the product on your website.

Search engine bots will find your pages and goods on your website by a clear internal linking construction that is simple to follow — and not too far.

The rule of thumb for search engines and visitors is to hold everything inside three clicks. So remember how people come to your homepage. They should only have to make a most of three steps to reach to the product on your website.

Keyword Optimisation

Keyword Optimisation

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The first step to provide the search engines the accurate data is to understand what people need and what are they are looking for and to provide them content using the language they can understand.

Begin with seed keywords. They describe your niche and assist you in identifying your competitors. For example, you are selling Men’s leather jacket, the very first keywords that come to your mind are:

  • Men’s leather jackets
  • Jackets for men
  • Leather jackets

Next, Analyse what you are already ranking for and what your competitors are ranking for, then come up with a list of keywords with a keyword planner that will be the list of all the relevant keywords that you require.

The following is a snapshot of Google Keyword Planner.

Google Keyword Planner

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Here is the list of other popular keyword tools:

SEMRUSH  (15 days trial period)

LongTailPro

SpyFU

WordTracker

Internal Linking

Internal linking serves two purposes from the perspective of search engine optimisation.

Internal links foster the process by which search engines find pages on a website.

Internal links also contribute to the ranking of your website by letting Google analyse the quality and the number of links to a page. Google also says that “the number of internal links going to a page is a signal to search engines regarding the relative quality of that page.”

Let’s see how it looks like on your website:

How Internal Linking Looks Like On Your Website

 

From the SEO perspective, internal links help to distribute “link juice” across a website. Link juice is a casual term used within the context of SEO to describe passing equity or “ranking power” from one page to the next.

Google also offers a free Internal Links Report tool which can be used to see a list of a website’s internal links. It explains that “If an important page does not appear in this list, or if a less important page has a relatively large number of internal links, you should consider reviewing your internal link structure.

Social Media Integration

Social media is a great way to leverage the power of social media to increase awareness of your marketing endeavours. Both social media and your website work together in collaboration to promote your brand, online.

Social Media Presence of your WebsiteA recent survey shows there are presently 17 million active Australians on Facebook. Therefore approximately 70% of the total Australian population is an active Facebook user. (Source)

Power of Social Media to Increase Awareness

Pinterest

And 73% of them prefer to go to a website using their social login. (Source)

That being a huge number, is a perfect avowal to state that nothing more can be as powerful as social media today to market your product.

Off Page Optimisation

Why do we set up our social profiles?

To be deceptively famous? Yeah maybe, some do.

But for those who realise the analytical capability of this powerful asset, there is a more appropriate and wiser answer. That is, to build an extensive network of people in your domain with a legit motive to expand your business, or in simple words, to connect and let connect.

Off page optimisation is similar to publicising your presence at various platforms, at different domains and to different networks, letting people know you exist, wherefrom people can redirect to you.

Off-page Ecommerce OptimisationIn other words, off-page ecommerce optimisation is an outbound endeavour to drive traffic to your website. It aims at accumulating positive signals and communications for your brand, with the hope of those factors remaining a net positive.

How does it benefit your business anyway?

At the end of the day, you want business from all ends. How does off page optimisation do that?

Off-page gets you brand mentions, positive reviews, and high-quality link building. It brings you not only the business you want but also the brand reputation you’ve been yearning for.  

So while it’s necessary to consider links when making off-page SEO a priority, it’s also vital that you view them in context (relevant but not singularly so) and give priority to the host of factors that we are going to discuss below:

Competitor Analysis

If you have no thought of how to begin on-site optimisation for your ecommerce site, then your competitors are your safest bet.

You can start by using the Moz browser extension to see the SEO title and description your competitors use in their title tags.

You can also apply tools like SEMrush to see what keywords your competitors are ranking for on organic as well as paid search.

Link Building

Parallel to content, you wish to concentrate on earning quality inbound links when it comes to link building. Low-quality backlinks will not only be penalised by Google but also be despised by your visitors, ultimately doing no good to your business.

Use Moz’s toolbar to instantly see the authority level of any domain before getting backlinks from any site.

You usually can tell a low-quality site just by glancing at it. These sites often are packed with ads containing keyword stuffed low-quality content.

Instead, focus on gaining links from good, high authority sites by giving something of value to them in exchange for a link. Here is a list of tools that help you in checking the inbound links to your website:

You can do this by providing a high-quality guest post, presenting a quote for a story, co-authoring a research, having together an excellent infographic, and so on.

Gain Links by Providing Something Valuable in Exchange

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Leveraging the most Powerful On Page Asset Blogging

It has been seen that companies who adopt blogging receive 97% increase in links to their website. (Source)

The way to rank for certain relevant keywords is through a blog. With a blog, you can optimise each post for a keyword that you aren’t aiming with the inner pages of your site.

As by your website pages, your blog posts require being high quality and reader-friendly. You must hire an experienced, professional writer who not only appreciates your industry yet also has a fundamental knowledge of SEO.

When your posts are keyword stuffed or low quality, your customers will not go through them, and they definitely won’t share them. Also, as you know, Google will penalise you for keyword stuffing, and you won’t earn any social signal points either.

This snapshot will make the picture clearer:

Customers Will Not Go Through Low Quality Posts

Source

While you’re putting together this type of content marketing or email campaign, remember when it comes to writing any web content, always be thinking about quality!

Conclusion

So, ecommerce SEO is like your fortune bag that doesn’t ask for anything in return.

The results of Search Engine Optimisation are long lasting until one of your competitors start performing better, which means that it is not like an advertisement which stops showing when you stop paying.

So you just need certain maintenance to keep your website in top ranking. Make sure you address all the aspects mentioned above correctly before you seek actual results.

Have a great time winning goodwill for your business!

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