eCommerce SEO: 7 Best Practices to Drive Organic Traffic to your Website

eCommerce brands need to optimize their online traffic. That’s a fool-proof way to make yourself noticed, consistently.

Mastering eCommerce SEO is vital for customers to find your brand online. Especially when the average internet user makes 1,200 searches per month, the visibility of your eCommerce store can make or break your business. What is the importance of SEO for eCommerce? Search is a massive opportunity for brand awareness and product discovery to potential customers.

Therefore, if you have a responsive eCommerce website with eye-catching images and content that explains your products simply and clearly, you are already off to a good start.

Often eCommerce businesses are not so lucky with SEO, and they see it as a daunting task in hand. Sure, it takes time. You will have to put in work to reap the rewards.

A good SEO strategy is extremely important in making your eCommerce brand visible to potential shoppers. Let’s give in.

The 7 eCommerce SEO best practices for your online store are:

1. eCommerce keyword research

This is the first step to increasing your brand’s visibility in an eCommerce SEO campaign. Keyword research is a means of figuring out what search terms people use to find your product.

Along with search volume, try to rank for keywords that reflect buyer intent from your prospective customers. When the user searches for long-tail keywords, it means that they are well past the browsing stage and are ready to make a decision.

Target long-tail keywords

Long-tail keywords (buyer’s intent) are longer and more specific phrases that visitors are likely to use when they are near a point-of-purchase.

For example, someone searching for a broad term such as women’s sweaters is at the top of the funnel, researching the options available. They may not be ready to buy yet. Also, a search with “women’s shoes” will be dominated by bigger brands such as Uniqlo and Asos.
Image 1

On the other hand, if you specialize in making sweaters from sustainable wool, targeting the long-tail keyword “sustainable wool sweaters” will give your eCommerce store a better chance to rank higher.

Targeting the right long-tail keywords enable you to get higher quality website visitors who are closer to making a purchase. These are people who have done some research and know exactly what they want. Detailed keywords will bring you high quality leads with a higher conversion rate.

Also, shorter keywords will be dominated by well-established brands. When competing with them, it is unlikely that you will get much visibility for the same keywords.

Tip – Paying to advertise long-tail high user intent keywords is cheaper as they have less competition than the shorter more popular keywords.

Top keyword tools

Use a keyword tool to determine the search volume and the long-tail keywords to focus on.

2. eCommerce site architecture for SEO

A fundamental part of a successful eCommerce SEO strategy is to optimize your website’s architecture. Simplify its structure for usability (for the website visitor) and crawlability (by search engine bots). Make the navigation of your eCommerce website user friendly and search engine friendly.

How? By organizing your eCommerce website such that it enables the visitors to make a limited number of clicks (3 or less) to reach a product page from the homepage.

When you do this, your user experience improves and the bounce rate reduces. Eliminate frustrating navigation on the website.

For the purpose of SEO, an optimized site structure makes it easier for search engines to crawl your website and preserve the link authority. This is an important factor that Google takes into account while ranking a website. The more a product page is away from the homepage, your link authority becomes diluted. Concentrated authority helps your eCommerce web pages rank higher.

Here’s the kind of website architecture you should avoid, as per Backlinko.

example of poor site architecture
Instead, have a scalable and flat website architecture. It should link to the top category pages, making it easy for the visitors to browse and search engines to crawl.
most of the links that point to ecommerce sites point to their homepage

Here’s an example from Adidas, who have done a great job at keeping their site architecture as flat as possible. They have different product categories and lines.

Adidas websites flat structure

They have categorised their products based on gender. They also allow you to click on more specific subcategories simply by hovering and clicking over it. For customers who look for different things, they have categorised by sports and brands. This is to narrow down their search from the homepage.

3. On-page SEO for eCommerce websites

After organizing your eCommerce web page architecture, address your on-page SEO. On-page SEO for eCommerce stores would mean improving the content and source code for each page so that they will rank higher in the SERPs.

The 5 main areas that you should optimize for eCommerce on-page SEO are:
1. Title tag and meta description – Google takes into consideration the title tag while deciding whether to display your product as a relevant result. While searching, this is the primary copy the readers see. Include the keyword phrase that you want the page to rank for, in the title tag.

An optimized title tag should be 55-60 characters long.

The meta description appears in the search results below the title tag. Although not a ranking factor, repeat your primary keyword in the copy making it clear to the searcher that your page is relevant to their query.

The length of your meta description should be around 160 characters.
Title tag and meta description for eCommerce websites
2. Headers (H1 to H6) – Google’s algorithm weighs the keywords in the H1 heading more heavily than the other ones on the page. The H1 headline explains what the page is about and should include a long-tail keyword.

H2, H3 and so on are subheadings that make your page visually more skimmable. Include the secondary keywords in the H tags.
3. On-page copy for category and product descriptions – Ensure that your webpage has valuable information for the shopper. Let their needs lead the way. Use the target keyword and its variation 3-5 times.

When you provide rich and detailed information to the readers, it is likely that your eCommerce website will rank higher in the search results.
4. Internal linking – An internal linking strategy guides the shoppers to where you want them to go. This could include related or popular recommendations, up-sells or cross-sells. Internal linking increases your keyword density. Remember that the anchor text you choose for internal links should be similar to the keyword goals for that page.

For example, if you are using “swimwear” to link to the swimwear page, Google understands what the page is about.

5. Optimize the URLs – Your eCommerce website URL showcases your brand. Keep it short so that it is easy to remember. Maintain their consistency.

6. Optimize the images – Insert alt text so that search engines can categorize your image correctly. Add long-tail keywords so that the search engines know what the product is about.

4. Technical SEO for eCommerce websites

There are broader technical terms you need to take care of, in addition to on-page SEO. Your website speed, mobile-friendliness, user-friendliness and link reliability all play a significant role in determining your ranking. To start with your eCommerce SEO audit, use a crawling tool such as Screaming Frog to check for thin content, broken links, or missing metadata/alt text.

While Shopify and other eCommerce platforms take care of these elements, you should be aware of them. The technical SEO elements for eCommerce websites are:

1. Sitemap – Consider the sitemap equivalent to a blueprint that shows Google the architecture of your eCommerce website.

2. Duplicate content – If your website has multiple pages that are almost the same, Google’s algorithm would be unsure of which ones to rank for the target keywords.

This happens when product descriptions are copy-pasted for similar items or if there is templated content repeating on every page.

3. Broken links – Find the broken links and remove them. They act as dead-ends for your customers and search engine crawlers that index your website.

4. Structured data – Also called schema markup, the structured data is an HTML markup on your page that enables Google to identify information that is displayed in the form of featured snippets.

For an eCommerce website, the schema considerations include the product review, ratings, price, product availability and video.

5. HTTPS – Use HTTPS to make sure your site is secure. URLs that begin with “HTTP” indicate they don’t encrypt any communication between the user and the website. This could be detrimental when payment details are involved, as in the case of an eCommerce business.

6. Indexed web pages – Another way to evaluate your technical SEO is to search for your business on Google using the “site:” operator and checking whether the number of your indexed web pages is fewer than the number of URLs in your site crawl report.

If the number is higher, it could indicate junk pages being categorised, and you should go ahead and noindex them.

Tip – Technical SEO requires constant considerations and maintenance that are deeper than this list. Hire an eCommerce SEO agency to monitor these SEO suggestions

5. Content marketing for eCommerce sites

Content marketing has consistently been shown to be useful. Not only do marketers and customers trust it more, but it is also one of the easiest ways to build up backlinks, rank for more keywords and build your domain authority.

Moreover, focusing on long-form blog posts that inform customers about what they are looking for is even more effective than just product/category pages. From ranking high on search engines to spread brand awareness, blogs are a handy asset.

There is a wealth of guidance out on the internet about how to optimise your content marketing, from choosing the right keywords to crafting top-notch headlines to repurposing your content for different platforms.

This article, for instance, will walk you through how to write a highly effective blog post. You can even take the help of content creators at Adaptify to build a blog bank for your eCommerce business. You won’t be disappointed!

6. Link building for eCommerce websites

Link building, in many ways, is as important as high-quality content. The more your website is cited in high-authority pages and blogs; the more your authority goes up, the more traffic you get and the higher your website ranking jumps.

You can reach out to influencers or “round-up” websites in your industry space and ask to be featured, either for a product you sell or for a post you have written. You can also do paid partnerships with bloggers and influencers in return for them to mention your eCommerce store on their page.

In addition, Ahrefs allows you to check out the backlinks on your competitors’ pages so that you can “copy” their links and push up your own authority.

Ahrefs content
If you have ever trouble in finding guest posting opportunities for your eCommerce business, use any these search strings on Google:

Your Keyword “guest post eCommerce”

Your Keyword “write for us eCommerce”

Your Keyword “contributing writer eCommerce”

Your Keyword “become an author eCommerce”
Write for us

When you identify the target portals, be sure to study their guidelines to draft a desirable article outline and custom-create each pitch to increase your pitch’s chance of getting accepted. Link building is a time-consuming exercise, but it not only boosts organic search rankings but also makes you appear as a thought leader in the industry!

7. Measuring SEO performance of eCommerce sites

SEO is not as simple as PPC. You cannot calculate the ROI immediately after a day’s ad spend. The results are subtle and appear over time. It is not always possible to correlate findings with the exact tactics you used. That is where using the right tool comes into play.

Google Analytics has a great SEO dashboard that lets you track metrics such as website traffic over time, which landing pages are getting the most traffic and which devices you are getting the most traffic from.
Look for slight increases in the website traffic and ranking. If one of your blog posts has jumped from page 5 to page 2, that shows you are doing something right, and you can expect it to rank #1 very soon. And if a specific page is not performing, re-examine the keywords, meta description, and responsiveness on priority. The problem won’t be challenging to find.

Keep an eye on what competitors are up to – they are your biggest teachers. If you find something (for example, a keyword) that has successfully worked for them, accordingly you can make tweaks to your site SEO and check back later for improvements in performance.

Over to you

For any eCommerce business, building an SEO strategy takes time but when executed properly and monitored consistently, it fetches organic search results. You can achieve higher CTRs and sales than through paid search.

So, what are you waiting for? Follow each of the recommendations shared in this article and let your eCommerce business always stay ahead of the SEO curve.

Find a trusted eCommerce SEO partner in Adaptify

Do you want to focus on running your online store without having to worry about your SEO campaign?

If yes, partner with an experienced eCommerce SEO agency to monitor and manage your campaigns. One of the best SEO companies in Australia, Adaptify is more than capable of boosting your eCommerce website’s traffic.

With our SEO services that are top of the line, we’ll help you optimize your product pages, page speed, blog content and more, to drive traffic to your eCommerce store.

Count on our experts to create an eCommerce strategy that takes your online business to new heights.

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