When it comes to creating a website and surviving the ever inflating competition, SEO is something that needs to be taken care of well enough. A good SEO ensures that your website is found and its content reaches the people searching for it. Be it a business website or a portfolio or an ecommerce one, SEO is must. In this article, we will talk about SEO for ecommerce website and the simple things you can take care of for ranking well and staying on the top. Let’s start with the very basic question
What is the importance of SEO for Ecommerce websites?
SEO for ecommerce is as important as SEO for any other website. Even more so! Because being found is what it takes for an ecommerce website to be successful and “being found” is what SEO is all about. However, you need to be more careful with the SEO for your ecommerce website. Because eshops consists of many product with a product page related to each of them. For an ecommerce website and its abundant content, each page needs to crawled, ranked and appear when the users search for it.
Apart from this, ecommerce is a field with intense competition. I won’t say that there’s any less competition in the other fields but for ecommerce, there are a number of websites providing number of similar products. So the first challenge is to be found. You need to make sure that when a user searches for a product that you provide, your website is listed there. When you finally make it there, the second challenge is to make your visitors stay. Because If you fail to impress your visitors, they won’t hesitate for a moment before leaving as there are many options for them out there. So, SEO and well organized and relevant content will help you rank well with the search engine, keep your visitor on your site and inspire him to return for future.
Let the choice of Ecommerce platform, be your smartest decision
The very first thing that affects the visibility and usability of your ecommerce website is the website builder you choose. So, when you are about to start an online shop and deciding the platform, you need to be extra careful. Before you go for any platform, properly check your requirements with the features that the platforms comes with. You need to make sure that the platform and the package you choose do not limit the SEO features and settings. To elaborate it let us take an example. You choose the basic free package of an ecommerce platform and it won’t let you change the URLs for you category page(Don’t panic, Just an example) and then you choose some advanced package that comes with multiple SEO options.
SEO is often thought of as something that you do while creating the content. But that’s not true. You need to keep in mind the SEO requirements right from the starting.
Start with keyword research and competitive analysis
Keyword research is an analysis to find out the keyword that you want to rank for. In simpler words, you are finding out a keyword/phrase, that you want to be found for, when the users search it. For instance – I have created a page for a Joomla photography template and I want to be found when someone enters “Joomla photography template”. However, this decision needs many conditions and I cannot directly go for “Joomla photography template”. These considerations are just what Keyword search is about.
Keyword research includes the following
- Keyword search volume – Before you define your keyword, make sure that people actually use that keyword. There are tools that will show approximate search volume for a keyword. So prepare a list of keywords relevant to your project and find out what phrases and keywords are popular
- Keyword Competitiveness – There are certain tools that will calculate the keyword competitiveness for your keywords. You should opt for the keyword that has a high search volume and lower keyword competitiveness.
- Alternative keywords – Consider what are the alternative keywords that you can use and have more chances of ranking. Consider the synonyms, long tail keywords, and phrases that mean the same.
However, there are many such factors that you need to take care and keyword research is a very big topic to learn.
There are so many tools available for the keyword research and competitive analysis. These tools will do all the work for you. They are designed to calculate the keyword competitiveness, ranks of the websites, site authority, back links of a website, etc. So, all you need to do is analyse the data provided by such tools and find the keyword that is best for you to rank.
This comprehensive guide from backlinko will surely help you with your keyword research.
Unique product description for each products – avoid redundancy
Try to keep your product description unique for each products. Avoid using repetitive and redundant content for similar kind of products. Copying the content is something you should completely refrain if you want to rank well. Try to represent your products using unique content description and images. Both the users and the search engines like fresh meaningful content that is not copied.
Everyone likes HQ and optimised images with proper alt tag
A picture is worth a thousand words and no one can deny that! We should take this as an advantage for an ecommerce website. Images play an important role in convincing your visitors to buy your products. So always use high quality image/videos to represent your products. Add multiple images of your product (images from different angles, color variants, etc).
You can check if your ecommerce platform has some add-on or plugin that automatically optimizes the images and even applies the alt tag. You can use this tools that will automatically optimize your images.
Content Optimisation and marketing – Surely works!
Marketing your website on the right platforms and creating unique and useful content can also help the SEO of your website. Marketing and reference link will not only help you gain direct traffic and increase revenue but also help you build reputation of your website. A good inflow of traffic and other reputed websites referring you helps!
Use blogs and content marketing
Content marketing is a newer technique to win the customers. The concept is simple, you provide the users with meaningful, and concept oriented content that also helps you rank better for Search engines. This technique helps you win keyword leads and make your website more relevant.
Keep a watch on your own traffic
Studying the market and competition are useful to keep yourself updated with what is going on in your business domain. But then, you also need to keep a check on yourself. There’s a benefit of being your own critic. So, keep track of the changes you make and the effect it has.
Proper internal linking
The stage one of your venture, is to rank well and to bring the customers to your website. The stage 2, is to make them stay. Once the customer lands on your website, you need to make sure that he/she is satisfied with what you provide. A proper internal linking will help you with the stage 2 which will also help stage 1. Therefore, properly distribute the internal links in a natural way so that the user experience is enhanced. Proper internal linking plays an important role in the ultimate ranking of your website.
I recommend you to refer this article from SEOmoz for internal linking.
Search engines prefer Security too
The search engines aim to provide the users with original, unique and secure results. Providing your users with a secure website ensures that visitors that their interaction with the website is going to be riskfree. For an ecommerce website, this security becomes a major necessity because of the financial transactions. People are only going to trust you with their personal as well as card details when you assure them that their details will be guarded by you and not misused.
Some of the security tips here are – Use SSL and go for https, maintain your credibility and ensure good reputation for security.
User generated content through reviews
One of the things Search engines look for is fresh, non-redundant and original content. And the best source of it is the User generated content. And the best sources of UGC is reviews and comments. Keep your website and product pages open for comments. Comments and reviews will automatically keep your website updated with new and unique content. Even the visitors will like to hear the opinions of others on your products. Positive or negative, comments really helps. Positive comments will help you sell more while negative comment will throw a light on what kind of products you don’t want and where you should improve yourself.
How navigation and URLs help your SEO
Make it easy for your users to navigate through you website and find the products easily. This is good for both – for the real users as well as the search engines.
Properly categorize and sub-categorize the products. Hierarchical classification of the categories and a systematic distribution of products into those categories helps the users find their product easily . Be careful not to create too deep links. Take your time to properly plan and design the navigation of your website. It surely helps the growth, one way or the other..
The next thing you want to be careful about is – the urls. The urls play an important role in the SEO. Firstly, it is easier for the users to read and understand. Secondly, they are easy for search engine to index. So ultimately, a url that is easy to read and relevant to the content of your webpage is beneficial in both ways. For example: Have a look at this URL. It appropriately depicts the categorization and is readable.
Now, find the competitive keywords you have missed
In order to get ahead of the competition, you will need to know the competition first. So spare some time for the analysis of what the competition is doing and how? Also classify the keywords that you’ve already ranked and the ones you want to rank for. Start focusing on the new keywords relevant to your business and that your competitors are ranking for already.
Use the available tools
For any platform you choose for your ecommerce website, there will be one or more SEO tools available. For instance, if you go for WordPress and WooCommerce, you have many plugins like the All in one SEO, Yoast SEO, etc. This plugins helps you improve the SEO of the page content and the website as well. Similarly, each and every ecommerce platform provides SEO aid in one form or the other. Sometimes they’re in form of setting options at the background and sometimes in form of additional plugins or addons.
To start your ecommerce website and keep it going, you will have to make constant efforts and improvements. And SEO of your website is one of the factors that you will need to work on continuously to survive the competition. A one time optimization won’t work, you will have to constantly monitor the market, competition and make the sustainable changes.
We’d love to hear from you. Tell us what you think about ecommerce and SEO and help us make this article more resourceful for our users. You can add your SEO tips and tricks by commenting below.