Checking up on your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tactics is something that needs to be revisited regularly, just to make sure you’re doing everything you can to increase the likelihood of your site turning up in search results from Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo and other search engines. After all, your eCommerce website can look stunning and be full of brilliant products – but if no one can find it, you’ve gone to lot of effort for limited return.
Think of the quest for higher search rankings as a never-ending, giant competition. You don’t just have to do things well – you have to do them better than your competitors and keep on doing them!
Here’s our checklist of 5 SEO tips for eCommerce to help you make your online site visible to potential customers:
1. Make sure your website is user-friendly
Naturally, you want your website to be easy to use, attractive and functional, so it will provide users with a place where they can happily and easily browse and purchase your products. The good news in SEO terms is that this will greatly help your search rankings too. Well-structured websites will naturally perform better in searches.
For instance, if your site includes several landing pages, which may be specific to a brand or product type, you can organise and structure your product categories and subcategories in a logical way, and make good use of keywords and product descriptions.
If you provide a website that is pleasant to read and useful, not only will your customers visit your site repeatedly, they’ll stay there longer. They will also be far more likely to recommend it to others and to link to it, and links are extremely useful in increasing your search rankings.
Have easy-to-find products
Don’t bury your product pages deep within the link structure of your site. Firstly, your customers want to be able to find what you’re offering quickly and easily. Secondly, your product pages are more likely to appear higher in search listings if they are only one link away from your home page. By having a well-structured site, you’ll be keeping everybody happy!
Consider having a “flat architecture” structure for your online store
Organise your website in a way that it will require only a few clicks from your visitors to reach your product pages. This keeps your site neat and easy to navigate. Google will also understand your site a lot better, especially if you have several product pages.
Make your content user-friendly with good formatting and design
Google deems the time spent by your visitors as the main factor for assessing the relevance of your site’s content. To put it simply, the longer the visitor spent on your site, the better it is for you in terms of SEO.
Try using easy-to-read font type and sizes. As much as possible, use short paragraphs or at least use the right amount of spacing between your paragraphs. Lastly, use bold type strategically. Only highlight the terms/phrases that is really important.
2. Content, content … content!
The single most important factor for SEO is to have good quality content that is unique to your site and is kept updated and fresh. Poorly written content that has obviously been stuffed full of keywords is annoying and off-putting to users, and won’t help your rankings anyway.
Make sure you have thorough and useful product descriptions for every item. Even though it can be a time-consuming task to build your product database, especially if you have a lot of products, the time you spend on this will be well worthwhile. Having product description also help increase the “dwell time“, making your site more relevant.
Do not just copy and paste the manufacturer’s product descriptions onto your website – it needs to be original content if it is going to be search engine friendly. Remember to think about what keywords people might use to search for each product, and use these words in the description.
For more Pixc tips on writing great product descriptions, see our blog article: 5 Easy Ways to Write Product Descriptions for Your eCommerce Store.
Include product reviews
As well as being useful to your customers, product reviews are a great SEO tool. As you know, it’s important to have content that is unique to your site, so providing a field for users to add product reviews is a great way for your site to get new, original content that you haven’t had to generate yourself.
For Shopify users, here are a few product review apps available at the Shopify App Store:
3. Make use of blogs
Including a blog on your website is a great way to provide more SEO-friendly, original content. Use your blog to write about things relevant to the products and services that you provide, talk about what’s happening in your industry and write about other interesting and useful information for your readers.
Blogs offer you a chance to have some fun in the way you communicate with your customers too, and show them that your site’s not just all about selling products. They also allow you to include keywords that may not be suitable to include in other parts of your site. Shopify stores automatically have a blogging platform available.
Source: The Bluebella Blog
Source: BioLite Blog
4. Keywords are key
Always keep keywords in mind when you write content for your site, but don’t overuse them or your content will be repetitive and dull and you’ll lose your reader’s attention. When choosing keywords, think of those that are highly relevant to your products, brand or services.
Don’t choose keywords that are too broad or too competitive, or you won’t get noticed among the masses of other sites using the same words. Also, if the keywords you use are not specific enough, you may get people to look at your site but you’ll lose them when they realise your store doesn’t have the products they’re after or it was irrelevant to what they were actually looking for.
There’s a whole art to the process of choosing and using keywords well which KissMetrics covers in their SEO for eCommerce blog post.
5. Images are important too
Image searches are becoming increasingly popular for consumers when looking for products online. While search engines can read the content on your site, they can’t read an image. However, they will use the image’s file name and the ALT text to gather information about the contents.
Having descriptive ALT tags will help your product images show up in searches. Every image on your site should have the relevant ALT tags that incorporates important keywords. Don’t just stuff lots of keywords in here – keep in mind that the ALT tags are an important accessibility feature for people with visual impairments, so they need to always be useful and relevant.
There’s no one magic trick to make your site rank well and be highly visible in online search results. A multi-faceted approach is needed, and the points we’ve described here are just the tip of the SEO iceberg. There are plenty of resources available for more in-depth information on SEO issues, and here are a few you might want to check out:
For a broader look at driving traffic to your eCommerce site that incorporates tips on creating a blog, getting press attention, using social marketing and other promotional ideas, read our Pixc blog article: 7 Ways to Increase Traffic to Your Online Store (Plus One You Haven’t Thought About)