SEO for ecommerce websites
Nowadays when a huge amount of purchases are made online, gaining new customers for a website is a top priority. But it’s almost impossible thing to do when your resource is not being found by search engines which is a good reason to think about SEO for ecommerce websites.
Currently, the successful online businesses are using new approaches to target consumers online instead of traditional marketing trends. Online business owners apply various website optimization strategies to succeed. This is what contributes to brand recognition and makes a website stand out among numerous competitors. And it really works according to numerous studies. So, investing in a good search engine optimization strategy is totally worth it because the efforts will pay off.
Ecommerce search engine optimization is more difficult than a promotion of a small corporate portal or visiting-card website and at the same time, it has some peculiarities. The difficulty is primarily caused by the fact that an online store contains much more various filtration pages, the intersection of filters, category and product pages.
Optimizing a website is a very difficult and time-consuming process because the total number of its web-pages may be numbered in the dozens and hundreds of pages. In this situation the possibility of duplicates and internal optimization errors emergence is increasing which is a potential risk for search engine sanctions.
Ecommerce SEO strategy
If you are planning to organize an effective ecommerce SEO strategy than you should:
- analyze the website for search engine sanctions – in case of identifying such problems it’s necessary to remove the filters used. If you fail to do so then all further actions will be useless.
- analyze the promotion strategy of competitors – such actions are relevant in organizing online store promotion from scratch as well as during long-term optimization. The data received through the analysis will help:
- investigate the link profile of the competitors and determine suitable methods for growing quality link mass;
- study the semantic core (remove untargeted keys) and website structure of the competitors;
- define contextual advertisement expenses;
- determine which traffic resources are emphasized. Studying competitors allows establishing the most effective website promotion strategy.
- compose a semantic core – composing a semantic core may be based on studying competitors’ websites. However, it’s important to choose only targeted search requests and categorize them into separate semantic groups which will be further intended for various pages. Also, in order to make the right choice of keywords you may use special services such as Google AdWords key planner, Key Collector or Semrush. Creating a list of short-tail and long-tail keywords is a crucial step during any website implementation. While the short ones consist of 0-26 characters and are mostly used by people on search engines, the long-tail keywords are longer (26-40 characters) and represent more specific request. Although, short-tail keywords drive a lot of traffic, the long-tail ones provide higher conversions and click patterns.
- fill in meta-tags – proper meta-tags “description”, “title” and h1-h6 headers completion allows laying the foundation for a successful website promotion. Competent use of keywords in the tags and headers improves the “understanding” of search engine systems the website content and improves indexation.
- make a technical audit of a website – in order to prevent an internal optimization from causing problems it’s necessary to identify technical errors in advance. When auditing it’s necessary to make up a check list containing a detailed description of the things to check. The most attention should be paid to the website usability which is extremely important for an online business.
- create proper website architecture - proper website architecture allows visitor to identify key pages and navigate a site easily. Failing to create good website architecture can decrease its search engine rankings. It’s important that:
- the recourse is easy to navigate and user can return to the homepage in about three clicks;
- the drop-down menus are created using HTML for search engines to be able to find it;
- the head keyword terms are used in your page title, header and are present in the first paragraph (200 words);
- you included breadcrumbs to the product pages which allows search engines and visitors to see the product location on a website.
- increase website protection – it’s crucial for online businesses to have an HTTPS protection due to the huge amount of personal and financial information which should be protected properly. HTTPS is a secure version of an HTTP and keeps important data encrypted. Furthermore, since 2014 websites with an HTTPS version get higher search engine rankings.
- create mobile version – having a responsive resource is a crucial nowadays because a large number of users are making purchases through mobile devices. The website should be properly displayed on any device in order to earn customers’ trust and loyalty which leads to increasing sales.
- include customer reviews – a review for a site selling products or services not only increases conversion but also has a positive effect on the search engine optimization.
- add blog – adding a blog containing quality and interesting content with the proper use of keywords has a positive effect on your website selling products or services online. A blog is a great tool that increases customers’ loyalty and trust which will definitely take your business to the next level.
- create a sitemap – a sitemap is a list of the website’s URLs that helps search engines to identify your website. Google allows to list up to 50 000 files, however, it may be enough to create one sitemap for a site selling products. It’s important to ping search engines after creating a sitemap.
- check the website’s speed – it can be hard to improve the page speed of your website, however, there are certain tools you can use for that purpose such as Google’s Page Speed test. Here are the following problems that affect page speed you can fix:
- decrease the size of the page;
- cache the content by using a content delivery network
- compress the data;
- pick a hosting server with better performance;
- add sizes of images so that search engines could create placeholders.
- use the linking abilities properly – when promoting a website it’s important to reallocate the “weight” of numerous web-pages properly. Such reallocation is achieved due to the use of linking which may be:
It’s noteworthy that the use of manual linking is more correct than the script one where errors may occur during automatic configuration.
- manual – links are written manually.
- script – internal links are generated by the special plugin automatically. The use of similar scripts allows increasing the depth of a website or blog view as well as boost indexation and improve external linking structure.
- Content marketing – when using SEO texts for promoting a website, it’s slowly being filled with the content which should be:
It’s impossible to write all the texts for promoting a sales website at the same time that’s why the content-plan is required for gradual filling a website with the content. Primarily the texts for main sections, product categories and SEO for ecommerce product pages are created. Managing a section with thematic articles may attract traffic due to informational requests. Furthermore, similar content may boost the users’ loyalty, social activity as well as receiving organic links. It’s crucial that articles are really interesting and useful for your target clients.
- without too many keywords.
- organize external promotion – external optimization of a website implies:
- increasing quality of a linking profile;
- providing stable link mass growth;
- receiving referral links.
- provide abilities for social interaction – Social networks nowadays are important advertisement source and a way of communication with a client which allows increasing users’ trust and brand recognition. That’s why availability of “Share” and “Like” buttons as well as social network communities are a possibility of additional channels for attracting traffic.
- analysis of search engine optimization results – an essential part of any works aimed at search engine optimization of ecommerce website is an impact assessment.
The web analytics configuration allows:
- evaluating the volume and quality of the traffic;
- identifying search requests of high relevance;
- studying the visitors’ behavior and identifying website vulnerabilities (for example, usability problems);
- increasing website optimization effectiveness;
- increasing investment profitability (ROI).
For online stores it’s also important to carry out proper configuration which allows receiving data about:
- products the visitors are interested in;
- detailed view descriptions;
- purchases made;
- the moments when user canceled proceeding the order.
SEO for ecommerce sites
The world is constantly changing in many different ways and keeping up with the times is the key to success especially if you own an online business. Nowadays people tend to buy things online and this is exactly why online store optimization is crucial for success.
Optimizing a website for search engines properly allows attracting new clients, boosting indexation, increasing quality traffic as well as customers’ loyalty which leads to increased revenue.
SEO for ecommerce sites is a difficult, time-consuming and overwhelming task requiring constant work but it’s totally worth the efforts.
Date of publication: 05.09.2017