If you listen to quarterly earnings calls, you may have observed that SEO performance is a common topic of conversation (maybe even among your competitors). Investors and C-suites are paying close attention to organic search because it has become a crucial sales channel.
SEO is essential if your leadership is e-commerce oriented. Enterprise organizations may have a new potential to scale more profitably, increase margins, and increase revenue.
eCommerce Website Architecture
Do you want to know how a business is organized? Examine the organization chart. Similar to an organizational chart for your website, site architecture conveys hierarchy and relationships between different sections.
A robust eCommerce SEO plan must include website architecture since it organizes and prioritizes your content for search engines. As a result, you’ll perform higher in search results for essential category keywords that direct visitors to the goods they want to purchase.
Establish a Content Hierarchy
An unorganized site structure hampers your ability to rank. Because of this, it’s imperative to establish your site’s hierarchy before spending numerous hours improving category pages and constructing links.
Most of your website’s content should be accessible within three clicks of the main page, thanks to a flat website architecture. Users can more easily find your product pages with this kind of arrangement. Additionally, it makes sure that PageRank moves across your website more effectively.
You must inform search engines of the hierarchy of the material on your site when it has been established. Let’s examine the four components that support the framework of e-commerce sites.
Because it defines hierarchy and relationships between content, URL structure is essential for effective eCommerce SEO performance. Your URL’s folders and subfolders give search engines more information about the contents of the page and how they relate to the website as a whole.
There are three main uses for breadcrumbs. They serve as a visual “you are here” cue to help visitors locate themselves virtually on a sizable e-commerce website. They also serve as a navigational aid, making it simple for clients to travel back to a parent category page. Breadcrumbs give search engines deeper context about the hierarchy of your site, which is more crucial for SEO.
Another method of explaining your site’s structure to search engines is through its navigation. The navigation should follow your URL structure and breadcrumb pathways and be hierarchical and intuitive. Drill down to more particular categories, such as “handbags & wallets” or “button-down shirts,” after starting with your biggest departments, such as “men” or “women.”
In the end, you want to convey the variety of goods you offer. However, you should use as few middle-man pages as possible to highlight your most well-liked categories and subcategories. Later, we’ll cover navigation in more detail.
Another crucial component of your e-commerce SEO strategy is internal links. They provide greater context by indicating thematic relevance between pages. Additionally, they assist search engines in determining which of your pages are more widely used or popular. Your internal linking will perform considerably better thanks to these SEO best practices.
eCommerce SEO Keyword Search
Any SEO plan must be built on keyword research. Before we discuss how to conduct keyword research, let’s go over some eCommerce SEO best practices regarding selecting search phrases.
Volume, Search Intent & User Experience
Your core category keywords should be evident based on the product groups you made. When you map each URL to a key phrase, it’s crucial to consider search intent and volume.
The search intent won’t match your products since they are too broad. Just consider those terms from the standpoint of searches. Large furniture retailers dominate the search engine results for “furniture,” and copying is highly individualized.
Instead, focus on fewer terms representing broad searches potential customers would do while looking for your products. Choose keywords that are most frequently searched for and have the strongest alignment with the search intent for your categories. They should also make sense as broad categories for each grouping of products.
Target Keywords During the Entire Sales Funnel
Consider the buyer’s journey when selecting keywords for your eCommerce SEO campaign. When prospective clients are looking for a solution to an issue, they are in the awareness stage of the research process. During this stage, people frequently ask inquiries. Therefore their search queries often contain long-tail keywords.
Your consumer decides she wants an HP printer but needs to figure out which model is at the decision stage of the buying funnel. She will likely visit particular product sites at this stage to compare prices and technical details.
Each funnel stage contains individuals with various requirements, habits, and search intentions. As a result, each step of the funnel should have a page on your website that targets specific keywords.
Competitive Research for eCommerce SEO
Most companies are very familiar with their direct rivals. However, you must conduct competition analysis differently in organic search.
Your rivals may drastically change from one category to the next since a full-funnel marketing plan addresses a variety of searches. You can be up against websites that you’ve never heard of.
Decide who your eCommerce website’s rivals are and take note of the terms they rank for. They probably already did the legwork regarding keyword research if they’re at the top of their SEO game. Run their domains through your preferred SEO program to identify potential overlooked search terms.
Their backlink and content profiles can tell you a lot about their eCommerce SEO approach. But as was previously stated, keep your focus open to competitors in the eCommerce industry. Include other websites competing for your keywords on the search engine results pages in your competitive study. Websites that publish news, online periodicals, blogs, and customer reviews are examples of this.
Technical SEO for eCommerce Sites
The success of your eCommerce SEO program depends just as much on technical SEO as on keyword research and on-page optimization.
Nobody wants to spend hundreds of hours on keyword research and content creation only to discover that half of their pages aren’t indexed due to a simple technical error.
Perform a Site Crawl
A site crawl is an initial step in carrying out a technical SEO evaluation. ContentKing and Screaming Frog are two well-known internet crawling programs. These programs scan your website link by link and page by page, just like a search engine spider would.
A search engine crawler won’t alert you if it encounters a 404 page or a series of redirects, though. On the other hand, crawling tools are diagnostic.
They will notify you of any severe or minor crawling errors they encounter as they navigate your website. A site crawl will reveal any dead ends if your website’s crawlability is more like a maze than a map.
Conduct a Site Audit
The performance of eCommerce SEO can be severely impacted by thin content. And conducting a thorough content audit is the only way to find it.
Make a spreadsheet of the pages you need to exclude, enhance, merge, or split during the audit. Can you reroute and delete the page? Should it remain but with expanded content? Fill out your content audit template completely, taking into account the SEO metrics you’ll need to take into account.
Avoid Duplicate Content
ECommerce SEO needs more than duplicate content. However, the same content problems in one form or another are typical for online retailers. You can have nearly identical product pages with just a color difference. You may have a separate mobile site or different websites for different languages. In some situations, poorly developed navigation, facets, and filters are to blame.
These problems muddle search engines, dilute PageRank and steal organic visitors from your website. Work with your web infrastructure team to eliminate or condense pages as soon as you find any instances of the same material. If not, use canonical tags to tell Google which URL is the primary source.
Improve Internal Linking Structure
Internal links and SEO are two topics with a lot to learn. However, success with eCommerce SEO depends on doing it correctly. It makes it easier for customers to find your products and clarifies which pages are the most crucial to search engines. Building external links that point straight to product pages is also highly challenging. So your homepage and content pages can send PageRank to your product pages through internal links.
Relevance is the guiding principle for internal linkages. Does the internal link, in other words, help your customer either find what they are seeking or uncover relevant, helpful content?
The “cheat sheet” you provide Google for indexing reasons is the XML sitemap. Every page you want the search engine to crawl on your website is included. Your sitemap can be improved in several ways.
Optimize for Mobile
Find out how to improve the optimization of your e-commerce site by doing a mobile-friendly test. Check your web analytics data to learn the percentage of mobile visitors you receive and their bounce rate and conversion rate. Make sure to pay attention to mobile optimization because Google also introduced mobile-first indexing.
Improve Site Speed
The speed of your website significantly affects how well it ranks. This is because customer satisfaction and usability are impacted considerably by page speed. A slow website and a bad signal make dial-up internet seem like a distant memory.
Optimizing Product Pages
Your product pages draw bottom-of-the-funnel traffic, making them invaluable. They are so important that we built a complete SEO guide specifically for e-commerce product pages. If you’re pressed for time, consider this summary:
Create keyword-optimized material for search and distinctly attractive from a branding standpoint.
Unfortunately, the space available for vital product descriptions is frequently constrained by product page layouts. The brand often provides such content for huge retail websites that carry various products. This implies that a significant portion of your material could also be seen on thousands of other websites!
Simply put, the product page is too valuable to rely on chance. Work together with your web infrastructure team to bring excellent content to the website in a proactive manner. Create a terrific user experience far from your rivals’ through copy, photos, or video.
On-Page SEO for eCommerce Websites
Shopify and BigCommerce are excellent e-commerce platforms for on-site SEO, but that is just half the battle. The remaining work is done off-site by obtaining backlinks from reliable, pertinent websites.
Without the right technology, link building takes a lot of effort, but improving search engine results, traffic, and money is essential.
Off-Page SEO for eCommerce Websites
Another element of eCommerce search engine optimization is off-page SEO. A diversified backlink profile lowers risk by spreading the link-building program’s footprint. However, it also helps your overall SEO strategy by supplying search engines with three different link signals.
Links from the home page help your site architecture work better. They can rank for long-tail keywords thanks to deep links pointing at their blog content. Additionally, the internal links from those posts convey PageRank and context-relevant information to your category sites. Finally, although they are frequently more difficult to obtain naturally, direct category page links are the greatest signals to search engines.
High-level corporate goals like boosting profitability, raising customer lifetime value, maximizing market share, and lowering risk are of concern to the C-suite. You can demonstrate that SEO converts visitors for 25% less than paid advertising by using a straightforward formula for the cost of customer acquisition. Company executives will ask how they can double your budget as a result.