The Ultimate Guide to SEO for eCommerce Websites

April 5, 2016 - Social Media
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Every business online is jostling for a prime position in search engine results pages because there are benefits for being on top. According to research, the first position on the first page of Google search rankings receives over 33% of the entire traffic. With a conversion rate of 14.6%, search engine optimization is arguably one of the most rewarding strategies in online marketing.

However, despite the juicy nature on these statistics, not every website manages to get a slot in a prime position on search engine rankings. The reasons explaining this are many amongst them, poor optimization, search engine penalties or even the fact that your website is still new. Whichever the case, this article will guide you on how you can pull yourself from the rubble and get back your winning ways.

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Research

Before embarking on any type of SEO work whether onsite or offsite, the starting point is always research. Two main types of researches are important at this stage; competitor analysis and keyword research.

When doing keyword research, start by focusing on the prime pages of your ecommerce website which are your product pages and homepage. These pages host the largest volume of traffic on your site. The keyword should be relevant to your brand and not too competitive or broad to rank for. Your blog content should also be keyword optimized with a combination of both long and short tail keywords. To avoid keyword cannibalization, do not rank multiple pages for the same keyword.

When you are doing your competitor analysis or research, try to find out the keyword phrases your competitors target, where they are sourcing their links from, their site architecture particularly the navigation and how well you can position and differentiate your site to gain competitive advantage.

Site Audit

After you do your competitor and keyword research, it is important you concentrate on your website to identify current problems that need fixing. When auditing your site, focus on:

  • Site errors such as duplicate content, 302 redirects, and 404 pages. Screaming frog is one of the tools you can use to help you identify errors and fix them.
  • Determining the speed of your website – Because your targeted traffic are not as patient as you may want them to be, slow loading speeds can lead to high bounce rates and abandonment. You can use pingdom website speed test for this.

Onsite Optimization

While some SEO professionals emphasize on offsite optimization, as an ecommerce website owner or marketer, you must realize that on-page optimization is just as valuable. It is considered the low hanging fruit in SEO because you can easily control it. The areas to target in on-site optimization include:

  • Keyword optimization by including in strategic locations such as headers, page title, paragraph copy, product descriptions, image alt tags and file names as well as URLs.
  • Redesigning your site informational architecture so as to make it usable and friendly to search engines. This can boost conversions.
  • Internal linking structure where you use an anchor text to link the various pages such ass homepage and product pages. This makes it easier for both your traffic and search engine bots to navigate your site.
  • Site usability – This is purely to make your website friendly to your visitors. Great user experience is one of the signals search engines use for ranking. Conduct usability tests particularly on the checkout process to reduce cart abandonment rates.
  • Mobile compatibility to accommodate shoppers who use mobile devices to access your website. According to research, 31% of mobile internet users prefer going online with their phones while 61% of those who visit a site that isn’t mobile friendly are likely to switch to your competitor.
  • Customer product reviews to enhance conversions and positively impact on your SEO. Close to 77% of customers go through reviews before making an online purchase hence the importance of having frequent and detailed reviews

Testing and Optimization Strategy

After you have gone through on-page optimization, you should start using analytics to see the keywords that are performing the best and utilizing PPC campaigns to find out high converting keywords which you can then add to your SEO strategy. In order to increase click through, test your meta titles and descriptions.

Incorporate Blog Content

Blogs are very critical in helping you rank in prime positions on search engines because you can integrate your target keywords in the content. Also, blogs give your site fresh content always and this is fodder for search engines. One thing you need be careful when developing your blog content is that it needs to be original, relevant, and informative enough to influence the behavior of your audience. Avoid overly promotional blogs because they can be a turn off.

Local SEO

If your ecommerce website also has a local presence in the form of brick-and-mortar stores, you need to ensure that its name, address and phone number for all the locations you are operating in are correctly captured on your website. In addition, you should submit your business to the major directories that are relevant to your business. Always use location-based keywords to help you optimize for local search.

As an ecommerce business, every strategy including your SEO must boil down to sales enhancement. When you do your SEO right, you will not only witness an influx of quality traffic but also improved conversions and repeat purchases.

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Joey Perera

Joey Perera

Hello, Its Joey here, A Digital Nomad & Founder at Boost Metrics. My expertise are SEO, Digital Marketing, SEM and Google Anaytics. I offer a wide range of services pertaining to online marketing. Whether you are looking to turn online relationships into revenue or enhance your brand image, I am capable of analyzing your requirements to come up with the best suited strategy to help you achieve your business objectives.