When you’re running an online business, you cannot underestimate the importance of effective Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). You’re operating in a highly competitive field, so every chance you have to help your online store be noticed should be fully embraced.
So to help your business rise on search engine result pages, we’ve put together a list of some of the best practices you can employ to boost your site’s digital presence and drive organic traffic!
Each of these strategies has a slightly different purpose, but ultimately, the goal here is to optimise your website, cater to users’ needs, increase organic visibility, and enhance conversions for your eCommerce enterprise.
Here are our top 10 best SEO practices to implement for your eCommerce business.
Secure Professional eCommerce SEO Services
Having a few SEO experts by your side can be a key difference between a thriving online store and a fairly lacklustre digital presence. Partnering with eCommerce SEO services tends to go beyond simple keyword optimisation; you’re also getting an in-depth understanding of how search engine algorithms work, ultimately letting you adapt to the seemingly ever-changing best practices for SEO.
For instance, one of the many challenges for eCommerce businesses comes in the form of ‘keyword cannibalisation’. This term refers to when multiple pages within your website are inadvertently competing for the same keywords.
Not only does this confuse search engines, but it also makes your users scratch their heads when they can’t find the specific page that they’re looking for because so many of them look alike.
Professional SEO services are adept at identifying these kinds of issues, and to combat them, they’ll employ a few different tactics, like assigning distinct keyword sets for each web page. Resolving cannibalisation issues is likely to be a foundational component of any professional strategy.
Indexing: Product Pages and Category Pages
To properly navigate through your eCommerce website, search engines need some kind of roadmap so that they’re able to understand the hierarchy/relationship between various parts of your site.
This comes in the form of indexing, and it generally means that search engines can direct users to the most relevant content – whether that’s specific products that you’re selling or broader product categories. The page that your user is directed to will be dictated by how far up on the sales funnel they are, as well as the user intent behind their Google search.
Although this enhances your site’s visibility across a range of different search queries, it also helps your users browse your online store with ease. Put simply, as they’re exploring all your product offerings, they’re able to seamlessly move through specific products and related categories, letting them find exactly what they need with minimal effort.
Align Page Content with User Search Intent
As we mentioned, user search intent (i.e. the motivation behind a specific search query) can vary depending on where your consumer currently sits in your sales funnel. As such, it’s best to review your domain’s activity to see which keywords you’re already ranking well to determine your users’ search intent. Are they mostly looking for informational content, or are they ready to buy (commercial or transactional search intent)?
To find out, you can perform some keyword research using specialised tools – SemRush or SurferSEO, for instance – to identify terms your site ranks for. These systems determine keywords’ intent for you, making it a lot easier to hone in on the content that your users are seeking.
For example, SemRush provides a key of ‘informational, commercial, transactional, and navigational’, so you can use this data to align any new content you produce with high search volume keywords.
Write Descriptive and Customer-Focused Product Descriptions
For eCommerce websites, product descriptions serve as a kind of virtual sales representative. They’re not only for technical details, either; they’re your opportunity to communicate the USPs of your products and connect with your customers on a more personal level.
So try to avoid generic or bland descriptions that merely list specifications and infuse your information with personality instead, highlighting what’s setting your product apart from the competition.
Whether it’s how durable a gadget you’re selling is, the way a fabric feels to touch, or how innovative the features of a tool are, you’re ultimately trying to evoke some kind of emotion within your customers and showcase how your products can enhance their lives.
Use Alt-Text and Schema Markup for Product Images
Naturally, images play a pivotal role in enticing potential customers, but the problem is that search engines rely on text to understand images. This is where alt-text comes into play, as it describes your image to provide context for search engines.
Additionally, it’s worth incorporating schema markup into your product pages, which also helps search engines understand your website’s content by providing structured data for them.
This typically involves giving search engines rich details about your products, like the name, brand, price, and availability. Along with image alt-text, this combination gives you a much higher chance of your products appearing in search results – not to mention how helpful it is for your potential customers to see a snapshot of crucial information straight away on the search results page.
Thoughtfully Designed Landing Pages for Digital Advertising
Landing pages are the first point of contact for anyone clicking on your ads, so their design, content, and overall structure should always be arranged in a way that complements your advertising efforts – like including a call to action (CTA) that reinforces the message that made them click on your ad in the first place.
Ultimately, whether you’re trying to drive users to make a purchase, explore promotions, or even sign up for a newsletter, you always want your landing page to guide them toward that goal with ease.
Furthermore, a huge portion of eCommerce traffic comes from mobile devices, so optimising your landing pages for both desktop and mobile users should be a non-negotiable.
Invest in Backlink Building Services
Authority and credibility are some of the core tenets that influence your site’s search engine ranking, and backlinks are one of the best ways you can demonstrate these traits.
Put simply, backlinking means that your website includes links from both reputable and relevant sources, which is a big thumbs up in the eyes of Google and other search engines. Essentially, they’re serving as a kind of virtual endorsement that lets search engines know your content is valuable and trustworthy. But the benefits of backlinking go beyond this as well.
If you’re also targeting long-tail keywords in your backlink-building campaign, you’re able to tap into a specific, often less competitive, segment of the market that’s known for its high conversion rate. So not only is this targeted approach driving more relevant traffic toward your site, but it can boost your site’s overall domain rating and thus, your site’s ranking potential in the long-term too.
Keep Your URL Slugs Clean
URL slugs are web addresses that give a glimpse of the page’s content, and when they’re ‘clean’, your Google rankings can increase significantly.
Basically, you’re removing unnecessary characters and information and replacing them with relevant keywords that provide a clear indication of what the page is all about. You’ll enhance the user experience and give search engines an understanding of the context of your page.
As a result, your pages are now a lot more accessible to both your customers and search engine crawlers, which lets your site rank a lot higher.
Invest In UX Optimisation For Your Site
User-friendly websites not only encourage visitors to stay longer, but they also play a big role in driving conversions. Think, how many times have you visited a website only to click off because of how awkward it is to navigate?
Clutter and confusing layouts are naturally going to discourage your users from exploring your site, so creating an intuitive site design should be high on your priority list to prevent high bounce rates.
Aside from this, clearly categorising your products and having relatively streamlined checkout processes are equally important when you’re designing your site’s user interface.
Lastly, no one likes waiting around for pages to load, and this kind of thing can have a direct impact on your SEO efforts too, so it’s worth optimising your site to accelerate load times.
Enhance Social Engagement with Share Buttons
Lastly, it’s worth talking about the power of online networking for your site, too – especially given how interconnected social media and eCommerce are these days.
Generally speaking, adding social sharing buttons to your site is one of the easiest yet most effective ways you can give your brand a digital presence and ultimately drive engagement.
The best part about social sharing buttons is that you can include them all through your website – product pages, blog posts, or even checkout pages are all great choices.
Furthermore, yes, you’re encouraging people to share your products with other people, but share buttons also contribute to social proof. People tend to trust and engage with a brand that others have endorsed, which is what makes social sharing so powerful. In other words, it gives your site additional and real-world legitimacy. Not to mention that every share suddenly becomes a potential gateway to a new customer, and it’s all completely organic word-of-mouth marketing too.
As we touched upon earlier, the best ways to optimise your search engine rankings are constantly developing, and as such, your efforts to keep up with them should evolve, too.
Still, mastering eCommerce SEO doesn’t stop with rankings and traffic. While things such as backlinks and clean URL slugs are important, we’re ultimately trying to create a shopping experience that fully resonates with your target audience – both in terms of addressing their needs and fostering a genuine connection with them.
The eCommerce industry is highly competitive, but by implementing some of the practices we’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be well on your way to establishing your business as a trusted and authoritative entity that always puts its customers first.