What is the sign of a successful online eCommerce business? Is it organic online mentions or less cart abandonment? We say it is simultaneously consistent growth in online traffic, lead generation, conversions, sales, and customer retention.
The big question is ‘How’ to achieve consistency in your online business?
Unlike offline business, where you can open a local store and leverage word-of-mouth to market your business, online business is an entirely different field of action. Herein, you have to follow the best practices of SEO to reach out to your target audience, create brand awareness, generate sales, and so much more.
Hey, don’t worry! Entering an unknown territory can be overwhelming and challenging. But we are here to help! Read our insights and know why to invest in SEO services for eCommerce.
What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization, widely recognized as SEO, is a digital marketing strategy utilized by digital marketing experts and business owners to grow a business online and attain a desired goal.
Generally, SEO comprises three main strategies, which we will discuss further in this blog. These strategies involve multiple practices used for boosting your rankings, increasing visibility, and reaching out to a broader audience.
Also Read: Top Industries That Can Benefit From SEO
Simply put, SEO is vital for your digital growth. You not only lead at the top in the rankings but also —
➢ Enhance Digital Visibility
Hey, when was the last time you searched for a gift on Google?
Did the search engine show products from Amazon, Myntra, and Flipkart? Kudos to their implemented SEO strategies; they were able to slide right into your search results.
One of the biggest perks of implementing SEO strategies for your eCommerce business is creating an online presence. Establishing an online presence might seem a tough nut to crack.
Although focusing on SEO activities like optimizing website speed, product pages, making your website user-friendly, etc, will pave you way towards enhancing your digital presence.
➢ Gain Organic Traffic
Do you know what is one of the common aspects among Amazon, ASOS, and Zappos?
Besides being the most popular eCommerce brand in the world, they all leverage the power of SEO to gain organic traffic.
Offering a smooth user experience, optimizing product listings, targeting specific keywords, writing valuable content, acquiring quality backlinks, etc., will help you climb to the top in the search results organically.
➢ Generate Qualified Leads
Organic and consistent traffic equates to quality leads. However, piquing shopper interest is possible when your website and offerings align with their expectations.
You need to follow best SEO practices by keeping a user-friendly interface, relevant and engaging content, a seamless checkout process, and a click-bait call to action.
For instance, a clothing website selling casual women’s apparel may implement target audience searching phrases such as ‘causal clothes for women’ or ‘buy casual clothes for women’ to generate quality leads.
They also follow other SEO practices, such as creating an intuitive layout and different blogs related to their niche to further boost their rankings.
➢ Increase Your Customer Base
Let’s assume you have already established your offline base, and now you want to expand your eCommerce business and which is why you decide to switch online.
Unlike offline, where your network is limited to your vicinity, online allows you to get in touch with a broader range of customers by performing SEO activities such as content marketing, keyword research, generating backlinks, and so on.
From urban areas to the countryside, SEO optimization helps you to increase your customer base seamlessly.
➢ Obtain Competitive Advantage
Being at the top of your game requires lots of research and analysis, especially in the eCommerce business, where the market is swamped with multiple competitors.
You need to identify your competitors, analyze their weaknesses and strengths, study their offerings, and check out their strategies and target audience.
All these analyses will help you with progressive decision-making.
➢ Elevate User Experience
A happy customer equates to good business, and thanks to SEO, you can satisfy all your customers by implementing certain practices such as structuring website layout, improving site speed, mobile-first optimization, writing accurate product descriptions, etc.
Your competitor may be offering similar products and discounts as you are. However, they are still gaining more customers, and the possibility of this happening is because they are equally focusing on enhancing user experience by optimizing site speed, keeping an easy checkout process, and more.
➢ Create Cost-effective Marketing Strategies
Many eCommerce business owners exercise paid advertising to attain the desired result. However, generating those short-term results can burn a hole in your pocket.
On the other hand, organic marketing can help you get more bang for your buck. Meaning minimal investment and effective results.
For instance, an online store selling geek and pop-culture merchandise may use paid marketing to reach out to its target audience. However, they gain short-term results after splurging excessively. Upon implementation of SEO strategies, they not only significantly reduce the expenditure but also achieve the desired result.
Since you are aware of what SEO is and why SEO is important for eCommerce. Let’s take a look at the three main players of SEO — On-page SEO, Off-page SEO, and Technical SEO.
Effective SEO Strategies for eCommerce Websites
➢ On-Page SEO
To give you an overview, on-page SEO refers to activities conducted on your website to optimize it and provide an optimal user experience. The strategies of on-page SEO include the following —
➢ 8 On-Page SEO Strategies For an eCommerce Website?
The strategies of on-page SEO include the following —
1. Finding Relevant Keywords
One of the primary aspects of organic ranking is finding relevant keywords. Keywords refer to search terms searched by users in order to find their desired products. Including relevant keywords in your content is important for your target audience to discover you easily.
Make sure to identify the meaningful and relevant keywords searched by your target audience. You can leverage tools like Ahrefs, Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, Google Trends, etc., to find keywords, their relevance, difficulty, search volume, and buyer intent.
2. Craft the Quality Content
This is one of the major factors of on-page SEO. Although, it is not merely about drafting content. You need to develop high-quality content for the website, relevant, quirky, and informative, followed by implementing regulations of the latest algorithms of search engines.
It is vital for your content to have easy comprehension, maintained structure, and relevant keywords for ranking on the SERPs.
Draft a clickbait and easy-to-understand title defining the proper intent. The title should be under 60 characters.
Structure the content of your website properly. Be its home page or product listings, organize your content by utilizing headers, subheadings, and bullet points. Ensure to keep the product descriptions unique and descriptive.
The placement of keywords in your web pages should be natural and strategic for search engines to index and rank them at the top in the search results.
3. Natural Placement of Keywords
Keyword placement should be natural, strategic, and at the right on-page elements such as URL, meta descriptions, meta tags, title, headers, and content. Incorporating keywords in these parts of the website is referred to as keyword optimization, which will help you reach the right audience and grow to the top of the rankings.
4. Proper URL Optimization
Another effective way to crawl and index your website is URL optimization. You can find this address at the top of the website. Take a look at the top. The address (www.hostitsmart.com/blog/importance-of-seo-for-ecommerce-website) you just saw is called a URL.
URL should be short and comprised of main keywords defining the intent of the page. We recommend using subfolders as we did in our URL to give an easy understanding to users and synchronize the overall management.
The use of lower-case letters and hyphens should be a must as they act as a space between the content and are easier to comprehend and type.
5. Proper Image Optimization
Did you know visuals take up more space than content on a website? This doesn’t mean you will stop using visuals. You merely need to take care of a few things.
If your eCommerce website consists of heavy-sized images, we advise optimizing them by reducing their file size, defining them with descriptive file names, and adding relevant ALT text. This ensures seamless accessibility, and search engines can effortlessly index your content.
6. Smart Internal Linking
This is another smart way to redirect your target audience to a desired page and increase engagement. You can add the URL of your webpage to another webpage to build the relationship among your web pages.
Doing so will also enhance user navigation. They don’t have to search for the webpage by clicking on multiple links. All they need to do is tap on the anchor text in the content, and Voila! They are on the page they were searching for!
7. Ensure User Experience
This is the most crucial step in the on-page strategy, which you should never miss out on! This pointer includes improving site speed, providing an intuitive layout, enhancing responsiveness, offering quick loading, seamless functionalities, user-friendly layout, readability, and accessibility.
Ensure everything listed above meets user expectations and search engine regulations. Improving user experience will drive retention and boost rankings on the SERPs.
8. Get Insights on Analytics
The last aspect of the on-page strategy is analytics. Metrics like organic traffic, user session, conversion rate, bounce rate, etc., will give you insights into the areas of improvement. You can address the issues and make improvements through actionable insights.
➢ OFF-Page SEO
Let’s talk about OFF-page SEO.
Digital marketers widely use this SEO strategy to push websites to the top by conducting OFF-Page activities such as link building, content marketing, social media marketing, guest blogging, etc.
Mind you, these activities are not on websites but beyond the parameters of the website.
6 OFF-Page SEO Strategies For an eCommerce Website
Don’t be confused! Read the pointers below; by the end, you will have a clear picture of what we are talking about.
1. Generate Authorized Backlinks
Backlinks, also known as inbound links given to you by authorized and popular third-party websites, in order to glide your website to the top. These links act as votes given to a political party to make them win among other competitors.
The higher the number of backlinks, the better the growth of your eCommerce website on the SERPs. Although, it is not simply about generating backlinks. Appearing at the top of search results is partially dependent on the quality of backlinks.
You can also reach out to bloggers, journalists, and influencers promoting products of your niche and ask them to provide you with quality backlinks. Before this process, you need to analyze competitors’ backlinks to find possible link-building opportunities.
2. Search For Product Listicles
Product comparisons are wonderful to let buyers know about your products and encourage them to make a purchase. You can submit the links, images, descriptions, and other relevant information to sites offering product comparisons. This will create brand awareness, drive traffic, and hopefully convert the driven traffic to generate sales.
3. Generate Reviews For Reliability
Reviews and ratings play a major role in buyers’ decision-making. Products with high ratings and reviews are sold more compared to products with negative reviews.
This is because positive reviews increase credibility and grow trust among shoppers, and they believe that your site sells quality products, encouraging them to buy the product immediately.
We advise highlighting reviews on the product pages for shoppers to make a confident purchase. Optimizing product pages is also a great idea to highlight the 4 and 5-star ratings. This attracts more customers and increases the overall CTR.
4. Social Media Marketing
Often, digital marketers and web owners leverage social media to boost the traffic on their websites. This technique can also be used the other way around too. You can link your social media handles, such as Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, to encourage your target audience to click on the links.
This not only boosts traffic to your social accounts but also provides a seamless user experience and enhances digital visibility. Visitors to your website don’t have to explicitly search for your social media handles. They can scroll down to the footer and click on the linked social sharing buttons.
5. Promote Via Newsletters
In today’s digital age, It’s necessary for eCommerce store owners to adopt effective marketing strategies to stand out from the crowd. There is one powerful tool that continues to prove its worth is the humble newsletter.
Promoting via newsletters can be a game-changer for your online store. By offering a personalized channel to engage with your audience, You can build a loyal customer base, increase sales & take your online store to new heights in the digital marketplace.
6. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate Marketing serves as a symbiotic partnership between eCommerce businesses & affiliate marketers.
It involves the collaboration of influential individuals or affiliate websites that promote products or services on their platforms. They earn a commission through a unique affiliate link for each generated sale.
This proves to be the best tool for eCommerce stores that are looking to expand their reach, boost brand visibility & drive sales.
Also Read: Does Buying Traffic To Your Website Work?
➢ Technical SEO
Last but certainly not least, technical SEO.
As the name suggests, this strategy determines the technicalities required to be performed on a website to improve the overall user interaction. Like on-page SEO, this strategy is also used on websites but on technical aspects such as fixing links, submitting site maps, improving site speed, etc.
7 Technical SEO Strategies For an eCommerce Website
let’s see which factors are a part of Technical SEO strategies.
1. Focus on Website Speed
Queue It says 45% of shoppers are least likely to make a purchase from a slow-loading website or webpage. As you can see, this statistic demonstrates how crucial it is to have quick-turnaround times for a website or webpage.
We recommend optimizing images and eliminating unwanted elements, plugins, themes, data, and minify code. The usage of CDN should be practiced to improve the loading times.
Also Read: Why Does My Website Load Slowly?
2. Prioritize Mobile-first Design
How many shoppers do you think use mobile to make an online purchase? According to Techjury, 75% of shoppers tend to purchase through their smartphones, making mobile optimization more vital than ever.
Be sure to create a website that responds seamlessly on every screen. We also advise you to test your websites on different mobile devices to be certain that it is mobile and search engine friendly.
3. Proper URL Structure
The next factor you should consider is the URL or Uniform Resource Locator. This web address is like your home address through which people can locate and reach out to you. People may lose patience or avoid you altogether if they have the wrong address or have difficulty finding your website.
Keep the URL concise and easy to comprehend and type. Include relevant keywords and canonical tags to avoid facing the issue of duplicity.
4. Don’t Forget Pagination
Pagination is essential to show and form a relationship between your web pages. You might already have an idea about pagination. However, to give you a general picture, you will find such navigation in the search engine results at the end of the page.
Using pagination, you cannot only provide an optimal user experience but also help search engines understand the link among your web pages.
Example of a pagination URL for an eCommerce website:
Let’s say that your eCommerce website sells T-shirts for men, and the main page that displays all the products is:
To implement pagination and display a specific page of products, the URL structure might be:
Here, ‘page=2’ indicates that you are requesting the second page of T-shirts.
5. Use XML Sitemap
Your eCommerce website might have multiple pages. Some of them will be easy to find, while others might be difficult to locate. Under such circumstances, adding a sitemap listing all web pages is a great option to facilitate user accessibility, thereby improving user experience.
Optimizing the sitemap is another significant way to rank at the top of search rankings. Search engines can easily discover, crawl, and show your website to relevant audiences if the sitemap is optimized.
6. Install SSL Certificate
Security is one of the primary aspects for websites, especially for eCommerce ones, as they collect user information, payment details, and other information. You can never control unwanted situations, but you can always safeguard yourself from them by installing an SSL certificate.
Also Read: 10 Ways To Secure Your E-Commerce Website
Installing an SSL certificate will help in protecting your website from unauthorized access, malicious attacks, or any other cybercrimes. In addition, your customers will have a safer shopping experience which will help you win their trust and credibility.
7. Regularly Audit Your Website
Many web owners fail to gauge that regular website audit is very important for it to rank on search engines and enhance user experience. Technical issues are not limited to fixing broken code or links.
This analysis is about identifying and solving every issue related to the technical side of the website, including duplicate or thin content, crawling errors, URL structure, redirect errors, and so on.
Addressing and fixing these technical errors will enhance a user’s website usage experience, improve your rankings on search engine results, digital visibility, and grow organic traffic.
So far, we explained to you the benefits of eCommerce SEO. Let’s walk you through the common mistakes in eCommerce websites and how they can impede the overall success of your online business.
9 Common Mistakes Made by eCommerce Business Owners
1. Poor Keyword Research
One of the major mistakes every web owner makes is poor keyword research. This is a comprehensive process that requires an understanding of the target audience and identifying products, industry, or business-related keywords.
Although web owners tend to target wrong or unrelated keywords, and even if they do find the right ones, they fail to look at their search volume and competition. This can lead to their SEO efforts going in vain.
Hence it is essential to determine keywords searched by your target audience upon buying a product or service related to your industry.
2. Not Focusing on Product Descriptions
Another common mistake made by web owners is writing poor product descriptions. Many eCommerce websites have incomplete, vague, duplicate product information, which can confuse and raise concern among potential customers leading to the site abandonment.
Hence, crafting unique descriptions should be prioritized to give a better understanding of your offerings to search engines and shoppers.
3. Improper Site Structure
A poorly structured website can create a negative impression of your brand among your customers. You may lose customers and impact sales, which can crash down your overall digital presence.
Don’t let such situations come your way. Always maintain your site structure by offering intuitive navigation, maintaining a logical hierarchy, and defining clear categories.
4. Neglecting Website Speed
Nearly every eCommerce website owner faces the issue of having a slow website speed or web page. This generally happens when your website has heavy images, duplicate content, large files, etc.
Although, these issues can be resolved by implementing minor tweaks such as image optimization, minifying CSS and JS files, leveraging caching techniques, and partnering with a reliable and reputed hosting provider.
5. Not Have Mobile Optimized Website
M-commerce is known to be the main channel for shoppers. Major retail interactions are conducted through mobile, making it paramount for web owners to create a mobile-friendly website.
Often web owners disregard this process considering it unimportant. Although this is a fundamental approach that everyone should follow to boost rankings and offer a flawless user experience.
Thus, we advise web owners to create an all-screen responsive website to offer accessibility to your website anytime from anywhere.
6. Added Thin and Duplicate Content
eCommerce brands always strive to deliver a perfect user experience. While chasing perfection, they tend to overlook one of the fundamental factors driving them to their audience and success. Yes, you guessed it right; Content.
You must focus on creating quality, informative, and engaging content across the web pages of your website. Be it the home page, about us, or product descriptions, your content should be as unique as your personality to outshine the competition.
7. Disregarding User-generated Content
Your existing customers can help you generate new customers. Yes, you read it right! This is possible when you include customer reviews on your website. Customer reviews can shape the minds of potential customers, especially positive ones.
Reviews are social proof that assures users about your authenticity and encourages them to purchase from your website. Shoppers will frequently visit your website, boosting your search visibility on the SERPs.
8. Not Focusing on Image Optimization
eCommerce web owners heavily rely on product images. Without them, exhibiting the quality of the products, engaging with customers, and offering a visually appealing user experience becomes dull and difficult.
Hence, they use multiple heavy-size and high-resolution images to showcase a product, which can impact the site speed, and loading times, giving a poor user experience.
Instead, the focus should be on optimizing visuals by compressing their size, file names and writing descriptive ALT tags.
This way, web owners can ensure quick turnaround times and grow their rankings on search engines.
9. Ignoring Performance Analysis
Consistent growth equates to implementing results-oriented strategies, which is possible when you measure the performance of your website. Often web owners fail to do so, which can inhibit their digital growth.
Tracking the metrics, such as page views, user sessions, conversions, lead generation, bounce rates, etc., will help you make data-driven decisions, improving your overall growth on SEO and among your target audience.
Also Read: 7 Best CMS For Building An eCommerce Website
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What are the Pillars of SEO?
The three pillars of SEO include authority, relevance, and experience.
2. What are the 3 C’s of SEO?
Content, code, and credibility are believed to be the 3 C’s of SEO.
3. What is the Golden Rule of SEO?
The golden rule of SEO refers to creating high-quality, relevant, and informative content for your target audience and search engines.
4. What is Illegal in SEO?
Keyword stuffing, publishing plagiarized or cloaked content, engaging in buying or selling links, and using negative SEO tactics are regarded as wrong practices in SEO.
5. What are the Best Tools for eCommerce SEO?
Below is the list of 5 best for eCommerce SEO —
- Moz Pro
- Google Search Console
- Google Analytics
6. What is the Role of Keyword Research in SEO for eCommerce?
Incorporating relevant keywords related to your niche and users’ search intent helps you appear to the right audience and reach the top of search results.
7. How to Optimize eCommerce Website for Search Engines?
- Maintain a clear and chronological structure.
- Create search engine and user-friendly URLs
- Perform internal linking
- Implement a mobile-first design
- Submit an XML sitemap
- Improve site speed
- Add anchor text
Following these 7 practices will help in optimizing your eCommerce website for search engines. Although, we would recommend you read the above-mentioned insights for a better understanding.
8. How can an eCommerce website measure the success of its SEO efforts?
The best way to measure the success of your eCommerce website is by determining the KPIs like brand awareness, increased sales, etc., and keeping an eye on the analytics such as bounce rate, page views, average time spent on the site, CTR, keyword performance, organic traffic, social shares, backlink volume, and conversion rate.
Monitoring these metrics will help you gauge whether you are on the right path or do you still need to improve for attaining a desired goal.
To Sum Up
We hope this blog has provided you with a clear understanding of why SEO for eCommerce matters. SEO is a wonderful plan of action if executed effectively. Therefore, follow the above-mentioned SEO strategies and take your business to new heights of success.