SEO for ecommerce websites can be a challenging feat. Building a long lasting SEO strategy that delivers results for your online business requires a lot of constant work and it can be daunting even to the most experienced of ecommerce websites. It's especially challenging when you consider that every ecommerce site is trying to improve SEO rankings for all of their products too. It's even more daunting when you consider your competitors are implementing the same ecommerce SEO tips to grab customers. Thankfully, there's a reason for this; following these tips all work!
Ranking on page 1 of Google or Bing is not as simple as it might sound - especially if your products are very popular e.g. mobile phones. Improving your website's SEO ranking may seem impossible, but with a little work and effort, you should hopefully see your website grow and get more traffic.
The fundamental requirements to rank well are a high-quality, user-friendly, very fast and mobile-friendly website. Once you have these in order, you can then utilise the following techniques to improve your ecommerce website SEO. With that being said, let's dive into our SEO tips for ecommerce websites:
If your website is built on an old platform, loads slowly or is not secure, then you need to address these issues before wasting time trying to optimise your site any further. Here are some tools for testing the quality of your website:
Now, let’s go ahead and assume you have a good quality ecommerce website and you just want to focus on the further optimisations. Below you will find our ecommerce SEO tips that will help improve your SEO ranking.
Research and use unique keywords per page
You can and should research keywords for your industry, products, services, etc. Find out how your potential customer searches for your products or service by utilising tools like:
Once you have your list of keywords it’s a good idea to map each keyword phrase to a specific page on your eCommerce website. For this, we would recommend that you use a spreadsheet as it can get lengthy and disorganised unless in some sort of manageable order.
Now, a big no-no in the world of optimisation is duplication, whether that’s duplicate paragraphs or just duplicate keywords. If you’re targeting the same keyword with multiple pages then Google will likely choose to only display one of those pages in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Page), which may mean you miss out on opportunities to be seen. Look for unique opportunities to target search terms. Targeting unique and specific phrases is an easy way to avoid duplicates and improve your ecommerce SEO.
For example, let’s say that you have an ecommerce website that sells safety harnesses. You could just label all of the products a “safety harness” and still be factually correct, but the chances are you likely have a “Climbing Harness”, a “Rescue Harness”, a “Fall Arrest Harness” and so forth. Therefore, in order to capitalise on a wider number of searches, you should first find out how your customers search for safety harnesses. Look at how they phrase their search and even the types of questions they ask surrounding that product. The next step is to make sure you address each of those searches with a page for that product, using the keyword phrase that you’ve identified.
I know the question you’re about to ask... in those examples, isn’t the word harness repeated? Well-spotted. Yes, it is, but rest assured that Google is not that pedantic and will be able to tell the difference in your meaning (they’re quite clever in that way). Duplication is usually picked up from repetition of the same words in the same format. So, if you try to rank 2 pages for the keyword “Rescue Safety Harness” then you would be better off setting the copy on one page as “Confined Space Harness” and the other as “Rescue Safety Harness”. This way, Google will see the difference and potentially rank both pages, whereas if both are just set as the latter then it is highly likely that only 1 of those pages will be indexed. Not only do you avoid duplication, but you also give your customers more accurate search terms. Google and Bing prioritise accurate web-pages that fulfill the searcher's needs, so by providing specific pages without duplication is a great way to improve SEO rankings and keep your customers happy!
Ecommerce websites quite often have hundreds of pages for each of their products, so this may seem like a tedious task. However, you should see this as an opportunity to rank for hundreds of different keywords. If you optimise your copy well enough, you may find your website reaches first page positions for a wide range of searches, which will result in much higher volumes of traffic.
Depending on the amount of copy on the page, it is usually recommended to stick to just one keyword per product page. This will allow you to target that keyword more efficiently, than if you were attempting to target multiple keywords at once. If you are instead writing a category page or a home page which usually has more content, you can try to target 2 or 3 keywords if you feel it’s necessary.
Ensure every page has a unique title tag/meta description
When looking at the SERPs, your title tag is your first opportunity to get your consumers attention. The meta description is then the snippet of information which will convince your consumers to click through to the website. This is why it is so important to get these aspects right to improve ecommerce SEO.
Google specifies that it is ‘important to have distinct, descriptive titles for each page of your site’. This is because it needs to be clear to the consumer what that page entails and shouldn’t be too similar to a page displaying an entirely different product. It is also important to try and include your chosen keyword in your page title and meta tag as this will clearly show Google what your page is about.
Google recommends branding your titles with your company name, but this is optional and certainly doesn’t have to be done on every page. We recommend including this at the end of the title if you have enough space for it (we recommend no more than 63 characters including spaces), and also separate it with a delimiter such as a hyphen, colon or pipe. This means a good title tag will look something like this:
SEO Tips for Ecommerce Websites | Designer Websites
Your meta description also needs to clearly explain what your page is about in a couple of sentences. In previous years, meta descriptions were only allowed to be around 160 characters before they were truncated by Google. Now, new SERP changes mean meta descriptions can now be displayed up to 278 characters. This should be more than enough length to include at least one instance of your keyword and create a unique and concise description of the contents of the page.
Utilise an integrated blog to improve your SEO rankings
A blog on your e-commerce website is not only good for keeping your customers updated, it’s a great way to target more keywords. When you’re planning each page of your website and choosing unique keywords, there are sure to be a few that don’t make the cut. These can be targeted with blog posts. Blogs are also ideal for responding to trending topics such as news stories without updating the whole of your website. It's important to note search engines particularly respond well to accurate and recent data. Do not underestimate how much keeping a blog for your eCommerce site and improve your website's SEO ranking.
Plan ahead and write blog posts around these keywords in an attempt to bring more users through to the website. Try to provide informative content which will help your customers in some respect. This will not only help bring customers to the website, it will also create a level of trust between your company and the consumer. Trust is a great way to improve SEO rankings of web-pages. The more reliably you can answer a customer's query, the more trust and authority your web-page will get, which will improve your SEO ranking. We know it's a lot to produce weekly, even daily content on a blog, but there's a reason it's a tried and tested way to improve eCommerce SEO.
Another way blog posts can be utilised is to try and achieve the ‘featured snippet’ on the Google SERPs. Even if you’ve not heard of featured snippets before, you’ve most likely come across one. This is the result that usually appears at the top when you ask google a question.
Here’s an example:
To achieve a featured snippet, you need to answer the question better than anyone else. It needs to be clear to Google that you have answered the question as accurately and concisely as possible. That means getting straight to the point and no filler writing (or keyword stuffing).
Featured snippets have been referred to as search position #0 as they come above the search position #1. It has also been found that achieving the featured snippet can increase traffic to your ecommerce website by as much as 500%, in some cases.
Utilising your blog to target keywords and attempt to achieve the featured snippet is a great way of increasing traffic to your website and improving your SEO ranking.
We hope these SEO tips for ecommerce websites have helped you plan your next steps in the digital marketing world. If you are looking for professional help with your ecommerce website, then please get in touch anytime.