Many online retailers have run into difficulties when it comes to search engine optimization. They struggle to rank high on searches, and then they despair about their poor traffic. It seems impossible that they could ever secure a top ranking while there are so many established shops competing with them. Despite writing blogs, targeting keywords, and otherwise attempting to maximize their ranking, they have no luck.
However, why exactly does this happen? The answer is that they're not truly optimizing. Sometimes they commit basic SEO errors, but even those who write effectively optimized content often commit a key error. That is, they try to rank for broad, generic terms that are subject to industry-wide competition. While you may never outrank Amazon, there is a better way. By targeting more specific traffic and taking aim at your target demographic, you can draw a lower amount of traffic but enjoy higher overall odds of making conversions.
eCommerce SEO is a specialized subfield of SEO with techniques that are meant to optimize success for businesses in this industry. It varies from regular SEO in the overall strategy employed, the selection of keywords, and other elements. There's no doubt that it's a key to succeeding as an eCommerce operation, particularly as one of the smaller players.
When it comes to running a successful eCommerce business, specialized SEO is invaluable; just look at the statistics. Today, 44% of people start their online shopping with a Google search and 38% of ecommerce retailers' traffic comes from organic search results.
You need to optimize your eCommerce website in such a way that when somebody makes a query, your page has both the product they want and the information they need. This way you maximize your chances that the potential customer will click, stay on your site, and buy your product.
Research shows that ranking as high as possible is incredibly important. Even going up one position improves your click-through rate by 30% or more. Thus, in the highly competitive world of ecommerce, you can't afford middling success; you need to aim for the highest possible rank.
Every time that you rank on the first page for a search or climb up the first page rankings, you gain new leads and potential customers. Specialized eCommerce SEO is the key to fulfilling this goal.
Those already familiar with search engine optimization might wonder, how is eCommerce SEO any different? While some of the generic SEO rules still apply, there are a lot of tactics that are specific to this industry. You'll need to place your emphasis on different types of pages within the website, and you'll also leverage different keyword strategies.
For example, category pages are particularly important for ecommerce. Adding relevant, useful content will boost their performance on search engines. However, be mindful not to engage in keyword stuffing. This is the process of adding an unnaturally high number of keywords just to trick search engines. This used to work, but it only backfires nowadays. Search engines have sophisticated algorithms that can easily catch such aberrations and will penalize you for them.
Blogging should also be specifically tailored for the needs of an ecommerce website. For instance, data suggests that 98% of visitors won't make a purchase on their first visit. However, getting customers to visit your website multiple times can boost their likelihood of making a purchase.
Additionally, don't forget that you're also using blogging as a means to improve your search engine rankings. Don't get carried away with salesy content. Instead, create useful pages that will genuinely answer your visitor's questions and demonstrate that you're knowledgeable in your area.
A good SEO strategy can dramatically decrease your marketing spend. While an SEO strategy does require an initial investment, it has long-term results which can add up to dramatic amounts of saved expenses. While marketing campaigns or influencer promos can have great results, these only tend to last until the end of said campaign. Maintaining a steady stream of paid marketing efforts can end up being very costly. SEO on the other hand not only yields organic results, but also requires minimal maintenance once it's set up. If you want cost-efficiency in marketing, SEO is the way to go.
There are several major areas of eCommerce SEO that you should pay attention to. They all build on each other to make your site as good as it can be.
Keyword Research is the first and most important step in your SEO strategy. Skipping this step would put you in the unfortunate position to pick your keywords on gut feeling, quite likely getting something wrong in the process. As a result, you'd be missing out on traffic and sales.
Your online shop needs to have a clean, optimized structure. As with any other website, you should aim to make it easy for search engines to crawl and index every page, as this improves your rankings. On top of that, search engines try to rank user-friendly websites higher, which will further improve your optimization.
Improve User Experience
As search engines want to send their users to the pages that will help them most, they include user-friendliness in their ranking criteria. Work on-site architecture areas such as establishing clear navigation without using too many links and ensuring that your website is mobile-friendly. To this end, make sure that it looks good on a variety of screen sizes and that your pages are structured in a way that keeps page loading speed at a minimum.
Limit the Number of Clicks
A good rule of thumb is to ensure that users only need to make a limited number of clicks to get to any page. Marketing experts advise webmasters to ensure that any product page can be reached with a maximum of 3 clicks.
This is important not only because you'd improve the experience for your users, but also because each further click increases the chances of your potential clients giving up and closing the page. In terms of SEO, the further away any given page is from your homepage, the harder it is to index. This can significantly impair your rankings on search engines.
While there are a variety of possible Technical SEO issues, there are a few that occur most often. For instance:
Fix Duplicate Content Issues
Duplicate content is such that appears in more than one place. While search engines wouldn't necessarily penalize you for it, it can often worsen your ranking.
Find Deep/Orphaned Pages
Pages that aren't directly or indirectly linked to your homepage can't be indexed by search engines. This represents a missed opportunity for you, as your carefully curated content won't have much outreach. As websites grow and are updated, it's easy to end up with such 'orphaned' pages. That's why this is something that you should often check.
Avoid Keyword Cannibalization
In the marketing world, when multiple pages of the same website try to rank for the same search term, we call this keyword cannibalization. While it might seem like you're improving your chances this way, this strategy is highly unsuitable for search engine algorithms. As they need to decide which keyword is most important, this actually hurts your chances of ranking high on any of them.
The on-site portion of search engine optimization is perhaps the easiest to implement, simply you have complete control over your content. However, this doesn't mean it's quick and easy. Every title, description, image — they all matter.
To start with, the highest value for SEO comes from category pages and product descriptions. Thus, the bulk of your effort should be concentrated there.
If you're wondering why that is, remember that Google is primarily a tool for research. When a page has a lot of information, it estimates that a user is more likely to find what they're looking for there, and naturally, that page is going to rank higher. Thus, high-quality long-form category and product descriptions are likely to rank much higher than a bare-bones version.
Search engine optimization is not a quick and easy process. It requires a lot of careful research and consistent monitoring, both of which can be fairly time-consuming endeavors. To facilitate this process, there have been a variety of tools developed in recent years. Below, we've compiled a short list of some of the market leaders in the area, along with a short description to help you decide which one best suits your needs.
This tool provides you with a comprehensive list of suggested keywords that far exceeds the standard Google Keyword Planner tool. For best results, though, we recommend that you always check both.
Ahrefs is a comprehensive marketing tool that includes helper features for managing your link profile and keyword research. It includes three main helper features: Keyword Explorer, which helps you find the most suitable keywords for your website, Link Intersect for building up your reputation by checking yours and your competitors backlink, and Site Audit that helps you optimize your content. This premium tool significantly simplifies the SEO process and it's an excellent choice for those looking for comprehensive solutions.
When it comes to auditing technical and on-site SEO, ScreamingFrog is a market leader. This tool simplifies the execution of your Technical SEO. Otherwise tedious tasks such as finding broken links, assessing the crawlability of your website, and deleting duplicate content become quick and easy thanks to this tool.
This popular SEO suite includes tools designed to improve all major areas of search engine optimization. It's best known for its in-depth keyword research capabilities that provide you with a wide range of data to enable you to pick the optimal keywords with a high degree of precision. Another key feature is the Moz Pro Site Crawler, which crawls your website in the same way a search engine does.
MOZ sends you weekly reports, updating you on any weak spots or areas of improvement in your SEO. While some of its in-depth features may seem a bit confusing to marketing newbies, MOZ is a great option which you can continue using as your expertise grows.
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eCommerce SEO is the umbrella term for all the strategies and tactics that aim at improving eCommerce rankings on search engine result pages. A good SEO strategy will significantly increase your traffic, make your online shop more user-friendly, and ultimately lead to more sales.
More than important — it's essential. Not only is online retail a highly competitive area, but a search engine query is one of the most common ways customers start their shopping. Developing and maintaining an excelled SEO strategy offers great returns to online retailers.
When it comes to ecommerce, the competition is fierce, and every click matters. Statistics show that ranking just one spot higher for a Google search can increase your traffic tenfold! Thus, a professionally maintained SEO is essential to put you in the best position, increase your client base and ultimately make an impressive contribution to your overall profitability.
There is a wide range of pricing for ecommerce SEO. This depends on your website's size, your current levels of optimization, your budget, and whether you choose to outsource your SEO. At Noble Webworks, we have decades of experience in search engine optimization and digital marketing. Contact us and we'll build an individual ecommerce SEO plan that best suits your marketing needs and your budget.
Are you ready to get started or do have questions about your online marketing options? We are happy to talk with you either way.Contact Us