E-Commerce SEO: The Definitive Guide

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E-Commerce SEO: The Definitive Guide


A Guide to Best E-Commerce SEO practices

actionable strategies

About 37.5% of all the traffic to eCommerce websites comes from the search engine and 26.6% of the purchases come directly from organic traffic. The websites that appear at the top of the search results get 79% of the clicks. Therefore implementing SEO strategies is a must to rank in the search results and get traffic.

You need to implement actionable strategies to target the right audience to get traffic and revenue. The SEO strategies for eCommerce websites are as follows:

important steps of SEO

1. First, your users should be able to find your eCommerce website in the search results. To reach your users you will have to identify your target keywords. This is the first step in developing an SEO strategy. There are short-tail and long-tail keywords.

  • Short-tail keywords are the short terms the users type in while searching. These keywords can drive a large amount of traffic but not necessarily the ones that convert.

  • Long-tail keywords are more specific versions of the main keyword. These keywords drive lower traffic volumes but bring in more clicks and conversions.

You need these keywords to optimise your product and category pages. The list of keywords is important for technical SEO too as they are used in the URLs and the site architecture. Keyword research is one of the most important steps of SEO.

biggest eCommerce website

To find keywords and the keywords the competition already ranks for you can use tools like Keyword Tool Dominator, SEMrush, Google Keyword Planner, Ahref’s and more. Amazon is the biggest eCommerce website so you can check out Amazon Suggest too.

You can check out Google Related Search Suggestions to find keywords. These keywords are available on every page below the Google search results.

For categories and product pages, you can check out Amazon and Wikipedia as they use categories and keywords to organise their pages.

There are informational keywords that can be used in blog posts and purchase intent keywords to drive conversions. You should understand the intent behind each keyword.

KWFinder tool

2. Once you have identified your keywords you will have to decide which keyword to use. You can find the best keywords as follows:

  • Find the search volume of a given keyword in your industry. There are high-volume and low-volume keywords. You can use the KWFinder tool to get the monthly search volume information.

  • A keyword may have tons of searches but it will not be the right one for you if it does not fit well with what you sell. If the keyword is not right then people searching for the term will not convert. You should double-check that the keyword fits your website well.

  • Before deciding on a keyword check if the people using those keywords are ballers or broke. You can use the tool Google Keyword Planner. Its feature ‘Competition’ shows the number of people that bid on a keyword in Google Ads. If many people are bidding on the keyword then it is the right one to choose. For eCommerce websites, it is best to choose the ‘High’ and ‘Medium’ competition keywords.

  • Find out how competitive a keyword is to rank for. You can use the SEMrush tool for this and check its feature ‘Keyword Difficulty’. The higher the score the more difficult to rank for that keyword.

You can check the websites that rank in the top 10 for the keyword you are using. If the keywords are semi-related then you can outrank them with highly targeted content.

website’s category and product pages

3. As eCommerce websites have many product pages therefore the site architecture becomes very important. Site architecture is how the pages on your website are organised. The site architecture should make it easy for search engines and users to find your pages. The rules to follow while building the site architecture are:

  • Try to keep things as simple as possible and scalable.

  • Try to keep each page fewer (about three) clicks away from the home page.

Use a site structure where the authority of the links is concentrated in the website’s category and product pages. This concentrated authority helps the pages to rank in Google. You should build a hierarchy site architecture.

search engines another opportunity

Follow this process before building your navigation and site structure:

  • Ask yourself questions like ‘What searches do the customers use before arriving on your website?’, ‘What pages get the most traffic?’, ‘What are the top exit pages?’ and more.

  • Decide if you want to incorporate drop-down menus in your navigation. Make sure you use HTML for this as the search engines cannot find navigation unless written in HTML.

  • Use short-term keywords to decide what you want to name your category pages.

  • If you are using filters you will have to pay attention to your URL parameters as they can cause duplicate content. You can choose to index your filtered products and if you do not want to index your filters then you can add hashtags before them.

  • Add Breadcrumbs to your product pages as sometimes Google can show them instead of the URL. Using Breadcrumbs also gives the users and the search engines another opportunity to see where your products fit in on the website.

Technical SEO for eCommerce websites

Technical SEO for eCommerce websites

Technical SEO is important as it is often the tie-breaker if you and your competitor are neck-to-neck. A technical SEO issue can be the difference between the 4th spot or the #1 position. You can use tools like SEMrush, DeepCrawl, ScreamingFrog and Site Condor to perform a technical SEO audit of an eCommerce website.

  • The eCommerce websites have thousands of pages and writing unique content for each can be stressful and you also have to deal with duplicate content issues. To fix such problems you can delete the pages that do not bring any traffic or ‘Noindex’ them or combine them into a super page.

common SEO issues
  • One of the most common SEO issues with eCommerce websites is duplicate content. This issue occurs due to the following reasons:

    • This issue occurs if you use unique URLs for every version of a product and a category page and if you index them then it leads to duplicate content issues.

    • It can also occur if you have a snippet of text that appears on multiple pages. If this content goes to 100+ words then it can cause duplicate content issues.

    • This issue occurs if you copy descriptions and many of your products and categories pages may have the same content.

    • To solve duplicate content issues you should create unique content for every page of your website. You can use canonical tags to tell the search engine that this page is a variation of the original page.

problem of thin content
  • ECommerce websites suffer from the problem of thin content. It is challenging to write lots of unique content for similar products. To fix this problem you can identify the pages and write high-quality and unique content for those pages.

  • Your website can load slowly if you have problems like bloated eCommerce platforms, large image file sizes and slow hosting and servers. To improve your website’s speed you can upgrade your hosting, use a CDN and compress your image files.

On-Page SEO for eCommerce websites

On-Page SEO is a must to optimise the category and the product pages.

On-Page SEO for eCommerce websites
  • Use keywords in your titles and also modifiers so that your website shows up for long-tail searches. For example, If your keyword is ‘Noiseless headphones’ then you can use search terms that people use like ‘Cheap’, ‘Best’, ‘Free shipping’ and more.

  • You should also optimise your titles for CTR (Click-Through-Rate). Because a higher CTR leads to more clicks and thus more sales. You can use ‘Click Magnet Words’ in your titles like ‘X% (25%) off’, ‘Lower price’ ‘Guarantee’, ‘Sale’ and more.

  • You should optimise your website’s description tags. In description tags, you can use longer phrases. For example, ‘Best price on a product today’, ‘All of our products are on sale for now’ and more.

LSI keywords in your content
  • Create high-quality content for the category and product pages. Write 1000+ words of content as Google likes to understand what your content is about. The more information you provide the better. You cannot write 1000 words of content for every product so you can write such content for your top 10 -15 products.

  • Use your target keywords 3 - 5 times in your content to help Google understand what your content is about. Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) keywords are words and phrases closely related to your main keyword. You can use Google Keyword Planner to find LSI keywords. Also, use LSI keywords in your content.

URLs of eCommerce websites tend
  • The URLs of eCommerce websites tend to be longer because you have to add the categories and sub-categories in them. This does not mean that your URLs can go beyond 50+ characters. You should create SEO-friendly URLs and use your keyword in them. Use 1 - 2 to describe your categories, 1 - 2 words for subcategories and the keyword for the products page.

    For example, http://example.com/kitcheapplicnces/slowcookers/5-quart-crockpot

  • In eCommerce websites, the internal linking is almost done automatically. This is because the site navigation already creates a lot of natural internal links. You should build internal links from authoritative pages to your high-priority category and product pages.

Product schema markup
  • You can use rich snippets to stand out in Google search results. The schema markup gives the search engine a deeper understanding of your content. Use schema markup on your product pages. You can use Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper to set your schema markup. You can add two types of markup: Product schema makeup and Review schema markup.

    In the Product schema markup, you can add the product name, price, image, description and more.

    In Review schema markup there are two types of markings: Aggregate ratings and Individual reviews. Using Aggregate ratings you can implement overall rating values, rating count, best rating and more. In Individual reviews, you will need the reviewer, review date, review value, best ratings and more.

permanent redirect
  • If any of the products are not available anymore then delete that page to avoid giving your customers a 404 error. You should regularly clean and redirect your dead pages. You can redirect the users using the 303 redirects or a permanent redirect.

  • If you are implementing Pagination on your website then make sure you add the
    { meta name=”robots” content=noindex, follow” }tag to all the pages in the series except page one to make sure that only the first page of your series is indexed.

  • Infinite scrolling can delay the users from reaching the website footer and if you have more products then you can use the “Load More” button.

  • Create an XML sitemap as it contains the list of all the URLs on your website. It creates a readable format of the website for search engines. You can make several sections in your sitemaps like Products, Categories, Boilerplate pages, Editorial pages and Blogs.

  • You should optimise your website for mobile as mobile traffic is on the rise. You can use a mobile-friendly design for your website, use mobile-friendly images and more.

On-site SEO for eCommerce websites

On-site SEO for eCommerce websites

  • You should be active on social media and offer social media share buttons on your product pages. This will help to promote your products on social media. You can also add the share button on the checkout page.

  • If you use images for your products then use Alt-tags for all of them. Use keyword-rich and descriptive names for your file. Always add the image dimensions and size in the file name. Create a keyword-rich and description Alt-tag for your image. Compress your file images to ensure that they do not slow down the website.

  • When customers watch videos they are more confident about their decision to purchase. You can add product videos to your website to improve your rankings and conversion rate. Keep your video simple, short and sweet.

Content marketing for eCommerce websites

You should do content marketing to get more traffic and sales.

Content marketing for eCommerce websites
  • Find out where your customer hangs out online this will give you insights into their thoughts and desires. You can go to places where they hang out online.

    For example, if you are selling coffee then you can check out Reddit’s coffee community, forums about coffee and more.

  • Find the words and phrases your audience uses to describe their problems and issues. These are the keywords they do not use while shopping. But you can create blog content around these keywords.

  • Create content that is the best and for this, you can use the Skyscraper technique. When you regularly publish content on your website your category and the product pages will rank better.

  • Once you have created content you should build backlinks on your eCommerce website. You can use link-building strategies to boost your organic traffic.

You can use the strategies stated above to show up in the SERPs without sending money on paid ads. If you need help implementing these strategies you can consider Supramind.com, we are eCommerce SEO consultants.