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In a world where paid ads exist, many eCommerce owners make the mistake of underestimating the power of good old SEO.
The thing is, before you get conversions, you need to drive traffic to your eCommerce site and one of the best ways to do that is to invest in on-page SEO.
But before we go on, what is SEO and why is it important?
What Is SEO?
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) serves as the linchpin for e-commerce success. But what exactly is SEO? It’s a multifaceted strategy aimed at improving your website’s visibility on search engine results pages (SERPs) to draw organic, or unpaid, traffic. As we chart our course through 2023, SEO is no longer optional; it’s imperative for achieving higher search rankings, driving quality organic traffic, and maximising sales. This comprehensive guide will delve into the top 7 crucial practices that constitute a robust SEO strategy, which are:
- Keyword Research
- Site Architecture
- Technical SEO
- On-Page SEO
- Off-Page SEO
- Content Strategies
- Tracking & Analytics
By mastering these elements, you are positioning your e-commerce business for increased visibility, customer engagement, and revenue.
Why Is It Important?
SEO is essential in today’s e-commerce landscape for setting your online store apart from countless competitors. It helps you become more visible and capture potential customers’ attention.
SEO’s main role is to bring organic traffic to your site. Effective strategies can improve your search engine rankings, increasing visibility and consumer trust in the process.
Ignoring SEO means leaving money on the table. A strong SEO strategy can drive quality traffic, leading to higher conversion rates and ultimately, more sales.
Keyword Research: The Bedrock of Your SEO Strategy
Key Elements: Search Volume and Organic Competition
Keyword research is the cornerstone of any SEO strategy. Understanding the terms potential customers use to find products similar to yours enables you to target your content and product listings effectively.
Search Volume: This refers to the number of times a particular keyword is searched for each month. Higher search volume keywords tend to drive more traffic but are generally more competitive.
Organic Competition: This gauges how challenging it is to rank for a keyword. Lower competition is generally preferable, especially for new or small e-commerce sites.
Pro Tip: Utilise tools like Long Tail Pro to gain insights into both search volume and competition. Screenshot these metrics for future reference.
Site Architecture: Crafted with SEO in Mind
Internal Linking Structure and Site Navigation
How your website is structured significantly influences SEO. A well-designed architecture can assist both search engines and users in navigating your site more effectively.
Internal Linking Structure: This involves linking your web pages together in a logical manner. Utilise anchor text that is descriptive and relevant to the content you are linking to.
Site Navigation: Make it intuitive. Categories and subcategories should be straightforward and easily accessible.
Technical SEO: The Underlying Essentials
URLs, Robots.txt, and Sitemap
Technical SEO might seem daunting, but these basic elements are crucial for search engines to crawl and index your site.
URLs: Keep them short and descriptive. For example, use
Robots.txt: This file instructs search engines what they can and cannot access on your site.
Sitemap: Submit your sitemap via Google Search Console to ensure all your pages are indexed.
Note: Utilise Google’s Search Console to monitor which pages are indexed. Screenshots of this data can assist you in keeping track of your progress.
On-Page SEO: Turn Each Page into a Sales Advocate
Product Category Pages and Product Pages
On-page elements like title tags, meta descriptions, and content quality all play a role in your SEO rankings.
Product Category Pages: Use high-volume keywords in your headers and content. Be sure to write engaging, useful descriptions for your categories.
Product Pages: Focus on product-specific long-tail keywords. Provide ample information, including multiple images and customer reviews when possible.
Off-Page SEO: The World Beyond Your Website
Link Building and Social Media Links
Link Building: Backlinks from reputable sites add to your site’s authority, boosting your SEO.
Social Media Links: Whilst social signals are not a direct ranking factor, they do contribute to your online presence, which can indirectly benefit your SEO.
Content: The Fuel for Your SEO Engine
Top of the Funnel – Blogging; Middle of the Funnel – Reviews; Bottom of the Funnel – Product Category Pages/Product Pages
Blogging: Useful for attracting potential customers who are in the awareness stage. Concentrate on solving problems or answering questions related to your products.
Reviews: Build trust and assist customers who are considering a purchase in making a decision.
Product Category/Product Pages: Aim to convert the customer. Ensure these pages are optimised with high-converting keywords and clear calls-to-action.
Tracking: Metrics That Truly Matter
Organic Traffic by Pages, by Location, and Keyword Rank
The only way to determine if your SEO efforts are bearing fruit is by tracking relevant metrics.
Organic Traffic by Pages: This helps you understand which pages are performing well.
By Location: Reveals where your audience is based, allowing you to tailor your SEO strategies accordingly.
Keyword Rank: Keep an eye on how your keywords are performing in search rankings.
By adhering to these top 7 best practices in SEO, your e-commerce website is well on its way to heightened visibility, increased organic traffic, and improved sales. The key is to remain consistent and stay updated with the latest SEO trends and guidelines. Happy optimising!