the blog

eCommerce SEO: How Online Stores Can Drive Organic Traffic?


In the rapidly evolving digital era, eCommerce has emerged as a pivotal force within the retail sector. The proliferation of millions of online stores intensifies the competition for consumer attention, making it imperative for businesses to adopt strategies that set them apart. Among the myriad approaches, Search Engine (SEO) stands out as a critical tactic that can profoundly influence an online store’s visibility. In essence, SEO involves optimising a website to attain higher rankings in search engine results, enhancing the likelihood of attracting organic traffic. As consumers increasingly turn to search engines to discover products and services, the strategic implementation of SEO becomes a linchpin for online stores aiming to thrive in the digital marketplace.

In this blog, we will look into the realm of eCommerce SEO and explore how online stores can drive organic traffic to their websites.

What is eCommerce SEO?

eCommerce SEO, or eCommerce Search Engine Optimisation, refers to the specialised practice of optimising online stores to improve their visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs). This strategic approach involves a combination of techniques and tactics aimed at enhancing a website’s organic search ranking, thereby increasing its chances of being discovered by potential customers. Key aspects of eCommerce SEO include keyword research, where relevant search terms are identified and strategically incorporated into various elements of the website, such as product descriptions and meta tags. Additionally, optimising product pages, ensuring mobile compatibility, creating high-quality content, and building a network of authoritative backlinks are integral components of eCommerce SEO. By implementing these strategies, online retailers seek to not only attract more organic traffic but also to improve their overall online presence, ultimately contributing to increased sales and sustained business growth in the competitive digital marketplace.

Key Aspects of eCommerce SEO

Key aspects of eCommerce SEO encompass a multifaceted approach aimed at optimising online stores for enhanced visibility and improved search engine rankings. These crucial components play a pivotal role in attracting organic traffic and fostering sustained growth in the competitive digital landscape.

  • Keyword Research: Conducting thorough keyword research is fundamental to eCommerce SEO. Identifying relevant and high-volume keywords specific to the products or services offered allows businesses to strategically integrate them into various elements of their website. This includes product titles, descriptions, meta tags, and URLs, optimising content for search engine algorithms and increasing the likelihood of appearing in relevant search results.
  • Optimising Product Pages: The optimisation of individual product pages is paramount. This involves creating compelling and informative product descriptions, incorporating high-quality images, and encouraging customer reviews. By ensuring that product titles and descriptions contain relevant keywords, online stores not only improve their search engine rankings but also enhance the overall user experience, potentially leading to higher conversion rates.
  • Mobile Optimisation: With the increasing prevalence of mobile commerce, optimising for mobile devices is imperative. Search engines prioritise mobile-friendly websites, and a responsive design ensures that users have a seamless experience across various devices. Mobile optimisation contributes not only to improved SEO performance but also to higher user satisfaction, positively influencing search engine rankings.
  • Quality Content: Regularly updating the website with high-quality and relevant content is crucial for eCommerce SEO. Blog posts, product guides, and tutorials not only engage the audience but also provide additional opportunities to incorporate keywords naturally. Fresh and valuable content contributes to a website’s authority and relevancy, factors that search engines consider when determining rankings.
  • Technical SEO: Technical aspects of a website play a crucial role in its SEO performance. Optimising page load speed, fixing broken links, creating an XML sitemap, and ensuring proper website architecture contribute to a positive user experience. Addressing these technical elements not only improves SEO but also enhances the overall functionality and accessibility of the online store.
  • Backlinking: Building a network of high-quality backlinks is another essential aspect of eCommerce SEO. Collaborating with influencers, industry partners, and authoritative websites can generate valuable links pointing to the online store. These backlinks signal to search engines that the website is reputable and credible, positively impacting its search engine rankings.

How does eCommerce SEO Help Drive Organic Traffic?

On-Page SEO Strategy: Optimising on-page SEO for eCommerce platforms involves strategically placing keywords in appropriate locations to ensure that Google accurately understands the content and purpose of your page. This practice is vital not only for boosting visibility in standard Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) but also for securing presence in various other SERP features.

The significance of on-page SEO lies in its capacity to facilitate appearances in diverse SERP features, making it an indispensable element for eCommerce platforms aiming to enhance their overall search engine visibility.

SERP ranking depends on the following factors:

Keyword Research

  • Conducting keyword research marks the pivotal initial phase of any eCommerce SEO campaign. The repercussions of inaccuracies in this stage are significant and can manifest in two undesirable outcomes:
  • Targeting keywords that prove too challenging to rank for, resulting in failure to secure a position on the coveted first page of search results.
  • Targeting keywords that prove too challenging to rank for, resulting in failure to secure a position on the coveted first page of search results.

The critical importance of eCommerce keyword research lies in its ability to guide the selection of keywords that are not only easy to rank for but also possess a commendable search volume and exhibit high conversion rates. However, the process of choosing keywords extends beyond a simple assessment of ranking difficulty or search popularity. Four viable options aid in comprehensive ecommerce keyword research, facilitating the evaluation of keyword difficulty (KD), search volume, and uncovering buyer intent:

Determine the Right Keywords

  • Employing tools like Ahrefs becomes essential for obtaining keyword data, including difficulty, search volume, and buyer intent.
  • Google Keyword Planner provides rough search volume and Cost Per Click (CPC) for buyer intent but lacks information on keyword difficulty and spread.
  • For a more sophisticated approach, consider constructing a keyword matrix, a method based on KD, search volume, and search intent, enabling the identification of optimal keywords for each page.

Utilise Amazon for Keyword Insight

  • Amazon proves to be a valuable resource for high buyer intent keywords, as users often search with the intent to make a purchase.
  • Typing a seed keyword on Amazon generates autofill suggestions, offering a plethora of keyword ideas to be recorded in a Google spreadsheet.
  • The Amazon Keyword Tool streamlines this process by automatically scraping autofill suggestions for any entered keyword, facilitating the creation of a comprehensive list downloadable in CSV format.

Conduct Competitor Research for Keywords

  • Analysing competitors who rank higher in search results provides insights into potential keywords.
  • Google searches with your keyword, selecting a competitor, and scanning their category and product pages can reveal valuable keyword ideas.
  • Caution is advised against blindly adopting competitors’ keywords, considering factors such as domain authority. Consideration of breadcrumbs, an advanced navigation function aiding Google’s site scanning, is also crucial.

Tap into Ahrefs for Keyword Opportunities

  • Ahrefs emerges as a versatile SEO tool, offering features for keyword research, competitive analysis, and backlink building.
  • The user-friendly system allows the examination of keyword rankings on both your site and competitors’, providing insights into comparative performance and areas for enhancement.

Product Pages for eCommerce

eCommerce product pages, along with category pages, are arguably the most crucial for achieving high rankings. When these pages appear in Google search results, users gain immediate access to all the products within that specific category.

To effectively optimise these pages, it is essential to strategically place the target keyword in various key locations:

URL Optimisation

  • Embedding the primary keyword in the URL provides a straightforward method to enhance search rankings. This is particularly pertinent for websites operating in competitive niches, offering an additional advantage over competitors and driving increased traffic.
  • Customising URLs to align with the most effective keyword for category page rankings is also recommended.

Title Tag (H1) Placement

  • The page title tag, represented by the H1 tag, should feature the keyword as close to the beginning as possible. This approach promotes the central themes of the page, contributing to organic ranking for the title tag.

Body Copy Integration

  • Crafting effective body copy becomes crucial for category pages that often directly showcase products without a formal introduction. To optimise for Google, aiming for a minimum 300-word introduction with the keyword repeated 2-3 times is advisable.

Image Alt Text Inclusion

  • Considering Google’s inability to read images, providing descriptive alt text becomes vital. This not only informs Google about the image’s content but also offers an additional opportunity to include the keyword on the page. It enhances the chances of appearing in Google image results.

Metadata Enhancement

  • While direct impacts on rankings are not proven, incorporating the keyword into metadata, including meta description and tags, can enhance click-through rates (CTR). Improved CTR has been associated with higher rankings, as Google bolds the main keyword in the search results.

Adhering to these optimisation steps for all category pages and extending the same strategy to product pages ensures a comprehensive and strategic approach to enhance search engine visibility and improve overall rankings.

Content Marketing

In contemporary marketing strategies, content plays an increasingly vital role. According to a study conducted by Oberlo:

  • 96% of decision-makers in marketing affirm that content marketing has proven to be effective for their brand.
  • More than half of marketers utilise organic traffic as a metric to gauge the success of their content.
  • 70% of marketers actively invest in content marketing.

The significance of quality content becomes evident as it emerges as one of the most straightforward methods for ecommerce stores to enhance keyword rankings and establish backlinks. Notably, product and category pages have limitations in terms of the number of keywords they can effectively target. Once these limitations are reached, there is a saturation point, and further expansion in search visibility becomes challenging.

Content, in this context, becomes a valuable tool to fill these gaps. It enables businesses to rank for both short and long-tail keywords relevant to their industry. The adoption of content marketing not only boosts website traffic but also contributes to increased sales. Moreover, it facilitates the process of building links to the site, thereby enhancing domain authority—a crucial factor in online credibility and visibility.

Improved Option: Technical SEO Optimisation

 The SEO process goes beyond mere keyword optimisation; it encompasses a technical facet that delves into the intricate details of a website. When conducting SEO cleanup or eCommerce SEO audits, it becomes imperative to scrutinise and comprehend the following elements of your site:

Website Architecture

eCommerce site architecture, or the arrangement of navigation, category pages, and product pages, determines how effectively you present the most pertinent content to potential customers. At its essence, it aims to minimise the number of clicks required for users to access relevant information.

There are two fundamental principles for creating an effective site structure:

a) Simplicity and Scalability

  • Ensure the structure is straightforward and adaptable.
  • No page should be more than three clicks away from any other page.

b) Keyword-Driven Structure

  • Utilise keyword research to shape highly relevant page URLs and subdirectories.

Page Speed

 The speed of your website is crucial for both its ranking and user experience. As per a Radware study, 51 percent of online shoppers in the United States stated that they would not proceed with a purchase if a website was excessively slow.

To assess and enhance your site’s speed, you can use Google’s PageSpeed Insights Tool. Simply input your URL, and Google will provide a score ranging from 1 to 100 for both Mobile and Desktop versions, along with recommendations to expedite your website’s loading times.

RELATED BLOG: How to Improve Page Speed for More Traffic & Conversions?

Redirects

Redirects serve as a method to guide users and search engines to an alternative URL than the one initially sought.

The impact of redirects on your SEO is contingent on various factors. Search engines commonly use distinct URLs for identification purposes. When Google assesses a page and encounters a redirect, it endeavours to establish the relevance between the new page and the keyword associated with the original page.

It is imperative to establish a connection between the old URL and the redirected one to safeguard your SEO rankings, as a lack of correlation may result in potential ranking losses.

Related Post: Navigating SEO Redirects: Decoding the Differences between 301 and 302

Internal Linking

Incorporating internal links within product category pages plays a crucial role in directing users and searchers seamlessly across different pages on your website, often an aspect overlooked in SEO strategies.

Through the strategic placement of internal links on your pages, you are essentially constructing an interconnected ecosystem within your website. This not only retains readers on your pages but also enhances the probability of increased engagement and conversions.

Related Post: Mastering Internal Link Structure: 5 Best Practices for SEO Success

HTTPS

Make certain that every URL is crafted with the relevant keywords in consideration. Frequently, URLs are generated automatically, and some marketers may neglect to optimise them before proceeding to the next page. This oversight is a missed opportunity. By meticulously shaping each URL as a natural extension of the respective page, you can elevate your rankings and enhance your SEO capabilities.

Mobile Responsive

As of the conclusion of 2021, over 60% of searches on Google were conducted using a mobile device. Considering this, it becomes apparent that ensuring your website is not only mobile-friendly but also mobile responsive is imperative for the success of your SEO strategy.

Related Post: Importance of User Experience in eCommerce & How to Offer the Best UX

Duplicate Content

Google strongly disapproves of duplicate content and imposes penalties on websites featuring an excess of redundant pages. It is essential to ensure that when creating content or category pages, they possess uniqueness and can distinguish themselves from other parts of your site.

Hreflang

Hreflang serves as an HTML attribute employed to designate the language and geographical targeting of a webpage. Within your SEO strategy, Hreflang can prove beneficial when dealing with multiple versions of the same page in different languages, assisting in their distinct recognition on Google. The goal is to avoid penalties for attempting to reach diverse audiences worldwide.

Canonicals

Canonical URLs or tags play a vital role in guiding Google about the preferred version of a URL to display in search results. In situations involving similar topics or pages, keywords may exist in multiple URLs. Failing to tag the master page can lead to adverse SEO consequences, as Google may impose penalties due to the redundancy of search terms.

Sitemap

A sitemap is a document offering details about pages, videos, or other files present on your website. Essentially, it functions to inform Google about the crucial pages on your site, facilitating a more efficient crawl of your site. Sitemaps, often overlooked, are an indispensable component of your SEO strategy. By indicating to search engines where to focus, you can strategically guide potential readers and viewers to specific pages, consequently boosting their rankings and enabling you to control site traffic.

Approaches to Building Links:  Google prioritises two key factors more than anything else:

  • Content
  • Links

Backlinks originating from external websites possessing high domain authority have the potential to significantly enhance your rankings, surpassing nearly any other ranking factor. As these fall under off-page SEO, the process is slightly more intricate and time-consuming compared to making adjustments directly to your website. Collaboration with fellow bloggers and retailers becomes essential for acquiring these valuable links.

The subsequent five distinctive chances for building links stand out as some of the most efficient and straightforward to comprehend:

1. Building Links through Resource Pages: Resource pages, essentially pages abundant with industry-related materials, come in various forms, often as blog posts or simple static pages. While static pages may lack the same authority as blogs, they are generally easier to create and can contribute to boosting your rankings. Though the latter may not grant authority due to the multitude of links, they are more accessible and can still enhance your rankings. To discover resource pages, use a Google search like “inurl:resources + X” (X representing your product, topic, or industry). Once you identify a promising page, add its URL and the site’s contact information to a spreadsheet. When you have a reliable list of leads, personalise each email to avoid sounding robotic.

2. Collaboration with Influencers: Influencers within your industry or niche, possessing a substantial following or a website with high domain authority, can be valuable partners. While influencer marketing is a familiar concept, collaborating with influencers for SEO involves a different approach. Instead of paying influencers to promote your product on social media, the objective is to establish backlinks from their site to yours. This could involve a blog post featuring product descriptions or a link from an existing page on their site.

3. Broken Link Building: Also known as “building links by fixing the internet,” broken link building is a highly effective and straightforward tactic. Utilise a browser extension like Check My Link to scan websites in your niche for broken links. You can target resource pages for a dual benefit or explore blog posts related to your topic. The extension highlights broken links in red, making them easy to identify. Upon finding a broken link on a site, reach out to the owner with an email to address the issue.

4. Acquiring Competitor’s Links: Enhance your rankings while simultaneously outperforming your competitors by leveraging tools like Ahrefs. Analyse your competitor’s keywords and identify the sources of their links, aiming to acquire those links for yourself. Follow these steps:

  • Input their URL into the site explorer.
  • Navigate to the “backlinks” tab on the left-hand side.
  • Filter by “One link per domain” and link-type “Dofollow” (indicating Google should follow them).

This approach allows you to precisely identify where your competitors are obtaining their links and from which pages.

5. Guest Posting: Engaging in guest posting through blogs or articles is an effective strategy for link-building. It enables your site to establish relationships with industry experts and other websites, leveraging their expertise and readership to enhance your site’s visibility. Guest posting also facilitates the acquisition of high-quality links both to and from your site, contributing to improved SEO keyword rankings.

Quantifying SEO Excellence: Metrics and Indicators of Success

 SEO isn’t as cut and dry as pay-per-click (PPC) — you can’t immediately calculate ROI after a day of ad spend. Instead, the signs are more subtle and take longer, relying on small increases in rankings.

In order to track your rankings, there are two things you should do:

  • Utilise Ahrefs for monitoring search rankings. Ahrefs features a built-in rank tracking function that notifies you of any fluctuations in your rankings. This feature has been enhanced to offer additional valuable insights, such as comparing your progress with competitors and assessing your overall search visibility. It provides a general indication of whether your rankings are showing an overall upward or downward trend.
  • For a more in-depth understanding, especially if you prefer free or structured data, employ Google Analytics to measure organic traffic and engagement metrics. Install the Webris SEO dashboard for analytics for a methodical approach to assessing ranking improvements. With Webris, instead of seeking immediate ranking changes, focus on subtle indicators, including:
  1. Increases in search traffic.
  2. The landing page that attracts search traffic.

These pieces of information help identify the keywords you’re ranking for, and conducting an incognito Google search allows you to assess your current position.

Wrapping Up,

In the competitive world of eCommerce, leveraging SEO strategies is essential for online stores looking to drive organic traffic. By implementing these key strategies, businesses can enhance their visibility in search engine results, attract more potential customers, and ultimately increase sales. Remember, eCommerce SEO is an ongoing process that requires consistent effort, but the long-term benefits make it a worthwhile investment for any online business. For more detailed insights into the perfect SEO strategies for your business, get in touch with us at 18th DigiTech today!