What do you do when you want to buy a certain type of product online?
You probably Google it.
For ecommerce sites, SEO can be an important part of a well rounded digital marketing strategy.
If you can rank for the right searches — the ones that reflect commercial intent — you can make tons of sales on a daily basis.
Doing SEO for ecommerce is its own distinctive niche within SEO as a whole.
You want to put the focus onto what you might call “high impact pages.” Basically, your “money pages,” the ones that it's most important to rank.
Product pages and category pages are probably the most important of all.
In a recent blog post, SEMRush offers a helpful primer on how to optimize your high-impact pages for organic search traffic.
It's a matter of targeting the right keyword searches, making sure technical on-page factors are in order, and using URLs and site structures that are not just intuitive for human readers, but also easy for search engine crawlers to follow.
Optimize High-Impact Pages
The high-impact pages are the most visited pages on your website.
They are the ones that attract more visitors and stimulate more engagement from your users.
In most cases, these high-impact pages include homepage, product pages, category pages, blog posts and trending pages.
Here are some tips for you:
Tip #1: Determine your target keywords.
You need to know the most common words (or keywords) that your target audience are using.
From there, insert those keywords on your high-impact pages and of course, your meta data.
Include textual information that is helpful, descriptive and relevant.
When selecting keywords, you need to consider its search volume, relevance, location-based popularity, and ranking difficulty. So how can you find the best keywords for you?
1. Use keyword tools.
Use Keyword tools to find out which keywords you should use on your high-impact pages.
If you are on a budget, you can opt to use free tools such as Google’s Keyword Planner.
If you’d like to save time and generate more effective keywords, you can go for paid SEO tools like SEMrush.
2. Refine your keyword list.
Targeting all keywords will be a waste of time.
Generate traffic faster by starting with low competition keywords.
The faster you generate traffic, the faster your website becomes established and improve your chances of getting high search rankings.
3. Stalk your competitors’ strategy.
In most cases, your competitors have already made a significant stride in their SEO campaigns.
Check out their website and study how they use keywords, then focus on how they present their overall brand.
Take note of their popular products and homepage. By doing so, you get an idea which keywords are most profitable.
Tip #2: Use long–tail keywords.
In the simplest sense, long-tail keywords generally include at least three words.
Most searchers don’t just use a single word when looking for something.
Long-tail keywords are more specific, and they play a significant role in search engine configuration.
Here’s an example:
[image source: SEMRush]
See how specific are those keywords in the auto complete search bar?
That’s what you want to do. Be as specific as possible such as inserting color(s), size or type of your product.
Remember, people who use long-tail keywords have a higher conversion rate because they know exactly what they are looking for.
Also, there is a lesser competition in targeting long-tail keywords since they aim for niche demographics rather than mass audiences, so they have a better chance of allowing you to rank higher for popular topics.
Once you figure out the keywords you need to use, do the following:
Tip #3: Write unique & compelling metadata for each page.
Keep your meta title under 60 characters while 160 characters for your meta description.
Tip #4: Use ALT tags on your images.
Insert keywords and descriptive ALT tags.
Tip #5: Use search–engine friendly URLs.
Use URLs that are readable by both humans and search engines.
Make sure that your URLs are simple, and straightforward.
Avoid strange symbols, numbers, and character combinations that don’t make sense.
Tip #6: Optimize Your Homepage.
Structure your navigation bar. Add visuals (set descriptive ALT tags) of your main products/services that are inviting with textual information.
Add links to your most popular products/services. Add a great tagline with your main keywords.
If you’re local, be sure to put your location. Here’s a good example (see how it has the “Toronto” keyword):
[image source: SEMRush]
Tip #7: Optimize product pages
Create unique product descriptions.
Exert the effort to write an in-depth content of up to 1,000 words for each product. You can include the size, features, colors, customer’s F.A.Q. and reviews.
Check out some products on Amazon for ideas!
Incorporate customer reviews:
Reviews naturally generate keywords for your content (including long-tail keywords).
Every review keeps your content fresh and updated.
The reviews also help with increasing the amount of words per page.
Remember, search engines love active & thick content.
Also, reviews can make your users spend more time on your page which can decrease your site’s bounce rate.
Keep out–of–stock product pages live.
You don’t want to frustrate users with a 404 page, and search engines can consider those as broken links.
Just leave page as is and specify its status. You can use that page to introduce other related products.
PRO TIP: Adding “email me when back in stock” message is the best approach.
Set up rich snippets.
Increase your CTR with rich snippets.
Include relevant information such as stock data, reviews, ratings, the name of sellers, the condition of products, and others.
Here’s an example:
[image source: SEMRush]
Tip #8: Optimize Categories & Tag Pages
Link to related categories.
Sometimes, your products share a common theme. In this case, it’s best that you do cross-linking.
For example, if you have products for helmets, try to add a link for gloves or boots.
These items fall under personal protective equipment.
Highlight your top products and most viewed items in each category & tag pages.
You can learn more about SEO best practices for ecommerce businesses over at SEMRush.
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