Selling online is not just about setting up an eCommerce website and praying to the lord to telepathically inform all his followers about your online store. You have to work to be noticed. Brand managers are investing hours and hours every day in marketing their businesses, of which SEO is a significant part.
As soon as I said the word SEO, you must be thinking how monotonous, time-consuming, and not so result guaranteed the entire process is. I will agree that it is indeed a laborious job, but when it comes to results, it all depends on the SEO techniques. I have assembled a list of eleven eCommerce SEO hacks that will help your eCommerce website achieve high search rankings.
- Target long-tail keywords. Keywords that are more than three-words long fall under this category. Long-tail keywords will help your eCommerce store attain higher rankings because they are less competitive. This will bring relevant traffic to the product page, hence more conversions and revenue.
- SSL enabled website. Security is a prime concern especially when it comes to eCommerce websites that receive thousands of visitors daily and process an insane amount of financial information. SSL protection encrypts the data exchange between the website server and the client browser, thereby protecting sensitive data from getting leaked.The search engine’s algorithm automatically ranks SSL enabled eCommerce website higher as compared to the ones without it.
- Easy URL structure. Make it easy for the search engine and the user to locate your web pages, which is possible by legibly structuring your URLs. Avoid using random digits or text that do not relate to the information available on the web page. For example, the below-mentioned URLs convey the type of information a user can expect on those pages. Create easy to understand URLs and try to include relevant keywords to achieve better search rankings.
- Create an About Us page and fill it with your story and inspiration behind starting the eCommerce store. It will provide the search engine with a content-rich page and a chance for your customers to connect with your brand on a personal level. This will improve both the eCommerce SEO and conversion rate.
- Optimize your content by using header tags. It provides the users and the search engines with a clear view of the entire content structure thus increasing readability. Divide lengthy content using multiple headings like H1, H2, H3, etc. This technique should be diligently used for the product and blog page.
- Rich and detailed product descriptions. It goes without saying that search engines identify and rank your product pages based on the quality and length of the content present on it. Include relevant and easy to compete for keywords in the product descriptions as it’ll help individual product pages achieve rank and bring organic traffic.
- No content duplication. Search engines penalize websites that flout their SEO guidelines, and content duplication is tantamounts to a serious offense. If you are selling third-party products on your eCommerce website, then there are high chances that the merchant must have shared the same product content with dozen of other websites. Writing your own content will benefit in the long run as search engines credit unique and high-quality content through good page rank.
- Check and remove broken links. Internal page linking is the backbone of an eCommerce website because it is used to cross-sell and upsell, selling techniques that rake in a significant portion of total sales. A broken link can impact this entire chain and affect your website’s SEO disastrously. You should conduct regular crawls to check for Page 404 Not Found errors and fix them ASAP, or implement redirects.
- Tap into rich snippets. What is the use of great eCommerce SEO if it is not converting views into leads? Rich snippets help you in pushing the CTR (click-through rate). This small yet powerful text contributes to better SEO and provides the visitor with a brief intro about your page in the search result before they click on the link. It contributes to better user experience. Ensure that every web page (home page, product page, etc.) has its unique and keyword-rich snippet content.
- Study your competitors. SEO is a tough job; you could be doing everything right but still not be able to get the desired results. This is where the power of competitor research comes into play. Mind you, do not pick brands like Amazon, Target, Walmart, etc. rather start with small/medium players in your domain. Make a list of four or five such online businesses and audit their SEO strategies like the keywords they are targeting, what type of on-page and off-page SEO techniques they’ve deployed, etc. Gradually move up on the search ladder and refresh your competitor list. Good SEO is a mix of patience and perseverance.
- Do not rely on outdated practices. Update yourself. I know that it does not exactly qualify to be a hack but, in my experience, I have seen people commit this blunder very often. Search engines constantly update their ranking criteria (aka algorithm) to fine-tune with the good and bad practices employed by internet users. If you are not up-to-date with the latest guidelines, then you will not achieve any results. It is as simple as that.
What is your SEO experience?
SEO is a daunting and time-consuming task but at the same time necessary. Once you set a systematic approach, the process becomes easier and starts giving results. These are genuine, actionable SEO hacks that combined with basic practices will help your eCommerce website achieve better rankings. If you’d like to contribute or share your feedback, then please write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will be more than happy to listen to what you have to say.