10 SEO Tips for E-Commerce Websites in 2021
We live in an era where the majority of businesses have an online presence. An online portfolio allows them to reach more customers and boost sales in the long run. It’s especially true for e-commerce businesses. If you run an e-commerce business, this post is for you.
Throughout our journey, we’re going to share helpful tips with you to improve your overall SEO practices. Better SEO almost always results in better visibility and better conversion for the business.
What is SEO?
If you run an e-commerce business, you’ll definitely want to know what SEO is and be using it to boost your business success online. You may already have an idea of what SEO is, but we’re going to cover the basics anyways just in case you don’t.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It’s the practice of optimizing your website and other channels to improve your search engine rankings.
When you search for something on Google, it returns billions of SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages). But most average users don’t even bother to go to page 2.
So, online businesses are trying hard to rank on the first page of the search results in order to get more website visitors and thus more sales.
As for the big corporations, their target is one of the first three positions on the SERP. They dump a lot of money on paid promotions and SEO professionals to get those rankings. But don’t worry, small ecommerce websites can still compete against the big corporations when it comes to SEO, even if you don’t have a huge SEO budget to spend.
As for you, you can follow a few simple steps to improve your e-commerce ranking. It’s not rocket science. Rather, it’s a moderately time-consuming process that requires patience and dedication from your end.
So, without further ado, let’s dive right into the best SEO tips for e-commerce websites.
10 Tips to Improve E-Commerce SEO
If you want to take SEO seriously, there will be hundreds of points in a checklist that you must meet. But the length of the practices varies from business to business and industry to industry. Our goal is to cover the common areas of SEO that apply to all kinds of e-commerce websites.
#1: Find the Right Keywords
There was a time when you could stuff as many keywords as you wanted on your website to improve your ranking. But those days are gone. Search engine algorithms have come a long way in the past decade. Stuffing keywords randomly don’t work for rankings anymore.
However, keywords are still the most important variable in your SEO practice. You must research, target, and implement keywords perfectly to improve the ranking of your e-commerce business.
The first step is researching the keywords. Ecommerce keywords are slightly different from regular SEO keywords. Rather than an overall approach, you need to research keyword by categories and products.
It can quickly become a tedious task to find keywords for individual products. However, it also comes with the possibility of higher conversion and less competition.
When you do your keyword research, you’ll come across two types. One type of keyword is very hard to rank for. The other kind doesn’t have enough volume to convert sales. You need to pick keywords from the middle of the spectrum to balance between competition and volume.
Another very important factor for e-commerce SEO is ’user intent’ or ‘buyer intent’. No matter what you want to call it, it plays a major role in the effectiveness of your keyword.
For example, if a user searches for ‘Lenovo Yoga Book C930’, it means he/she has already done the research and is ready to buy. They will grab the best deal they can get on that exact product. On the contrary, if the search was for ‘best notebooks at a cheap price’, it widens the door of possibilities. You can show different products to the user instead of just one.
This is how user intent and keywords are intertwined. Your goal is to understand them and use your keywords accordingly.
Another important part of the equation would be LSI keywords. These are also known as long-tail keywords and can narrow down the area of search by a lot. When you do your primary keyword research, you can also lock a few of these to complement it.
#2: Focus on On-Page SEO
The on-page SEO practice for e-commerce indicates the importance of having the right keywords at the right place. You need to target the category pages, your blog section, and the product pages equally to yield an amazing result from your SEO ventures.
Apart from targeting the exact customers looking for the particular products, on-page SEO also has a huge impact on SERP rankings. One of the simplest on-page SEO practices is to put the keyword on the URL of the page. And keeping it readable.
Keep in mind that the shorter your URL is, the higher Google will rank that page. So, avoid unnecessary subgroups on your website. Try to keep the category and product page’s URLs as short as possible.
Also, the keywords should be implemented in the headings. Especially, H1 works as the most powerful header among the HTML tags and it can help your website to rank higher for a keyword. Always use H1 as the title of the page.
Another area you need to target is the image alt-text. If you don’t know what it is, image alt-texts tell Google what the image is about because Google’s crawler algorithm can’t read images as they are. For example, a picture of a laptop can contain the alt-text ‘best laptop under $100’.
When you put the relevant keyword as an image alt-text, Google finds your web page relevant to the user’s search and gives it a higher ranking.
Lastly, the metadata of your website should be optimized. Metadata is often the first interaction between a user and your website. So, you need to provide good quality metadata that includes the primary keyword for better rankings.
#3: Stick to Long Form Product Descriptions
If you think having 200-300 words product descriptions is enough, think again. Pages that contain around 2000 words are generally the top-performing ones in the ranking. Google always prefers long form content to the users because it provides more information to the readers.
We know it’s very hard to come up with 2000-word product descriptions. That’s why we recommend at least taking it up to 1000 words. The rest will be taken care of by the reviews from the users.
Moreover, long form content allows you to pack more keywords which means that you can better relate your products to the user’s intent. Along with your primary keywords, you can include LSI keywords effectively in the description as well.
#4: Always Use Unique Content
The importance of unique content cannot be stressed enough when it comes to SEO in general. And we can say the same for e-commerce SEO practices as well. Most search engines are equipped with algorithms that can find duplicate content easily.
And it finds a match, it penalizes the duplicate page by pushing the rankings downs. Or worse, removing the page entirely. If you continue the practice, it can be fatal to your business. So, always stick to unique content. If you think you’re not up for it, don’t be shy to hire quality writers to help you with your content marketing needs.
#5: Optimize Website Performance
How your website behaves is a major factor in conversion rates. You may have planted all the keywords right, but if your website doesn’t feel fast or intuitive, you will be losing a lot of sales.
To start with, try to improve your page load times. The load times are directly related to how much your web pages weigh. The heavier the page, the longer it will take to load. Graphical elements like images, videos, animations, etc. contribute the most to a page’s weight. So, your target to reduce them as much as possible.
There are various compression tools that you can use to compress your images and videos without compromising the quality. Conversely, you can use vector images instead of JPEG or PNG images to shave some weight.
Another good practice is going with minimalistic website design. Cut down on unnecessary elements to keep the web pages clean. The core information should be displayed outright without distracting the audience.
Moreover, the website must be mobile-friendly. The number of people who use the internet from their smartphone or tablet is higher than the number of laptop and desktop users combined. Even if you have a dedicated mobile app, you should focus on the mobile website performance.
Lastly, navigation plays a major role in the usability of your website. You need to allow the visitors maximum convenience when they’re looking for products. The homepage should contain the necessary links to all the category pages and product pages. The idea here is to reduce the number of clicks as much as possible for the users.
#6: Remove Broken Links
Broken links and outdated content are two of the biggest enemies of e-commerce SEO. When a user lands into a broken link from the search results, it hurts the credibility of your business. In the future when you come up again in the search result with a good link, the user is very unlikely to click it due to the previous experience.
The same goes for outdated products. When you stop selling a product or it is discontinued, delete the product page entirely. Or at least, archive it. You’ll be amazed to know that people search for discontinued products all the time. And if you keep popping up on the search results, it will be a bad impact on business.
#7: Use Analytics
When you have an e-commerce website and you’re trying to improve it with SEO, analytics is your best friend. Whether it’s something as simple as Google Analytics or any other tools, make use of it! Analytics reports can tell you about the pain points of your business so that you can improve on those areas.
For example, you can figure the purchase behavior of the customers. If you find that a particular product or a group of products sell more than the others, it means they are the customer favorites. Following up on this insight, you can increase your sale by increasing your inventory for the product. At the same time, you can introduce new products from the same category to see if the users buy them or not.
In another scenario, you may find that your website is bringing in enough traffic but your conversion results do not reflect that number. It means you’re showing the wrong products to the wrong audience. People are coming to your website to check out the products but aren’t convinced to buy them.
To solve this problem, you can tweak the keywords a little. This is the time for trial and error. You can solve any pain points in your business using the power of analytics.
#8: Improve the Search Algorithm
When you visit an e-commerce website, what’s your first instinct? For the majority, it’s the search bar. Searching for the exact product we want is easier than browsing through different categories and product pages.
And that’s why you need to improve the search algorithm of your e-commerce website. You can use an advanced recommendation system to automate the search results to show the most relevant products.
Improving the search dynamics of your website also results in reduced clicks for the user, a huge benefit for them. And this alone can improve your conversion rates dramatically.
#9: Publish Blogs Frequently
We’ve mentioned a blog section previously but didn’t mention the importance of regular publication. If your e-commerce website doesn’t have a blog section yet, you should open one immediately.
Blogs are the best way to implement primary keywords as well as LSI keywords. Uploading helpful product reviews or how-to guides is a surefire way to boost traffic to your website. And when more people are coming to your website, you can expect to sell more products as well.
Posting a few blogs once won’t cut it. The current e-commerce space is very competitive. So, you need to keep the content coming. You need to offer the users an extra value over your competitors through your blogs.
If you’re not into writing or don’t have enough time, feel free to hire a few writers to help you generate high-quality content. It’s a long-term investment that will pay off sooner than you expect.
#10: Link Your Content to Credible Sources on the Internet
Known as outbound links, these links can build the credibility of your e-commerce website in no time. The idea here is simple. You share insightful information on your product description pages and provide the link to a credible source.
It can work with a variety of product niches. For example, if you sell health-related products such as medical-grade pillows, anti-snoring devices, and so on, you can use the research information from the internet to curate the products better. Also, linking to credible sources improves your overall SEO score.
The modern era of business is heavily reliant on SEO. It’s especially true when you apply the art to e-commerce. There’s no doubt that e-commerce SEO takes more work than regular SEO. But e-commerce SEO comes with a higher return as well.
If you’ve not been satisfied with your e-commerce website’s performance lately, you can follow our guide to help you improve the traffic and boost your sales.
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