SEO (search engine optimisation) is massively important whether you have an ecommerce website or a standard website, but there are some things that ecommerce website owners can focus on specifically, to help give their Google rankings a boost.
We’ll look at eleven easy ways you can improve your ecommerce website SEO below;
1. Focus on speed
There’s no getting away from the fact that speed matters if you want your ecommerce website to rank well organically. When you’re looking at your website’s overall user experience, it’s important to look at your site’s mobile experience as more and more of your customers will be visiting your store via their mobile phone, so you need that experience on mobile to be fast and snappy.
Google rewards speed, so if you want to check out how your existing ecommerce store is shaping up on the speed front, try running your homepage, category pages, product pages, and other key content style pages through Google Page Speed Insights and Pingdom Tools. Then look at approaching your ecommerce web development agency to implement the fixes.
2. Optimise your content
On-site SEO is critical if you want your ecommerce store loved by Google. You need to optimise for the right key phrases though, so before you start optimising, make sure you know what key phrases are going to be most lucrative for you to target. Need some help on this? Let us know.
Once you know that, get to work optimising the main pages on your ecommerce site. These will likely be your homepage, category pages, all your product pages, and any blog/journal/resource style content that you regularly create and publish.
3. Optimise your images
Not only does Google index and rank pages on your website, but it also does the same for your images too. If you can ensure your product photos are well named, you stand a pretty good chance at not only getting traffic from regular Google searches, but also Google image searches too.
So, instead of a generic file name for a product like “DC5643.jpg”, make it super descriptive like this “davidoff-cool-water-for-men-eau-de-toilette-spray-75ml.jpg”.
We also recommend you go through all your product imagery and run it through an image compressor. You can find one of these online which shaves as many kilobytes as possible off your images. This will make your site load faster and help your rankings even further.
4. Optimise your metadata
Metadata is outlined by your site’s “titles” and “descriptions” as shown below:
This is what our own search result looks like for the authenticstyle homepage. You can see we’re targeting two key phrases; “Web Design Dorset” and “Ecommerce Web Development”. Then in the meta description below the title, you can see we’re again mentioning “web design” and “ecommerce web development”.
To boost your ecommerce website SEO rankings you’ll need to go through all your key pages (yes that includes all your products and categories) and ensure that you’ve explicitly set these title tags and descriptions to target the key phrases you want to rank for.
If your ecommerce store is running on Woocommerce, then check out our “Beginners guide to WordPress SEO (Using the Yoast SEO Plugin)”
5. Ensure the user experience is great
People tend to get caught up in link building, on-site SEO and article creation when it comes to optimising for Google. All of these are all critical ranking signals, however, ensuring the user experience (UX) on your website is simple and intuitive is hugely important, almost the most important.
When we talk about user experience we’re talking about things like:
- Making the navigation easy to use. Ideally you want to make it possible for your users to get to any page on your site in 1 (or at most 2) clicks.
- Optimising the overall UX on mobile. This could include the speed of your site, the navigation and the ability to add to a basket quickly.
Put simply; if you can give your users positive emotions when using your website, you’re likely doing the same for Google. And if Google finds it easy to crawl your site, you’ll benefit from higher rankings.
6. Build partnerships with others in your industry
Being an ecommerce business owner, you most likely already know that getting backlinks from other websites to yours is important when it comes to your rankings, and in particular your domain authority. The more authoritative your domain, the more importance Google places with you and this gives you a boost over your competitors on the ranking stakes.
Rather than going all old school and submitting your website to loads of directories (many of which are no-follow anyway), it’s better to think outside the box and reach out to others in your industry to try and build relationships.
Is there another ecommerce business that offer complimentary products? Could you run a joint competition with another business? Could you both write a series of articles with your site hosting the first article, theirs the second, yours the third etc.?
If you include links to each other in your content, both sites benefit and if you can build these kinds of relationships with 5-10 other sites you will all benefit, so it’s win win for everyone involved.
7. Optimise for voice search
This trend is growing in 2018, with many more consumers using their voice to search when they’re on the go with their mobile device in hand.
At the time of writing, voice search is definitely more immediately relevant for businesses like restaurants and attractions, where consumers are out and about and looking for things to do. Voice search phrases could be; “days out near me”, “things to do near me”, “places to eat near me”, “5 star rated restaurants in Salisbury”, etc.
Having said that though, we would highly recommend you start looking into optimising for voice search now, so you don’t get left behind. One of the simplest things you can do is to ensure your content is written in a conversational syntax; basically making your content informal and chatty, to better correlate with phrases people use when they speak.
8. Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)
AMP is an open-source library that provides an easy way to create web pages that are smooth and load nearly instantaneously for users.
When you’ve performed a Google search on your mobile device you might have noticed the little “AMP” prefix before the meta description;
This indicates that the page in question utilises AMP and pages that do will get special treatment in the search results, so this is why we believe it’s worth doing. Having said that, there are also some negatives, so check out this AMP overview to make up your own mind whether to utilise the tool or not.
9. Use SCHEMA markup
SCHEMA markup (often referred to as Structured Data) helps Google determine which parts of your page displays what content. Ultimately this allows Google to return more informative results for its users.
It’s often easier to see an example, so below are two search results; the first website has used SCHEMA to highlight the product rating / review, whilst the second hasn’t. Which do you think gets more clicks?
You might need your ecommerce web development agency to help you implement SCHEMA markup on your site. You can however try using Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper to get started yourself too.
10. Have a content marketing strategy
You might not like hearing this one, but article creation is massive when it comes to SEO’ing any website. Sure it takes work, but the rewards are worth it.
So what is a “content strategy”?
It’s essentially a plan for creating and publishing content in a consistent manner on your website which covers topics that will provide value to your audience.
We’ve already gone into quite a lot of depth on this topic, so you might like our guide on “How to create compelling content for your website”, and also our blog post, “Consistently grow your ecommerce traffic in 3 hours per week”.
11. Make security a priority (SSL)
We don’t need to say much here, but another important ranking signal for Google is security. Google want to promote safe, trustworthy sites, so you need to get an SSL certificate for your ecommerce site so your URL has “https” at the start instead of “http”.
Online shoppers look for this as well as the padlock symbol when they purchase online, so if you don’t have an SSL certificate, your ecommerce store won’t sell as much—and you won’t receive that nice little boost from Google either.
BONUS: Automate your monitoring (Moz PRO)
Unfortunately SEO isn’t a one time thing. Google is ever evolving, and your competitors are always moving forward too, so if you’re serious about increasing your ecommerce website rankings on Google, then it pays to invest in a monitoring tool.
Here are authenticstyle, we use Moz Pro. It’s $99 / month and lets us track our own sites performance and some selected client sites to continually monitor their performance.
What’s great is that Moz will send you a summary via email, so if your rankings for your primary key phrase start to slip, you’ll notice immediately and can take action quickly to get back moving in the right direction.
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