How to optimise eCommerce websites with SEO
With 24 million eCommerce sites on the web today, businesses need to stand out to secure market share. More than ever, it’s important that businesses refine their eCommerce efforts to secure conversions and sales—this can be achieved through Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). Starting from the basics, here’s how you can stand out in search results with an SEO strategy.
Why is SEO so important for eCommerce websites?
Whether you’re running a new or established eCommerce website, SEO can help you attract (and keep) visitors on your site. In optimising your website (and key landing pages) for search, you’re not only securing unpaid traffic; you’re also bolstering the success of any paid advertising campaigns you run. SEO can help make it easy for customers to find you.
Addressing the fundamentals
Before you get into the nitty gritty of SEO strategy, there are some key basics you can implement to establish a solid foundation for your eCommerce site. If you’re just starting out or don’t have the SEO expertise in-house, an SEO agency can help you audit your website to better understand what changes need to be made. SEO specialists can also give you a better lay of the land in the eCommerce industry, and help you stand out against your competitors.
When it’s time to get started with eCommerce SEO, make sure you first address the fundamentals:
- Make the website easily navigable, with a clear path to purchase.
- Build in relevant internal links.
- Eliminate clutter that can distract customers, block them from conversions, or at worst, drive them away.
- Include alt text for images to boost search relevance.
Of course, there’s much more to a complete eCommerce SEO strategy, but beginning with the basics will set you on the right path.
Building a successful SEO strategy
If you are confident in your own SEO abilities and really want to optimise your eCommerce website yourself, then there are plenty of in-depth, complex guides that can point you in the right direction. Without exploring those intricate complexities in too much detail, there are 8 key elements that form the basis of a strong eCommerce SEO strategy:
- Keyword research: Research the most relevant keywords to your eCommerce business that customers are searching for. Keywords will form the basis for your content marketing strategy.
- Site architecture: The structure of your eCommerce site should be based on the above keyword research. You can support your site architecture changes by submitting your sitemap to Google, so Google’s robots can better understand (and rank) the structure of your site.
- On-page SEO: From meta tags to product descriptions and everything in between – your on-page content must be created with strategic keyword optimisation in mind.
- Technical SEO: Technical SEO includes requirements which, when followed, can boost your search rankings by ensuring Google – and other search engines – can trawl through your eCommerce site in the most efficient manner. Review our 7-step technical SEO audit checklist for more.
- Local SEO: Often forgotten but an essential tool for SMBs, local SEO will help drive more organic traffic for businesses with a customer base in certain areas.
- Content marketing: Almost as important as the products you sell is the content on your pages. Make it relevant, compelling and unique – Google rewards great copy.
- Link building: This will improve your eCommerce website’s authority in the eyes of search engines.
Measure: Your initial SEO strategy will take time to see a return on investment, as SEO works in the long-term. You will need to constantly analyse results with SEO tools like Google Analytics – and then make the appropriate tweaks.
Don’t forget about CRO
Finally, while SEO should be the beating heart of your eCommerce website, it’s useless if you aren’t actually making sales. You could have thousands of customers visiting your eCommerce site every day, but without them actually making a purchase your business won’t survive.
Conversion rate optimisation (CRO) must be factored into your overall SEO strategy. Use search tactics to improve how many people find your eCommerce site, then use CRO to actually drive conversions and make sales. That means refining the user experience (UX).
UX uses data analysis to pinpoint certain issues on your website, which may be blocking the user from converting. User experience involves understanding how easily your website is navigated, and focuses on the interaction that audiences have with your site: rather than purely the aesthetics. By ensuring that shoppers have the best possible experience on your website, you can maximise sales and conversions with the leads you already have.
Analytics are your best friend when it comes to CRO, so make sure you’re looking at everything from heatmaps and scrollmaps, to click tracking and confetti reports. If you can’t see how users are navigating your eCommerce website, you’ll never be able to improve the UX.
For your eCommerce website to boost your profit margins, you need to be seen by the right people. Vine Digital is a highly experienced SEO agency that will help boost your audience with the right eCommerce SEO strategy. Contact us today or call (02) 8006 8100.
Alt text (or alternative text) is an important part of web accessibility. Alt text, also known as “alt tags” or “alt attributes”, are words or phrases used to describe visual elements on a website. Their main purpose is to be read aloud by screen readers for users who can’t see a page: as well as helping search engines understand (or index) your website.
Search relevance assesses how closely your page answers the user’s search query. This plays a major role in where your website will rank for any given term, as Google’s goal is to deliver the most relevant and helpful content possible.
Meta tags are a type of HTML code, and appear as snippets of text. Meta tags describe the content of a page: appearing not on the live page, but in the source code in your website’s backend and in search results. A meta description, for example, is the short description that appears as a preview before you click on the website.
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