12 Tips to Optimize SEO for an eCommerce Website

WordPress is an easy platform for anyone who is trying to build a website. You don’t have to be a pro-coder to build one. And WordPress is powerful, secure and its totally free. But, some times it can get a little fuzzy for beginners when it comes to doing SEO. So, let us help you with some tips to optimize SEO for an eCommerce website.

For an eCommerce website, not doing SEO the right way will drive out the traffic and thereby sales to your website. You should be able to effectively optimize your website to get the most out of your site. Basically, doing Search Engine Optimization can improve the experience of customers on your website.

You can read here for a Complete Guide to WordPress SEO 2021

For a WordPress site, doing SEO is much easier with plugins. You can use different SEO plugins as per your comfort. Most of the plugins have the basic tools to improve your website’s performance and optimize SEO for eCommerce.

Some of the most popular SEO plugins:

  • Yoast SEO: Yoast is one of the best and most popular WordPress plugins. Yoast helps you to create SEO optimized content. It helps you to edit the meta titles and descriptions with many other useful functionalities. Moreover, Yoast is easy to use and is very effective
  • All in One SEO Pack: As the name denotes, All in One SEO Pack allows you to completely optimize your website with this one plugin. It supports features such as XML Sitemap, Integration with Google Analytics, Schema.org Markup and it also helps to generate META tags automatically
  • Rank Math: Rank Math can be said as the rival of Yoast. They have even put up a side by side comparison of Rank Math and Yoast SEO. They claim to have the best features like UI, Redirects, Schema Markup and more.

However, you can try any of the SEO tools and find what works for you the best. After installing the plugin, you shall start the process of optimizing your content on your website.

So, lets discuss the 12 Tips to Optimize SEO for an eCommerce Website.

Tip 1 optimize SEO for an eCommerce: Perform an in-depth keyword research

The very first thing in any SEO process is to find the right keywords. But, what is a keyword?

A keyword is a set of words that we type into the search bar of search engines like Google or Bing. For example “the best coffee shop near me” or “smartphones under 10000” are keywords. It can be long or short. A single word is also considered to be a keyword.

There are 3 types of keywords based on the length of the keyword. ie Short-Tail Keywords, Mid-Tail Keywords and Long-Tail Keywords.

But there are also other type of keywords as well.

  • Market segment keywords
  • Geo-targeted keywords
  • Product keywords
  • Branded keywords
  • Customer-defining keywords
  • Competitor keywords
  • Buyer Keywords etc…

As an e-commerce store owner, you should be more focusing on product and buyer keywords. These keywords are the ones potential buyers search on Google, to find a product or specifically a brand.

The example of such keywords is: “Converse Sneakers” or “Google Pixel 4a”.

Then again, the buyer keywords are classified into 3 types: Informational Keywords, Navigational Keywords and Transactional Keywords.

Optimize SEO for an eCommerce
Types of buyer keywords

The process of keyword research is to find and analyze the type of words that people are using to find your product. You need to find keywords with high search volumes or low search volumes, keywords that your competitors use, long-tail and short-tail, targetted or broad keywords, depending on your need. You can do keyword research by using tools like Google Keyword Planner, Uber Suggest or SEMrush.

Pro Tip: Go to popular eCommerce sites like Amazon and type in a query about your product. You will get a list of popular suggestions.

Tip 2 to optimize SEO for an eCommerce: Utilize Google tools to the maximum

The advantage of using Google tools is they are totally free of cost. Also, we are going to optimize our site for Google. So, it is better to use the tools provided by them.

It is very important to integrate your website with Google Analytics and Google Search Console if you want more out of your site. These tools help you to look at your website the way Google sees it.

Also, these tools will provide you with enough functionality to analyze and track what is happening in and out of your website, how customers are behaving in your website or even to analyze the sales.

Other advantages of Google tools for SEO includes:

  • Functionality to find out the location of your visitors
  • Spot errors on your website
  • To identify the most visited pages or the page where the user spends the most time on
  • To set goals like clicks on a buy button and track conversions into values
  • Segment your websites visitors
  • Helps trace duplicate content issues
  • Track the ranking of your website and the keywords you rank for
  • Saves time and money spend for other SEO tools

So, we can see how good Google tools are helpful when it comes to SEO. For an eCommerce site, it is important to critically analyze your customer interaction and feedback. This can be easily done with Google tools.

Here is a list of tools by Google for SEO

Google Search Console

  • Helps you to rank on Google
  • Analyze traffic
  • Performance of website
  • Position and Keywords which you rank

Google Analytics

Google Analytics

  • Helps you to analyze customer interaction
  • Get real-time data
  • Find the acquisition of potential customers
  • Create goals and track conversions
Optimize SEO for an eCommerce

Google Keyword Planner

  • Discover new keywords
  • Analyze and plan keywords
  • Group keywords
  • Analyze competition and the volume of keywords
Optimize SEO for an eCommerce

Google Page Speed Insights

  • Analyze the page speed of your website
  • Mobile and Desktop matrices
  • Troubleshoot issues
google trends

Google Trends

  • Find the most updated data of what people searches
  • Data by country and region
  • Category wise data

These are some of the tools that you can use which are provided by Google and are completely free. Google also provides training on these tools if you are not sure how to use it.

Pro Tip: Google Chrome is an overlooked tool which many people fail to utilize to the fullest. You can use Chrome for different purposes to hack into SEO, like the Chrome Extensions for SEO

Tip 3 to optimize SEO for an eCommerce: Add persuasive, emotional & envoking title tags and descriptions

It is very important for an eCommerce website to have the best capturing title tags and descriptions. But, before we jump into that let’s take a look at what title tags are?

Optimize SEO for an eCommerce
via Google

They are also called Meta title and Meta description. It appears on the Google search results page.

The meta title is the title of the webpage that specifies what the product is and description is a small set of words that describe the product.

These are specified in the website as HTML codes

<title>Men Shoes - Buy adidas Men's Footwear Online at Official adidas Store</title>
<meta name="description" content="adidas Men's Footwear - Shop online for adidas men shoes from wide range of running, basketball, and cricket sports shoes. Free Shipping & 30 days return.">

So, they are extremely important because it is the first thing that your customer sees.

You want it to be persuasive, emotional and evoking so that the customer will click on your link. But, before that there are some guidelines you need to follow.

  • Meta title length should be under 60 characters (50-70 symbols / 7-10 words)
  • Description length should be 50–160 characters
  • Use brackets in your title
  • Add numbers to your title
  • Capitalize first letters in each word
  • Write in a human-readable format

For eCommerce websites, it is recommended to write titles that specify product descriptions. Also, you can specify the offers and freebies with the product. Basically, the idea is to generate a sense of curiosity among the customers.

For example, you can add terms like “30 days free returns” or “Free delivery include” or “Book now” etc.

Pro Tip: Use this Headline Quality Calculator to analyze the quality of your headlines

Tip 4 to optimize SEO for an eCommerce: Put keywords effectively in the content

Keywords are an important ranking factor when it comes to SEO. A website which effectively uses the keywords have a high chance of getting into the first results of SERP.

Before that, you will have to find the best and effective keywords that fits your niche. You should be able to understand your customers and what they search for.

Then, you have to start with the on-page SEO.

You should make sure that you have high-quality content. You have to make sure that your page has at least 300 words. Otherwise, there are chances that your page will be demoted for thin content. Also, make sure that you have used the keywords in title and description.

Don’t forget to add keywords in your page’s introductory paragraph and subheadings.

Make sure that you are not over optimizing your keyword by putting it more than the prescribed limit.

Also make sure that you are not using any previously used keywords.

Pro Tip: Use plugins like Yoast SEO content editor to know where to put keywords effectively (If you are using WordPress)

Tip 5 to optimize SEO for an eCommerce: Make use of longtail keywords in ALT tags & URLs

One of another tips to optimize SEO for an eCommerce is to make use of long-tail keywords.

For an eCommerce website, it is better to use long-tail keywords to optimize. Because it is easy to rank rather than short-tail keywords. Also, when it comes to customer behaviour, customers tend to use long-tail keywords to search for products. The customers would want a specific category of a specific brand with specific features.

For example, people are likely to search for “best smartphone under 15000 with good battery backup” than just “best smartphones”

You can use these keywords in your image’s ALT tags. ALT tags are specified as an alternate text for a specific area. That means if your image is not fully loaded or broken, the ALT tag will show up. It is used as an accessibility measure.

You can add ALT tags in your code.

alt tag syntax

The next step is to add the keywords in URL. Adding keywords in URL is found to be most effective since your page is accessed by Google through the URL.

You can use long tail keywords in that purpose.

Tip 6 to optimize SEO for an eCommerce: Build an effective backlink strategy

When it comes to optimization of your eCommerce website for SEO, backlink is an important factor.

You can start with being active on social media. Social media sharing can gain backlinks. If you have a good brand identity you can easily get some shares on social media. You can also rely on influencer marketing techniques to reach out to your audience and get more shares.

You can check for the competitor’s backlink strategy to build backlinks. Make sure that the links are from reliable and authoritative websites. You can make use of product review pages and news sites for that.

Also, find a good backlinking tool like SEMrush or Ubersuggest.

Optimize SEO for an eCommerce
Source: SEMrush

With SEMrush, you can find thousands of prospects to backlink. After getting the prospects, go through the websites. Make use of strategies like Skyscraping Technique.

But, any backlink building strategy comes down to creating awesome shareable content. Make sure you do that!

Tip 7 to optimize SEO for an eCommerce: Structure your products with categories and tags

Optimize SEO for an eCommerce
Courtesy: Amazon

You can see that popular eCommerce sites like Amazon have arranged the products with separate tags and listed in categories. This makes it easy for customers to access you website or even for Google.

Categories and Tags have separate URLs. For example, “https://www.amazon.com/category=shoes”

This helps to find products in Google search results too.

You can do this easily using WooCommerce plugin in WordPress.

categories for ecommerce

You can also add details like category name, slug, description, and thumbnail. Also, make sure to add sub-categories.

Another use of adding categories and tags is, you can put it in the menu or sidebars for easy access.

Tip 8 to optimize SEO for an eCommerce: Implement canonical URLs to avoid duplication

A canonical URL or a canonical tag is used to let search engines understand the priority of pages. This assigns the search value for each page. They are HTML tags.

These tags are helpful if there are different instances of the website like “http://”, “https://” or “https://www” and you want to point search engines to rank a certain instance. If you don’t manually assign canonical tags, Google will automatically assign tags.

Canonical tags are put in the <head> section of each pages.

Syntax for canonical URL:

<link rel="canonical" href="https://example.com/"/>

You can use canonical URLs in eCommerce sites for different purpose.

For example, if there are two URLs for different categories or tags of the same product.

www.ABCstore.com/product/colourA
www.ABCstore.com/product/colourB

This helps to avoid duplication of same content.

Also, canonical URLs are helpful when there are product variations like size, colour or any other qualities. You can also use these tags if you have a product in different locations.

Also, if one item is listed in multiple categories or areas.

Tip 9 to optimize SEO for an eCommerce: Make use of review and rating option

Using reviews and rating can effectively improve SEO.

It is estimated that 90% of the customers buy products by reading reviews and ratings. People are also likely to buy products with good ratings. Moreover Google trust reviews.

Optimize SEO for an eCommerce
Courtesy: Amazon

To help Google understand you should assign reviews and rating with rich snippets. This will help Google to understand your product and view your product on rich snippets or search result pages.

Tip 10 to optimize SEO for an eCommerce: Implement the HTTPS encryption throughout the website

HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) is an internet communication protocol that protects the integrity and confidentiality of data between the user’s computer and the site.

Optimize SEO for an eCommerce
The lock symbol denotes that a site is https secure

The HTTPS protocol ensures that your website is secure. So, for an eCommerce website which manages sensitive data like passwords or even credit card details, it is very important to implement this feature.

It ensures safe browsing experience for customers. Also, it helps Google to understand your site is safe which helps in ranking.

Tip 11 to optimize SEO for an eCommerce: Optimize for Mobile version

79% of smartphone users have made a purchase online using their mobile devices in the last 6 months. Smartphones will make up 34% of all U.S eCommerce sales in 2019. The share of mCommerce in all e-commerce is expected to rise to 72.9% by 2021.

via OuterBox

As you can see mCommerce is an emerging platform. Many people choose to shop through mobile websites. This is mostly because the lion share of market is owned by smartphones than laptops.

Many big eCommerce sites have been finding it difficult to optimize their websites for smartphones. Sometimes the mobile version is flagged as duplicate content by Google. This is why you should separately optimize your website for mobile users.

There’s also the impact of web apps. Web apps are applications that behave just as an android application but is accessed through the web browser.

Optimize SEO for an eCommerce
Web App interface of Flipkart

The use of such applications is that they need not be installed on your phone. You can just add a shortcut to the site and it will work just like an app, also, having all the functions of a mobile app.

SEO for web apps are just like websites. You will have to add the site to Google Search Console and Analytics. And perform on-page and off-page optimization.

Tip 12 to optimize SEO for an eCommerce: Optimize for Voice Search

Voice search is going to see a huge progress in the near future. And the future is here.

People are more bend towards doing the voice search over typing. The trend is getting increased. Even though it is not currently in a fully developed stage, we can see a huge growth soon.

With the advancement of fields like Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, voice-based inputs will show great improvements as well. The advantage of voice search is that it can be used from anywhere if there’s some device to take the input. From your smartphone to your car it goes. So you will be able to book something by asking it to your car. Seems pretty futuristic, is it? But it is already the feature of many cars today.

Optimize SEO for an eCommerce
Google Assistant Search

So, for an ecommerce platform you will have to optimize your site for voice commands. These are basically long-tail keywords. But, the keywords that are used for voice search is a little bit different.

They have to be conversational words or dialogues. It includes queries like Who, What, Where, Why etc. For an eCommerce site, you can look for keywords like Book, Buy or Compare.

You should also make sure to use simple and natural keywords when optimizing for voice search.

Also, another thing you can do is to add an FAQ section that includes the What, Why questions related to your products. You can then use the structured data tool to mark them for rich results.

Optimizing voice search for different devices

  1. Google Assistant: Google assistant basically works by drawing information from Google featured snippet or the local SEO. This is why you have to optimize your website to show rich results or by using structured data markup tool. If you are able to optimize voice search for Google Assistant, there are more advantages. Because Google has most of the devices that work based on the same, like Google Home or Nest devices.
  2. Alexa: When it comes to Alexa, it uses information from Bing. So, to please Alexa you will first have to please Bing. However, it is same as Google. You might need to get into the featured section of Bing search results to optimize for Alexa.
  3. Siri: With Siri, it is easier. Because, Siri uses information from Google search results, featured snippets and Local SEO. Once you have optimized for Google, you will hardly need to do anything for Siri.

Bonus Tip: Optimizing for Google Rich Results

What is Google Rich Result?

Rich results are basically places where results show up rather than the typical SERP page, as lists. They are shown at sidebars or even above the results list. That includes images, carousals or other elements.

Optimize SEO for an eCommerce
Courtesy: Google

But, showing up on rich results is not an easy task. You will need to use Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper to mark the data of your website. You will have to comply with certain requirements and guidelines before setting up rich results. Also, you can also check if your site is eligible by looking up in the rich results test page.

Optimize SEO for an eCommerce

There are different types of structured data that you can make use of like, if its an article, book, event, FAQ or any other.

For an eCommerce site, you will have to tag as a product by enabling rich product results to grab the attention of potential buyers. The featured snippet is a gold win for anyone who is doing SEO for any type of websites. But if you can win it, there’s a huge reward waiting.

Final Word

These are some of the best methods or tips to optimize SEO for an eCommerce website. These tips will surely help you to rank your eCommerce website on search engines. Anyhow, SEO is all about experimenting with different things. You can try different things and find out what is working best for your eCommerce site.

Read More: Enable Customer Reviews and Ratings on WooCommerce

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