As competition grows in the online marketplace, it is crucial that e-commerce retailers implement an effective search engine optimization strategy in order to stand out. With the holiday season in full-swing, e-commerce retailers are competing now more than ever to attract consumers to their websites. Make sure that consumers can find your products and services with these 7 tips to boost your e-commerce SEO efforts.
1) Find the Right Keywords
Perhaps one of the most important steps to a successful e-commerce SEO campaign is an in-depth keyword research. Finding the right keywords to target on your category or product level pages is crucial to ensuring that you are bringing in the most qualified organic search traffic. Discovering relative keywords with solid monthly search volume through tools such as Adword’s Keyword Planner is a great place to start. Next, you will want to dive into your direct competitor’s keyword strategy and look at what keywords they may be currently targeting or ranking for. This will allow you to discover gaps in their keyword strategy and opportunities to attract new consumers that your competitors are currently ignoring. After both of these steps, you will have a list of keywords that are relative to your products or services, possess a good number of monthly searches, and may even differentiate yourself from your competitors. Having this list of keywords creates a concrete foundation for you to build the rest of your organic campaign upon.
2) Create Unique On-Page Content
On any given category or product level page, there should be written content to improve the user experience and be able to successfully rank for your target keywords. It has been shown that pages that lack optimized content drastically reduce their ability to rank for competitive keywords. In order to further boost your SEO efforts, the content on each page should be unique. The most common example of duplicate content on an e-commerce website is found in the product descriptions. One of the biggest mistakes that many companies are guilty of are by providing other online retailers with the same product descriptions that are found on their own website. An easy way to avoid this is to have a secondary product description to give these other retailers, so that the content found on your website is 100% unique.
3) Use an Optimal Site Structure
Site structure is an extremely prevalent figure in e-commerce SEO. Building your website in the correct way can drastically improve the user experience, rankings, and ultimately, conversions. The ideal site structure for e-commerce websites is called, “flat architecture”. This means implementing a structure that requires a minimal number of clicks to go from your homepage all the way to an individual product page. This design keeps pages from being buried in a website which improves the chances for product level pages to be crawled, passed link authority from other pages, and ranked for keywords.
4) Build a Mobile Version of the Website
It is no secret that the growth in mobile shopping is becoming one of the most important trends for e-commerce websites. To ensure that your users are having the best experience while visiting your website, no matter the platform, you must build a mobile version. In a recent study, it was found that 40% of users will choose another search result if the website they first visit is not mobile friendly. That statistic alone should be enough convince you of the importance of offering a seamless experience to users across all platforms. For large e-commerce websites, responsive website designs are the ideal solution to this problem. This allows you to build one mobile friendly website as opposed to creating multiple versions for each platform.
5) Encouraging Customer Reviews
Customer reviews are especially important because they can not only improve the SEO efforts for an e-commerce website, but also directly influence conversion rates. It was found that 79% of consumers trust online reviews just as much as a recommendation from a friend or relative. We identified this as one of the 8 features an ecommerce site must have. By encouraging happy customer reviews on your website to leave reviews for individual products or services builds trust with consumers and differentiate yourself from competitors as the superior brand. Customer reviews also help build the unique content on your website, which improves your favor with search engines. By generating customer reviews on a regular basis, search engines can identify you as an authoritative source due to the consistent user engagement and fresh content.
6) Optimize Product Images
Placing images on your product pages is highly recommended. Not only to value for your users, but to seize another opportunity to improve your organic search presence. This can be accomplished by adding your target keywords to the ALT tags of your product images. It is important to remember that only the most relative keywords should be used in the ALT tags and to keep them all unique to avoid cannibalization for rankings. Without optimized ALT tags, search engine robots cannot properly categorize or rank your images which means you lose a chance to boost your SEO efforts. This is a rather simple step, but it is often overlooked by most e-commerce websites.
7) Implement Schema Markup
Schema markup is similar to rich snippets in the sense that it is coding that helps give search engines more information to include in a SERP. It is recommended to add schema markup to the back-end of your website so that users can better locate your products or services. This additional step can also make your results stand out from competitors and increase your CTR. By visiting this website, you can learn more about the different markup language that can be used to improve your e-commerce SEO based upon your website’s individual needs.