There are a number of directions you can take towards building and running a successful eCommerce store. One of the biggest challenges you will face, however, is getting enough potential customers on your site in the first place. In fact, a high customer acquisition cost is what makes it impossible for some business owners to grow their company to profitability. Luckily there is one profitable solution that will help you quickly get ahead of the competition.
This is where eCommerce SEO comes in
eCommerce SEO refers to your ability to optimize your site to help products rank highly in Google when people are searching to buy them. If you can succeed in Google and help your site rank well for the products you offer, then your customer acquisition costs will become drastically lower and long-term success will become much more attainable. So, to help you achieve eCommerce SEO success in 2018, here are 5 tips you should follow.
1. Perform proper keyword research
Proper keyword research is the foundation of any good SEO campaign. You should take the time to research and understand what search terms people are using in Google whenever they wish to buy products that you offer. Only then can you write optimized product titles and descriptions that will help your products to be listed in Google whenever someone is looking for them.
A great starting point for any keyword research is to use the Google Keyword Planner. For free, you can get access to abundant and helpful information regarding which search terms people perform, and how often they each one is searched for. It also suggests related keywords that you may not have considered trying to rank for. However, if you take eCommerce SEO seriously, then you will not stop here.
You should also head on over to eCommerce giants like eBay and Amazon and type in products you offer. The search box will automatically generate suggested products that people most commonly look for. This information is invaluable as Amazon is literally telling you what people are most often looking to buy. In turn, you know what products you should be selling, and what terms you need to be looking to rank for.
2. Use a suitable site architecture
One of the worst things any eCommerce store owner can do is just start uploading countless products without first thinking about their site architecture. Site architecture refers to the structure of your site as a whole, and how people go about navigating through it. A good site architecture is one that is clean and simple to navigate through. Here is a good solid site architecture to deploy from the start:
- Your home page will be the most important page on the site, and the starting point for your plan.
- Your home page then links through to all of the main categories of products you offer for sale.
- These category pages then link through to any relevant products within that category.
This structure is simple to follow and is easily scalable as you add in new products for sale. It is also great for SEO purposes as it clearly shows Google which are your most important pages and how people should navigate through the site. They can then understand which pages are most important to you and you can help these important pages to rank better. This leads nicely onto the next point.
3. Try to rank your category pages
Though you should put effort into all of your products on offer, perhaps the best way to grow your store’s traffic is to focus on ranking the category pages. This is because they are seen as some of the most authoritative pages on your site, and the linking structure is nicely structured in their favor. Also, it can be much easier to rank them as compared to ranking just one product.
Think of it this way, trying to rank for “Adidas trainers” could be much more lucrative and worthwhile than focusing on “men’s size 42 blue Adidas trainer”. You should take all necessary steps to help rank these pages which include the following:
- Optimising meta titles and descriptions to include keywords
- Including this keyword and LSI keywords throughout the pages
- Optimising the heading
- Including the keyword in the URL
- Naming images with an optimized alt attribute
There is more you can do, and you will work this out over time. But following these steps is a good place to start.
4. Writing long and unique content
One of the biggest mistakes that eCommerce store owners make is failing to write suitable content for their products. Not only will this hurt their SEO efforts, it will also reduce their chances of making a sale when someone is checking out the product. So, first and foremost, you should ensure that everything you write is 100% unique and is not simply copied and pasted from elsewhere.
It is tempting to simply copy over bullet point highlights of the feature your product offers, but this is not the approach to take. Instead, write them out in a much more detailed way for people to digest and enjoy. Secondly, ensure you are writing lots of content for each page. Long content ranks much better in Google, so you should work to bulk out all product descriptions.
300 words are not good enough, instead, aim for at least 1,000 words on each page. Finally, follow basic on-page content optimization rules. So, you want to be doing things like including the keyword in the images, videos, throughout the copy and in headings. Also, you should research LSI keywords to then sprinkle throughout your content. Here is a useful guide on finding LSI keywords.
5. Build links
Links have long been, and still are, one of the most important signals Google uses to rank different websites. A strong list of websites linking back to your site indicates to Google that you are well known within your industry and that you are authoritative. In turn, it makes more sense to rank you above other sites for certain keywords. However, link building is not necessarily an easy task, and isn’t something you do for a day and forget about.
Instead, link building should be one of your core ongoing focuses as you look to grow your eCommerce store over time. There are a number of ways that you can get external links to your site, and here are some of the most effective routes to follow:
- Guest post for other sites within your niche about a relevant topic
- Create a blog for your site with lots of valuable content for customers
- Reach out to other sites and ask them to link to relevant content you have
- Give out products for influential people to review
There are a number of different methods you can use to build up links, but not all of them are as effective. Whenever you try to build links, here are some key points to consider:
- Try to vary the anchor text (this is the text that appears which contains the link to your website)
- Try to get links from authoritative websites (quality over quantity is the way forward)
- Nofollow links won’t help your SEO efforts, so don’t focus on these
- Don’t buy links as Google doesn’t like this
- Keep track of your campaigns and measure your number of links over time
- You will get a lot of rejections, just keep working hard at it
- Research link building independently and always look to grow your knowledge on the topic
Start your eCommerce SEO success story today
With so much to do and learn with regards to SEO, it can often be daunting for business owners to take the necessary steps to help their site rank. Some store owners may need to rewrite a few pages of content, whereas others may need a complete site overhaul.