Just imagine that you desperately need sales, and all your E-commerce SEO strategies to boost sales are falling short.
How do you go about it?
Once upon a time, E-commerce was just Amazon and eBay, but today, it is a different ball game.
RJMetrics, an E-commerce data analytics firm, estimated over THREE years ago, that there were over 110,000 English E-commerce sites, that generated significant revenue. This included not only retailers, but also travel sites, providers of digital content, and companies selling products online to businesses,” says Don Davis, Editor-in-Chief of Internet Retailer Magazine.
Proper SEO (search engine optimization), is the primary factor to boost E-commerce sales.
According to NChannel, 44% of people begin their online shopping experience with a search engine.
Unfortunately, however awesome your product is, buyers will eventually go for the next fancy, cheaper product, they may find in their searches.
In other words, SEO is all about location. To show up on page one of the SERPs means a huge increase in traffic to your website.
On an average, the first three items of a Google search, receives close to 60% of the clicks, with a whopping 33% going to the top listed website.
Getting CLOSE to the top of Google Search results, or on page two is simply NOT good enough.
Preferably, your product should be located within the top three positions on a Google search. Only then, there would be a significant increase in traffic
Top search engine results get 31% more clicks, so there is no question that ranking higher on the SERPs will boost sales.
Constantly analyze, research, and optimize your E-commerce site.
E-commerce websites are rather complicated as they have hundreds of products. This makes SEO much more difficult when compared to a conventional website.
There is no room for error and it is important to follow a set of e-commerce SEO strategies, to ensure that your site is performing at an optimum level.
By regularly evaluating data, analyzing keywords and studying market performers and competitors… and optimizing and employing the appropriate changes to your E-commerce site… is the fundamental secret to boosting sales.
These processes must be performed on a regular basis to achieve success… however, prior to this, you must first do a complete audit to assess the current status of your e-commerce site.
SEO Audit – Detect existing problems with your E-commerce site.
By using a free tool like Screaming Frog, you must first do a complete audit of the E-commerce website, and identify any SEO problems that need immediate fixing.
Screaming Frog literally identifies most of the site’s critical SEO parameters.
It is not limited to identifying duplicate pages, errors, URLs, titles, content, Meta descriptions, redirects, missing header tags, images, image tags, sitemap errors, and dead links etc. It can crawl your site within minutes and provides useful info on any SEO technicalities.
It can also…
- Redirect any 404 pages to the actual content,
- Change all 302 redirects to 301 redirects, and
- Update Meta descriptions, Meta titles and any duplicate content pages.
Use a keyword analyzer to map out an effective keyword strategy.
The next step, once you complete the site audit is to make sure that the keywords that you are using… are actually the ones that people are searching for… and that your e-commerce page will actually have a chance at ranking for that keyword.
They can help you search for keywords, studying how they rank, and getting ideas for new and improved ones for your company’s products.
Utilize the influence of long tail keywords.
In an analysis of 3,000 keywords, it was found that 7% of the total keywords were head terms, and 93% were long tail keywords.
People are prone to use long tail keywords, just prior to making a purchase.
In this comparison between head terms and long tail keywords across six different industries, the head terms received 11 times more traffic.
The average conversion rates for the long tail keywords were 4.15% higher than its short tail cousin.
Simply put, long tail keywords attract and transform visitors to probable buyers.
Key SEO Strategies that improve your E-commerce site.
Once you have completed the audit of your E-commerce website, and understood its SEO flaws… you are then ready to implement the E-commerce SEO strategies to boost sales and conversions.
E-commerce SEO strategy One – An unique product description.
Search engines provide the most relevant information in response to searchers inquiries. So come up with that UNIQUE, one of a kind product description.
Google can then find your page easier, assess it, and subsequently ascertain its usefulness to potential buyers.
People make their purchasing decisions based on how clear the facts are presented on a product’s web page.
It is important that you avoid recycling manufacturers product descriptions or content. This is a big mistake that most e-commerce websites do.
You could even be penalized for duplicate content.
Writing unique and detailed product descriptions creates the best chances to get higher rankings in SERPs.
E-commerce SEO strategy Two – Include pictures of your products.
It is important to use quality product pictures and videos on your e-commerce site. High quality product pictures and videos that are optimized…
With [ALT-text and captions] will help search engines find…and understand your E-commerce site.
The quality of your images and videos influences how visitors feel about your products, as well as whether they will share them with their followers on social media sites.
E-commerce SEO strategy Three – Integrate Social Media.
Social Media has a significant influence on Google rankings… as they signify a page’s relevance as well as authority.
By adding social media sharing buttons like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+, Pinterest, and LinkedIn, and other popular social media buttons will give weight to your product pages.
This will encourage interested readers, and contented buyers… to share your products and other relevant information on their pages, which brings in traffic.
E-commerce SEO strategy Four – Add eye-catching reviews.
It is evident from the above chart that the majority of the shoppers visit review sites to seek out advice on goods and services before purchasing a product.
Reviews provide a certain credibility to prospective buyers.
Naturally, if your e-commerce site does not provide any form of product reviews… it is likely that you’re going to lose a big piece of your audience.
Customer reviews are great as they not only provide free unique content that helps SERPs.
Compensate buyers who leave positive reviews as these buyers virtually are the brand ambassadors of your product.
E-commerce SEO strategy Five – Catchy Meta Titles and Descriptions.
Meta descriptions are those rows of content that come with each search result.
It comes with keywords and copy that aptly describes how comprehensively a product page associates to a search term.
So it is important to come up with attractive Meta titles and page descriptions for product pages that has those unique short-tail keywords.
E-commerce SEO strategy Six – H1 Tags.
Remember to always add one H1 Heading Tag on every page.
It should preferably be the same, if not similar to the Title tag.
While the title tag is displayed in the SERPs, the H1 Tag is your on-page title.
E-commerce SEO strategy Seven – Leverage with rich snippets.
These rich snippets comprise of coded data that displays various information… that includes availability, prices, images and product reviews…in the meta description.
In return, Google rewards product pages that use the rich snippets… as Google’s goal is to provide the best appropriate search results.
Using rich snippets, results in higher rankings and better click through rates.
E-commerce SEO strategy Eight – Implement Schema Markup.
Schema.org is very crucial for online companies as quick answers and rich snippets are now showing 22% of the time in Google search results.
By adding a proper Schema markup will only boost your chances of being picked by Google to be included in the rich snippet box.
So, make it a point to include schema.org markup to your e commerce website. Taking advantage of schema markups will be the new skill to implement for both SEOs and all around marketers alike.
E-commerce SEO strategy Nine – Navigation and Site Structure.
While building your e-commerce site structure, ask yourself these questions;
- What search queries do consumers use before they get to your site?
- What search queries do consumers use once they’re on your site?
- What pages on your website get the most traffic?
- What are your top exit pages?
Use your short-tail keyword term to name your category pages.
Incorporate them into your page title, header, and include it in the top 200-word paragraph.
Add breadcrumbs to your product pages to give users and the search engines..
As it is likely that Google will show your breadcrumbs instead of your URL.
It should take the buyer at the most three clicks to get back to your homepage.
E-commerce SEO strategy Ten – Remarketing.
The reasons for abandonment from website visitors are many.
It could be due to your site design or perhaps a poor product description.
It could also be due to a complicated checkout process, or perhaps the site did not meet the potential buyer’s expectations.
By optimizing your website design, you can regain this lost selling opportunity through a marketing strategy called Remarketing. It is always easier to re-engage a user who has shown some level of interest in you, rather than trying to acquire more of those first-time clicks.
Remarketing is so effective that 25% of the top 1000 retailers in the world use email Remarketing to send shopping cart abandonment emails to their custom audience.
It takes, on average, at least 3-4 visits from your website traffic for a new prospect to actually think about buying from you.
95% of first-time website visitors… are only there to research on your website, and not purchase.
E-commerce SEO strategy Eleven – Creating a sitemap.
An XML (Extensible Markup Language) sitemap creates a decipherable layout of your website for search engines.
They organize and catalogue all the URLs on your website.
If you’re an eCommerce site with lots of pages, it is time to get familiar with XML Sitemaps.
You can use any of the good free sitemap creators that are available in the net.
Finally, don’t forget to ping the search engines after you’ve created a sitemap. You can do this by submitting your XML Sitemaps to Google Search Console once they are completed.
E-commerce SEO strategy Twelve – Use short, Keyword-rich URLs.
Short URLs tend to rank higher on Google’s first page than long URLs.
Try to optimize every URL with the page’s main keyword, and aim to make it as unique as possible
URLs should be in a position to convey to Google what the product page is all about… at the same time providing useful information.
Use the below mentioned URL structure for item / product classification:
- Group page: e-commercesite.com/group/
- Subgroup page: e-commercesite.com/group/sub-group/
- Item page: e-commercesite.com/group/sub-group/item-name/
Separate products via unique tags so that the same keywords are not repeated. You can structure your tags with a brand – model – item system.
E-commerce SEO strategy Thirteen – Website speed.
Research confirms that nearly 40% of visitors leave a site that takes more than THREE seconds to load!
Your customers will likely go to a faster website, which could be your competitor!
This is why it’s IMPORTANT for your site to load quickly.
If you need a way to test your website speed,
Use a free tool like Google PageSpeed Insights Tool.
Image Source: KISSMETRICS
E-commerce SEO strategy Fourteen – Optimize for Mobile.
About 30 percent of U.S based e-commerce sales are via mobile devices. Nearly 30 percent of consumers who use mobiles, abandon transactions on websites that are not responsive or optimized for mobile…
And about 57 percent of buyers would not recommend businesses, that are not mobile friendly. This has made it even more important than ever to make your e-commerce site mobile-responsive.
Run the Googles Mobile Friendly Test Tool to ensure that your e-commerce site is mobile friendly.
E-commerce SEO strategy Fifteen – Content Delivery Networks.
Content Delivery Networks had a gradual growth over the last few years.
E-commerce Merchants use it to improve overall conversions, and user engagement as it helps content load faster.
E-commerce SEO strategy Sixteen – Switch To HTTPS.
As E-commerce stores have a number of forms which collect personal details from users, it is a good practice to make sure that ALL information is encrypted.
So, it is advisable for an E-commerce store to switch the domain from HTTP to HTTPS. Prior to converting your HTTP to HTTPS, it is advisable to go over Google’s recommended steps.
Google has also confirmed that there is also a rankings boost for sites with HTTPS settings.
Check out this article from ahrefs.com…where they analyzed the HTTPS Settings of about 10,000 domains… and found out that how it affected their SEO strategy.
Trust comes before the sale.
It’s very hard to trust a brand that you see only on TV commercials.
Without trust, consumers won’t buy from you.
Consumers shop at Amazon because they trust that their items will be delivered promptly and that the product is as promised.
It’s a lot easier to trust a company whose content showed you how to get something done successfully.
Let this idea shape your E-commerce marketing strategy.
Enhance your E-commerce marketing strategy through blogging.
Blogging drives an influx of potential customers to your E-commerce website because it enhances SEO. The more keywords you have, the better the SERPs.
Brands that blog regularly for business have an average conversion rate of 2.9% compared to 0.5% for non-adopters. This means that e-commerce businesses with blogs receive six times more customers than those without blogs.
Potential customers visit an E-commerce blog multiple times before actually making a purchase. Once this surge of people arrives at your blog, you have initiated their first step to conversion. The more you post, the less time it will take to transform a visitor into a loyal customer.
Blogs are 63% more likely to influence purchase decisions for consumers than magazines. (Zerys)
60% of people want to seek out a product after reading about it. (Lemonstand)
Fostering a customer base after the sale.
Once a buyer purchases from your E-commerce site and is happy with the product, great content should keep them occupied with the product’s brand.
This will ensure that your blog’s reader base will become loyal, repeat patrons as you are offering them useful, good content… that they enjoy, and which are not advertisements.
70% of organizations would much rather discover a company through articles, instead than advertisements… (Demand Metric).
78% of buyers are of the belief that companies that provide personalized content want to foster a good rapport with them… (McMurry/TMG).
84% of buyers don’t trust conventional advertising practices… (ClickZ).
As they say, if you build it, they will come.
Your E-commerce, content marketing strategy starts with your personal story… people want to hear the story behind your brand and products.
It is your story, and obviously you are the best person to tell it.
So, go ahead and the more you do it, the better you’ll get.
Final thoughts on how E-commerce SEO strategies can increase sales.
Your SEO work is never finished. The E-commerce SEO strategy should be a continuous process of A/B testing to identify the best performing variation… that will eventually result in more sales.
Using various SEO tools, you can frequently do a periodic analysis of the SEO framework of your site… and see how your website and pages are performing on search engines… and flag popular keywords and phrases on your pages… and make changes to optimize your site and rise in the rankings.
It’s obvious that Google favors informational content over E-commerce sites… which means that longer precise keywords with the right mix of content marketing will play an important part for E-commerce SEO strategies in the future.
A final piece of advice… SEO is a marathon, not a sprint… So, don’t quit!
If you have any questions, or, if you wish to discuss any other essential E-commerce SEO strategies, please feel free to leave a message in the comment section below.