If you want to grow your e-commerce business, you’ve probably thought about SEO (search engine optimization) already. After all, a successful e-commerce SEO strategy can help you gain more traction and increase sales online.
But what is SEO, and what can you do to boost your e-commerce SEO? Here are a few ideas to help you get started.
1. Create a solid website strategy
Your website’s SEO is based on a few key components. The first component is your site’s architecture. Does each page on your site load fast?
Does everything on your site function as you expect it to? These are questions you need to ask yourself as you build your site. You also want to ensure that your site is easy to update and maintain.
With an established website, you won’t be starting from scratch every time you make a small tweak.
Your site’s architecture and user experience together form its “user rating,” which determines how likely your site will rank well in search results.
As a general rule of thumb, the more your users have to say about your site, the more likely it is to rank well.
2. Consider the medium
When using SEO to promote your e-commerce store, you have two options: you can optimize for keywords in your article titles, blog posts, product descriptions, and even URLs.
You can also incorporate SEO into the design of your website, using tactics such as canonical linking and hidden keywords.
3. Use long tail keywords
If someone conducts a search on Google for “women’s tennis shoes,” they’ll likely arrive at a page containing multiple results, the first of which may be your site.
But chances are, they’ll then click on a different site because they’re specifically looking for that brand or product.
What happens when someone types in a short phrase to which there is already a page on your site devoted?
For example, if you have an article about the top 10 most popular Halloween costumes for 2022 and someone searches for “Halloween costumes for kids,” they’ll likely see a link to the page you created devoted to that topic.
In general, you want to use long-tail keywords whenever possible. Why? Using longer keywords takes longer for your target audience to find what they’re looking for.
If someone types in just one or two words, they may arrive at a page on your site that isn’t what they were actually looking for. But by using longer phrases, they may end up on a page that substantially matches their search criteria.
In the past, people primarily used the internet to research and buy products. But today, more and more shoppers use social media to find products they want to purchase.
If someone sees that a friend or a colleague has raved about a particular product or service, they may decide to try it out themselves.
To better understand how digital marketing and SEO work together in e-commerce, let’s consider the example of a consumer who visits your site and clicks on a product only to discover that it’s sold out.
What happens next?
They may see an error message stating so, depending on how you set up your site. But even if they don’t encounter any errors, they still may not be able to purchase your product, as it’s out of stock.
You can integrate social media into your SEO strategy to encourage visitors to your site and increase the likelihood of them making a purchase.
This means you’ll likely want to create social media accounts for your site and start using them to share content, engage with readers, and eventually draw in more leads.
The more you engage with your audience on social media, the more they’ll appreciate your efforts. When someone lands on your site from a social media platform, they may be interested in your offer. But even if they aren’t, you’ve provided them with content they can share with their social circles, which may, in turn, spark them into interested customers.
To start, you can use social media to like and follow content related to your industry and content from other successful brands.
Creating relevant, shareable content that draws in potential customers is key to successful SEO. In the example above, the visitor came from a social media platform, so your content may have already reached them. But chances are, they’re not a customer just yet.
Over the last decades, the internet has evolved from being a place you visit to learn to being a place you visit to buy, create, and share content.
If someone is already on your site, engages with your content, and is interested in what you offer, you may be able to push them toward making a purchase.
With shareable content, you don’t need to aim for organic search traffic as much as you want for informative content. Instead, all you need is a sizable audience and the ability to engage with them.
Guest posting on relevant blogs and engaging content for social media platforms are great ways to gain experience and prove to yourself and potential employers that you are a responsible, dedicated team member. You can be relied on to get the job done.
7. Focus on reviews and rankings
In the same way, you aim to teach people to type words into a search engine, instead of looking at random ads, you can aim to teach your visitors to trust online reviews when deciding which products to purchase.
Even if someone decides to purchase an item, they found online, at least they’ll have the peace of mind that it was properly reviewed and carries a good reputation.
Along with SEO, reviews and rankings matter for digital marketing campaigns.
When someone types a query into a search engine, they first see an organic search result page, which may contain multiple websites.
However, on this page is a list of products, most of which are highlighted in some way, whether by bold text, a picture, or both.
This makes it easy for the visitor to scan the list of products and find what they’re looking for. The more reviews you have, the better your chances of appearing on this page.
8. Use semantic search
Back then, people mainly used search engines to look for products. But today, as we know, the semantic web is becoming more important.
When someone types in a search query, they expect to see relevant results. Using semantic search, you can ensure that you return relevant results whenever someone types in a query.
To use semantic search effectively, you may consider incorporating keywords into the page’s content alongside other, more subtle elements.
For example, suppose you’re a shoe company and want to use semantic search to target customers looking for athletic shoes.
In that case, you may want to incorporate keywords like “athletic,” “gym,” and “running shoes” alongside other on-page elements, like the picture of a runner or the colors orange and black.
9. Use proper nouns
When someone types a keyword into a search engine, they’re most likely expecting to see a list of results containing that specific word.
But often, you’d want to use a keyword in the text of a page’s content, not as a search query. This is a common mistake made by people who aren’t used to using keywords in articles and other content.
In the case of a shoe company targeting the athletic market, you may want to incorporate keywords like “athletic” into the content of your website, articles, and even photos of your shoes.
10. Incorporate location
People use the internet to discover answers to their questions, but in many cases, they also search for locations.
If you think your product is something people in other parts of the country might be interested in, you may consider incorporating location search into your SEO strategy.
This is especially relevant if you expand your business to other states or countries.
When someone types in a location into a search engine, they’re most likely looking for something nearby. But if you’re trying to target people in other parts of the country, you may want to incorporate location into your SEO strategy.
For example, if you’re a shoe company and want to expand your business to the northeast, you may want to incorporate regional variations into your SEO strategy.
Including keywords like “New York” and “Boston” in the content of your website, articles, and social media posts can help you avoid missing out on potential customers in other parts of the country.
Why Should You Test Your SEO Strategy?
No question that investing in SEO is important for your website. However, investing in SEO doesn’t mean your website automatically ranks high in search results.
This is where testing comes in. By regularly checking your website’s search rankings, you’ll be able to determine the effectiveness of your SEO strategy.
If you find that your website doesn’t rank highly in searches despite investing in SEO, it’s time to reassess your strategy and possibly switch gears to try something new.
Website traffic is the lifeblood of any business, and having a steady stream of quality customers is the key to thriving in today’s ever-changing digital world. When developing your SEO strategy, you must consider getting traffic to your site.