Launching your first eCommerce website doesn’t have to be complicated, but if you want customers to find you online, you’ll need to know the basics of search engine optimization (SEO).
It goes without saying that eCommerce has made a huge impact on the world, and in the coronavirus era, it has proven an indispensable sales channel for many retailers and wholesalers.
Thanks to eCommerce platforms like BigCommerce, Magento, Neto, Shopify, and WooCommerce, product businesses can reach customers far and wide with customizable websites that show off their brand and products. (Read our blog on which platforms may be right for your business). To increase the likelihood that customers will shop with you, it’s important to optimize your website content so that a search engine like Google will find it.
If you’re new to eCommerce or SEO, you need to know how SEO works and how it can benefit your business.
Why You Need Search Engine Optimization
Many people find online stores through organic searches (simple queries using a search engine). This is why Google plays such an important role in the eCommerce sales cycle. But because there are many stores working in any niche, your aim will be to make sure that your search results are better than your competitors. If you have fewer clicks, you’ll make fewer sales. This makes SEO important enough for you to start thinking about optimization as soon as you create your eCommerce website.
The main challenge is getting to the top of the first page of search results. You have to be number one to succeed. According to research, websites that rank number one have an average click-through rate (the ratio of people who click on a link to the number of people who view a search result page) of about 36%, while number two and number three have CTRs of 13% and 10%, respectively. Other research suggests that impressions from websites that rank first double those from the websites that rank second. Therefore, the value of the first position in search results is hard to overestimate.
How to Optimize Your eCommerce Website
Keywords are the words people use in their online searches, and they are the backbone of any SEO tactic. Using the right keywords in your website helps generate high-quality traffic and increase sales.
Start by researching the terms that people are actually using, taking into account search volume, relevance, and ranking difficulty. The trick is to choose keywords that are relevant to your product but that are not too competitive or too broad. Specific keywords are better than general keywords.
You can also use long-tail keywords to your advantage. These are three- or four-word phrases that people use when looking for products online. You may think that trying to rank for “shoes” if you sell shoes is a good idea. However, it turns out that popular terms like “shoes” account for less than 30% of searches on the internet. The remaining 70% of searches are long-tail keywords.
You should also make sure that multiple pages of your website don’t rank for the same keyword. Such websites look confusing to search engines because they need to figure out which page is most important. We recommend that you research your competitors and check out what keywords they use, and where they get their inbound links from.
You can start researching keywords using tools like Moz or Google Console. These will help you to decide which words and phrases to include when you write content for your eCommerce website: home pages, product descriptions, and any page on your website where you use content to present your business. If you’re not comfortable writing your own content, you can find professional writers on gig platforms like Freelancer or specialized SEO writing service agencies.
You can optimize your website in many ways. Here are the main areas you should pay your attention to.
- Include your keywords in titles, headings, product descriptions, and meta descriptions. Your URLs should also include your keywords and be easy to read. However, make sure that your website isn’t too packed with keywords.
- Use internal linking. When pages on your website link to each other, you can improve your ranking. Just make sure to use internal links moderately because if your pages have too many internal links, Google will consider your content suspicious. We also recommend that you don’t use multiple links with the same anchor text.
- Improve your website’s usability. Making your site fun and easy to use is the most natural way to attract more visitors. Make sure that your visitors can quickly navigate to any important section and that your contact information is accessible. The best solution is to use a chatbot that will provide timely assistance.
- Optimize the mobile version of your website. Make sure that your design is responsive and works perfectly on any device. 61% of users will leave a mobile-unfriendly website and quickly go to your competitors. Fortunately, even if you don’t have a developer in your team, you can use various templates available online. When using WooCommerce or Shopify, you can choose from among hundreds of responsive themes.
Check for Problems
Make sure your website doesn’t have errors. We suggest that you redirect any 404 pages to useful content, change your 302 redirects to 301 redirects, and update any duplicate meta descriptions and meta titles. You should also make sure that your eCommerce website is fast. According to statistics, as much as 40% of users leave websites that take more than three seconds to load. If your site is slow, you certainly will lose customers.
If your loading speed is slow, you might want to buy more server space or choose another CMS. For instance, WooCommerce is much faster than Magento. You should also optimize your content. If you have many large images and other types of media content on your website, it will also negatively impact the loading speed.
SEO optimization is crucial for eCommerce websites, and the main reason is that SEO helps increase sales. Follow our tips and don’t forget to run A/B tests. Optimization is a continuous process so you should be able to evaluate your changes and to improve your website all the time. A good testing strategy will prevent you from losing your leads and will help you increase conversion rates.
About the Author
Nancy P. Howard is a professional writer and expert at Best Writers Online. She writes about blogging, IT, and marketing.