Demand for ecommerce is growing exponentially, but unless your company name starts with “A” and ends is “mazon,” you’re probably having trouble gaining the market share you deserve.
What’s to blame?
Studies show that about 75% of traffic goes to the results on the first page of a Google search. And competing with the giant, well-established sites on the internet isn’t simple. They have the domain authority/reputation and content that fuel high rankings.
But never fear! Opportunity is here!
Investing in the right SEO strategy will help establish and/or increase your authority; identify the right keywords and drive them to the top of the SERP (search engine results page); increase traffic; and even drive more sales.
*Disclosure: We only feature services and products we honestly believe in and our perspectives are genuinely our own expert perspective. This post may contain affiliate links from which we earn a small commission, at no additional cost to you.
In this ecommerce SEO guide we’ll be using examples of household supplies retailers, but these strategies will work wonders regardless of your ecommerce site’s niche.
SEO Strategy for Ecommerce Websites
- Fix technical errors
- Conduct customer-centric keyword research
- Produce high-quality content
- Earn high-quality backlinks
1. Conducting a Technical SEO Audit for Ecommerce Sites
From hidden pages to duplicate content, there are over 180 potential issues your site could have — and they’re all extremely common in ecommerce sites.
The worst of these issues can be that your site is inadvertently blocking search engines from reading some or all of your pages. Other issues could be causing confusion in their algorithms so they put you lower than you deserve.
Everything you need to uncover and remedy any of these situations is in our D.I.Y technical audit guide.
2. Conduct Effective Keyword Research for Ecommerce Sites
The first step in keyword research is developing a laundry list of keywords. Read your own existing content, hold a brainstorm meeting and use these tools and techniques to uncover opportunities.
Another great ecommerce keyword research hack is to go to the big brands sites (like Amazon and eBay) and search for the product you’re selling. They’ll suggest additional words.
The next step is to prioritize them. At first glance, you’ll find that almost all the keywords in your list seem logical to target. Not only do they make sense in terms of capturing your audiences’ possible search intent, but your keywords are highly relevant to the products sold on your ecommerce site.
However, even having said that, we still need to qualify each keyword to make sure that it is a good idea to target them.
Your priority keywords belong in your H1s and throughout body copy. They should also be the targets for internal and external linking (but we’ll get to that in a minute).
Back in the day, keyword research prioritizing was all about search volume and keyword difficulty. Many SEOs made the evolution years ago to include SERP analysis in their keyword research. The next evolution — dare we say the most effective and critical piece of the puzzle — is including customer research in the process.
How to Find Search Volume and Keyword Difficulty
Paid tools like SEMRush have great data, too, and offer a ton of additional tools that will help you refine your SEO strategy. If you hire an expert SEO agency, they’ll have these tools and will put them to work for you!
Conducting Customer Research For Your Ecommerce Site’s Keywords
Put your keywords to the test by search forums, Reddit and Quora for your top contenders. See if people are a) using the term; b) using it in the same way you will; c) if they’re part of your target audience.
If you find that your picks aren’t showing up, go broad again and try to find the most popular threads. Read through to see how your target audience is actually talking about the product, then go back and check keyword difficulty and volume.
How to Conduct a SERP Analysis
Conducting a SERP analysis is important for two reasons:
- You’re able to gleam what Google believes to be the searcher’s intent (and it’s really good at this). If your page is about buying toilet paper and all the others are about manufacturing it, you’ll probably want to turn your focus to another keyword to maximize your ROI.
- You’ll be able to assess if you’ll be able to outrank the current leaders. If listings 1 – 10 are Amazon or sites with an unreachable domain authority, try targeting long tail versions first, which will build up your search engine cred for the original word, too, but get you more immediate results for the core keyword.
As you can see, “toilet paper roll” is rated a 48 difficulty and the SERP is being dominated by news stories at the moment. This tells us we should probably focus on a longtail keyword.
If you’re looking to really dominate the SERP, however, you’ll want to hire an SEO agency to do an in-depth SERP analysis that will identify opportunities automatic tools cannot. They can provide additional insights like UX, page speed, supporting keywords, content length and headings.
Speaking of which, now that you have a good set of keywords to target, you need to make sure that your website and your marketing materials are optimized for the keywords.
3. Create Quality, Relevant Content for Your Audience
Now that you know what keywords to target, how your audience is using them, how search engines are interpreting intent and who your real competition is, it’s time to develop content.
There are marketers and business owners who create their content based on what they think is a good fit for their audience, while there are those who do their research diligently so they can determine the type of content that they know their audience loves.
There is a difference between the two, the former is just guessing, while the latter is basing their judgment on cold, hard numbers.
Will you choose to be the latter?
Use the insights from the SERP analysis to develop a superior page to those that are ranking in the top spots.
4. Build Quality Backlinks to Your Ecommerce Site
We are not talking about the spammy links of years past.
We are talking about one of the single most effective tactics to increase rankings for targeted keywords.
Don’t believe us?
We got a client ranking number one for one of their industry’s most competitive keywords in a matter of months using a link strategy. And we helped another client drive more conversions through targeted link building.
It’s important, however, not to jump into link building blindly — it’s not something you should do without an expert strategy in place. Even so-called “professional” link builders these days will take risky short cuts or put up a link they full-well know will come down in a matter of days.
To guide you in your quest for a reputable link building partner, we’ve developed a guide for the 8 questions you should ask before hiring a link building company.
BONUS: Use These CRO Tips to Convert Visitors Into Paying Customers
We’d like to start by telling you that there is no one-size-fits-all advice when optimizing your ecommerce website for conversion. There are varying elements that can cause a CRO tip to bring boatloads of sales to one site while causing another to lose tons.
That’s why you need to split test — a lot.
When you’re split testing, you’ll know which conversion optimization tip is working and which one isn’t. The best part is, you’ll have the data to back up the information, so you know that you aren’t just guessing.
Alright. Now that we’ve pretty much established to the importance of split testing to make sure you’re using CRO tactics that work, allow us to share with you nine conversion optimization tips that seasoned marketers are using to convert their visitors into paying customers:
- Use a landing page. If you’re using paid ads, whether through Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, or any other site, be sure to route your prospective customers to a landing page when they click your ad. In most cases, routing your prospective customers to your homepage is a terrible idea because homepages are loaded with all sorts of distractions. Instead of doing that, you can route them to a landing page instead where every single aspect of the page points to your prospective customers buying your product or taking action on whatever CTA you added on the page.
- Add your call-to-action buttons above the fold of your website.
- Sprinkle your call-to-action buttons (or clickable links) within your content. Be sure to add your CTAs in places where it makes sense so your readers won’t think that you’re spamming them.
- Talk about your audience’s pain points, and emphasize those pain points to trigger feelings. Remember that emotions (not logic) are what will most often make your audience convert.
- Avoid confusing your audience by giving them too many options. Ideally, your pages should only have one type of call-to-action. If you ask them to share, buy, register, and comment all at the same time, there’s a good chance that you’ll only overwhelm them. This could cause your audience to click away without doing any kind of action.
- Add your customer’s testimonials.
- Capture your audiences’ email addresses whenever you can.
- Make your contact details visible to your audience. That way, whenever they have a question that’s preventing them from making the purchase, they’ll be able to quickly and easily contact you.
- Price your product accordingly. This won’t be the same for everyone, so you’ll have to research prices on your own. What we can tell you, however, is pricing your product as cheaply as possible isn’t always the best way to go. If your products are too cheap, then their perceived value might decrease. After all, if you were the prospect buyer, you’d probably think that the quality is crappy because the product is so cheap. Price your product ridiculously high, however, and no one’s going to buy it simply because it is too expensive.
There’s more where that came from. Check out the 5 psychological hacks you can use to set your ecommerce site up for conversion success or learn about what Digital Current offers our clients for CRO services.
Are you in need of a digital marketing agency that can help you develop your ecommerce site into a cash generating machine?
Whether you’re struggling with sales, traffic, keyword rankings or more, we’ll be more than happy to turn things around for you and give you the business growth that you’re looking for.
Schedule an introductory call to start rising through the ranks and winning the ecommerce game!