ULTIMATE E-COMMERCE SEO GUIDE

October 03, 2022 | Author:  Andrew Maff
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SEO is one of the most important aspects of any e-commerce business. If you are not doing everything you can to optimize your website for search engines, you are losing out on a lot of potential traffic and sales.

If you're looking to take your eCommerce business to the next level, you need to ensure you have a solid understanding of SEO. Search engine optimization drives organic traffic to your website and increases sales.

In this guide, we'll cover everything you need to know about eComerce SEO, from keyword research to link building to on-page optimization. By the end of this guide, you'll have all the tools and knowledge you need to start driving more traffic and sales to your eCommerce store.

Let's get started!

But first, what is ecommerce SEO?

Ecommerce SEO is the process of optimizing your online store for search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing, and other search engines. By optimizing your ecommerce website, you can increase your visibility in search results, which leads to more traffic and, ultimately, more sales. SEO for e-commerce is different from traditional SEO because it has unique challenges and opportunities.

For example, unlike most other types of websites, ecommerce websites have a lot of product pages. And each of those product pages needs to be optimized for specific keywords if you want them to rank in search results. Similarly, product descriptions, category pages, and even Google ads need to be optimized for the right keywords if you want to see tangible results.

Additionally, your ecommerce website will need to be set up in a way that makes it easy for search engines to crawl and index your pages. This means having a well-structured website with clear navigation and an easy-to-use sitemap.

Fortunately, we'll cover all of that and more in this ecommerce SEO guide. So if you're ready to start driving more traffic and sales to your online store, keep reading!

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Step-by-Step SEO Strategy for E-commerce Websites

Now that we've answered the question "What is ecommerce SEO?", it's time to get into the nitty-gritty of how to actually do it. In this section, we'll walk you through a step-by-step process for optimizing your ecommerce website for search engines.

  • Ecommerce Keyword Research

Keyword research is one of the most important aspects of SEO for ecommerce businesses. You need to ensure you are targeting the right keywords to bring qualified traffic to your website.

There are a few different ways you can go about keyword research. The first is to use a paid tool like semrush or ahrefs. These tools will give you detailed information about which keywords are being searched for and how difficult it would be to rank for them.

Another way to do keyword research is to simply use Google's Keyword Planner Tool. This tool is free to use and can give you some insights into which keywords are being searched for the most. Keyword suggestions are based on actual search traffic and search queries, so you can be sure that you're targeting keywords that people are actually searching for.

When choosing keywords for your ecommerce site, you would need to group, label, and categorize your keyword ideas into buckets. This will help you to target your keywords more effectively and also help you to track your progress over time.

Different Types of Target Keywords

These are relevant keywords that you want to rank for in search engines. For example, if you sell women's clothing, some of your target keywords might be "women's clothing," "dresses," "tops," "skirts," etc.

Main or Primary Keyword

This is the keyword that you want to rank for.

Secondary or LSI Keywords

These are related keywords that you can use to help support your main keyword. For example, if your main keyword is "women's clothing," some of your LSI keywords might be "clothing for women," "women's fashion," "women's clothing store," etc.

Long-tail Keywords

These are more specific keywords that usually have less traffic but are easier to rank for. For example, if your main keyword is "women's clothing," some of your long-tail keywords might be "black women's dress," "white women's shirt," "women's clothing size 12", etc.

Negative Keywords

These are keywords that you do not want to rank for. For example, if you sell women's clothing, some of your negative keywords might be "men's clothing," "children's clothing," etc. Negative keywords are as important as your target keywords because they help you to filter out irrelevant traffic and focus on your target audience.

In addition, negative keywords help you to save dollars on your PPC campaigns by ensuring that your ads are not being shown to people who are not interested in what you're selling.

Competitor Keywords

These are keywords that your competitors are already ranking for. Doing a competitor analysis is a good way to find new target keywords for your ecommerce website.

Broad match keywords

These are general keywords that are not very specific. For example, if you sell women's clothing, a broad match keyword would be "women's clothing." Broad-match keywords tend to have a high search volume, but they are also very competitive.

Exact match keywords

These are keywords that are very specific and target a particular product or service. For example, if you sell women's clothing, an exact match keyword would be "women's dresses." Exact match keywords usually have a lower search volume, but they are also less competitive.

To do a competitor analysis, simply search for your main keyword on Google and take a look at the first few results. Take note of the keywords they are ranking for and try to target them as well. You can also use a keyword research tool like semrush or ahrefs to find out which keywords your competitors are ranking for.

Once you have a list of potential keywords, you need to start thinking about which ones are going to be the most beneficial for your business. You want to choose keywords relevant to your products or services and with a high search volume.

You also want to make sure you choose keywords that are not too difficult to rank for. If you try to target a too competitive keyword, it will take a lot of time and effort to get your website to rank in the top results.

Keyword Metrics

Some metrics to look at when you want to find keywords that will help you get into higher SEO rankings.

Search volume

Search volume is the number of times a keyword is being searched for in a given month. The higher the search volume, the more potential traffic you can get from that keyword.

Keyword Difficulty

Keyword difficulty is a measure of how difficult it would be to rank in the top results for a given keyword. The higher the difficulty, the more time and effort it will take to rank for that keyword.

Relevance

Relevance is how closely related a keyword is to your products or services. You want to make sure you choose keywords that are relevant to what you are selling. Otherwise, you will get a lot of unqualified traffic.

Competition

Competition is a measure of how many other websites are trying to rank for the same keyword. The more competition there is, the harder it will be to rank in the top results.

Click-through rate (CTR) from the SERP

CTR from the SERP is a measure of how often people click on your website when it appears in the search results. The higher your CTR, the more traffic you will get from that keyword.

These are just a few of the metrics you should look at when choosing keywords. Once you have a list of potential keywords, you can start to optimize your website for those keywords.

Choosing Target Keywords

Purchase Intent

When people are searching for a product or service, they are usually trying to find something specific. This is called purchase intent. Purchase intent keywords are keywords that indicate that the person searching is ready to buy. For example, if someone searches for "buy women's dresses," they have a high purchase intent. This is because they know what they want and they are ready to buy it.

If you can identify purchase intent keywords, you can use them to target people who are more likely to purchase on your website. This will help you increase your conversion rate and make more sales.

Now, when considering the purchase intent of keywords, understand that different target keywords have various levels of purchase intent depending on what stage of the buyer’s journey they are in. There are three stages to the buyer’s journey: Awareness Stage, Consideration Stage & Decision Stage.

  • The Awareness Stage is when someone realizes they have a problem or need and begins their search for a solution. For example, if someone is searching for "symptoms of a cold," they are in the awareness stage. They know they have a problem, and they are looking for information on how to solve it.
  • The Consideration Stage is when someone has narrowed down their options and is considering which product or service to buy. For example, if someone searches for "best over-the-counter cold medicine," they are in the consideration stage. They have decided they need to buy something to solve their problem, and now they are considering their options.
  • The Decision Stage is when someone has made a decision on which product or service to buy and is ready to make a purchase. For example, if someone searches for "buy ibuprofen," they are in the decision stage. They have decided which product they want to buy, and now they are ready to make a purchase.

As you can see, different target keywords have different levels of purchase intent. You want to choose target keywords that have a high level of purchase intent for the stage of the buyer’s journey that you are targeting.

For example, if you are running a cold medicine ad campaign, you would want to target keywords with high purchase intent in the decision stage, such as "buy ibuprofen" or "buy Cold-FX." These are keywords that indicate that the person searching is ready to buy and they are more likely to convert into a sale.

On the other hand, if you are running an awareness campaign to promote your cold medicine, you would want to target keywords with high purchase intent in the awareness stage, such as "symptoms of a cold." These are keywords that indicate that the person searching is looking for information on how to solve their problem.

Local SEO and Location Targeting

Another way to target potential customers is by their location. For example, if you have a brick-and-mortar store, you can use local SEO to target people in your area. For example, if you own a clothing store in New York City, you would want to optimize your website for keywords like "clothing store NYC" or "clothing stores in Manhattan." This will help your website show up when people search for those terms, and they are looking for a store in your area.

You can also use location targeting to target people in specific countries or regions. For example, if you are selling products that can only be shipped to the United States, you would want to use location targeting to only show your paid ads to people in the United States. This will help you avoid wasting money on clicks from people who can't buy your product.

To set up location targeting, you will need to create a separate campaign for each country or region that you want to target. Then, you will need to add the relevant countries or regions as targets in your campaign settings.

On-Page SEO

Now that you've done your keyword research, it's time to start optimizing your website for those keywords. This process is called on-page SEO. On-Page SEO or also known as "technical SEO," is the process of optimizing your website's content and code to make it more search engine friendly.

When it comes to technical SEO, think of it as the backend of your ecommerce site This is where all the optimization happens to make your ecommerce site run smoothly and fast. Technical SEO can be a bit overwhelming, but don't worry, we will go over the basics of technical SEO in this guide.

To start, let's take a look at some of the most important on-page SEO factors:

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Google Search Console

Google Search Console is a free tool that allows you to see how your website is performing in Google search. It also shows you any errors that Google has found on your website. This is a valuable tool for technical SEO because it can help you fix errors on your website that could be holding back your rankings.

To set up Google Search Console, you will need to verify your website with Google. You can add a meta tag to your website's code or upload an HTML file to your server. Once your website is verified, you will be able to see your website's data in Google Search Console.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is another free tool that allows you to track your website's traffic. It also provides valuable data on how people are finding and using your website. This data can be helpful for understanding what is working well on your website and what needs to be improved.

Page speed

Page speed is the amount of time it takes for your website to load. A fast website is important for two reasons. First, fast websites provide a better user experience, which can lead to more sales. Second, Google has stated that page speed is a ranking factor in their search algorithm. This means that faster websites will rank higher in Google search.

There are a few things you can do to improve your website's page speed:

  1. You can optimize your images by reducing their file size.
  2. You can minify your CSS and JavaScript files. This means removing any unnecessary characters from the code, which will make the files smaller and faster to load.
  3. You can use a content delivery network (CDN) to improve your website's loading times.
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Site Architecture

Site architecture is the process of organizing your website's pages and content in a way that is easy for search engines to understand. A well-organized website will have a hierarchy of pages, with the most important pages at the top and the less important pages further down.

You can use  keyword research to help you determine which pages on your website are the most important. Once you know which pages are the most important, you can optimize those pages for your target keywords.

Title Tags

Title tags are one of the most important on-page SEO factors. Title tags are the text that appears in the search results for your website. They should be descriptive and contain your target keywords.

Your title tags should be 60 characters or less; anything longer will be cut off in the search results. You also want to make sure your title tags are unique and relevant to the page they are on.

Meta Descriptions

Meta descriptions are the text that appears under your website's title tag in the search results. Meta descriptions should be 160 characters or less, as anything longer will be cut off in the search results.

Meta descriptions should be unique and relevant to the page they are on. They should also contain your target keywords. However, you don't want to stuff your meta descriptions with keywords, as this will make them less effective.

Header Tags

Header tags are used to structure your website's content. Header tags are used to create headings and subheadings on your website. They range from h tag to h tag, with h tag being the most important and h tag being the least important.

You want to use header tags to help structure your website's content and make it easy for search engines to understand. You also want to use header tags to target your target keywords.

Anchor Texts

Anchor text is the text that you use when linking to other pages on your website. When linking to other pages, you want to use relevant and keyword rich anchor text. This will help search engines understand what the page you are linking to is about.

If you are linking to a page on your website, you want to use keyword rich anchor text that is relevant to the page you are linking to. For example, if you are linking to a page about blacksmithing, you would want to use anchor text that contains the keyword "blacksmithing."

If you are linking to an external website, you want to use descriptive anchor text that tells the reader what they will find on the site you are linking to. For example, if you are linking to a website about blacksmithing, you would want to use anchor text that says "website about blacksmithing."

Image Optimization

Images are an important part of any website. Not only do they make your website more visually appealing, but they can also help you rank better in the search results. This is because search engines can index the text in images.

To optimize your images for the search engines, you want to use keyword-rich file names and alt text. You also want to make sure your images are the right size. Large images will slow down your website, which will hurt your search engine rankings.

By following these tips, you can optimize your website for search engines and attract more traffic to your site.content-concept-laptop-screen

Content Marketing

Now that we've covered the basics of technical SEO let's move on to some other important factors--content marketing.

Your website's content is one of the most important factors for on-page SEO. This is because your content needs to be optimized for your target keywords. But more importantly, your content needs to be high quality and informative.

Creating high-quality content can be a challenge, but it's worth it. Not only will it help you rank better in the search results, but it will also help you attract more traffic to your site.

Here are some tips on how to ace your content marketing strategy:

1) Avoid duplicate content.

One of the biggest content marketing mistakes you can make is creating duplicate content. This is when you have two or more pieces of content on your website that are exactly the same. Not only does this hurt your search engine rankings, but it also confuses readers and creates a poor user experience.

If you have duplicate content on your website, you need to remove it immediately. You can do this by using a tool like Copyscape or by doing a manual check.

Once you've removed the duplicate content, you need to make sure you never create it again. To avoid duplicate content, always create original content and make sure your website's design is unique.

2) Write your own blog post.

If you want to attract more traffic to your website, you need to write your own blog post. This is because when you write a blog post, you can optimize it for your target keywords. And when people search for those keywords, they'll find your blog post and hopefully click through to your website.

3) Refrain from keyword stuffing.

One of the most common on-page SEO mistakes is keyword stuffing. This is when you stuff your content with so many keywords that it becomes difficult to read. Not only does this hurt your search engine rankings, but it also drives away readers. To avoid keyword stuffing, make sure you use your keywords sparingly. Use them only when they are relevant and add value to your content.

4) Optimize your title tags and meta descriptions.

Your title tags and meta descriptions are two of the most important on-page SEO factors. This is because they are what show up in the search results. And if you want people to click through to your website, you need to make sure your title tags and meta descriptions are optimized for your target keywords.

To optimize your title tags, make sure they are less than 60 characters. And to optimize your meta descriptions, make sure they are less than 155 characters.

5) Use internal links.

Internal links are links that go from one page on your website to another page on your website. They are a great way to keep readers engaged and to help them find more information about your products or services. But they can also help you with your SEO.

6) Utilize user-generated content.

User-generated content is a great way to add fresh, relevant content to your website. This is content that is created by your users, such as product reviews or comments. Not only does this help you with your SEO, but it also helps you build trust and credibility with your readers.

7) Link to credible sites with high domain authority.

One of the best ways to improve your SEO is to link to credible sites with high domain authority. These are websites that are respected and trusted by search engines. When you link to these types of websites, it shows search engines that your website is also trustworthy and credible.

Linking to high-quality websites can be a challenge, but it's worth it. Not only will it help you rank better in the search results, but it will also help you attract more organic traffic to your site.

These are just a few tips on how to improve your content marketing strategy. If you follow these tips, you'll be well on your way to success.

Off-Page SEO

Off-page SEO is the process of optimizing your website for the search engines by building links to your website. Links are an important ranking factor for search engines, so the more links you have pointing to your website, the higher your website will rank in the search results.

There are a number of ways to build links to your website. Some of the most popular methods include guest blogging, directory submissions, and social bookmarking.corporate-connected-link-perforated-paper

Link building

Link building is the process of getting other websites to link back to your website. This is important because links are one of the main ranking factors for search engines. The more high-quality links you have pointing to your website, the higher you will rank in the search results.

There are a few different ways you can build links to your website. The first is through guest blogging. You can find blogs in your industry that accept guest posts and write an article for them with a link back to your website.

Guest Blogging

Guest blogging is the process of writing an article for another website in your industry with a link back to your website. This is a great way to build links because you are providing valuable content for other websites. In return, they will link back to your website.

To find guest blogging opportunities, you can search Google for blogs in your industry that accept guest posts. You can also use a tool like Followerwonk to find influencers in your industry and see if they have a blog.

Directory Submissions

Directory submissions are another great way to build links to your website. Directory websites are websites that list other websites in different categories. By submitting your website to directories, you are getting a link back to your website.

To find directory websites, you can search Google for "directory" + your industry. For example, if you are in the travel industry, you would search for "directory" + travel. You can also use a tool like Moz's Open Site Explorer to find directory websites.

Social Bookmarking

Social bookmarking is a great way to build links and increase traffic to your website. Social bookmarking websites are websites where users can submit their own content. By submitting your website on social bookmarking websites, you are getting a link back to your website.

To find social bookmarking websites, you can search Google for "social bookmarking" + your industry. For example, if you are in the travel industry, you would search for "social bookmarking" + travel. You can also use a tool like Followerwonk to find social bookmarking websites.

Resources

You can also build links by creating helpful resources on your website that other people will want to link to. This could be an informative blog post, an infographic, or a video tutorial.

If you're serious about SEO, you need to start building links to your website. The more high-quality links you have pointing to your site, the higher you will rank in the search results.

Broken Links

Broken links are links that lead to a 404 error page. When a website has broken links, it can hurt the website's SEO because it shows the search engines that the website is not well-maintained.

To find broken links on your website, you can use a tool like Screaming Frog. This tool will crawl your website and find all of the broken links. Once you have found the broken links, you can either fix them or remove them.

If you're serious about SEO, you need to make sure your website doesn't have any broken links. Broken links can hurt your website's ranking and make it harder for people to find your site.top-view-tools-marketing

Best Ecommerce SEO Tools to Use

There are a few different SEO tools that you can use to help with your ecommerce website. Here are a few of the best:

Ubersuggest

Ubersuggest is a great tool for keyword research. It allows you to see how many people are searching for a particular keyword and also provides suggestions for related keywords.

Ubersuggest, created by Neil Patel, is not only easy to use but also preferred by thousands of SEO experts worldwide. It contains every basic feature you could need and provides a comprehensive overview of your domain as well as the ability to reverse engineer competitors’ strategies. You can see all the details about what pages are ranking for your competition so you can make content that users will love reading and sharing.

Moz Pro

Moz Pro is an excellent toolset for anyone looking to improve their eCommerce SEO rankings. Moz is one of the best eCommerce SEO tools for a variety of reasons. It simplifies audits, rank tracking, backlink analysis, and keyword research. For example, you can use the Moz keyword explorer tool to discover potential keywords for your eCommerce store. You can also run an SEO audit with Moz to crawl your site and find any issues that are affecting your rankings.

The MozBar Chrome extension is a free, essential SEO tool that checks domain authenticity metrics like domain authority (DA), page authority (PA), and spam score.

Ahrefs

Ahrefs is another great all-in-one SEO tool. It offers features such as link building, keyword research, and site auditing. It's widely regarded as one of the best free SEO tools. It has the second-fastest web crawler, after 

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