Ecommerce is quickly becoming one of the most popular ways to shop. In the United States alone, more than 227 million people shop online. That’s more than two thirds of the total population! This article will demonstrate best practices for ecommerce SEO (search engine optimization) and discuss how you can harness SEO to promote your ecommerce business.
What is SEO?
SEO is a way to increase your company’s web traffic by organically appearing at the topo of the SERP (search engine results page). If your business appears at the top of the search engine results page, you’re likely to see an increase in the quality and quantity of visits to your site. It’s a great, cost-effective way to spread the word about your business!
Why is Ecommerce SEO Important?
Even if your customer knows what they want to buy, the options can be overwhelming. That’s why 44% of customers start their online shopping journey on a search engine. Customers can easily compare brands, prices, and shipping times from multiple companies. Most, however, don’t scroll past the first page of results. If your business is among the first to appear, there’s a good chance customers will consider you over competitors.
Ecommerce comes with lots of expenses. Materials, labor, and shipping are just a few of the costs your business has to consider. Some companies, especially those starting out, might hesitate at spending money on ad campaigns. Search engines, however, are a free service. This makes SEO an effective and low-cost option for marketing your ecommerce business.
There are multiple ecommerce platforms, each with their own advantages and drawbacks. For all, however, ecommerce SEO is a vital tool that will take your business to the next level. Here are some tips for using ecommerce SEO on the world’s most popular platforms.
Ecommerce SEO for Shopify
Shopify is one of the worldwide leaders in ecommerce, with a revolutionary all-in-one platform. You can create your store, manage inventory, and make sales all in one place. Shopify also offers tons of resources to promote your business centered around SEO. Here are some best practices when using SEO for Shopify!
Keywords, common phrases that customers use in search engines, are the driving force behind SEO. Without knowing which keywords your audience uses, it will be very hard to get your website to the top of the SERP. If you’re nervous about finding the right keywords, don’t worry! Lots of websites offer tools to help you find the perfect keywords for your ecommerce business. One of the most popular is Google Keyword Planner: a free service backed by Google, you’ll have access to tons of keyword data straight from the Google search engine. If you have a budget dedicated to SEO for Shopify, Moz Keyword Planner is another great tool. While it costs $150 monthly, you’ll have access to groundbreaking analytics on over 500 million keywords.
Let’s pretend that you’ve just opened a Shopify store specializing in wool socks, hats, and sweaters. There are plenty of keywords you can explore right off the bat; “wool clothing,” “wool socks,” and “winter clothes” to name a few. By plugging those words into Google Keyword Planner or Moz Keyword Explorer, you’ll see which one is the most popular and be able to attract customers to your site.
Utilize Google Suggestions
If you’ve ever done a Google search, you’ve probably seen the list of results that pops up underneath the search bar as you type. While many are often unrelated and downright ridiculous, some might be useful for your company. By scanning suggestions that appear on the page, you may learn about your customers’ behavior and desires as well as new keywords. This can give you a huge leg up on competition when it comes to SEO for Shopify. If you need help with Shopify web development, SEO Design Chicago can help.
In your wool clothing store, your socks are your most popular item. You search for “homemade wool socks” and your company appears at the top, but then you see that people also searched for “homemade wool hats”. By altering your website to include hats on the front page, your website will see an increase in traffic from this additional search.
Write Long Product Descriptions
Product descriptions are one of the most important parts of your Shopify business. Since you sell products over the internet, customers must rely on photos and descriptions to know what they are buying. A brief, uninformative description won’t allow search engines to effectively analyze your website, which in turn leads to poor SERP ranking. Plus, you can fill your product descriptions with target keywords, reinforcing your ecommerce SEO strategy. SEO Design Chicago can help you create effective productive descriptions.
You’ve just released a new line of Merino wool clothes in your Shopify store and you need to write product descriptions. Instead of saying “this hat is made of Merino wool”, you could instead say “this hat is made from 100% Merino wool imported from Australia”. Instead of saying “these socks are really warm”, say “our socks will keep your feet warm on even the longest winter hike”. By adding additional details, you open yourself to a larger audience. If someone searches “popular winter hikes” and you use the product description above, they may buy some socks to keep their feet nice and toasty!
Ecommerce SEO for Woocommerce
Woocommerce is an ecommerce plugin for WordPress websites. By adding Woocommerce to your website, you can sell products and manage your online business very easily. Woocommerce also offers tons of excellent opportunities for boosting ecommerce SEO. Here are a few tips and tricks for boosting SEO for Woocommerce:
Download Yoast SEO Plugin
In addition to Woocommerce, WordPress offers a variety of plugins to improve your site. Woocommerce should be the first one you download (after all, you can’t have an ecommerce website without an ecommerce platform), but Yoast SEO is an incredibly valuable tool that you should download as well. It will help you to optimize each and every page on your site for maximum SEO.
Yoast has tons of great tools. You can set a keyphrase for each individual page, and Yoast will advise you on density and placement throughout the page. Yoast also monitors your page’s SEO in real time and gives you one of three ratings: red, orange, and green in order from worst to best. If you download Yoast and see that your page is on red, it’s okay! There are tons of easy fixes, like adding images and putting your keyword in the page title. Your website will be in the green in no time!
Put Tags on Products
Tags are words or phrases linked to each product on your site, a major part of SEO. They’re almost like keywords, but instead of having just one keyword per page you can have multiple tags per item! Be careful though, overloading each product with tags may be detrimental to your ecommerce SEO.
One of the best pieces of advice for tagging products in WooCommerce is to use language that your audience uses. Let’s go back to the example of the wool clothing store. Tagging your merino wool socks as “wool socks” isn’t descriptive and won’t help your brand stand out. On the other hand, it’s possible to go too far. Tagging “handmade socks with Merino wool imported from Australia” is too wordy and won’t increase your web traffic. Aim for something in the middle like “merino wool socks”. This way your customers know they’re not just getting average wool socks but they’re not overloaded with information. Save the rest of the information for the product description!
Customize Your Ecommerce Website
While ecommerce SEO is useful for driving traffic to your website, a solid user experience will entice customers to buy products. Luckily, WordPress has tons of options to customize your website. Adding some of these plugins can be the difference maker between window shopping and closing the sale.
One of the best plugins to add right away is the PayPal payment option. PayPal and other online payment services account for 57% of all online transactions. If customers are unable to pay with PayPal on your ecommerce website, you’ll risk missing out on potential sales. Google Ads are another vital tool for ecommerce SEO. We already discussed the importance of Google Keyword Planner, but the Google Ads plugin adds a new dimension to your website SEO. You’ll be able to monitor keywords, pageviews, and even get deeper insights thanks to the Ecommerce Tracking tool.
Finally, add Jetpack to your website to protect against cyber attacks on your website. Your customers trust you with valuable payment information, and Jetpack will block any malicious attempts to steal information from your website. You can rest assured knowing that your customers can trust you with their hard-earned money.
Hopefully this article taught you some useful tips for boosting ecommerce SEO. If you’re ready to take your online store to the next level, contact us to get started today. Our team will help you get started with ecommerce website development, photography, and everything in between!