It’s fair to say that in order to drive up online sales, you first need to grow your website traffic. But organic traffic growth isn’t quickly earned, and it certainly can’t be bought (that’s what we mean by organic). The solution? Search engine optimisation (SEO) for eCommerce!
You may be familiar with SEO, but just in case, we’ll cover it quickly in a basic explanation; when a user types in a search, Google bots, or robots for the search engine, crawl every webpage searching for the keywords and other factors that determine search results. The pages that meet the highest criteria the fastest are ranked higher on the search engine results pages (SERPs).
Search engine optimisation, or SEO, is the practice of optimising your site to meet those criteria and, in turn, increase your search rankings and grow organic traffic.
Here, we’ll take you through the strategies for driving your eCommerce sales via SEO. Let’s get started!
There are numerous ways Google determines where your site ranks in the search results. There are also plenty of ways to perform on-site SEO to boost your search rankings.
Here are some of the most critical SEO eCommerce basics to consider:
The product description and image are typically the deciding factors in whether a visitor becomes a customer. Your product description needs to be full of detail, including all the main features, and address the top questions the user might have about the product. It also needs to have the target (or main) keywords for that product, which we’ll address in a moment.
Having the perfect main image for your product is key to attracting customers. Shoppers are already wary enough of online shopping; you need to give them as many details (and pictures) as possible. However, it would be best if you also thought about what search engines are looking for too.
When adding images to your eCommerce website, use:
· A gallery of product images, from as many angles as possible
· Clear, high-quality images
· Optimally-sized images (for loading speed and page structure)
· Alt-tags (for accessibility and page crawlers, AKA the Google bots)
Customer reviews are essential in today’s shopping economy. Plus, reviews on your webpage help establish authority in the rankings.
Display your products with the best reviews first and add the reviews to the bottom of the page. Show visitors to your site that customers love you and your products; here’s the proof!
Technical SEO is even less fun than regular on-site or off-site SEO, but it’s absolutely worth the trouble. Technical SEO deals with the back end of your website and includes:
· Link from the home page
· Canonical tag/canonicalization
· Create/add sitemap.xml to Google and other search engines
· High-quality backlinks
· 301 redirects
· No broken links
· 404 page
· Page titles/clean URLs
· Only one H1 heading on each page
· Minimum loading times
The Importance of Product Pages
One of the most important aspects of on-site SEO is your product page. Product pages not only sell your products, they tell search engines everything about your product.
Since users often bypass your homepage, your product pages are the most important pages on your site. If there isn’t enough or the right information, you could lose a customer within milliseconds.
The Best Way to Write a Product Description
Of course, it’s crucial to be descriptive in your product description, but there are a few other key factors you need to remember to include in your product descriptions as well. One of the most vital is keywords.
If you haven’t started doing keyword research yet – or at least learning about it – this is your sign to begin. If your product page doesn’t have the correct keywords (maybe we should call them passwords), it won’t rank on Google, or any search engine for that matter.
Keywords are the phrases that users type into the search bar when they are looking for something online. Essentially, keywords are the most commonly searched words for the product that you are trying to sell.
For instance, if your website sells dog beds and you want someone who’s searching for a “large dog bed” to visit your site and buy one, you should have “large dog bed” on that product’s page.
That way, Google and other search engines know that your site –specifically, that page – has what the user is looking for. This is the keyword, which search engines use to rank your webpage among search results.
Some topics or products have dozens of keywords, but you only need to focus on the top few. The typical pattern is one main keyword and two or three secondary keywords. One thing to remember with keywords: you don’t want to use them too many times on one page, as search engines may see this as an attempt to spam the user and manipulate ratings. The key point here is to do keyword research on your industry and products.
Tips and Tricks: How to Optimise Your Product Categories
Unless you have less than thirtyish products, you should categorize your items or services. It makes it easier for the user to navigate your site and allows you to feature your most important products first.
Here are a few tips and tricks for optimising your product categories:
· Always Add Title Tags and Meta Descriptions
· Say “Yes” to Category Navigation
· Use Relevant Headings and Tags
· Include Featured Content
· Always have Header and Footer Links
You can also check out our Content Optimisation Checklist here for everything you need to know about optimising your site!
Why Are Product Snippets So Important?
Product snippets are yet another vital factor in SERPs. The small “snippets” are just that: samples taken from the web page most relevant to the user’s search.
But snippets aren’t just a nice little boost – studies show that a rich snippet can increase click-through rates (CTR) by 677%! These snippets are the text that shows up in Google’s “answer box” on the SERP.
How to Create Better Product Snippets
A good way to create a rich snippet (or featured snippet) is by ensuring it has high value. Check the product Q&A, FAQs, and reviews to see what shoppers are asking and talking about – then answer those questions and concerns in the snippet. Product snippets that include ratings, images, details, and prices are more likely to be featured.
While there is no perfect length for a snippet, the most common snippets are between 40-50 words long. Q&A or FAQ sections are great places to write and pull snippets from.
It may seem overwhelming, but on-site SEO is crucial for your eCommerce site if you’re looking to drive up sales. It’s the age of a keyword, accessibility, and alt-tags, and unless you want to get lost on the second page of search results (AKA never to be seen again), your site needs to optimise, fast.