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93% of all online experiences begin with a search. 75% of users will never go past the first page of search results. It’s easy to see why SEO is so important for ecommerce companies of all sizes. If your business doesn’t appear in one of the top positions in the search results, you could be missing out on traffic and sales.
The problem? There is a lot of information competing for your customers’ attention online. A solid SEO strategy will help you get more of the right traffic, provide shoppers with the information they’re looking for, and convert more visitors to paying customers.
In this ecommerce SEO checklist, we’re removing the jargon, cutting out the confusion, and giving you a list of easy-to-implement SEO strategies that will help you increase traffic, engagement, and conversions.
You’ve probably heard of keyword research, but did you know that it should be the first step you take when implementing any SEO strategy? This is because the keywords you choose will influence your content, copy, and even your technical SEO.
Google Keyword Planner is a good place to start your keyword search. Type in variations of your product names, and it will help you find similar words.
Another good source for keywords? Amazon. Sure, Amazon may be one of your biggest competitors, but the good news is that you can search its categories and subcategories for keyword ideas. It’s also a good idea to open a private browser window and enter a keyword related to your products.
Now you probably have a massive list of keywords. To start narrowing your list down to only the most relevant and attainable targets, look into each keyword’s monthly search volume with Google Keyword Planner. Look for keywords that show commercial intent with medium or high competition. This can give you a better idea of the terms you’ll want to focus on.
Most ecommerce websites will benefit from a logical, flat site architecture which will ensure that all product pages are a maximum of three clicks from the homepage. This is an excellent example of the difference between a flat architecture and a deep architecture. If you’re looking to improve your onsite SEO, some restructuring of your site architecture might be a good place to start.
Technical SEO is particularly important for ecommerce websites, as these tend to have a large number of pages.
Here’s a handy technical SEO checklist to reference:
On-page SEO is about improving the searchability of your website so search engines will include it in results for searches containing your chosen keywords. Here is an easy-to-follow on-page SEO checklist you can use to make sure you are including all your keywords in the right places:
Remember that there will be real people, not just search engines, reading your descriptions and titles. Including keywords is important for SEO, but you should also consider the human when adding content to your site. Use meta descriptions and page titles to let searchers know why they should click.
Visitors will spend longer on your site if it’s easy for them to find what they are looking for. This increased time on site encourages search engines to see your site as helpful and trustworthy. Your internal links will act as a roadmap for the search engines, showing them where and how you direct visitors on your site. This is why it’s important to have a logical and user-friendly internal link structure that effectively guides visitors to their chosen or intended destination.
To improve your site’s authority, you should work to earn links from high-quality websites with content that can be considered relevant to your customers and products. These links should be “followed” and occur naturally within the text of a page or article. So-called “link farms” and low-quality websites will do your site more harm than good, so make sure the websites you’re targeting are trustworthy, high-authority sites.
One of the best ways to start link-building is by producing high-quality content that other sites will want to share with their visitors. You can offer this content to said sites for publication in exchange for a link back to your site. If the content is interesting enough, this could happen organically. You may also want to start building a network of influencers and affiliates that you can use to generate both backlinks and social proof for your business.
SEO for ecommerce sites doesn’t have to be confusing. By using the checklist provided above, you’ll be able to optimize your site and better compete with other businesses in your industry.
Miva offers a flexible and adaptable ecommerce platform that evolves with businesses and allows them to drive sales, maximize average order value, cut overhead costs, and increase revenue. Miva has been helping businesses realize their ecommerce potential for over 20 years and empowering retail, wholesale, and direct-to-consumer sellers across all industries to transform their business through ecommerce.