We all know that Search engine optimization (SEO) can be the real deal breaker for any website and it is even more critical for the success of E-Commerce websites, as SEO plays a major role in attracting, converting as well as retaining potential customers. However, performing SEO for E-Commerce sites is highly complicated due to the presence of hundreds and thousands of product listings, which require regular updating. This is the reason why following a set of SEO best practices becomes essential in order to make sure that your site always performs at optimum levels. While reviewing, research and optimization must continue on a regular basis to be successful.
You must focus on few core areas before you can begin performing SEO to get your listings ranked higher on Google search results:
SEO assessment: Begin by performing a comprehensive assessment of your website, so as to identify SEO shortcomings. While it is advisable to perform assessment for your entire website, you must pay special attention to your product pages. This is where majority of the flaws are detected and are also imperative to your website’s performance. Tools such as Screaming Frog can be used to crawl through your images, CSS, links, etc., so that you can identify errors, missing tags, duplicate entries and other issues that can have a negative impact on your site’s rankings.
Keyword research: Keyword research plays a major role in getting your website ranked higher. Targeting wrong keywords can lead to driving low quality traffic and lower sales. Using the right keywords strategically can attract qualified customers and also boost your sales and conversion rates. Perform your research based on keyword relevancy, ranking difficulty and search volume. You may use long-tail keywords relevant to your products, as they have a higher exact-match search volume as well as a significantly lower difficulty ranking when compared to the competition.
Competitor research: Analyze competitors’ website to prepare a list of keywords that are being used by them. Perform research to determine the keywords you wish to compete against. Also, figure out the architecture used by these competing websites. Primarily focus on their product pages to attain better insights about ways to organize your websites navigation.
Create compelling product descriptions: Don’t make the same mistake that most E-Commerce store owners make, i.e. using manufacturer’s product descriptions. Search engines consider this to be a case of duplicated content, which might attract penalties. Product descriptions provide you with an opportunity to create unique, informative and compelling sales copy that boosts sales and conversion rates.
Using long tail keywords: Long tail keywords are highly targeted keywords having three or more words. People using long term keywords usually know what they are searching for, therefore a product page that has been optimized for long term keywords has a greater probability of attracting customers and converting them into sales.
Include customer reviews: It has been estimated that product pages having customer reviews are successful in converting over 58% more visitors, while boosting revenue by over 62%. This is because customer reviews help in establishing credibility and act as a social proof for potential buyers. Product pages featuring customer reviews rank higher since Google rewards pages that are frequently updated with unique content.
Integrate social media on your product pages: Google rankings play a major role in influencing the quality and amount of social media signals since they reflect a page’s relevance. It is advised that you add social sharing buttons for popular social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc., to your product pages in order to allow your customers and prospects to share product information with other potential customers.
Optimize page load speed: As many as 40% of visitors will leave, if your product pages don’t load within 3 seconds, and approximately 80% of your customers won’t return to your site if they are disappointed by your site’s load time. Page load time can be optimized by employing lazy loading, compressing product images and fixing coding issues.
Write appealing metadata: Your product pages need unique, compelling Meta titles and descriptions incorporating popular keywords to increase its visibility. It is considered one of the most crucial aspects of on-page optimization. It is important to note that metadata is usually the first thing your potential customers come across, while making a Google search, so it is best to provide your potential customers with a compelling copy of product description that prompts them to make a purchase.
Include rich snippets: Snippets in the form of coded data can be included in product descriptions to provide more information about the product such as price, availability, etc. Incorporating snippets result in better Click-through-rates (CTR) as well as higher rankings on search results.
Include product images: Quality of your product images have a direct relationship with what your potential customers feel about your products. Always include visually appealing images to help your customers make informed purchase decisions. Also, tag these images with appropriate metadata so that they are easily searchable.
Use search-friendly URLs: Your product page URL’s needs to be unique and should be optimized for main keywords. Appropriate URLs tell search engines what the page is all about while providing visitors with helpful product information.
Optimize your E-Commerce site for mobile: Mobile shopping has reached its peak and it has made it important for you to make your E-Commerce store mobile friendly. It is wise to use a responsive design for your website in order to create a seamless shopping experience for your customers across all platforms. Improving your E-Commerce site’s performance is an ongoing process requiring you to stay updated with SEO best practices at all times. It is advised that you regularly test your website for errors, perform keyword and competitor research, observe Google’s algorithm updates, and make the required changes to optimize your E-Commerce website and provide your customers with a great shopping experience.