Ecommerce SEO is vital for the success of every online business. This is the reason why top brands spend millions of dollars to grab the attention of their customers and motivate them to make a purchase.

Business-owners understand that an engaged customer is more likely to make a purchase than a non-engaged customer and therefore they build an omni-channel strategy to enhance the online experience of their customers. This helps their customers take an informed decision about buying a product, improve its recall value and make a repeat purchase and recommend/ share the experience with others.

Ecommerce SEO plays a vital role in this entire customer journey and helps people locate the exact online store and the specific product that they are seeking to buy. How does this happen?

Below are some strategies that help optimize eCommerce SEO:
Identifying the right eCommerce SEO keyword
Finding out the right keyword is the first and most important task. It helps you in offering the right product to the right audience at the right time. For example, a keyword such as “cotton shirts for men” in your website will direct buyers to your site, if they are looking for such shirts. Keywords can be identified from:

(i) Amazon suggestions:
Amazon is the world’s leading eCommerce website and serves as a goldmine to identify keywords. It offers a list of long-tail keywords that are product-specific. For example, “100% cotton shirts for men”. Such long-tail keywords convert better and are also cheaper.

(ii) Keyword Tool Denominator:
This tool brings together search suggestions from various platforms such as Amazon, Etsy, and eBay and lets you choose the best keyword.

(iii) SEMRush
This is an analytics tool that helps in analyzing a brand’s online visibility. By clicking “Organic Research” in the sidebar you can check what is ranking for which specific keywords. To get a view of how all keywords are performing just click on “Competitor’s” report.

Optimizing your website architecture
If your eCommerce site runs on a CMS such as Magento, Shopify, WooCommerce, then you might not have much to worry about, but in case you are having a homegrown system and have used patches and fixes to grow your system, then you might require an optimized stack to improve page performance and decrease site load time. Below are some suggestions:

(i) Use the 3-click rule
The structure of the website should be simple so that each product page is only 3 clicks away from homepage. Any page that requires more than 3 clicks to navigate back to home page should be reconsidered.

(ii) Add Breadcrumbs
Breadcrumbs enable Google bots better understand your website’s hierarchy and help online visitors better navigate through your website. Breadcrumbs could be:

a) Location based – Highlights the position of a page within the website hierarchy.
b) Attribute based – Uses a specific keyword or another attribute to represent the page.
c) History based – Shows the path the user has taken to any page.

(iii) Optimize site links
Optimize your sitelinks so that Google algorithms are able to pick them and present them to users.

(iv) Keep a proper internal linking structure
Link your website internally so that each and every product page is interlinked to other website pages, especially to those pages to whom you wish to give more value.

On-page SEO strategies
Once you have tweaked the website architecture, it is time to start with On-page SEO. On-page SEO means the optimization of software code and content on each page of the website.

(i) Identify keywords
Identify a set of keywords against which you want to rank your site. Ideally use a tool as the goal is to pick up a base keyword and then identify the variations to it. Once the list is finalized, add the keywords to the main page, category pages, and product pages.

(ii) Optimize for voice
Google recognizes human voice and with the proliferation of mobile devices, it makes sense to optimize the site for voice search. This will help address questions of visitors such as:

– Where can I buy [PRODUCT NAME]
– What is the price of [PRODUCT NAME]
– Is there a sale going on for [PRODUCT NAME]
– Show me reviews of [PRODUCT NAME]

The more conversational you are in your product description, the higher will be the result. You can also put FAQs in your product range.

(iii) Optimize page speed
The higher your page speed, the higher will be the chances for your page to be picked up and ranked by Google. Tools like Google page speed test tool are helpful.

(iv) Product descriptions
Keep the product descriptions focused and relevant:

a) A 300-800 words description works well for regular products and a 1000+ words description works well for high-selling products.

b) Use words like “50% off” or “Lowest Price” or “Buy-One, Get-One-Free” in your product’s Meta title to boost your Click through Rate (CTR).

c) Add modifiers like “Buy” or “Deals” to get more traffic.

d) List out important features clearly.

e) Add a review section on your product page and encourage visitors to write reviews.

f) Build links between product and category pages.

g) Use 3-5 links in your product descriptions.

Use rich snippets and create a product review schema
Create rich snippets for products and ratings as these are picked up by Google and can positively impact your eCommerce SEO rankings. A typical snippet looks like this:

1-5 stars (Ratings) appear along with number of reviews.
Rich snippets can be implemented on the website by the Schema markup on your product pages. In case of an issue, you can use Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper by following below-mentioned steps:

(i) Step 1: Open the tool and select “products”.
(ii) Step 2: Choose any product page on your website that has reviews and ratings.
(iii) Step 3: Copy and paste the URL of your product page and click “Start Tagging”.
(iv) Step 4: Highlight the (reviews or ratings) section of the page so it can be tagged.
(v) Step 5: Mention the number of reviews and choose the “count” tag.
(vi) Step 6: Click “Create HTML”.

You can copy and paste this new HTML code into your page or add the new Schema markup to your existing code. In either case, use the Google Search Console to ensure correct Schema implementation.

Off-Page SEO strategies
Below are some off-page strategies for eCommerce SEO:

(i) Link building and announcements
Do link building with citations, blog comments, web 2.0 links, Q/A websites, and social bookmarking sites. Focus on high quality links from other websites to your landing pages.

(ii) Partnerships
Build partnerships with affiliate websites that operate in your industry and offer them commission if they sell your products. Affiliate websites can be found by:

a) Searching ‘[Product Name] REVIEWS’ or ‘[Product Name] BUYERS GUIDE.’
b) Verifying sites that rank for these keywords and then contacting them for partnerships.

(iii) Sponsorships
Put your offers and content on blogs that accept sponsored content, subject to conditions. This serves as an additional channel for you to promote your products to the blog audience.

(iv) Bloggers
Reach out to bloggers and request them to cover your products in their blogs. Invite them to write a guest blog on your site. Request them for backlinks and build them into your site.

(v) Influencers
Engage with influencers who have a blog:
a) Create relevant content and request influencers to share it.
b) Interview influencers on your site.
c) Curate tips from influencers on a topic and request them for a backlink from their blog.

(vi) Replace outdated and broken links
Inform the owners via email about links that are out-of-date, expired or not working and offer them the new, working replacement links.

Hopefully, these SEO strategies will help you understand how important it is to optimize your eCommerce website, so that it ranks high on search engine result pages (SERPS).

Ideally you should hire a professional like for this work as eCommerce SEO demands a lot of time and effort. Without proper SEO strategies in place and the thematic visuals that go with it, you will not be able to engage with your audience and run the risk of losing business. This could be critical, as your eCommerce store must operate 24 x 7 x 365, especially on days like Valentine’s Day, or Black Friday, or the holiday season – last quarter of any year.