SEO can be an incredible marketing strategy when done right and it generates organic traffic to your site, which is the holy grail of traffic sources as it converts better than that from paid search or social media.
But for many ecommerce site owners, SEO can be confusing or even daunting to try and implement as a marketing strategy, so I thought I would try and help and I asked 9 Ecommerce SEO experts for tips to help you learn a bit more about SEO for your online store.
And I got some awesome contributions that should help give you some things to think about when it comes to Ecommerce SEO!
1. User Intent is Key!
Chris Marrano, founder of Blue Water Marketing said “For our content strategy, we find that search intent is one of the most important factors of SEO. It’s important to have an understanding of your target users’ intent to create content that resonates for long-term organic traffic goals. If you do all of the keyword research, maximize your on-page SEO, and see that Google has ranked one of your pages at the top position, but the search intent doesn’t align with the content—the results won’t last long. This is what we call the Pogo effect. You must consider what users want from each page they visit. Make sure everything from page titles & meta descriptions all the way down to each individual paragraph speaks directly to the user’s search query & intent.”
2. Remove Any Objections Before Checkout with FAQs
Matt Pyke, founder of Fly High Media said “In addition to your category page copy and product descriptions, include FAQs to both help with organic traffic but also to get people to convert. For example, if you have a tooth whitening product, you may answer questions like “how long does this treatment take to apply?” or “how long do results last for?”. Ultimately, answering questions like this can help you tip people over the edge. You can use tools like AlsoAsked or AnswerThePublic to find questions that people are searching for. When adding FAQs make sure the app or plugin adds Schema markup data.”
3. Stand Out in Search with Product Reviews
Scott Stewart, co-founder of HelpfulCrowd Product Reviews said “Search engines and Google specifically give greater weight to pages or content that is continually being published or updated as the algorithm is all about trying to match a user’s search term to the most relevant, newest results. One of the best ways to improve the chances of your product pages appearing higher in Google’s search results is to add user-generated product reviews that have schema markup (structured data), or rich snippets to provide rich search results. Google rich results go beyond the ‘standard blue link’, they enrich the search results, making them more useful and thus more engaging which results in higher interactions and click through rates. Bear in mind though, that while rich snippets increase the likelihood of being shown in search results only taxes and death are certain in this world, so the Google algorithm will still decide whether it is relevant to show to the user.”
4. Treat Your Category Pages as Mini Home Pages
Danielle Duran, founder of Boxwood Digital said “Category pages on eCommerce websites are a very under-utilized SEO opportunity. Rather than focusing all of your efforts on sending searchers to your home page, or to specific product pages, direct more of your energy toward getting traffic that enters your site through your category pages. There are a few reasons why this strategy works well:
1. Shoppers often google search by category. They are not searching for something as broad as “women’s apparel store” or as specific as “blue shirt with flowers,” they are searching for terms like “women’s shirts.” Leading these searchers to your corresponding category page will put them on the browsable, relevant page they were looking for.
2. Your products may come and go out of stock, but your category pages will last forever. Avoid ranking crashes when an item is out of stock by instead directing your SEO work to a page that will never have supply chain issues!
3. Category pages are easy to optimize. Add your relevant focus keyword to the page’s meta info, title tag, and add a few paragraphs of optimized text below your products. All of the product names and images that are already there will also help boost the search engine viability of the page.”
5. Detailed Category Filters & Suitable Product Mix
SEO Consultant Matt Jackson said “Satisfying intent is strongly tied to SEO success, and one of the biggest factors for ranking category pages for the high volume target keywords is whether you have a product mix that can satisfy a large percentage of searchers, and whether your category filtering system helps users find those products quickly and easily.
- If your products are twice the price of the majority of your competitors, it’s highly likely you won’t satisfy a high percentage of searches.
- If the most popular colour variant of a product type is red, and you don’t stock red, it’s highly likely you won’t satisfy a high percentage of searches.
- If most users want to find something with a particular feature, and you don’t have a filter for that feature or show it on the product listings within the category, you’re not going to satisfy a large percentage of users.
And the fact that this can change on a category by category basis, makes it hard to scale and requires a collaboration of industry knowledge and keyword research data to fully understand and fix.
It can be a major reason why sites with good SEO get stuck on page 2.
And with the recent inventory issues sites are having due to pandemic shipping backlogs, the problems may be appearing on sites that previously had a good inventory, which may cause demotions that are wrongly diagnosed as penalties from other factors.”
6. Don’t Overlook Your Category Pages
Adam Pritchard, founder of Shopit said “An often overlooked area of eCommerce SEO is the category page. User searches still revolve around categories rather than specific products (that’s later on), but eCommerce owners often view the category pages as being bypassed by the user. You can get your “kids bikes aged 8-10” page, or your “dusty pink paint” page to rank better with both great descriptions, and also segmentation. Segmentation means that you look at your product range as a user – do they shop by colour, or by age range, or by material? If so, categorise by those options and match your page to the user search term with greater relevance.”
7. Keep A Close Eye On Keyword Cannibalisation
Michael Ryan, founder of Mr SEO said “Having worked across many eCommerce websites, one of the biggest issues I see is cannibalisation across similar products and or category pages. This can be really detrimental to your SEO efforts as the search engines and the users will be confused on which pages are most relevant (& which page should rank first). This is particularly common for Shopify websites that surface products across various URL pathways.
The best way to fix this is using a mix of tools such as ;
- Screaming Frog – crawl your website and understand if there is any duplication, it might be the title tags for a specific product is the same as only the size if different?
- Semrush – You can use the cannibalisation section on SEMrush to understand where a keyword you rank for ranks across 2 pages. This will suggest Google is getting confused about what page to rank – this is detrimental to your over all ranking. Fixing this cannibalisation would likely result in a increase in ranking position.
So how can you fix this cannibalisation after finding it?
It depends on the nature of it, but a lot of the you can use a canonical tag, to direct Google on which page to rank, you might be able to also no index certain pages.”
8. Create Research Based Content
Ian Rhodes, founder of Ecommerce Growth said “When starting out on SEO for your store you’ll be focused on making sure all your meta data (titles, descriptions etc) is focused on the product you’re looking to rank for your product.
However, this isn’t where you’ll make the big gains. Instead, focus upon the context that draws people to your product. So few stores do this. Consider the questions people ask – the solutions they seek – before they arrive at discovering your product. Then, create content that links the question your customer is asking to the product your store sells. These are product context pages and are a hugely valuable piece of your SEO strategy.
One simple way to get started is by using tools such as Keyword Tool Dominator where you can discover the search queries people use in Amazon that relate to your product. Even better, take a look at AlsoAsked where you can quickly identify the questions people use to search for your products within Google. Now you’re started to build a bank of research around the search queries people use to discover your products. Use this research to create pages that you can use to rank for less competitive but more rewarding terms for your store.”
9. Leverage Your Existing Content
Ecommerce SEO Consultant Freddie Chatt said “An often overlooked tactic many ecommerce brands miss out on is leveraging their photos for links. There are so many options for you to do this and pick up high authority links directly into your product pages, for example – add all of your product imagery to journalist image databases (PR Shots for example). Journalists search these when looking for products to feature – and they can easily get your image, and your link and you’ll get links passively whilst being able to focus on other areas of SEO. An alternative is to use Unsplash for your lifestyle/action shot imagery – you can list them for free and reach out to people who use them to get link attribution, a little more effort but a massive opportunity for some products and brands.”
I hope you learned something from these great tips as I know I did and I’ve been learning about and implementing SEO since 2017.
There are also a lot of great actionable tips in there to help you either get started properly or improve your sites SEO, which will hopefully give you and edge over your competition in those all important search results.
If you want to learn more about SEO, I have created my own Ecommerce SEO Guide but if you want expert input on your sites SEO, many of the awesome contributors either run their own agency or offer a consultation service and it might be worth reaching out to them to have a chat.
Would you like to add your own SEO tip to this post? If so, then drop us an email at email@example.com.