When we talk about SEO for eCommerce, most people assume we’ll focus on blogging. SEO is all about infusing keywords in content, right? Your blog is where all the content is.
Well… not quite right.
When going through tips on eCommerce for beginners, you hear the same thing over and over again: product pages matter. So does the brand’s presence on other websites. So does the entire site’s structure.
SEO is a serious, multi-layered concept that eCommerce owners often misunderstand.
We’re here to teach the basics. We’ll list the 5 most important SEO tips for beginners. When you get these things right, it will be easy to build on that foundation.
But before we get to that point, let’s see if we understand eCommerce SEO properly.
What Is SEO For ECommerce?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It’s the process of making your website attractive to Google and other search engines, so they would feature it in their results after the user’s query.
Google is a business on its own. Its goal is to provide an efficient service to the user’s request. Information is the service. If your site provides the best information possible, it will deserve the top ranking in the search result.
When someone uses Google to search for the exact type of product that you’re selling, you want your page to appear in the results that are immediately visible. How will the search engine know? You’ll use hints to inform the bots that you offer relevant resources. You’ll optimize your pages, so the search engine will recognize their value.
How exactly will you optimize your pages?
That’s the tricky part.
We’ll never know the exact ranking factors that lead Google to the results that it features.
Here’s some of the factors we are well-known to:
- The domain’s reputation matters.
- Meta tags make a difference.
- Links from authoritative websites are important.
- Customer engagement at your site matters.
- The quality (and especially speed) of your site is crucial.
- The relevance of your resources is something you mustn’t ignore.
Yes; keywords still fit into the picture. We use them to inform Google’s bots what the pages are about. But the way we fit them into the content makes a big difference.
Okay. Let’s start with the basic SEO tips.
5 Essential Elements of SEO for ECommerce
1. Make the Product Descriptions Perfect
When online sellers develop product pages, they tend to feature the same product description that the supplier has on their website. It’s the good-old copy-paste technique that’s fast and easy… but DOES NOT work.
Do you know what Google hates more than bad content? Duplicate bad content.
Even if it has all the right keywords and it’s highly relevant to a user’s quest, such content won’t reach the first page of results. The original might, but the duplicates won’t get there. Google may even penalize such content, since according to its rules, it raises copyright issues.
Here are a few basic SEO tips for your product pages:
- Make the content absolutely original
So, what if you’re selling the same white t-shirt that many other websites sell? The product description can make it look like the most unique garment on the web.
Just take a look at product descriptions at Asos and other popular eCommerce sites. The content makes those items look so original that you want to buy them right away.
That’s the effect you’re after.
Trigger your creativity. What does that product remind you of? What’s the perfect occasion for it? How will it help the user solve some of their issues? How will their lifestyle improve after they buy this product?
Do not copy the same things from other websites. Do not paraphrase sentences. Rewriting is not unique content.
- Use the right keywords
The keywords show Google’s bots what the product is. If it’s a white t-shirt, make sure to clarify that it’s a white t-shirt. Use the right words for the right items. You still have plenty of space to show your creativity in the content.
- Make the content descriptive
What are the features of the item you’re selling?
If the white t-shirt has sequins, ribbons, hidden pockets, or tubular design, make sure to mention it.
When someone looks at this content, they should understand exactly what the product looks like. List all the features!
To get inspired, look at product pages on Amazon. Most of them come with highly descriptive details.
2. The Images Are Part of Your SEO Strategy, Too
Your potential buyers will rely on images before they make the final decision. Sure,; they will read the product description. But if they don’t see a nice image with all the needed details, they will assume your website is a scam.
Your images have to be professional-looking.
They are content, and the same rule for uniqueness is still valid. Google will recognize duplicates with images, too.
It’s best to invest in a professional photo session, which will help you feature the products in the nicest way possible.
And that’s not all.
- The file name gives you space for keywords
We’re talking about SEO, so remember that your images have potential for optimization, too. When someone uses Google to find a product they would like to buy, they enter keywords, hit search, and head off to the image results. Those eCommerce sites that have relevant image descriptions will appear in these results.
Use keywords, so you’ll give hints to Google’s bots as to what the images are about. Use hyphens to separate the individual terms in the file name, and try not to include special characters.
- The images must not slow down the site
When the bots crawl your website, they will estimate the loading speed.
Speed is a major ranking factor, and it’s one of the few ones that Google clarifies as such.
You still need high-quality images, but you need to optimize their size. Use JPG or PNG, as those are the recommended formats for images. GIF is okay, too.
- Fill in the alt tag
The alt tag is the text displayed when the site doesn’t load the image due to a slow Internet connection or server issues. For users with affected sight, it’s the text they see when they want to understand what the image is about.
It’s a small piece of text that many eCommerce sites ignore. Don’t ignore it; it’s important!
3. Develop a Great Blog
We already emphasized the fact that original content is one of the most important SEO tips for beginners.
The product pages give you space for it. However, it’s not enough. Your eCommerce site needs a blog section, where you’ll get space for high-quality content that would attract traffic from Google results.
You need to develop a regular posting schedule, so you’ll deliver fresh content on a daily or weekly basis.
The problem is: what will you write about? What if you aren’t a good writer?
There are solutions to everything.
- Research on topics around your niche
If you’re selling car accessories, you’ll write about cars.
If you’re selling clothes, you’ll write about fashion.
If you’re selling beauty products, you’ll write about beauty.
You get the picture. The site’s blog has to be relevant to your niche. It gives you space to use industry-specific keywords.
Start with general topics that every influential website in your industry covers. But add your own twist. Remember: uniqueness is the main rule to follow.
- Go beyond the narrow limits of your industry
You’re not writing for the search engine alone. You’re writing for your target audience. That’s why you should focus on their interests.
If people love your website because of the clothes you sell, ask yourself: what else does this specific target audience like? If you’re selling fashion items that relate to rock music, write about rock music! If you’re selling car accessories that cost a lot of money, write about ways to earn money and live a luxury lifestyle.
When you go out of topics to write, it’s time to hire professional writers or expand your existing team of writers. You need people who will add new perspectives to your site’s content.
4. Build Your Authority
If you have the best-looking website with awesome products and great content, will it matter if no one knows about it?
It’s a rhetorical question.
The quality of your site is a crucial SEO factor. However, you have to establish its authority through other sources, which recommend it as a good place for people to buy products.
Yes; we’re talking about backlinks.
- Get backlinks by posting awesome content
If you follow the tips for creating high-quality and unique content, it will get noticed.
Bloggers will start linking to it as an authoritative resource.
But you have to make it outstanding if you want genuine links and recommendations.
- Collaborate with bloggers!
You can offer guest blog posts on authoritative websites. If the bloggers agree to feature a link to your site, you’ll boost your brand’s authority.
You can also send them products, so they will mention the brand and offer their honest review… that brings us to the next tip:
- Collaborate with influencers!
Influencers on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and TikTok have a huge base of followers. If they mention your brand’s name, people will notice it. They will come to your pages and if they see good content, they will follow. If you capture their interest enough, they will visit your website. If your content is convincing, they will make a purchase.
But wait, does this actually relate to SEO?
Influencers help you make your brand more authoritative. Through their recommendations, you broaden your reach. Google will take the brand’s popularity into consideration when listing its results.
5. Structure the Website
Structure matters a lot. It’s not the most obvious aspect of SEO, but it’s an important one.
For Google to drive organic traffic to your site, its structure has to work to its advantage.
Think of it this way: the search engine wants to deliver efficient results. When a user clicks on a link, they want to find relevant solutions in a single space. So if you feature multiple products in the same category, you have an advantage. It’s more likely for this user to find what they are looking for. But the site has to be organized if you want
Google to send its users your way.
Here are a few tips on how to organize an eCommerce site:
• The most important content has a priority
When a user lands at your website, they want to see the most important information first.
If we’re talking about product pages, the most important details are the photos and product descriptions. The price should also be visible above the fold.
How-to-use info, other product recommendations, and additional details will flow below those priorities.
• Mind the categories
If you sell multiple products, categorize them in clear sections.
You should do the same with the posts on your blog.
• Connect the pages
When you link to your own pages, Google’s bots see how they are connected and they figure out how your site is structured.
Don’t overdo it with the links, though. Use them only when they are relevant and add more value to your content.
Those Are the Basics
We’re nowhere near covering all bases of eCommerce for beginners.
But with the five tips above, you’re headed off to a good start.
Let’s summarize the main points of a successful SEO strategy for eCommerce websites:
- You have to write brilliant product descriptions. Even if you’re selling the same products as many other sellers, the descriptions can make them more appealing. Google wants to see original content; otherwise it won’t feature your site in its results.
- The images have to be great not only for the website users, but for the search engine as well. Mind the alt tags; they give you space for keywords.
- Your blog gives you tons of space for outstanding content. Use it well!
- Organize the website in categories, so the connections between products and content will be clarified.
- Build the brand’s authority by collaborating with bloggers and influencers.
Are you ready to start?