9 Ecommerce SEO Tips to Increase Traffic
29 May 2020
When it comes to ramping up sales in the World of Ecommerce, your website design and advertising are crucial, but you should never dismiss the organic arm of your marketing strategy. We’re referring to search engine optimisation (SEO), how you bring your customers from Google (and other search engines) to your product pages. With these Ecommerce SEO tips, we can ramp up the clicks that you receive and in turn hep you get more of those clicks into sales.
1. Start with the XML sitemap
Sitemaps are effectively, a list of URLs. You may already have a standard HTML sitemap, but search engine bots (or crawlers) index your website by reading this sitemap. This dramatically helps search engines better see the importance of each individual page on your site, which in turn helps with rankings. Setting up an XML sitemap is straightforward, and there are tools that can automatically generate it by scanning your existing site.
2. It’s all about structure
Link anchors aren’t the only way to establish the structure of your website. You can also do it by defining that structure yourself. This can be done by setting up the navigation from the home page that makes it easier to explore the different categories and in turn sub-categories. Create a hierarchy of pages and products, which are in sub-categories - which are in categories, which are accessible directly from the home page. You do not have to make every single page immediately accessible from the home page, but the series of clicks to get from the home page to each individual products or page should make clear sense and involve going through the most logical categories in order to do this.
3. Internal links and the importance of them
A great, intuitive site structure and layout are definitely going to help your customers find what they need, especially if you have a large product catalogue. However, it’s also really important to your SEO efforts. By utilising internal links to create a clear structure, you make it far easier for the search engine’s bots to crawl and index your site, indexing the pages as they go. Having link anchors (the clickable hyperlinks in text) connecting the different pages of the site, especially with keyword rich text can help those bots understand the context of each individual page. Ensure that the clickable text best describes the content that it’s taking the visitor too, using at least one keyword.
4. Don’t put too much emphasis on product descriptions
These descriptions are going to help sell your products, but when it comes to SEO Ecommerce, the real value is in better defining the product categories. Writing tailor made descriptions for hundreds of products is extremely time-consuming, especially if those products aren’t especially interesting. Users tend to search more for categories of products than specific products, so put your time into jazzing up the category pages instead. If you have a smaller range of products, then individual attention on each might be more reasonable.
5. Don’t be slow
Search engines priorities usability of your website, and penalise any aspects of the website that would cause interruption or trouble for the visitors. Aside from broken links, this means you should focus on your overall page speed. Essentially, the longer your website takes to load, the more your results are going to suffer. There is a range of ways to help your site load quicker, including using better-optimised media such as videos and photos.
6. Optimise the URL
Search engines don’t only look at the content on the page you’re trying to optimise. They also take a look at things like the URL for example. Having each product and category URL include the words that best describe the content is always recommended. For instance, instead of www.mockecommercewebsite.com/productid=394398, a URL like www.mockecommercewebsite.com/product=red-steel-pen could help direct more traffic to the page, instead. The more products you have, the more distinct these URLs have to get too.
7. Metadata - make good use of it!
Your webpage has metadata, also known as meta tags. These data elements are designed to help provide info to the search engines on what the webpage and the content on the page are all about. Search engines do look at metadata, just as they look at your content, URL, and links, to determine the proper context and overall importance of the page. In your metadata, making use of SEO keywords is essential. This includes the meta tags for your page title, your H1 headers, and meta description. You don’t need to flood your content with keywords, it’s better to let it work through the metadata, instead.
8. Don’t alienate mobile users!
Many consumers are now using smartphones, tablets, and other portable devices to browse stores and businesses. Search engines cater their search engine results pages to mobile device users, as well. As such, you want to make sure you’re not leaving them behind. Having a good responsive website design, ensuring good page speed on mobile, having easy-to-use mobile navigation, and making sure that your checkout process is adjusted for mobile users can all help with your mobile SEO. Perhaps you’re not concerned about winning over customers on mobile, but you could be missing out on a significant portion of your market if that’s the case.
9. Get rid of your old broken links
Just as your internal links can help boost your SEO, your broken links can do a lot to minimise your efforts, as well. For one, it’s going to really annoy visitors if their customer journey is interrupted by a 404 page. Search engine designers know this and, thus, tend to penalise websites that have broken links. You can run crawls with website surfing bots that can help detect these broken links pretty easily. Either replace the content that you’re supposed to be linking to or simply remove the link for the website.
With Ecommerce SEO, you have real potential to easily increase website sales. SEO works by attracting those visitors most likely to have a real interest in your website and your products, meaning that they’re some of the customers most ready to convert. You just need to follow the Ecommerce SEO tips above to give them the little push on the way.