Developing an eCommerce website is easy with the huge list of languages and frameworks available. Once the website gets deployed, you start with promoting the same. Businesses start by calling up friends and family or sharing in the social groups to realize they are not getting enough traffic on the website. Of all the channels you utilize for marketing, organic SEO is the most important one. We will not discuss other channels in this article but will focus purely on getting results through SEO.
The real test of the website lies in getting it ranked on targeted keywords. Everything from aesthetics, framework, server, and your digital marketing strategy boils down to SEO in long run. To convey our point further, let’s dive into the article.
Of all the channels to market an eCommerce website, SEO is the most important one. The ROI you get through SEO beats all other channels by leaps and bounds. Implementing a successful SEO strategy lets your products rank higher than your competitors. This leads to an increase in traffic and eventual business which is sustainable for a pretty long time.
Other channels like paid campaigns or even social media marketing stop giving results once you stop adding budget to it. SEO On the other hand gives you results for a very long time. It helps you get ranked on search engine results from where you get steady traffic to your website. The purchase intent of searches on the search engines is pretty high which improves the conversion rate.
SEO helps you to reach out to new customers and helps in your customer acquisition. Let’s look at broad points about SEO for eCommerce sites.
The search visibility of the site increases drastically as you get to target a huge number of potential customers looking for your product. This is independent of your marketing budget, and geographies and has the same effect across all search engines.
This search visibility is something you aim for through paid campaigns and social media marketing which costs you tons of money.
With search engine rankings your brand becomes more familiar to users and you build on your brand development activity. The top-of-the-mind recall is what you primarily aim for in brand-building activity. Your brand name gets recalled and it starts sounding more familiar to build credibility.
An offline activity like an advertisement on television or radio for a week costs more than what you might spend on SEO. In brand-building activity, you will get more mileage digitally than through any offline activity.
Reduced Marketing Budget
SEO reduces your marketing budget by a good rate. Within 3-4 months you will start seeing a decrease in the budget required for ad campaigns, and customer acquisition costs. This happens due to the ranking you get on search engines leading to a rise in visibility and traffic. SEO reduces your dependency on other channels that are way more expensive and have a lower ROI.
Pull vs Push Strategy
Push strategies wherein the products and services are taken to customers tend to be more expensive. Ad campaigns on search engines, and social media platforms, offline events are some of the push strategy examples. The approach here is to reach out to clients and pitch in for your product or service. The product is pushed to the client as a marketing strategy.
Pull strategies wherein the clients themselves come seeking the product through various channels. The product is pulled by the client. Searching on search engines is one such pull strategy. SEO is the best pull strategy where users know exactly what they are looking for and are convinced to a great extent.
The purchase intent of users and their probability of buying is high when they come to your site through SEO. This is because they are actively looking for your product or service and have taken the next steps required in making the purchase.
Other channels like ads and social media marketing, do take your product to customers but lead to lower conversion as the purchase intent is missing. It leads to good brand building as the top-of-mind recall is impacted with regular visibility. With a latent purchase intent, the sales conversion may not happen.
Long Term Benefits
SEO has long-term benefits that keep giving results even after you stop working on them and are independent of your media budget. Other marketing channels are short term and the results stop when the media budget is stopped.
The eCommerce pages stay visible on searches for a very long time and go down the rankings very slowly.
The first step in the SEO of any website is keyword finalization. Every product will have a primary keyword and many Latent Semantic Index (LSI) keywords. LSI keywords are the keywords that are closely related to the primary keyword. Let’s get into things that shape keywords finalization in eCommerce.
Finding and finalizing keywords is the most crucial stage as your SEO team will be chasing these keywords in the coming months. A wrong decision at this stage will lead to months of effort going to waste. Take higher traffic, and lower competition on the keywords into account while finalizing them.
There are lots of ways, both free and paid to find keywords. Some of these options are:
Simply type in the keyword in the Google search bar and you will get a list of keywords that users have used looking for the product. Once you click on any search, Google shows more keyword ideas at the bottom and questions asked in between. They form a good starting point for finding keywords and also creating content on the page.
Google Keyword Planner
Try the keyword planner of Google to look for keywords that can be further broken down as per geographies. The list provided by this wonderful online tool also has both monthly and annual traffic, Generic cost per click bid, and competition among other highly useful data.
You will be surprised by the results you get from the tool.
There are many online tools like Uber Suggest, Keyword anywhere, and Semrush that provide keyword ideas. You can subscribe to these tools and expand your keyword search. These tools also provide competition research where you can check the keywords they are currently ranking on.
The tools can be quite expensive but bring a lot of added benefits to your marketing strategy.
Short tail and long-tail keywords
Short tail keywords are the ones that are short in length like ‘e-commerce SEO’. Achieving search engine ranking on these short-tail keywords requires more time and effort than on long-tail keywords. This is because the short tail keywords are generally part of long-term keywords too. Also, the approach for short-term keywords is different than for long-term keywords.
Long-term keywords are longer and can be more expressive than short-tail ones. Getting ranked on these keywords is easier than short-tail ones.
As per Google, 15% of queries are new and have never been seen earlier. Long-tail keywords drive more than 40% of searches and tend to convert at a higher rate than the short tail.
Mapping to Pages
Once you have finalized the keywords and their respective LSI keywords, you need to map them to specific pages. This will help you to prepare content accordingly and avoid internal competition and overlapping of efforts.
While mapping the keywords, avoid highly competitive keywords as they will take more time and effort to achieve and will be very frustrating. Instead, focus on the long tail and less competitive keywords initially. These keywords are more expressive and have a high search intent leading to a good conversion probability.
The thumb rule to have the perfect site architecture for any eCommerce site is to have no more than three clicks for a user to reach the product page from the home page. A flat site architecture facilitates this as the user will be able to reach the product page faster.
A deep architecture will take more clicks for users to reach the product page and the probability of sales conversion decreases exponentially. The users would give up on the website and simply move on to other websites offering similar products or services.
E-commerce websites have a specific user flow in them. You should ensure they can add and edit products to the cart and check out seamlessly.
Allow room for adding and using coupons and offers in the cart and all the payment methods like cash on delivery, and a credit card is easily available. Any difficulty, the user finds in checking out can impact your sales. Get your eCommerce website checked and reviewed by industry experts to validate the user flow.
After we have keywords finalized and mapped to pages and the site architecture is also sorted, it’s time to implement the SEO. SEO can be broadly classified into on-page SEO and off-page SEO.
On-page SEO for eCommerce websites
All SEO activities that we do on our site are called on-page SEO. This part holds a lot of weightage in the SEO as compared to the off-page part.
The URL structure should be easy for search engines to index. Some points to be considered in URLs are:
Keeping your URL optimized right from the start will help you not to change them and use a redirect in the future.
Write beautiful and compelling titles and descriptions for users to click on the site when they see it in search results. Include keywords in the Meta tags as they appear bold in searches making them stand out from the competition.
Keep the length of the title around 50-60 characters while the description has 150-160 keywords.
You can add your store name at the end of the title to help users identify the brand name easily.
Images bring life to the website but they come at a cost of page speed as images can be heavy. They take lots of bandwidth space and should be used judiciously.
To improve user experience, lazy load images below the fold. This feature allows the page to load above the fold content for users to consume and then in the background loads the remaining resources. Google page speed tool will explicitly ask you to do this when you inspect the page.
Provide width and height data to improve the cumulative layout shift of the website as measured by search engines. Also using differently sized images for website and mobile versions will be a good idea.
Write well-researched and articulated content keeping the primary and LSI keywords in mind while writing content. The content should have benefits, usage, offers, and pricing laid down clearly to help users in the purchase. The content should be deep and you should use at least 1000 words on every page.
The use of infographics should be encouraged as they convey lots of meaning in them while increasing the user engagement time.
FAQs should be added on each page as they help in answering questions users may ask. They also make you stand a chance of getting covered and featured in Google snippets.
Videos play a major role in how users look for and make shopping decisions. You can place these videos on YouTube and use the iframes on product pages.
However, using iframes can lead to an increase in page speed and you should open these videos in modals than on-page itself.
Link pages on keywords for users to browse easily. These internal linking helps Google to find new pages along with building an uplink profile that helps in SEO. Ensure the links on the website are not broken.
Use tools like screaming frog, Link Miner, and Semrush to check for errors on your site and improve them.
Schema mark-up is like yellow pages for your website that help search engines to categorize information. This schema mark-up is displayed in search engines and leveraging them will be a good idea.
Always deploy the schema through Google Tag Manager to keep your code clutter-free. Generating schema mark-up requires a good knowledge of schema and coding. We provide these services for free in the admin panel of the websites we build.
You should ask your customers to write genuine reviews for you and rate your products. These reviews help in boosting the credibility of the products and help in sales conversion. The product reviews are also visible through schema in search engine displays. Also, the new text gets added to the pages through these reviews keeping the content fresh consistently.
Out of Stock Products
There might be some products that are out of stock or not available currently on the website. These need to be handled in a way that turns the user’s disappointment into happiness.
Not displaying the pages or directing the user to either the 404 page or any other page is not a good idea. Removing access to these pages will also remove the internal links placed earlier and will bring down the SEO results. You should continue displaying the page and maybe not take orders and display the stock message. You can also take advance orders on these products and provide additional discounts as the delivery time will be delayed.
Local SEO uses geographical proximity in SEO and brings traffic to your store where you can do the closure the sale. Physical visits also help in building a strong relationship with customers that boost loyalty and long-term sales.
Use geography-focused keywords like – eCommerce SEO agency in Delhi, top eCommerce marketing company in Delhi, etc. This helps users looking for a nearby service provider to find you and connect for further sales.
Off-page SEO includes all activities and steps taken on someone else’s website. The steps help in link building that search engines take into account to rank the website.
Not just the quantity of links but also the quality and relevance of links are to be considered. Links built on high DA, PA, and low spam score websites hold more weightage for SEO and increase the DA PA of your site too.
There are many off-page activities that you can use like image posting, bookmarking, classified, pdf submission, etc. We are not going into these activities individually but will focus on key ones.
You can tie up with affiliate marketing agencies or influencers to help in sales. They have a system of their own and show your product or service on their site. This helps in link building and also sales.
The rates charged by these affiliate marketers are generally high but help you in finding and connecting with new users that you might not be able to do so on your own.
Guest blogging for SEO
Guest blogging is a good step to building a brand and backlinks. Find bloggers who work in the same sector as you are and connect with them to publish guest blogs. These bloggers charge some money to publish these guest blogs.
Guest blogging services are sought by webmasters to build links and tap the user base and SEO of other bloggers.
Posting on social media also helps in off-page as they create no-follow links. Not all links in the link profile need to do follow and some no-follow is also required. These social media posts help in building these no-follow links.
You can also approach influencers on social media and ask them to endorse your product or service. These influencers have a good following around them and know the industry or sector in depth. Make sure the influencers have a following in your sector before you finalize them for marketing.
We are not diving deep into social media as this article focuses primarily on SEO.
We have the best eCommerce SEO experts available in the industry who deliver guaranteed ranking in a very short period. Our SEO strategies are custom designed as per the sector and the products with room for continuous improvement and correction. We share monthly reports at the end of the month that covers the activities done, results achieved and the plan for the next month.
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