Did you know that SEO has the highest ROI of all eCommerce digital marketing strategies?
eCommerce SEO is a powerful set of techniques and tactics that can launch your eStore to the top of search engine results, which gets 32.5% of traffic.
But that’s only if you do SEO the right way.
This in-depth guide will tell you everything you need to know about eCommerce SEO, including why it’s important, what steps to follow i to outrank competition and what best practices to use to fully optimize your eStore.
As a bonus, we’ll also discuss the SEO capabilities of the three most popular eCommerce platforms: Shopify, Magento and WooCommerce.
We have plenty of ground to cover – so, let’s begin!
Table of Contents
- What Is eCommerce SEO?
- Why Is SEO For eCommerce Websites Important?
- Developing An eCommerce SEO Strategy: 4 Steps To Follow To Outrank Competitors
- Which eCommerce Platform Is Best For SEO?
- Bonus Pro-Tip: eCommerce Conversion Rate Optimization
- How Does Conversion Rate Optimization Benefit eCommerce SEO?
- eCommerce SEO Takeaways
What Is eCommerce SEO?
eCommerce search engine optimization (SEO) is a set of techniques and strategies for generating organic traffic from search engines such as Google or Yahoo, by making the website more visible.
eCommerce SEO tactics help online shops rank for search terms that potential and existing customers are using, which propels them higher up in search results.
Optimizing these three main aspects of an online shop and its products positively impacts search engine optimization:
- Keywords in product descriptions
- Meta descriptions
- Image names and alt tags
- Internal linking
- User experience
- Site speed
- Easy navigation
- Mobile device experience
- User signals
- Navigational structure
- Code optimization
- SEO content creation
- 3 Layers of eCommerce optimization
Why Is SEO For eCommerce Websites Important?
eCommerce SEO gets highly-relevant and qualified buyers to online shop websites.
When online shoppers need a certain product, they often conduct a Google search to look for products, tips, comparisons and other relevant info to help them make an informed buying decision.
SEO ensures that your eCommerce website’s pages rank higher than those of your competitors. It also helps prospective buyers find your products by using the search terms you have optimized them for.
Well-optimized eStore product pages will rank highly for the most relevant search terms and appear in SERPs, making them visible to searchers that may click on them and go to your online shop.
It is important to align an eCommerce website and all of its product pages with your target audience’s search intent by using the right keywords that attract high-converting organic traffic in your products’ informative copy and CTAs.
A well-optimized website reduces the need for spending money on paid online advertising and allows you to reap the benefits of a high volume of qualified organic visitors.
Developing An eCommerce SEO Strategy: 4 Steps To Follow To Outrank Competitors
eCommerce websites often have hundreds, sometimes thousands of products.
Setting up a well-functioning SEO strategy that yields results for complex online stores may seem daunting, but following these four tips will help with that:
- Prioritize certain pages: When you begin your search engine optimization, identify the pages that are getting the most traffic as well as pages of specific flagship products that you’d like customers to notice first.
- Come up with a workflow: eCommerce SEO consists of many steps and requirements: evaluating and choosing keywords, adding meta descriptions and SEO titles, naming your product images so they contain keywords, adding image alt tags and much more. It is important to create a checklist containing all of the optimization steps so you don’t leave anything out.
- Keep your eye on your competitors: Rest assured that your eCommerce competitors are also using SEO to improve their business performance. Outwit them and outrank them by looking at the sources, meta tags, descriptions and product pages on their site – and make yours better!
- Finish off SEO with conversion rate optimization: Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is the added SEO touch that provides extra power to your eStore’s sales funnel. It is the process of optimizing your landing pages and overall website for the highest percentage of visitors to convert. We will discuss CRO in more detail below.
Which eCommerce Platform Is Best For SEO?
Magento, Shopify and WooCommerce are the world’s most popular CMS platforms for eCommerce websites.
Each comes equipped with numerous functionalities and capabilities needed for the successful functioning of an eStore. This also includes SEO features. Here are some of their key advantages and differences:
- Magento: This eCommerce platform has excellent SEO capabilities. It’s equipped with a built-in SEO set and analytics tools and lets the user optimize meta tags and edit robot.txt files, as well as canonical tags.
- Shopify: With SEO built around setting the entire online shop, this platform sets the standards for eCommerce search engine optimization. It has built-in features such as alt tags, meta tags and title tags, as well as image and URL optimization. It also provides resources for improving SEO and helping your eStore rank better on Google.
- WooCommerce: This platform uses SEO-optimized code in its architecture and doesn’t have as many built-in SEO features as the previous two. Its SEO powers come to the fore when integrated with WordPress and free plugins.
Bonus Pro-Tip: eCommerce Conversion Rate Optimization
Even though it is not directly related to organic eStore traffic or SERP ranking, conversion rate optimization (CRO) has distinct benefits for eCommerce SEO.
CRO practices and conversion marketing maximize the chances that a prospect, who came to your eStore from a search engine, will become a paying customer.
Before we get to the part of how CRO benefits SEO, let’s look into the ways in which you can increase your eStore’s conversion rates:
- Create clickable PPC ads that are highly relevant to your customers’ search queries and keywords you are using in your copy.
- Keep your ads highly relevant to corresponding landing pages which should deliver on the ad’s promise and make it easy to complete the call to action from the ad.
- A/B test your landing pages to find the optimal layout, copy and other elements to push the highest percentage of your visitors to convert.
In the case of eCommerce, landing pages would be product pages and they are the decisive step in visitor conversion.
To create a great eStore landing page that has a high conversion rate, follow these practices:
- Write an attractive and descriptive headline: The headline must be relevant to keywords that users are searching for and your PPC keywords and should motivate visitors to stay on the page and complete the desired action.
- Create concise and highly-targeted product copy: The product description section should clearly communicate what the product is about, including what its features and benefits are. Don’t forget to use keywords associated with buyers’ search terms.
- Attention-grabbing CTA: Call-to-action buttons should stand out and be visually striking. Use concise and compelling text that focuses on what your customer will gain, to help motivate visitors to convert.
- User-friendly purchase page or form: Use only the fields necessary for a customer to complete the purchase and try to keep the purchase finalization process minimal.
How Does Conversion Rate Optimization Benefit eCommerce SEO?
CRO benefits eCommerce SEO in the following ways:
- Boost in ROI: High conversion rates make more of the existing resources, meaning you won’t have to bring in more potential customers to get more conversions if you figure out how to get the most of your acquisition efforts.
- Better scalability: CRO makes it possible for your eCommerce business to grow without exhausting your prospective customers and resources. By turning more visitors into buyers, you will be scaling your eStore without running out of potential buyers.
- Improved consumer insights: CRO attracts high-value prospects that are the likeliest to convert and help you understand your audience better and establish which type of messaging and language works best.
- High-quality UX: Conversion rate optimization practices improve the user experience on your website. Visitors that feel empowered by your eStore and not distracted by it will visit it more often, engage with it more and even recommend it to others.
- Boost in trust: Another factor that influences a website’s search engine ranking is how trusted it is by its visitors, which is reflected in a frequent and steady influx of visitors. By acquiring a higher degree of professionalism and user-friendliness thanks to CRO practices, your eCommerce website will instill a sense of trust in users who will feel confident to share their emails or credit card information and return to buy again.
eCommerce SEO Takeaways
eCommerce SEO produces the highest ROI for online shop businesses of all content strategies. It ensures your online store is ranked better than your competitors’ and helps prospective buyers find the products they’re looking for in your shop.
Going beyond optimization for search engines, conversion rate optimization benefits eStores with
- ROI boost
- Greater scalability
- High-quality user experience
- Greater customer trust
In terms of platforms’ SEO capacities, Magento, Shopify and WooCommerce all come with certain advantages and a range of capabilities that let eCommerce managers adjust their websites according to their strategy.
Oliver Deighton is a passionate digital marketer & tech blogger, internet nerd and data enthusiast.