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Essential SEO Strategies for eCommerce

Updated: Dec 5, 2023


SEO Strategies for eCommerce

Almost 38% of all eCommerce traffic comes via online searches, which makes it a high-yielding fruit for eCommerce.


Just as social media has become a significant part of our lives, search engines play an important role in our shopping journeys.


But ranking high on the search engines is easier said than done - especially for a competitive industry like eCommerce.


In this post, we'll look at some essential SEO strategies that can help you cut through the noise and move up on the SERP for maximum visibility to attract more customers.


Let's dive right in!


6 eCommerce SEO strategies you must follow


We agree that SEO requires consistent efforts and long-term strategy. So to streamline where you allocate your resources, here are the six strategies we recommend following:


1. Get the basics in place


To set a strong SEO eCommerce foundation, it's essential to cover the basics. Follow this checklist of critical SEO steps to ensure your online store is ready for search engine success:


Use Google Search Console


Begin your SEO journey by setting up Google Search Console. This tool allows you to monitor website traffic, track search performance, and identify issues that may impact your rankings.


To get started, sign up for an account and verify your domain. Then grant essential access to the Search Console.


Don't ignore Bing


While Google dominates search, Bing is the second-largest search engine in the United States. You should definitely tap into its potential by creating an account with Bing Webmaster Tools, a free service from Microsoft.


Add your eCommerce store to their crawler. This step ensures that your website appears in Bing's search results, opening the door to additional organic traffic.


Submit a Sitemap for clarity


You can help search engines navigate your website's structure by submitting a sitemap. If your eCommerce store is hosted on Shopify, generating a sitemap is a walk in the park. It lists all your individual pages and can be found at www.yourstore.com/sitemap.xml.


Make sure to submit this sitemap to both Google and Bing through their respective Webmaster Tools accounts. This increases the likelihood of your pages being indexed accurately.


Gain Insights with Google Analytics 4 (GA4)


To gain insights into user behavior, engagement, and traffic patterns, set up Google Analytics 4. Create an account and add your website to begin tracking and analyzing visitor interactions with your store.


From monitoring the number of visitors from search engines to tracking the performance of specific landing pages, Google Analytics 4 equips you with all the actionable data you need to fine-tune your SEO strategies and make the overall user experience better.


2. Conduct keyword research


Keyword research is the cornerstone of an effective eCommerce SEO strategy. But it's often underutilized. It's not just about selecting random search terms for your website; it's a comprehensive process that requires careful planning and execution.


Determine keyword intent


Understanding the user's intent behind each keyword should lay a good foundation for your SEO strategy. You should decipher what a potential customer was looking for when they searched for a specific term. This will help you create content that aligns with their needs and expectations.


Understand your target audience


To succeed in eCommerce SEO, you need to get inside the minds of your target audience. Consider what they are actively searching for, what questions they may have, and how you can help them find their desired products. Tools like "Answer The Public" can be very handy for getting insights into your audience's search behavior.


Use SEO tools to analyze search trends


Armed with a better understanding of your audience, it's time to dive into keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner and Ubersuggest. These tools enable you to identify relevant keywords that drive relevant traffic, which leads to conversions.


You can also use the Graas Platform to understand how your website ranks for certain search terms. This helps you measure the performance based on users coming to your website and actually making a purchase for that specific search term.


It is equally important to monitor keywords that may have lost relevance in your industry. This helps ensure your SEO strategy remains up to date.


Graas Pro tip: We recommend analyzing all the search terms you are ranking for and use them as keywords to bid for in your PPC campaigns.


Track your ranking


Identify which pages are performing well and which are lagging behind. This data allows you to measure the impact of your content updates and site changes on traffic and conversions from search results.


Graas Pro tip: We also recommend looking into keywords used by your audience in marketplaces. Since they are high-intent buyers, their search queries can help you streamline your SEO efforts off-marketplaces as well. For example, with Graas Marketplace Management you get detailed insights on where, how and what you’re getting traffic on listings for.


3. On-page SEO


Your eCommerce website's individual web pages must be optimized to ensure they add to the traffic your site gets from the search engines.


Instead of simply writing product names and descriptions, ensure you follow these steps as well:


Optimize your heading tag (H1)


The heading tag is the main headline for a page and typically has the page's primary keywords.


Search engines rely on this tag to get the context of a page. While it's recommended to include only one H1 tag per page, larger websites might benefit from split-testing the number of H1 tags.


It's important to note that in some CMS, page titles automatically serve as the default H1 tag for pages.


Create compelling title tags


Title tags play a crucial role in alluring users to click on your page from the SERP. The titles should be both human-readable and keyword-rich. And they should also vividly describe your content.


Ideally, aim for title tags under 60 characters, as those ranging from 40 to 60 characters tend to have higher CTR.


Position your primary keywords near the start of the title tag to enhance CTR and demonstrate relevance to search engines.


Optimize your meta description


Meta descriptions — the short text snippets beneath the title tag in search results — provide a golden opportunity to clarify your page's content and attract users.


To maximize their effectiveness, include your target keywords and persuasive copy at the beginning of the meta description. Try to keep them under 155 characters to avoid truncation.


Include keywords in your page URL


Your page URLs guide search engines and also offer insight to users. By using your target keyword in the URL while maintaining conciseness and avoiding superfluous words, you can enhance both readability and search engine comprehension.


Craft descriptive alt text for images


Increase the visibility of your images in search results by replacing generic file names like "83798.jpg" with descriptive ones. This practice not only aids search engines in comprehending images but also ensures accessibility for visually impaired users.


4. Off-page SEO


Similar to how promoting your products on channels your audience is active on, serving your search content beyond your site is key to success. Here’s what your off-page strategy should include:


Explore competitor backlink profiles


Start by taking a peek into the backlink profiles of competitors within your niche. Examine the sites and directories that link to online stores selling products similar to yours.


This analysis allows you to understand the context and rationale behind these sites' decision to link to your competitors. It can also scoop out new partnership opportunities or provide direction for your eCommerce store in the long run.


Create gripping guest posts


Identify influencers and bloggers within your niche who could benefit from your expertise or products. Initiate contact with them and propose opportunities for guest posting. In exchange for providing valuable content, you receive a backlink in the author bio section.


To discover suitable websites for guest posting, you can run a search query like "[niche] + 'write for us'" or "[niche] + 'guest post'."


Engage with journalists for press coverage


Journalists are constantly on the lookout for newsworthy stories. By establishing relationships with journalists, you can get press coverage on authoritative websites, leading to powerful backlinks.


Consider participating in awards or competitions, distributing press releases, supporting social causes, or sending product samples to writers.


Reclaim brand mentions


Keep a vigilant eye on your brand's online presence through brand monitoring tools. Identify the times where your store or products are mentioned but not linked to your website.


Politely reach out to the writer or publication and request that they convert the mention into a clickable link. This simple step can unlock the full potential of your brand's online exposure.


5. Technical SEO


Search engines no longer give brownie points to those who focus on keywords alone. If you want to rank higher, you need to ensure your online store functions well. Here’s what a technical SEO strategy covers:


Ensure mobile-friendliness


Google prioritizes mobile-friendly websites in its search rankings. Your website must be responsive and provide a seamless experience across various mobile devices.


Secure with HTTPS


Protect your website with SSL certification and an HTTPS domain. Search engines favor secure sites and rank them higher.


Optimize page load speed


Page load speed significantly influences rankings, both for desktop and mobile searches. Enhance your website's performance by using tools like Google PageSpeed Insights.


Fix broken links


Regularly inspect your website for crawling errors using Google Search Console or a reliable SEO app. Broken links impede search engine crawlers from indexing your site.


Create an internal link strategy


Strategically link relevant pages within your site to boost topical authority and categorize your content. For an e-commerce store, link related products on product pages. In a blog, link to other articles that delve deeper into specific topics.


Optimize anchor text


Anchor text within hyperlinks provides context to search engines about the linked page's content. Diversify your anchor text strategy by using various types, such as exact match, partial match, related terms, branded, and page title anchor texts. This diversity helps search engines understand the relevance of the linked page to specific search queries.


Create a robust global navigation menu


Your website's navigation acts as a roadmap for visitors and search engine crawlers, highlighting the significance of various pages. Optimize your global navigation by including essential links to key pages like your blog, product pages, or landing pages.


If you’re using Graas Platform, you can also integrate your account with Semrush to manage technical SEO audits on one dashboard.


6. Bonus - Optimize marketplace listings


Regardless of whether you sell on platforms like Amazon, eBay, Lazada or Shopee, a well-structured approach can significantly impact your visibility and sales.


Use the keyword research you did earlier to create product titles, descriptions, and tags that resonate with your target audience, increasing the chances of your listings appearing in relevant searches.


Additionally, tapping into your historical marketplace data offers valuable insights. Analyze which keywords have historically led to conversions and determine the products that performed best. With this information, you can refine your listings, emphasizing the keywords that have driven clicks and sales in the past.


On a concluding note


SEO, in eCommerce, often remains an untapped resource, overshadowed by the allure of marketing and ad campaigns.


While these strategies are undeniably valuable, SEO's ability to organically boost visibility and drive long-term results should not be underestimated.


It is also important to note that once you’re able to build an organic audience, you are also able to bring down your cost of targeting audiences through ads.


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