5 SEO Tips For E-Commerce Businesses

Online retail is one of the fastest-growing sectors worldwide. Just last year, more than 2 billion people bought products or services online, with global e-commerce sales equating to more than $4.2 trillion in 2020. By the end of this year, Shopify expects that the international e-commerce market will be valued at $4.89 trillion.

That means that e-commerce businesses have more opportunities than ever before. But in order to succeed in this crowded online marketplace, you’ll need to be intentional with your e-commerce marketing.

It’s not enough to design a site, carry great products, and improve your customer service with live chat features. You’ll need to make sure that web users can find your site in the first place.

That’s where search engine optimization (or SEO) comes in. By following the tips below, you’ll increase your brand’s online presence and can drive more traffic to your site in an organic way which means no media cost!

Shopping Cart

Optimize Category and Product Pages

If you want customers to be more likely to stumble upon the products you carry, you’ll need to help them find you.

That means you’ll definitely want to optimize your product category pages and individual product pages for search engines.

Conduct careful keyword research to figure out which search terms have adequate volume and are aligned with user intent without being overly competitive. Then, you can incorporate these relevant keywords into the website copy on your category and product pages.

Be sure to focus on page titles, headings, meta descriptions, and image alt tags. Avoid the practice of “keyword stuffing” and always remember that your website copy should add value for the visitor. Provide valuable context and keep your brand voice in mind when writing. However, you’ll want to limit your use of brand-specific language if it interferes with well-known keywords.

A brief explanation of terms:

  • meta title descriptions are the heading and description shown on the SERP.

  • Image alt text is the text to describe what is in the picture.

Optimizing these pages, in particular, can help customers find you more readily when they conduct a search that matches what you have to offer. While you’ll likely have more individual pages to optimize than a non-retail website, this provides you with more chances to make connections!

Phone Error

User experience plays a significant role in how well your site is ranked in search results. And since your ranking will influence how much traffic you receive, it’s advisable to fix any existing website issues that could frustrate customers.

Two such issues are broken links and slow loading speeds. Google reports that over half of all mobile users will abandon a site that takes more than three seconds to load – and desktop and laptop users aren’t much more patient. Broken links can also drive customers away, as they can be frustrating and may decrease trust in your brand.

Don’t let these problems keep you from making the sales you deserve. You can use a free tool to identify 404 errors on your website and replace them with 301 redirects (a permanent redirection) if need be. There are also site speed checkers you can use to see how yours measures up. If your site is too slow, try to compress your images or explore web server alternatives to speed things up.

Remember: web design can have a huge impact on how prominently your site appears in a relevant web search. Google wants to deliver the best possible results to customers, so search engines don’t reward sites that are slow or riddled with navigation errors. If you clean up these problems, you’ll create a better user experience and can improve your rankings at the same time.

Girl Shopping

Publish Blog Posts Consistently

Blogging is a great way for businesses to connect with their customers and improve their prominence in search engine results pages (SERPs). 

Google likes websites that are updated regularly, so publishing new blog posts consistently can keep things fresh. What’s more, blog posts provide additional opportunities to optimize for your keywords and drive traffic to your website by providing solutions to common problems.

It’s a good idea to develop a content strategy for your e-commerce website to educate and entertain your readers. This can allow you to provide valuable information on a regular basis to reach new audiences and improve your brand’s reputation. 

Keep in mind that you can cross-promote your blog posts on social media and even acquire natural backlinks to your site using your content as leverage. If you create a truly valuable resource, other website owners will be happy to link back to your post. This can be a great way to improve your domain authority (which can boost your rankings).

Here is a blog promotion follow-up checklist

Promotion MediumHow to use this channel
SocialYes/No
PR OutreachYes/No
Paid AdsYes/No
Guest Blog ExchangeYes/No
VideosYes/No
Email MarketingYes/No

Consider Voice Search Optimization

More online shoppers are now using their smartphones and tablets to find information and make purchases. In fact, Think With Google reports that more than half of all web traffic now comes from mobile devices. 

That means you’ll really need to prioritize the mobile experience when designing and optimizing your site. Not only should your site be responsive and accessible on all devices, but you’ll also want to increase the likelihood that your site will appear when a customer performs a web search on mobile.

Voice-powered searches are becoming more popular, particularly for those who are ready to buy. Optimizing your site for a voice search can help mobile users find what they need within a matter of seconds.

To increase your chances of appearing in a voice search, consider creating an FAQ page that includes long-tail keywords and conversational language. Remember to add schema markup to your web pages as well, as these can provide additional context for voice-powered search queries.

Girl using credit card

Prioritize Site Security

There are many possible reasons that a customer might abandon their shopping cart and leave your website. Confusing navigation, poor mobile accessibility, and a slow-loading site can all drive visitors away.

But a lack of trust can also result in site abandonment. It’s especially important for e-commerce businesses to build trust with their audience, as customers can’t usually visit-in-person before making a purchase.

Data shows that nearly 61% of shoppers who abandon a purchase opportunity do so because the site doesn’t have trust badges. These badges can range from types of payment accepted and store policies to third-party endorsements and various certifications.

Another way to boost trust with customers is to make your site security clear as crystal. Because e-commerce businesses regularly collect sensitive personal information from customers, visitors need to know that their accounts are being protected.

At a bare minimum, your site should have an SSL certificate (meaning your web address starts with “https” and a lock icon appears in the browser). This will encrypt customer information and protect them in the event of a breach. Choosing the right e-commerce platform and encouraging strong password creation for customer accounts can also help visitors know you take their security seriously.

It’s worth noting that Google prioritizes search results that have HTTPS certification. Therefore, you’ll be more likely to appear in relevant searches if you take these extra safety steps.

After you’ve built and launched your website, you might think the hard work is done. But search engine optimization is an ongoing process that will build over time. By putting this work in now, you’ll make it easier for customers to find you online and take the leap to place an order.

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