eCommerce SEO Guide

Best eCommerce SEO: The Ultimate Guide in 2020

eCommerce SEO is the best way to bring lots of organic traffic to the store.

This comprehensive eCommerce SEO guide will help you.

It is a step-by-step guide to get better search engine rankings for your online store.

We will begin with the keyword research and talk about everything, and the guide will end with the link building strategies.

Table of Content:

So without delay, let’s begin.

What is SEO?

SEO is short for Search Engine Optimization.

Search Engine Optimization is the process of optimizing the website for a specific keyword, in order to gain the highest position in Google search results for that “keyword.”

It is not only about having page or post optimized around the keyword, but it is working to optimized the overall structure of the site for better visibility and performance.

Google aims to deliver the best possible result to the user for any given search term.

Google crawls the web and finds the pages that might give the best answer to the search query and ranks the pages after comparing multiple factors.

It is the site owner’s responsibility to optimize the site in a way the Google can read it easily and quickly, and make out the website’s purpose.

For that, we do eCommerce SEO of the site.

How important is it to do eCommerce SEO?

  • 44% of online shoppers begin by using a search engine
  • 37.5% of all traffic to eCommerce sites comes from search engines
  • 95% of people don’t go on to the second page of Google
Traffic Source Distribution

It is vital to be at least on the first page of Google for your primary keywords if you don’t want to lose hundreds of sales.

Keyword Research

Keyword Research is the first step of every eCommerce SEO strategy.

Without knowing the keyword, you cannot perform other SEO related tasks of the eCommerce store. It is not possible to optimize the product or category product for the keyword if there is no keyword.

Keyword research paved the way to optimum technical SEO, off-page SEO, and local SEO. Even the architecture of the site takes the keywords into account.

To take full advantage of eCommerce SEO, you have to do proper keyword research.

In this section, I will tell you the step-by-step way to pick up the best keywords for the store.

Types of Keywords

#1 Short-tail keywords:

Short-tail keywords are keywords that have three words or less. They are short keywords.

For example Young-Adult Books, Agatha Christie Books, I-Phone Cover.

The search volume of these keywords is very high, and they are hard to rank on Google.

Also, it isn’t easy to find the search intent behind such queries.

#2 Long-tail keywords:

Opposite to short-tail keyword, the long-tail keyword has many words, and they are specific.

For example: Marvel cover for I-Phone X under $20, Best horror books of Stephen King with a female protagonist

The search volume of long-tail keywords are low, but they are easy to rank on Google.

Also, you can deduce the search intent behind the long-tail keyword easily.

#3 Trending keywords:

Trending keywords are the keywords with a very high volume but for a short-term duration.

For example: Mask for COVID 19, Harry Potter new book

Trending keywords have drastic high volumes and usually are traffic magnets for short time.

#4 Long-term keywords:

Long-term keywords stay for a long time, and they remain relevant for a long duration.

For example: Headphone under $100, Harry Potter Book Set

These keywords have consistent search volume and require an SEO strategy to rank.

#5 Product focus keywords:

Product focus keywords are the keywords that describe the product or its characteristics.

For example: Mountain bike, Alloy wheel mountain bike

Product focus keywords have specific search intent and low volume.

#6 Customer focus keywords:

Customer focus keywords are the keyword that describes the consumer or the customer.

For example: bikes for girls, bikes for boys, bikes for adults

Customer focus keywords have low search volume, but specific search intent.

#7 Geo-targeting keywords:

Geo-targeting keywords are the keywords that include the geographical location.

For example: room heater to buy in Chicago, water cooler New York

Geo-targeting keywords have good search volume and specific search intent. Local SEO is required for such keywords.

Doing Keyword Research

There are many ways to do keyword research.

But in this post, we will learn the top three methods to do keyword research for the eCommerce store.

  1. Amazon
  2. Competitor research
  3. Keyword research tools

Use Amazon for Keyword Research

Amazon is your competitor and also a gold-mine to extract the keywords that have high search intent.

Selling is the primary function of the Amazon, and the keywords used at the Amazon tells what query is popular for any product.

You can begin by putting a short keyword.

Like: Baseball Cap

Baseball Cap Search on Amazon

As you can see, the auto-fill suggestion has already spit out the most used search terms around the “Baseball Cap.” Collect these keywords as they are the most targeted long-tail keywords.

And as I already mentioned, long-tail keywords convert better and are easy to rank.

You can repeat the process a few times with the short keywords that describe your products.

Keyword Dominator is the tool that scrapes the keywords from Amazon. It is a paid tool; however, you can get two searches per day at no cost.

For the term “baseball cap” Keyword Dominator finds out more than 300 keywords.

Keyword Dominator Tool

This keyword research tool made the process of keyword scraping from Amazon faster. Also, the process of doing this manually is not easy when the store has hundreds of product pages.

Keywords for Category Pages

Optimizing the category pages is an essential aspect of eCommerce SEO, and it must be taken seriously.

The conversion rate may not be high, but they are the part of the eCommerce store, and optimizing them helps build an overall ideal structure of the site.

Again, Amazon can help you here.

Look at the primary categories of the Amazon.

Keyword for Category Pages

Click on any of them to go to the Sub Category:

Sub Category as a Keyword for Category

Either you can use any of these keywords, or you can niche it down more.

Click on any one to get more narrow keywords.

Sub Category Amazon

You may find more keywords under these categories.

When clicked, Tableware opens up two more sub-categories:

sub sub sub category amazon ecommerce SEO

All of these are category keywords for any eCommerce store that deals with the “event and party supplies” products.

Amazon is the best place to begin your keyword research, but the customer is surfing all over the internet.

That’s why there are other ways to find keyword ideas.

Competitor Research

If two sites are in the same business, keywords working for one should work for the other too.

Find your competitors and get the keyword inspiration from there.

Type your primary keyword in Google.

Keyword Research Competitor

Look at all the competitors and choose anyone.

Surf, the site, and category pages, to find out the keywords.

Category Keywords Competitor

Here we see that the baseball cap eCommerce store has a list of popular team name baseball caps.

This is basic competitor research for keywords. Do not blindly target these keywords, however, use them to get the ideas, or if you find a keyword that will work best for you, do use it.

Do this competitor research on all the competitors you find in at least the first three pages of Google search and note all the essential keyword in your sheet.

Using a Keyword Research Tool

Three most popular keyword research tools are

Keyword tools do not generate keywords; they only find out the keyword people are already using to find a product. You can also analyze the competitor’s site and find out all the keywords they are using at once.

However, these keyword tools have more functions, but we would be using them for keyword researching purposes.

Using Ahref for Keyword Research

Method #1: How to use Ahref to find out the keywords of your competitors?

Ahref Competitor Research

Step 1: insert the site URL into the “Site Explorer.”

Step 2: Click on the “Organic keywords” under the “Organic search.”

Step 3: enter your primary keyword in the “include” section.

Step 4: Export all the keywords

These are the keywords your competitor is using on its eCommerce store. For these keywords, the site is ranking and bringing the traffic.

Method #2: How to use Ahref to find the keyword ideas?

AHref Keyword Research

Step 1: Insert the primary keyword into the “Keyword explorer.”

Step 2: Click on “All keyword ideas” under the “Keyword ideas.”

Step 3: Put the seed keyword into the “include” section

Step 4: Export all the keywords

These are the keywords that have the word “baseball” in them, and they all are about the caps.

What we did here is used the “All keyword ideas” function. You can use the Phrase match, Having the same terms, and other options to explore more keywords.

There are many sorting options, and you can use multiple filters to niche down the search.

Read the Ahref Guide to take the complete advantage of the tool.

Using Semrush for keyword research

How to use Semrush to find out the competitor’s keywords?

Semrush Competitor Research

Step 1: Insert the competitor’s site into the Semrush

Step 2: Click on the “Organic Research” under the “Domain Analytics” section

Step 3: Use the include filter to niche down the keywords

Step 4: Export the keywords

Method #2: How to use Semrush to find keyword ideas?

Semrush Keyword Research

Step 1: Put the primary keyword into the Semrush

Step 2: Enter the keyword overview

Step 3: Export the keywords

This method will give you a lot of keywords, and you can use the filters to find the best one. In the image, we did the Broad Match search; however, there are options for Phrase Match, Exact Match, and Related.

Read the Semrush Guide to learn more about the tool.

Using Google Keyword Planner for keyword research

Google Keyword Planner is a free tool provided by Google for keyword research.

It does not generate new keywords. However, it offers an excellent insight into what queries the users are using to search on Google while finding the products.

How to use Google Keyword Planner for keyword research?

Keyword Planner

Step 1: Login into GKP and set up an account. (no need to add any information or cards)

Step 2: Insert the primary keyword to find the keyword data

Step 3: Customize the keyword search with the bar at the top

Step 4: Refine the keywords to narrow down the ideas

Step 5: Export the keywords

Google Keyword Planner offers the most accurate data when it comes to keyword research. The tool is made for Google Ads users, but anyone can use it.

Now with the help of all these methods and tools, you may have collected lots of keywords.

That leads us to the next step.

How to Choose Keywords for Ecommerce Product and Category Pages?

So many keywords ideas, but not all of them are good.

You have to pick up the one that will help your eCommerce store to grow and sell.

Look for these three factors to filter out the keywords not suitable for your store.

  • Search Volume
  • Search Intent
  • Competition

Search Volume

Search Volume is the most important metric to judge a keyword.

There is no purpose for optimizing the page for any term if there are no searches of a keyword on Google. It is also true for the “low search volume” keyword.

However, there is no way to determine what search volume can be considered as low, and what number is high.

It depends on the industry and the product.

For some products (high price product), even the few 100 searches per month are excellent, while for some products (low price product), 1000s of searches are not enough.

But with time, you will start to get the idea of “high volume” and “low volume” keywords for your site.

To find the search volume for a given keyword, do primary keyword research in GKP. You’ll find the number of searches in the “Avg. Monthly searches” column.

Google Keyword Planner Tool

Keyword research tools like Ahref and Semrush also gives the estimated search volume of a keyword.

Baseball Cap Ahref Volume

Other keyword tools you can use:

  • KWFinder
  • Ubersuggest

Search Intent

Now having a large volume is one thing, but selling to the traffic that keywords bring is entirely different.

For example:

ahref keyword volume 2 ecommerce SEO

The term “baseball cap” has 90k global volume.

But the only 26% of those searches convert into a click. That is only 8k click.

8k search volume is still significant, but there is no way to find the search intent behind this term.

What can you deduce from this query?

  • Is the person looking for a baseball cap?
  • Is a person looking for information about a baseball cap?
  • Maybe the person is checking the spelling of the term?
  • Person might have never seen the baseball cap and want to look at what it is?

As you see, it is impossible to find any reason behind such a short-tail keyword.

Search Intent is all about deducing the reason a search has been conducted. It gives you the idea at what stage a person is on the buying cycle.

Awareness Keywords

People at this stage search for an understanding of the problem. They are not looking for a product, but an explanation of their problem. Or information about something.

The keywords they use are like:

  • Why
  • Reasons
  • List of
  • What is
  • Definition

Interest Keywords

At this stage, people are looking for a solution to their problem.

They use keywords such as:

  • How to
  • Ways
  • Guide
  • Tutorial
  • Product category
  • Brand name

Evaluation of Keywords

Now the person has selected a few products, and he starts researching the product.

Keywords he uses are like this:

  • Comparison
  • Price
  • Review
  • Product features
  • Cheap
  • Best
  • Top 10

Purchase Keywords

People at this stage already made their decision. Now they are looking for the best deal and place to buy the product.

The keywords look like this:

  • Discount
  • Free shipping
  • Buy now
  • Coupon
  • Discount
  • Deal

The more deeply into the funnel a search is, the more useful it is for the eCommerce store.

You can look into the Google Keyword Planner to find out which keywords are converting.

Keyword Difficulty

As you can see that “buy baseball cap online” has low search volume, but the bidding is high on this term, which means that these keywords convert the visitors into the customers.

On the other hand, the term “baseball cap” has a high volume but low bid rate.

GKP can give you some idea about the commercially profitable keyword, as the high bid suggests that the keyword is converting.

You have to consider this factor while selecting the keywords for eCommerce.

Competition

Another critical factor is the competition around the keyword.

The purpose of eCommerce SEO is to get a better Google ranking. If the keywords are too hard, and lots of authority sites are ranking, then it is not wise to go with the keywords. At least in the beginning, because ranking a keyword takes effort and resources.

You can use Ahref or Semrush to find the competitiveness of any keyword.

These tools use multiple metrics such as backlinks, domain authority, domain age, etc. of the pages ranking for a particular keyword to calculate the level of toughness of the keyword.

Keyword Difficulty Semrush

The KD in the Semrush means “keyword difficulty.”

eCommerce Website Structure

The structure or the architecture of the site is an integral part of any SEO strategy.

But with the eCommerce store, the importance of ideal architecture is much necessary than a blog. An eCommerce store has a large number of pages (different pages for a different product). Sometimes the number reaches up to the hundred of 1000s.

The site’s right architecture ensures that the users and search engines can find all the pages of a website quickly and easily.

And it is not a difficult task.

You have to remember two basic rules:

  1. Keep it simple and scalable.
  2. Keep the pages close to the homepage (less than three clicks)

Simple and Scalable Architecture

Simple means it should be easy to understand the flow of the site.

You do not have to make tons of categories. They all messed up into each other, with no streamlined direction to the product page.

For example:

Example of Poor Site Architecture

You see, in this structure, the categories, subcategories, and products are all jumbled up.
It isn’t easy to make sense of it.

So, it would help if you did not do this.

Also, this type of architecture is not scalable.

You can add products to the store, but it will be challenging to make a place for the product.

Also, it will become more complicated if you start adding more categories.

However, this eCommerce site structure is better.

optimized structure ecommerce SEO

It is simple, and users, search engines, and bots can easily read the site’s whole design.

Not only a well-optimized site structure is better for eCommerce SEO, but it also improves the conversion rate.

You can add categories and sub-categories into this structure without cluttering the site more.

Example of the store:

Example of good Site Architecture

Keep the pages close to the homepage (less than three clicks)

This is another critical factor for effective eCommerce SEO.

The homepage of the store is the most potent and most crawlable page.

When you keep all the pages close to the homepage, the link juice passes without losing the concentration.

AUthority Passing Site Architecture

With site structure like this, it is difficult to pass the authority to the product pages that are deeply woven into the architecture.

eCommerce Sites Links pointing to the Homepage

On the other hand, architecture like this allows the product pages to pass the juice to the homepage and vice-versa.
Internal links are vital for the overall eCommerce SEO.

When you follow the right structure, the authority passes through the homepage to category pages to sub-category page to product pages.

Example:
Poppin is an excellent example here.

Poppin SIte Structure

In less than three clicks, you understand the whole structure of the site.

So is Google.

On-Page SEO for eCommerce

On-page SEO ensures that all the keywords you have selected are at the ideal places on the page.

Optimizing the page around the keyword is essential because only then will Google be able to understand what the page is about.

There are two types of pages on the eCommerce site that makes most of the sales – Category Pages and Product Pages.

Look at this page:

Ideally Optimized eCommerce SEO Site Page

It could be a product page or category page, and few elements will be present in both.

These are:

  • Title Tag
  • Description
  • Content
  • URL
  • Internal Links
  • Multimedia

For an ideal on-page eCommerce SEO, these elements must be optimized with the keyword.

Optimizing the Title of the Page

Adding the Modifiers

You must be using the target keyword in the page’s title tag. If not, then doing this is the primary SEO.

Now, you have to add the “modifiers” to the title tag to take the advantage of long-tail searches.

Instead of going with “baseball cap,” the better title would be “Men’s Baseball Cap with Text Embroidery.”

You might have to go back to keyword research to find these long-tail keywords that you can use in the title tag.

Few common queries people usually use when searching for a product in Google:

  • Cheap
  • Deals
  • Review
  • Best
  • Online
  • Free shipping

Magnetic Title

A user only looks at the title for few seconds and makes up his mind if he is going to click it or not. It is vital to attract the user during the initial moments of impression. For that, you have to use the words that are click-magnet.

Also, Google gives a slight boost to the pages that have high CTR in the SERP.

Best Click Magnet Words for eCommerce product and category pages:

  • X% off (“25% Off”)
  • Guarantee
  • Lowest Price
  • Free Shipping
  • Overnight Shipping
  • Sale

These words depend on the industry.

Look at the advantage of the product that the user most crave. That is your magnetic-word.

Optimizing the Description

Meta-description or description is an essential aspect of on-page optimization.

The magnetic-words that you used in the tile also works for the description.

However, there is more space in the meta description to get creative.

Few examples of phrases you can use in your description tag to get more clicks:

  • Get the best prices on ____ today.
  • Save X% off on ____.
  • All of our ____ are on sale right now.
  • Get FREE shipping on all ____ today.
  • Click here to see all of our exclusive deals on _____.
  • Great selection of ____ at the guaranteed lowest price.

Optimizing the Content

Optimizing the product and category pages are slightly tricky than the blog content.

You need to write high-quality content, but you have to take care of the conversion rate.

However, these three aspects are the most important for on-page eCommerce SEO:

Long Content (1000+ words)

Long Content Graph

There are lots of studies showing that long content ranks better on Google.

Google bots read the page and analyze all the data on the page. The more data you feed Google, the better Google will understand the page.

The in-depth content on the page also helps the customers to understand the product more. The content also reduces the bounce rate.

amazon pcontent long 1 ecommerce SEO

If it is not possible to write 1000+ words for every page on your site, you must write an excellent content for at least your best selling 50 products.

Allowing reviews also increase the word count on the page.

Amazon Product Review

Sprinkle Your Keywords

After writing the content on the page, you must make sure the page has keywords 3-5 times in the copy.

There is no right amount of keyword to put in the content; however, 0.5-1% seems ideal.

Don’t do the keyword stuffing. You only want to let Google know the primary keyword of the page.

As we know, Google crawlers start from top to bottom. And the importance of the keywords used at the top of the pages is more.

The best practice is to mention the keyword under the first 100 words.

Keywords in first 100 Words

LSI Keywords

LSI or Latent Semantic Indexing keywords are words and terms that are in close similarity with the primary keywords. That’s why LSI keywords are also known as a secondary keyword.

For example, if you are optimizing an eCommerce store category page for the “baseball cap,” you will find these keywords are related to that keyword:

  • fitted
  • embroidered
  • adjustable
  • black

How to find these LSI keywords.

Step #1: Google Suggestions

Go and search your keyword on Google.

At the end of the page, you will find the secondary keywords.

LSI Keyword

Step #2: Google Keyword Planner

Next, enter your target keyword into the Google Keyword Planner.

Then take a look at the keywords that Google suggests to you:

LSI Keyword 2

Step #3: Sprinkle These In Your Content

Finally, sprinkle the LSI keywords that make sense into your product or category page content.

Optimizing URL

According to the research, there is a correlation between the URL length and rankings.

However, the URL length is not the sole factor here, and the correlation does not mean causation, but it is better to use the clear URL than the clutter one.

URL Length graph

URLs are longer on eCommerce site than other sites. Because of all categories and subcategories, and variation of a product.

For example:

*https://example.com/category/subcategory/product.html*

But still, do not make the URLs longer than the 50 characters. Because longer URLs confuse the crawlers as it becomes difficult to understand which term is the primary keyword.

Here’s an example of an optimized URL with no unnecessary strings:

Clear URL example

This Amazon URL is keyword rich, and there is only one keyword in the URL.

You can use a 1-2 words in the URL of the category pages.

*https://example.com/baseballcapsmen*

The process would be the same with the subcategories. The subcategories do come after the category.

Follow the same process for subcategories. Only this time, the subcategory will come after the category in the URL:

*https://example.com/baseballcapmen/fitted*

Include the keyword in your URL at the end. Only the keyword that will send a clear signal to Google that it is the primary keyword.

*https://example.com/baseballcapmen/fitted/baseballcap-125*

Internal Links

Creating internal links on the eCommerce store is one of the easiest tasks in the eCommerce SEO. Because it is done automatically.

First, the navigation itself creates internal links to all the category pages.

Navigation Internal Link

Though automatic, it is still an essential part of the SEO, and you must take it seriously.

There would be some pages on your site with much authority, and there must be pages on your site with no authority.

Internal links work as a bridge to pass the authority.

Internal Linking

For example:

A post has attracted a lot of backlinks, and now the post has a powerful profile.
You would like to use that authority for the product pages, and the internal links will help you a lot.
If it is not possible to insert the links into your product’s description, you can use other strategies to create a sturdy internal link structure.

Example 1:

internal link 1 amazon 1 ecommerce SEO

Example 2:

internal link 2 amazon ecommerce SEO

Example 3:

example 3 1 ecommerce SEO

Example 4:

amazon link 4 1 ecommerce SEO

Amazon does have lots of data, and a small store can’t copy such strategies.

But still, there is a lot small eCommerce store can also do for internal linking.

Multimedia

The indirectly important part of the on-page SEO strategy is to have an attractive page that ensures that the user stays on the page.

Imagine getting the first rank, and the user opens up the page to see the horrible wall of text and a few blurred pictures of the image. The user will bounce back so fast.

That’s why you must use the multimedia on the page.

Product images are essential for the visitor.

You must invest in them properly. Create an attractive image portfolio of the product so the user can get the idea of the product. The first impression is critical.

For example, this is one of the product pages of the Poppin:

Poppin Product Example

The image is of HD quality, and with a clear white background, the product gets all the attention.
The zoom function lets the user see the product from close.

poppin zoom 1 ecommerce SEO

Then there is also a video on the page that shows how the product works.

Poppin Video Example

All this multimedia make the page attractive, and the user stays and learn about the product.

This increases the chance of the sales, and also sends the signal to Google that the visitor is enjoying the page. That boosts the ranking of the page.

Result:

Poppin Search Result

The product page of Poppin is ranking for the keyword “sticky memo ball.”
Also, the video of Poppin is in the third position. So out of the top 4, 50% results are from the Poppin.

Finally, the inspection of the image:

poppin image link inspect 1 ecommerce SEO

The image has an alt tag: “Sticky Memo Ball, hi-res.”
Title of the image: “Sticky Memo Ball Sticky Memo Ball.”

The media asset on the pages is also optimized for the keyword.

All of them are doing their job to push the page up in the ranking.

There are no one or two factors in eCommerce SEO that make the ranking, and it is the overall effort of all the elements of the pages that tell Google what the page is actually about.

Then there is Structured Data.

Schema

Search a product name on Google, and you will find additional information about the product.

For example:

Schema Example

There is the rating, capacity, and other info about the product in the SERP.

How?

It is done with the Schema.org.

You can integrate it for your eCommerce store, and it will help you include data to your description:

  • Pricing
  • Availability
  • Delivery time
  • Review data

There are many ways to integrate the Schema to your eCommerce store. You can read this guide to set up the Schema.

Technical SEO for Ecommerce

There are so many pages on the eCommerce store that increased the chance of messed up technical SEO.

That’s why the eCommerce sites need to have regular technical audits.

Moreover, most of the product pages do not attract the backlinks, so the on-page SEO and technical SEO are the only way to power them up against the competitors.

There are many SEO tools that you can use to crawl your site.

  • Google Analytics
  • Google Search Console
  • Ahrefs
  • Beam Us Up (or Screaming Frog)
  • Copyscape
  • Title Tag Pixel Width Checker
  • ScreamingFrog
  • Site Condor

All of these tools could help you to do a technical audit of the site.

Technical SEO begins from the audit.

Step 1: Technical Auditing

First of all, crawl the entire site with Screaming Frog or any other tool you preferred.

You may find:

  • Broken links
  • Missing Alt Tags
  • Duplicate and Thin content
  • Unsecure pages
  • Image attachment not redirecting
  • Redirection errors

You will be able to find all the technical issues that are bad for the eCommerce SEO of the site.

Step 2: Analyze the Crawl Report

The second step is to analyze the crawl report and look for the problems.

Export the report into a sheet and prioritize the issues that demand the immediate solution.

As I said, what we are looking for is are page errors and SEO errors. However, it might be difficult for everyone to grasp what these errors are.

So, let’s see the common technical issue and how to fix them.

Common Technical SEO Problem and Fixes

Single Browsable Version

A site does have multiple versions. Sometimes they get index, and the website does loads on those versions.

For the user, they all are the same as they all fetch the same content.

But for Google, they all are four different pages, which means Google will treat it as a duplicate content problem.

How to Fix:

The simple fix of this problem is 301 redirect to the one version. Add canonical to other versions.

Use httpstatus.io to find the chain.

301 redirect checker

As we see, the non-www version redirects to the www version.

Unique Content

Duplicate content is one of the most hateful things for Google. Google has released the update specifically to punish the site that has duplicate content.

eCommerce sites do have lots of duplicate content because of a large number of pages. Many of them use the same product descriptions.

Also, sometimes the site has a different version of the product, and each version has a separate URL, leading to the duplicacy issues.

Then there is content that is present on every page.

Google sees that too as a duplicate content.

You can use tools like Siteliner that will crawl your site to find all the duplicate content.

How to Fix:

First of all, noindex the pages that are not ranking and do not bring in any traffic, but are the reason for duplicate content.

Once you’ve noindexed all of the URLs that need to go, it’s time to tap into the canonical tag (“rel=canonical”).

A canonical tag tells Google that this is not a unique content but a different version of another page. Google does not treat the page as unique, and there are no duplicacy issues.

If there are many version present on the site of one page, use canonical tag.

Canonical Tags

If all of them are different products, then you have to write unique content for each page. It is hard work, but there is no way around it. That’s why all the eCommerce store does hire writers.

Thin Content

Google hates Thin Content too.

Thin content is that content that is not useful to users, but there is a page of it, so Google has to crawl it.

The Panda penalty deal with the thin content issues of the site.

However, it would help if you kept in mind, the longer content ranks better. The short content hurt the site.

Content Total Word Count

It usually happens with the eCommerce store because it becomes tedious to write the unique content for the 50 products when those 50 products are similar.

For example:

Writing unique content for each Shoe becomes difficult when there are 100s of Shoe pages on the site. They only have one function, keep the feet comfortable. The threshold is short.

How to Fix:

Find each thin page. Usually, the pages with words less than 400 are considered thin.
Find them all with Screaming Frog or other online tools, and noindex them for some time.
Then add the content.

You can follow this template to create the page.

Product Page Description Template

Site Speed

Site speed is one of the factors that is part of the algorithm that ranks the page.

The web pages’ speed is not only crucial for the eCommerce SEO but also for optimizing the conversion. The report has suggested that the cart abandonment increase by 25% if the page takes more than 3 seconds to load.

You can run a speed test on GTmetrix, Pingdom, or Google Page Speed to get the detail information about the page loading speed.

Here is the Google Speed Test of “TheVerge”:

The Verge Speed

This is the crop version of the test. Google speed test gives you much more information and steps to improve the speed of the site.

The reasons that eCommerce site pages load slowly:

Bloated Ecommerce Platforms:

There are eCommerce platforms that are slow due to unoptimized and bloated code. Such eCommerce platforms are difficult to operate as they are not popular. Hence the developers do not make plugins/extensions for them.

Large Image File Sizes:

Surely, an eCommerce store does need high-quality images and an interactive page filled with multimedia, but it can weight up the page. That leads to the high load time of the page.

Slow Hosting and Servers:

Finally, slow hosting and slow servers can make your site slow from the backend. The HDD servers are quite more time-consuming than the SSD servers.

How to Fix it

Upgrade Your Hosting:

First of all, get better hosting. Buy dedicated servers if you have good traffic to your site, or the eCommerce store has heavy pages.

ServerGuy Hosting guarantees less than 3 seconds of loading speed.
Check the Magento and WordPress Hosting.

Invest In a CDN:

A CDN (content delivery network) is the best way to improve site performance significantly. There are many CDNs. However, you should invest in the best possible option.

Optimize Image File Size with Compression:

You can optimize and reduce the image size while keeping the quality of the image intact. Many online tools can do it or hire a graphic manager to look and fix all the pictures on your site.

Check your home page’s SEO

Optimizing the homepage is necessary as any other page, but still, many eCommerce stores tend to miss doing the SEO of the most important page of the site.

Crawl the homepage and look for the few answers:

  • Title on the pages are clickable?
  • Is on-page SEO is on the point?
  • Meta description is unique and optimized for clicks?
  • Is there one H1 tag?
  • Page structure is optimized with various headings (h2, h3, h4 p)
  • Are target keywords present?

Look for all these answers, and if there is “no” to any suggestion, fix it.

Review Google Search Console

You can get fantastic information about your site from the Google Search Console.

Login to your Google Search Console, and you will find the dashboard.

In the overview, you will find this:

Search COnsole Errors

As you can see that Google gives you a detailed report about all the errors on your site.
Open any report.

For example: Mobile Usability:

Search Console Errors

Now I need to fix this issue. I can click on any errors to find the page this error is showing. So check out your Search Console to find out these crawl errors.

Now, these are the basics of technical SEO auditing of an eCommerce store. For advanced auditing, you can contact us.

Local eCommerce SEO

Local SEO can work a charm for you if you have a brick-and-mortar store and want more local foot traffic to your store.

With Local SEO, you can rank your local business in Google, Bing, Apple Maps, and other local search engines.

Nearly 45% of all searches are for local information.

Local SEO is the process of optimizing the business for the online presence to attract local customers. Searches could be from Google, Bing, or any search engine.

Local SEO

Optimizing for local SEO is not that difficult.

But here are a few requirements:

  • Site must load fast
  • Store should not have a blotted user experience.
  • Structure must be clean.

However, if you are following this guide, you may have already made these fixes.

Claim your Google My Business Profile

According to Google:

Google My Business is a free and easy-to-use tool for businesses and organizations to manage their online presence across Google, including Search and Maps.

Google My Business shows up the business in a local search result.

The process of claiming the GMB profile is simple.

Login in to your Gmail account, fill all the information.

  • Store address
  • Product you sell
  • Shipping or No Shipping

These are the few fundamental questions Google will ask you.

Then you will submit your phone number and website. After everything is done, Google will verify the address by sending you a Pin via postcard.

You have to enter the Pin into your GMB account. Once done, the verification badge will start to show.

After verification, you can optimize your listing.

  • Add more categories
  • Upload some photos
  • Company opening time
  • Phone numbers etc

Your business listing will show up when someone searches your business name.

However, if you want to rank for local keywords, you have to build local citation.

Build local citations

Citation means the online mention of the business, which usually tells the business name, address, and phone number.

You can call them backlink from the local websites, like local news sites, magazines, and press releases.

There are many directories where you can create a citation for free. Then there are paid directories.

Few of the directories to begin listing are:

To find the local directories, you have to search on Google with your location name.

For example:

Directories for Arizona, Newzealand directories, Alabama local business listings, etc

Reviews for Local Business

Google Customer Reviews are important for customer acquisition via Google my Business Profile listing.

Reviews for Local Business

These stars by the customers and guides are the first thing the user sees in the business listing.

Also, better reviews and ratings give a boost to the business profiles in the SERP.

Content Marketing for Ecommerce Sites

Content marketing can bring you a lot of targeted traffic, and that means sales.

The stats support it:

  • More than 40% of marketers find blogging the best strategy
  • 70% of people prefer to learn about a company via an article/post instead of an advertisement
  • 68% of consumer likes to consume the content created by the brand

Yes, content marketing attracts consumers, but they also attract backlinks.

It is one of the easiest and best ways to generate quality backlinks. And then, you can pass that juice to your product pages via internal linking.

Also, let’s assume that your product pages and category pages are ranking at the top for your primary keywords. Now what?

Would you not like to cover more organic Google space?

Content can help you there.

The moment you start creating content, you begin tapping the keywords that were not possible before.

Let’s see an example:

This is an eCommerce store that sells Dog related products:

Dog Site Example

They have a section of the blog on their homepage. They are creating blog content for the past six months (November 2019).

Dog Site Content Marketing

Now the benefit of this blog.

I put the URL into the Ahref and find these stats.

ahref vlogheadforpup ecommerce SEO

In only six months, they have 143 backlinks from 61 domains. Keywords are ranking, and they are bringing the traffic.

It is easier to get a backlink to high-quality content than a product or category page.

So let’s see how you can start with content marketing for your eCommerce store.

It merely is three-step process.

Step #1: Hang out with your Customers

Hanging out with your customers means joining the same webspace as your customers.

The Internet is a prominent place, and you will find your customer hanging out at different sites, forums, platforms, social media channels, and comment sections.

You have to become part of it.

For example, there is lots of community on Reddit.

Reddit ComicSwap

Facebook Comic Group:

Facebook ComicSwap

I found these communities in a few clicks.

Whatever your product is, you can quickly find the communities and groups on the internet around it.

Join those groups and spend some time observing everything.

Step #2: Learn about your Customers

Learn, learn, and learn about your customers.

What are their problems, and what they want from the product?

Which attribute of the product did they like the most?

Learn the terms they use and the language, phrases, words with which they communicate.

Reddit Content Ideas

Above is only one example: you will find the real problems of the customers.

And all of it will help you to create content and sell your services.

Step #3: Create A++ Content

Create amazing content.

Content could be anything:

  • Blog
  • Pictures
  • Infographic
  • Guides
  • Videos
  • Gifs
  • Listicles
  • Quizzes

Every content can work if it is amazing enough and reach to the right audience.

Most of the book publication houses use Instagram for content marketing.

Random House Instagram

The content randomhouse publish on the Instagram account:

Random Feed

Its pretty looking book pics. The aesthetically pleasing book images for the book readers.

All of this will take time, effort, and resources, but it is a one-time process to set up the blog and social media profiles. Create content for one channel and reproduced it to other channels.

Link Building

Link Building is not only about acquiring links from the other sites.

Eric Ward (known as a pioneer of Link Building) prefers the word “awareness building” and not link building. It is about creating a story on the web, and the rankings will follow profound stories.

Google is not what it was ten years ago… Now it can quickly smell shady link building strategies, and penalize your store.

And when it comes to an eCommerce store, building links for product pages look more complicated.

But with the right strategy and plan, you can attract plenty of links, to begin with.

Let’s see a few ways marketers use to get the link for the eCommerce store.

  1. PR Stunts
  2. Seasonal Landing Pages
  3. Newsjacking
  4. Scholarship and sponsorship
  5. Giveaways
  6. Guides
  7. Blogging
  8. Tools
  9. Broken link building
  10. Stealing competitors links

Use Pr Stunt

Doing an event that generates a buzz on the Internet is a sure way to create authority backlinks quickly.

But how do you create a buzz on the Internet?

A simple example of a PR stunt is CEWE Photoworld.

Photoworld Example

They created a simple landing page, displaying statistics in the form of attractive visuals. Now the page has been gone viral and covered by many popular news outlets and media agencies.

There is a lot of social media share of the page.

And this single page has build high authority.

photoworld backlink ecommerce SEO

226 backlinks to a single page from 133 domains. The quality of backlinks?

pphotoworld link quality 1 ecommerce SEO

If your content is original and has emotional touch, if it can make people laugh, sad, or fascinates, then a single viral piece can make your site brand overnight.

This is what Wendy’s twitter does:

Wendys Twitter
Wendys Twitter

Wendy was roasting the customers when all the brands are trying to become professional, polite, and pleasant to their customers. People liked the idea that a person is sitting behind the brand’s account and not some robot that always spits out the positive things.

Many marketing sites covered Wendy’s social media strategies, and they all gave the links to them.

It does not matter if the PR stunt brings negative publicity or positive publicity, but it will surely bring you the links.

Seasonal Landing Page

Some events occur every season. Some brands utilize the opportunity and develop a page around the season. Every year the page attracts links, and the authority improves.

Then there are sales and holidays. eCommerce stores should make a separate landing page for these events.

For example: Amazon Black Friday Page

amazon black friday ahref 1 ecommerce SEO

These pages are so successful in link building because the page becomes an offer page.

All the offers and sales are on one page, and because of this, the site owners can easily link to the sales going on your eCommerce store.

Newsjacking

Hijacking ongoing news or story is another excellent way to create backlinks.

In Newsjacking, a brand takes stands and puts his opinion about something trendy.

The best example here is the success of the Egard Watches.

It begins with when Gillette released a short ad film where Gillette tried to take stand against the toxic masculinity and patriarchy.

Gillette Vest Men Video

But the way they delivered the message, people hated it. It did not go well for the Gillette.
As you can see from the like/dislike ratio.

On the other hand, another little, no known brand, Egard watches, released the video in the response of the Gillette ad.

What is a Man? Egard Watches

The video was successful, and the comment section was full of praise.

Comment for Egard Watches

In less than a day, various brands have covered the story, and all of them have given the links to the store.

What is important while Newsjacking a story that you must have something substantial to say and stand on.

How you can do this:

  • You have to keep an eye on the trending topics of your industry.
  • Contribute to the topic as early as possible.
  • Don’t hesitate to take a stand in which you believe.

Sponsorship and Scholarship

Giving sponsorship and scholarship is a great way to get a backlink from the educational institution and government sites.

But you must have a solid program to offer so the student can take advantage of it. I mean, the offer must be a genuine one. If you create the scholarship program only for the backlink purpose, Google will know it.

Walmart Example

Before giving.walmart.com was redirected to the Walmart.org, the subdomain has the 98.6k backlinks. And now all of them are for Walmart.org.

Microsoft Ahref Stats

This is from the Microsoft education center.

The purpose of these pages might not have to get a backlink but to offer help to students, but they are getting backlinks.

Another option is to give a scholarship to students.

Create a landing page that will tell your selection process and eligibility criteria. Then reach out to the universities and education sites.

Giveaways

Giveaways are one of the oldest methods of making a backlink for an eCommerce store.

By Giveaway, you not only get the backlink, but valuable feedback, awareness, and user-generated content around your product.

In Giveaway, a brand gives the products “for free” in a contest or raffle. People participate in the contest because they love free products.

The publication industry uses the giveaway method a lot.

Whenever a new book is launched, the publication house run book giveaways to the readers. In return, the readers promote the book. There is a name for the review copy – that is “Advance Review Copy.”

Book Giveaway

With a single giveaway, the author/site is creating followers for all the channels.

When a person hosts a giveaway on their site to participate in the giveaway, link building is the part of eligibility criteria.

Not only books, in almost every segment, product giveaway was also the easiest way to generate backlinks.

However, Google has become strict for such links as this strategy was started to become spammy.

But it still works.

What you can do to do it naturally is not to ask for the link to your site specifically.

If the user is doing it without asking, then it will be somewhat natural.

But this method is not much recommended.

Useful Guides / Original Research

As you created a complete course for the students, you can also do original research.

The Internet needs statistics to prove the point.

A page with stats supported by original research is a backlink magnet. You can collect valuable data around a topic in your industry and make a post/page around it if you cannot do the original research.

For example, this PDF has original research. And many sites are linking to it as the source of their facts. As a result, the PDF has gained much authority.

kpmg ahref ecommerce SEO

Oberlo has collected the original data from multiple sources and made it accessible at one place.

Content Marketing Ahref

That gave them 29 authority backlinks without asking anyone—all of them are natural and very useful.

Then there are Guides.

Guides are the bible of the eCommerce content.

There are two types of guides. Buying Guides and Tutorials Guides.

Buying Guides helps you make the right decision by describing all the product characteristics in detail.

Tutorial Guides explains to the user how to do a task, and in between, puts the products from the store needs to perform the tasks.

For example, this Drone Buying Guide:

Introduction to Drones Guide

The guide is ranking and got the few backlinks too.

drone buyin acklink 1 ecommerce SEO

On the other hand are the tutorials guides.

For example, this mountain climbing guide is bringing much traffic and links to the store.

mountain guide 1 ecommerce SEO

These guides and original research can build backlinks for you, and it also helps the users.

It is the useful content with value, that everyone likes, from Google to the User.

Blogging

As I mentioned earlier in the post, blogging is crucial for consistent link building and traffic.

Every blog must have a bog from day one.

However, it will take some extra resources, but in the long run, you will find the return much high than the investment.

I have already written the complete process above. You can click here to find it again.

Creating Tools

One of the smartest ways I think of creating a backlink for an eCommerce store is to create a tool.

For example, the AWS calculator by Amazon.

AWS Calculator Tool

And look at the number of backlink this tool have

calcualtor amazon ahref 1 ecommerce SEO

It does not matter what niche your eCommerce store is; you can create a simple tool to help your users. These tools do not cost much, and it is only a one-time cost.

Similarly, eBay, Shopify, Neil Patel, and even Backlinko, they all offer free tools to gain backlinks.

Broken link building

Broken Link Building means finding the link that is broken on the Internet and then fixing them with your site’s link.

It is a simple yet powerful link building strategy that can generate powerful backlinks.

First of all, you need a browser extension that will find the broken links on any webpage.

Now, surf around the web, and whenever you find a broken link, you note it down.

Now you have to create a mail to the owner of the site or the writer of the post.

Like this:

Hey (Name)
I was reading your post today, and I found a broken link on this page (page URL).
The site you were linking to is not there anymore.
However, I have a great resource on the same topic that you and your readers would love.
Thanks

Keep it simple and minimum.

If the owner found your post and page worthy, he will give a link to you.

Another way to find the broken links is to use the Ahref.

Put the site in Ahref “Site Explorer.” On the left panel, you will find the broken link option.

Broken Links

It will reveal all the broken links of the site; then, you can look for if it is useful for you.

Stealing competitors links

Finally, it is all about ranking better than competitors.

So why not stealing the link of your competitor?

You will need a backlink tool to do that. Free backlink checker does not work or does not extract all the backlinks.

If you have Ahref, you can do it.

Step 1: Put the URL into the “Site Explorer”

Step 2: Click on the Backlink

Step 3: Check or Extract all the backlinks of the site

Broken Links via Ahref

But how to steal them. It depends.

If the link is in the blog post, you can contact the owner and request them to include your site.
If the link is from the forum, you can create a profile and build that link yourself.

It is all about finding your competitors backlink and create for your store at the same site.

Links are essential for the eCommerce store to rank, but they are not everything.

As Eric Ward has said, you have to create a story across the Internet, a story that people can trust and follow. It is about being aware and consistently relevant and valuable to users.

The ranking will follow.

Outsourcing eCommerce SEO Service

SEO is necessary if you are looking for long term business with your eCommerce store.

If you do not want to hire an in-house team to do all the eCommerce SEO tasks, you can outsource the whole process.

Many freelancers and agencies provide Search Engine Optimization service to clients, and many of them work specifically with the eCommerce stores.

Pros of Outsourcing SEO

  • Less Costly than Standard SEO: Outsourcing the SEO would be less expensive than the in-house team. However, it also depends on the quality of service and the location of your business. SEO executives and content writers do not get paid equally everywhere around the globe. Also, some agencies will do SEO at a low cost than the others.
    But on average, outsourcing would be less expensive.
  • SEO Proficiency: The agencies that provide SEO services are often experts. They have teams with professional people for each task of the SEO. One is best in technical SEO, while another will be an expert in doing the keyword research.
  • Time and Energy: By outsourcing the SEO service, you save lots of time and energy. Hiring an SEO team and adding a department to your company requires time and effort.

Cons of SEO Outsourcing

  • Unknown Risks: You can perform all kinds of research about the SEO company that you want to give work, but there is always a little chance of unknown risk. This is one of the most significant factors while outsourcing the SEO service because you have to give control of your eCommerce store to the agency.
  • Risk of Penalties: The SEO agencies have pressure to show the result, and to get that, they sometimes stray to unethical practices that might get your site hurt. The outdated and wrong practice could get your site a Google penalty.

Now let’s look at the process.

Evaluate your Requirements

First of all, you have to evaluate your requirement.

There are various packages when one goes to outsource the SEO. The SEO agencies do the entire SEO project, and they also do the part of the SEO, such as technical SEO, content writing, web designing, link building, etc..

You can handover the complete site to them, or you can pick the tasks.

When you go with the task by task approach, your option widens as there are companies that specialize in one or another dimension of eCommerce SEO.

Like Hoth is an expert in making backlinks, while Website optimization is best in speeding up the sites.

The Hoth
Website Optimization

That’s why you need to check your requirements.

Whether you need a fast loading store or powerful backlinks.

Set a Budget

Next is setting up the budget. Everything depends on it.

If you only want a fast loading store, then it would not be much. But you want to rank a keyword on Google; then, it will depend on the keyword difficulty.

However, calculating the Budget for eCommerce SEO makes it easier for you to decide while buying the SEO service.

Set Targets

You have to set some targets that you want to achieve via SEO.

It could be dominating the search engine ranking for the primary keywords, or it could be increasing the traffic by targeting the low competition keywords.

From the technical audits to optimized architecture, from creating backlinks to optimizing the pages for conversion. You can set up the targets for the important tasks of the SEO.

It will bring objectivity to the project.

To do that, you have to audit the site yourself first.

Check the analytics to find out how much traffic is the site bringing.

Find the provider (freelancer/agency)

You can either go with a freelancer or an SEO agency.

You can find SEO freelancers on Fiverr or Upwork. There are many sites where you can look for quality SEO freelancers.

Upwork

Or you can hire a freelancer locally.

Search “SEO freelancers in location”. Insert your location at the place of location.

Then there are eCommerce SEO agencies that you can turn up to.

Search for SEO agencies on Google, and you will find many of them.

Proper communications

Communication is important between the client and the service provider.

In this case, the SEO agency will propose a communication channel. Since you are a client, you can choose whether you want to go with their way of communication or yours.

But you need to set up a proper communication channel before beginning.

It will help you a lot later when you need reports and ask the question regarding the progress.

Progress reports monthly

Most of the agencies and freelancers send the report every month.

The report usually is summarized information on what they did and how it affected the ranking of your site.

Reporting everything is an ideal process, and all the SEO agencies follow it.

As an eCommerce store owner, it is your responsibility to read the report at the time and clear any doubt.

Scale budget with ROI

The last is to scale the budget if you see a positive ROI.

You will see any SEO results in 6-8 months. But there will be a few things that you will begin to notice from the first day.

Like fast loading speed, or the low bounce rate.

Now it will be your turn to increase your budget for the eCommerce SEO to get more things done.

Summary

There are only two ways to bring traffic to the site:

  • Paid
  • Organic

eCommerce SEO makes the store ideal for both types of traffic.

When the page is optimized for the SEO, it will bring in the organic traffic by ranking, and you will also save the cost on the paid campaigns.

Organic traffic is a reliable, free, and consistent stream. Though it requires some effort, they are long-term investments. SEO efforts allow you to set up the store as a brand in the market.

An SEO strategy could bring hundreds of thousands of visitors to your store that you can convert into your customers.

I tried to keep this eCommerce SEO guide as simple as possible and covered everything of importance. If you follow the post, you will be able to optimize your store for better rankings.

If you like the content of the post, share it, and let it help the other store owners.

And for any help, feel free to contact us.

We are a web hosting company that has helped many businesses in scaling their business.

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