Digital Marketing / Marketing / SEO

Ecommerce SEO: A Determinative Guide for SMEs [2021 Special Edition]

January 19, 2021

Ecommerce stores witnessed a tremendous boost in the year 2020 mostly due to worldwide lockdowns and the boom of the digital industry following the COVID-19 pandemic. With businesses irrespective of their size and nature hopping onto the digital bandwagon, the competition to take the lead on the online frontier increased significantly, raising newer, more complex challenges.

That said; Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is among the most important aspects of ecommerce, carrying the potential to turn the tide of the digital game. A carefully planned, strategically visualised and well-structured ecommerce SEO plan can significantly increase traffic, bring in more organic buyers and generate a heap of sales; only if your online store has been successfully optimised.

Whether yours is an ecommerce store or a physical setup, to know about latest industry trends, challenges, geographic, psychographic and demographics, as well as competitors will help in coming up with the best strategy and emerge successfully. . Only through strategic analysis and visionary approach can result in taking your ecommerce store on the top. The details provided below will act as a guide for both beginners and experts, highlighting all key aspects and technical elements of Ecommerce SEO, eventually leading to;

[SOURCE: wsearchenginejournal.com ecommerce-guide technical-SEO

  • Laying the foundation of robust ecommerce SEO strategy
  • Know the target industry, demographics and audience
  • Conduct appropriate keyword research, avoid irrelevant keywords.
  • Optimise every single on-site page content
  • Establish your brand and website’s authority
  • Check and identify SEO associated bugs and errors on the website for immediate fixing

Table of Contents

A Stronger Ecommerce SEO Foundation
• A Mobile-Friendly, Responsive Design
• SSL Certificate Installation
• Website Loading Speed
• Google Analytics
• Google Webmaster Account
• Sitemap Submission to Google & Bing

Target Industry, Demographics & Audience
• A Buyer’s Persona
• Map Buyer/Customer Journey
• The Competitor’s List

Keyword Research
• Head & Long-Tail Keywords
• Related Keywords/Variations
• Qualify Keywords

Onsite Page Content Optimisation
• Assign a Single Primary Keyword to Each Page
• Two-to-Four LSI Keywords for Each Page
• Content-Length/Word Count for Each Page
• Keyword Placement in Meta-Data (Title & Descriptions)
• Primary Keyword in Page URL, Subheading & Image Alt Tag
• URL Structure Optimization
• Product & Category Page Content
• Internal Page Linking
• Schema Mark-Up Addition

Establish Brand & Website’s Authority
• Social Media Account Setup
• Directory Listing
• Competitors Websites
• Guest Blogging Websites
• Customer Reviews

Ecommerce SEO Audit for Bug Fixing

Industry-Leading Ecommerce Development Platforms

Ecommerce Website Must be Mobile-Friendly with Responsive Design

 Mobile and tablet user-base is far greater than any other digital device which makes a mobile-friendly, responsive website design all the more important. It provides a better user experience while helping in ranking your website higher on the search engine.

SSL Certificate Installation

It’s obvious of an ecommerce website to carry sensitive user information such as bank account, credit/debit card details, contact number, location/address and so on which requires additional security measures. An SSL certificate is thus essential, providing your ecommerce website the security it deserves while being an important ranking factor for the Google algorithm.

Website Loading Speed

A website that takes 30-seconds or more to load eventually lose users. On the contrary, a speedy website with lesser loading time also ranks better on the search engine which makes loading speed a critical factor to eCommerce SEO.
[SOURCE: www.semrush.com/blog/how-to-improve-your-google-pagespeed-insights-score]

Dig Deeper into a Website & Gather Intelligence with Google Analytics

Your website design can be significantly improved only if you get to know more of your users and their crawling behavior. A detailed and robust strategic plan for your ecommerce website can be prepared to keep website design, keyword use and placement, website structure. Prefer installing Google Analytics to gather valuable data and dig deeper into a website.

Prefer Creating a Google Webmaster Account

Having a Google Webmaster account gives you access to the tools that help in learning more about your website as well as managing many different aspects like sitemaps, URL preferences, and crawler access so on. Professional developers usually create a Google Webmaster’s account for appropriate website setup and configuration.

Sitemap Submission to Google & Bing

Sitemap usually refers to the outline, structure, or hierarchy of the website built with the purpose for search engines to review and understand the website’s content. Create a well-planned sitemap and submit it to leading search engines like Google and Bing for review and ranking.

Target Industry, Demographics & Audience

A stronger eCommerce SEO service requires in-depth analysis and knowledge of the target industry as well as the target audience which comes only from research, probing market opportunities, and all the latest trends.

A Buyer’s Persona

 A buyer persona can be created by knowing more about the demographics and psychographics of the actual target audience. Using the information, you can even plan keywords to your ecommerce website that are sure to attract buyers.

Map Buyer/Customer Journey

On creating a detailed profile description of the ideal buyer, map a path they might take from the beginning all the way to buy from your ecommerce store and even after-sales support. The initial phases are awareness, consideration and decision during which you need to identify keywords buyers take towards their journey. You can even understand questions, aspirations and needs to optimise your ecommerce store in the best possible way.

The Competitor Analysis for Better Optimisation

Assessing the competitors list and landscape will give you a better insight on the latest trends and thus improve your ecommerce SEO in every way such as better keyword research, better products, better optimisation and more. 

Observe the strategies your competitors throw to catch new customers and widen the network of users, mold their strategy according to your own unique approach and take the reign to outperform others. Although you can use many different tools to find competitors, taking services of a professional web design and development agency can provide you with the most appropriate solution.

Keyword Research

Keyword research can be properly conducted once you gather all crucial information on the target demographics and psychographics. Their buying interest, crawling and search behavior on the internet as well as the frequency they shop online will surely help in identifying the most appropriate keywords. Competitor’s analysis will also help in sorting the right phrases to widen your search.

Head & Long-Tail Keywords

Head keywords can heighten the competition of your ecommerce store with their broader terms having a much higher search volume. On the contrary, long-tail keywords have a lower search ratio but greater conversion rates as compared to head keywords. For a detailed, future-focused and all-inclusive SEO plan, include both keywords type in the strategy.

Related Keywords/Variations

Begin searching with the key phrases and terms that are trending on top of the search engine against your industry. Go with the variations and alternate terms that audience may find useful, attractive that eventually leads to conversions.

Qualify Keywords

 Consider competitiveness and popularity of the keyword to decide which one hits most to the target audience. Look for low-competition keywords with a higher search volume and greater ranking potential.

Onsite Page Content Optimization

Optimize each of your website pages with the best of ecommerce SEO strategies once you’re sure on the right keywords to target. A few best practices are outlined below to help you rank on top of SERPs i.e. Search Engine Result Pages.

Assign a Single Primary Keyword to Each Page

Each of the website pages should target only a single keyword as assigning multiple creates confusion for the search engine as well as user.

Two-to-Four LSI Keywords for Each Page

Latent Semantic Keywords or LSI for each of the page should be two-to-four alongside primary keyword. These are terminologies closely linked to the primary keyword; like a complete sentence or structured search. Each provides extra context to the page and let search engine understand the proximity, usefulness and purpose of the content.

Content Length/Word Count for Each Page

Each of the website pages should target only a single keyword as assigning multiple creates confusion for the search engine as well as user.

For the pages to rank and the search engines to understand the query, content is a must. For stronger ecommerce SEO, each of the pages require at-least 300 words of content which has to be realistic, sounds humane and toned in a natural way; rather than making it specifically for the search engine. Avoid stuffing keywords or dragging the content unnecessarily. For every 100 words, use the primary keyword at-least two times on the page whereas LSI keyword should be used only once.

Keyword Placement in Meta-Data (Title & Descriptions)

Use of primary keyword in a newly created page, its meta title and description let the search engine to easily index the page while relay information about the content and what the page is actually about.

Primary Keyword in Page URL, Subheading & Image Alt Tag

For better optimisation and visibility on the search engine, include primary keyword once in the subheading, in the caption written against the page-specific image (make sure it isn’t copyrighted), as well as in the page URL.

URL Structure Optimisation

 Be careful and considerate on keyword URL slug as well as full link structure which means adding specific categories to the URL structures against products appear on the particular page. A good SEO practice, whether for ecommerce website or any other, is avoiding numbers and codes in the URL structure that may confuse the search engine.

Product & Category Page Content

Product pages should also rank better on the search engine for which, once again, content is all the more important. Write 300 or more words for particular products of a page, include non-copyrighted images as well as blurbs that briefs about the product specific features, benefits so on. Then there must be various categories to your ecommerce website which also needs to be optimised with relevant, unique and searchable content.

Internal Page Linking

When drafting the website’s content, connect each of the pages with useful information using internal linking which has long been an effective and best SEO practice. You can link to important pages through the primary keywords being anchor text that allow users to navigate through your website while let the search engine understand the content for indexing.

[SOURCE: www.semrush.com/features/backlink-audit-tool/]

Schema Mark-Up Addition

For richer SERP results, include schema mark-up to the website pages which is the code that help the products to attract more clicks on the SERPs. This is because of lucrative details that appear before the user such as images, reviews and pricing so on.

Establish Brand & Website’s Authority

For an all-inclusive ecommerce SEO plan, you need to go beyond technical and on-page factors to beef up the off-page work which eventually establishes a credible brand authority and grow customer recognition.

Social Media Account Setup

Having a social media presence for your ecommerce store would surely raise the success bar as well as adds credibility on the digital domain. Each of the social profile then links to your website, prompting the search engine that your website has now been established.

Directory Listing

Much like social media links, business directory listing also indicates to the search engines about proper establishment of your ecommerce website store. You need to create business directories and listing sites that are relevantly close and of the highest quality. In addition, make sure that the business listing target websites that fall specifically to your industry.

Competitors Websites

Once again, research competitors’ websites to get the idea from where you can gain credible and unbroken links. Use the details to build your own website’s rapport.

Guest Blogging Websites

Guest blogging or guest posting websites allow publication of your content which is a common yet effective SEO strategy to gain backlinks. Sift through paid and free guest blogging websites but do analyse the audience they target before pitching them for your own.

Customer Reviews

If the customer reviews are genuine, they can either make or break your ecommerce SEO strategy for a website because reviews are shared only after the actual experience.

Ecommerce SEO Audit for Bug Fixing

Now that you’re done with all the essential ecommerce SEO checklist, perform an in-depth audit to ensure every single function is fully operational and that your strategy has no loop holes. Here’s what you should specifically check while running the audit either manually or via online tool:

  • Keyword cannibalisation
  • Duplicate content issues
  • On-page performance and statistics
  • Fix crawling errors

Industry-Leading Ecommerce Development Platforms

With so many ecommerce development platforms out there, listed below are a few hand-picked that are sure to remain trending in 2021:

  • BigCommerce: 24/7 technical support, Account Management, Solution Architecting, Technical Account Management and much more.
  • Shopify: Offers the technology for anyone to set up a store and sell their products online
  • Wix: A full-fledged solution for entrepreneurs initiating an online business or online retailers
  • 3dcart: Fully-hosted, VISA PCI Certified ecommerce solution
  • WooCommerce: open-source e-commerce plugin for WordPress.
  • Volusion: cloud-based, hosted ecommerce solution that lets you build a fully functional online store from scratch
  • Prestashop: open source website builder to create and manage your online business
  • Weebly: for small to medium-sized online stores
  • Squarespace: run your online store from anywhere, sell in person, track inventory, connect with customers on-the-go and much more
  • Magento: open-source e-commerce platform written in PHP
  • Mirakl: SaaS platform for B2B and B2C organizations
  • Ecwid: centralized inventory, order management, pricing. Set up an online store for WordPress, Drupal, Facebook andmore
  • Salesforce Commerce Cloud: offers complete B2C, B2B and B2B2C ecommerce functionality. 
  • FastSpring: full-service SaaS ecommerce partner for software companies
  • Miva:  design, build, optimize and scale online businesses. For small to midsize enterprises
  • HCL Commerce: software platform framework for e-commerce, including marketing, sales, customer and order processing functionality
  • nopCommerce: ASP.NET shopping cart in the world based on Microsoft technologies. Free and open-source eCommerce platform
  • Oracle CX Commerce: cloud-native, fully featured, extensible SaaS commerce solution, delivered in the Oracle Cloud, supporting B2C and B2B models
  • 2Checkout / Avangate Monetization Platform: all-in-one monetization package that helps global businesses grow digital commerce revenue streams

A Word on Digital Marketing for Ecommerce

Ecommerce marketing refers to creating awareness and taking action towards a business that sells its product or service online. Ecommerce marketers can use social media, digital content, search engines, and email campaigns to draw visitors and guide them to make online purchases.

Now that you’ve all the necessary details successfully executing ecommerce SEO strategy for your online store, be sure to stand above all on the digital front.

Ecommerce SEO: A Determinative Guide for SMEs [2021 Special Edition]
Article Name
Ecommerce SEO: A Determinative Guide for SMEs [2021 Special Edition]
Ecommerce stores witnessed a tremendous boost in the year 2020 mostly due to worldwide lockdowns and boom of the digital industry following the COVID-19 pandemic. With businesses irrespective of their size and nature hopping on to the digital bandwagon, the competition to take the lead on the online frontier increased significantly, raising newer, more complex challenges.