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There are nearly 14 million ecommerce websites in the U.S. and more than 26.5 million worldwide. This intensely fierce competition makes it incredibly challenging to stand out and grab the attention of online shoppers.
Without a solid presence in Google’s search results, your online store can miss out on valuable organic traffic. In turn, this may impact your bottom line and hinder your business growth.
In this article, I share six powerful SEO techniques to help drive more organic traffic to your ecommerce store and jump ahead of your competition.
Why SEO is important for ecommerce
A massive 37.5% of all traffic to ecommerce websites comes from search engines. In other words, not optimizing your website for search engines means you’re missing out on many potential customers.
Whether your potential customers look for the latest fashion trends, tech gadgets or niche products, they’re likely to start their journey with a simple Google search.
Unlike traditional advertising methods, which can quickly eat into your profit margins, SEO offers a cost-effective alternative. It drives organic traffic without you having to pay for every click or impression, ensuring you pocket more dollars.
6 SEO tips for ecommerce businesses
Now, let’s explore the six most important SEO tips for ecommerce businesses. These practices will help you focus on what’s important and avoid the most common SEO mistakes.
1. Start with keyword research
While SEO for small businesses mostly focuses on informational keywords, your ecommerce success thrives on product-focused keywords (for example, “Queen-size platform bed”). That’s because these keywords have a higher buyer’s intent, so your customers mostly Google them when they’re ready to make a purchase.
Here’s how you can find some solid keywords:
Understand your customers’ language, needs and pain points
Use an SEO tool to discover what keywords your competitors are targeting
Check the “People Also Ask” section on Google
Leverage long-tail keywords, such as “leather sectional sofas for small spaces”
2. Steal competitor ideas
A great thing about ecommerce SEO is that you can just “peek” at what your competitors are doing, figure out what already works and one-up them.
Use an SEO tool like SEMrush or Ahrefs to analyze competitors’ websites and dissect their SEO strategies. This goes beyond keyword research. You can, for example, examine their category pages and ensure you’re not missing any.
In addition, you should explore their blog topics and create your posts based on competitor gaps. While adopting ideas, however, ensure that your SEO content provides more depth and value to the reader to help you stand out from your competitors.
3. Improve website architecture and URL structure
While ecommerce URLs may naturally be longer due to the categories and subcategories on your website, you need to keep them as neat and short as possible. Include a keyword in the URL and keep it clean to help Google understand what your page is about.
For category pages, the best idea is to include a short description, like https://example.com/homefurniture
The same goes for subcategories: https://example.com/homefurniture/sofas
Lastly, the product pages should focus on a target keyword, such as: https://example.com/homefurniture/sofas/leather-sectional.
Because ecommerce websites have many pages, they demand an excellent website architecture. A good rule is to keep it simple and scalable. Avoid unnecessary complexity, and ensure that adding new categories will be easy.
On top of that, every page on your website should be three clicks or fewer from your homepage. A flat architecture that concentrates on product and category pages is the best way to improve the user experience on your website.
4. Optimize product and category pages
Once your website architecture is in place, the next step is to optimize your product and category pages. These pages are traffic and lead magnets for ecommerce websites, so you need to pay special attention to on-page SEO.
Here’s how to optimize these pages:
Include your target keyword in the title tag and amplify its impact with strategic modifiers like “Buy,” “Cheap” or “Deals” for extra visibility. Example: “Best Home Furniture Deals”
Use click magnet words like “X% off,” “Guarantee” or “Lowest price” to boost click-through rates. Example: ” Best Home Furniture Deals — 25% off on Sofas”
Create a compelling description tag using phrases like “Free shipping” or “Great selection” to nudge online shoppers to your page. Example: “Get the Best Deals on Quality Home Furniture — FREE Shipping on All Orders”
Remember that Google favors in-depth product pages, so you should aim for 1000+ word descriptions. Strategically use your target keyword 3-5 times in your content. Place one near the top of the page for added impact.
If this seems too complicated, you can hire an SEO agency to help you optimize product and category pages and climb search engine rankings.
5. Blog regularly
Sharing valuable content on specific topics related to your products can help you establish authority in your niche. This creates trust among your audience and signals search engines that your site is a reliable source of information.
As your topical authority grows, so does your website’s trust and credibility. For example, blogging about specific topics related to your niche’s categories makes Google trust you more. As a result, your products and categories are more likely to rank well in search results.
This strategy helps small ecommerce businesses level the playing field and compete with big brands for those top positions on Google.
6. Focus on link-building
Once you have a solid website architecture, optimized product and category pages and quality SEO blog content, it’s time to turn your focus to link-building strategies.
When all these factors are equal, the number and quality of backlinks become the decisive factor for your search rankings. That’s why you should build five to 15 monthly backlinks using strategies like guest posting, niche edits and other popular tactics.
These six SEO strategies can help you navigate the fierce competition in the ecommerce landscape:
Performing in-depth keyword research
Improving on your competitors’ ideas
Polishing website architecture and URLs
Optimizing product and category pages
Following these SEO tips will boost your online presence and secure the success of your ecommerce business.