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    The Essential Ecommerce SEO Best Practices: 5 Tips for SEO Success

    January 12, 2023
    10 minute read
    The Essential Ecommerce SEO Best Practices: 5 Tips for SEO Success

    The better your search engine optimization (SEO) is, the easier it is for customers to find your ecommerce site or product page. More people on these web pages means more opportunities to engage, excite, and eventually convert them into paying customers.

    It’s this boost in ecommerce SEO that helps your site or product page climb the ranks of popular search sites like Google or retail websites like Amazon — in turn, increasing the chances that prospective customers will explore your pages and decide to make a purchase

    The challenge is identifying and implementing best practices that deliver measurable outcomes.

    We’ll break down SEO basics, discuss how global brands can benefit, and give you five ecommerce SEO tips and best practices.

    What Is Ecommerce SEO?

    SEO is the process of making your site or product page more appealing to search engines — like Google for web searches or the Amazon search engine for product pages — raising their overall ranking.

    The goal is to land on the elusive first page of search engine results pages (SERPs) — ideally within the top five sites or pages listed — to increase the chances of consumers clicking through your content.

    But what exactly does more appealing mean? Search engines aren’t people. They don’t have long-held opinions or new preferences. Instead, they use algorithms to assess key website characteristics and assign a search ranking based on the data collected. 

    For example, sites that are regularly updated, mobile-friendly, and have fast page load times tend to rank higher than those that rarely post new content, don’t deliver responsive design, and take longer to load.

    It's also worth noting that SEO ecommerce best practices continue to evolve. 

    Consider the early days of ecommerce, which saw brands keyword stuffing (using high-value keywords over and over and over again to improve search rankings).

    The result of these efforts was unsurprising: spammy, low-quality content that offered little value to customers. As noted by Search Engine Journal, search engines changed their algorithms to penalize sites for this practice.

    Why Does Ecommerce SEO Matter to Global Brands?

    The higher your search ranking, the better your chances of getting noticed. 

    Consider recent research from Sistrix, which found that 28.5% of Google users clicked through on the first search result. This number falls to 15.7% for the second result, 11% for third place, and 8% in fourth.

    By the time you reach the ninth- and 10th-place results, just 2.8% and 2.5% of users are clicking through, respectively. In practice, this means that if you’re not in the top five results of a user search, the chances of getting SERP-driven click-throughs are less than three in 100.

    The Global Impact of SEO

    It’s also important for global brands to consider geographic differences that affect SEO. 

    For example, certain aspects of the German language can make SEO more difficult, such as umlaut symbols and compound nouns. When dealing with umlauts, it’s worth optimizing keywords for both versions of the word — one with and one without the symbol. Compound nouns, meanwhile, may or may not be treated as a single entity if they’re typed in as separate words.

    Pickup and shipping preferences also play a role in effective SEO. PYMNTS and Cybersource collaborated on the “2022 Global Digital Shopping Playbook: Australia Edition,” which reports that 24% of Australian shoppers prefer in-store pickup.

    According to Salsify’s “Consumer Research 2022” report, 3% of British shoppers, 4% of German shoppers, 6% of U.S. shoppers, and 7% of French shoppers prefer in-store or curbside pickup.

    These results illustrate that brands need to build SEO strategies that highlight geographically relevant capabilities.

    Companies must also consider the way they deliver web content. As noted by USwitch, 57% of U.K. buyers said they shopped most frequently from their beds.

    This purchasing preference drives the need for responsive websites capable of effectively displaying content on any device. If brands can’t provide this type of adjustable experience, visitors won’t come back, and overall search rankings may suffer.

    5 Ecommerce SEO Tips for Success

    While there’s no one-size-fits-all SEO strategy for ecommerce brands, there are general best practices that can help boost SEO efficacy. These include:

    Tip 1: Choosing the Right Keywords

    The right keywords can help raise your search engine ranking. 

    Start with research with tools like Google Trends to identify keywords on the rise that are related to the content on your site. 

    For example, if you sell window blinds, it’s worth searching phrases such as “how to install window coverings,” “what do blinds cost,” or “what type of blinds are there.” Once you understand what users are looking for, you can better tailor your content.

    Tip 2: Optimizing Product Pages

    Next up are product pages. The goal here is two-fold: creating visually-appealing product pages that also contain relevant keywords. Using the example above, this means creating product pages that include multiple images of the item(s) being sold, along with relevant keywords tied to both your general sales offerings and the specific product(s) on the page.

    Tip 3: Improving Website Architecture and Crawlability

    Website speed now plays a role in SERP rankings. The slower your site, the harder it is for you to crack the elusive top 10 (or top five) search results. 

    Crawlability plays a role — this speaks to how easy it is for search engine “spiders” to access all pages on your site. Here, tools such as Google Page Speeds can provide insight into where your site needs to improve.

    Tip 4: Implementing Technical SEO

    Technical SEO goes a step beyond architecture to help optimize your entire site. This starts with the removal of dead links that can drag down your search engine rankings, along with the deletion of duplicate content. 

    It’s also worth implementing hypertext transfer protocol secure (HTTPS) for security and an extensible markup language (XML) site map to ensure search engines can crawl every part of your site.

    Tip 5: Regularly Reviewing SEO Strategy

    Remember that SEO strategy isn’t static. Consider the shift to free shipping as a top priority. While the last decade has seen a steady rise in this preference among consumers, the last two years supercharged demand for shipping, creating a need for new SEO practices.

    From So-So to Superior Ecommerce SEO

    Going from so-so to superior SEO doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, ecommerce brands need to consider who their target customers are, where they’re located and what search engines see as valuable when it comes to moving sites up or down SERP steps. 

    Follow these SEO ecommerce tips to elevate your strategy and rank on the first page.

    Ecommerce SEO Strategy Guide

    Download this step-by-step guide to learn how to build an effective ecommerce SEO strategy that can help you stay at the top of the search results.


    Written by: Doug Bonderud

    Doug Bonderud (he/him) is an award-winning writer with expertise in ecommerce, customer experience, and the human condition. His ability to create readable, relatable articles is second to none.

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