How to optimize eCommerce sites for SEO

Optimise eCommerce sites for SEO

The global statistics of how many consumers are shopping online are staggering. Modern technology has completely revolutionized online consumer behaviour.  So, any eCommerce site has to optimize its online visibility via performance marketing expertise. SEO (free Google traffic) is one of the most effective and measurable tools to achieving this and upping search engine rankings. 

Organic traffic makes up a large part of any website traffic, ranging from industry to industry.  Ensuring that your eCommerce site is optimized for search engines – specifically Google –  allows users who are interested in your products to find you and eventually purchase. Choosing the right SEO services becomes an integral strategy in your overall eCommerce journey.

There are three main SEO sections to optimize:

  • Relevance – content on the web pages is useful and relevant to topics
  • Accessibility – are people and Google bots able to easily access and engage with web pages?
  • Popularity – having web pages shared across the web shows popularity and that people trust your site.

1. Relevance

(Content Optimisation)

IDENTIFY KEYWORDS

Relevancy can be improved by making sure that the main keyword customers are looking for is on the page and that all key elements are optimized towards that keyword. For initial keyword research, use search console, analytics, Google ads top converting keywords and search terms report. 

Once these keywords are identified, they need to be expanded by using Google Keyword Planner and other tools to find keywords that have an opportunity to drive additional traffic.

OPTIMIZE KEY ELEMENTS

Keyword identified should be prominently displayed:

  • Page Title – <title>
    A page title that displays on google search.
    70 characters
  • Meta Description – <meta name=”description” content=”YOUR PAGE DESCRIPTION”>
    An overview description that should attract users as well as inform
    160 characters
  • Page Heading – <H1>
    Your on-page heading that should title the content of the page
  • Page Body – <p>
    Relevant content on the page that users can read for more in-depth information on the offering or content

Additional actions

  • Ensure that there is a large amount of readable content on the page so that the page is useful to users browsing. Approx. Text/HTML Ratio – 25 to 70 % 
  • Keyword Density – e.g. 100 words/article, then having a 1% keyword ratio
    Image alt tags – image size 200Kb
  • Category and product have sufficient site linking to make navigation easy and useful.
  • Product reviews 

Tools and Plugins to use to review content elements

Plugins

Tools

Example Category Page

  • Page Title, Description, H1 and body content optimized for the main keyword “laptops for sale”
  • Unique content describing categories at the bottom
  • Quick links to subsections
  • Content split by H1, H2 tags
    on-page-elements

    hyperlinks

Example Product

https://www.incredible.co.za/iphone-7-32gb-black-mn8x2aa-vsp

  • Keyword prominent in title, heading and description
  • A unique description that is useful
  • Highlight top features
  • Customer reviews
  • Price prominently displayed

product-example

SEO BEST PRACTICES

Title, Description, text content, text structure, uniqueness, keyword relevance

2. Accessibility – crawlable

(Technical SEO)

Having page structure and markup makes it easy for Google, and even users, to find the right page/content. Ensuring Google knows what the content is and how it relates to the site is integral to SEO success.

Site structure and markup – What’s important!

  • Open Graph Markup: this gives additional information for social media platforms to know what content to display. Most important is the Title, image, URL, description.
  • Breadcrumb markup to show navigation to google and to the users.
  • HTML 5 markup to highlight the Header, Footer, Navigation, Article.
  • Google Structured markup to give Google more information on specific page types. Specifically, product and product results pages should have markup to show google there are products available for users – https://schema.org/
  • Canonical tag specify which URL should be prioritised by search engines. Duplicate content can be avoided, even with the same content on different URLs. Each unique piece of content on a website should only be accessible at a single URL.

For an eCommerce website, product markup is especially important as this will allow users and Google to be able to identify product pages and highlight the most important aspects.

Product Page Markup must-haves:

  • image
  • name
  • price
  • currency
  • availability

Additional elements that should be added

  • review or aggregate Rating or offers
  • brand
  • description
  • review
  • offer
  • gtin/mpn
  • Sku
  • Url

Example

<script type=”application/ld+json”>

      {

        “@context”: “https://schema.org/”,

        “@type”: “Product”,

        “name”: “Executive Anvil”,

        “image”: [

          “https://example.com/photos/1×1/photo.jpg”,

          “https://example.com/photos/4×3/photo.jpg”,

          “https://example.com/photos/16×9/photo.jpg”

         ],

        “description”: “Sleeker than ACME’s Classic Anvil, the Executive Anvil is perfect for the business traveler looking for something to drop from a height.”,

        “sku”: “0446310786”,

        “mpn”: “925872”,

        “brand”: {

          “@type”: “Brand”,

          “name”: “ACME”

        },

        “review”: {

          “@type”: “Review”,

          “reviewRating”: {

            “@type”: “Rating”,

            “ratingValue”: “4”,

            “bestRating”: “5”

          },

          “author”: {

            “@type”: “Person”,

            “name”: “Fred Benson”

          }

        },

        “aggregateRating”: {

          “@type”: “AggregateRating”,

          “ratingValue”: “4.4”,

          “reviewCount”: “89”

        },

        “offers”: {

          “@type”: “AggregateOffer”,

          “offerCount”: “5”,

          “lowPrice”: “119.99”,

          “highPrice”: “199.99”,

          “priceCurrency”: “USD”

        }

      }

    </script>

 

Here are a few plugins that could help add markup to your site.

Plugins

The structure and markup on the page are very important for Google to be able to index your content and show it to the right users. However, in recent years, page speed has also become very important as this directly affects the user’s experience of the site. A good user experience is a signal to Google that the page is worth serving on organic results.

There are several things you can do to improve site speed:

  • All images should be under 200kb.
  • Images need to be resized for mobile. For example, if the space on your website makes provision for a 200×200 image, make sure that the image you upload is 200×200, not smaller, to prevent poor quality, but also not larger, which will not slow down your website. 
  • Implement lazy loading* for below the fold content.
  • Implement browser caching.
  • Minify CSS & HTML.
  • Make sure you have sufficient server capacity to deal with high website traffic, especially if your website deals with peaks of traffic.
  • Implement AMP for content-heavy pages. 

Tools to test your site speed:

3. Popularity – trustworthy

marketing-funnel

Building popularity and trust for a site takes time. However, following best practices will ensure long term success! Google identifies sites that are popular/trustworthy by reviewing links on the site and links to the site.

Links on the site help navigation and user engagement. You should always ensure that pages are easy to get to so that the user experience is not negatively affected. Additionally, linking out to relevant associated sites like social channels, your blog site, app pages etc. will also help trustworthiness.

Links to the site show Google that your site is popular. In an ideal world, a user will share your website pages on sites they frequent, but this is not always the case. Therefore, it is always beneficial that you get your site out there by ensuring links to top pages on your site are linked to. 

Another great way to build links and inbound organic traffic to your product pages is by linking your website to pinterest and other product-based discovery platforms

Here’s how: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r3ok2T6ukeE

https://apps.shopify.com/pinterest

https://woocommerce.com/products/pinterest-for-woocommerce/

Actions that can be taken:

  1. Make the anchor text within the links descriptive, using the target keyword of the page you’re linking to in the anchor text. When the link text includes the target keyphrase, it helps indicate the relevance of the page to Google.

You may need to get creative to find ways to use longer phrases as links.

Example: “Learning cable installation safety tips is always important.” Notice how the text within the link includes the target phrase of the page it’s linking to.

  1. If you’re creating links to a page from several pages, use some variety in the linking text.
  2. If you can’t find ways to use keywords within the body text, you can always add them as “Related Links” at the bottom of the page or post.
  3. Even if you’re thinking about SEO, make every link with the visitors and the click in mind.

website-footer

Next Steps

Whatever your challenge and wherever you are in your journey of optimizing your eCommerce site for increasing organic traffic, the team at Prebo Digital can help you. Founded by a former Googler managing the e-commerce portfolio, and with a team of senior online marketing and eCommerce specialists, we can advise, strategize and implement,  enabling you to grow the organic traffic to your website and increase your sales. 

Contact us now. 

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