By Andre Oentoro
Every e-commerce business owner can agree that massive traffic to the store can bring them more conversions — which means more customers. Therefore, they leave no stone unturned when it comes to acquiring traffic to their online store, including referral marketing, upsell and cross-selling strategy, paid social media ads, free shipping, and more.
That being said, there’s one strategy that most e-commerce business owners overlook: investing in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) practices.
That’s right. Other than text-based articles or blog posts, your e-commerce store needs to implement SEO practices too. That way, you can get higher the store rank and make it more visible on the search results. And that’s how you can drive more traffic to your e-commerce store.
SEO might sound too technical for some e-commerce store owners. That’s why they often neglect the powerful strategy and try to find scrappy ways to grow their business instead. In fact, e-commerce SEO is not that complicated.
Here are some essential tips for a robust e-commerce SEO strategy to help you earn more high-quality traffic so that you can skyrocket your conversions to the moon.
Why Does Your e-Commerce Business Need an SEO Strategy?
Before we get into the nitty-gritty details, it’s crucial to make sure that you have at least a solid reason why your e-commerce business has to invest in SEO.
It’s getting more and more crowded in the e-commerce industry. It means it has become more and more challenging for e-commerce businesses to attract and engage more customers.
Thus, e-commerce SEO means one thing: You optimize your e-commerce store to create the best possible result for your target keyword.
When a potential customer goes to Google to look for a product or service, they type a specific keyword in the search box. If the keyword they put matches your target keyword, your optimized e-commerce store will come up on the first page of the search results.
And as 95% of people don’t go past the first page, it can be a great way to make people click on your website and drive massive traffic from the organic search.
Let’s say you sell scented candles. Obviously, you would want to rank for a specific keyword like “buy scented candles online.”
Google will show a few ads on the top of the search results, then show the organic listings. Most of the traffic, however, comes from organic results.
5 Essential e-Commerce SEO Strategies
Now that you understand why SEO plays such an important role in helping you drive more traffic to your e-commerce store, here’s how you should do it:
#1. Conduct Keyword Research
First, you need to start by choosing a keyword you want to rank for. It’s crucial to do in-depth keyword research and understand what your target customers are looking for.
In an ideal situation, you should choose a keyword with the highest search volume. Higher search volume means more potential traffic to your store. Also, you might need to consider using keywords that have low competition.
You can use tools like Google Keyword Planner, UberSuggest, Ahrefs, and more to help you choose the best keywords.
One of the simplest tools you can use to do keyword research is to utilize Google’s own suggestion feature. To see some of the related suggestions from the search engine, you can simply do a search and scroll to the bottom of the page.
#2. Add Product Images and Videos
Not only will images and videos help you describe your products better and help increase potential customer retention, but they also can add an extra boost to your e-commerce SEO practices. The reason is that Google displays a horizontal row of images or videos at the top of a search.
You can add sharp product images and engaging explainer videos to your e-commerce and optimize them. Start by doing the followings:
- Adding a caption
- Write alt-text and title text
- Get the file size right
- Add transcript (for videos)
- Create engaging thumbnails (for videos)
While you can take professional-looking product images even with your own smartphone cameras, you can rely on explainer video companies to create stunning explainer videos for your products.
#3. Resolve Pages with 4XX Errors
Page errors are common in e-commerce stores. It can frustrate your potential customers since they can’t access the information they’re looking for. Most page errors are often due to an out-of-date page, out-of-stock product, or simply a temporary server error.
Moreover, it also harms your e-commerce SEO practices as Google can’t crawl and index the page with errors. In this case, you can use Google Search Console on a regular basis to check whether there’s a page error on your e-commerce store and immediately fix it.
#4. Avoid Duplicate Content
Google only values unique and high-quality content. If 60% of any page’s information matches another, the search engine will consider it as duplicate. Those ‘highly similar’ content can seriously damage your SEO efforts.
That’s because Google gets confused on which content they should include and exclude from their index. This will lead to lower search rankings and no traffic, of course.
So, if you have a similar product or item but in different colors or sizes, make sure you put them onto one page instead of creating a page with the same description for each product.
#5. Make It Mobile-Friendly
Do you know that more than 79% of smartphone users have made a purchase online using their hand-held in the last six months? It makes mobile-first indexing even more essential for Google.
In this case, you want to ensure that your e-commerce store is optimized for mobile devices. You need to make sure that all the elements on your e-commerce store adapt and fit the smaller screen of the user’s device.
When you run an e-commerce store, your primary goal should be to drive as much organic traffic as possible so you can increase your sales. When you have steady organic and targeted traffic, you have more chances to convert those visitors into loyal customers.
e-Commerce SEO offers you a free, robust way in which you can gain more organic traffic to your online store. One thing you should bear in mind is that you can not see fast visible results. SEO practices, in general, are all about consistency and patience. But, the results it brings can benefit your e-commerce store in the long run.
Andre Oentoro is the founder of Breadnbeyond, an award-winning explainer video company. He helps businesses increase conversion rates, close more sales, and get positive ROI from explainer videos (in that order).
LinkedIn: Andre Oentoro