05 Feb 7 Easy SEO Wins For Ecommerce Sites
There are so many online shops up and running that no one actually knows how many of them there are. Various platforms like Shopify and WooCommerce claim hundreds of thousands of stores operating solely on their platforms. It is not that difficult to imagine there are more than a million online shops out there, trying to find a sustainable market and attract new customers.
The first step in attracting new customers is making sure they are aware that your online store exists and that is where search engine optimization comes in. It ensures that when your potential customers search for a product or a category of products you sell, they see your shop as one of the first results in search.
In short, SEO puts your ecommerce site on the map.
The following 7 practices are not that complicated and they can make quite a difference, SEO-wise.
1. Use the Platforms’ Native Tools
People who run various ecommerce platforms understand the importance of SEO very well and they all feature plenty of advice on how to best optimize your site to achieve the best results.
But that is not all. They all provide certain tools that you can use to do the most basic SEO work on your shop’s. Shopify, for example, features a whole range of tools that automatically handle some basic SEO.
In addition to this, you can check out add-on stores for different platforms where you will find SEO-oriented tools that can help you do SEO for your ecommerce site.
2. Be Smart with Images
Product images are one of the most important pieces of your ecommerce website and when we are talking SEO, being smart with your images is a must.
For one, it is a well-known fact that Google (and other search engines) considers loading speeds as one of the more important SEO factors.
This is why all of your images have to be optimized before they are uploaded. This means finding that sweet spot where the images are big enough so that your customers can see the details, but not too big to take ages to load. Also, avoid PNG and RAW formats as they are simply too large.
In addition to optimizing images for loading speeds, you should also include alt tags for all of your images, letting the search engines crawlers know what the images are.
3. Write Meta Descriptions
When you have to write hundreds of product descriptions, you get tired and bored. There are no two ways about it. Because of this, many ecommerce site owners decide to use the default meta description that is generated automatically.
By doing so, you are missing out on an opportunity to add additional optimized content to your website and enhance its SEO value.
Keep in mind that you should never go berserk and cram as many keywords as you can into your meta descriptions. Instead, add a few USPs and, if you have space left, add a call to action.
4. Do Something about Duplicate URLs
As part of the day-to-day operation of your online shop, you will end up with pages with duplicate URLs. It is impossible to avoid this. For example, your customers might do a search based on various traits of your products, getting their results with URLs that end with, for example /?sort=price or /?sort=color. These would all end up on the same page, even though they are different URLs.
This looks suspicious to Google and, usually, this has negative effects on the site’s rankings. The good news is that some experts are saying ecommerce websites are judged less harshly when duplicate URLs and even duplicate content is concerned, but it is still better to stay on the safe side and handle this.
The easiest way to do this is through adding the canonical tag to the original version, telling the crawlers to effective disregard other pages.
5. Enhance Your Category Pages
On most ecommerce sites, category pages are surprisingly underutilized when it comes to SEO and the best thing is that it doesn’t take too much to turn them into SEO winners.
You will want to start with adding some copy to the page, saying a few things about the category as such and the products that your customers will be able to find under this category.
Another way to make use of category pages is to link to and from them internally. You should always include links to the category pages from your home page and perhaps from your blog.
6. Write Buying Guides
Anyone who has ever done any SEO for an ecommerce site knows how difficult it can be to build links to individual product pages and even category pages. Webmasters are generally very apprehensive about linking to such overtly commercial pages and usually for a good reason.
One of the ways to circumvent this problem is to write up buying guides for your products or entire categories of products. These are much more linkable as they provide actual useful content for the readers of the blogs where you are doing some guest posting.
Then, in the buying guides, you can provide links to individual products. It is uncertain how much this indirect linking will boost individual product pages’ rankings, but it will definitely have a great overall effect on the rankings of your site in general.
7. Utilize User-Generated Content
More content is always a good thing for your ecommerce site’s SEO performance, but there is only so much that you can provide yourself without jeopardizing the user experience or raising red flags.
This is where user-generated content such as product reviews and/or a Q&A section on your product pages comes in.
This way you will add more keywords to your product pages without doing any keyword stuffing and you will signal to Google that your website is visited by actual people who are actually engaged enough to leave comments.