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ecommerce SEO
| By reshma mr digital Reshma Raju And joshua mr digital Joshua Kennedy

The Essential Guide To E-commerce SEO

Every time you hear the word eCommerce SEO, you immediately think about high-competition keywords that you want to rank for. But that may not be the best course of action these days. Trust us, we're a professional digital marketing agency.

Let's say that the main keyword is skinny jeans and you want to rank for that because your product is well, skinny jeans. However, you might just be putting yourself in direct competition with some industry leaders.

A study by HubSpot found that the higher the keyword difficulty, the more likely it is for an established brand to dominate search engine rankings. Additionally, certain keywords related to certain products or services are typically dominated by brands with long histories in the respective industries. As a result, newer brands may want to focus on less competitive long tail keywords that can be easier to rank for.

Let’s run with the previous example and look at the companies competing and ranking for the keyword “super skinny jeans”.

ecommerce SEO keywords

Now, as a company presumably trying to establish its presence, it’s going to be an uphill struggle to outrank names that have been in the game a lot longer than you. Realistically, you want to rethink your strategy and work towards ranking for the low-hanging fruits. Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean you should stop being ambitious and not aim for big keywords. It’s just not the best way to get things started, that’s all.

So, if you’re one of those eCommerce owners who has found themselves lost in the ocean of information, not knowing where to start, this guide is designed for you. From running rigorous keyword research to fixing technical SEO issues, we will help you understand and deploy everything necessary to take your eCommerce platform to Google’s top page. Don’t fall into the whole ranking trap! While ranking is indeed the ultimate purpose of running SEO, you must take the right path towards reaching your goals. So, let’s dive in.

Table Of Contents

Chapter 1 : Keyword Research For Ecommerce Sites

If you want to have any chance of making it big in the eCommerce world, you need to have a solid keyword research strategy in place. When carried out effectively, you will know just what and how to optimise. At the same time, if you ineffectively execute your strategy, it could do more harm than good to your eCommerce store. We recommend that you kick-start your keyword research with our proven process. First up, start research from scratch with these tried and tested techniques:

Step 1: Analyse Your Website

Analyse your website’s current performance on the SERPs (search engine results pages) to get a good starting point for choosing effective keywords to target.

Step 2: Do Keyword Research

Do keyword research to identify relevant keywords that are being used by users searching for products or services related to what your business offers. Make sure to incorporate long-tail keywords that are more specific to your industry and target audience, as these often have higher conversion rates than generic search terms.

Step 3: Analyse Your Competitors’ Keywords and Websites

Start by using a tool such as SEMRush or Ahrefs to do keyword research on your competitors' websites. You can also use this data to find out which keywords they are currently ranking for in the SERPs (search engine results pages). Once you have a list of keywords in hand, you can start analysing the search volume and difficulty associated with each one, as well as their relevance to your business and target audience. This information will help you determine which ones would be most beneficial for your website's SEO efforts.

When spying on your competitors like a real professional, there is a little more to it. Yes, more on this interesting topic later. But, for now, let’s look at some key factors to consider while selecting the right keywords for your eCommerce store.

Research the Search Volume

Search volume is, without a shadow of a doubt, the most crucial metric you need to assess while conducting your keyword research. Understanding the search volume of a specific keyword will help you decide whether it’s worth optimising for that keyword. If there’s a high search volume for a keyword, it simply means that lots of people are searching for it. However, high search volume can also mean that lots of businesses are probably competing for it.

So it goes without saying that you’ll be going up against each of them. This is where you need to be a bit realistic and weigh up your chances in terms of your site’s domain authority; more on this subject later. Now, let’s get started with evaluating a search term’s volume and its ability to rank.

Mostly, search volume is an industry-specific thing and is relative from business to business. Say a keyword has a search volume of 1000; it may be a big deal in one industry but not so much in another. If you run keyword research in Google’s Keyword Planner, you will find both high-volume and low-volume keywords. Making sense of these two volume types will allow you to finalise on the right keyword for your eCommerce site.

There are a host of keyword research tools that can get the job done for you. For instance, look up a business-related keyword in Google’s Keyword Planner, and you will get the search volume in the "Avg Monthly" column. In the column right next to it, you can find the level of competition for the corresponding keyword.

ecommerce SEO keywords adwords

Top Tip: The ideal keyword should have a monthly search volume of at least 1,000 to 10,000 searches. This can differ depending on competitive keywords and niche markets. It is important to note that exact match search volumes may be lower than the suggested range, so it is best to check broader related topics that reflect customer intent when building out a keyword research strategy.

For example: if you are a retail store based in the UK specialising in selling golfing equipment, researching keywords around the term "golf clubs" would likely yield more targeted traffic than more general phrases such as "sports gear". Utilising tools such as Keywordtool.io or SEMrush may reveal related topics that have higher search volumes and closer intent to the products you are offering. If the monthly search volume for "golf clubs" is between 1,000 - 10,000 searches per month and has a CPC (cost per click) of £1 - £2 GBP, this could be an ideal keyword to target for your business.

Bonus Tip: Also, you want to keep an eye on the search hikes during seasonal periods

Using Amazon’s Keyword Research

Arguably the biggest eCommerce platform in the world, Amazon receives millions of searches on its website every day. More importantly, the vast majority of searches take place with high buyer intent. So it stands to reason that the platform is where you can find high-converting keyword variations for your eCommerce platform. Alright, now head over to Amazon and dial in your seed keyword. For instance, let’s say you’re looking for a "wedding suit". Check out the screenshot below.

amazon keyword research

Now that’s the most searched keyword in the specific niche, you probably need to optimise for it. You can see how Amazon suggests a set of closely related keywords. Note them down in a spreadsheet. Of course, depending on the number of products you have on your platform, it could take some time. The goal is to come up with as many high-search volume keywords as possible so that you can later whittle them down to the ones that are most relevant to your business.

Now, that doesn’t mean you should just save these keywords without any second thought. You still need to do search volume research around them to see how difficult it is for you to rank for them. We will look at some other ways to strengthen your keyword research strategy.

Tracking Keyword Progress for Optimisation

So, you’ve done some extensive research into keywords and are now all set to include them in your SEO strategy for your eCommerce website. But aren’t you forgetting something? Have you thought about how you would track the progress of your keywords once they are implemented? Wouldn’t you want to know how relevant they are for users on search engine results pages? If your answer is yes, then you need to deploy some keyword tracking methods to track the progress of your eCommerce SEO.

Fret not! You don’t have to spend a penny to get this done.

Simply link your eCommerce website to Google Search Console and start evaluating the free search data to understand how your keywords are performing in Google.

The performance report in Search Console will show just how well your keywords are appearing and how searchers are interacting with them. Understand which keywords are ranking and their average place in search results. See screenshots below:

search console ecommerce keyword

Keeping tabs on ranking positions will keep you notified every time there’s a drop in performance. Plus it gives you the much-needs to chance to understand which keywords need your attention.

Spying On Competitors For Keywords

As promised earlier in the guide, we will show you practical ways to spy on competitors so that you can improve your own keyword strategy. Figuring out what keywords your competitors use and how they manage to rank will, in turn, give you the golden chance to outperform them in search results.

Ranking means everything in eCommerce; if your competitor ranks above you for a certain keyword, then you’re losing out on major business opportunities. Now, if you’ve got competitors ranking above you, here's what you can do.

Step 1: Use your preferred keyword analysis tool to identify keyword search volumes and CPC estimates in your country or locality. This will put a framework in place.

Step 2: Next, once you have settled on some core keywords that you want to rank for, plug them into Google and pick which of the top competitors you want to spy on. Select a competitor from the top of the search results as they are your biggest hurdle.

Step 3: Take time to review competitor websites and observe the keywords used in their page titles, meta descriptions and headings for ideas related to your product categories.

Step 4: Don’t make the mistake of including all their keywords just because they outrank you on Google. Maybe they haven’t chosen the right keywords but are nevertheless ranking due to the high domain authority of their websites, and remember, as a newcomer to the game, they have the edge of time over you, so you're basically playing catch-up.

But not to worry, these methods will help you get better traction online. That said, set up alerts via Google Alerts or SimilarWeb Pro that will notify you when new content related to your field is published; this will help you keep up with trends and stay one step ahead of the competition.

Chapter 2: Technical eCommerce SEO Issues to Fix

It is one thing to build an eCommerce website, but it is a whole different ball game to bring visitors to your online store. As they say, you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink. A long time ago on the Internet, far, far away, there existed an eCommerce website, and it had it all easy. But that is no longer the case today. We live in the age of online shopping, and there are thousands of eCommerce websites on the internet. So, building a website alone will not guarantee success for your business.

Remember, even the most appealing website can amount to nothing if it’s riddled with technical issues. Building a technically functional platform is a prerequisite for getting it properly indexed on Google. While architecture-wise, the average eCommerce platform is far more complex than your typical custom website, they both share the same principles of SEO. Of course, when dealing with eCommerce, you're also dealing with technical aspects that may or may not be within your area of expertise. And finding solutions for these issues is not quite that straightforward. From implementing title tags to fixing 301 redirects, in this chapter, we will lay out those common technical issues and help you fix them on your own.

Issue #1: Compromised HTTP Security

Securing your website with HTTPS has become more important than ever. This is especially true for eCommerce platforms where cash-based transactions take place. If your site is not secure, it will put you at increased risk of being hacked.

Today, Google shows "not secure" warnings for websites that do not have HTTPS installed. This could force visitors to leave your website, thus sending a bad user signal to Google. To check the security status of your site, simply type in your URL.

secure website

In the screenshot above, the lock icon in the URL indicates that the website is secured.

Luckily, fixing the security issue is pretty easy, but there are a couple of steps to follow:

  1. Purchase an SSL Certificate: This certificate serves as a digital passport that will allow secure communication between the web server and the customer’s browser.
  2. Update Your Website Settings: The settings need to be updated so the server knows to redirect all requests using HTTPS instead of HTTP. This will help ensure that all data is sent securely.
  3. Implement Forced SSL: To fully secure your website, you can implement forced SSL, which will redirect all visitors automatically from HTTP to HTTPS without any manual intervention required.
  4. Update URLs in Content and Code: Any references in the content or code should be updated from HTTP to https so customers are sent to the secure version of the page whenever possible.
  5. Test Your Setup: To be sure everything is set up correctly, it’s important to test the setup thoroughly before making it live for customers or visitors to use.

Issue #2: Your Site Pages Are Not Properly Indexed

When was the last time you looked up your own brand name on Google? Did you find all the key pages? Well, if you didn’t see the list of pages as you expected, then you may be looking at an indexation issue. If your pages are not indexed on Google, they are as good as dead. Non-indexed pages will never be found by Google’s search bots, meaning that they will never rank in Google.

Testing whether your website is properly indexed:

Enter the command "site:yoursitename.com" into Google’s search bar and check out all the indexed pages of your website.

indexing google

How Do You Fix the Indexation Issues?

If your site isn’t indexed at all, you can begin by adding your URL to Google. Now if your site is indeed indexed but it’s not showing up in as many results as you’d expect it to, you should check if any old versions of your site are indexed. If that is really the case, make sure to redirect it to your brand-new platform.

If you have done all this correctly and yet your content is not getting indexed, check out Google’s Webmaster Guidelines to make sure you’re following all the rules. Also, make sure that you haven’t mistakenly assigned the NOINDEX meta tag to any pages.

Additionally, here are other solutions you could try if none of the above yield any luck:

  1. Optimise On-Page Elements: Ensure that titles, descriptions, and all other on-page elements are properly optimised and follow SEO best practices.
  2. Ensure Navigation is Intuitive and Indexable: Make sure the navigation of the website makes sense both in terms of usability and SEO, so that bots can crawl through it easily.
  3. Resolve Broken Links and Other Issues: Check for any broken links or coding errors that might prevent the bot from crawling and indexing pages correctly.
  4. Use XML Sitemaps: Create and submit an XML sitemap to help search engines find more pages on the website more quickly and accurately.
  5. Monitor Analytics Data: Use analytics data to track how many pages have been indexed over time and take corrective measures when needed.

Issue #3: Duplicate Content On Pages

Duplicate content has been the constant bane of eCommerce platforms everywhere. There’s not a single website that doesn’t have some degree of duplication. But when does it become a major tissue and begin to adversely affect your site’s ranking capabilities?

Duplicate content issues stem from various reasons but when it comes to eCommerce it’s mostly found in sites with multiple variations of similar product pages. Google recommends that you create unique URLs for different pages but when there are too many pages, people tend to use the same content for closely related variations of pages, resulting in duplicate content. Google also recommends using the canonical tag to combat content duplication. The tag is placed in the HTML section of each page and informs search engines which version of a page should be indexed and displayed.

Consider this scenario, for example, let’s say you’re selling a mobile screen protector in two different categories, namely collection and new arrivals. This often leads to the creation of two URLs, carrying the same content. Google will index it as two different pages containing the same content.

Similarly, it’s also common for eCommerce websites to contain boilerplates which can also be taken by Google as duplicate content. Now don’t let this trend deter you from using content in multiple ways. You will do just fine if you can keep the content length shorter than 50 words.

Fixing Duplicate Content Issues

Before you include multiple identical pages on your website with separate URLs, ask yourself this, what are you trying to achieve with these pages? Unless you have a strong reason to include these pages, you should probably consider deleting them.

Now if you need to have them on your website at all costs, just assign the “rel=canonical” tag to the page you want Google to index. This tag lets Google know that the crawling bots should treat a specific page as the master version of your site.

Additionally, staying on top of who is using your content is not just important from a copyright infringement standpoint—it's also important for ensuring your content isn't being duplicated without permission or due attribution. You can use online tools like Copyscape or Grammarly to detect plagiarised variations of your work quickly and efficiently.

From the copyright standpoint, You can register with organisations like Creative Commons or Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) services to protect yourself against intellectual property theft and hold those who violate copyright laws accountable.

Finally, if you are consolidating and/or deleting pages implement a 301 redirect, which is a permanent redirect from one URL to another that tells search engines they should no longer index the original page but instead rank the redirected page. Using 301 redirects ensures there won’t be any broken links in case you delete duplicate pages or consolidate similar pages into one master page on your website/blog/etc.

Top Tip: Adding the Noindex directive to web pages tells search engines not to crawl or index those pages. This is useful when you have duplicate versions of a page or content that is temporarily unavailable, as it prevents search engine bots from wasting time crawling pages that already exist in the index or will be available soon. It also helps preserve your website's domain authority by preventing search engines from indexing duplicate content on your website.

Issue#4: Poorly Structured Site Architecture

While setting up the site architecture of your eCommerce site, it’s good to know a thing or two about the role link authority and its distribution play in the site’s ranking. For instance, product and category pages comprise the most amount of link authority on your site. It’s this level of authority that gives your pages much-needed visibility in search results. Not to mention it helps Google index your pages more efficiently.

Streamlined site architecture and navigation make visitors stay longer on your site. It allows visitors to find the products in just a couple of clicks. Let’s look at how you’d ideally want your architecture to look:

A visitor lands on your website and spots the ‘men’ section in the menu:

Poorly Structured Site Architecture

With a single click on Men tab, the menu collapses to reveal different sections and the visitor spots “Clothing” in the drop-down menu:

Site Architecture

Clicking on “Clothing” takes the visitor to a detailed category page:

category website page

With just two clicks, the visitor reached where they wanted to.

Such a flat and interlinked site structure will make your content more discoverable and indexable, not to mention easier to navigate. The aim should be to have customers reach what they are looking for faster with the fewest amount of clicks and redirections in between.

Here are some tips to help optimise your eCommerce site's architecture for users:

  1. Optimise the code base: To ensure your website loads quickly, make sure that all codes used on pages are well-written and optimised for maximum speed. This can include minifying scripts, combining multiple scripts into one, avoiding deprecated HTML elements or using efficient alternative coding styles.
  2. Utilise a CDN: A content delivery network (CDN) can significantly improve the performance of your website by caching content such as images, videos and other files and delivering them to customers from the closest location possible – reducing latency and increasing page load speeds.
  3. Prioritise resources loading: By prioritising the order in which web elements load on a page, you can ensure that essential resources like images and text are loaded first so customers aren’t confronted with a blank screen while waiting for non-essential assets to finish downloading in the background.
  4. Optimise images: Optimising images with compression tools can reduce their file size without sacrificing quality; smaller images load faster and take up less bandwidth which will greatly improve user experience – especially if they’re accessing your website on mobile devices with slower connection speeds.

Orphaned Pages On Your Ecommerce Website

As we touched on in the site architecture part above, it’s massively important that key pages on your website lie just a couple of redirects away. Making products available within just a few clicks will certainly make for a greater user experience. However, things are not quite that easy when you have a bigger eCommerce platform.

With larger websites, it’s commonplace to find deep pages that are located far away from the home page. You need to identify these pages and find ways to make them more accessible to visitors. Ahref Data Explorer offers an easy way to discover deep pages on your site.

Your goal is to find these product pages and tweak their URLs so that they become closer to the main pages. Orphaned pages, on the other hand, are not connected to any pages on your website. You can consider fixing these pages if you think they will add value to your website. If you think they’re dead-weight pages, you can simply delete them.

Use crawler tools like Screaming Frog or Xenu Link Sleuth to quickly scan your website and highlight any orphaned pages it finds, as well as broken internal links pointing to them. See the screenshot below:

screaming frog tool

Alternatively, there are some other steps you can take to find and fix orphaned pages:

  1. Review your site map: Check your site map regularly to see if any pages have been created that don’t have any inbound links from other pages on your website – these are likely to be “orphaned” pages that users can’t find easily.
  2. Track 404s: Regularly tracking 404 errors using analytics software such as Google Analytics will help you identify broken links or pages with incorrect URLs, which may be orphaned pages that users are trying (and failing) to access.
  3. Utilise search queries: Searching for specific terms found on orphaned pages can sometimes bring up the URLs of those pages in search engine results, allowing you to quickly identify them and take action to fix them.
  4. Monitor external links: If an external link pointing to a page on your website is removed or changed, the page may become “orphaned” – keep track of all external links pointing to your site and contact other webmasters if one of your URLs is no longer linking correctly from their website.

Chapter 3: How to Set up Proper CTA’s for Your eCommerce Website

So, finally, you’ve fixed everything technical and given the finishing touches to the design. You have even spent lots of time setting up the site architecture the right way. All this hard work but very little to show for it in the form of actual results. Users are visiting your eCommerce platform but they simply don't take the desired action on your website.

So what stops your visitors from adding those products to the shopping cart? Well, have you paid attention to the quality of the Call To Action (CTA) you have included on your pages? Perhaps, that’s where the problem lies. The appeal of your CTA can make or break your eCommerce SEO efforts. You have come this far to make things work, so might as well travel that extra mile to craft some eye-catching CTAs for your site.

Before we get to learn the different types, let’s get one thing out of the way, the standard CTA buttons like Buy Now, Buy and Shop just won’t cut it anymore. We’ll show the most proven tips online stores use to improve conversion rates

Display Contrasting Colour Dynamics

One cannot emphasise enough the vital role colour plays in influencing buyers’ decision-making on landing. When implemented well with contrasting colour schemes, you will instantly start to see improvement in your conversion rate. The idea is to envelop your CTA with contrasting colours so that it stands out against everything else in the background.

Of course, we can’t make any recommendation about what colour may work for your eCommerce website. What’s important is that you keep experimenting until you find one that works. Based on the design theme and colour schemes used on your website, you need to choose contrasting colour combinations that resonate with the audience.

See the screenshot below:

contrasting colour dynamics

The contrasting colour combination taps into the psychology of colours and complements the design elements on the landing page. You get the idea right. The colour schemes used for CTA represent the brand’s values and make an instant connection with users.

Using Correct Size and Shape

Always keep visitors in mind every time you create a CTA. The goal of a CTA should be to grab a visitor’s attention and guide them towards a specific action. Ultimately, a visitor should easily spot the CTA. Now, keeping the button shape consistent and visible will optimise your CTAs for conversion. Keep the button minimal and simple. Something along the lines of a rectangular or rounded shape will work like a charm. These shapes may work differently depending on the design of your website. As a rule of thumb, rectangular shapes in CTAs are the go-to option and you can’t go wrong with them.

See the screenshot below:

good CTA

Build A Sense Of Urgency

This is the oldest trick in the book for marketers everywhere, irrespective of what they are selling. If you can show a deadline or limited deal message on your landing page, it can go a long way in influencing the buying decision of visitors. It is such a simple yet often overlooked aspect of advertising. Using powerful words like “Now”, “Limited” and “Hurry” are known for triggering responses from visitors.

Keep in mind this golden formula: scarcity is almost always accompanied by a sense of urgency. If a visitor sees that a specific product is available only for a limited period, they’re likely to get hold of it immediately. And the next thing you know, you will see an increase in conversion rate.

Top Tip: Here are some proven messaging hacks that will help you convert:
The sale Closes At Midnight
Only 2 Items Left in Stock
Reserve Your Seat Now
Deal Ends Soon

Include Some Value Proposition In Your CTA

Have you ever considered adding a value offer to your CTA button? This is another powerful technique designed to trigger an emotional reaction from visitors. The messaging is known for improving conversion rates and engagement on eCommerce platforms. Right up front, you need to tell visitors what they will receive in exchange for signing up. Including a proposition like 50% flat off or Free Guide in your call to action button will instantly let visitors know why they should take an action.

eCommerce websites tend to be quite blunt in stating value propositions on landing pages. Well, you can certainly take the same approach too. For example, your value proposition could say: "Sign up now and get 50% off your first purchase!"

Add Extra Button Text To CTA

Too much information can easily confuse visitors and drive them away from your page. It’s vital to provide them with the right information at the right time. Adding a bonus text right next to your CTA button can reaffirm your offer and build trust. You may want to include a bonus text for various reasons.

For instance, if you want to assure users that they will not receive any spam emails when they sign up, you can simply mention it beside your CTA. Ideally, you want to place this message right below your CTA. Also, you need to use some contrasting colours so visitors can easily spot the bonus text. Following the aforementioned tips in your eCommerce strategy will help you drive more conversions.

Chapter 4: Ecommerce Website On-page SEO Setup

So you’ve optimised the site architecture pretty well, but what about the category and product pages on your site? As far as the traffic and sales are concerned, these two types of pages on the website are crucial.

Let’s say your eCommerce store ranks for its primary keyword jogging shoes. However, someone looking up a long-tail keyword like jogging shoe size 9 is more likely to convert than someone looking up the primary keyword jogging shoes. You get the idea right? Likewise, there are on-page elements of your website you can optimise to improve organic traffic and sales.

Let’s get started by showing you some keyword optimisation techniques. A well-optimised eCommerce landing page comprises these three elements:

  1. A title tag that includes clicking magnet words to increase CTR (Click Through Rate).
  2. A description tag that includes phrases like “Free Shipping” to drive traffic.
  3. A product page that contains 1000 words-long content with the right mix of keywords.
  4. A form or sign-up flow is placed on the landing page to capture leads.
  5. Images and videos that can help to showcase the product or service.

Okay, now let’s dive into the details of what makes an eCommerce page click

Drive Organic Traffic through On-Page Optimisation

Using Long Tail Keywords

Seed keywords, LSI keywords, long-tail keywords, oh dear, the list of keyword types goes on and on. But, which one is right for your website? No matter what type you select, you need to include one in your eCommerce page’s title tag. However in the eCommerce side of the world, merely using a keyword won’t be enough. You need to modify your title tag to make it specific to certain queries. This is where long-tail keywords can come in handy.

Let’s say you’re selling “condenser microphones”. Instead of simply inserting “condenser microphones, think about the potential words people may use while searching for condenser microphones online. Here are a few commonly used search terms that go along with similar products.

  • Cheap
  • Best
  • Free Shipping
  • Top rated

Perhaps you can tweak your title tag to “Best Condenser Microphone”.

Using Click Magnet Words To Improve CTR

If your site gets a steady level of organic click-through rate, you can certainly get into Google’s good books. CTR is considered a major ranking signal. So, that should give you all the more reason to optimise your title tag for improved CTR. Thankfully, we can select from a collection of words that can significantly enhance the click-through rate. The idea is to identify the so-called “click magnet words” to match your advertising goals. We will give you a list of commonly used words to increase the CTR to product and category pages.

  • 30% Off
  • Guaranteed results
  • Lowest price
  • Fast Shipping
  • Free Shipping

Here’s an example of magnetic words in action:

- Best Condenser Microphones: Free Shipping on Every Order

Writing Optimised Meta Descriptions

The meta description gives you another opportunity to make your offer look specific and unique to your target audience. Again, it’s highly recommended that you use the terms “Free Shipping” and “All Items on Sales” in the meta description to increase the chances of CTR.

Meta Descriptions are still an important element in search engine optimization (SEO), but they do not carry the same weight as they once did. While they were heavily relied upon by search engines to rank web pages in the past, Google now looks at a much wider range of elements to determine a webpage’s relevance and quality. This means that while meta descriptions can help to attract visitors, other factors such as content quality and relevance, website performance, and backlinks are likely to be more influential when it comes to SEO rankings. That said, meta descriptions still hold the key to improving CTR. The aforementioned click-magnet words will work like a charm for the meta description. With Meta, you will have more space for experimentation meaning that you can string together a broader range of phrases.

So let’s look at some click-worthy phrases you can use in your meta description:

  • Grab the best price on XXXX today
  • Get 30% on xxxx
  • All products are on sale now
  • Get Free Shipping on your order today
  • Click to see today’s exclusive deals on XXXX

Implement Review Schema For Search Visibility

If you want an easy way to stand out on Google’s first page, look no further than rich snippets. And eCommerce sites have the opportunity to get one of the most eye-catching rich snippets out there: reviews. If you want to get noticed by people on Google, rich snippets offer you the easiest and most effective way to get there. With rich snippets, you can create the most attention-grabbing product reviews.

Check out the screenshot below:

rich snippets google

Setting these snippets up on your eCommerce product pages is straightforward. Schema markup is essentially code that gathers and renders the most important information about your product page for Google and users. The snippets are intended to give Google bots and, more importantly, users a deeper understanding of your product page.

Here are various types of markup used to generate rich snippet reviews. A proper schema mark implementation will guarantee that your rich snippets are displayed on Google. While implementation in itself is not particularly tricky, you’re advised to use a structured data markup helper.

See the screenshot below:

structured data markup helper

Now select the product category

structured data markup helper

Next, head over to your eCommerce platform and pick any product page with a review or rating system on it. Now, copy and paste the product page’s URL into the structured Data Markup Helper as in the screenshot below:

structured data markup helper2

Now you need to pick out the area where you want to place the tag. For this example, we are tracking a review

structured data markup helper3

Now click on create HTML

structured data markup helper4

You can now copy and paste the newly generated HTML code into your page.

Build Proper Internal Link Structure

Internal linking is the process of linking from one page to another on your website. For eCommerce platforms, internal linking plays a crucial role as it connects all the important pages on your website and ensures a meaningful browsing experience for users. Effective internal linking also circulates the link authority across key pages. We will show you proven ways to implement an internal link strategy so you can scale up your eCommerce website.

Link To Your Most Important Pages In The Menu

On average, eCommerce platforms contain lots of products and categories. Hence it’s important to keep the internal authority between the valuable product category pages flowing by linking to them from your site-wide menu.

More importantly, this technique will give Google a clear-cut picture of the site’s hierarchy. When you link to a page from the site-wide menu, it gets linked to every important page on the site. Of course, this technique will drive major SEO gains for your site, however, you should not clutter your site with too many links as it will deliver a bad user experience. In fact, studies show that anything over 6 dropdowns in a site menu could prove to be too much for the short-term memory of the average person.

Screenshot below to get an idea of what a site’s drop down should ideally look like:

page menu importance

Deploy Relevant Breadcrumbs For Product And Category Pages

Breadcrumbs are the navigational links which allow users and bots to map their user journey across pages on an eCommerce website. Check out the screenshot below:

breadcrumbs for product

Navigation is not the sole purpose of breadcrumbs, rather they serve as the bridge between the whole range of pages on your website. Plus, the breadcrumbs make it easier for the bots to crawl your pages.

Link From Blogs To Product Pages

It’s always an added advantage if you have blogs or how-to guides on your eCommerce website. Now you must make the most of your content assets by linking them to product pages. You simply need to make sure that every time you link it is contextually relevant. Likewise, it’s good to identify the high authority blogs of your site, especially the ones with the most number of inbound links, and link these pages to the relevant product. This way you get to pass over link authority to product pages.

Use Keyword Rich Short URLs

Many studies have established that short Keyword-rich URLs are more likely to rank on Google than long ones.

Now it’s quite natural for eCommerce website pages to carry super-long URLs. From categories, subcategories and products, you can imagine the length of the average eCommerce page when you have included all the details. In addition to keeping your URLs short, you need to make them keyword-rich. From an SEO standpoint, this is vital.

For instance, while creating a category page URL, you need to include 1-2 words describing the category:

- https://mysite.co.uk/bathroomdesigns

Similarly, make sure to follow the same pattern for subcategory URLs:

- https://mysite.co.uk/bathroomdesigns/showerenclosures

Next up, you’d want to include the product keyword in URL:

- https://mysite.co.uk/bathroomdesigns/showerenclosures/Quadrant-Sliding-Shower-Enclosure

Top Tip: Many eCommerce platforms deliberately exclude categories and subcategories from their URLs. For instance, instead of using:

- https://mysite.co.uk/bathroomdesigns/showerenclosures/Quadrant-Sliding-Shower-Enclosure

The URL will be just: https://mysite.co.uk/Quadrant-Sliding-Shower-Enclosure

They stick to this pattern partly because it keeps the URLs short and because it has worked for them. Well, if your URLs are set up properly, it shouldn’t undermine your chances of ranking.

Chapter 5: Optimise Product Descriptions for eCommerce Websites

No matter where you are with optimising your eCommerce platform, writing powerful product descriptions can bring about much-needed visibility and credibility to your products. Most people don’t take this part seriously, meaning that they lose out on the chance to turn visitors into buyers. If you want to write high-converting product descriptions, you need to invest some time and energy into it. We will give you practical tips to write product descriptions that resonate with your audience.

Writing Killer Product Descriptions

Understanding your product and conducting detailed keyword research is a prerequisite for writing effective product descriptions. Before you get started remember that you need to write descriptions with user experience at heart. Of course, the following SEO rules are central to helping you target and connect with online buyers. So we will deal with the SEO side of things first. If you recall from the earlier chapter, keyword research can teach who, when and how to target. You get to understand how people are searching for your products.

For instance, let's say customers are searching for an “audio interface” or “sound card”? If it turns out that the keyword audio interface has a better search volume, include it in your product description. Google’s keyword planner is an excellent free tool you can use to discover the right keyword for your product page.

Next up, you need to incorporate your keyword findings into three sections, namely, Title tag, Meta description and Alt tags. While including keywords, make sure that they sound natural and contextual. It’s a good idea to include closely related keywords. Make a point of not going overboard with keyword stuffing as it could look spammy on your page.

Let’s look at a well-optimised product page on Amazon.co.uk.

Screenshot below:

SEO product descriptions
SEO product descriptions

Do you see how this product page has taken full advantage of keyword modifiers? Let’s take a deeper look at them.

  • Guitar Headphone
  • Folding plug
  • Aux input jack
  • Auto Power-off function
  • Battery run
  • Portable

As you can see above, those are essentially modifier keywords that would go well with Guitar Headphone Amplifiers. You get the idea here right? Of course, you may want to go easy on incorporating such modifiers into your product page.

Build A Buyer Persona For Effective Targeting

There’s no single tone that will fit well for all types of product descriptions. It’s all about understanding your target audience and crafting messages to directly address their points. So in essence the tone of your description depends on how much you understand your audience. This is why you need to create a customer persona based on the shared challenges, problems and desires of your ideal buyer.

For example, let’s say you sell plain white t-shirts. Plain white t-shirts are pretty much the same, shouldn’t all the product descriptions for plain white t-shirts be the same?

You probably guessed already that the answer to that question is a resounding “No”.
Let’s think of two stores selling black workout mats:

  • One store is selling black workout mats for people suffering from severe arthritis conditions. The product is designed to help patients exercise safer without damage to their bones
  • One store is selling black workout mats to 40 something amateur yoga practitioners
  • Both these target audiences couldn’t be more different from each other. Hence, you need to understand their separate pain points and address them uniquely in product descriptions.

The takeaway from this example is that it’s not the product that shapes your description, but rather the target audience.

So, as yourself these basic questions to better define buyer persona:

  • Who are they?
  • What do they do?
  • What do they value?
  • What are their shopping habits?
  • Once you have pinpointed your ideal customer persona, you’re all set to write the perfect product description.

Write About What Is Important To Your Audience

Well, you have set up a clearly defined buyer persona, so the trickiest part is over. Now it’s time to take into account certain things that matter the most to your audience. You know your product and your audience, right?

Next up ask yourself which parts of your product will have a more emotional connection with the audience. Let’s expand on the black workout mat example we discussed earlier on in this chapter. Someone suffering from arthritis condition would be interested in details such as:

  • The ease of use
  • Doctor approval
  • The level of support
  • Resilience

On the other hand, someone who is into hardcore yoga workouts will be interested in details such as:

  • Durability
  • Daily use
  • Portability
  • Anti-tearing quality
  • Travel
  • Outdoor

Once you’ve got your ideal buyer’s interests and pain points, it boils down to including the most compelling features of your product in the description. Let’s you’re selling travelling backpacks to people who like to go on adventurous outings in the wild. You need to tap into this specific detail in your product description.

Talk About the Benefits, Not Just the Features

Talking to your audience about product features alone will not leave a strong impact on someone’s buying decision. Your features need to be complemented by practical benefits.

Most eCommerce platforms make the same mistake of highlighting product features to an unnecessary extent while letting product benefits take a second seat. Simply put, your customers don’t care too much about your product features. They want to know how a product can bring about a change in their lives.

Let’s look at an example:

A skincare face masque talks about its skin-nourishing ingredients and award-winning formula. Another skincare product talks about its results-specific benefits as in the screenshot below:

SEO product descriptions2

No praise for guessing which product description grabbed people’s attention. The benefits of a product are what makes it click. If you have ever noticed the big brands, you will see how they use features/results combinations to drive maximum engagement.

Keeping Your Product Descriptions Scannable

Here’s a fact that will probably never change:

People, in general, have a short attention span and they don’t read everything you write in a product description. They would much rather just scan through the whole text. This is why you need to tailor the content to make it more scannable and reader-friendly for visitors. Always highlight the product features/benefits.

Take a look at how this brand has made the best use of scannable content in its product description:

SEO product descriptions3

Bonus Tips!!!

Here are some tips and tricks to help you improve the performance of your product descriptions:

  1. Use Appropriate Language: It's important to use language that appeals to your target audience and is pitched at the correct level. Avoid technical jargon or overly complicated wording, as this can be off-putting for a lot of online shoppers.
  2. Incorporate Media: Adding visuals to your product descriptions can further engage potential customers and give them a better understanding of what the product looks like in real life. Images and videos should be of high quality and relevant to the product itself.

By following these tips and tricks, you can optimise your product descriptions for maximum impact on both search engine rankings and customer satisfaction!

Chapter 6 : Ecommerce Website Local SEO

In the age of information, everything is getting digitalised. Even the locale is digital now. So much so that even global eCommerce brands have started to invest in a local SEO strategy to reinforce their stranglehold on the local market. If the big guns are taking local SEO seriously, one can imagine what it means for small eCommerce guys. If you don’t build a local presence, your business is essentially non-existent. When implemented effectively local SEO offers the most cost-effective way to connect with your target audience. We will show you the best ways to optimise your eCommerce locally and build visibility in local search results.

Set Up Your Google Business Profile Listings

First up we will walk through the step-by-step process of claiming your Google Business Profile listing. If you’ve already managed this on your own, feel free to skip to the next section where we talk about building local citations for your eCommerce site.

Studies suggest that 80% of people lose trust in local businesses if they find incorrect contact details online. The stats should tell you about the importance of keeping your contact details consistent across all types of online listings.

Now let’s get your business on Google:

Head over to Google Business Profile and click on the 'Manage now' button. Now enter your business name. If it turns out that you have the same name as a different business in the locality, you can avoid duplicating the name suggested through the autocomplete function.

See the screenshot below:

google my business listing

Now select your business category. This is another area that requires your utmost attention as it will directly affect how your business search term appears in Google. You’ve also got the option to look up the whole list of categories available and select the most relevant one for your business.

Screenshot below:

google my business listing2

Now enter the details of your business location.

Screenshot below:

google my business listing3

If your company is a Service Area Business (SAB) meaning that you deliver goods and services to customers, make sure to put the box at the bottom. You also have two options:

  • If your company has a business address when you can meet customers, you will have to tick the box.
  • If you don’t have a physical address where you can receive your customers, leave the field bland, check the box and check the “hide my address” box.

Next up, list your service areas. Before selecting your specific business category, you need to list the areas where you deliver your services. This will let Google display your business for those area-based searches.

Now, Add a contact number and website URL. This is absolutely essential to do call tracking and drive organic traffic to your eCommerce platform.

Screenshot below:

google my business listing4

Now complete your business profile verification.

Google obviously needs to be able to prove that your business is where you say it is, and for entirely new GMB profiles, you have three options:

Before your profile is activated, Google will need to verify your business and its location. See the screenshot below:

google my business listing5

Once your profile is officially verified, you can start optimising it.

  • Make sure to add business-related photos and videos.
  • Write a well-optimised business description.
  • Publish regular Google my business posts to display your latest offers.
  • Start inviting people to review your business on Google.
  • Tap into the Google Business Insights feature to learn how people interact with your business online.

Creating and managing your Google My Business Profile will lay the foundation for building your brand’s online presence.

Building Local Citations For eCommerce

Building a diverse backlink portfolio is central to getting your eCommerce website on Google’s first page. We will take you through that topic in great detail in our next chapter, but let’s now focus on something that’s just as important for rankings. Building local citations for your website! By performing a basic search, you can find tons of directories where you can have your eCommerce website listed.

When you start you must acquire listings on local business directories. Yellow Pages is a popular directory that you can’t go wrong with.

Here are a few things to keep in mind as you look for citations online:

  • Reciprocal linking is a practice Google looks down upon.
  • To avoid the risk of spam, make sure to build citations using a dedicated email account
  • Your citation details should match the details you provided on your Google My Business listing and other valid online sources.

The second factor is to know how many citations there are, for your business. There are various online directories where they can be found. One of them is the Yellow Pages. They have the info and address of your business. You should know, however, that they don’t necessarily include a backlink. As a beginner, you need to focus on citation building on local business directories.

Start To Generate Local Reviews For eCommerce

There’s something remarkable about online reviews that people always latch on to. Be it a positive review or a negative one, people generally take them up as a personal recommendation. On the internet, the first impression is everything. Hence, you must generate positive reviews to draw the right type of attention from customers. Plus the reviews play a direct role in improving the click-through rate of your website and the overall visibility on search pages.

To get Google reviews, you need to persuade people to leave reviews. The next big thing is online reputation management. You must learn to adopt a diplomatic approach to review management and respond to negative reviews effectively. Understanding your customers and relating to their problems is critical. Keep in mind that the diversity of reviews is just as important as their quality.

Create Local Web and Social Pages

If you want customers to reach out with any queries or comments, make sure you add a separate contact page specifically for local customers so they know how to get in touch with you easily. It also helps to create individual pages on social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn tailored to each geographic location is an effective way of engaging with potential customers in those areas.

Maximise E-commerce Success with Google Analytics 4 ‘Key Events’

google analytics 4 key events

Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is revolutionising the way we understand conversions with a significant terminology update: "Conversions" are now termed "key events" to streamline conversion measurement across Google platforms. This change aligns GA4 closer to Google Ads, bridging gaps in understanding between the two services.

Key events are actions crucial to your business's success, such as form submissions or product purchases. Any event you track in GA4 can be marked as a key event, which then becomes a focal point in your analytics reports. This allows for a more granular look at how users interact with your site or app, directly relating those actions to your marketing efforts.

GA4's reports and explorations are enhanced to count how often these key events occur and attribute them to various marketing channels. This enables better decision-making by showing how different touchpoints contribute to your key events. Moreover, these key events can be shared with Google Ads to create a unified view of your conversions, allowing for optimised ad spend and targeted remarketing efforts.

For those transitioning from Universal Analytics to GA4, this update means rethinking how to set up conversions, now focusing on key events for a more cohesive cross-platform measurement strategy.

Chapter 7: Link Building For eCommerce Websites

Linking building is arguably the most challenging part of SEO, but it’s certainly not the most boring one, especially if you know what you’re doing. Not to mention, when link building finally works it could give you the most rewarding experience ever. So let’s take you through some proven link-building techniques and outreach hacks that can get you some high-authority links for your eCommerce website.

Research And Replicate Competitors’ Backlink Portfolio

Google recommends that website owners create high-quality content and build relationships with other websites, influencers, and businesses to acquire natural links. It also recommends being cautious when utilising sponsored posts or advertisements for link placements. Additionally, Google suggests avoiding link schemes which involve paying for or exchanging links to increase rankings or page authority. This way you won’t be building just any links you can get your hands on, but rather quality ones that will make a difference to your site’s ranking. So, you want to get super selective, or else you risk the wrath of Google. Simple as that. Irrespective of your approach, competitor backlink portfolio research should form an integral part of your eCommerce SEO strategy.

When conducting backlink portfolio audits, do a comparison study with your competitors to better understand your position. More importantly, this will help you see the gap between you and competitors, thus letting you take necessary measures to bridge it. While there are plenty of tools to run your research, it’s recommended that you start your research using the Ahrefs backlink checker tool.

Most of these websites may appear pretty authoritative and flawless on the surface, nevertheless, a rigorous probe could reveal just the opposite.

Check the quality of backlinks obtained by your competitors. What does the anchor text say? Where are these websites linking to? What are the different types of link-building practices followed by them? Now it’s time to get real with yourself. Ask yourself this question: Will you be able to imitate what your competitors have achieved? Also remember, most of these links you see must have been the result of protracted reach-out efforts and negotiations. There’s no need to be disheartened by the volume of backlinks. Set yourself some micro-goals and get started.

Reach Out For Broken Link Building

Broken link building is probably the oldest trick up every SEO specialist's sleeves. It’s the process of looking up online content assets that no longer work and reaching out to original creators to see if they’d like to link to a newly created working version on your website. It all starts by finding websites that link to broken pages. Using the Screaming Frog tool you can easily locate broken links on websites.

See the screenshot below:

screaming frog SEO

Now you need to recreate the content which websites are trying to link to. This is where you do some topical research to get a full grasp of the content on a broken page. You can get this information on Wayback Machine , a powerful tool where billions of web pages are archived for reference. Simply enter the broken link in the search bar, and you will be rendered a version of the page.

Before you get things rolling, you may want to see if your site carries a piece of content that already touches on this topic. You can either elaborate on it or create your own piece to add more value to the original topic on the dead page.

Broken link building is all about convincing someone of the quality of the content you’re offering as an alternative to their lost content. Plus, you can always use the Wayback Machine to get the picture of what their content previously looked like. Your job now is to create something even better so that someone cannot turn it down.

Once you have created the content and published it on your site you can start reaching out. By now you’ve probably got the list of website contact details and people you want to reach out to. It’s absolutely vital that you reach out like someone who wants to start a healthy conversation and contribute to their business growth. Your tone should not be one of aggression but of a call for fruitful collaboration. How you reach out to website owners can make or break your chances of taking advantage of building broken links.

So how should you reach out? And what does your ideal broken link reach out message look like?

Check out the screenshot below:

broken link reach out

Top Tip: While reaching out for links you should not make it look like you’re dictating to the website owners. Rather, you should just act as if you’re trying to bring their attention to something. Trust us, the latter approach works better.

Acquire Credit For Your Images Published On Other Sites

When other websites use images from your website without your permission, it’s only fair they give you credit for it with a link. You hear stories about copyright infringement all the time. Have you ever been at the receiving end of it? Well, how would you like it if you have never bothered to find out?

If someone uses your website image on their website without taking official consent from you, you’re well within your rights to ask for the image’s credit. As a website owner, you need to think of this as an opportunity to earn some links. So what should you do? First up, you need to find the websites that are using your images without permission.

You can use Google’s reverse images search feature to get started.

See screenshot below:

reverse image search google

Once you have identified the websites, reach out to each of them, asking for the link’s credit. You’ll be amazed to see the positive responses you get for your reach-out messages. Most of these website owners will be more than happy to give you credit for the images.

Now there may be cases where website owners give you source attribution without a link. By all means, reach out asking them to place a link back to your website. After all, what you need is links, not just brand mentions.

You can always look up brand mentions on Google with this search formula: “Your brand name”url:domainname.com. In our case it would look something like this screenshot below:

reverse image search google1

Sieve through all the brand mentions you’ve received. See if you’ve already been linked to it, and if not, feel free to ask them to place a link.

Create A Resource Section On Your eCommerce Website

People on the internet are always on the hunt for that extra bit of knowledge. Even while they are in shopping mode, they want to make an informed decision with the help of that extra bit of info. In an information age where everyone is a researcher, it’s only logical for you to include a resource section on your eCommerce site.

Let’s take the example of this surfboard manufacturer. The online store includes a resource drop-down covering the about section, custom made, ding repair, sustainability, collaborations, and testimonials.. This section is quite strategic and could have a great impact on visitors.

See the screenshot below:

ecommerce resource page

The resources will offer customers a deeper dive into the craftsmanship and artistry that go into the making of surfboards. Now that’s not all, the resource section will serve as a link-worthy asset for external websites of surfboard enthusiasts, bloggers etc.

Use Influencers To Build Links

Studies show that people today are more cynical than ever of brand advertisements and paid messaging. They are nevertheless keen on listening to what prominent figures in industries have to say about different products or services. This makes influencer marketing such a powerful tool in the hands of eCommerce websites. Influencers tend to be dynamic individuals with massive fan followings on social media. Also, most of them operate through high domain-authority websites.

The big idea here is to find the right influencers who will promote your product or services across social media. In the screenshot below you can see how this brand managed to get an influencer to promote their product on their official Instagram page:

influencer blog campaign

The promotional photos or videos will include links that convince people to check out your online store. Of course, these links from organic social channels may not mean much to your website in the grand scheme of things. But what’s important is that you improve your site’s organic visibility and draw the attention of bloggers and influencers in the industry.

Running an influencer campaign can not deliver a powerful brand message but deep insights into what makes your products or services unique. When conducted effectively it could well be the most cost-effective and highly targeted campaign.

We really hope you were able to learn some valuable information from our eCommerce SEO guide. In fact, we can’t wait to find out how you are going to use it to shape your SEO strategy.

If you need any help in making your brand more likable and profitable via LinkedIn, contact our LinkedIn marketing experts.
reshma mr digital
Reshma Raju
Google Analytics Certified
AI-Powered Shopping ads Certified
Google Ads Video Certified
Google Ads Display Certified
Google Ads Search Certified
Google Ads Apps Certified
Google My Business Certified
YouTube creative essentials Certified

Reshma Raju, our adept SEO Specialist at Mr Digital, boasts over 4 years of specialised experience in the SEO arena. Known for her dynamic approach to SEO's evolving landscape, Reshma is proficient in competitor analysis, keyword research, backlink strategy, and crafting compelling content. With a three-year tenure at Mr Digital, she has been pivotal in amplifying clients' organic reach and leads, approaching SEO hurdles with agility and result-oriented solutions.

Reshma's commitment to staying ahead of the curve is evident in her dedication to monitoring the latest industry trends, engaging with SEO communities on social media, and diving into data analytics with tools like Google Search Console. Her journey in SEO began post-university, where she cut her teeth as a Junior SEO Analyst in the travel industry, setting the stage for her impactful presence at Mr Digital.

joshua mr digital
Joshua Kennedy
Writing Headlines Certified
Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) Certified
Editing and Proofreading Made Simple Certified
Multimedia Storytelling Certified
multimedia storytelling certified

Serving as Senior Content Writer at Mr Digital, Joshua Kennedy melds journalism with content creation, reflecting his educational pursuits at Loyola College, Chennai, and the Asian College of Journalism. Across a rich 4-year tapestry of experience, he has ventured into press conferences, book launches, and on-the-ground reporting from South India’s distant corners. At Mr Digital, Joshua’s commitment to storytelling remains unwavering, crafting authentic narratives and diverse content, underscoring his adaptability in the dynamic digital realm.

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