The Essential Guide To Ecommerce SEO

The Essential Guide To Ecommerce SEO

lijo
lijo / February 19, 2021

Every time you hear the word eCommerce SEO, you immediately think about high-competition keywords that you want to rank for.

For instance, if your main keyword is skinny jeans, you might just be putting yourself in direct competition with some industry leaders. Basic keyword research reveals that high competition keywords are dominated by established brand names.

Keyword Ranking

Let’s look at the companies competing and ranking for the keyword “super skinny jeans”

Keyword Ranking List

Now, as a company presumably trying to establish its presence, it’s going to be an uphill struggle to outrank these guys. 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 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

  1. Keyword research for eCommerce Sites
  2. eCommerce SEO technical issues to fix
  3. How to set up proper CTA’s for your eCommerce website
  4. eCommerce website on-page SEO setup
  5. Optimised product descriptions for eCommerce websites
  6. eCommerce website local SEO
  7. Link building for eCommerce websites

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 execute your strategy in an ineffective manner, 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 tried and tested techniques.

Secondly, spy on your competitors like a real professional. Yes, more on this interesting topic later. 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 a 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 it’s rankability.

Mostly, search volume is an industry-specific thing where a volume such as 1000 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 the high volume and low volume keywords. Making sense of these two volume types will let you 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 “Avg Monthly” column. In the column right next to you can find the level of competition for the corresponding keyword.

Google keyword Planner Research Results

Top Tip: If you’re going to select a keyword, make sure it has got at least 20 searches per month.

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 up “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, 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 in search engine results pages? If your answer is yes, then you need to deploy some keyword tracking method to track the progress of your eCommerce SEO.

Well, 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 searchers are interacting with them. Understand which keywords are ranking and their average place in search results. See screenshot below:

Google Search Console Analytics

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. Screenshot below:

Google Search Console Keywords Performances

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, then you should look up their websites to get a better grasp of their ranking keywords.

Type your keywords into Google…

Google Search Engine Results Page

Select a competitor

Competitors Research

Make sure to navigate their menu and subcategories in search of potential keywords.

See screenshot below:

Competitor Research Website Subcategory

Now, 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.

Chapter 2 : eCommerce SEO Technical Issues To Fix

It is one thing to build an eCommerce website but a whole different ball game to bring visitors to your online store.

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’re in the age of online shopping and the internet is loaded with thousands of eCommerce websites. 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 platforms are far more complex than your typical custom websites, they both share the same principles of SEO. Of course, when you’re dealing with eCommerce, you’re also looking at technical aspects that could well easily lie outside your area of expertise. And finding solutions for these issues are 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.

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 out a bad user signal to Google. To check the security status of your site, simply type in your URL

Secure website with HTTPS

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

Luckily, fixing the security issue is pretty easy. You simply need to purchase an SSL certificate from a certificate authority and then install it on your website.

Your Site Pages Are Not Properly Indexed

When was the last time you looked up your own brand name in 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.

Page Indexing in Google Search Results

How To Fix the Indexation Issues

If your site isn’t indexed at all, you can begin by adding your URL to Google.

If you find that your site is not indexed, you need to add your site’s 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 version of your site is 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.

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 duplicate content. 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 the 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

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 a 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 below 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 “rele=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 on your site.

Top Tip: Add Noindex robot tags to pages that you don’t want to be indexed by Google. Also, it’s recommended that you add meta robot tags on pages that get dynamically created.

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 plays in site’s ranking. For example, product and category pages comprise the most amount of link authority on your site. It’s this level of authority that gives your pages the 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 like:

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

Website Menu Section

With a single click on Men tab, the menu collapses to reveal different sections and the visitor spots, Nike, in the brand section:

Website Menu Category Sections

Clicking on “Nike” take the visitor to a detailed category page as seen in the screenshot below:

Website Category Page

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

Such flat and interlinked site structure will make your content more discoverable and indexable.

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 pages away. Making products available within just a few clicks away will certainly make for a greater user experience. However, things are not quite the same when you have a bigger eCommerce platform.

In bigger 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. Screaming Frog is a tool you can use to crawl and discover orphaned pages free of charge. See the screenshot below:

Screaming Frog SEO Audit Checker

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 in the name of actual results. Users are visiting your eCommerce platform but they simply do not 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 buyer’s 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 really 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:

Display 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 the 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, there are lots of eCommerce rectangular shapes in CTAs and you can’t go wrong with them.

See screenshot below:

Create CTA Button

Build A Sense Of Urgency

This is actually the oldest trick in the box 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 power 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 some proven messaging hacks that will help you convert:

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 call-to-action 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.

See the screenshot below:

CTA Button Example

Adding 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 colour 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 products 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 of these three elements:

A title tag that includes click magnet words to increase CTR (Click Through Rate).

A description tag that includes phrases like “Free Shipping” to drive traffic.

A product page that contains 1000 words-long content with the right mix of keywords.
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 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 Well-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 chances of CTR.

Now, many years ago, Meta descriptions were a crucial ranking factor in SEO. While that is no longer the case, 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 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:

Review Schema Implementation

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 to Google and users. The snippets are intended to give Google bots and more importantly users a deeper grasp 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:

Google Structure Data Markup Helper

Now select the product category

Structure Data Markup

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:

Structure Data Markup Website

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

Structure Data Markup select rating

Now click on create HTML

Structure Data Markup HTML creation

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 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:

Ecommerce Website Link Structure

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:

Ecommerce Website Breadcrumbs

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 it’s absolutely essential that you 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

Studies after studies have established that short Keyword-rich URLs are more likely to rank on Google than the 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 absolutely 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 into URL:

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

Top Tip: There are many eCommerce platforms that deliberately exclude category and subcategory 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 shorts and because it has worked for them. Well. if your URLs are set up, it shouldn’t really undermine your chances of ranking.

Chapter 5 : Optimised product description for eCommerce website

No matter where you are with optimising your eCommerce platform, writing powerful product descriptions can bring about the 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 the 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 help 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, are they searching for “audio interface” or “sound card”?

If it turns out that 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 for your page.

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

Ecommerce Website Product description optimisation

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 one single tone that will fit well for all types of products description. It’s all about understanding your target audience and crafting messages to directly address their points. So in essence the tone of your description really depends on how much you understand your own 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 mat 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 mat 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 take away from this example is that it’s not the product that shapes your description, 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 workout 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 spic detail in your product description. Check out the product description below:

Product description optimisation

Talk About The Benefits, Not Just Features

Your product may have 50 unique features. While they may be important, writing about them 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:

Product description optimisation for Ecommerce Website

No praise for guessing which product description grabbed people’s attention. 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 combination 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 on 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:

Product description optimisation Ecommerce SEO

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 the global eCommerce brands have started to invest in 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 My Business Listings

First up we will walk through the step by step process of claiming your Google My Business Listings. 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 My Business 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 screenshot below:

Ecommerce Local SEO

Now enter the details of your business location

Screenshot below:

Ecommerce Store Google My business Setup Step 1

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.

Nex 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 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:

Ecommerce Store Google My business Setup Step 2

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:

Ecommerce Store Google My business Setup Step 3

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 location. You have got three options to go about the verification process:

  • Postcard Verification
  • Phone Verification
  • Email Verification

Screenshot below:

Ecommerce Store Google My business Setup Step 4

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 Google business insights feature to learn how people interact with your business online.

Creating and managing your Google My Business Profile will lay out 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 out it’s crucial that you 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 practice Google looks down upon.
  • In order to avoid the risk of spam, make sure to build citation 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. The necessary things to know and do are:

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, it is vital that you 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.

In order 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.

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

Over the years, Google has gradually changed the way it treated backlinks. It’s safe to say that Google urges website owners to exercise link building some good level of discrimination. By that, we mean that the next time you make a link building attempt, Google wants you to carefully evaluate the authority of the link and domain. This way you won’t be building just any links you can get your hands on, 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.

While conducting your backlink portfolio audit, 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 out your research using 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’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 own website. It all starts by finding websites that link to broken pages. Using Screaming Frog tool you can easily locate broken links on websites. See screenshot below:

Ecommerce Link Building

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:

Ecommerce Link Building Technique

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 a golden 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:

Ecommerce Website image optimisation

 

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 really need is links, not just brand mentions.
You can always look up brand mentions on Google is this search formula:

“Your brand name” – inurl:domainname.com

In our case it would look something like this screenshot below:

Ecommerce SEO Image Optimisation

Sieve through all the brand mentions you’ve received. See if you’ve already been linked to, 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 resource drop-down covering surfboard artworks, history, blogs and volume estimator. This section is quite strategic and could have a great impact on visitors.

See the screenshot below:

Ecommerce Website 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. Not only will it build the eCommerce platform’s credibility among visitors, but it will also drive inbound links from websites in your niche.

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 a skincare masque brand managed to get an influencer to promote their product on their official Instagram page:

Ecommerce influencers Backlinks

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.

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