To help businesses grow their eCommerce site, Google developer advocate Alan Kent recently hosted a video that outlines “8 tips” for SEO-optimizing an eCommerce site.
Here are the 8 tips that Alan shared:
1. Get your technical basics in place (URL and internal links)
You need to ensure your URLs and internal links are friendly to crawlers. Check out Designing a URL structure for E-Commerce Websites on Google Search Central for advice on how to design URLs for your website. By following some simple guidelines, you’ll make it easier for search engine crawlers (Google robots) to understand your website’s content and therefore, be more likely to rank higher in search results.
- Use descriptive & relevant keywords in your URLs. They should be short and simple.
- Don’t use any unnecessary parameters (like session IDs and tracking codes) in your URLs.
- Make sure your internal links are properly structured.
- Your “anchor text that is descriptive and relevant to the linked page. By doing this, you can make it easier for search engine crawlers to understand your website’s content and improve your chances of ranking higher in search results.
2. Create content relevant to users at different stages in their shopping journey
To check the breadth and quality of your site, think about likely searches by shoppers at different stages in their shopping journey. Once you have a set of ideas, try them out!
Checking out your competitors is a good place to start- look at what they are doing right and do it better. Look at what they suck at and be good at it.
Awareness stage: For people who are new to visiting your site, have engaging & informative content. Examples include:
- Awesome, unique blog posts (like ours)
- Social media posts
- Fun videos
- Engaging content- like contests
Besides impulse purchases- which are typically exciting and low-risk (read: not expensive), your potential customers are likely to be comparing options (cough- looking at your competitors) before they decide if they want to buy.
To be successful in this comparison, your ecommerce store should provide valuable information, build trust, and offer competitive pricing (assuming they are looking at your competition).
Things that will help you out here?
- Product reviews
- Detailed descriptions
- Promotions that will make your offer more attractive
- “Personalized” recommendations (or a nice add-on that a good plugin could do for you)
- Comparison guides- although this should be used with caution as it may steer people to your competitors
At this point, customers have researched, analyzed and compared options and should be getting ready to make a purchase. Here, it’s crucial that you make the checkout process as seamless and easy as possible!
Make sure things like payment options, shipping details, returns policies, and checkout instructions are very clear and easy to understand. Don’t hide things in the fine print- this helps avoid buybacks/disputes and other headaches down the road.
Ideally, you not only get the actual sale but you provide an excellent buying experience. Combining a great product with an excellent buying experience leads to better reviews and more return customers who will refer their friends to your business!
3. Mark up your product variant pages correctly
What are product variants? Imagine the same product but it’s available in multiple colors/sizes.
If Google of the relationship between the product pages can help Google better understand your site content. The URL Inspection tool can also be used to check the status of individual pages.
4. For sales events that occur regularly, use the same URL across all event occurrences
This can help Google understand and trust the purpose of such pages. To identify problems, check the URL for promotional event pages on your site. If you’re the one doing this, it’s easy to do and makes life easier in a lot of ways!
5. Website page speed matters
First, don’t assume because your page speed loads quickly at your casa where you enjoy boxed wine while watching Netflix with blazing high speed Wifi that your target audience does to.
Believe it or not, a lot of people have crappy internet. Trust me, we run marketing for a high-speed provider!
If someone clicks on a page and it takes too long to load, they’ll likely abandon it (and for SEO purposes…people that drop-off send a signal that your site sucks and Google and Bing will spank your bottom for it). Here’s a quick article here on other local SEO suggestions if you’re looking for supercharged (organic) traffic.
Double important if you use the same product description as your competitors because you were trying to save time by copying/pasting it from the supplier. We don’t blame you, you had happy hour and it was nice outside but don’t be a silly goose and let this slide by you.
Where were we? Oh yea, page speed. Honestly, just go to PageSpeed Insights where you can check the performance of your site.
Fun fact: fast page speed will also help with any paid advertising campaigns that you’re running!
6. It’s all about the user
The ultimate goal for Google and Bing and Yahoo and Duckduckgo and Brave and everyone else is to put the best possible content in front of the users. Good search results= more people using their search engine and then comes the ads, baby!
Use tools like Google Search Console or Google Analytics to collect data on your site. We write about a ton of other tools that you can use to help save you time and the monies here.
7. Seek professional help
In this context, we’re talking about designers for your website, not psychologists. If you have done your best to improve your site but are still not getting the results you want, we’re here to provide expert SEO advice.
8. Be Patient
Be patient to see the results. SEO, unfortunately, is a long game. Some ranking signals may take months to change. Worse, there is no guarantee of success. While it may take months to reap the benefits of a content creation strategy, it does not mean there is nothing you can do until then. Have a great website, a great product and great service (like our friends at Pupunleashed) and it will all come together!