As an 8-year veteran of the eCommerce space, I have years of trial and error under my belt. I have planned, implemented, and measured countless SEO strategies. Some knocked it out of the park, and some fell so flat it literally kept me up at night. Through this (shall I say, trial by fire), I have come out the other side with lean, effective SEO techniques that crush it for eCommerce websites.
Today our clients, and now you, the reader of this article, get to reap the rewards!
Below are our 5 top SEO strategies that we use for eCommerce websites – battle-tested and ready to be put to work.
1. Use Your Product Category Pages as SEO Landing Pages
This may surprise you, but we actually find better success with channeling organic traffic to category pages rather than specific product pages. Here’s why:
How people search Google. With some exceptions, shoppers generally Google search queries that are closer to describing a category of items than one specific item. If you were shopping for a new couch, would you sit down and google “sectional couches” or “Alston Modular Sectional Sofa”?
They never go “out of stock.” Many eCommerce business owners know that when an item shows out of stock on their website, it can take anywhere from weeks to months to recover its position in google. The beauty of directing traffic to category pages instead? Users never land on a page that’s out of stock!
It takes shoppers to an easier-to-browse page. Armed with the knowledge that most online shoppers don’t begin their search with one specific item already in mind, directing them to a category page makes their shopping experience much more enjoyable. They can now effortlessly browse and sort through the page they landed on while also having an opportunity to explore other products.
2. Focus Your Time and Energy on the Most Important 20%
We all know the adage: 80% of your business comes from 20% of your products. So, spend your SEO time and effort on just that 20% too. Now, its okay if some of the products you deem worthy are in your aspirational 20%, but what I mean is don’t waste your SEO work on products that have horrible margins or are difficult to sell. Want to keep them up on the website just in case someone is really looking for them? No problem. But should you strategically optimize the meta info, write 500 words of content, and add multimedia to those pages? Probably not.
Good SEO strategies don’t fight against what is already working. By taking a keyword that you already rank for, that leads to a product you already sell well, and just enhancing that ranking by doing further optimizations can result in great, quick wins.
3. Know When and How To Use “Evergreen” Content
This tip is a huge long-term time saver.
To those who aren’t familiar, “evergreen” content is content that never becomes irrelevant or needs to be updated if your product selection changes. For the most part, all of your website content that is not either in a blog or on a specific product page should be evergreen content.
Here is an example. If you are writing copy for your category page, instead of listing off examples of your products and talking about the various colors and sizes you have, keep all of your verbiage generalized. That way, if an item is ever pulled from the page or you add new items, you won’t have to update the category page content to fit the new selection. It saves time, prevents potential customer confusion, and allows you to consistently build the SEO viability of that page.
It’s a game-changer!
4. Identify High-intent-to-buy Keywords
When considering which SEO keywords you want to use on your website, focus on the search terms that real shoppers who are ready to buy are typing into Google. Think to yourself, could this search term also be used by someone just looking for a job in my industry? Is the term so broad that someone could be looking for something else entirely? Or is this person really looking for the item I sell so they can buy it?
For example, if you sell industrial LED light fixtures, you might do some keyword research and find that terms like “good light,” “ceiling light,” and “lighting companies” are frequently searched. Sure they have a lot of search volume, but someone sitting down and typing in these phrases could actually be looking for any number of other things, aside from your industrial LED light fixtures. Even if you did manage to rank well for those terms, those users would become just another figure in your bounce rate. To combat this, focus on terms that someone with a high intent to buy is searching, like literally “buy industrial lights online.”
5. Work on Both Long-Term High Reward and Short-Term Low Reward Keywords Simultaneously
When new to SEO and keyword research, it is common to fall to one of two extremes: you either focus only on very highly searched, common keywords, or you realize how competitive those are and jump to the other extreme of only focusing on low search volume, more obscure keywords.
The truth though, is that you should work on a little bit of both simultaneously. This will get you both quick, small wins and large, long term wins.
Let’s take a look at another example. Say you are a company that sells hiking boots. You may see that a general search term like “hiking shoes” gets a whopping 74,000 google searches a month, but is extremely competitive to rank for. You might then find a keyword like “gray hiking shoes” that while much less competitive, gets only about 1,000 searches per month.
So what do you do? At Boxwood, our strategy is to put our hands in both baskets. We recommend spending some time working on various attainable keywords like “gray hiking shoes,” while at the same time working on the more ambitious keywords like “hiking shoes.” The ambitious one might take a year to pay off, but when it does, the payoff is huge.
The result of this multi-pronged approach is that your website gets traffic now and later!
What We Do at Boxwood
At Boxwood Digital, we combine years of eCommerce SEO expertise with well-written, high-quality website content. The result is a stunning average of 30% year over year growth for our clients. We have a passion for seeing massive online growth for our clients.
Want to talk more? Book a call with me personally at this link.