Search engine optimization, or SEO, is one of the earliest digital marketing strategies used by websites to rank higher on search engines. However, our changing relationship with technology, combined with the constant evolution of digital platforms has also meant that SEO has changed dramatically over the years.
While in the past, all industries may have adopted similar tactics with varying degrees of success, today, each may use slightly different approaches depending on their goal. For example, SEO strategies for medical practices may focus on boosting local relevance, while eCommerce SEO services will focus on being relevant to customers around the globe.
The number of people making online purchases has been increasing steadily over the years and this growth doesn’t show signs of slowing down. If you are an eCommerce business, it is important you invest in eCommerce SEO services so people who are searching for the products you sell can find your website or online store easily.
HOW IS ECOMMERCE SEO DIFFERENT FROM REGULAR SEO?
While the foundational principles of SEO remain the same, eCommerce SEO is different from normal SEO in the areas it lays more emphasis on. Unlike SEO for certain types of sites that may do just fine by identifying a few keywords, building blog content, and getting some backlinks once in a while, eCommerce SEO requires all this and more. It needs precise and constantly evolving on-page optimizations based on user intent and search engine updates.
OPTIMAL SITE STRUCTURE IS INTEGRAL TO ECOMMERCE SEO SUCCESS
If you own an eCommerce website, it’s easy to fall into the trap of an overly complex website structure. You may have seasonal discounts you want to showcase, new products you want people to see, different categories of each product, and more. However, no one likes to be lost in a maze (unless it’s an actual maze and they are there to enjoy it). If your site structure is complicated, visitors are going to leave. Not only is this frustrating for users, but it also increases the bounce rate of your website, an indication to Google that your site isn’t relevant.
“A simple site structure helps search engines understand the relevancy and interconnectedness of your products.”
CATEGORY AND PRODUCT PAGE DESCRIPTIONS ARE NECESSARY FOR ECOMMERCE SITES
Some website hosting platforms may automatically populate text on product pages. As a business owner with limited time, it may seem harmless to let that text remain as it is. However, your category and product pages are the most important pages on your website and not crafting intentional, compelling and search engine optimized content on these pages could prove to be costly.
Your product page should be rich with relevant keywords that describe your product, give specifications, include the materials you use, and be written in a tone your audience can relate to.
The content on your product pages takes on the role of a salesperson in a brick and mortar store. It helps your prospective customer gather details about the product and may often be the reason they move from being a browser to being a customer.
IMAGE OPTIMIZATION IS AN IMPORTANT CONTRIBUTOR TO ECOMMERCE SEO
Having solid photos of the products you are selling may be the first step toward attracting customers to your website. However, it is equally, if not more important, for your images to be optimized. Avoid uploading images with file names such as 0001.jpeg. This file name does not provide any information to the web crawler. In addition, it is not useful for people who may be using screen readers.
KEYWORDS TAKE ON ADDITIONAL MEANING IN ECOMMERCE SEO
We know keywords are important for SEO, but understanding user intent is especially important for eCommerce SEO. Only when you understand user intent can you create valuable content.
Let’s say you know a user is searching for “pens” but they could be searching for “pens for drawing”, “graphite pens”, “pens to gift people”, or even “animal pens”! If you don’t know the intent behind the search term, you could be creating quality content that doesn’t convert because it doesn’t provide value.
One of the most important and overarching themes of eCommerce SEO VS normal SEO is that eCommerce SEO is always on. It needs to keep up with changing seasons, your inventory, new customer preferences, ever-evolving trends, and of course, updates from search engines themselves.
WHY YOU SHOULD INVEST IN ECOMMERCE SEO
The U.S. eCommerce market grew from more than $27 billion to more than $860 billion in two decades and the tide is continuing to rise. As more people shop online, more eCommerce businesses step in to answer this growing demand.
It is not enough to simply have good products. Helping customers find your products and convincing them to select you over competitors is important to your business’ success. Yes, you could invest in paid ads and organic social media marketing to spread the word about your business, but consider how many times you have shut a pop-up ad down or ignored a social media post from a brand. While paid ads and social posts do support your digital marketing strategy, SEO is one of the most important pillars of your business’ success.
Not only does it cost less compared to other strategies, but eCommerce SEO also helps you develop long-term authority by establishing trust with your customers.
At Boxwood Digital, we specialize in helping eCommerce businesses rank better by implementing a multi-pronged SEO strategy that includes on-page and off-page optimizations. See our work and schedule a consultation with us.
ABOUT VASUNDHARA MOHAN
Vasundhara is the content manager at Boxwood Digital Marketing. Interested in a range of subjects that include immersive travel, heritage arts, and psychology, Vasundhara enjoys identifying how brands can stand out and deliver solutions to customers. She primarily writes about website content strategy, content writing, and content marketing. When she isn’t helping clients develop their content, Vasundhara enjoys freelance travel writing.