eCommerce websites live and die based on the quality of the traffic they attract, which is why getting the right eCommerce digital marketing strategy is essential. A major part of eCommerce digital strategies is search engine based marketing, as it allows you to target customers who are actively searching for your products.
Whilst PPC campaigns can be turned on and off as the need arises, getting your ecommerce website to rank in Search Engines like Google can be tricky. There’s no on and off switch, and you need to meet the stringent requirements that Google in particular has to get ranking well.
That’s why getting the SEO right on your eCommerce website is essential, as without it your website will flounder in bringing in organic web traffic.
If SEO is an essential for your eCommerce business, then what is the best way to implement an SEO strategy that’s specialised for an eCommerce site? Well we’ve outlined some of the major steps you need to consider.
Step 1: Keyword Research
All SEO strategies start with keyword research, but for eCommerce websites there’s a little bit more work that needs to be done. It’s not just about finding the right key terms that people are searching for, it’s about understanding the intent that the user has behind those terms so you can match them up to the right sort of pages on your site.
But simply, keywords for eCommerce sites can be broken into two sorts of terms:
- High Intent Purchasing Terms
- Informational terms related to products
High intent Purchasing terms are the terms that you want to focus your core website on. Your category pages and product pages should be your main pages for these terms, as they are the ones most likely to convert. These terms are normally product names, or descriptions of the items being looked for.
Informational terms require you to invest some time in additional content on your website. That’s because the user is probably not at the buying stage just yet, are looking for information that will influence their purchase. These pieces of content are the sort of thing you’ll find on a blog and can be targeting terms like “ Best Value < insert product name here>”.
Step 2: Proper Categorisation of Products
Put bluntly it doesn’t matter what key terms you target for your eCommerce SEO strategy if you don’t have the right pages on your site. This means you need to make sure that the categorisation of your website supports your SEO strategy.
You do this by making sure that the big money terms that people are searching for are aligned to your categorisation. It’s not just about having the page though, it’s about having the right language used as well. Whilst Google is adept at identifying synonyms ( for example, 2 man Tent and 2 Berth tent) it’s always advisable to make sure your categorisation sues the correct terms, because it will make your life a lot easier when it comes to ranking the pages.
Step 3: Long Tail Optimisation
As part of your keyword research you’ll likely have found a lot of terms that were highly specific for the products you sell on your eCommerce site but you may not have specific pages for them already. Examples of this include colour and size variations of products such as “ Extra Large Green T shirt”.
These Long tail variants key terms may not have huge volumes of traffic attached to them, but the sheer number and high propensity of users to purchase a product for these terms makes them very valuable.
Targeting these terms can often involve creating large volumes of pages that didn’t exist before. This can be a monumental job, and can be both tricky and time consuming. There are however a few basic points that need to be hit across all these pages such as:
- Unique Optimised Copy
- Optimised Meta Titles
- Meta Descriptions provided
- Images Fully optimised.
If you hit these points you’ll be in a good position to start getting these terms ranking.
Step 4: Product Page Optimisation
Product Pages can be a special kind of challenge when it comes to SEO as you need to balance the user experience of making purchasing easy for the suer whilst hitting the requirements that Google has for SEO. luckily we’ve already produced a Guide to how to optimise your product pages for SEO.
Step 5: Generate Backlinks
Almost all SEO, whether for an eCommerce website, a Blog or a lead generation site, involves generating backlinks to your target and high value pages. Without backlinks you’ll struggle to rank, so backlink generation is an essential activity you need to work on. Make sure you’re linking to a variety of pages throughout the site so your profile is natural. What that means is don’t just generate links at a few specific pages, make sure your blogs, your products and other pages get some attention as well.
If that sounds like a lot, that’s because it can be. Getting your SEO correct is one of the most difficult areas of digital marketing, which is why it can be necessary to work with an award winning SEO agency like GSM. Whatever your current approach to SEO, we’re confident that we can improve your rankings, and boost your business. If you’d like to know more about how we can help you then sign up for one of our free SEO Audits.