With Product Listing Ads (PLA) becoming costlier day by day, SEO is now considered to be one of the best opportunities for eCommerce businesses to both, combat the rising prices of paid ads and generate more organic traffic.
But, at the same time, there are also frequent search engine algorithm changes happening nowadays.
And with these new search engine algorithm updates and lots of conflicting advice being posted every day on the internet, it has become extremely challenging for eCommerce business owners to figure out exactly where to start eCommerce SEO.
If you’re an eCommerce business owner who is floating in a similar boat, your worry ends here.
In this article, I’ve uncovered some of the best and proven ways using which you can easily improve your eCommerce SEO rankings and drive more organic traffic towards your online store.
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What is SEO & How It Works in eCommerce?
Technically, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and it’s a set of activities that helps to improve rankings of a website in the search engine result pages.
In simple terms, just think of search engines as a store directory in a mall, except the mall represents the whole worldwide web.
Now, that’s definitely tons of stores competing across the world.
But the good news is, SEO can help your eCommerce store stand apart from others by being the most helpful to your customers and highly visible to searching customers.
Why SEO Matters for eCommerce Stores?
SEO is critically necessary for eCommerce stores nowadays.
Compared to Social media paid ads that require a constant effort and a steady stream of income, SEO only requires effort up-front, meaning once you rank on search engine result pages, you practically make sales on autopilot.
Fortunately, eCommerce SEO, when done right, can tremendously boost your SEO rankings and help you to provide the best solutions to a user’s search intent.
That being said, let’s look at 5 proven and sure-fire ways you can implement right now to improve the SEO rankings of your eCommerce store.
5 Sure-Fire Ways to Improve eCommerce SEO Rankings in 2020
SEO plays a significant role in establishing a strong online presence of any eCommerce business.
So, if you want to be seen by prospective customers, you must optimize your eCommerce store to improve your SEO rankings.
To give you a head start, I have already done the hard work and gathered the 5 sure-fire ways that can help you improve your eCommerce SEO rankings.
1. Optimize for Mobile
Ever since Google rolled out the Mobile-First Indexing algorithm update, Optimizing your eCommerce store for mobile has become a must now.
Although, optimizing for mobile isn’t just for Google and SEO. Adobe Analysts reported that more than one-third of last year’s Black Friday sales were made on smartphones.
That means if your eCommerce site is not properly mobile optimized, you’re at a serious disadvantage in terms of both, SEO rankings as well as converting mobile users into customers.
2. Reduce Loading Time
Reducing loading time isn’t only essential for providing a great user experience, it also helps to improve your SEO rankings as Google has made Loading Time a direct ranking factor.
Now, the ideal loading speed of a website is under 3 seconds. And according to research, 53% of users are likely to abandon a website if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load.
The good news is, there are lots of tools out there to help you measure the current loading speed of your eCommerce store.
Among all the available tools, my favorite tools that I highly recommend using are:
The best part about these tools is that they both provide insights into how you can fix your slow loading speed issue.
Though the most common ways to improve the loading speed is image compression, checking Google Tag Manager for finding faulty scripts, and eliminating excess calls that usually lead to slowing down your site’s loading speed.
3. Optimize Your Content
While this is a massive subject and requires a separate article altogether, but for the sake of this one, I would like to draw your attention to the 2 most important areas explained below.
Writing accurate product descriptions is often challenging for eCommerce stores, especially when they sell products from manufacturers that also have an eCommerce store of their own. And if this is your case, it’s best to focus on the psychology behind the product. Ask yourself questions like “Why would someone want to purchase this product in the first place?” or “What information you can provide other than the generic details that the manufacturer offers?”
Now, from the SEO perspective, think about the keywords you’re trying to rank for. Spend as much time as needed researching the right keywords to target for your products and place them across your product page that makes sense.
What I have learned from working for a global leader in the digital commerce industry is that the top eCommerce brands always treat their category pages as individual home pages. In simple words, it’s best to optimize your category pages for the primary keywords you’re trying to rank for. Not only will this allow you to target high-search volume keywords, but it will also boost your chances of ranking for more broad and worthy keywords.
4. Add Customer Reviews
If you want your eCommerce website to be noticed by search engines and improve its SEO rankings, one of the proven ways to do that is by regularly adding customer reviews on your product pages.
Almost all search engines treat customer reviews as new content and engagement, which directly influences the SEO rankings of a website.
So, if you want to positively impact your SEO rankings, consider adding customer reviews through third-party credibility sources to improve the user experience as well as SEO rankings of your store.
5. Add Breadcrumbs
Breadcrumbs basically help both Google as well as your customers to understand the relationship between the pages on your eCommerce store.
In simple words, it helps Google bots understand the hierarchy of your eCommerce store and helps customers to comprehend their current position on your eCommerce website.
Now, breadcrumbs are a tried-and-tested technique to both improve the user experience and the SEO rankings by simplifying it on the SERPs.
And there are 3 different types of breadcrumbs you can use on your eCommerce website.
This is the most common type of breadcrumb. It basically highlights the current position of a page in the website hierarchy.
As you can see from the above screenshot, an internet user can easily visit a similar page through the given location-based breadcrumbs.
The main difference between location-based breadcrumbs and attribute-based breadcrumbs is that instead of using the page title, the attribute-based breadcrumbs use a specific keyword to represent the web page. And they’re ideal for eCommerce websites for the reason highlighted in the screenshot below.
History-based breadcrumbs basically help you to display the path that the user has taken to a specific webpage on your eCommerce website.
All in all, breadcrumbs help with website navigation, site mapping, and organization of your eCommerce site structure, which all ultimately contributes to increasing the onsite click-through rates from the potential shoppers visiting your eCommerce store.
Bonus: Display Rich Snippets with Product Review Schema
Although, the breadcrumbs can greatly help in increasing the CTR on your online store.
But if you really want to stand apart from the competitors on the Google search results page, then it’s definitely worth considering to display Google’s rich snippets using the product review schema.
Below is a quick example of Product Review Schema on Google SERPs:
As you can see, Google has picked up the Product Review Schema and displayed its rich snippets that allow eCommerce websites to enjoy more brand visibility.
And the good news is, you can easily get these rich snippets for your eCommerce store by simply implementing the Schema Markup on your product pages.
It’s basically a unique code that helps the Search Engine bots to easily understand the content of your web pages.
Now, there is no guarantee that Google will display your brand in its rich snippets. But if you properly add the schema markup, you can definitely get Google to display your brand in its rich snippets.
If you seriously want to improve the SEO rankings for your eCommerce store, you need to apply these strategies today.
Ranking in the top 3 positions on Google has never been easy. And it is extremely difficult, especially for eCommerce.
But it doesn’t mean it’s impossible to reach the top 3 slots on Google.
By implementing these 5 tried-and-tested ways, you can easily start rising above your competitors and ultimately start to rank on the first 3 results for all your main target keywords.
Just keep in mind that SEO takes time and it may take weeks before you see any results. So be patient and be consistent with the efforts and you’ll definitely make it your way to the top soon.