Ecommerce SEO: Your complete guide

seo for ecommerce
(Last Updated On: September 14, 2022)

Ecommerce SEO allows customers come to discover your online store when they search for products on search engines like Google.

For that, you will need to optimise your store’s content and certain technical aspects.

SEO can be an overwhelming topic to learn. In this guide, you’ll get a jargon-free insight into the basics of eCommerce SEO.

What is eCommerce SEO?

Imagine a crowded physical market. Many shops are selling products similar to yours — you’ve got competition. Potential customers are walking down the street searching for the right shop. How do you show your ideal customers that your shop sells exactly what they’re looking for? 

You put up signs, showcase your best products, and make the store look appealing. 

This is what eCommerce SEO does for your online store — makes it more discoverable and gives the potential to beat your competitors.  

eCommerce SEO gives your online store the potential to get discovered by your ideal customers and beat competitors.

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the process of optimising your website to get seen on search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo. 

According to a survey by think with Google, 41% of shoppers go to Google when discovering a new brand. In order to acquire customers, it’s important to appear across places where potential customers may be browsing. 

This means that when your target audience searches on Google for the product or service they want, your online store should rank high on the search engine results pages (SERPs). For example, if you search for ‘cotton sarees’. This is what you will find on Google:

cotton sare google search
Google search results for ‘cotton saree’

You will find 10 organic search results for the product (red). Alongside these, you can see paid ads results (blue) and the Google shopping carousel (orange). 

Performing SEO for your eCommerce website helps it rank for organic search. This means that you can attract customers naturally, without the help of paid ads. 

The higher you rank for search terms that your potential customers might be using, the more traffic you’ll generate for your store. Your goal should always be to show up in the first 3 to 4 results on the first page. 

Before you start optimising, check out this list of SEO trends for 2022 which you can follow.

Laying the groundwork: keyword research 

Search engines decide which websites to rank based on keywords. These are words that searchers type in the search bar. Your business should target specific keywords related to the products you’re selling.

The first step is to keyword strategies to improve your online store SEO.

For example, if you sell cotton sarees, here are some of the keywords people search for ased on that: pure cotton saree, plain cotton sarees, chanderi cotton saree, khadi cotton saree. 

Now, let’s look at hoe you can perform keyword research effectively.

How to find the right keywords 

The easiest way is to use Google search.

Type in “buy [what you sell]” and you will see a bunch of suggestions. These are the main keywords people search for on Google related to your product. If you have multiple products, repeat this step for each product.

keyword research

To get this task done quickly, you can use keyword research tools like Ubersuggest and Semrush. Simply enter the product name to get related keywords and search volume (how many people search for it every month on average).

For example, if you look up the term ‘toys for pets’ on Semrush, here are the results:

semrush results

You now know how to perform keyword research. In the next sections, we’ll look at how to use these keywords to make your eCommerce website SEO-friendly. 

Note: Only choose keywords that your products would genuinely satisfy. 

Get this ebook for free: Stop feeling invisible – a beginner’s guide to eCommerce SEO

Optimising website content: on-page SEO for eCommerce

The page which you mainly need to optimise with the keywords is the product page.

Here are the features you need to optimise:

  • Product descriptions
  • Meta descriptions 
  • Alt text for images 

1. Meta tags:

These are mainly title tags and meta descriptions. Meta tags help you optimise your store for by telling the search engine what the website is about.

Meta descriptions are the short descriptions that show up when your website shows up on Google search results. The description helps the user understand what your website is for, and who is it meant to target. If people like what they read, they will click on the link. A high click-through rate has a positive impact on Google’s ranking. 

2. Product descriptions

The description of the product is extremely important for not only search engine rankings but also for better conversions. Using relevant keywords, good quality content, original copy and informed writing can help your online store rank better.

Here’s an example of a good product description:

product description
Product description of a wall hanging

3. Alt text:

Images are recognised by search engines with the help of al texts. They are brief descriptions of an image. Use your keywords to correctly describe each and every product images and use them as alt texts. 

Category structuring: organise your eCommerce store

Once you know the right business keywords to target, it’s time to use that information to structure your online store. 

Site structuring is about setting up your eCommerce store’s navigation, category pages, and product pages. The goal is to get the best, most relevant pages in front of shoppers and reduce the number of times they have to click to find it from the home page. 

Your home page should link to all your major category pages, and even some of your popular product pages as well. (Online stores made with Instamojo do this automatically!)

It will help your store visitors find products easily and also give your site a better chance of ranking highly in search. 

To get a good idea of this, take a look at the online store home page of Shilpkriti:

Your home page is the most authoritative page on your website. In technical words, internal links from one page on your site to another pass some of that “link juice” or “authority” from one page to another. 

So, a site with poor navigation also hurts your search rankings. 

Here is what a good site structure looks like:

category structure

Building an efficient structure for your eCommerce website 

If your customers can’t find your products efficiently, then they will leave your website. And the more customers you lose, Google also sees you as untrustworthy.

Having a good category structure helps build legitimacy with Google.

Here are a few questions to ask: 

  • How many categories / sub-categories should you include?
  • Should you use drop down menus?
  • If you want a minimal website, what navigation items do you include or exclude?

The answers to these questions vary for each business because every eCommerce site is unique. The best way is to prioritise based on what your customers want, as it promotes more sales and conversions. 

Keep these three things in mind when structuring an eCommerce website:

  1. Keep it simple and scalable
  2. Use keywords to decide which categories are more important
  3. No page should take more than 3 clicks to get to

Here’s an example of a good eCommerce navigational structure from Izzicommerce online store:

izzicommerce online store structure
Source: Izzicommerce

Though the store has a large number of products, they have been categorised according to relevant keywords and navigated to separate product pages.

While site structure varies for each website, here are some pretty much universal navigation for online store:

  • Logo: Always be sure the logo links to the home page.
  • About Us: Never keep your about us page blank just because it doesn’t sell anything
  • Contact: Keep your contacts page accessible from your home page or footer
  • Checkout/Cart: You want visitors to be able to get to their cart and check out easily.

Protip: Add “related products” section to each product page for building more link authority. Instamojo offers premium merchants the option to include product bundles manually on their store. Related products and product bundles are primarily for upsell. However, it also has a secondary benefit – “interlinking”. When eCommerce stores link related products and bundle them, they passively provide more context to Google bots about related products/categories, which helps Google rank the store better.

Having relevant content on your online store pages also helps in ranking higher. More on that in the next section.

SEO for your Instamojo online store

Instamojo has in-built tools that help you optimise your store for better search engine rankings. Let’s have a look at these SEO features:

You can find the SEO tool under the ‘marketing’ section on your dashboard.

1. Basic SEO 

adding meta tags on instamojo store
Adding meta tags on your Instamojo dashboard

The first step is to add meta tags for your store. You can also add keywords and to help search engines understand the topic of your store better. Make sure that each keyword accurately reflects the content of your pages.

2. Manage custom meta tags

ecommerce seo

With custom meta tags, you can provide Google with additional information about your store pages.

You can add a custom meta tag for each page of your online store.

 

 

create custom meta tags
Create a custom meta tag for each store page

3. Link Google Search Console

Google Search Console is a free tool from Google that help you understand how your website is performing on Google Search with data. You can directly connect with it through your Instamojo dashboard.

6 must-have features for a search-friendly eCommerce website

There are certain features that every online store should have to attract online shoppers apart from the ones listed above. These 6 features are also tied to user experience, conversion, and other eCommerce elements other than SEO.

1. User-friendly:

According to a recent study by Hubspot, 76% of consumers say that ease of use is the most important factor when it comes to websites. 

Apart from this, a simple user interface also contributes to better SEO score, thus improving your chances to rank. Here’s how you can make your eCommerce store user-friendly:

  • Create efficient site navigation 
  • Provide relevant product categories
  • Have a search feature on your store 
  • Include price range and other filters

Online sellers have minutes, if not seconds, to make a sale. Focus on the user experience and see your conversion rates soaring up along with organic traffic.

2. Mobile optimised website:

With mobile commerce growing rapidly each year, it’s now more important than ever to craft a superior mobile experience for your customers.  

According to recent studies, 53% of mobile shoppers will abandon a website if it doesn’t load in 3 seconds. This means that even if you get your optimisation correct and rank higher on Google, your business might still fail if the page load time is higher. 

some of the critical mobile optimisation metrics that Google takes into account are Core web vitals and Mobile usability.

3. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

FAQ sections are a self-help area to address common customer problems and give more details about your store. Apart from that, FAQ sections play an important role in SEO for eCommerce. They can help your website obtain featured snippets along with rich results.

Good FAQ pages should only have keywords when they are relevant to the user or query. This will help avoid keyword stuffing, which can harm your search rankings.

4. High resolution photos

Your online store needs high quality photos on product pages. Users highly depend on images when making a purchasing decision. So, your eCommerce website should have the ability to display multiple photos per product. And the photos need to be optimized for page load by compressing them. sing lossless image compression tools like tinypng.com. 

Here’s a complete guide on eCommerce product photography to get you started.

5. Wish lists

Don’t have a wish list feature yet on your eCommerce store?  You’re leaving a lot of money on the table! 

Having customers bookmark a product in their wish list will give you chances for retargeting ads. Also, your website gets free traffic when shoppers share their wish lists with family and friends. 

Instamojo stores come with many in-built features, including wishlists. Your customers can easily sign up on your store and create wishlists.

6. User-generated reviews and ratings

Reviews are important to build trust as a business and also boosts your SEO organically. 

When customers review products, they tend to use terms that happen to be the keywords such as the name of the product, the brand, and the benefits of using it. This boosts SERP ratings and improves your overall online brand presence.

Moreover, ratings on online stores become a factor for click-through rates from SERP because it’s displayed in the snippet:

review

So make sure that your eCommerce website has the ability to collect and display customer reviews. 

Conclusion 

Google has always been updating their algorithm regularly. However, despite multiple technical changes over the years, one thing remained constant. Quality beats everything. 

For your eCommerce website to get maximum traffic and conversion rates, the products or services you provide also have to be top-notch. 

However, you can accelerate the discovery process for new customers by optimising your online store to rank better on Google. 

If Google loves you, customers will find you. And if your customers love you, Google will love you even more! 

Instamojo comes with SEO tools that help you reach a wider customer base. On the premium store, you can add meta descriptions, meta tags and much more to help rank better on Google.

Start creating your eCommerce store for free today!


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