Search engines are one of the top sources of e-commerce traffic. According to Smart Insights, nearly 40 percent of all e-commerce traffic comes from search engines. You don’t have to invest in paid advertising, however, to attract search engine users to your e-commerce store. Rather, you can conduct search engine optimization (SEO). With the right SEO strategy, your e-commerce store will rank higher in the search results where it generates free and high-quality organic traffic.
You’ll need to verify that search engines can crawl your e-commerce store. Crawling is necessary for rankings. If search engines can’t crawl one or more pages on your e-commerce store, they won’t be able to rank those pages.
To verify crawlability, use Google’s and Bing’s URL inspection tools. Both search engines offer a URL inspection tool. Google’s URL inspection tool is available in Search Console, whereas Bing’s URL inspection tool is available in Bing Webmaster Tools. Using these URL inspection tools, you can test your e-commerce store’s pages for crawling errors encountered by Google and Bing.
Touch Up Product Descriptions
Product descriptions are a form of content, and like other forms of content, they can affect your e-commerce store’s rankings in the search results. If your e-commerce store has short or generic product descriptions, its search rankings may suffer. You’ll experience greater SEO success by creating long and unique product descriptions.
Long and unique product descriptions will encourage search engines to assign your e-commerce store’s product pages higher rankings. Long product descriptions have more text than short product descriptions, so they offer search engines more stuff to crawl and rank — assuming they are unique.
Another essential part of e-commerce SEO is image optimization. Whether your e-commerce store has 100 or 1,000 images, you should take the time to optimize them. Well-optimized images help search engines identify the most relevant keywords for your e-commerce store. When properly optimized, images will also load faster. The combination of increased keyword relevancy and faster load times can fuel your e-commerce store’s search rankings.
Image optimization consists of the following processes:
- Cropping and resizing to the appropriate dimensions
- Adding a descriptive alt text attribute tag
- Using a relevant filename
- Saving in the right format
- Compressing to minimize bloat
Manage Duplicate Content
If your e-commerce store has duplicate content, you’ll need to manage it. Duplicate content is any significant section of text that appears on multiple pages. Search engines only use original content as a ranking factor. When the same section of text appears on multiple pages, they may rank the original page but not the other pages.
While duplicate content can occur on all websites, it’s particularly widespread on e-commerce stores. Products, for instance, are often published on multiple category and search filtering pages. If you have a blog on your e-commerce store, some of your blog posts may be published on multiple pages as well.
You can manage your e-commerce store’s duplicate content by using canonical tags. Canonical tags are Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) coding snippets that define the original version of a piece of content. For each page containing duplicate content, you can include a canonical tag pointing to the original page.
Measure Core Web Vitals
Don’t forget to measure your e-commerce store’s Core Web Vitals. In November 2020, Google announced plans to update its ranking algorithm with a new set of user experience-focused signals. Known as Core Web Vitals, these signals reflect how well or poorly visitors can use your e-commerce store.
There are three metrics for Core Web Vitals, including Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS), Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) and First Input Delay (FID). You can measure all of them by using Google’s PageSpeed Insights service at developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights. Ensuring your e-commerce store
Audit Meta Tags
You should audit your e-commerce store’s meta tags. Meta tags are on-page ranking signals. They consist of HTML coding snippets that describe the content on a page. The meta title tag, for example, describes the title of a page’s content, whereas the meta description tag offers a longer description of a page’s content. When conducting SEO, make sure each page on your e-commerce store has a relevant and unique meta title tag and meta description tag.
Don’t worry about using the meta keywords tag on your e-commerce store. While it was originally used as a ranking signal, the meta keywords tag no longer affects search rankings. Using it will only expose your website’s target keywords to your competitors, some of whom may optimize their online stores to rank for the same keywords.
Build and Validate a Sitemap
Building, as well as validating, a sitemap can improve your e-commerce store’s rankings. Most e-commerce stores are larger than traditional websites and standalone blogs. They contain product pages, content pages, checkout pages and more, resulting in a larger size. With so many different types of pages, search engines may fail to crawl your entire e-commerce store. A sitemap will ensure that search engines don’t overlook any pages.
Sitemaps are files that contain information about the websites’ pages. When you build a sitemap, you can list the URLs for all of the pages on your e-commerce store. Search engines will reference this file when crawling your e-commerce store. Therefore, they won’t overlook any pages. After building a sitemap, validate it using a tool like xml-sitemaps.com/validate-xml-sitemap.html to ensure it’s formatted correctly.
You should track your e-commerce store’s rankings as well. Pay attention to both the keywords for which your e-commerce store ranks as well as the average positions of those keywords.
Many SEO tools offer ranking tracking. SEMRush and Ahrefs, for example, can reveal the keywords and average positions for which your e-commerce store ranks. Alternatively, you can simply use Search Console for Google rankings and Bing Webmaster Tools for Bing rankings.
Traffic is responsible for e-commerce conversions. While there are plenty of other ways to generate traffic, few compare to SEO. Hiring an experienced, results-driven SEO Company will lead to higher rankings so that your e-commerce store attracts more search engine users.