SEO for Ecommerce Website: A Beginner’s Guide for Solopreneurs

Ecommerce is growing; there’s no doubt about that, but so is the competition among small businesses in all niches. There are hundreds of jewelry stores, car dealerships, freelancers, and other local businesses in your city that are trying to catch the eyes of customers online with an ecommerce website.

So now that you’ve built a website for your solo venture, the problem is getting it to show up on the top of Google and get good traffic. How do you get consistent, quality traffic on your ecommerce website for free? (No ads!)

Well, it is possible with some basic SEO. Here’s a beginner’s guide to SEO that uncomplicates the technical jargon and helps you become the SEO expert your ecommerce business needs.

Ecommerce SEO is the process of generating more traffic for your online store and making your business rank higher on SERP (Search Engine Results Page)

What is SERP?

Let’s suppose you want to buy jewelry online. You go on to Google and search “buy jewelry online”.

The resulting page shown below is what we call the SERP.

Image source

Here, you’ll find ads in the topmost section. These ads are followed by 10 organic results, courtesy of ecommerce SEO.

There may be hundreds of such SERPs. The higher the page number you rank on, the lower the traffic your store generates. Guess what this has a direct impact on? Your conversions!

According to HubSpot, 75% of internet users never scroll beyond the first page of search results.

Is it enough then to just be on the first SERP?

Well, not so much. The number 1 organic result is 10 times more likely to receive a click than the 10th result on the same page.

So, the goal is clear. To rank as high as possible on the first page of Google, Bing, Yahoo, or any other search engine. Guess what makes that possible? Ecommerce SEO.

As a beginner, here are three areas of Ecommerce SEO you must focus on:

  1. Perform Keyword Research

Go to any SEO expert and the first thing they’ll tell you is to focus on keywords. These keywords are those high-value search terms that your potential customer is using.

Before we move ahead, let’s differentiate between ecommerce (or purchase intent) keywords and normal (or information intent) keywords.

For example, most of the normal keyword research is focused on informational keywords such as “What is ecommerce micro-fulfillment?

But as an eCommerce business, you need to focus on commercial keywords that show buying intent such as “jewelry for wedding

How to find keywords?

  • Google Autosuggest: When you type your query on Google, Google completes it via its autosuggest feature. You can find people’s most searched queries and convert them into keywords.
  • Related searches on Google: For every query you type, you can find related searches at the bottom of the page.
  • Perform these same steps by going to your eCommerce competitors: Let’s do it for the same phrase on Amazon. You can get many such ideas by exploring different competitors

Important terms to remember

  • Search volume: A high search volume means high popularity. These keywords can bring a lot of traffic to your online store.
  • Keyword Difficulty: This measures how much effort it would take for your content to rank high on Google for a certain keyword. An ideal keyword would have high search volume and low competition.
  • Short-tail and long-tail keywords: Short-tail keywords are shorter terms users search like “jewelry” whereas long-tail keywords are longer and more specific than short-tail such as “jewelry under $1000”.

According to research, short-tail keywords receive 11 times more traffic but when it comes to conversions, long-tail keywords steal the show with 4.15% higher conversions as these terms tend to have a more specific intent, such as a purchase.

  1. Optimize site architecture

In simple terms, a site architecture refers to how the pages on your site are structured and organized. This has a direct impact on your search engine rankings and even user experience.

When it comes to ecommerce, there’s a high probability that you’ll be adding and removing a lot of products and categories. Is your site architecture ready to take on these changes? Or will you have to rearrange and reorganize this architecture every time you add a product category?

Here are two basic rules you need to take care of:

  • Make your site structure simple so that visitors can easily find what they need, at the same time ensure it is scalable.
  • Make sure people can reach what they are looking for in less than three clicks. For example, getting to the product page from the home page in a maximum of three clicks.

There’s a lot more when it comes to site architecture. You can refer to this guide when you decide to move beyond the basics.

  1. Optimize product pages

On-page user optimization can help you rank higher on Google and increase organic traffic and conversions.

Here are four main optimization rules to focus on when it comes to product pages:

  • Product name and product description: Ensure you add a common search term or keyword phrase to your product name as it will also appear in the SEO title and URL

The same goes for product descriptions. Apart from that, you can also include detailed descriptions, key testimonials from your customers, and CTAs to maximize the impact.

  • Image optimization: Images are a must when it comes to ecommerce. Choose optimal image sizes and adhere to the image guidelines your platform recommends. Use appropriate keywords in file names and provide captions with alt tags for pictures.
  • Add CTAs: CTAs like “Add to Cart” or “Buy Now” are must-haves on your product pages to encourage users to take action.
  • Make use of canonical tags: When you canonicalize a page, you indicate to Google that this URL is the master version that Google should display in search results. This is helpful when you have duplicate content. Without these tags, Google might reduce your ranking ability, choose the wrong URL to feature, and miss out on featuring unique content.

Be it link building, content marketing, or on-site optimizations, there’s a lot to eCommerce SEO that’ll keep you busy.

But as a solopreneur, we know it’s not easy to juggle being an SEO expert and growing your business at the same time. These three steps are perfect for you to get started with SEO and increase your probability to get featured on the first page of Google.

Author Bio

Hiral Rana Dholakiya is a Digital Marketing Consultant with over 10 years of experience. She's passionate about all things Digital & Social Media and has conducted training programs at institutes like GLS University and L.J. Institute of Media & Communications. Hiral also shares her insights and knowledge with the audience of publications like AdWeek, Entrepreneur Magazine, Social Media Today and Social Media Examiner to name a few. You can follow her on Twitter @IamHiralRana.

Hiral Rana Dholakiya
April 22, 2022

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