The Most Comprehensive Guide To On-Page SEO for Ecommerce Sites

By Joseph Schneider October 17, 2021

Is search engine optimization still a relevant strategy to improve sales for eCommerce websites in 2021?

Even though SEO has been around for a long time, it is still the best performing strategy for better business.

This is especially true for competitive niches like eCommerce.

87% of all consumers use search engines to check online for products to buy.

This is only set to increase as eCommerce vendors begin to add more products to their inventory.

Ecommerce businesses have also become more innovative over the years.

Today, you can actually shop for automobiles online and have them delivered to your home.

Let’s look at how you can add more power to your Ecommerce website through on-page SEO.

12 Actionable Tips For On-Page Ecommerce SEO

1. Choose The Right Keyword

If there’s any niche that is really dependent on keywords, it is Ecommerce SEO.

Keywords are an important part of every SEO campaign, but it is even more vital when it comes to eCommerce.

The reason keywords are critical is that in eCommerce, there is a different category for every keyword.

You need to rank for individual keywords to place your products or categories on top of the rankings.

An example of this would be the difference between “vitamins” and “multivitamins” on an eCommerce website.

Although both seem a lot similar, they are considerably different for SEO, and they refer to different products and buyers.

Action tips

  • Understand the different mechanics of keywords according to the product.
  • Ecommerce is a highly sensitive niche for keywords – make sure you get them right.

2. Check Existing Rankings

An eCommerce website needs to evaluate existing keywords and their ranks.

This will give you a good idea of what you need to do to rank higher.

You can also add in the missing keywords either from research or competitor analysis.

Checking existing rankings can also avoid overlaps to your on-page SEO strategy.

This means less wasted effort or resources for your eCommerce website.

It can help increase profitability and reduce overheads resulting in much better ROI.

For example, let’s assume you’re already ranking on the second page for a particular keyword like “sports shoes.”

You can use that to build on other keywords like “men’s sports shoes” or “weightlifting shoes.”

Action tips

  • It takes a lot less effort to rank a keyword from second to the first page than starting new.
  • Don’t ignore existing ranking keywords. You can leverage them for better benefits.
  • Monitor and track your keywords through tools from Ahrefs, SEMrush, and MOZ.

3. Opt For Better Security

Security is a crucial part of every eCommerce website.

On any given day, thousands of people might execute hundreds of thousands of transactions on our website.

You need to ensure that your website is secure for all of your users.

Since the majority of the transactions might be financial in nature, you need the best security protocol.

A good first step to take is to ensure that you have opted for the HTTPS security URL.

HTTPS is basically a more secure version of the HTTP protocol that is commonly used.

It allows a high level of data encryption and prevents interception.

Action tips

  • Ensure that your website has HTTPS on all your eCommerce pages.

4. Ensure Low Loading Times

The lower the loading times are on your website; the more people will stay on it.

Ensuring that your website loads up quickly is a key factor when it comes to user experience.

It also significantly helps in ranking your website higher.

Quicker loading websites have considerably fewer bounds than slower websites.

Lower bounce rates mean better conversion ratios.

Recent studies have brought up several factors between load times and bounce rates.

If a website load time goes up to five seconds, the probability of bounce is 90%.

Similarly, for every 100 ms decrease in load time, conversion ratios increased 1.11%.

Action tips

  • Loading times can increase depending on some updates to hosting platforms.
  • Audit and evaluate your loading times for all your web pages.

5. Optimize Product Descriptions For SEO

Product descriptions are critical to the success of your eCommerce site.

This is true for both users and search engines. Product descriptions allow you to increase sales by showing customers what the product is and what it does.

They educate customers about a product and make them feel confident in buying it.

They also help with SEO by adding targeted keywords. The language used in a clear, detailed product description will signal to Google what that page is all about.

Product descriptions should talk about the product specifications and not skimp on details.

You also need to ensure that it is well structured so the user can understand it easily.

Action tips

  • For eCommerce websites, product descriptions are as important as metadata for SEO.
  • You should optimize your product description with both user and SEO in mind.

6. Focus On Category Pages

Like products, categories are also another important part of the eCommerce landscape.

Categories are what enable users to choose from a wide range of products effectively.

When done right, it can also have significant benefits for on-page SEO.

It is important to use categorization to create a website hierarchy. This will ensure quicker browsing and better conversions.

More people will buy from your website when you have updated categorization.

An example of proper categorization would be walking shoes, sports shoes, and running shoes.

All of these come under the comment category of shoes. But they are different according to the application like sports, running or walking.

Action tips

  • Create a plan for proper categorization of all your products across your website.
  • Ensure that you have proper and consistent categorization to avoid confusion.

7. Evaluate Buyer Intent

The main goal of SEO for eCommerce is to drive more visitors to your online store.

If these visitors are only window shopping, it’s not worth the time or effort to try and convert them.

To make sure you’re getting the right kind of traffic, you need to evaluate buyer intent.

Understanding buyer intent is an important part of the eCommerce experience.

For a business, it is important to find how the target audience makes a purchase decision.

If you notice on any eCommerce website, the entire page is dedicated to buyer intent.

Getting the right message across to your audience is essential to improve sales.

Action tips

  • All content needs to reflect buyer intent accurately.
  • Identify low and high commercial intent keywords for optimal performance.
  • You can find out the best keywords for eCommerce with Ahrefs, Moz Pro, and KWFinder.

8. Create Or Revamp Site Structure

A good site structure is vital for your eCommerce site.

It can help you boost traffic and profit, but it’s also important for gaining trust from Google.

Search engines and people give the most weight to the first result of a search query.

A business with an eCommerce website will often be ranked at number one on Google, so the site must be structured well.

The first thing you need to think about as far as your site structure goes is whether it will be static or dynamic.

Static sites have a more consistent URL structure, but you cannot modify them. It can affect your website rankings if you do.

Action tips

  • Site structure is key to getting better conversions. Keep it easy to navigate and uncluttered.
  • A good site structure promotes link juice flow to all your pages.
  • While there are no specific tools for site structure, a simple flow diagram can help.

9. Internal Linking For High Demand Products

Internal linking is a powerful SEO tactic for eCommerce brands to boost organic traffic.

This is the most neglected part of any SEO campaign. It can help increase your search rankings and improve your search engine rankings.

With internal linking, you are building relationships with other pages that exist on your website.

It can be done through the use of relevant keywords in anchor text.

When you do this, Google sees that as a positive sign and will rank those pages higher in their algorithms.

This will ultimately result in more traffic to those pages.

Action tips

  • Work on establishing effective relationships between different products on your website.
  • The better internal linking is for a page, the more products you will sell.
  • Linking can be automated through several tools like Ahrefs and SEO clarity.

10. Check Regularly For 404s

404s are errors that occur when your user cannot reach a page on your website.

It is crucial that you keep a close eye on your SEO efforts in today’s competitive market.

If there are any problems with your website, it can cause a major loss of traffic and sales.

In fact, many customers leave websites if they get 404 errors on them.

Checking regularly for 404s is an easy way to ensure that your site will be up and running the moment a customer lands on it.

It also allows you to quickly correct problems before anyone notices.

If you have a large eCommerce site, it might be difficult to check every page manually for broken links.

Action tips

  • 404s are where a lot of eCommerce websites lose their customers.
  • Make sure you have regular audits of all your pages to ensure 404s never occur.
  • Google search console can help you identify and correct broken links across your website.

11. Write Effective Alt Text For Images

Images and alt text are the baseline elements for eCommerce SEO.

Image alt text optimization is a great way to boost your product ranking in Google image search.

You can improve your site’s SEO by adding image tags and appropriate alt text.

Doing this will increase the chances of images appearing on Google images search results.

There is a lot of traffic that comes through from Google’s Image Search as well.

Alt text needs to be descriptive and can have added keywords.

An example of a good alt text for sunglasses would be – “Man wearing sunglasses standing on the street”. It needs to be explanatory rather than stuffing it with keywords.

Action tips

  • Write detailed alt text for your images for searches and users.
  • Ensure that your image file name is descriptive as well.
  • Most tools or platforms have the option to add your own.

12. Create Holiday-Themed Pages And Events

Making thematic changes to your site during holidays provides the opportunity to boost visibility and sales.

eCommerce vendors need to capitalize on search traffic during holiday seasons.

Creating holiday-themed pages and events can help eCommerce SEO and engagement.

For eg. Take a look at this page created by Sephora.

You can attract organic traffic by updating product descriptions with keywords related to the season or holiday when you do this.

You should also promote these pages across your social channels, especially on Facebook and Instagram.

Action tips

  • Holiday seasons are great for sales. You can make it more effective through discounts.
  • Hold contests and other engagement-centric activities for more reach.
  • Do enough research to ensure that you get the theme of the holiday right.

Summary

It is difficult to rank well if you’re a new brand in a crowded marketplace. However, we can help you find firm footing if you’re just starting out. This are a few things that you should remember –

  • Know your business’ current strengths and weaknesses.
  • Ensure that you have a secure website and it loads quickly.
  • Implement effective categorization to make it easier for users to shop.
  • Ensure that you take corrective action for broken links and pages on your website.
  • Prepare for holiday sales through thematic web design and social media sharing.

Conclusion

We have shared with you our thoughts on effective on-page SEO strategies for eCommerce brands.

You should note that eCommerce is one of the most competitive industries that exist today.

With a gigantic 4.21 trillion dollar market share in 2020, it’s only set to grow even more.

Do share with us in the comments how we helped you optimize your eCommerce website.

Also, let us know if you have valuable insights to share on the same topic!

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Joseph Schneider

Joseph Schneider is the Director of Haitna, an Internet marketing agency based in Houston, Texas. He has a strong passion for social media marketing and search engine optimization. He delivers well-researched actionable resources for advertisers.

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