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SEO For Your E-Commerce Website for Growing Online Sales

Imagine sinking all the costs into a brick-and-mortar store in the middle of a well-populated area. People are driving right by your store by the thousands every day but no one comes in your place to buy anything.

It’s a store owner’s worst nightmare.

That’s why having a solid online presence for your e-commerce store is crucial for reaching new customers and driving sales. But, simply having a website is not enough. It’s important to have a sound strategy to drive all the people passing by right through your front door.

Sure, you should certainly consider social media marketing, and maybe Google Adwords, but SEO can also be a traffic-building workhorse.

Why Consider SEO?

If you sell stuff online, chances are good that you’re selling things people want or need. For e-commerce businesses, SEO can play a huge role in driving qualified traffic that converts into paying customers. Implementing the right e-commerce SEO strategies could mean the difference between struggling to get site visitors versus seeing a steady stream of visitors who are ready to buy. In this post, we’ll explore some of the most effective e-commerce SEO tactics you can leverage to grow your online sales.

Far and away the biggest reason to consider SEO as part of your marketing mix is because search engine optimization puts your website in front of people who are actively searching for exactly what you sell online. This is what the term “targeted traffic” is all about.

Plus, when people are searching for things online, they tend to trust the organic links more than the ads. Organic links are the ones that display typically below any map section.

Some studies show that people tend to click on Google Ads somewhere around 4%-8% depending upon the type of search and the device used. But, people tend to click on the organic links around 30% or more, so having your site displayed here means that your store is much more likely to get clicks from people searching for exactly what you offer.


Conduct Keyword Research

With all the changes that Google has made to its algorithm, keywords are still just as important as ever.

The foundation of any good SEO strategy begins with keyword research. You need to find out what key terms and phrases your potential customers are using to search for products like yours, so you can optimize for those keywords appropriately. There are a few ways to uncover these high-value keywords:


Use Google’s Keyword Planner

This free tool provides search volume data on millions of keyword variations. You can see average monthly searches for any key term to gauge interest and competition.

Other tools to use when doing your keyword research include SEM Rush, Ahrefs, Google Keyword Trends, Moz, and tons of others.


Analyze competitors

Study what keywords your competition is ranking for by using a tool like SEMrush or Ahrefs. These paid tools can show you organic search terms driving traffic to their site.

Many SEO nerds will tell you that doing a competitor analysis is a crucial step because all effective SEO boils down to in some cases is “out-SEOing” the competitors. This gives you a clear idea of what it will take to outdo your competition in terms of content, backlinks, and other issues.


Leverage What Google Gives You

Start typing generic product terms into Google and pay attention to the suggested auto-complete options that appear. These will show you what searchers are actively looking for.

Once you compile this keyword research, pick out 3-5 priority keywords/phrases per page to focus your optimization efforts around. Choose terms that have sufficient search volume and are relevant to each specific page.

When you have some keywords to play with, put some into the search box and browse through the results to see if there is a “People Also Ask” section. Look at the results in this section very carefully because Google is signaling the type of content they want to display on page one. Make sure your content has similar (or better) content to try and get your site displayed there as well.


Optimize Page Titles and Headers

Google and other search engines place a lot of weight on page titles and headers (H1, H2 tags) when determining relevance for keywords. Here are some best practices for optimizing these critical on-page elements:

·     Begin page titles with your focus keyword or key term variations

·     Keep page titles under 60 characters long

·     Include your brand name towards the end of the title

·     Have H1 and H2 tags on each page customized around chosen keywords

·     Break content into logical sections using headers rich in keywords

Not only will this on-page optimization help search rankings, but it will also improve the experience for visitors coming from organic search. They will immediately see your page meets the search intent for their query.


Enhance Site Navigation

An intuitive, search-friendly site navigation makes it easier for both visitors and crawlers to explore your e-commerce site. Here are some tips for improving navigation elements:

·     Use descriptive, keyword-optimized categories and subcategories

·     Enable breadcrumb navigation to show a visitor’s path

·     Implement filters and facets to allow drilling down within categories

·     Ensure internal site search is picking up on key terms and phrases

·     Create custom navigation/sitemaps optimized around priority keywords

Enhanced navigation equates to a better on-site user experience and more indexed pages on search engines.


Optimize Product Page Content

Product pages are critical real estate for e-commerce SEO success. This is the page showcasing what you are selling and trying to get searchers to add to their cart. Ensure each product page is optimized with relevant keywords in these key places:

·     Title tags & H1s

·     Initial paragraphs of descriptions

·     Image file names and ALT text

·     Specifications/Features sections

Ideally, each product would have a custom-written description accurately detailing what buyers need to know. Include keywords like material type, color options, size variations, purpose/use cases, etc. If hiring copywriters isn’t feasible, leverage manufacturer descriptions and tweak to be more keyword-focused.

Also, think about ways to incorporate ancillary keywords through related or complementary products. If someone is searching for “black heels”, can you work “little black dress” or “cocktail dresses” organically into that product description or recommendations?


Write Targeted Blog Content

High-quality, keyword-focused blog content offers two big perks for e-commerce SEO and sales:

·     Blog posts provide added opportunities to rank for valuable keywords that attract qualified organic traffic.

·     They build up expertise and trust around products/services you sell, leading visitors to buy from you over competitors.

When brainstorming blog topics, walk through the buyer’s journey of your ideal customer:

·     What types of informational content would they find valuable while researching products?

·     What objections or concerns might they have that content could address?

·     What keywords would they likely use at various stages?

Align blog ideas strategically with priority keywords, and craft content that provides real value to searchers. Include your important keywords throughout blog posts naturally, but don’t over-optimize. Sticking closely to your chosen focus term for each piece of content while providing genuine help works best for both conversions and SEO.


Leverage Long-Tail Keywords

While you want to target primary product terms directly related to your inventory, don’t miss out on long-tail keywords for expanded reach. These are more specific multi-word phrases containing your core keyword such as:

·     Black strappy heels

·     Comfortable black work heels

·     Non-slip black heels for restaurant servers

There are two types of keywords- short tail and long tail. A short-tail keyword would be something like “shoes” or even “tennis shoes”. Short tail keywords have one or two words and they are often the most general keywords used to describe an item or category.

Long tale keywords have more words (usually 3-6) and are more detailed in the description of the item. Instead of shoes, some might type in “black and red Nike tennis shoes” or maybe just “black Nike tennis shoes”. Those are examples of long-tail keywords to keep in mind when writing your product descriptions.

There is typically less competition targeting these precise variations, so you can more easily rank for long-tail phrases to drive additional organic traffic. Work these types of expanded keywords naturally into content when relevant without going overboard.


Technical SEO

E-commerce SEO also includes something called “technical SEO”. This includes things like optimizing for site speed by minimizing load times. Google is now factoring page speed into mobile search rankings, and research shows over half of consumers will abandon a mobile site that takes over 3 seconds to load.

Some tips for improving site speed:

·     Enable browser caching and compression

·     Optimize images to reduce file size

·     Minimize HTTP requests with efficient code

·     Utilize a content delivery network (CDN)

·     Defer non-essential Javascript

There are a variety of free tools to diagnose speed issues and pinpoint areas for improvement. Faster sites enjoy higher conversion rates, lower bounce rates, and improved organic rankings – so make site speed a priority.

Other aspects of technical SEO include fixing broken links, managing redirections, managing core web vitals, and other things that help improve the user experience. You never want a visitor to get a “Page not found” message or see anything that would indicate that someone isn’t consistently working on improving the website.

Drive Qualified Site Traffic

At the end of the day, the ROI of your e-commerce SEO efforts depends entirely on your ability to bring in targeted visitors primed to purchase. Here are 3 proven tactics for driving high-quality site traffic:

·     Promote landing pages through Google/Bing paid search ads targeted to commercial keywords. Set tight keywords around buyer searches likely ready to convert.

·     Develop email nurture tracks focused specifically on abandoned shopping carts and product interest. Remind people what they left behind and offer incentives to complete the purchase.

·     Implement Facebook/Instagram product-focused ads driving to relevant product category pages. Retarget visitors who engaged with certain products across visits.

Combining strategic organic and paid acquisition is key for establishing lasting dominance for valuable keywords and increasing qualified site traffic over time.


Track and Measure Results

The true sign of effective SEO tactics is measurable progress on key metrics over time. Make sure to thoroughly track and compare:

·     Organic traffic growth Broken down by keyword/page

·     Increase in impressions and clicks per ad keyword

·     Reduction in bounce rate from channels

·     Growth in pages indexed and average position per keyword

·     Increase in conversion rate from organic traffic

·     Sales attributed to SEO or paid referrals

Continually assess which specific phrases, landing pages, and content are producing tangible results. Double down on what works and re-evaluate what isn’t getting traction.


Adapt and Evolve Your Approach

Like all other aspects of digital marketing, e-commerce SEO requires fluidity as algorithms, trends, and new platforms emerge. You need to continually adapt and evolve your optimization approach over time if you want to outperform competitors.

Keep an eye out for Google algorithm updates that change how search results are weighted. Shift gears to align with new personalization signals and page experience factors as they develop.

Additionally, pay attention to where products are being discovered online – are visual platforms like YouTube, TikTok, or Pinterest gaining more product search prominence? Adapt your keyword targeting and content formats to match rising platforms.

Final Thoughts

Implementing these comprehensive e-commerce SEO strategies takes considerable expertise, resources, and effort. Rather than attempting this complex process on your own, leverage the seasoned skills of a specialist agency like Make It Loud Digital Marketing. Our dedicated SEO team brings together advanced technical knowledge, analytical prowess, content creation capabilities, and marketing automation technologies to drive real results.

By enlisting Make It Loud’s services, e-commerce businesses can tap into proven search, social, and conversion optimization practices to increase organic visibility and maximize sales. Let us craft a customized roadmap tailored to your e-commerce site and objectives. With Make It Loud as your marketing partner, your brand can gain an essential competitive edge through research-backed SEO that fuels sustainable growth. Call us at 678.325.4007 today.

Cliff Tillery, MBA is the Chief Operating Officer and SEO Director at Make It Loud which is a digital marketing firm located outside of Atlanta Georgia. More than 14 years ago, he started search engine optimization at this award-winning agency and has taught digital marketing skills to business owners at the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce, the Gwinnett Entrepreneur Center, and other groups.

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