Ecommerce SEO Practices
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According to Keval Shah, founder of the agency Inbound Pursuit, “if you're solely depending on paid traffic, you're putting all your eggs in one basket, and you're not building a sustainable brand.” Ecommerce SEO Practices.

Compared to paid advertising, SEO, or search engine optimization, may provide more consistent and affordable revenue. You may increase the number of people visiting your online shop by ensuring your business is on Google's main page. While SEO may provide benefits more gradually than a paid ad would, you'll position your company for long-term financial success. For instance, one cosmetics brand the agency has worked with for a year and a half has seen a fourfold increase in traffic and generates around $500,000 in revenue each month thanks to SEO.

While SEO has many advantages, it may also have a lot of technical requirements and complex language, which makes it difficult for busy small business owners to implement. In the following sections, Keval debunks common SEO practices and offers short advice to help your e-commerce business flourish.

Meet the expert

seo practices keval shah

The benefits of investing in SEO

Because of the growing cost and diminishing efficacy of paid ads, the marketing landscape is fast shifting, particularly for small businesses. And it's only going to get worse, according to Keval, due to supply and demand difficulties.

SEO, on the other hand, is more consistent. You don't have to keep “paying to play” if you've invested time and money in SEO or hired an agency to assist you. As your website pages start to appear at the top of search results, traffic to those sites increases over time. Showing up first provides your brand with more reputation, attracts the most attention, and implies more sales.

You don't even need the level of traffic that a paid advertisement produces. “You can simply put in a few hundred visits and they'll convert at a significantly higher rate,” says Keval, “because those keywords have a purpose behind them.” It's higher quality, more consistent traffic.”

While the time commitment or expense of hiring specialists to manage SEO may seem significant at first, with less-immediate returns than paid ads, you build a solid, continuous stream of revenue, while with paid ads, you must continually put money in if you want money out.

People will purchase plants from you rather than your rivals if your brand ranks first on Google in a search for rare succulents. The person looking for that succulent is more likely to buy it than someone who views a paid ad while surfing the internet elsewhere.

Now, weโ€™ll jump into the SEO practices that can help your ecommerce business grow.

1. Find the best keywords for your ecommerce shop

The words that people use to uncover a product similar to yours on Google will be revealed by keyword research. Once you've identified them, you'll use them on your website in strategic ways to promote various pages so that they appear on Google's first page of search results. When a page “ranks” on Google, it indicates that it appears on the top page of search results for a certain keyword, also known as a search term.

Research the best keywords to target

You can choose the most effective keywords to target for your business with the aid of a keyword research tool. Similar to Moz Keyword Explorer, Ubersuggest is a free tool with upgrade options. Although Ahrefs doesn't have a free edition, the $99 monthly package has all the features you want to search for keywords and monitor your ranks.

Once you've selected a tool, you'll learn which words consumers most often use to search for products similar to yours.

The simplest method to achieve that, according to Keval, is to do a Google search for your product. Find the business that is listed on the first page, enter their information into a tool, check the keywords they are listed for, and simply copy those. For example, the brand Succulents Box appears at the top of search results for “rosette-shaped succulents for sale.”

keyword identification example
Succulents Box

Ensure the keywords you found have a purchase intent

There are many different reasons why people conduct internet searches. You're looking for people who are Googling with the intent to buy. For example, someone may Google “prickly pear cactus” to see pictures of one or to find out where to buy one for their garden.

You need to look at the keywords that Google ranks product and collection website pages for to uncover the keywords that genuinely have purchase intent behind them. You can tell there is purchase intent if Google ranks product and collection pages for that keyword, according to Keval. For example, the keyword “prickly pear cactus” produces photographs, an explanation of what it is, and maintenance guidelines. Contrarily, collection pages are produced when the keyword “prickly pear cactus for sale” is searched. Thus, the keyword you would need to target is.

Place them strategically across your website

Once you've uncovered a set of keywords related to the various products you provide, you'll need to strategically place them on various website pages and create content around them. That means placing keywords in the:

  • The meta title: The page title that shows up in results on search engines like Google
  • The H1 headline of a page: The title that readers see at the top of a page like a blog post
  • The meta description of a page: The description that shows up under a meta title in search engine results
  • A blog post around the topic:ย This could be a post defining a topic, explaining a how-to, etc.
  • The description box on a collection or product page: A box that provides more information about a singular product or collection of products
  • The URL of the page:ย The keyword goes at the end, like this:
meta title and h1 best practice seo

All of this may be done via the e-commerce website's back-end editing section. Keyword stuffing is a practice that should be avoided, even if it's crucial to place your keywords strategically.

optimized collection page 1
Keval recommends adding further context about your products on each collection page as Succulents Box does. Succulents Box

According to Keval, the information in a blog post or on the collection page should focus on the benefits your product has over competitors. If you can, adding that remark to the collection page “helps Google understand what the page is about rather than if it's simply a list of products,” according to Keval.

๐Ÿ“š Learn more:ย Keyword Research for Ecommerce: A Complete Guide

2. Build backlinks and internal links to different types of content

Link building involves reaching out to other online media and brands to ask if they would link to a page on your website from their own website. Google will see you as more reputable if you have more links. A higher rank in the search results is how Google rewards credibility. In other words, if a lot of other people trust your content as trustworthy and deserving of a link, Google will too.

According to Keval, building relationships with other brands is one of the greatest methods to create backlinks to your website, which is one of the most crucial components of building a successful SEO strategy for your store.

According to Keval, you'll need to create content that's worth linking to.”And after you produce that content, you can establish connections and submit that piece for links.”

This is where developing blog content comes in. While other brands may not want to link to a collection page that displays a list of the products you have available for purchase, they could be thrilled about a useful blog post. For example, they'll be more inclined to link to a blog post that offers succulent care advice than they are to a succulent collection page.

While internal linking entails making your own links inside pages, link building necessitates outreach and relationship building. That entails linking to a collection page from a related blog post or linking to one of your blog posts from a separate blog post. Both pages of links are useful for boosting a page's ranking.

3. Focus resources on getting collection pages to rank

A product page showcases a specific product, such as a blue candle cactus. All of the products in a category, such as all plants belonging to the cactus family, are shown on a collection page. Product pages might be difficult to rank for, but Keval points out that collection pages are considerably simpler to rank for.

Product pages are often ignored by Google, but if you create links to collection pages, “Google will really rank you very highly for it,” according to Keval. The data we've seen suggests that the collection pages react to links quite effectively. Therefore, it is slightly simpler to allocate your efforts to ranking them. When it comes to SEO, there are a lot of things you can do, so Keval advises concentrating your efforts on getting collection pages to appear in search results rather than product pages, which may wind up being a dead end.

This has worked well for Urban Americana, a vintage midcentury modern store in Long Beach, California. For the keyword “vintage mid-century modern furniture,” its collection page for all mid-century modern furniture is ranked first #1.

seo practices collection page 1
Urban Americana ranks first for its all-furniture collection page. Google

The ability for customers to see your full inventory for a certain category is a significant advantage of ranking a collection rather than a product page. Instead of bringing them to a single product page where they have just one option, it provides them with numerous possibilities.

4. Create a blog that gives you authority in your niche

Keval asserts that a blog is an essential component of an ecommerce SEO strategy, but not for the reasons you may anticipate. According to Keval, the true value of having a blog is that it fosters a concept known as “topical relevance,” as opposed to thinking of blog traffic as something that says “sales.”

“Google favors giving authority-driven websites high rankings. That can include having a great link profile. The author says it can also include producing content of the highest caliber that fully addresses any queries customers may have about a certain item.

For example, the plant store Succulents Box develops succinct pieces of content centered on knowledge-based keywords related to succulent maintenance, like:

Keval advises adding an internal link from each blog post to the associated collection once you've created these pieces of content. You might, for instance, link the article about cultivating succulents in the sand to a collection of succulent species that do well in sand.

By doing so, you create that layer of relevance, and those blogs help the collection pages rank, says Keval.

succulents box blog

Succulents Box uses its blog to tackle shorter, more granular topics, rather than publishing comprehensive guides.

A blog post doesn't have to be a lengthy, in-depth essay. Keval says that shorter, more focused pieces really do better. Google nowadays says “granular content,” according to Keval. “It's really simpler and more successful to create different articles for every type of remedy so that your article is hyper-focused on one issue,” says the author, “instead of creating an ultimate guide and ranking for all these keywords.”

The definitive guide on succulent care, for example, should be abandoned in favor of articles that focus on more specific keywords, a practice known as “long tail” keyword optimization in the SEO community. For example, Succulents Box writes succinct blog pieces describing how to take care of different types of succulents:

๐Ÿ“š Read more: Ecommerce SEO For Beginners: Ultimate Guide To Increase Sales

5. Add keywords to every meta title

The title of your page that appears on the search engine results page, such as Google, is known as a “meta title.” A low-effort, high-reward SEO fix you can make to your website is to optimize your meta titles by adding keywords to them.

One of Keval's customers had a 15% boost in traffic in a month after this fix to the collection pages of the company. He claims that the meta title is so crucial that sometimes the largest boost in results is seen within the first month. “People often assume that you don't see SEO results for six months,” he says.

On the back end of the ecommerce platform you use, you should be able to set a meta title for every page on your website. Navigate to the page you need to change in the sidebar of Shopify's admin dashboard and scroll down to the “search engine listing preview” at the bottom of the page.

It looks like this:ย 

What optimizing meta titles and descriptions look like from the back end of a Shopify store.

Succulents Box, for instance, appears on the first page of search results for the phrase “tulip prickly pear cactus for sale.” “Tulip Prickly Pear Cactus | Succulent Care Instruction” is the meta title for the page that ranks. The brand probably included “succulent care instructions” to attract customers who were interested in both buying and caring for succulents.

tulip prickly pear meta title
Succulents Box does a nice job optimizing its meta titles to include the keywords it wants to rank for.

An SEO-recommended practice is to include that keyword in the related meta description as well, much as adding the keywords you're targeting to meta titles.

๐Ÿ“„ Learn more: What is a Meta Description and Examples of One Written

6. Remove duplicate content

The majority of online stores contain pages and pages of product groupings. This might result in Google indexing the incorrect page, which would harm your rankings. Google often says to index pages two or three rather than the homepage of a collection, according to Keval.

Examining your URLs will reveal whether there is duplicate content of this kind. If they are formatted like this: If they contain a 2, 3, 4, etc., then you might be in danger.

No-indexing duplicate pages are one method for resolving this issue. You may use a canonical tag if your platform doesn't allow you to no-index a page, which prevents it from appearing in Google search results, or if your CMS was specifically designed for your website. Canonical URLs are built automatically if you build your store on Shopify using a theme from the Shopify theme store.

The canonical tag is a piece of HTML code that tells Google which page is the most important and the one you want to rank for. Therefore, you should use a canonical tag to inform Google that the homepage of each collection should be visited or “crawled,” not a page. According to Keval, this will significantly improve ranks.ย 

โœ… Check all the boxes: SEO Checklist: How to Rank an Online Store on Page One

SEO provides more predictable and cost-effective traffic

If you take the time to engage in SEO, it may have a significant influence on your revenue, brand exposure, and brand trust. Paid ads may appear to produce results more quickly, but they are very costly and unreliable, and if you stop using them, you will stop getting traffic and sales.

SEO is a much more reliable way to get customers with high purchase intent to your website. It's a dependable, consistent source of traffic that, over the long term, will create a much stronger basis for your business.

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