Getting started with eCommerce is easy, but achieving success in it is another story.
The eCommerce market is experiencing unprecedented growth, which means online customers have many choices for their shopping needs. In order to have them buy from you and not your competitors, you will have to win them over in some way.
There are various methods to achieve this goal. One is to attract customers by offering quality products at a competitive price. Another would be to pamper your existing customers with long-term customer service and care to drive them to make repeat purchases. And finally, there’s the path of organic reach, where you harness search engines to create a constant stream of new customers.
All of these methods can help your eCommerce operation become successful, and you should attempt to use each of them if you can. But this is not always possible, especially if you’re tight on resources and staff. Sometimes you’re limited to using whatever is the most cost-effective solution, and optimizing your eCommerce website for better search engine rankings fits the bill perfectly.
Ecommerce website optimization is an important topic to discuss. Countless tactics have been tried out over the years, and some of them have withstood the test of time. In the remainder of this post, we’ll explore 7 tactics with a proven track record in boosting eCommerce SEO.
1. Pick the right keywords
Organic reach is useful for eCommerce in that it generates visitors showcasing buying intent. Attracting visitors that are simply interested in a broader topic that your website falls under won’t harm your website, but you’re not likely to make a profit either. What this means in terms of keywords is that it’s not enough to just use generic ones, as there are already several websites that do. In order to actually stand a chance of attracting potential customers via organic reach, your keywords have to match user search intent. This means you should be using descriptive, long-tail keywords phrased in a way buyers are likely to express themselves.
2. Optimize for speed
The search engine algorithm takes website speed into account as a major ranking factor. It’s easy to see why this is the case. A website that loads fast is well-optimized under the hood, which makes it more likely to provide a satisfactory customer experience. Every second counts here. A loading delay of only a couple of seconds can mean the difference between a successful conversion and a bounce. There are several measures you can take to ensure your website is as fast as possible. Hosting your website on a dedicated server and using a content delivery network is a good place to start. Compressing your media, such as images and videos, will ensure faster communication between the visitors and the server.
3. Keep the site structure simple
Search engine crawlers are programs that explore your website by following its internal link structure. The more complicated your website structure is, the harder it will be for crawlers to index it properly. Some of the issues that can arise from an overly complicated structure include redirect loops, orphaned pages, and duplicate pages.
To keep your website structure simple, follow these guidelines:
- Categorize your pages and link them consistently
- Reduce the number of clicks it takes to reach each page
- Maintain a consistent URL scheme
- Use an SEO link checkup tool to find other link-related issues
4. Don’t neglect meta-descriptions
Ecommerce SEO is all about creating a website that provides a satisfactory user experience. If visitors like your website enough to stick around and make a purchase, it will send a clear signal to search engines. You can also take things a step further and give search engine crawlers more information to work with by providing meta-descriptions. A meta-description is a way to describe any element of your website, be it content, links, or other features. Meta-descriptions help search engines (as well as web developers) figure out what each part of your website is supposed to do. Meta-descriptions should include information such as technologies used to build the site, website creation date, the purpose the site was made, and other relevant info.
5. Use chatbots for customer onboarding
The trouble with eCommerce websites is that they often have features that visitors miss out on. Examples include blog posts, product demonstrations, testimonials, and others. If you rely on such features to sell your products, you will miss out on many potential conversions. This will result in an increase in bounce rates that will jeopardize your rankings as well. One way to solve this issue is with chatbots. By using chatbots for customer onboarding, you will give your visitors a convenient way to learn about your website, its features, and the products you’re selling. This will generate a positive customer experience and translate naturally into a better ranking on search engines.
6. Choose matching website aesthetics
Aesthetics are often underestimated as a design element in eCommerce websites. Search engines don’t rank for aesthetics (although that can change), which is why many eCommerce websites look alike. What they do take into account is time spent on the site, as this ties in with satisfactory customer experience. One way to provide such an experience is by making a website aesthetically pleasing. The key here is to pick a theme that enhances the shopping experience while still keeping your products in the forefront. Themes with plenty of whitespace and strategically coloured CTA buttons work well. As well, a relaxing colour scheme can achieve this goal.
7. Perform regular A/B tests
An eCommerce website is always a work in progress. Design trends change, and so do search engine algorithms. This means you always have to keep pace to maintain your ranking. To find out what works and what doesn’t, you need to conduct regular A/B testing. The purpose of an A/B test is to determine which version of a given website element performs better. A slight change in the colour of your CTA button can improve its conversion rate. Other elements worth testing include page headings, product description copy, and button placement, to name a few.
Keep Moving Up The Ranks
Maintaining and improving your search engine rank is an ongoing battle. In such a battle, several strategies, tactics, and techniques can help you achieve a temporary advantage, if not a victory.
Every eCommerce website is different from the next, which means you can’t just copy what others are doing and hope to win. Instead, you should tailor your battle plan according to your budget, your market, and the actions of your competitors. If you find you’re unsure where to start, begin by looking at the inventory of tools, we have outlined above.