Here are 7 ecommerce SEO tips to help your small business expand search engine visibility, generate more organic website traffic, and increase online sales in 2023.
When you're starting or managing an ecommerce business, you need all the web traffic you can get.
The ecommerce industry and online platforms that drive sales move fast and wait for no one. Because of this, it's a good idea to implement a number of digital marketing strategies to test and diversify your efforts.
While competitive, one of the best ways to improve the quality and quantity of search traffic to your business or ecommerce site is with search engine optimization (SEO).
Below are 7 ecommerce SEO tips for small businesses to give you a headstart on expanding your brand reach, organic traffic, and sales online.
Small Business E-Commerce SEO Tips
Before getting started on an ecommerce SEO plan, it's a good idea to understand your market and potential competition online. Know that it will take some time to improve your online presence and stand out among fierce ecommerce competitors such as Amazon, eBay, and other large retailers doing business online.
Nevertheless, marketing your brand and business offerings to your target audience online is an important investment and the best time to start is now.
Alongside testing paid advertising and social media marketing strategies, investing in an ecommere SEO strategy can be a very cost-effective way to improve your probability of success online.
Let’s explore these small business ecommerce SEO strategies in more detail below.
1. Know Your SEO Terms
If you're new to SEO, you might be bombarded with countless SEO terms you’re not familiar with. However, SEO simply comes down to creating unique, helpful, and informative content, and linking between content to enhance user experience.
Here are a few SEO terms to be aware of:
- On-page SEO: On-site actions with the goal of increasing search presence.
- Off-page SEO: Off-site actions with the goal of increasing search visibility.
- Keyword Research: Finding relevant keywords to target that are searched.
- Conversions: Goal action/s to track such as online transactions, form fills, or calls.
- Search Engine Results Page (SERP): Go to Google and search for a keyword. The resulting page you see, with listings of page titles and meta descriptions, is the SERP.
2. Perform Keyword Research
Keyword research is essential to optimizing content for search engines. For instance, let’s assume you’re selling a specific type of fitness equipment. Even if you're an expert on the equipment and related topics, you'll want to make sure you're using understandable words and phrases that top-ranking content and searchers are using about the equipment.
Reputable all-in-one SEO software like Semrush, SE Ranking, or Ahrefs are your best bet for conducting the most in-depth keyword research since they provide you with estimated keyword search volume and competition data. However, you can simply search up target keywords on Google and find related and relevant keywords and topic ideas in the results.
With the help of SEO tools and manual Google searches, aim to understand the three types of search queries or keywords that are searched. This includes navigational, informational, and transactional keyword searches around your brand, niche/industry, and the products/services you're selling online.
While it can be tempting to focus on keywords related to selling your products, make sure you have a content strategy in place to target informational keyword searches, which make up the bulk of searches online.
This type of keyword is often phrased in questions, such as who, what, when, where, why, and how. Back in 2008, a Penn State keyword research study found that 80 percent of queries were informational, 10 percent navigational, and 10 percent transactional.
Blog posts are great for creating informational content around these types of searches. Blogging can help you drive awareness to your ecommerce site, brand, and offerings.
3. Build a Sound Website Structure
People and search engines favor ecommerce sites that provide helpful navigation through links, high-quality content, and fast and secure performance. Major search engines like Google strive to rank fast-loading and high-quality pages for users.
Consider the following in regards to site structure:
- HTTPS Protection: Make sure your site is secure with HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) to protect your user’s data and improve your site's SEO performance.
- Mobile Usability: Most of your users might be using their smartphones on your site. Keeping your site mobile-friendly will better your technical SEO. You can verify your pages are mobile-friendly in Google Search Console or by using Google's Mobile-Friendly Test.
- Loading Speed: This mostly involves your technical SEO. Try to keep your page speed at no more than four seconds to reduce your bounce rates. You can use a tool like Google's PageSpeed Insights to check page loading speed and recommendations.
- Internal Links: Provide links between your pages that incorporate keywords to improve navigation, user experience, and on-page SEO. An effective internal link-building strategy can improve search rankings, and awareness of offerings, and potentially increase sales.
4. Focus on On-Page SEO
On-page SEO is crucial to getting right when it comes to the competitive landscape of ecommerce SEO. In order to rank well and generate sales, you'll need to create content that's optimized for both search engines and sales conversions.
Here are some tips for ecommerce on-page SEO:
- Create content that is unique and avoid duplicate content as much as possible.
- For local businesses, create localized content to improve local SEO performance.
- Test a variety of search titles, meta descriptions, and page headers to improve clickthrough rates and user engagement.
- Chunk up your page content and carefully use bolding to improve readability.
- Use easy-to-see call-to-actions and key feature info on your product pages.
- Include social proof such as reviews, star ratings, and testimonial messaging.
- Split test colors, fonts, images, and other on-page elements over time.
- Ensure your page content looks good on desktop and mobile devices.
Earning backlinks and local links from relevant content on high-authority websites is a major off-page SEO factor of Google's ranking algorithm. Backlinks pointing to your site pages work like votes of trust and authority in the eyes of Google and other search engines.
Backlinks not only help your pages rank, but they can drive relevant referral traffic to your site, increasing your brand awareness, trust as an authority, and sales performance.
You'll be able to get an idea of how your competition has acquired links and see which backlinks are strongest in terms of authority.
This helps save a tremendous amount of time and you'll better understand which link opportunities are worth going after to improve SEO performance more efficiently.
Other ways to earn backlinks are through guest posting, partnerships, sponsorships, events, contests, and naturally through sharing link-worthy content on social media. Check out these link building tips for ways to earn more links.
6. Implement Structured Data Markup
Whenever you do a quick Google search, the resulting SERP might turn up more than just titles and meta descriptions. You might notice featured snippets or other forms of rich results that appear.
These results, which result from structured data markup or through Google's own understanding, can help improve a given page's click-through performance due to their uniqueness and position in Google search results compared to other website listings.
Google makes the final decision on if a search result should be displayed with added rich result features such as an image, unique format for list content, or review stars. However, you can increase a given page's potential to show rich results by applying relevant structured data markup code to the page's HTML code.
Learn more about how structured data works here in Google's official documents.
Once you have an understanding of structured data, check out Google's documentation about structured data relevant to ecommerce. This includes code examples related to marking up a local business, products, reviews, product how-to guides, FAQ pages, site breadcrumbs, videos, site search, and more.
7. Use SEO Tools to Enhance Efforts
You don’t have to manually analyze what you’re up against in your niche and the ecommerce industry. There are a number of powerful SEO tools at your disposal.
Recommended software tools for ecommerce SEO:
- Google Analytics – Analyze website visitor behavior.
- Google Search Console – Manage website presence on Google.
- Google Structured Data Testing Tool – Validate your pages' structured data code.
- Google Business Profile – Manage your business listing/s on Google.
- Google Keyword Planner – Basic keyword research tool built into Google AdWords.
- Google PageSpeed Insights – Check web page speed and potential optimizations.
- Semrush – Leading digital marketing platform with all-in-one features.
- SE Ranking – Popular low-cost SEO platform with all-in-one features.
- Ahrefs – Leading competitor analysis toolkit with all-in-one features.
- Screaming Frog Spider Tool – Audit pages to detect technical SEO issues like broken links.
- BrightLocal – Manage local listings and build citations on local directories in bulk.
SEO is a great way for small business owners to build brand awareness, improve search engine rankings, and increase digital sales. With the right ecommerce SEO strategies, you can make some serious revenue over time.
Hopefully, these ecommerce SEO tips jumpstart your small business SEO efforts in the right direction. Don’t despair if you're not seeing results as soon as you'd like. SEO is a marathon that is highly rewarding if you continue to create quality content and keep at it!
Searching for SEO services? Check out these affordable SEO package options.
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