The COVID 19 pandemic may have shut many doors for businesses. Still, there is a growing trend in online shopping—people feel more comfortable purchasing products online than risk going out to buy from physical stores. This is why SEO for e-commerce is becoming vital for e-commerce shops now more than ever.
You see, with more and more consumers preferring to buy from online stores since the pandemic, thousands of business owners are also setting up their e-commerce websites (or are now paying more attention to their online shops) to better sell their products that may be similar to yours. Therefore, you are gaining more competitors each day.
In order to keep your sweet spot or ranking on the search engines, gain more visibility, drive quality web traffic to your online store pages, and increase your shop’s conversion, you must bank on your e-commerce SEO efforts.
So, in this article, we will explain how SEO can help your e-commerce business thrive during a pandemic and beyond.
What is SEO Commerce?
Commerce SEO, also known as Search Engine Optimization, is the method of optimizing your online store so that it can rank better in the search engines, such as Google and Bing, drive more organic traffic to your site pages, gain more traction from your target market, provide a great experience to your buyers, and ultimately, help you boost your shop’s conversion.
Moreover, e-commerce SEO is an extensive method that requires time, patience, and some nitty-gritty work, and it has four main branches:
On-page optimization refers to the efforts done inside your online store, such as optimizing your product pages and category pages, publishing blog posts, and planning your internal links.
Off-page optimization refers to the efforts done outside your online shop, such as link building, guest posting, and content marketing through email, social media, and forums.
Technical optimization refers to the efforts done to optimize the technical aspects and experience of your users when navigating your website, such as fixing backend codes, improving your site structure, making sure you have no duplicate content on your web pages, ensuring that your site loads fast and is mobile-friendly.
Local optimization is highly recommended to online businesses that also have physical stores. It can help big time when you’re trying to drive more foot traffic to your location by appearing on top of local search.
Ecommerce SEO helps you get more visibility and site visitors by ranking on top of the search results.
Visibility is one of the crucial factors that will help your online store thrive in the e-commerce industry, which is growing competitively.
Did you know that 71% of consumers click on the first page of Google, the leading search engine globally?
Therefore, it’s safe to say that your potential buyers won’t even care to go to the second page, especially if the results on the first page, which typically includes 10 results, show them what they’re looking for or provide them what they need.
Now, when you look at the click-through rate (CTR), meaning the number of clicks that each result gets, the top-ranking positions also get the lion’s share. In May 2020 alone, the CTR of the #1 spot reaches up to 32% while the second spot gets a measly 16%, and the number dramatically declines from there.
So, ranking on top of the first page of the search engine results pages (SERPs) can really pay dividends.
How do I rank on the first page of the SERP? Glad you asked.
The short answer is to invest in your SEO commerce efforts.
You can start with the following:
Keywords or terms are considered to be the foundation of every optimization—without knowing which key terms to target for your web pages; your SEO may be deemed futile.
So, it’s very important that you do data-driven term research, including long-tail keywords for your blog posts, category pages, and, most importantly, product pages.
Pro Tips on Keyword Research:
- Use term research tools, such as Ahrefs, Surfer SEO, Ubersuggest, and Google Keyword Planner.
- You can mine keyword ideas from Amazon and other competitor ecommerce sites.
- When you perform keyword research, especially long tail keywords, choose the terms with high volumes but relatively low competition and easy search difficulty.
Now, take note that the search volume depends on your niche—while some treat 110 volume as too low, other niches may find it desirable to target.
High-quality, Useful, and User-Intent Driven Site Content
Your site content is what attracts your target audience—from your catchy headline to your call-to-action (CTA). So, it is crucial to publish quality, helpful, and relevant content, even though it’s a “selling page,” such as a product page.
Other than doing data-driven research on keywords, the other thing that you can do to achieve high-quality content is to research or study the user intent.
Pro Tips on User Intent Research:
- Make sure to specify the target region of the term you’re trying to target
- Type your target keyword on Google
- Take note of Google’s People Also Ask section.
- Study the results on the first page of the SERPs:
- Are they informational?
- Informational means that the users intend to learn more about the specific subject.
- Navigational means that your target audience intends to look for a product or service.
- Transactional means that your potential customers intend to find a specific brand, website, or location.
SEO ecommerce helps you convert site visitors into buyers
Of course, ranking on top of the SERPS and being visible to your target market is not enough. At the end of the day, you will be looking at conversions, sales, cash flow.
Well, if you get the sweet spot on the SERPs, though, you are winning half of the battle. Thanks to SEO.
However, the other half of the battle happens inside your site—your online store visitors must become your raving fans, helping you cash despite these extra challenging times.
How do I do that? Glad you asked.
Besides writing useful content and compelling copies that sell, you also need to make sure that your visitors are having a pleasant time when they are navigating your e-commerce store.
Take note of the following factors:
Fast Load Speed
Did you know that 47% of your online store visitors expect your website to load within 2 seconds or less? And 40% of online shoppers will abandon your website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load.
And the longer it takes for your store to be up and running, the higher your bounce rate will become—the percentage of potential buyers abandoning your online shop for reasons, such as slow load speed, poor mobile responsiveness, and lousy navigation experience.
You can check the speed of your web pages by running a test on Google’s PageSpeed Insight. What’s more, you can heed the recommendations of this free tool to improve your site speed.
Did you know that four out of five Americans are now fond of shopping online? Plus, more than half of these consumers use mobile devices when buying products online.
So, it is imperative that your online store is mobile-friendly, which means that the overall website design must look good and must be responsive when users are navigating your store using their mobile devices, such as laptops, tablets, and smartphones.
You can check if your online shop is mobile-friendly by running a test on Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test. Just like the PageSpeed Insight, the tool also gives recommendations to improve the responsiveness of your web pages.
Overall Great User Experience
Besides making sure that your online store loads fast, is mobile-responsive, has great and compelling content, there are other factors that you need to consider to make sure that your potential buyers are having such a great experience in your online shop.
These factors include:
- The immediate answer to what the customers want—make sure to give them what you promised them on your headline, which they see on the SERPs.
- Quick and easy navigation—do your best to limit the customer’s journey into 3 clicks from the home page or landing page to the product page (this has a lot to do in your site structure).
- Keep the check out page easy and simple—give an option not to sign in such as a “one-time purchase option,” and provide plenty of payment methods for even better convenience.
E-commerce SEO is crucial if you want your online business to thrive—it is one of the single biggest actions you need to take in order to keep your authority in your niche (or become one) and set yourself apart from a growing sea of competitors. If you think that your online store is having a hard time staying afloat during these challenging pandemic times, feel free to ask the e-commerce and SEO experts for help so that you can get started with an even profitable business.