Did you know that 44% of the online shoppers start their purchase research with a simple Google Search? Besides, out of all the eCommerce traffic, 37.5% comes directly from the search engines. Let’s also not forget that 23.6% of all sales that an eCommerce site makes links to organic traffic, which is straight from the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs).
No doubt about the efficacy of inorganic sources such as Search Ads, Social media Ads, and other premium methods. In fact, paid Ads are best to acquire your early days’ traffic, but your eCommerce store needs organic traffic in the long run for sure. The stats given above prove the same.
You can’t just keep spending a major proportion of your revenue in paid Ads forever. At some point, you need your store to drive its traffic organically. That’s where eCommerce SEO would come handy, preparation for which begins right from the development of your website.
It’s 2020, quite an adventurous year for the eCommerce industry. We are dealing with a global pandemic and its drastic side-effects on the global eCommerce infrastructure, which would continue for a long time in the future.
With so much on the plate, organic traffic to your website is the best bet to ensure staying in the business without compromising on the bottom line of your profit margin. Let’s find out how to conduct your eCommerce SEO and thrive with whatever is there for you in 2020 and beyond. We will begin with the fundamental steps and move towards advanced SEO tactics.
Find Keywords for your eCommerce store
Keyword research is the foundation of your eCommerce SEO campaign. They are important because your prospects use them on search engines to discover relevant information from the internet.
The list of keywords that you use influence your organic SEO, inorganic SEO of paid Ads, content marketing, website architecture, on-page SEO, and all the URLs you are going to use on your web store for different kinds of pages.
However, the sections where keywords impart immediate effect on your SEO are your eCommerce product pages and category pages. You need to rank higher in these two segments to get quality organic traffic ready to convert.
Examine popular marketplace websites
Believe it or not, multivendor marketplace websites like Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Alibaba, BestBuy, etc. are always going to stay as rally points for eCommerce customers. Online shoppers use these platforms for not just eCommerce shopping but also for purchase research. Undoubtedly, Amazon and others have done a great job with their website in terms of the keywords they use. Especially, their Search Boxes are the major point of attraction.
Check for keywords relevant to your target products in search autosuggestions
When you type a keyword in Amazon’s search box, it will suggest a list of combinations, which are nothing but few of the best long-tail keywords you can target. Let’s say, you are selling N95 Masks.
By simply searching N95 Mask on Amazon, you get dozens of long-tail keywords trending on the biggest multivendor marketplace on the internet. You can use these keywords on almost every page relevant to your target products.
Traverse across the categories on marketplaces and your competitor website
You can get some direct suggestions to create Categories on your store from competition research. Check their categories and pick the ones relevant to your business.
If these categories seem too broad for your niche, you can click on any of them and browse their subcategories to get more filtered suggestions for keywords and category names on your website.
Repeat this tactic for all your products on all possible relevant websites and you will have tons of refined keywords that you can use on your website in product URLs, Product pages, Category pages, and in the names of your categories themselves.
Use Keyword research tools to discover and validate your target keywords
The above was an unconventional way to discover some good keywords. However, it doesn’t mean that these keywords will work on your website as good as they work on those websites. You need to validate your keywords using Analytics.
I would suggest two major tools, which would help you to not only validate your keywords but also find new keywords with proper data-backed evidences.
On websites like Amazon and BestBuy, you can find even sub-sub-categories. The more you zoom in, the more refined keywords you can find for your categories.
SEMrush and Google Keyword planner
SEMrush is one of the few tools that focus on competition-based keywords discovery. Its Organic Research tool allows you to generate the entire keyword profile of your competitors in just a click.
Just enter your competitor’s name in the search field-
Scroll down and explore “Organic Research” to discover the competitor’s keyword profile-
Not just that, you can discover all the other major competitors in the market who serve in the same domain as you.
Repeat this process with the competitors you find, as shown in the image above, and you can have a detailed keywords profile for you to target as per your niche.
The next great tool is Google’s Keyword planner, which serves an entirely different purpose. It does not generate unique keyword ideas but focuses on generating keyword variations based on Google’s deep data about organic search intent.
Now, you can pick these variation ideas and analyze their search volume in the column just next to a keyword describing the Avg. monthly searches for each of them.
In short, I don’t recommend Google keyword planner to discover new keywords for your store. You can do that using the methods explained until now. You can use this tool to check the search volume, variations, and purchase intent of all the keywords you find using those methods.
Optimize your on-page SEO using the keywords
Now that you have your keywords, it’s time to put them into good use. There are three important segments on your eCommerce store pages that require special attention:
- Title Tag
- Description Tag
- Content for Category Page and Product Page
Title Tag Optimization
For every page you create on your store (be homepage, category page, or product page) you need to use the relevant primary keyword of that page in its title tag.
For example, a product page for “Dog Food”
Let’s say your primary keyword here is “dog food”. Here, you need to use “dog food” in the title tag of this page. However, there is also a twist, you shouldn’t leave your primary keyword alone.
Instead, you should use the primary keyword with traction-friendly modifiers. For example, ‘cheap dog food’, ‘organic dog food’, ‘save on dog food’, ‘deals on dog food’, ‘dog food in New York’, etc.
Doing so will make your primary keyword more efficient, as it will create a combination to form long-tail variations, which face lesser competition than short-tail keywords. It will increase your prospects of ranking when displayed in the search results for these long-tail keywords.
Description tag optimization
With Google changed its algorithm, Meta descriptions may not have stayed relevant for ranking signals anymore, but they are still used for optimizing your CTR. The description tag is still a crucial part of your on-page SEO indirectly.
A page with high CTR will inevitably give a positive signal for search ranking. I would suggest you follow a copywriting approach for your description tags, rather than SEO writing approach. Use them to explain your page better to the users and attracting them to click on it.
Optimize your description tags for users instead of search engines. Use the opportunity to convince the users to click on the link on the SERP. Use trigger keywords, offers, deals, discounts, anything that convinces a user who is looking at your search result to click on it.
Also, even if keywords do not have an impact on the description tags, using keywords to explain your message better won’t hurt either. Besides, avoid keyword stuffing, as it can still impact your SEO negatively.
Product Page Optimization
The key to product page SEO is using your keywords in original as well as in variations, while also maintaining a decent word count of at least 1000+ words.
Use your primary, secondary and long-tail keywords in different headline tags with trigger combinations, similar to as explained for the title tag.
However, be advised that a good product page content is written both for search engines and the users. Hence, you need to maintain a perfect blend of useful information for the users and relevant keywords for the search engines.
The best way to organize your product page is by using the first half (first 500 words) for product description, and the second half for user-generated content such as customer reviews and FAQs.
In this way, you will have a pretty long product-page content to appeal to the search engines and use the keywords at least 3-5 times on the page.
Note: Avoid keyword stuffing, but make sure you have used your target keywords at least 3-5 times as per the density of the content. using the keywords in H2, H3 tags will also help.
Make use of recently introduced Free Google Shopping Listings
Yes, Google Shopping Listings are now free to use. Recently in April 2020, Google made it’s 8 years old Google Shopping Results free to better compete with the likes of Amazon, who dominate the shopping search results as of now. Instead of only Google Shopping Ads, Google Shopping is now also producing organic search results.
It’s a great opportunity for eCommerce stores to get free exposure on Google’s SERP and secure high-quality CTRs with definite purchase intentions. You can learn how to list your product in organic Google Shopping Listings from here.
This is not all. SEO for eCommerce websites is a long-term undertaking and requires a lot of implementations. However, the tactics explained in this article will help you to get started with it and implement some crucial measures to direct results.
Apart from this, you need to fix common SEO errors on your website, which include but not limited to duplicate content, bad links, thin content, slow website speed, long URLs, unoptimized robot.txt file, confusing site architecture, etc. You will get tons of help articles on the internet to fix these issues. You need to first begin with your eCommerce SEO to reach to these steps. So begin your keyword research today.