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SEO for Ecommerce: 5 Best SEO Practices to Drive Organic Traffic to Your Ecommerce Business

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has been around for a long time. The origin of this digital marketing strategy dates back to 1993 when an FTP extender was launched, later evolving to the search engine called Excite. Come 1996, a new search engine called Backrub assigned ranks to websites. This name eventually morphed into Google, and as they say, the rest is history.

While SEO has proven to be a reliable ally for marketers, most e-commerce businesses still haven’t fully maximized its potential. That’s unfortunate, given how the numbers speak of the strategy’s efficacy. Ninety-three percent of online experiences start with a search engine, which happens to be SEO’s bread and butter. If expertly managed, SEO can drive conversion rates up to 14.6%.

This 2021, e-commerce sales are expected to reach $4.9 trillion. That’s a big enough pie you could partake. To do so, it’s imperative to level up your SEO game.

How SEO works for e-commerce stores

Let’s have a brief explainer on how SEO functions for e-commerce digital marketing.

When people shop online, they go to a search engine and type what they are looking for. Let’s say Google—the list of results Google provides is already ranked thanks to their algorithms. The goal of SEO is to ace this ranking and come out in, ideally, the first page of Google results because 95% of online users won’t click past the first page.

To score a high Google ranking, your SEO game should be on-point. It should deliver on three barometers of success: quality, authority, and trust.

Quality equates to the relevance of your content to the searched keyword. Authority requires that your website content and any other content linked to it discuss pertinent subjects with unquestionable expertise. Trust is what you gain through consistent performance and unwavering compliance with search engine guidelines.

Once you get those in the bag, your website will have a higher chance of being blessed with inclusion to the coveted first page of Google search results. Should you rank number one, expect considerable ROI. Even featuring as the last listing on the first page will work wonders on your conversion rate.

Why SEO matters for e-commerce businesses

In the United States alone, there are over 239 million search engine users. And if we assume that this statistic reflects that of other countries, too, it’s safe to conclude that organic traffic is the most potent driver of website traffic.

A study from SEMrush focusing on 13 e-commerce verticals, including furniture, electronics, and home & garden, showed that 80% of website traffic resulted from organic and direct search. That’s another testament to the power of SEO.

Now, let’s speculate further with some math. Suppose the keyword “coffee beans” gets 10,000 searches a month, and you rank number one for this keyword on Google. Assuming 40% of those searches lead to your website and your conversion rate is 10%, this means that you get 400 monthly sales.

That’s not bad. If you carry out other marketing efforts on top of SEO that also yield sales, chances are you consistently increase your bottom line.

This is why SEO matters. Its success or failure is pretty easy to map, and you have many options at your disposal in terms of tactics to pursue.

Ways to get started with SEO

Photo Credit: Merakist via Unspash

Do not get overwhelmed. You may start with a few easy steps.

First, make sure you’re using HTTPS sitewide. That means your site is secure. Considering you’re in the e-commerce business, you receive sensitive customer information daily. It’s in your best interest to keep your site encrypted and not fall prey to a data breach. Google confirmed that encrypted websites get a bump in rankings, so that’s another reason to have this in your list of priorities.

The next step is keyword research. Consider this the anchor of your entire SEO plan. You can’t rely on gut feeling if you want accurate results. Carry out keyword research by following these steps:

  1. List your site’s pages.
  2. Find and map relevant keywords.

Come up with an inventory of your website pages too. List down in detail what photos and captions appear on each page. You go back to this inventory once you’re ready to make necessary adjustments to your SEO practice.

SEO best practices 

Here are some SEO practices worth emulating.

1. Optimize product pages

From product descriptions to images, every component of an e-commerce page should be optimized. For description, critical elements include the keyword, call-to-action, and testimonials. For photos, maximize your site host’s optimal image size. Don’t forget alt tags and keyword-infused filenames.

2. Opt for a simple URL structure

This improves the user experience and makes your content easier to share on other websites and social media.

3. Use schema markups

These help users find what they’re looking for faster. Types include product schema, review schema, and product availability schema. They appear as snippets.

4. Be user-friendly

Your website should be user-friendly. Make it responsive, so buyers on their smartphones and tablets won’t have to navigate through a site interface suited for desktop.

5. Use long-tail keywords

Long-tail keywords may be low on volume, but they’re still relevant to your business. They generate leads. That’s most true if you’re in a competitive niche.

Be searchable

SEO might sound like an overwhelming subject to the uninitiated. That’s why it’s necessary to do your research. If you read up to this point, you already started doing the work, and you’re on your way to e-commerce success.

The key is first to cover the basics, such as keyword research, site architecture, link building, and content marketing. Once those are taken care of, you may begin delving deeper into the practice through tactics like technical SEO and local SEO, among others. Your goal is diversified efforts that together will bring heightened organic traffic to your website or chosen e-commerce marketplace.

To help you smoothen the process of producing winning SEO, consider working with a digital marketing agency with a proven track record in the discipline. You don’t have to figure this all out on your own. Partnering with experts might just be a clever investment on your end.

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