E-commerce SEO is a free way to drive traffic to your website by making it more visible on search engine result pages. Surprisingly, a large number of businesses are not optimising their online stores for SEO and, consequently, are missing out on large growth potential. To help you get started with SEO for your e-commerce business, we’ve compiled a list of five SEO best practices that are simple to follow and easy to implement.
1. It’s about what people call it, not what it’s called
Often there can be a product or manufacturer name that crosses over with other more popular search terms. For example, the American automobile manufacturer, Ford, released a line of seat covers. They named the product ’HDD’ after the manufacturer, Heavy Duty Designs. The problem here was that HDD had been an acronym for hard disc drive for 40 years, and so Ford’s product was not ranking as high in search results. Instead of competing against another competitor, Ford was competing against another industry that had a lot of traffic.
2. Don’t neglect title tags, headings, and meta descriptions
If you want to rank highly on Google, then you need to play by Google’s rules. Title tags and meta descriptions on all pages should be unique and should never be repeated. As a rule of thumb: if you cannot describe the pages differently, then why do you have two pages?
Make sure that your title tags are between 50-60 characters (not words) and that meta descriptions are between 130-150 characters, otherwise Google truncates them. Keep your main keywords and actions at the beginning of your title tag and description, rather than in the middle or towards the end. Remember that most people skim when reading, so if you do not tell them what they need to know within the first few words, they will most likely skip over your page completely.
3. Easy clear CTA’s
A call to action, or CTA, should be present on each of your web pages and clearly direct the customer to perform a certain action. If you want someone to buy something, make the CTA button large and brightly coloured with text that creates urgency, such as “buy now”; contrast is key for grabbing attention.
Pro tip: if your company has the ability to do A/B testing or multi-variant testing, create CTAs with varying colour and sizes to test which CTA’s and conversion points work best. Slight variations can make a huge difference.
4. Site speed dramatically affects both rankings and conversions
Conversion rate is directly tied to site speed. The faster your site opens, the more likely someone is to convert on that site. If your site has not loaded in three seconds, statistics say that 40% of people will have already left. This raises your bounce rate and ultimately hurts your search engine rankings.
5. Make sure your website is connected to Google Search Console and Google Analytics
Google Search Console is a powerful tool and is a must-have for any SEO strategist. It highlights any critical issues your site has from Google's perspective, and allows you to see all your organic traffic with data directly from Google search logs. You can see what pages people go to, what country they come from and what device they are searching on.
Google Analytics allows you to identify the points in your customers’ journey where you have the highest drop off, the time spent on page, the number of pages per visit, and more. Why is this useful? Well, if for example, you have a 1000-word article, but Google Analytics tells you that the time spent on that page is only 15 seconds, you know that most people are not fully reading the content. This tells you that there might be an issue with the content and now that you are aware of it, you can correct it.
You can also see how far down the page people have scrolled. If your conversion point is at the bottom of the page, and most people only scroll halfway down, this could explain why you’re not getting the conversions you want.