How can I reach my target audience?
What should I do to make my products more visible?
How should I present my products to potential customers?
These are some common questions eCommerce business owners ask regarding eCommerce SEO.
You might be new to the industry or a veteran seller - eCommerce SEO is important to all.
Google’s latest SEO update on helpful content made us realize that many online store owners might be rethinking their eCommerce SEO strategy.
Therefore, here are 3 eCommerce SEO mistakes that might harm your online store.
3 eCommerce SEO mistakes to avoid and get more conversions
Mistake 1: Obsessing (only) over ranking
Even if you’re not an SEO expert, you might have heard about page ranking.
“A marketer’s most dreaded question - Does your eCommerce website rank on the first page?”
To show higher page ranking results, eCommerce brands often try keyword stuffing and content duplication.
But, keyword cannibalization is a silent killer.
Imagine your website sells sports shoes and you consider that as the only keyword you want to rank for.
So, Google thinks that every page is about sports shoes.
This means you’re competing against yourself for one phrase that’s too “broad” for search.
Remember: eCommerce SEO isn’t about getting on the first page of search results. It should always be sales >> traffic.
The usual advice is to write better product descriptions, create unique URL structures, and publish original copy.
The solution: Thrive with helpful eCommerce SEO
Aim for long-tail keywords.
These keywords might have less competition and also target a driven audience.
If you sell shoes made from memory foam, then consider structuring your webpage with this long-tailed keyword.
See how Kohl’s shows up in the results complete with a snippet about deals and prices. They show further results of memory foam shoes for both men and women.
You can also manage your search visibility with local SEO for eCommerce.
“Local SEO, especially, became popular during the pandemic. Customers were trying to shop while practicing social distancing. And this search trend has tided over to the post-pandemic era as well.”
As per research, 25% of all professional jobs in North America will be remote by the end of 2022, and remote opportunities will continue to increase through 2023.
That’s why people will continue to search for “product near me” because it reduces shipping time and lets them support local eCommerce businesses.
While managing eCommerce SEO, many marketers prioritize vanity metrics like pageviews, clicks, and conversion rates.
You should also be monitoring the following:
- Monthly recurring revenue from SEO
- Time to conversion for paths influenced by SEO
- Organic user lifetime value
Explore: 14 underutilized strategies for increasing customer lifetime value in eCommerce
Mistake 2: Skipping SEO on temporary web pages
Ask anyone, discount shopping is thrilling!
Be it Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Valentine’s Day, holiday marketing strategies are the earliest signs of celebrations.
Many brands go all out on ad campaigns and target holiday-themed keywords for paid promotions. But they tend to overlook eCommerce SEO for organic conversions on product listing pages and product descriptions.
The solution: Drive organic conversions with product-specific keywords
Sales and discounts webpages generate high traffic and higher conversions because they offer extra benefits.
Combine your top-selling category keywords with seasonal keywords like “Sale”, “Discount”, “Halloween”, “Black Friday”, and “Christmas Gifts”.
You can also add short snippets to introduce the web page and also implement eCommerce SEO that drives traffic and conversions.
As more and more brands are trying to target audiences in different locations, it’s important to implement eCommerce SEO that suits different search engines.
While Google is a popular search engine, consumers in countries such as China, Turkey, Russia, and South Korea use different search engines to browse and shop.
If your web pages are not optimized for SEO or indexed properly for other search engines, then they will not reach the targeted consumers.
Explore: eCommerce copywriting - 23 inspiring examples from the US
Mistake 3: Forgetting user experience while creating internal links
Internal linking is standard practice for most marketers.
Some eCommerce business owners we spoke to trust that online internal linking tools are the best option to structure their websites.
While these tools do help, they fail to create a seamless link structure for larger catalogs.
For example, this might be the basic link architecture when first building an eCommerce site:
Homepage > Boots > Leather Boots
This works well as the homepage becomes the strongest webpage (with the most backlinks) and the product page is only 2-3 clicks away.
However, when your categories and products expand, so do the clicks.
The internal linking tool will just add the new products into existing the line architecture, creating more subcategories and sub-subcategories, making it look something like this:
Homepage > Boots > Leather Boots > Laced Leather Boots > Heeled Leather Boots > Arch Support Leather Boots
Now, it takes more than 6 clicks to find a product. Even when customers know what they’re looking for.
You might think - they can just search for it in the search bar.
But, in the long term, it’ll be difficult to detangle this type of internal linking. If the user experience gets more complicated, it’ll take visitors more time to shop and buy.
The solution: Think about how customers would like to shop
Introduce your products first.
We love how Brixton takes a unique approach with its internal linking.
It lists the products under a wider tag - Gifts, Men, Women, Headwear, & Sale.
In the dropdown menu, it lists all the products and then shows the ‘All’ tag. So customers can discover specific products first and if they want to see all products they can click on the category.
This way the product pages are less than 2 clicks away from the homepage and thus strong as a webpage by itself as well.
When clicked on headwear, the product listing page shows the ‘Men’ and ‘Women’ now as sub-categories (internal linking) and shows the journey path through breadcrumbs (internal linking).
When customers click on one of the categories, in this instance on ‘Men’, it shows the full catalog as anchor text and links (internal linking).
Furthermore, the breadcrumbs show that every product and category are listed individually under ‘Collections’ - which is not accessible as a whole. This ‘Collections’ category is just for listing purposes only and links back to the homepage.
This iterates our point that every product and category is less than 2-3 clicks away from the homepage, strengthening the SEO value of product pages.
Apart from this, there are two more ways Brixton adds value to its eCommerce SEO.
a. Copy that introduces each product and product category on top of their respective web pages. This enables them to target specific keywords and cover a bigger ground in terms of eCommerce SEO.
b. It links specific products from blogs to product pages, letting customers discover products through content, which is the whole foundation of internal linking.
Today, customers expect security on eCommerce sites. Are you wondering if that affects eCommerce SEO?
Then, yes. It does!
Google has increased its stringent policies against spammy websites. They want to provide searchers with results that are relevant, accurate, and safe.
Therefore, it’s important to use HTTPS and have an SSL 2048-bit key certificate on your eCommerce site.
This certificate also enables security encryption, which protects your customer’s information when they make transactions on an eCommerce site.
Explore: Making “out of stock” products a conversion driver
Frequently Asked Questions about eCommerce SEO
1. What is eCommerce SEO?
eCommerce SEO is how eCommerce stores are made more visible in the search engine results pages (SERPs). When potential customers are searching for products that you sell, a search engine reviews different websites and shows the most relevant results.
2. Is SEO important for eCommerce?
Of course! SEO is an important necessity for eCommerce websites in terms of both search engines and internal site searches. Only when your product reaches potential customers, will they discover your eCommerce store and products.
3. What is search intent?
Search intent (also called keyword intent) is when a person (in this case, a potential customer) enters a query in a search engine or on the internal site search.
4. What is keyword cannibalization?
In your eCommerce SEO strategy, if webpages are optimized for the same keyword or search query, it means you’re competing with yourself. This makes all your web pages rank poorly causing keyword cannibalization.
5. What is an internal site search?
Internal site search, most often called site search, is a search engine function on a specific website that allows users to search for content or products on that specific eCommerce website.
6. What is internal link building in eCommerce SEO?
An internal link is a link that connects one page on your website to another page on your website. Both your customers and search engines use these links to find specific products and information.