2.02 billion people worldwide purchased products and services online in 2020, and according to predictions, it will cross 2.14 billion in 2021.
But, despite that large number, ONLY 1.94% of eCommerce website visits convert into a purchase.
Now think, if a small number of people visit your site and a relatively smaller group makes a purchase, how will your conversions increase?
It’s simple – by growing your site’s organic traffic.
When more and more people visit your site, you have a good chance of getting more conversions.
If you are wondering how to achieve it, you have landed in the right place.
In this article, I will share 5 basic eCommerce SEO tips to help you drive more organic traffic and convert more buyers.
But before we proceed further, ensure that your site is safe and secure to browse.
SEO Tip 0: Secure Your Site With HTTPS
As an eCommerce website, you collect a lot of data from users, including their personal information.
So, it is vital to ensure that all the information shared on your site is encrypted.
Google also considers security a top priority, and so it announced HTTPS as a ranking factor in 2014.
If you haven’t already moved from HTTP to HTTPS, it’s the first thing you should do.
You can get a free SSL certificate from Let’s Encrypt, a non-profit organization, and add it to your site.
Once your site has an SSL certificate, a lot icon will appear before your URL in the address bar:
Do check your site for HTTPS before moving to the basics.
SEO Tip 1: Target The Right Keywords
Users perform more than 95,000 searches every second on Google.
The search engine matches the user’s search query with the keywords present on the sites to populate the search results.
Indeed, it is a tough job!
Now imagine your site doesn’t target the right keywords, or perhaps it has no keywords. Will it ever rank in the search results? The answer is a big no.
So, the first basic eCommerce SEO tip is to perform thorough keyword research and create a detailed keyword plan.
To help you get started, here’s a free keyword research tool.
Using it, you can list all the related keywords along with their search volumes, cost per click (CPC), and competition.
For example, let’s search for one of your products: leather boots.
Look at the keyword suggestions, analyze their search volume and competition, and filter out those you wish to target.
In general, scan for keywords that have a buying intent and can bring customers to your site.
Once you have the target keywords in hand, incorporate them in your:
- Product Title
- Product Description
- Product Page URL
- Headings & Sub-headings
- Meta Description
- Image Alt Text
- Page Title
You can even use them in the additional content that you publish on your page.
This reminds me that the tool also suggests the top question terms related to your keyword.
You can use them to add FAQs to your product pages and even optimize them even better.
With that, start optimizing your site for the right target keywords. Avoid keyword stuffing and let your site grow.
SEO Tip 2: Add Sitemap and Robots.txt
Sitemaps help Google bots find, crawl, and index all your site’s pages and understand the site’s structure.
A sitemap lists out all the URLs present on your website and indicates how they are related to each other.
These URLs are links to your site’s pages and resources such as images, videos, etc.
Since eCommerce sites are fairly large, having sitemaps also helps in organizing their pages and resources.
Your eCommerce site can have a single sitemap for everything or multiple (separate) sitemaps for category pages, product pages, images, videos, etc.
Also, it is recommended to use dynamic sitemaps for eCommerce sites, which update automatically whenever a URL is added or deleted from the site.
Most eCommerce platforms like WordPress, Blogger, Shopify, Wix, etc., have plugins or built-in features for creating sitemaps.
But, if you are running a custom build site, you will have to build a sitemap by using either of the two methods:
- Manual Coding
- Using A Sitemap Generator
Next, you need to submit your sitemap to Google.
But before you do so, ensure that it is less than 50 MB in size and contains 50,000 or fewer URLs.
Now, let’s talk about the Robots.txt file.
Robots.txt is a simple text file that informs the search bots which pages they should visit and which pages they should not.
It helps your eCommerce site in:
- Hiding confidential/sensitive URLs from search engines
- Saving the crawl budget
- Managing the server bandwidth
So, you must create one using Notepad on Windows PCs or TextEdit for Macs and add it to your site.
Adding sitemaps and a Robots.txt file is a basic eCommerce SEO tip, but most sites miss it. Don’t be one of them!
SEO Tip 3: Optimize For Core Web Vitals
Core Web Vitals are the new page experience signals introduced by Google in May 2021.
They measure how real-time users interact with a web page and consist of 3 critical user-centered metrics:
- Largest Contentful Paint (Loading): The amount of time it takes to render the largest content element and become visible on the screen. It could be an image, a video, or perhaps a large text block.
- First Input Delay (Interactivity): The amount of time between the user’s first interaction with a page and the browser responding to it. Interactions include clicking a link, searching the site, tapping a button, applying filters, etc.
- Cumulative Layout Shift (Visual Stability): Measure of how frequently users experience layout shifts or poor visual quality during the lifetime of a page. It refers to the movement of page elements when the page loads for a user.
Google classifies the Core Web Vitals into three groups based on the experience a URL offers to 75% of the users:
- Needs improvement
The classification is based on the following boundaries:
To your surprise, ONLY 13% of eCommerce sites currently pass the Core Web Vitals. So, it is a basic SEO tip to optimize your site for the Core Web Vitals.
Start by analyzing your Core Web Vitals using PageSpeed Insights:
Alternatively, you can use the Core Web Vitals Report in Google Search Console to gauge your site’s performance.
When you know the issues, you can fix them and improve your Core Web Vitals.
Here are some tips to help you optimize for Core Web Vitals:
- For LCP:
- Improve your server response time
- Implement caching
- Compress images, videos, and text files
- Pre-load resources
- For FID:
- Use code-splitting
- Implement progressive loading
- For CLS:
- Include width and height attributes
- Use Aspect Ratio Boxes to fix elements
- Reserve space for ads
- Pre-load key web fonts
- Avoid animations that trigger layout changes
SEO Tip 4: Offer Breadcrumbs For Easy Navigation
Breadcrumbs help users and search engine crawlers navigate your website with ease.
When you add breadcrumbs to your site, users can quickly trace their path back to the home page from the current page.
Also, the search bots can understand the site’s structure and hierarchy much easily.
Most eCommerce sites provide breadcrumbs on top of the page for quick navigation:
Besides this, Google displays breadcrumbs in place of the permalink in the search results.
So, adding breadcrumbs to your website enhances your site’s user experience, increases user retention, and boosts internal linking.
Here’s how you can add breadcrumbs to your site:
- WordPress Sites – Yoast SEO plugin, Breadcrumb NavXT plugin
- WooCommerce Sites – WooCommerce Breadcrumbs plugin
- Custom-build Sites – Manual Coding (HTML code for every page)
Once you add breadcrumbs, you can significantly improve your site’s SEO.
SEO Tip 5: Become Eligible For Rich Results
35% of product searches start on Google, and rich results are a great way to place your products before potential buyers.
When the product image appears with other details in the search results, it looks very appealing and has a great chance of getting clicked.
Most sites use the following 5 types of eCommerce structured data markup for landing into Google rich results:
You can choose to add the required structured data manually or use Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper wherever possible.
If you have developed your site using an eCommerce platform, you can easily find plugins or in-built features to help you do it.
With that, you have all the basic SEO tips to get started with your optimization journey.
Kickstart With eCommerce SEO
eCommerce SEO is essential if you wish to grow your site’s organic traffic and increase conversions.
All the basic SEO tips mentioned above are simple and easy to implement, and optimizing for them boosts your site’s search performance.
Bonus: To take your site to the next level, look at the advanced eCommerce SEO guide and start optimizing for them too!
Which of these basic SEO tips worked for you? What were the changes in your traffic and conversions? Let me know your thoughts.