6 SEO Best Practices for eCommerce Websites

SEO marketingSEO for eCommerce sites is a slightly different  practice than SEO is for other websites. The basics are the same – companies of all kinds need to publish relevant content; target broad and long tail keywords; and earn quality links. However, eCommerce websites also need to take a few additional steps to ensure they’re ranking higher than their competitors and earning as many clicks, sales, and brand impressions as possible.

To that end, here are the six best practices eCommerce websites in particular must adopt to edge out the competition, boost their ranking, and maximize their organic search traffic:

1. Optimize your site for mobile.

Being mobile-friendly is a requirement foreCommerce sites because the desktop version is nearly impossible to navigate via mobile device. And with mobile shopping now accounting for 50.3% of all eCommerce traffic, your site can’t afford to miss out on these visitors due to a frustrating user experience. Plus, Google, Yahoo, and Bing now give priority to mobile-friendly sites, which means it’s possible to lose your ranking if you’re not optimized.

To remain competitive, you need to give your audience a seamless user experience when they visit your site on a mobile device. Make sure they have access to the same content, search features and level of design and usability as they have when visiting the desktop version. We recommend speaking to your web design company about adopting responsive design, which ensures your website offers an optimized viewing experience on all devices – including desktop, smartphones, and tablets.

2. Post interesting and timely content.

A strong content strategy should be a priority, because search engines reward sites for publishing new content. To begin, post interesting blogs and articles that relate to the products you sell. For example, if your site sells wine, create a series of blog posts designed to educate your visitors on the rules for great wine and food pairings. Also, post seasonal content when possible, as seasonal keywords have less competition than keywords that are relevant all year long.

3. Make sure your site is functional.

For SEO purposes, it’s extremely important to monitor your site regularly to make sure everything is working properly. Ecommerce sites tend to accumulate a huge volume of pages very quickly, and errors can be hidden within them. We recommend performing routine checks to find and remove site errors, redirects, duplicate content, missing header tags, and broken external links. Don’t worry about removing out-of-stock or discontinued item pages, though. Keeping them up – provided they are working properly – is good for your ranking because it creates more pages for search engines to crawl.

4. Customize your product and meta descriptions.

To optimize your product descriptions for SEO, avoid using the manufacturer’s default description or repeating sections for similar products, as duplicate content can negatively impact your ranking. Instead, post unique descriptions, videos, and high-quality images for each product. Then, tag the images with metadata so they show up in relevant image-based searches. This is an important step, because visual SEO is becoming increasingly important.

We also recommend creating unique content for your meta descriptions. A meta description is the text that appears under the hyperlink on the search engine results page (SERP). This text should be unique and attention grabbing, so it encourages users to click, thus increasing your ranking.

5. Create a site that’s easy to navigate and loads quickly.

An eCommerce site that’s easy to navigate results in a positive user experience, which means visitors will stay on your site longer and boost your ranking. To begin, adopt a design that clearly directs visitors where to go; organize your product pages intuitively; and optimize your site’s internal search function so customers can easily find the content they’re looking for. Also, we recommend linking between pages to help users access additional pages quickly, a practice that search engines recognize and reward.

Once your site is organized appropriately, make sure it performs optimally. As 40% of website users will abandon a website if it takes more than three seconds to load, make sure your pages load quickly. Also, adjust the checkout process so it’s easy and painless, with as few steps as possible.

6. Get social and interact with your customers.

Getting your customers to interact with your site can boost your SEO ranking, because customer reviews represent fresh content to search engines. To encourage your customers to engage, email them after they’ve received their product to offer assistance and invite them to provide feedback.

Additionally, as social signals now influence SEO, it’s important to integrate your site with social media. An active social media presence tells search engines that users find your website and brand valuable. Thus, your ranking improves. To get started, add social buttons throughout your website; share relevant content on social media; and interact with your followers to boost your visibility and increase your relevance.

Shopify, Mobile Now Accounts for 50.3% of All Ecommerce Traffic, https://www.shopify.com/blog/15206517-mobile-now-accounts-for-50-3-of-all-ecommerce-traffic

KissMetrics, How Loading Time Affects Your Bottom Line, https://blog.kissmetrics.com/loading-time/?wide=1

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Ironpaper is a B2B marketing agency and lead generation agency. Ironpaper integrates design, technology and marketing for the web to drive meaningful results for clients. We are based in New York City and Charlotte, NC.