E-commerce is already consolidated as a necessity for retailers to gain visibility, sell more, and be closer to the audience where they spend most of their time socializing.
But the benefits of having an online store make standing out a challenge. After all, if everyone is fighting for their place to shine, being different matters a lot.
That's why SEO for e-commerce is a must-have strategy in your routine.
Search Engine Optimization is an effort combining structure, clear language, and planned content to become an authority on a subject and attract organic traffic.
So how can you prepare your site to climb positions on Google searches and get leads without spending more money on paid publicity? We show you how to take the first vital steps with the following techniques:
Knowing where to start
First of all, it is important to say that any efficient SEO strategy starts with a plan.
Like any Digital Marketing effort, it is a combination of knowledge, tools, processes, and actions that make e-commerce trustful for consumers and relevant to Google.
So the first steps are all about gathering data and planning your goals. There are three important definitions you will need to seek to better understand what and how you can improve organic traffic.
Every e-commerce strategy needs to be elaborated with a focus on your client.
How can you set in stone what are their browsing habits, how they search for products, and which kind of links they click if you don't know them well?
Before even starting, create one or a few buyer personas that will reflect your audience well, from age to dreams, from spending power to how they manage their routine.
From that point, you will be able to layout everything necessary to adapt your site and your message to their expectations. It is the foundation of your plan.
Knowing the right keywords in which to invest your effort is a game of balance.
If you target those keywords with a huge volume of searches, you are also fighting with a lot more brands for that number one spot.
But if you go the opposite way and execute your SEO based on less common queries, you can actually get better positions fast on SERPs, but there won't be much traffic going on.
The ideal approach is to be somewhere in the middle for most of the time and then working with variations to both extremes, so you can cover more ground.
And remember: SEO is a strategy based on iteration. If you see keywords ranking better and faster, reinforce your work on similar phrasings and connections.
Finding the right keywords isn't always about cold numbers, though. Here it is the first time you will use the knowledge about your personas to your advantage.
The key here is something called user intent. The marketing team needs to anticipate what their potential customers expect from every stage of discovery and research, then put themselves in the user's shoes.
We will talk more about this when covering the buyer's journey, but that intent needs to be apparent from the get-go.
Projecting the words and expressions your user will type helps you lay the perfect path for them to follow.
Building your site around SEO for e-commerce
After mapping the best keywords to rank on Google, it is time to put them into action. You do that by incorporating them into your site and your content.
So let's start with the store itself. Here are some tips for restructuring e-commerce in a relevant way for your buyer persona and search engines.
The first part isn't exactly about SEO, but it helps wrap up the path that leads customers to your store.
If you are successful in your strategy, the website's layout will be the sum of all your effort with communication, language, and branding.
The most important thing here is making your store mobile-friendly. As time passes, more customers use their smartphones to buy. As Business Wire reports, in 2021, m-commerce will already correspond to more than half of every purchase made online.
Information and architecture
How you organize and present information in your online store is important for a pleasant user experience and letting crawlers see your website as a good fit for more users.
A golden rule is: structure your store in a way that any page is accessible in three clicks or less. Organize products into categories, keep the CTAs always visible, and open a permanent channel for quick contact.
It is also important to pay attention to how you display, structure, and describe the images of products and other kinds of visual communication.
They need to have quality and consistency but, in terms of SEO, they also need coherent titles and Alt Text descriptions that help your customer to consider the products they can't touch.
Actually, a good position on Google Image's searches is sometimes more effective than the traditional SERP, as many people tend to be more visual when shopping.
With a well-structured, responsive, and visually optimized site, you have many opportunities to attract organic traffic and make them stay.
And this organization is also great for making URLs that have logic and are easier to rank on Google. The way you do that matters a lot for crawlers.
The best approach is to have simple, readable addresses with the least amount of elements necessary to make them distinct yet recognizable.
If your store has a lot of departments, you can include them to better categorize products.
There is only one obligatory rule: always do your best to put the related keyword in the URL. This will help to rank the page and guide your customer.
Working with local SEO
The omnipresence of smartphones in our daily lives gave a new purpose for local shopping.
Geo-localization, special offers, AR, and other kinds of interaction help retail bring the virtual world into their physical space.
Speaking of SEO, the vital step you have to take is making your Google My Business profile.
The search engine prioritizes local brands when they recognize a user is searching for products and services around them.
It is also a powerful tool for engagement via reviews and user-generated content, besides a direct contact channel — link to your website, phone number, and social media.
Investing in Content Marketing
If you follow all the previous steps when restructuring your e-commerce website, you will have a relevant store for Google and easy to browse by your potential customers.
But any SEO strategy has to go beyond that and reach for the audience you are trying to attract.
You do that by engaging your buyer persona, communicating, and creating authority on the subjects adjacent to the products you sell.
We are talking about Content Marketing. A great plan can make you rank more pages on popular keywords and strengthen the relationship between your brand and your public.
Let's see how you can start this strategy!
Buyer's journey and content planning
Now it is time to bring back the user's intent to the conversation because it has everything to do with the content you will create.
Think about how buying is a journey.
You start by searching broadly for solutions to a problem or wish and start learning more about what you actually want to buy.
Then you start comparing the candidates that fit better and considering in which store it is best to buy it.
The best way to plan your content is to consider that path and producing material that will meet the customer expectations in each step — from more general approaches to deep dives into products.
Combining this with good keywords that reflect searches in that funnel stage, you not only bring more traffic to your e-commerce but also traffic more prone to buy.
Distribution channels and social media
When planning your content, you need to determine how it will be distributed to optimize SEO.
Having a blog as the starting point, as you can start ranking its pages and linking them to the store and other relevant material — a strategy called internal link building.
After that, you must use social media as an amplifier. Investing in the channels your buyer persona uses most, you can increase engagement, rank the same content in different contexts, and create another path of conversion for your products.
Talking about engagement, having interactive content in the mix is a great way to improve SEO by making the audience itself share your links.
These can be useful infographics, fun quizzes, or lookbooks for your products. There are many great tools that can help you with creating interactive content, like visual tools or an easy-to-use easy-to-use online quiz maker - so why not take advantage of that?
You can also invest in live events when doing special promotions. Raising awareness is a great way to make people choose your link over the neighbors when searching for something online.
With a well-built and optimized store and useful, engaging content, SEO for e-commerce is a simple and effective way of getting more traffic and sales. Find your perfect keywords, measure your evolution, and start planning your future!
This content was written by Rock Content.
Rock Content is a global company that enables the growth of companies through our suite of products. With over 2 thousand clients, and more than 60 thousand freelancers, we are present in Brazil, México, United States and Canadá.