Ecommerce / SEO

The Four Pillars Of Ecommerce SEO

Keyboard and Computer
Matthew Clarkson
Matthew Clarkson
Reading Time7 minute read

Some people think that SEO doesn’t apply to online ecommerce.

This is not true.

If your competitors are optimizing their site and you’re not doing anything, you’re losing money right now. Your competitors are out attracting keen customers… while your site isn’t even ranking on Google.

That’s why you need to boost search engine rankings if you want to succeed.

To start, I’ll go through the 4 key pillars of ecommerce SEO. I’ll show you how you can begin by auditing your ecommerce store. Then I’ll teach you how to conduct ecommerce keyword research, implement on-page SEO and deploy link building techniques.

If you follow these four steps, you’ll see better sales and profits in no time.

Let’s begin!

Auditing Your Ecommerce Store

The first thing you need to do is to take care of SEO foundations.

You need to conduct an audit to make sure your current ecommerce site doesn’t have any existing on-site problems which can hurt your rankings. Regularly auditing your website is a fantastic way to ensure your site is free of SEO problems.

A website that has common SEO problems is one that:

  • Is hard for Google to crawl
  • Has very little or too much duplicate content
  • Has numerous technical problems (site structure or cannibalization)

Here’s how you can perform an audit on your site.

You can start with SEO audit tools like:

…. But below, I’ll show you how to get started with Screaming Frog. 

Screaming Frog

  1. Go to Screaming Frog and download the software.
  2. Begin analyzing your website. Take your main URL, add it to Screaming Frog and select the ‘Start’ button.
screamingfrog
  1. Export the data once Screaming Frog finishes crawling.
  2. If you want to simplify the data, you can filter the results by ‘HTML.’ This only returns the pages and ignores any additional images or Javascript files.
screaming frog analysis
  1. Here, you’ll see all the on-site SEO problems you need to fix. I recommend you also save the file, by clicking on File >Save.
  2. Now let’s begin with fixing highly common problems first.
  • Duplicate Content
    To find pages with duplicate content problems, go to the URL tab. Under filter select ‘Duplicate.’
Finding Duplicate Content With Screaming Frog
  • Find Missing Canonical Tags

To see whether your pages have missing canonical tags, go to the URL tab. Then scroll to the right and look at the ‘Canonical Link Element 1’ section.

screaming frog uri
screaming frog canonical

The pages that have empty space are missing a canonical tag. They also may have duplicate content.

You can also use Screaming Frog to find other SEO problems like:

  • Missing or Duplicate Title Tags
  • Missing or Duplicate Meta Descriptions
  • Missing Alt Tags
  • 404 Error Pages

If you want to learn more about how to use Screaming Frog, you can find it in my detailed Ecommerce SEO Guide.

Ecommerce Keyword Research 

Once you’ve conducted a SEO audit, you’ll need to undergo ecommerce keyword research so you can funnel qualified organic search traffic to your store.

Unlike normal SEO keyword research, there are four additional aspects you need to consider. 

These include:

  1. Search Volume
    First, you need to make sure there’s enough people searching for the keyword. To determine the best volume for a keyword, take other high-traffic keywords as a benchmark.
  2. Intent
    Second, you need to make sure you’re attracting qualified traffic. This is traffic that’s coming from the right stage of the sales funnel.
sales funnel steps
3.
  1. Relevance
    To attract the right audience, you need to make sure the keyword is relevant to your store’s offering. If you’re not sure whether the term is relevant, have a look at the top 10 results for a keyword. If these pages are similar to yours, there’s a good chance the term is relevant.
  2. Competition
    Finally, you need to make sure the keyword is one you can realistically rank for. If your ecommerce site is new, I recommend you go for long tail keywords. Long tail keywords have less competition and high intent.

On-Page SEO For Your Ecommerce Website 

When you’re optimizing on-page ecommerce SEO, there are numerous features you need to take into account. 

  • Internal Links: You can internally link your product descriptions, by linking to other products via product recommendations. 
amazon product recommendations
  • Your Title Tags: Make sure you add the target keyword to your Title Tags to boost SERP rankings. 

    For example
    • On a category page, you can use: The Fastest LongBoards For 2020
    • On a product page, you can be more specific: LongBoard Adv 2020 – The best LongBoard for balance
  • Meta Descriptions: With meta descriptions, you can include extra keywords while making it relevant and click-worthy. 
keyword in meta description
  • Schema Data: To stand out, you can leverage Microdata. Microdata helps you include key information to your product pages; description. This way, you can include further information from pricing and availability to delivery time and review data.
Rich snippets in search results example
  • Heading and Subheadings: Every page should have one H1 main heading. Try to add your main keywords in all your headings. Here’s an example of a category page.
Headings examples

For product pages, start with the product’s name as the H1. Then use H2 and H3 headings to explain the product’s other features.

  • Images:
    To optimize your pictures, make the filename reflect the product.
    For example:
    • Longboard2020-balance.jpg
    • Protein-Powder-For-BodyBuilders.jpg

Make sure you also include a relevant alt-tag and optimize your images so your pages load more quickly.

Ecommerce Link Building Techniques 

Before we jump into link building techniques, make sure you complete the first three pillars first. If not, you won’t see solid results when it comes to search rankings.

There are many backlinking strategies.

However, the most effective is the competitor backlink analysis. I’ll show you how you can get started by taking your competitor’s backlinking strategy and using it for your site.

  1. Gather the first 10 organic results for the main keyword you want to rank for. Make a list on a spreadsheet.
  2. Use Ahrefs to identify and find all the backlinks that point to your competitors. For example, here are the 3 top results for Swimming Goggles.
    1. https://www.speedo.com/uk/en/goggles/all-goggles
    2. https://www.proswimwear.co.uk/swimming-goggles.html
    3. https://www.argos.co.uk/sd/swimming-goggles/
  3. With the data available, see where you can easily acquire the same backlinks.
Ahrefs backlinks
  1. Use Ahrefs Keyword Explorer to see how many links you need to land to be in the top 10 results for that keyword. Make sure your analysis is organized in a proper spreadsheet.
Ahrefs Keyword Explorer
  1. Instead of analyzing every backlink from your competitors, go for the most valuable backlinks first. You can do this by sorting the list by Domain Rating. 

You can also try other backlinking strategies like:

  • Crowdfunding
  • Posting on Directories
  • Blog Commenting

… and many more.

Rounding Up

Search engines are a fantastic channel to attract qualified prospects and customers. That’s why boosting your ecommerce site’s SEO is vital if you want to remain in business.

But don’t worry.

You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars or gain superior expertise to get started.

You can begin with the 4 pillars of ecommerce SEO:

  1. Audit your ecommerce store
  2. Undergo keyword research
  3. Optimize your on-page SEO
  4. Implement ecommerce link building techniques

What are you waiting for?

Get started today and earn a lot more tomorrow!


Matthew Clarkson
Matthew Clarkson

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