Online shopping is gaining more and more fans. Web stores are in vogue, so special attention should be paid to your site, its content, usefulness, and SEO optimization. Its design plays an important role in expanding the sales funnel, attracting potential buyers, and improving rankings. According to a Bloomreach study, 76% of buyers in online stores face various problems, after which 53% of them no longer use the services of the seller.
SEO revolves around several strategies that help to improve a site’s search engine rankings. This leads to better visibility, more traffic, credibility, and revenue. Therefore, no web resource, especially an online store, can do without an eCommerce SEO strategy. And for this marketing policy to work, let’s consider the most significant indicators that make websites SEO-friendly.
Working with Keywords
Researching search queries is a significant part of working with SERPs, so you can learn about search volumes that show how many times the target keyword appeared in a query on Google each month. In addition, you will understand your customers better, anticipate market developments before competitors, and meet people’s needs.
Your clients may use completely different phrases, so the first thing you need to do is list keywords that will serve as the basis for the pages on your site. Moreover, thanks to modern keyword research software, such as SE Ranking, you will be offered several options for using a particular word at once and be able to choose the most suitable and in demand. Otherwise, if you select the wrong keyword, potential buyers will most likely not get to your website, even if the product is completely satisfying to them.
Why is it better to use a specialized tool to search and analyze keywords?
- It is fast and less expensive.
- It allows you to do a full keyword analysis based on individual products and product categories to correctly group them on your site and display relevant helpful information.
- With the help of the generated report, the copywriters and SEO specialist will always be able to select additional and new key queries that will help increase the attractiveness and rating.
Therefore, keyword research is a basic thing you need to learn to grow your business on the Internet using the eCommerce SEO strategy. Only with the help of this skill will you be able to generate targeted traffic and encourage visitors to take action.
Grouping Keywords to Build Pages
According to statistics, the first organic result in Google Search attracts 28% of the total number of clicks, and the one in the tenth position – less than 3%. Therefore, you need to make the online store appear on the first page.
Stick to a few rules:
- General keyword phrases (such as smartphones) are suitable for the main page;
- Use higher-level keyword groups (for example, Android smartphones) for product categories and blogs;
- More narrow groups of keywords (e.g., Samsung Android smartphones) should be on product pages, in descriptions.
Use long-tail keywords, which are search queries with a higher level of detail. These are 3-8 words in highly specialised phrases, such as “a personal gaming computer without a video card.” They reach a narrow group of recipients who have a particular intent to purchase.
Such keywords generate less traffic but have an incomparably higher conversion rate. For this ecommerce SEO strategy to be effective, the constructions must be very diverse and appear in large numbers, but, at the same time, look very organic on product pages. Thanks to long tails, the query can contain information about the brand, color, material, and other characteristics.
An important element of research is the intent of the keyword. Understanding this metric is essential because it can help you anticipate and predict user actions based on their search queries. You will be better prepared to create a product that meets the needs and preferences of your target audience, and you will be able to use this knowledge to optimize existing content and posts in the blog.
Since 2019, Google has improved the way it interprets queries and searches intents. Now, if you understand what is behind a particular search, you will be able to:
- create more targeted content;
- rank high in search results;
- optimize e-commerce categories and product pages;
- get more traffic and leads;
- create blog posts.
Web Design & Site Architecture
The architecture of eCommerce websites is a way to customise navigation, product and category pages. The main goal is to ensure that your site visitors get the most relevant content in the least number of clicks. An unofficial rule is that a user should be able to navigate to any website page in no more than three clicks.
The better the structure, the easier it is for a search engine to crawl a website, increasing the chances of a high ranking. Each page on the website should lead the visitor to another one, without any “dead ends”. Pages that have no incoming internal links are hard to crawl. In addition, search engines check the number of internal links to determine a page’s importance.
To create the perfect web design, you need to determine the mission and purpose of your store. Be sure to study the experience of your competitors and large online brands. Also, do not neglect the results of keyword research and other audits. All this must be implemented:
- In planning the structure of the site, which consists of a home page, a category, a subcategory, and a product page in that order.
- When developing a menu with top-level categories and subcategories, as well as groupings according to certain product characteristics.
- For internal linking to avoid “lost” pages. The link structure should be predictable and straightforward to make navigation easier for the user. For example, all products must link to a category (subcategory), and the home page can be linked to other product pages using the appropriate blocks “More about”, “How to choose”, “Terms of delivery”, “Related products”, etc.
Types of Pages
Here is a list of standard pages of an online store:
- The home page is the first element that visitors to your site see. It is necessary to carefully consider the ecommerce SEO strategy for this element because it can keep the visitors who clicked on the link. Tell them what makes your store unique, what you sell, and what kind of navigation you have.
- The product catalogue is a page with categories and filters designed for the site visitor to quickly find the desired product by sorting it according to certain parameters. On pages of this type, as well as on the main one, there are a header and footer and additional blocks and content.
- A product page is designed to let a person learn about a product in detail and decide whether to buy it or not. On such pages, in the content part, the following information about the product is displayed: image, name, price, article, manufacturer, characteristics, availability, etc.
- A blog is necessary to educate your customers and help them choose the product they need. Articles are very good at increasing the trust and conversion of an online store.
- Sales pages (checkout) – the main page for completing a deal. The task of the basket is to show the goods that a person wants to buy, how much it will cost in total, and possibly offer some other related products-accessories. Checkout is the next step, where the site user completes the transaction.
Source: How To Learn SEO At Home
For an SEO-friendly web design, all site’s pages should have their own unique meta titles and headings: heading h1 (maximum human-oriented); page title (displayed as a link to the page in search results); meta description (text that appears under the link to the page); name for the menu item (for site navigation). All meta tags and headings should be optimised for keywords because they directly affect the CTR when they are well-designed.
If your assortment of products is wide and varied, copywriters will unlikely cope with the prompt and high-quality writing of texts and descriptions for all new products. In such a case, you can use a novel pointer-generator neural network or auto-generation based on patterns for product descriptions.
Monitor the quality of photos and videos. If, for example, pictures are heavily compressed, then the quality will be lost, and it may impact traffic. Do not forget to fill in the alt attributes and a short description containing relevant keywords entries. Also, check the pic indexing so as not to be blocked in robots.txt – this will help your resource take part in image searches and, in general, attract additional traffic.
Pay special attention to URLs – SERPs use them along with titles, anchors, and the text. To compose optimised URLs:
- use a keyword;
- do not use hashes;
- separate with hyphens;
- keep it short;
- use clickable URLs;
- avoid dates;
- use lowercase letters;
- organise navigation (use logical folders for categories and subcategories);
- avoid post titles and session IDs.
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Technical SEO is always the first step when reviewing a website or conducting an audit. It is a part of the ecommerce SEO strategy. The most influential tasks related to technical SEO are:
- Creating a sitemap.html. This is a static HTML page that lists links to all the main pages of the site. This sitemap format is focused on website visitors and allows for going to any of the pages in 1 click. Sitemap.html has a tree structure with expanded sections.
- Dealing with duplicate content can be a real headache. After all, catalogues are full of the same or very similar product descriptions, which can negatively affect rankings. Use professional SEO audit tools to prepare a complete list of pages with duplicate content, and then write the Disallow directive in the robots.txt file, restricting robots from accessing specific URLs.
Duplicate pages can also be defined as pages available at multiple URLs or have similar content (for example, for mobile devices and personal computers). In this case, Google chooses one URL as the canonical version and practically does not crawl the other ones. Therefore, you should pick the canonical link yourself (indicate your preference).
- Site speed optimisation. If ecommerce websites take a long time to load, then not every user will wait until they are fully loaded. Slow speed negatively impacts the user experience and the conversion and ranking in search engines. According to the survey, 47% of ecommerce customers expect a page to load in no more than 2 seconds, 40% – 3 seconds.
- Mobile-friendliness. Run a mobile optimisation check with standard Google services. Do not ignore this indicator because speed and mobility are everything in the dynamic world of e-commerce. This metric is just as important as good ranking, traffic, and UX with the desired conversions. Create a responsive website that provides a great experience across devices.
- Security. The presence of an SSL certificate has a positive effect on the site’s safety and on ranking in search engines and user loyalty. Since 2017 popular browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Yandex Browser and Opera) have begun to mark sites as secure with the HTTPS protocol. You can check the certificate in the SSL Checker service.
- Clear navigation & internal linking. Navigating exactly like breadcrumbs (add internal links to categories and subpages). Moreover, indexing difficulties may appear when it comes to distant pages, not the home page. Flat architecture usually prevents this problem. But for numerous pages, you need to use relinking. Search in your online store should be built so that:
- the buyer can easily find the necessary information and position using the category tree and filters (faceted navigation);
- full-text search finds relevant products (at the same time, the visitor should be able to apply additional filters to narrow the results);
- when entering text into the search string, the user is offered correct results (completion);
- if a term was misspelled, a correct alternative variant was displayed (spell-checking).
Internal optimisation improves the quality of the site so that it ranks better in search engines. When conducting SEO, look at the site not only through the eyes of the user but also through the “eyes” of search engines. This means that you need to create a friendly online store. This article describes the main points of web design and SEO optimisation. Each of the points can be expanded into a separate guide for finding and solving a specific issue. The main takeaways of such work are that it will positively impact the ranking of the site and its positions, the online store will be more convenient and enjoyable for visitors. It will improve behavioural factors and increase the credibility of the resource.
Search promotion and design of intuitive and user-friendly ecommerce websites is not an easy task. Regular monitoring of indexing and search traffic status, competent optimisation of the site structure and content, publication of interesting materials, and a unique offer for the target audience will gradually lead you to the pinnacle of success.