Having an e-commerce site nowadays is easy. Dozens of platforms can get your online store set up in a matter of minutes.
The problem is that as it gets easier, the eCommerce space is more crowded than ever.
Even if you have your website ready to take orders, chances are you won’t get much if any traffic at all. So your options are ads on social media or pay per click campaigns on Google Ads.
And the other option, while it’s more of a long-term strategy, is content marketing, which, according to Demand Metric , costs 62% less to produce than ads
Should you abandon Facebook Ads orpay per click campaigns altogether?
But SEO for e-commerce sites should definitely be part of a sustainable strategy to generate traffic.
We are going to take a look at five ways e-commerce sites can apply SEO tactics to improve their online presence and make ad-free sales.
All of these tactics are easy to implement and free. Most of these tools have a paid option to get more results, but for most people, these small but powerful tweaks can make the difference.
Let’s jump right in.
Keyword research is one of the most basic ways to optimize your site for search engines.
Targeting keywords still work on regular websites, and it definitely works for e-commerce sites.
In its most basic form, Keyword Research involves:
There’s more to it, of course, but for e-commerce, you get to use two tools that will supercharge your keyword research efforts.
Ever meet a stranger and think, “I wish I knew what they were thinking?”
Well, your wish is Amazon’s command.
Amazon is the biggest e-commerce site in the world. And the search bar is a fantastic keyword research tool that not everyone takes advantage of!
Simply type in a broad category term in the search bar. For example, beard products.
Even if you only write the word beard, Amazon will show you a list of searches people are currently using to buy items.
Did you get that?
Amazon will give you some of the most common ways people find things to buy on Amazon.
But Joe! I don’t sell my stuff on Amazon!
Yeah, but if people use a search term on Amazon to buy something, chances are they’ll use that same term in Google.
It would be wise to make that part of your eCommerce SEO plan.
The other way you can use Amazon as your keyword research tool is to go into a competitor product and read the reviews.
Notice what words people use to describe the experience and features of that product. Notice the pain points, what they do right.
Then, plant those words into your own product’s description. This way, you optimize your product descriptions into something that addresses their problems before they have them.
You can use this tip on eBay, Etsy, Home Depot, Walmart, etc. Any big eCommerce website will have a search bar and will give you keyword suggestions.
Honestly, Amazon and eBay will give you most of what you need. So don’t be surprised if there’s an overlap.
The best advice I can give you for keyword research is to go in, get what you need, and take action as fast as possible.
Otherwise, you can get easily overwhelmed with information and get decision paralysis.
No one wants to feel like a mouse in a maze trying to find cheese. So why would you make your visitors feel like this?
For e-commerce websites, there’s an unwritten rule that says that your products should never be more than three clicks away.
Make sure your website is easy to navigate both in desktop and smartphones, that your categories make sense, and that’s it’s just intuitive.
A good site structure to have is having your home page lead to a categories page. From the categories, have subcategories where specific products are listed.
Being three clicks away means that it takes two clicks to get to your product page.
Why? Because click number three is where the money is. Your ADD TO CART button should be click number three.
If your website is disorganized, I would recommend you work closely with an SEO.
An SEO will make sure that all the proper redirects are in place, so you don’t have dreaded broken links on your website.
In the context of your website, your product has three elements:
Make sure that whatever keyword you decided you wanted to target is in these three elements.
For example, back with our beard products example. Let’s say we’re trying to target beard balm, and your product is a fantastic beard balm.
Your product URL must be:
Your product title must be something like:
And your product description must tell us everything that makes this beard balm so amazing.
Product descriptions are everything for a product. So make sure you:
Pay close attention to bullet point one. Do not focus on features but rather the benefits those features bring to your customer.
Technical Tips to Write Great Product Descriptions
Another thing you can do is do a website audit. A website audit will give you a list of things you can fix from a technical and content point of view.
It can get overwhelming, and you may need professional help for some things, but most of them are easy fixes.
To do a website audit, you can use Ubersuggest by submitting your website’s URL.
Once the tool loads your website, click on the Site Audit link to the left, and you’ll get a list of things you can start fixing on your site.
You can pay to get the full list, but the free version gives you enough to get started.
Know that guy at the high school reunion that won’t shut up about how great he is now? That’s how people feel about content that is only about a company’s product.
Content marketing is about creating content that your audience finds useful. The goal is to create content that is related to the product, but not the product itself.
So, back to the beards example, content marketing is not creating a 1,000-word article about how excellent your beard balm is. That is what the product description is for
You should produce a great article about the best ways to keep a healthy beard.
The way to do it is simple.
You talk neutrally about ways to keep a beard healthy, and oh, by the way, we have a beard balm you can use. Here’s a link and a coupon. But you can also try this other thing you may have at home.
People love to buy, but they don’t like to be sold to. Content marketing takes care of this problem.
Be helpful, be excellent, and people will buy from you.
Create written content or video content. It’s up to you.
But Joe! I don’t know what to write about!
The best way to know what to talk about is to spy on competition or what people are saying.
You don’t need a hacker for this.
All you need to do is, search in forums related to your niche and look at the discussions that are going on. Go to Reddit, Quora, blog comments, the Youtube comment section (good luck there!).
There are hundreds of places you can find what kind of questions people are asking.
Find a question, answer it in a blog post or video, and you have a new piece of content.
**Bonus Tip** Use AnswerThePublic to see what questions people are asking around your product.
Let’s go back to your high school reunion again. In this scenario, you’re there, and you only casually talk about yourself.
Everyone else away from you is mentioning how awesome you are. Since the praise is coming external sources, it builds your authority.
Well, Google and potential customers think the same way. Essentially that’s what backlinks are.
Ranking in Google is kind of like a popularity contest. There’s just no way around it.
You can create the most exceptional content on the web about your product. Pour your heart, soul, blood, and tears into your blog posts and videos, and still get no momentum.
Cause no other website linked to your content.
Backlinks are like votes. The more links you get, the more you get noticed by search engines.
Getting backlinks is tricky. But here’s how you can get started.
Find a competitor’s website.
Steal competitor backlinks by using UberSuggest.
Once you have a list of other websites who already gave your competition a link.
Analyze what your competition did to earn that link. Maybe it’s a graphic, or a tool, or their product page is better.
I tend to do things to the extreme, so instead of only doing a little better, make your page 10x better.
For example, if your competition did a piece of content titled “5 ways to style your beard.” Create a topic that’s “50 ways to style your beard.”
Yes, it will be a lot of work, but the chances of someone trying to outdo you will be unlikely.
Then, reach out to the website who gave a backlink and see what you can do to get a backlink yourself.
It’s important to not overthink your SEO for your eCommerce website. Between your homepage, product pages, and content, there’s a lot of work to be done.
The best way to eat an elephant (so I’ve heard) is one bite at a time. Optimizing your eCommerce site is no different.
Start with setting your foundation with keyword research using Amazon and other eCommerce platforms.
Next, use the research to optimize your product pages’ titles, descriptions, and URLs.
Once you’ve done that, make it as easy as possible for someone to buy your products with the fewest clicks possible.
Uncover all the technical errors on your website to make sure it’s healthy. Once you have a healthy website create educational content, your visitors will love.
After it’s all said and done, it’s time to get others to share your website with the world.
What are some of your favorite eCommerce SEO tips?