Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one of the cornerstones of online business – and the same goes for eCommerce. A well-designed store offering the best products will struggle if they don’t pay attention to SEO strategy.
Simply put, doing SEO helps shoppers find your store through search engines. The better your rankings on these engines, the more traffic you’ll get to your online storefront. The more traffic, the more sales.
What Is SEO?
Assuming you are selling a physical product online, you are probably aware of SEO and its effect on your online business. Getting found online is crucial for every online business in today's digital landscape. SEO is the core of it all. Online businesses and D2C brands implement SEO strategies to rank higher on search engine results pages (SERP).
In the early days, search engines didn't have anything in place to identify websites (besides the web address). There were no standards. However, things have changed. Google, the most popular search engine globally, has evolved and improved its search engine algorithms.
Google's algorithm cares about E-A-T, which stands for:
- E stands for Expertise
- A stands for Authoritativeness
- T stands for Trustworthiness.
The expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness of an eCommerce site’s contents weigh heavily in the Google search engine. How does the algorithm determine expertise, authority, and trustworthiness? According to backlinko, Google takes into account 200+ factors to determine its rankings. SEO can help with most of these factors.
It's important that when you're working on optimizing your eCommerce store, you need to find the right balance by focusing on the user and get a higher ranking when search engines crawl your eCommerce website.
6 SEO Strategies to Help Grow Your eCommerce Site
If you want to optimize your Shopify site for traffic, you need to create relevant and authoritative web content and carry out page tweaking that justifies the page ranking and gives it value. Below are on-page SEO strategies to enhance your website visibility:
1. Domain name and URL
The domain name and URL are critical aspects when developing your eCommerce service page. If it's awkward and hard to read, you might get a lower ranking. No matter how authoritative your content, it won’t matter if people have trouble reaching your site.
For the best results, name your site the same as your business, and make sure the URL slugs match the subjects of each page.
Inserting long-tailed keywords could help get traffic to your site and ultimately raise your Google search ranking. You should sprinkle the keywords naturally on your homepage and throughout your eCommerce site, and track the growth. The density of keywords spread evenly on your web pages will go a long way to prove to the Google algorithm your website's relevance.
3. Product Names and Descriptions
One of the most effective techniques to optimize your product listing is changing the names and descriptions of your products. For example, if you have an eCommerce store specializing in selling tech gadgets like digital cameras, you should ensure that this new wording appeals to people searching for “digital cameras” since this is what you sell.
Besides keywords, include the type of camera you offer for sale (e.g., digital). Also, add a few features and benefits (also known as “SEO copywriting”); with these points, you'll appear higher up in snippet search results, and possibly rich results when someone searches for “digital cameras.”
4. Page Load Speed
Page load speed is another concern for SEO. If your eCommerce site doesn't load quickly on devices, it might end up ranking lower in Google search results. Plus, you run the risk of having people lose interest before your store loads.
To ensure that you have a fast, mobile-friendly site, and high rankings in the search engine, start by looking at how long your pages take to load – and make sure they're not taking more than two seconds on average. If your eCommerce site is slow, you'll want to make changes with your hosting provider to get better speeds, or at the very least, look into boosting the low conversions rate of your Shopify store by applying split testing. Shopify caches some of your content in its servers and will serve frequent visitors from the cache. That is faster than having to reload the pages from the cloud servers.
5. Simple Search
One of the trickiest parts of SEO is picking the best keywords. Luckily, Shopify created a tool to help you with that! First, enter a phrase you want to use in your products or services in the Simple Search field on your homepage. Then, you’ll see related searches appear. This helps you see which keywords are underused but still relevant to you.
When selecting keywords for your eCommerce site, you need to be careful. By leaning too heavily on SEO, you can attract visitors who would otherwise never purchase your product. This means that you need to find relevant keywords specific to your industry and not just stuff phrases that could lead to tons of irrelevant traffic, lowering your conversion rate.
6. Product Page Optimization
If you want customers to find your eCommerce site, your product pages must be highly optimized for Google search engines. The best way to get your product pages found is by using relevant keywords in the meta title and meta description. In addition, you need to add a featured image or video of your product. Optimizing your product reviews will also help strengthen and broaden your page's visibility and make your website rank on multiple keywords.
Although SEO might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about an online business, it is often the most important aspect from day one of a theoretical operation: you want to rank high in search engines for your targeted customers to find your products.
Curious about how your brand could implement SEO strategies into your Shopify eCommerce store? Book a free call with one of our eCommerce veterans, and they'll give you a free assessment.
Photos Courtesy of Laura Chouette, Szabo Viktor, and JESHOOTS.COM