So, you’ve set up your new online store, but how do you get free traffic without splashing out on pricey ads or expensive marketing campaigns?
Implemented correctly, SEO has the power to catapult your brand to the top of results pages to boost visibility and drive traffic. By repeatedly appearing in common search query results, you’ll become a trusted voice of authority within your industry and reap the rewards of increased traffic. And better yet, this traffic is organic and completely free!
With approximately 5.6 billion Google searches a day, ranking on page one of the search engine results page rank could be the key that unlocks the full potential of your business.
Sounds good, right?
In this guide, we’re going to explore the ins and outs of SEO for ecommerce and how you can leverage it to drive free traffic to your online store. We'll delve into the basics of SEO, from understanding keywords to mastering the art of link building. We'll also discuss the importance of creating high-quality content and how to optimise your website for mobile users.
The power of SEO for driving free organic traffic
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a powerful digital marketing strategy that can help you boost your visibility in search engine results and attract organic traffic to your website. Unlike paid advertising, SEO allows you to generate free traffic by optimising your website and its content to align with search engine algorithms.
In today's highly competitive online marketplace, having a strong online presence is crucial for the success of your ecommerce store.
Imagine SEO as your ecommerce store's virtual high street. When someone is walking down a bustling high street, their attention is naturally drawn to the storefronts that stand out and pique their interest. In the same way, when users enter search queries on search engines, they are presented with a variety of options to choose from.
Just like on a physical high street, competition for attention is fierce in the virtual world. Your goal is to make your ecommerce store's virtual storefront stand out from the competition. With a solid SEO strategy, you can ensure your website ranks highly on search engines and looks captivating and irresistible to potential buyers as they browse the results page.
With the sheer number of Google searches conducted daily, which currently stands at approximately 5.6 billion, ranking on the first page of SERPs can unlock tremendous growth opportunities for your ecommerce business. By leveraging SEO strategies, you can establish your brand as a trusted authority in your industry, gain credibility, and ultimately, increase your revenue.
In the next sections, we will delve deeper into the key components of SEO for ecommerce and explore actionable techniques that you can implement to drive free organic traffic to your online store.
Benefits of ranking on the first page of search engine results
Ranking on the first page of search results brings significant benefits to your ecommerce store:
1. Increased visibility
Higher rankings make your website more visible to users, leading to more clicks and exposure. And with 75% of searchers never going past the first page of search results, it becomes apparent why you need solid SEO.
2. More organic traffic
Appearing on the first page attracts organic traffic from users actively searching for products or information related to your business. This means that a lot of this traffic comes with the intention of making a purchase or inquiry. And remember, organic traffic is free traffic.
3. Credibility and trust
Top rankings establish your store as a trusted source, building credibility with your audience. As your website grows in credibility and trust, search engines will begin to recognise and prioritise your content.
4. Competitive advantage
Outranking competitors increases the likelihood of users choosing your store over others.
5. Long-term results
SEO efforts provide lasting benefits, delivering ongoing traffic and growth for your business.
Ranking high in search results is a strategic advantage that can drive success in the competitive ecommerce landscape.
Next, we'll explore the role of keywords in SEO for ecommerce.
The importance of keyword research
Keyword research is like discovering the secret code that unlocks your ecommerce store's potential. It allows you to tap into the language your potential customers use when searching for products or information online. By recognising the importance of keyword research and incorporating it into your SEO strategy, you can attract targeted organic traffic to your online store.
So, why is keyword research so important?
By conducting keyword research, you gain valuable insights into the specific words and phrases your target audience uses when searching. This enables you to align your website content with their search intent, ensuring that your store appears in relevant search results.
2. Understanding your audience
Keyword research helps you understand your potential customers better. By exploring the keywords they use, you can gain insights into their preferences, pain points and interests. This knowledge helps you tailor your content to their needs and provide a more personalised shopping experience.
3. Beat the competition
Keyword research reveals the keywords your competitors are targeting and ranking for. By analysing their strategies, you can improve on their content, or identify gaps and discover untapped opportunities to differentiate yourself and optimise your website to compete effectively in search engine results.
4. Long-tail advantages
Long-tail keywords, those more specific and detailed phrases, can be a goldmine for ecommerce stores. They often have less competition and higher conversion rates because they reflect the specific needs of potential customers. For example, a user searching for a 'short sleeve blue shirt' is likely to have a stronger intent to purchase than someone searching for just 'shirt'.
Through keyword research, you can uncover these valuable long-tail keywords and attract highly targeted traffic to your online store.
5. Optimising your content
Armed with your keyword research, you can strategically sprinkle relevant keywords throughout your website content. Your homepage, category pages, product pages and blog posts can all be optimised with keywords. Optimising these pages enhances your visibility in search results and increases the chances of your store being discovered by users actively searching for products like yours.
Keyword research tools
Effective keyword research requires the right tools to uncover valuable insights and identify strategic opportunities for your ecommerce store. Today, there are many keyword research tools to choose from, some are free while others require a paid subscription.
Here are some of the most popular tools that can assist you in your keyword research journey:
Google Keyword Planner
This free tool by Google provides keyword ideas, search volume data, and competition level insights. It helps you discover relevant keywords and gauge their potential impact on your SEO efforts.
A comprehensive SEO tool that offers a wide range of features, including keyword research. SEMrush provides valuable data on keyword difficulty, search volume, related keywords and competitor analysis.
Known for its robust backlink analysis, Ahrefs also offers a powerful keyword research tool. Similar to Semrush, Ahrefs provides keyword suggestions, search volume data and competitive analysis to help you make informed decisions.
Moz Keyword Explorer
Moz's Keyword Explorer offers keyword suggestions, search volume metrics and organic click-through rate data. It can help you identify high-potential keywords and prioritise your optimisation efforts.
A popular tool by Neil Patel, Ubersuggest provides keyword ideas, search volume and competition data. It offers insights into related keywords and content ideas, making it a valuable resource for keyword research.
By utilising these tools, you can uncover valuable keywords, assess their potential and gain a competitive edge in your SEO strategy for ecommerce success.
Optimising content, meta tags and URLs
On-page optimisation is a crucial aspect of SEO for ecommerce. It involves optimising various elements on your website to make it more search engine-friendly and improve its visibility in search results. Here are key areas to focus on:
Create high-quality, relevant and engaging content that meets the needs of your target audience. Incorporate relevant keywords naturally within your content, headings and subheadings to signal to search engines what your page is about. Aim for informative, well-structured content that provides value and answers user queries.
There are a number of places you can have content on an ecommerce website, including:
- Homepage text
- Category descriptions
- Product descriptions
- Blog pages.
Think of meta tags as your store's enticing window display. Meta tags and descriptions are what a user sees in your snippet on the results page. Craft attention-grabbing title tags and meta descriptions that not only contain relevant keywords but also entice users to click. It's like the perfect shop sign that screams, "Come on in!"
Ensure your URLs are concise, descriptive and include relevant keywords. Clean and user-friendly URLs not only help search engines understand your page's topic but also make it easier for users to remember and share.
Tip- Many ecommerce platforms, such as ShopWired, let you add meta data and other SEO aspects easily within the content management system (CMS).
By optimising the website’s content, meta tags and URLs, you enhance the visibility and relevance of your website pages, making them more attractive to both search engines and users.
Off-page optimisation- Building backlinks
The role of backlinks in SEO
A backlink, quite simply, is a link from one website to another.
Backlinks are like votes of confidence from other websites to yours. They play a crucial role in SEO by indicating to search engines that your website is reputable, trustworthy and worthy of being ranked higher in search results. Here's why backlinks matter:
1. Authority and trust
When reputable websites link to your ecommerce site, search engines perceive it as a signal of trust and authority. The more high-quality backlinks you have, the more search engines trust your website and consider it a valuable resource.
2. Organic traffic
Backlinks not only improve your website's authority but also drive organic traffic. When users come across a link to your site on another website, they can click on it and land on your ecommerce store, potentially becoming customers. Backlinks serve as pathways for users to discover your website.
3. Enhanced visibility
Search engines analyse the quality and quantity of backlinks pointing to your site to determine its relevance and popularity. Websites with more authoritative and relevant backlinks are likely to rank higher, increasing their visibility to potential customers.
Strategies for acquiring backlinks
Now that you understand the importance of backlinks, let's explore some effective strategies for building backlinks for your ecommerce website:
1. Create valuable content
Develop high-quality content that provides value to your target audience. When you produce valuable and shareable content, other websites are more likely to link to it naturally.
2. Guest blogging
Write informative and relevant guest posts for other websites in your industry. Include a link back to your ecommerce site within the content or author bio. Guest blogging can help you earn backlinks while establishing your expertise and expanding your reach.
3. Influencer partnerships
Collaborate with influencers or industry experts in your niche. By featuring them in your content or partnering on joint campaigns, you can gain backlinks from their websites and tap into their audience.
4. Online directories and resource pages
Submit your ecommerce store to reputable online directories and resource pages that are relevant to your industry. These platforms often allow you to include a link back to your website, boosting your backlink profile.
Remember, the quality of backlinks is more important than quantity. Focus on acquiring backlinks from authoritative and relevant websites in your industry. Natural, organic backlinks will have a more significant impact on your SEO efforts.
Enhancing the user experience for mobile users
With the increasing use of smartphones and tablets for online shopping, providing a seamless mobile experience is crucial. Here's why mobile optimisation matters:
1. User experience
Mobile users expect fast-loading, responsive websites that are easy to navigate and interact with. By optimising your ecommerce site for mobile devices, you enhance the user experience, leading to higher engagement, longer site visits and increased chances of conversions.
2. Mobile-first indexing
Search engines prioritise mobile-friendly websites in their search results. Google, for example, uses mobile-first indexing, which means it primarily looks at the mobile version of your website when determining its ranking. A well-optimised mobile site can help you rank higher in search results and attract more organic traffic.
Tips for mobile optimisation
To ensure your ecommerce website is optimised for mobile users, consider implementing the following tips:
1. Responsive design
Use a responsive design that automatically adjusts the layout and content of your site to fit different screen sizes. This ensures that your website looks and functions well on mobile devices, eliminating the need for separate mobile and desktop versions.
Many ecommerce platforms now offer responsive themes, including ShopWired, ensuring your website looks and functions perfectly on desktop and mobile devices.
2. Fast loading speed
Mobile users are often on the go and have little patience for slow-loading websites. Optimise your website's performance by compressing images, minifying code and leveraging caching techniques to improve loading speed.
You can test the speed of your website by visiting PageSpeed Insights here.
3. Mobile-friendly navigation
Simplify navigation for mobile users by using a clean and intuitive menu, prominent search functionality and easy-to-tap buttons. Ensure that your website is easy to navigate with a single thumb and avoids complex or tiny elements that can frustrate mobile users.
4. Mobile checkout experience
Streamline your checkout process for mobile users to reduce friction and increase conversions. Implement a simplified and mobile-friendly checkout form, enable mobile payment options and optimise the entire checkout flow for a seamless experience.
Monitoring and Analytics
Tracking your ecommerce SEO efforts
Monitoring and analytics are essential to measure the effectiveness of your SEO efforts and gain insights into your website's performance. By tracking key metrics and analysing data, you can make informed decisions to help you better optimise your website’s content.
Here's what you need to consider:
1. Set up Google Analytics
Install Google Analytics on your website to track important metrics such as organic traffic, referral sources, conversion rates, and user behaviour. This data provides valuable insights into how users interact with your site and where improvements can be made.
ShopWired makes it easy to add Google Analytics tracking to your website, you can find out more about ShopWired and Google Analytics here.
2. Monitor keyword rankings
Keep an eye on your keyword rankings to assess your SEO progress. Identify keywords that are performing well and those that need improvement. Adjust your strategy accordingly to boost your rankings and visibility in search results.
3. Analyse traffic and user behaviour
Dive into your website's traffic and user behaviour data to understand how users navigate through your site, which pages they visit, and how they engage with your content. This information can help you optimise your website structure, content and user experience.
4. Conversion tracking
Implement conversion tracking to measure the success of your marketing campaigns and understand which channels drive the most conversions. This data allows you to allocate resources effectively and focus on strategies that generate the best results.
By regularly monitoring and analysing your website's performance, you can identify areas for improvement, capitalise on opportunities and refine your SEO strategy for long-term success.
SEO made easy with ShopWired
ShopWired offers a whole host of features to make SEO easier than ever. There’s no need for html coding knowledge, simply open the built in SEO settings for each page in the dashboard and enter your own custom meta tags, descriptions, URLs and image ALT tags. By enabling you to easily add keywords to the important parts of the page, ShopWired makes it easy for you to climb the search engine results page. You’ll just need some solid keywords and a good strategy.
In this guide, we have explored the essential aspects of SEO for ecommerce. Let's recap the key points:
- SEO is a powerful tool for driving free organic traffic to your ecommerce store.
- Understanding keywords and conducting effective keyword research is crucial for targeting the right audience.
- On-page optimisation, including content optimisation, meta tags, and URLs enhances your website's visibility and relevance.
- Building high-quality backlinks improves your website's authority and search engine rankings.
- Mobile optimisation is vital to provide a seamless and enjoyable experience for mobile users.
- Monitoring and analytics help measure the success of your SEO efforts and provide valuable insights for optimisation.
It's important to emphasise that SEO is an ongoing process that requires continuous efforts. The digital landscape and search engine algorithms are constantly evolving, so it's crucial to adapt and refine your SEO strategy over time.
By consistently investing in SEO and adapting to changes, you can establish your ecommerce store as a trusted authority, drive targeted organic traffic and ultimately achieve long-term success.
Thank you for joining us on this journey to discover the power of SEO for ecommerce. Remember, with the right strategies and ongoing efforts, you can unlock the full potential of your online store and thrive in the competitive digital landscape.
Good luck with your SEO endeavours!