E-commerce SEO for Beginners: 5 Tips to Improve Your Search E-com Site Search Performance

Using SEO to get traffic is one of the most commonly neglected marketing channels by e-commerce website owners in Malaysia.

Most e-commerce website owners focus instead on paid marketing channels such as Facebook and Instagram ads.

The reason for this is that paid marketing channels are usually able to deliver results quickly.

However, relying only on paid marketing can be risky. What if ad costs go up? What if the policies on the ad platforms change and you can't advertise anymore?

To ensure that your business doesn't go down with changes in your paid marketing channels, consider adding SEO to your marketing mix.

While your efforts in SEO can take much longer (6-12 months) before you see results from them, it can be worth it in the long-term when you have created a new channel generating traffic for your site every day. 

Whether you have a Shopify store, WooCommerce store, SiteGiant store, or EasyStore, it's worth investing some of your marketing budget in SEO.

Here are five basic changes you can make to improve your e-commerce website's search performance right now:

E-commerce SEO vs 'Normal' SEO

If you've done SEO for non e-commerce sites before, you may be wondering:

Why do we need SEO dedicated specifically for e-commerce?

What's the difference between SEO for e-commerce vs say, a blog like Entrepreneur Campfire?

Here's what's different:

  • E-commerce stores are products focused, and often carry a few hundred or a few thousand products at once
  • The goals for e-commerce is product sales whereas other sites may want leads
  • SEO for e-commerce is more heavily focused on product-related and buyer-intent keywords than other kinds of websites.

As such, there are additional steps you need to take when you do SEO for e-commerce compared to a non e-commerce website.

#1. Write SEO optimised product descriptions

A big part of your e-commerce website will consist of product descriptions. Compared to other parts of your website, product descriptions will make up the bulk of the words on your e-commerce website.

Product description example from Amazon.com

Product descriptions are where you share the features and benefits of your products. It's also where you can give a narrative of your product and allow your potential customer to imagine what using your product will feel like.

From an SEO perspective, it's where you have the opportunity to place keywords which your customers may be searching for.  

So the first thing you need to look at is your product description because that is your best opportunity to include as many search keywords as possible while still sounding natural.

Here's a comprehensive guide to help you write SEO optimised product descriptions:

SEO for Product Descriptions: 5 Steps with Results, Use Cases & Examples

#2. SEO Optimise your product Title Tags and Meta Descriptions

Most e-com business owners forget that the product title and meta description of their products are the very first things that their potential customer will see:

The potential customer will look at this snippet and decide whether to click through the link or not.

The better you can attract your potential customers to click on your link compared with other links in the search result, the higher your click-through-rate (CTR).

Get to know: Click-Through-Rate (CTR)

CTR can be described as the percentage of clicks you get over the impressions you get.
‚Äč
CTR = Clicks / Impressions * 100

CTR is often a measure of how effective your SEO snippets are in bringing in traffic from search.

CTR is one of Google's Ranking Factors. The higher your CTR, the higher you will rank on Google.

So if you haven't done that yet, be sure to optimise your SEO snippet by making it attractive.

Here are a few guides to help you improve your SEO snippets:

Moz - Title Tag

Moz - Meta Description

#3. Add Alt Texts to your product images

This is another area where most e-commerce store owners don't look into. 

When you think of SEO, maybe what you think of are words search:

In reality, people are going on Google to not only search for articles, they are also on Image Search:

By including descriptive Alt Text on your images, you tell Google what your image is about, and Google will rank your images.

Improving your image search will also improve your overall SEO.

If you don't already have Alt Text for all your images, here's how to include them based on the e-commerce platform you're using:

Shopify: Add Alt Text to Product Images

WooCommerce: How to Put Your Image ALT Tags to Work in WordPress

Once you know how to access your image Alt Text, here are some tips on how to improve them:

Image Alt Text: What It Is, How to Write It, and Why It Matters to SEO

#4. Upgrade your snippets to rich snippets

If you want to take your snippets a step further, you can make create 'rich snippets'.

If you've never heard of 'rich snippets' before, we've already seen one in tip #2:

The main difference between normal snippets and rich snippets is that you get rating (out of 5) for in your just below your product URL. Compared with bland search results, rich snippets stand out.

Here's how to add rich snippets to your product pages based on your e-commerce platform:

How to create Rich Snippets for Shopify, Woocommerce & Bigcommerce Stores

#5. Add a blog and update it often

When you think about e-commerce, a blog may not immediately come to mind. But did you know? Having a blog on your e-com site that you frequently update can boost the search performance of your e-commerce website.

It does so by massively increase the number of keywords on your site. More words on your site means more for Google to crawl into. More words tell Google what your site is about.

The best thing about having a blog is that you can also link your product pages to your blog.

So if your blog articles rank on Google, the traffic on the article automatically passes onto the product pages too. 

However, that doesn't mean you should make your entire blog focused on your products alone.

Have a good balance between product heavy articles and articles that are simply useful for your customers (with no mention of products if possible!).

With this mix, not only will your potential customers love your site, Google will share its love and rank it too.

Conclusion

Most e-commerce store owners make full use social media ads to drive traffic to their site.

What a lot of them don't take advantage of is search traffic. 

Search traffic, while slow, can add a healthy diversity of traffic source for your business, lowering your risk of depending on one sole traffic platform.

The good news is that it's relatively simple to improve their search performance. By making changes to their product description, title and meta description, image alt tag descriptions and actively updating you blog, you can see an improvement in your search performance over time.

Who doesn't like a new sales channel?

Let me know: have you tried SEO for e-commerce? What are strategies you've found effective and which strategies have completely bombed?

Looking for More Advanced E-commerce SEO? Look here: 

If you've already done all the above and want to go up even further, here are two of my bookmarked resources to learn about e-commerce SEO from.

They are gigantic resources I go back to from time to time and I think you'll find useful:

The Ultimate Guide to SEO for E-commerce Websites

Ecommerce SEO: The Definitive Guide

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