5 SEO Best Practices for Ecommerce Sites
To be successful in ecommerce, you’ll need to be sure that consumers can find your online store. Having a great SEO strategy in place can assist with boosting your site’s visibility immensely. What’s more, effective SEO will not only improve your search engine rankings but also the user experience you offer.
To help you make the most of your own SEO efforts, here are 5 best practices to implement on your ecommerce site, regardless of what you sell!
- Find the right keywords to use
Determining what keywords your target market is searching for online is an essential first step in optimizing your business’s SEO strategy. By using these all-important phrases throughout your website, including your homepage, product pages, blog, etc., as well as other locations, such as your social media networks and any type of content you create and share, you’ll increase your chances of appearing to people looking for the products you sell.
Online tools like Google Trends, AnswerThePublic, Semrush, and Ubersuggest are just a few of the options to consider for your keyword research to discover the terms that will be most relevant for your audience. When looking for the right keywords to incorporate into your content, go for phrases that have high search volume but not a crazy amount of competition, as you’ll want to still be able to rank for them relatively easily.
- Keep your URLs short yet descriptive
Although sometimes overlooked by e-merchants, an ecommerce site’s various URLs can have a crucial impact on both user experience and SEO. Well-crafted URLs provide internet users and search engines with accurate, helpful information that lets them know what the page concerns.
To optimize your site’s URLs and ensure that they’re user-friendly, aim to keep them short yet descriptive. Say that, for instance, your online store sells handcrafted candles. Here are two possible URLs that could lead to the same product page:
We see that the first example is much easier for the site visitor to interpret than the second example. If possible, try to include keywords in your URLs when it makes sense, but remember that your main priority should be the user experience.
- Improve page load speed
The faster your pages load on both desktop and mobile devices, the better your site will look in Google’s eyes. This can then lead to higher rankings in the search results. What’s more, speeding up your site will likely be appreciated by your customers too!
You may want to start by using Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool to see how your site currently performs in terms of speed and get recommendations for how to make it faster.
A good way to reduce page load time is by getting rid of any elements that aren’t necessary, such as plugins or add-ons that aren’t really doing anything to improve your business. In addition, consider setting up caching, which will allow a copy of your site to be saved on your visitors’ browsers. Then, when they return for a subsequent visit, your site’s pages will load much more quickly.
You’ll also want to optimize the images you use throughout your site by compressing images whenever you can. Heavy image files can slow down loading times considerably, so don’t make your images any larger than they really need to be.
- Write effective product descriptions
To help convince your site visitors (and search engines) of your products’ value, you’ll need to go beyond simply including a product title, photo, and price on your product pages. Adding detailed product descriptions is crucial when it comes to ecommerce SEO.
When writing the descriptions for your various products, consider what kinds of details shoppers will find most helpful. This will vary depending on the products you sell and can involve age ranges, ingredients or materials, instructions, measurements, safety information, etc. Next, explain how your product will help to improve the user’s life, with detailed, descriptive writing that flows naturally.
Finally, be careful to avoid duplicate content. While it might be tempting to just copy and paste the description provided by the product manufacturer, this isn’t looked upon favorably by Google. This goes for not just your product descriptions but the rest of your site as well…unique content is a must!
- Use alt text for your images
Alternative or alt text is a line of text that can be added to an image and is used by search engines when crawling a website to determine what’s in the picture. When adding an image to your ecommerce site, it’s advantageous to use alt text that features your target keyword and provides a detailed description of what the image displays. This will give search engines more context concerning the page’s content and allow them to index and rank the image correctly for image searches.
Alt text also serves to improve the user experience on your online store. If the image file can’t load for any reason, the alt text will appear and inform your visitors of what the image is meant to show. In addition, alt text makes your site more accessible for visually-impaired visitors and allows for more enjoyable shopping.