As an e-commerce store owner, you want more e-commerce sales – as does everyone. But not everyone knows how to make the most of their search engine optimization (SEO) efforts to get more bang for every buck that goes into the e-store search engine visibility and marketing campaign. Below are some of the most reliable e-commerce SEO strategies for you to fare better than the rest.
There are more methods of keyword research and analysis than one person would care to count, so let’s skip the queue and give you the real deal. With e-commerce, your keyword research must be done with your business goals in mind (product inquiries, sales, ratings, reviews, etc.). Here are some lesser-known ways to shortlist the most relevant keywords for your niche.
Research Using Amazon And eBay
Type the most generic keywords for your niche into the search box in Amazon.com, and you will see a list of suggestions. These “suggested” lists are prepared to reflect the keywords most often used by shoppers to search for products from your categories. If, however, you don’t get many results or don’t get any results in this manner, go to Google and search for the most generic word from your product category (for instance, search for “apparel”). Now, check out the synonyms and repeat the Amazon and eBay search using these words.
If you only get a few suggestions, use long-tail keyword research tools like keywordtool.io, a great tool where you can key in your available keywords and get a lot more. Use this method to align your other research tactics with your e-commerce goals.
Qualify Your Keywords
Now that you have a list of relevant keywords, it’s time to qualify them so that you spend your money and time where there’s maximum reward to be had. The two pitfalls of failing to do this are:
• You will end up competing with massive brands that will just crush you. To avoid this, use Moz’s Keyword Explorer Tool.
• You will end up spending money and time on keywords that users just don’t search for.
If the keywords don’t have sufficient monthly traffic, why waste your time and money in making them work? Google Keyword Planner can help you understand and evaluate keywords in terms of the average monthly searches.
Of course, keyword qualification extends deeper than just avoiding these two pitfalls. Make sure the keywords are relevant to your niche. They must align well with the buyer personas and search intent, and must not have huge brands competing for them. Over time, you’ll have your reliable list of keywords that will maximize ROI.
Avoid Keyword Cannibalization
When more than one page from your e-commerce website ranks for the same keyword, search engines don’t know which one to feature. Make a list of all your website’s pages, along with the focus keyword for each. Verify that you don’t find any duplicate keywords on the list.
Use Internal Linking
A well-designed internal linking structure can make any website score well in terms of SEO, as well as user experience. However, the necessity for correct internal structure for e-commerce websites is massive. Internal linking is the process of creating links that go from one page within a domain to another page within the same domain. If you already use category pages, most of the internal linking work is already done. Internal linking enables visitors to easily find what they are looking for on your e-store website, enables Google to crawl your website pages when you use category navigation and clean internal linking, and helps you up-sell and cross-sell (pages such as “more products you might like” and “people buy these together”).
To improve your internal linking:
• Create landing pages for major brands and product lines you sell on your e-store, and use them on product pages.
• Use appropriate and well-researched anchor texts for the internal links; Dave Davies does a great job in explaining how you can properly optimize your link structure.
• Establish links between related categories — for instance, men’s watches and women’s watches.
JewelryJudaica is one site that does a great job in properly linking the internal pages together. The navigation structure is very clear on each product page and the product information is followed by links to related pages, which are presented with relevant anchor texts. Additionally, product pages have sections for “top products” and “related products” leveraging the internal links.
Compare the product pages from websites like Cricket Australia with that of the NFL shop: the latter does a great job at internal linking, with links to the home page, main product category page and subcategory page provided on top. The Cricket Australia site, however, requires shoppers to use the navigation menu to find the next product they want to go to.
Create Buyer Guides For Off-Site SEO
Create a buyer guide, top 10 lists or a resource booklet to help shoppers, and upload the e-book in PDF format on Scribd. Target the placement of the book as a free download on blogs, along with long-tail keywords relevant to your e-commerce store niche. Buyer guides are naturally rich in keywords and enable you to include links to main product categories as well as several other popular product pages with relevant anchor texts.
Focus On Long Tail Keywords
A WordStream analysis found that around 70% of the keywords were long tail. These keywords are backed by intent when used in search queries. For instance, “bed sheets” is a generic keyword, and “double bed sheets with geometric patterns” is a long-tail keyword.
Because the content you produce to execute these strategies already exists or is reusable across multiple platforms, it helps you get a better return in terms of SEO. You have to pump money into e-commerce SEO to keep things moving — the trick is to make every dollar work for you.