Optimizing your site content for search is essential to any ecommerce business. Search is a huge channel for discovery, and if you want to appear higher in SERPs and get more eyes on your products you need to make sure your site is primed to climb the rankings. Not only will it bring in more traffic, but an optimized page is also more likely to lead to conversions.
Today, we’re going to look at 4 straightforward, actionable tips that you can use to enhance your SEO strategy that will have long-term positive impact.
#1 - Make the most of keyword opportunities on product pages
Keywords are the backbone of your SEO strategy - they’re how search engines and users find your content. By incorporating them into your product pages, you can better ensure that your target audience actually discovers your store. That being said, are you making the most of every keyword opportunity on your product pages? Many merchants know to include keywords in product descriptions, but there are several other areas throughout the page where you can insert keywords and improve SEO:
- Meta title and description - This is what will appear on the SERP, so it’s important to include keywords and information here.
- URL - Search engines will look at the URL of the page, so include your most valuable keyword for the product in question. Make sure it’s relevant to the product, and think quality over quantity.
- Image alt tags - Ever searched for a product and seen there are Image results? That’s because Google does crawl images, in as much as they’re able to and a large part of that is through image alt tags. These have a bonus impact on accessibility.
Those are just the beginning - if you really want to maximize keyword real estate, you should consider adding more content beyond the product description. That may be an FAQ section as a drop-down that answers some of the key questions that either are asked about your product or that come up in search. If you sell memory foam pillows, for example, then a question that customers typically ask might be “What are the benefits of a memory foam pillow?” - by adding this to your product page, you’re adding more keywords that will lead customers to your product. Adding reviews to your product page can also help with SEO as customers might use words in their review that you may not have thought to include as part of your keyword strategy.
#2 - Publish regular, high quality blog content
Adding fresh content to your store is hugely beneficial to its SEO, and the best way for ecommerce merchants to do this is by publishing blogs. After all, most of your site content is going to stay largely the same with minor tweaks and some additions throughout the year. However a blog can be constantly updated with new content which targets different search intent and long-tail keywords.
Businesses that publish regular blogs can see as much as 55% more traffic than those who don’t, so if you’re looking for a SEO boost then blogging could be the answer. Plus you’ll have more content to share on other channels like social media, and can repurpose them for email marketing, and video content. The
The key to a great blog that will successfully drive traffic lies in high quality content that will be useful and relevant to your target audience. In other words, you want to target different topics that are both relevant to your products and niche, and useful to the reader in some way. That might be answering a question they have about your products or something in your industry such as “How do I choose the best shoes for running?”, or “What does bergamot smell like?”. Or it could be a how-to guide for something they’re interested in such as “How to brew barista-quality coffee at home”.
However, it doesn’t just end with the content - you need to make sure you’re publishing regularly also. This shows search engines that you’re consistently putting out a good flow of quality content, and will therefore be up-to-date and worthwhile for users.
#3 - Optimize your site for speed, mobile, and accessibility
You’ve added all the right keywords to the best places on every page, you’re regularly publishing amazing content to your blog…but it’ll all be for nothing if your site takes forever to load! User experience is a big part of page ranking, and there are three aspects you need to optimize if you want to stand out to search engines - speed, mobile friendliness, and accessibility.
Let’s start with page speed. The faster your page is, the higher it’s going to rank - simple as that. That’s because speed impacts user experience; if a page takes forever to load, a user isn’t going to hang around as they’ll either lose interest or become frustrated. The more frequently that happens, it’ll start to impact your ranking. There are plenty of simple ways you can speed up your load times such as reducing image file sizes, minifying code, removing unnecessary apps from your store, and making use of caching. These small tweaks can have a big impact, as just a 0.1 second improvement in speed can result in a 27% increase in conversion rates.
Do you know that 79% of customers will return to your store if you have a good mobile experience? Mobile search is huge with users globally, as it’s an easy way to search on the go without the need for a desktop computer or laptop. The same is true for how they interact with ecommerce - mobile makes it easy for them to browse and shop quickly from anywhere. However, if your site is difficult to navigate on mobile, it’s going to impact user experience and therefore your SEO. To improve your mobile experience, you should ensure that your site is not only mobile responsive but is optimized for mobile. That means simplifying your menu options on mobile, reducing the number of fields a customer is required to fill in, adding quick checkout options, and removing any intrusive pop-ups that may make it difficult to use your mobile site.
Lastly, accessibility. It’s quite simple in theory, if your site is accessible then more people can actually navigate and use it. If a user with a disability or impairment finds it difficult to use your site then that’s a bad experience and as we know by now, that’s bad for SEO. You can improve your store’s accessibility by including image alt tags and descriptive anchor text for links, as well as maintaining good use of header structure throughout your site.
#4 - Simplify your site architecture
Have you ever been on a site and had to sift through different menus and submenus just to find the category you were looking for? It’s frustrating! This can be an issue common for merchants with large or diverse catalogs, for example if you sell equipment for many different outdoor activities, or simply a large variety of clothing. Once you add all the different categories plus your “About Us”, Blog and any other content to your menu, it can get pretty crowded very quickly.
It’s important to your site’s user experience and SEO that you keep your site architecture simple, straightforward, and easy to navigate. If you’re a Shopify merchant then your site architecture will be inherently good by default, but you need to maintain that good structure by keeping your primary navigation simple and making smart use of internal linking and your onsite sitemap.
To simplify your architecture, look at how many menu items are in your primary navigation. Lots of options can be confusing for customers, so focus on the options that matter most. Let’s look at an example of a simplified navigation menu:
La Colombe keeps their primary menu to five options that summarize the rest of their site’s content but make it easy for visitors to understand where they need to go to find what they’re looking for. All of their resources such as their blog, brew guides, and more is kept under “Learn”, and all their shoppable products under “Shop”. Gifting and subscriptions are two areas of importance to their store, so these are included to demonstrate to search engines their importance and to make it easy for users to find.
Search engine optimization is a long game, one which requires lots of tweaks, edits, and changes consistently over time. Things like adding more keywords to different locations on a product page, and simplifying your site architecture are methods which will improve your SEO in the long-term and will contribute positively to your strategy.