When a website is redesigned, search engine optimisation (SEO) is a vital component of the…
A 3-Point SEO Checklist for Your Ecommerce Site
Ecommerce SEO might feel like an uphill struggle at times. You need to work on your site to keep up with competitors continually, and you also need to stay on top of Google’s many updates.
It can be hard to determine what to focus on to get the best results.
We’ve created a 3-point checklist that can be the foundation of your SEO strategy.
The items in our checklist focus on two main things–that search engines find your websites and that users have a positive experience during online shopping.
Let’s get started.
Ensure search engines can find your website.
Before you optimise your webpages, you need to make sure that search engines can find your website.
Search engines use crawlers to index webpages. These crawlers are bots that “crawl” the Internet to find webpages through links.
For example, there’s most likely a clear organisational structure on your website. There are links to main pages like your homepage and About page in your main menu. You then sort your products into different categories, linking to each one separately.
If you fail to link to a product page, crawlers will fail to find it. All the effort you put into optimising that page will go to waste, because it won’t appear in search engine results pages.
This is why ensuring search engines can even find your website is the first item in our checklist. It’s the foundation upon which the other steps of your SEO strategy should be built.
Upload a Sitemap
A sitemap is a file that shows search engines all the pages on your website and how they’re organised. It serves as a guide for crawlers when they’re crawling you’re website, signalling which pages are essential.
If you use WordPress, uploading a sitemap could be quite easy with the help of a plugin.
We recommend installing and activating Yoast first. Aside from generating a sitemap for you, it also makes it easier to add page titles and meta descriptions to your webpages and blog posts.
Once you’ve installed Yoast, click on SEO on your sidebar select General. You will then need to click on the features tab. Enable the XML Sitemaps feature and click on Save Changes.
You will need Google Search Console for the next step.
Google Search Console is a tool that makes it easier for webmasters to optimise their websites. It alerts you whenever crawlers are unable to index your webpages and also detects other errors.
If you have a Google account, you can use it to sign in to Google Search Console. Once you’ve signed in, you can verify website ownership by linking Google Search Console with your Google Analytics or by downloading an HTML and uploading it to your website.
After verifying website ownership, click on Sitemaps on the sidebar. In the field that says “Enter sitemap URL”, type sitemap_index.xml and click on Submit.
Do keyword research.
Keyword research is the process of finding keywords used by potential customers.
Before we proceed, let’s define a few terms first.
- Keyword Volume – The amount of traffic a keyword generates during a given timeframe.
- Keyword Difficulty – This is how difficult it would be to rank for a specific keyword.
- Short-tail Keywords – These are keywords that contain three words or less. For example, “football”, “learn football”, and “football rules” are short-tail keywords.
- Long-Tail Keywords – These are keywords that contain four words or more. For example, “web development agency in sydney” is a long-tail keyword.
Ideally, you’d find keywords that generate plenty of monthly traffic that aren’t difficult to rank for. Since competition in the digital marketplace is so fierce, those types of keywords are hard to find.
Instead of focusing on short-tail keywords that generate a lot of traffic, you may want to consider targeting long-tail keywords instead.
Since they contain so few words, short-tail keywords don’t tell you why a user is searching for something. Long-tail keywords, on the other hand, give you more insight into a user’s intent.
For example, a user searching for “Italian food” could be looking for recipes for Italian food or an Italian restaurant nearby. The keyword doesn’t give you enough information. A user looking for “Italian restaurants near me” is more likely ready to stop by and get take out.
Instead of wanting to lead more users to your website, you can start bringing in more potential customers.
Keyword Research Tools
There are plenty of keyword research tools available online, and it can determine which best fits your needs.
We’re going to discuss two options. You could make your choice depending on your technical know-how and budget.
Ubersuggest is a free tool owned by digital marketing guru Neil Patel. To use it, you need to enter your target keyword, choose your location, and click on Search. It will then generate the monthly search volume and keyword difficulty.
It will also show you more keywords ideas. For example, if you enter “product page seo”, Ubersuggest will recommend “shopify product page seo”, “amazon product page seo”, “product page seo tips”, and more.
You can then add keywords to your target list based on the keyword difficulty, the monthly search volume, and your target audience.
SEMRush is undoubtedly one of the most powerful keyword research tools available. It’s more expensive than Ubersuggest, but it’s an in-depth tool that we’d recommend for people with more technical SEO knowledge.
With this tool, you can easily organise the keywords you find into several categories. This feature can come in handy when you’re writing about different topics or want to target two or more customer personas.
Write unique product descriptions.
Duplicate content is content that can be found on more than one URL. Even though Google technically won’t penalise you for it, it can still cause problems for your search engine rankings.
You have to keep in mind that Google wants to show users the most relevant results as quickly as possible. They won’t want to show users webpages that say the same thing over and over.
If two or more webpages contain the same content, Google will have to choose the “original” version and index it.
Most eCommerce sites use product descriptions provided by the manufacturer on their product pages. Since a single product description is used several times online, your product page may fail to get indexed. Users won’t see the product page which could hinder you from improving your conversion rate.
To ensure your product pages are indexed, you will need to write unique product descriptions. You can follow these steps:
Get to know your target audience.
Who exactly are you trying to sell to? Where do they spend their time online and offline? What are their strengths? What are their improvement areas? How does your product make their life better?
As you answer these questions, a customer persona will begin to emerge. Keep this customer persona in mind when choosing words or deciding on the tone of voice you’re going to use.
Discuss the features and benefits.
Features are the specific traits of a product. Benefits are how those traits can make a customer’s life better or easier at the very least.
Let’s say you’re trying to sell wireless earbuds. Saying these earbuds have the latest noise reduction technology won’t be enough. You also need to say that the technology reduces background noise, making your voice clearer during important meetings no matter where you are.
The noise reduction technology is the feature.
Getting your point across no matter where you are is the benefit.
The tips we discussed in this blog post can serve as the foundation for the successful SEO strategy of an eCommerce site.
Making sure search engines index all your important pages is the first step. If your pages aren’t indexed, all your other SEO efforts will go to waste.
Lead your target audience to your website by using the right keywords.
Your product pages are your eCommerce website’s bread and butter. Stand out from the competition by writing unique product descriptions.
Need help with SEO for your eCommerce site? Cornerstone Digital is an SEO agency in Sydney that can lead your ideal customer to your website. Call us on (02) 8211 0668 or email us at [email protected]
A self-professed book and digital marketing nerd, Darlyn Herradura focuses on building trust between customers and businesses with the written word. She understands that creating valuable content is the best way to get found online and happily spends her time doing that.