SEO optimization: increase the traffic and customers of an Ecommerce

SEO optimization,  an activity now necessary for any company wishing to take the road of online advertising linked to a virtual store, with the aim of acquiring new customers online, selling more and increasing the company’s turnover through its Ecommerce site .

But let’s start from the beginning, for those who have an Ecommerce and are not familiar with specific web marketing terminology.

(a ) What is SEO optimization (for both an Ecommerce and a normal site) for search engines?

These are all those practices that are put in place to increase the number of visitors to a site in a natural way. These activities include:

  • link building
  • site optimization (h1-h2-meta-javascript-css …)
  • construction of ad hoc content
  • analyze and monitor the work done to modify the existing one and continuously increase incoming traffic

A fundamental document to consider, as it is produced by Google itself, is the Google Getting Started Guide to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) , as it shows you that SEO – unlike what you think – does not it is only a practice tolerated by Google, but when well done it is well viewed and encouraged, as it is seen by Google as an aid to index and better position the content it has to crawl on the web.

The demonstration of Google’s attention to SEO activity also comes from another resource: Do you need an SEO? where he tries to give the public essential rudiments to guide them in choosing the right SEO consultant, to be able to serve the client’s interests in a “clean” way without avoiding penalties deriving from unfair practices and little accepted by Google itself.

Obviously there is also the omnipresent Wikipedia, which, however, gives a decidedly simpler and less nuanced reading on SEO optimization .

(b )The importance of SEO optimization for an Ecommerce site

The SEO activity for an Ecommerce is even more important than the company website, to the point of saying that it is a decisive aspect for the success of the web project (there are few who sell only with the brand of their store): if you are not found … you do not sell.

And this SEO optimization thing affects all aspects of the development of the online store, starting from the choice of a software to have an SEO-oriented Ecommerce platform available , easier to manage, passing through the choice of the right vertical categories. and any tags for horizontal categorization

But even once online with your store, you must avoid SEO errors that could destroy e-commerce .

Choosing the right Ecommerce platform from an SEO point of view and avoiding the most naive mistakes is only the beginning of that long search engine optimization activity that you will face when you have your e-commerce working.

So we pay more attention to the e-commerce site, but most of the indications are valid for any website you have (obviously adapting the sense of the recommended action).
You can read the article on SEO Optimization on site if you want to find a checklist for SEO activity on your site

(c ) The problem of those who do not optimize their Ecommerce SEO

I have often found myself faced with non-optimized Commerce projects, or having to work a long time to optimize them.
The hypothetical customer arrives and tells me: I don’t sell.
The first analysis to be made is: number of accesses in the last year (or months) and sales made online in the same period. If there were 5,000 logins and zero sales, what makes us assume that if we bring 5,000 people into the store a day, sales will take off?
I mean, before even starting with the SEO optimization activity, you need to ask yourself some questions:

  1. Does this product sell offline? Do we have any data on off-site sales of Ecommerce?
  2. If it doesn’t sell, could it be a problem with a messy, wrapped, confusing, difficult to use site or with errors in the cart or checkout?
  3. Are the photos suitable to show the product at its best?
  4. Do the descriptions help the navigator understand what we are talking about? Can they make you want to buy?
  5. Is the price of the product too high? Are there others who sell similar products lower?
  6. Is the product not known? Is it a brand problem?
  7.  Is the shipping price exaggerated?
  8. Is it a very difficult product to sell online (high heels style)?

In short, what I mean: before starting with a real SEO activity, you need to be sure that these problems have been positively addressed and overcome.
You cannot invest money and resources to bring people to our site and then see that they do not buy: conversion must be the upstream problem, even before SEO .

(d ) Start with SEO optimization for your Ecommerce

1. Keyword research

(i) Search for keywords for the homepage and product pages

When you are looking for the most important keywords for your Ecommerce project you absolutely have to compare yourself with 3 metrics:

  • the relevance of the keyword to the page / product;
  • the volume of monthly searches for that keyword;
  • the difficulty of positioning on the Google SERP for the keyword in question.

The optimal condition is to find keywords closely related to the brand and the product you sell, with a high search volume and a low competition index.

You must be careful not to take keywords that are too competitive and difficult to position because it will take too long to have a visibility on the Google search page (SERP)
Likewise you should not choose words that are not relevant, too generic: if you choose too many words inclusive will increase the bounce rate on the site, because a lot of surfers will arrive who may be looking for other things.

(ii ) The game of new keywords with a blog

Creating fresh content in a blog can go a long way in ranking a site. First of all because it allows you to add those keywords that would hardly find space on product pages. Secondly, because an interesting editorial project can obtain credibility and authority on the web and help the global positioning of the site, allowing you to build SEO silos , obtain inbound links with link building activities on the contents, etc …

The new keywords that a blog allows you to add should play on the long tail rather than a mass effect on the moment: words with low competition, with less search traffic but constant over time. In this way it could be possible to conquer market niches, intercepting searches with which it would be difficult to get involved on the product pages.

(iii ) Avoid keyword cannibalization

By “cannibalization” of keywords we mean the practice whereby two contents of your site “eat each other” the visibility and positioning on the same keyword. If two pages of the site talking about “SEO optimization for Ecommerce”, which page should Google show first? This weakens the possibility of gaining visibility on that particular keyword.

Hence the importance of a content editorial plan for your Ecommerce too: think upstream of the keywords of each page, in order not to overlap them in the development of the content project.

(2 ) Check the competitors

Once you have found the main keywords, the secondary ones and after having organized an editorial plan … it would be good to check what the competitors are doing.

(i ) What keywords competitors are using

The first thing to check would be to understand which keywords they are aiming for with their SEO strategy. You can use Semrush again by doing a domain search and checking which words they are best indexed for.


(ii ) Where competitors get inbound links from

Understanding where your Ecommerce competitors get inbound links from can give you clues as to where you can get inbound links or what kind of links you need to take to outperform them.

Optimization: Majestic Inbound Link Analysis


Particular attention should be paid to Trust flow and Citation flow.

The Citation flow is a metric that predicts how influential a link inserted in a website can be, considering how many links that site receives in turn.

The Trust flow  determines the reliability, the authority and the trust of a link inserted in a site, considering the quality of the backlinks that that site receives in turn.

(iii )The architecture of the competitors’ site

Observing how competitors built the site tells us a lot about their strategy.

How did they think about their navigation?
What kind of products do they put on the homepage?
Do they show related products?
What space do they give to offers?
How deep does their navigation go?
How did they structure the categories?

… Because even being able to better structure navigation can bring great benefits for the SEO of your product pages …

(iv ) Differentiate your strategy from your competitors

What can your site really do to be different and better than its competitors? How can you improve your navigation architecture, especially after you have compared it with that of competitors? How can you make your site more social than others who sell your same products online? Add a blog if your competitors don’t have it or make it better if they have one too.
In short, define a list of priorities to be better than your competitors in everything.

(3 ) Monitor your online shop for problems

(i ) Fix problems quickly

With a program like Screaming Frog  you can check the website in depth: links, images, css, javascript … from the point of view of SEO optimization. You will discover errors, duplicate pages, missing titles and any “SEO lack” your Ecommerce site presents.

The main mistakes that you need to fix very quickly are:

  1. 404 errors must be redirected (301 redirects) to existing actual content
  2. Change 302 redirects to 301 redirects
  3. Update and edit duplicate content, duplicate titles and descriptions.

(ii )Check the speed of the Ecommerce site

Once the macro errors are fixed, you need to focus on other crucial aspects for SEO optimization. First of all, speed.
Visitors don’t like to wait long for a website to load. What your prospective customers do if your site is slow is go back to Google to find a faster site to shop. And that site is that of your competitor.
There is research showing that 40% of people leave a website when it takes more than 3/4 seconds to load.
So if the site is slow, you are losing customers.

Ecommerce SEO optimization: GTmetrix speed test, to know the speed of the website and understand what are the problems that are holding it back and # Tips for SEO optimization of your e-commerce site

1. Focus on the correct keywords

Always consider it the most important thing in the world while doing this job: finding the right keywords to associate with the products and categories of your website is the first SEO activity you focus on.

With the right words to associate with the right pages, growing your digital project can be easier. Take the time to research the right words to associate with products and develop texts that are functional to the understanding – by people and search engines – that those are the keywords of the product pages you work on.

People are generally very specific in their searches when they are looking for something they need, so try to be specific in identifying keywords as well. Make good use of the “long tail” because keywords with less competition, even if less used in searches, can give you excellent satisfaction over time.

2. Pay close attention to duplicate content

The fact that for many e-commerce products it is often a question of managing very similar products, does not justify duplicate content between the pages of these products.

You can present them as variants of a product (each with its name, price, photo and identification code, if desired) so that you can focus on the contents of a single page.

Or you can not index the pages of similar products, limiting yourself to getting people from the category page, to which particular attention will be paid.

Obviously, if the texts on the producer’s page are interesting, it will be a question of rewriting them, reinterpreting them, so as not to present themselves to the text copied and pasted from the official website.

Attention, even for sites that do not make direct sales, obviously not only to the presentation content of the product, but also to its title (generally in H1), the meta title and the meta description: too often it happens that the rush of a webdesigner convert to the same meta title and description on all pages.

3. Use strategic keywords in the anchor text

A site generally has a lot of links to categories, service presentation pages, and individual product pages. To make the site’s visibility on Google more efficient, it is better to insert the most relevant keywords in the anchor text .
That is, rather than “click here” better to use something more refined.
The variety of link anchor texts is equally important, in order not to incur penalties resulting from duplicated text.

4. Build a url structure that is easy for both people and search engines

Don’t underestimate the importance of a url structure built on your needs: an appropriate url structure makes it easier for search engines to scan the site and recognize the various sections.

Of course, this also helps visitors, who will be more comfortable navigating the products and shop pages.

5. Make your product / service descriptions unique and special

We have already seen how duplicate content (titles and descriptions) is to be deprecated. But if your website wants to make a difference, your descriptions must be something more, they must be considered as one of the elements that can make an online store special and contribute to the success of the online sales project.

The descriptions should involve, answer all possible questions, give suggestions on use … in short, they must be done well.
The speech also holds true for the company page and other pages of the site: you will not have to consider anything unimportant.

6. Optimize your product page

Images are definitely an important component in capturing the visitor’s attention. Buyers want to see what they’re buying, and a low-quality image is something that can drive down the conversion on the page. Well-composed images, with the correct colors, which explain the product well, are the first element on which the visitor’s attention will stop.

The images also need the right optimization for the SEO side: not too heavy, with the alt attribute with the keywords related to the product, and the right number.

Make every image unix, for both presentation and SEO.

7. Make it easy for visitors to get to product pages for sale

There isn’t much to explain in this case. Fewer clicks to get good, many clicks to get bad. Products hidden in categories that are not understood, badly; products that are in the right categories nominate correctly, fine. The search field not visible to all, at the top, above the site, bad; the search function available from every page in hardly noticeable position, good.

Remember that it is on the product pages that you sell. They are the ones that must be found by those who are looking for the products contained.

8. Don’t get too carried away by advertising on Google and Facebook.

Adwords are doing very well. But your site doesn’t necessarily need it too much. Use them in moderation and where they strategically lead the most: better conversion with lower cost of clicks. On average 89% of click payments do not convert … so there must be a sense of logic in the keywords you define and in the pages you use as landing for those campaigns.

The same goes for the ads on Facebook Ads: considering that you show them to those who might like your product for some reason, and not to those who are looking for it, consider well the meaning of what you do, the investment and the return.

9. Monitor what is happening, but above all see how your traffic is converted into sales (or leads)

All website owners are interesting to see their traffic to the site increase, never just numbers say little or nothing.

It is of fundamental importance to identify which mechanisms intercept users and turn them into payers, which pages are of more interest, which searches convert … In short, it is important to get to grips with all those mechanisms that make visits good or make them lose.

This allows you to improve the SEO strategy of the project, orienting it towards conversion.

10. Broken links are something to always avoid

Leave Google and SEO alone for a moment. How to navigate a site that refers you to non-existent pages or with images that are not seen? Real crap, you should answer. Good. Now … why would Google send its users to such a site?
Presenting broken links on your site is a sign of neglect and little attention that certainly does not help to sell.

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