Search Engine Optimization

A Simple Guide to Ecommerce SEO

Ever wanted to know how to claim the top spot on Google?

Stop wondering and start reading.

Let’s organize and structure your website for maximum search engine visibility. Stay ahead of the competition using this quick guide that will provide answers to your questions. 

This guide to ecommerce SEO is for you whether you are:

  • The SEO manager of a big company
  • A small online business owner
  • An entrepreneur or marketer

What is SEO?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the art of optimizing your website with the use of specific keywords to rank higher in search results on major search engines like Google.

SEO is a great way to increase your traffic and engagement for free, unlike with paid ads.

Ecommerce SEO always begins with a keyword search. Without this, you won’t have a foundation for other tasks that you need to build on your website.

What is Keyword Research?

Keywords are terms that people type into search engines when they’re looking for information, products, or solutions. It’s the studied and analyzed language of potential customers that you can use to optimize your content for your business.

Your choice of keywords for content is just as important as how you optimize for those keywords. You’ll want to look for keywords that get a lot of searches and have low to moderate competition. Trying to rank for highly competitive keywords, especially as a new site, is just as ineffective as trying to rank for keywords with no traffic.

So how do you do keyword research?

Make sure your target keywords are good for driving “buying traffic.”

That means you want to make sure there’s enough interest in your keyword and that you understand the search intent of the keyword. You want to make sure you’re primarily getting traffic that’s already ready to buy.

Here’s how you can fine-tune your keyword research:

  1. Check out popular products on Amazon. 
  2. Know your competitors’ keywords.
  3. Be knowledgeable about SEO tools.

1. Make use of Amazon for keyword research

Amazon is one of the largest online retailers. It may be your competitor, but you need to use it to your advantage.

Many people try to search for keywords on Amazon to look for products, so you can utilize it to provide keywords for your own product.

Here’s how to do it:

Type a keyword that describes your product and then you’ll see a list of autofill suggestions.

There are tons of suggestions, but only a few of them are really helpful. So, pick only the most relevant ones and keep them in a Google spreadsheet to make use of later on. You can use these to craft well-optimized product descriptions.

You can also use the Amazon Keyword Tool, but keep in mind that you can only have three free searches per day.

Related: Amazon SEO: How to Rank Your Product Listings

2. Research your competitors’ keywords

To have a business is to experience an unending competition, so make sure to master the game. 

Learn from the best—know who ranks higher than your business. Dig deep through their list, find the keywords that match your products, and make use of them. 

Here’s how it works:

  1. Find a competitor.
  2. Go to their website, look at the keywords they optimize, scan their categories for page keywords. 
  3. Add those keywords to your list.

3. Use SEO tools

Here are some highly recommended SEO tools that you can use for ecommerce. These show all the ranked keywords of your competitors and will make your life easier.

You won’t need all of these, but you can give each one a try and pick your favorites.

Once you’ve decided which keywords to use, make sure to do the following:

  • Answer your potential customer’s questions by writing helpful product descriptions.
  • Give a vivid product description. Make use of images or videos and provide examples with detailed explanations.
  • Make sure your website is user-friendly and bug-free. Use attention-grabbing buttons, show product ratings, and make it easy to purchase.
  • Finally, include product comparison tables on your product and landing pages to make research easier for your customers.

Ecommerce site audit

A site audit is a little more on the technical side of ecommerce SEO, but it’s essential. This helps to make sure your visitors get a great user experience.

SEO audits give an overview of your website’s current standing and help you decide what SEO-related improvements you need to make.

Let’s learn how to do an SEO site audit.

To crawl your website, you can make use of Ahrefs or Beam Us Up. It will help analyze your site’s potential errors or performance problems. 

You can check the reports to see if there are any issues with your title/description tags. (Are they too short? Too long? Forgot a meta description?) Look for thin or duplicate content and spot if there are any broken links.

How do you fix duplicate content?

Duplicate content issues are pretty common with ecommerce sites.

As your product catalog expands, sites start to accumulate lots of pages. First, you must identify the pages that you can delete or set to “noindex.”

Use HTTPS sitewide. Make it a practice to secure all the information, not just the card details.

A regular site audit is highly recommended to make sure you are giving your customer the best and most convenient experience possible.

Content Marketing

Content marketing is your tool to get more traffic and convert visitors into buyers. But how exactly can content marketing improve your sales?

Here are three essential tips:

  • Get to know your target audience and where they like to hang out.
  • Learn their language—you’ll want your copy to speak to them just as if you were there to talk to them in person.
  • Learn more about their problems. Write blog posts to answer their questions and solve their problems. This is a great way to attract your target audience.

Finally, it’s time to write your blog posts, publish them on your site, and start promoting so you can get traffic.

Ecommerce Link Building

Backlinks from popular websites will help increase your ranking and get ahead of your competitors. This will require a little more effort since you will need to collaborate with other bloggers and website owners.

Here are some things you can do:

  • Look for sites and blog posts that link to your competitors. Get the URL and author’s contact info, then put them in a spreadsheet.
    *Note: You will find some pages who build their backlinks in outdated or expired resources. If one website is linking to that expired resource, maybe there are more.
  • Send an email and help them out a bit. Let them know about the expired resource and provide them with your link as a replacement. Not only are you helping them fix dated links, but you’re providing additional value to their audience with helpful content.
  • Broken link building. Look for a blog post related to yours and find a broken link. When you find one, email the owner and ask if they’d like to link to your content instead.

Related: Link Building for SEO: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide in 2021

How will you know if your SEO works?

Be patient!

You won’t see major results from ecommerce SEO overnight—ranking increases from time to time.

Use an SEO tool to keep track of keywords your site currently ranks for. You can use Google Analytics to check engagement metrics and changes in organic traffic. A little increase is equal to an additional opportunity for your business.

Always keep in mind that to be on top, you must know how to play the game, including the mechanics of SEO. 

It’s time for you to apply what you’ve learned and optimize your ecommerce website.

So, give yourself a thumbs up if you’ve gotten this far. You’re equipped with the tools and knowledge you need to start ranking. Now you’re ready to bring in thousands of sales without throwing your money away!

What’s your biggest challenge when it comes to SEO? Getting started? Tracking and reporting? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

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Looking to learn more about ecommerce SEO? This guide to ecommerce SEO is a great way for marketers and business owners to get started.

By Zac Almeida

Before joining the team at Ethical Digital, Izaias built a successful SEO agency in São Paolo, Brazil. With over twelve years of experience providing data-driven SEO, he has worked with businesses of all sizes - from SMBs to Fortune 500 companies. After selling his business to travel the world with his wife, "The SEO Hustler" has been helping companies in more than 15 countries and 6 languages thrive in the digital and search world.


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