Widespread internet connectivity, digital payment options, safe and quick supply chain systems, and pattern-observing bots giving you the desired product recommendations are a few reasons behind the surge in the e-commerce industry. According to data-based predictions by Statista, there would be more than 2 billion people buying goods and services through e-commerce sites in the year 2021.
The American stock exchange, NASDAQ, predicts that by 2023, around 90 percent of retail purchases would happen online. These data points clearly show that an online presence is a must for any business to survive in this competitive world. Today, apart from e-commerce giants such as Amazon, Walmart, and Alibaba, we have several niche sites selling specific products like apparel, groceries, cosmetics, electronics, etc. In the service sector, e-commerce is emerging as a winner with localized platforms such as food delivery apps, online furniture shops, real estate websites, etc.
The first step to shoot up in the world of e-commerce is to have a great website. And the SEO parameters are the best way to judge your site. SEO is cost-effective, directs traffic, and increases the reputation of the business. Here is a rundown of some essential SEO strategies for e-commerce sites.
1. Easy Accessibility
Imagine clicking on the website URL, and it takes too long to load. Won’t you go back to the search page and look for other options? Similarly, at times, a product may not be available, and the consumer might get a 404 error. As a business owner, one has to take care of such accessibility issues. Redirecting, creating a custom error page are some of the possible solutions available. You could use 301 redirects and take the user to a desired location on the site. If the product is unavailable temporarily, you could update the same on the page. It is also possible to send users email notifications regarding product availability.
When you have several products, it is advisable to have more options rather than infinite scrolling. Scrolling delays the loading, and the users may not see the page footer. One needs to remember that a great UX and UI largely determine the success of the online business.
2. Use Right Keywords
The present-day search engine bots could identify keyword stuffing and could penalize the website for it. But still, keywords are the way to find out customer intention. Though search engines do not provide keywords anymore, they use it for ranking the website. For example, if there is an exact match for the keywords in the e-commerce product descriptions, there is a good possibility that the user lands up on the corresponding page. So, we have a range of keyword suggestion and planner tools such as Ahrefs keyword explorer, Google Keyword Planner, Ubersuggest, SEMrush, etc.
The Keywords are of two main types: head terms (short-tailed) and long-tailed keywords. Short-tailed keywords are probably the products that we wish to purchase. They are the most common search terms. Long-tailed keywords represent a customer’s intention, like the product they want to buy, their favorite brands, etc.
3. Technical SEO
Once you select the list of keywords from the keyword planner tools based on search volume, commercial intent, and product fit, the next step is to place them in the right place. One needs to prepare a keyword mapping document, which gives the details of keywords used in each page’s elements, such as the page URL, title, H1, H2 tags, and product descriptions. The URL should not be too complicated. Therefore, you have to maintain a simple architecture for the site. It should be such that the user makes only three clicks to reach the home page. Also, it is advisable to include short-tailed keywords in the URL.
For e-commerce websites, it is necessary to implement product schema markup and review schema markup. These let you display product details and their ratings on the SERP (result page). Optimizing the site for mobile is also a must.
4. Link Building
Link building could be external and internal, and both are essential for e-commerce sites. Internal linking (cross-linking within your site) increases customer engagement time. Before linking to another page, one has to ensure that the visitor finds the info useful. Internal linking also makes crawling easier for the search engine bots, thereby increasing the SEO rank. External links from sites help you gain visibility in the online world and establish domain authority.
5. Blogs and Social Media Presence
People are far more satisfied when they get to know about a product on social media platforms. Chances are there that a close friend tries out a new cream and adds a photo, tagging the product name. The users might quickly search for the product info on the same medium. Make sure to update blog links, review snippets, sale info, etc., on these platforms. Some people like to investigate well before making a purchase. You could give detailed info via blogs. Blogs also arouse enthusiasm towards a particular product or service.
These days, search engines keep changing the algorithms. However, their main aim is to present the best website to the user. Therefore, like an e-commerce business owner, one must think from the customer’s perspective, understand their needs, and design the site accordingly. Most importantly, one should be able to deliver what is promised. Thus genuine reviews and likeability are also measured while ranking a site for SEO.