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SEO for eCommerce: How to Drive Organic Traffic to Your Online Store

Cillian McGillycuddy 2 April 2019 • Guides, SEO

A strong SEO strategy is critical to drive organic traffic to your online store, but most people are doing it wrong. While ecommerce sites are generally among the most difficult sites to optimize for in terms of SEO, there are simple but effective tactics to ensure you are giving your WebStore the best opportunity to appear in online searches. Follow our guide to increase your Google traffic and boost sales.

SEO for ecommerce is a different challenge compared to landing pages and articles for more traditional sites. You are somewhat restricted by what content and headings you absolutely must include for your industry. However, this structure allows you to take advantage of recognized data structure which will give you more revenue-driving organic traffic.

Analyze your competition

If you want to beat the competition, you need to understand what they’re doing. Create a list of your competitors and run their category pages through Ahrefs or SEMrush to see what keywords drives most of their site traffic. If you sort these by volume, you can then see which of the top keywords could serve as the primary keyword for your page.

When searching that keyword on Google, you should hopefully be seeing other stores appear as opposed to blogs – this shows there is purchasing intent behind this keyword search.

Build a competitive landscape

From your Google search, open the top ranked pages for your keyword ask yourself some questions about these pages:

  • Does this page immediately address why the visitor has landed on this page?
  • What else does the test on this page answer for the visitor?
  • What content on this page is necessary and what is a distraction?
  • What information is common among all of the top pages?

Answering these questions should give you an idea of where you need to position your on-page content in order to compete for searches. A good starting point is to make your content 25% longer than your competition and look for gaps you may have seen in your competitors’ content where you can add value.

Prioritize your pages for optimization

Rather then trying to tackle every page on your site at once, you should prioritize which pages you want to tackle and optimize first. If you have Google Analytics set up (and you should), you can see the most important pages on your site when you sort by traffic or revenue.

Find and map keywords to each page

Now that you have your list of prioritized pages on your site, you can begin to map keywords to each page. Every page on your site should be trying to optimize and get traffic from a particular keyword or search term.

Look at the keywords you are already ranking for to get an idea of what main keyword each page should be aiming for.

Product descriptions are the key

When it comes to converting site visitors into paying customers, your product description pages are the key. This is where you convince your visitors to buy or where you convince them that your product fulfills their needs.

If you look at the bigger retailers, you’ll see that their product descriptions on their category pages are very unique. The originality of this description helps differentiate them from the competition and tell Google more about what the page is about – Google’s algorithm needs written content to tell it what your page’s purpose is.

Make sure to write the content for the product description yourself (or your copywriter) as opposed to a copy and pasted description. For this description, make sure to include your main target keyword and use a few different variations of this keyword. For each product description page you should make sure you:

  1. Include your main keyword
  2. Use action words like buy, learn, click, etc.
  3. Refer to your Unique Selling Point (free shipping, quick delivery)

Make sure each page follows these three rules and you should be on your way to gaining more organic traffic.

Put keywords in your title tags

A title tag is an HTML element which specifies the title of a web page. Search engines crawl through your landing pages to identify title tags and display them on SERPs (search engine results pages) for relevancy. Make the most of this by ensuring your titles have keywords specific to your industry in them. The title tag will appear as a clickable headline on the search results page.

Use h1 title tags for your products

On product pages, make sure the name of the product has a h1 tag. If you want to start appearing in organic searches for a specific product, assigning a h1 tag to your product name is a good starting point. H1 tags carry some weight in SEO so it’s definitely something to assign early on when creating your product pages.

For category pages, use the category title for the h1 and use the product title for the h1 tag on product pages. Make sure there is only one h1 tag on each page too.

Image names are visible too

Your images are searchable too and will appear on Google’s SERPs just like words, so you may as well optimize them when uploading to your site. For your product images on your site, make sure each image name contains the keyword of the product in question as opposed to a random series of letters, numbers, or similar.

Focus on less competitive terms

Not having much success with the terms that your bigger competition ranks for? A strategy which can allow you to find your niche is to focus on less competitive keywords, although ones which are still relevant to your products and store.

Use Keywords Explorer to do some keyword research and see which terms could work for you, but don’t currently have much competition around them. You may be able to find a keyword which has decent traffic, but which no one has yet owned. This can be your opportunity to optimize your content and brand around a specific keyword.

Keep your URLs tidy

You don’t want your URLs to be messy and contain confusing information. It should be clear from just the URL where you are on the site.

Here’s a good list to follow:

  • department‐name
  • department-name/category-name
  • department-name/category-name/product-name

Create and maintain a blog which others can link to

Creating consistent and relevant content for your site will help your Google rankings as your site will stay relevant and appear with recent dates in the SERPs. Creating a blog and populating it with topical and useful articles will increase your chances of being linked to from another location.

Building a strong network of links back to your site and content will help your site get seen and rise up the search rankings. Click here to find a useful guide on How to Earn Links with Your Assets.

Use internal linking

You’ve created interesting and engaging content which has attracted some traffic, but now you need to link to link from that content to encourage users on your site to continue their journey and make a purchase.

Linking from your content to the product page or category in question can work as a good final Call To Action on your article – just make sure it’s natural and isn’t just shoehorned in.

If you follow all of the above tactics, you should be well on your way to driving up the organic search results for the relevant keywords. However, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to SEO tactics. What works today, may not work tomorrow. That’s why NitroSell offers SEO services to our customers that want to take their WebStore’s online visibility to the next level.

Contact our Customer Success team to get started with SEO optimization:

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2 responses to “SEO for eCommerce: How to Drive Organic Traffic to Your Online Store”

  1. Olga Doegg says:

    Really informative, thanks for sharing this!

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