When we talk about SEO strategies, we have to be very clear about what type of website we want to apply it to . It is not the same to talk about SEO for blogs than SEO for YouTube .
If we talk about Ecommerce, again, the strategies that you must apply change.
In fact, the vast majority of posts that talk about SEO that you will find on the web (without saying so) are designed for blogs and general websites (corporate, etc.), but they are not very useful for an online store .
Today I will explain everything that I would have liked to know when launching my first online store
When you enter the world of e-commerce, you discover one of your new passions. Working on the SEO positioning of all kinds of portals is always very rewarding, but when your sweat, your hours of optimization, content, technical corrections, translate into product sales… the feeling is incredible .
Now, this does not come alone, you need to place your store in front of your audience and for this SEO will be one of your best allies , if not the best.
But, what if I stop the battles and go with the interesting?
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What are the main differences between an Ecommerce and other types of sites?
It is evident that there are many types of portals on the net. We can find news portals, directories, forums, blogs… and the list goes on and on.
Each of these websites is predisposed for a certain use; it has a fairly established way of being interpreted and both users and Google quickly detect the kind of portal we have on our screen and make use of it.
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What do all internet portals have in common?
Well, what will it be, the traffic . All these platforms feed on visits, on an audience that navigates between their pages, interacts and finally buys, clicks on advertising , establishes contact…
I want to tell you how to improve organic traffic (the one that comes from Google results) in your online stores , but first I feel obliged to let you know about the extra problems that you will encounter when working in an online store and that you will not suffer another type of portal administrators.
The buying process in an online store
I like to simplify the flow of needs that you must cover when you have an online store .
I am going to list in order of importance what is basic for me, if you want to have a successful online store
- Traffic: we have seen it before, it is fundamental and necessary for any project. Without people visiting your website there will never be sales, registrations, or downloads… It is one of the keys to success.
Today we are going to focus on the main optimizations to get the coveted organic traffic, but there are other ways to acquire it, such as paid traffic ( Adwords , Facebook Ads) or social traffic (Social Networks ).
- Product: the next point where you play it in your online store is the product. We need to offer what the user really demands when he enters our store. Responding with low-quality or uninteresting products can spoil the audience we are capturing.
- Price : If the product is appropriate and meets the customer’s needs, you will now evaluate its price. Being competitive in this section is important, although not essential.
- Other values: to convince the potential customer that your online store is worth their money, it is not enough to offer a good product and a good price. We also have to have: interesting return policies, affordable shipping, store policies or philosophy that are aligned with the consumer… these are some of these intangibles that facilitate the closing of the purchase. Learn more about What is Web Desgin.
- Usability: based on the fact that our online store has a basic operation without errors, sometimes we can improve and enhance certain aspects of the design and layout, to increase the conversion of ecommerce.
So far, we have made a very basic tour of the issues to consider when facing the daunting task of setting up a functioning online store.
Do you think it’s okay if we start by knowing what the main pages of an ecommerce are?
Describing the structure of an Ecommerce
All online stores are different: some have a large catalog; others, on the other hand, only sell a handful of references. But they are all based on the same base: cover page, category page and product sheet.
It is one of the least worked sections as a general rule in the ecommerce sector. The home page is the most representative page of an online store and, many times, the most forgotten in terms of optimization.
Normally, this page should give access to the main categories, the most representative products and the latest news. This would be the typical cover for an online store and it is usually a success.
At the level of positioning orientation, it is often a significant challenge to determine which keywords we want to work on the cover . My recommendation is that you try to optimize the front page of your online store with brand keywords that refer to your name as a company and, in some way, mention those reference keywords that will be used in the rest of the online store. .
I give you an example: The PcComponentes store
It is a website known by all; If we superficially analyze the cover, we see how its optimization is oriented towards the word “PcComponentes”, with the inclusion of two other important words such as “Computer science” and “technology”. You can see this very clearly in the title:
2. Category Pages
Here we enter what, from my point of view, are the most important pages at the SEO level in an ecommerce.
The categories and subcategories in an online store are those containers where we classify and list the different products that we have available to our visitors.
What is the grace that makes these pages so special?
When we work on the SEO of the categories and subcategories, we will optimize for keywords that describe the type of products they contain and that are usually the keywords with the highest search volume.
A category in an ecommerce that sells beard and hair products could be “Beard Oils” .
Here is a good example of an optimized category; later we will go into depth, to explain how to optimize this type of page.
3. Product sheets
This is the last type of page that I am going to comment on within a store. Obviously, the products need their own space to display their photographs, videos, descriptions, price… we find all this in a format that is also very standardized at the design level.
Unlike categories, SEO optimization for product sheets is always focused on positioning the product name; This means that the search volume is generally not very high, but if we manage to position ourselves, we will get traffic that is very interested in what we offer and with great conversion options .
SEO Optimization Strategies for Ecommerce
As I already imagine, SEO is a discipline that you know and I know that in this blog the bases of it have been extensively treated .
For this reason, I am going to try to be precise like a surgeon and give you the specific optimization recommendations that are working for me in this particular type of website .
1. Content creation for categories
As I have previously mentioned, categories and subcategories are pages capable of attracting a very large amount of traffic related to our products. They are visitors of a very high quality, since they are interested in learning about or learning about a specific type of product.
Until very recently, the categories were devoid of content in text format; most had a measly paragraph written in two minutes and began to list the products.
My recommendation is that you work on extensive content based on specific keyword research for each of your categories and subcategories; this is going to give you access to a lot of super interesting longtail keywords .
But how do we dispose of the content without overshadowing the importance of the products?
There are different formulas to be able to place long texts in the categories.
One option is to put the text at the top of the page, above the products and prevent it from displaying entirely using CSS .
The result is something like this:
Another way we can use to solve it is by adding all the content under the products; thus, Google will be able to continue accessing it without the user feeling it as a nuisance.
Finally, another option is to combine the previous two . We offer text before and after the products, a very interesting solution.
2. Linking categories and subcategories in Thematic Clusters
Don’t worry, don’t be scared by the title because this is something very simple to understand.
Thematic clusters can be translated as groups of URLs that share a theme . Let’s go with a practical example to understand it perfectly.
When we access a large ecommerce such as Zalando , we have a multitude of core categories that are well differentiated from each other. What do I mean by well differentiated? Well, although they can all be grouped into a “super category”, let’s call it “Fashion”, we can perfectly differentiate categories such as Footwear and Clothing, where it is clear that they are totally different types of product.
In turn, within each of these main categories, we find other subcategories. For example, within footwear, we will find subcategories such as boots, heels, sneakers…
If we know that Google is capable of detecting different themes within the same website (the famous topics), we are interested in keeping them in some way isolated from each other, restricting internal links between categories of one type of product and another.
Let’s see how Zalando does it:
If you look closely, the side navigation links only to subcategories of the same theme, avoiding what we commonly call “cross links” in navigation areas.
3. Optimization of product names
On this occasion we are going to work on the optimization of the product sheets . Specifically, we are going to determine the best way to name our products to avoid competing with generic words that we may be working on in the categories.
My recommendation is that the optimization, both of the title and the H1 in the product sheets, be done with the following formula:
If we do it this way, we remove prominence from the keyword “beard shampoo” that will be working on a category page and we enhance the name of the product, in this case “Dr. K Beard Soap Mint”, when initially placed.
4. Link building on related theme pages
Did anyone doubt the importance of links for the positioning of an online store?
How could it be otherwise, you need links to improve the authority of an ecommerce .
Is any type of link worth it and from any website?
Obviously not; we have to be very delicate when looking for websites where they can link to us. From my point of view, you should prioritize the theme of these websites before the authority they may have .
Finally, be careful with the use of exact anchor texts in the links. You already know that using exact keywords as anchor text in your external links is not always the best idea. Use your brand name or URL to link to the front page of your website; it’s a good idea to stay away from over-optimization.
5. Keep technical errors at bay
As a last tip, there are some technical failures that are repeated in many ecommerce that I audit.
I’m going to make a list of them so you can identify them and get down to work.
- Mass indexing of parameters : in the category pages, when we manage products with different characteristics, filters are usually used to segment the content of said category. This usually results in a parameterized URL that if left unchecked could be indexed. My recommendation is that you detect these parameters and the blocks in the Robots.txt file.
- Generation of identical products : try to introduce your products with variations, such as sizes or colors, as a single product card and a selector that allows you to decide what size or color the customer wants. If we put a product file for each color or size, we incur a serious duplicate content error. In case you cannot do it in another way, remember that we have some canonical URLs to notify Google of which is the reference product in all those variations and do not take into account these product sheets.
- Slow loading speed : another scourge that affects ecommerce is slow web pages. Remember to compress your images, activate your web cache and review all the details that affect your loading speed. User experience is a key point in your SEO work.
- Adaptation to mobile : it has been being warned for months, it is already a reality. Google begins to take the mobile version of your store as the main version when indexing your pages. Are you offering a responsive and functional website? It is a very common error that causes problems, both for SEO and for the general conversion of the website.
- 404 errors due to poor stock management : another important failure to control is the stock management of our products. Remember that when you unsubscribe a file you need to give a specific treatment to that URL. I explain more in this post .