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How to Use SEO to Grow Your E-Commerce Business

For your eCommerce website to be successful, you have to beat your competitors. One of the best ways to find leads and gain customers is by boosting your search engine ranking so your site ranks higher on Google. To accomplish this goal, you need to learn the best SEO for eCommerce strategies.This trend has only continued over recent years. Search Engine Watch covered a study by Optify finding that websites with a number one ranking received an average click-through rate (CTR) of an impressive 36.4 percent.The second ranked website in the search engines received a decent, but lower, CTR of 12.5 percent. Meanwhile, the third site had a CTR of just 9.5 percent. As you continue to go down the list, these numbers only decline further.It is safe to assume the link in the first position of search results gets at least double the impressions compared to that of the second. And if your site has poor SEO, you will not be in the first, second, or third spot, and likely not even the first page. To grow your eCommerce business, you need to improve your search engine rankings.

Start by Converting Your Site to HTTPS

Before changing anything else, make sure your website uses HTTPS. A surprising number of eCommerce companies still use HTTP as the first part of their URL. The difference between these two types of protocols can be a key factor in determining if your business is a success or a failure.When you use HTTPS, your website encrypts all personal data and financial information. By using just HTTP, there is a higher risk of your clients' data getting stolen by web hackers. Many customers will not buy from a shop without the HTTPS designation, due to the lower level of internet security. But HTTPS is more than just good business sense and a means of setting your customers at ease. Google has said HTTPS websites get a slight boost over HTTP websites. By changing this one detail, you can gain a boost in your search rankings.

Developing Better SEO for eCommerce Sites

For your company to succeed, you need to find and use the best SEO tips for eCommerce companies. Without the right strategy, you could lose impressions and potential sales. Before you change your site, start by researching both keywords and your competitors.If you are going to put a lot of effort into better SEO for eCommerce, you want to do it the right way. You need to make sure the keywords you target will actually generate traffic and conversions. Start by researching the keywords for your product pages and homepage.The keywords you use should be relevant to your products. You should find words and phrases with a low ranking difficulty score and a high exact match search volume. You can use the Google AdWords keyword tool to determine the search volume and the Moz keyword tool to calculate the difficulty score.Your keywords should not be too broad as there will be too many other competitors for you to gain a higher ranking quickly. Even if someone finds your site, a broad keyword means your products may not match up with what they are looking for.Likewise, an overly narrow keyword will reduce the potential number of people who can find your site. Keyword research is all about finding the happy medium between the two.

Use Long-Tail Keywords

You can improve your ranking by using long-tail keywords in your blog articles. Blog content allows you to rank for more keywords than just the keywords on your main site. These long-tail keywords make up 70 percent of search engine volume each day.A long-tail keyword is essentially a more specific, longer search term. For example, a typical keyword might be “shoes”. There are countless websites that sell shoes, so you would have a lot of competition if you only targeted this single term.Instead, someone might search for “black ballet shoes with criss-cross straps”. This is a long-tail keyword, and it is far easier for your website to rank in the number one spot. There might be fewer people searching for this exact term each day, but they are more likely to find your website when they do.Ideally, you want to prioritize which keywords you target first. Start with long-tail keywords that possess a low difficulty score and high exact match search volume. When you have finished targeting these keywords, you can move down your list to keywords that have a lower volume.

Know Your Competition

To develop superior SEO for eCommerce, you must understand your competition and beat them at the same game. Pay attention to the keywords your competitors currently target. You also want to consider where your competitors are getting their inbound links from because this is another deciding factor in their search ranking.Numerous tools are available to research the keywords your competitors are focusing on.Review these inbound links and cross off any sites that have a low domain authority. If you get links from websites with a low domain authority score, it can have a negative effect on your rankings. Next, reach out to the site to see if they would be interested in creating an inbound link to your eCommerce page. This is also known as link building.Now, consider the site architecture and navigation. You need to find ways to differentiate your website from your competitors. For your site to succeed, you also need to identify site errors and ensure a fast loading speed.

Optimizing Your eCommerce Site

To improve your on-page optimization, work on improving keyword optimization, internal linking, site structure, and rich snippets. You will also need to ensure your site has a mobile version as this accounts for the majority of online searches. In the third quarter of 2018, mobile devices were the source of 56 percent of organic search engine visits.The best SEO for eCommerce starts with keywords. To optimize your page, place keywords in strategic locations like the paragraph copy, page title, headers, image alt tags, product descriptions, meta title, image filenames, subheadings, URLS, and meta descriptions. While you should include keywords in these sections, make sure they sound natural and are not overused. Using these terms to often and out of context is known as keyword stuffing, another negative impact for your SEO.Internal linking helps search engines figure out what your content is about. Use anchor text within an article to link to a different page on your website. Be careful about going overboard with this approach as well, as it will look unnatural to search engines.Instead, avoid using more than one link with the same anchor text. If you are using multiple inbound links, Google prefers you have some variety in the textual content.You also need to have the proper site structure. The actual layout and architecture of your website affects your rankings, usability, and conversions. You can use tools like LucidChart to develop an easy to navigate, flat architecture for your website.If you want more people to click on your site in the search results, make sure your results include rich snippets. These are bits of HTML code that allow search engines to recognize what searchers should know about your website. When someone sees well-structured images or videos in your rich snippets, they are more likely to click on the search result.To install these on your website, head to the HTML for every page you want to add rich snippets. Then, insert the microdata for the rich snippet you want and publish the changes. Afterward, use Google's webmaster tools to ensure the rich snippets work.

Boost Your Shopify Store Ranking

If you use Shopify to run your online store, many of the same concepts still apply. Whether you are designing your site on your own or are looking for eCommerce SEO services, you need to determine the right keywords and make sure your store is easy for visitors to use. With a few tweaks, you can help your Shopify store climb the search engine rankings.

Start by Checking Your Theme

The theme you choose for your store should reflect your brand and the types of products you sell. At the same time, it needs to load quickly and be easy to use. Before you choose a theme, make sure to test it out and check the usability.You can test out your theme's load time using tools like PageSpeed Insights, aiming for a score of 85 or above. Your theme needs to load quickly on both computers and mobile devices. This is especially important since 77 percent of traffic to Shopify stores is from mobile users.

Get it Indexed

Some SEO techniques are the same across every platform. Using HTTPS and finding the right keywords are just two of the things that are similar for a typical eCommerce site and a Shopify store. To get your site noticed, you should also register your store with Bing Webmaster Tools and Google Search Console.By registering your site, you are telling the two largest search engines your site is online and ready to be crawled. This essentially speeds up the amount of time it takes for the search engines to realize your site exists. Afterward, you can also create a sitemap and submit it to Bing Webmaster Tools and Google Search Console to help with indexing.

Adjust Your Page Titles

If you want to grow your eCommerce business, you should also adjust the page titles for your Shopify store. When search engines look at your page, they use the page title to categorize and rank it. Avoid using vague titles and include interesting keywords instead.For example, you might want to use a page title that directly relates to the long-tail keywords you are trying to use. You can edit the title of your homepage by clicking on sales channels, online store, and preferences. Enter your homepage title with the intent to catch attention and explain the purpose of the page.To edit other page titles, you’ll use a similar process. This works for any static page or post. You just have to find the page you are looking for within the Shopify dashboard. Scroll down and click on “Edit website SEO” to change the page title.

Change Image Filenames

This is one of the SEO tips for eCommerce people tend to forget about. Search engines look at more than just your post or product description. They also review the filenames and alt text you use for your images.When search engines look at your image, they don’t typically identify it by what’s in the graphic, but by the alt text. This alternate text is used to categorize your content. It is also what will be displayed if the image does not load.To adjust the alt text, you’ll need to find the picture on your page or post and double click on it. A box appears letting you edit different aspects of the picture. If you are editing a product image, you can hover over the image and simply click on the word “alt.”Filenames are harder to name on Shopify, so your best option is to name them correctly the first time. Use a filename that includes your focus keyword and keep it fairly short. If you need to change the filename, you will have to delete the image and re-upload the same picture under a new name.

Content is Crucial

Whether you are designing an eCommerce site from scratch or are using a Shopify store, content is still one of the top ways to boost your search engine rankings. While having amazing product descriptions and images is great, quality content is the main thing that will drive visitors to your site.Informative articles rank well in the search engines, but you also want to include the right keywords in your posts. These keywords should be related to your products so you end up bringing in visitors who are interested in what you have to sell. More importantly, you should have well-written, engaging articles so visitors continue returning to your website.


Unlike a brick-and-mortar store, your eCommerce website is the only way customers will ever discover your company. For you to attract new clients, you need to use the best SEO for eCommerce. If you are spending funds on a website without an SEO strategy, you could be wasting your money.The right SEO tools help you boost your search engine ranking. As your ranking increases, you are able to draw in more leads and potential clients. Before you invest in expensive ad campaigns, focus on building the best SEO-optimized website you can.Contact us to find out how we can assist you with your SEO strategy today.

Headshot of Nik Paprocki, head of growth at WebSuitable.
Nik Paprocki
Head Of Growth
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