E-Commerce SEO — Key to Organic Growth!
An E-commerce SEO Checklist is a little bit different than you might be used to. Overall, you are using many of the same strategies but you have to remember… Products often leave limited content space for optimization. You have the title (H1 heading for your product name) and description (H2 for a limited amount of keyword content). It has been a few years since I broke into e-commerce and I am still finding new ways to grow. This time consuming (yet fool proof) method of optimization your on-page for organic growth could have saved me thousands of dollars. Did you know that a DA 10 website can outrank a DA 50+ website for keywords simply based on quality on-page SEO? It is not always about backlinks, in fact I highly suggest you do this first. It will provide you a list of anchor text to use for your backlinking campaigns later. So here it is, Ecommerce SEO tips that changed the game for my online store.
Keyword Research — This is always the beginning step for SEO, but how you do it is often lost in translation. This is my attempt to make it simple for you. I will go over the basics so you understand 3 important keyword types. Let’s break down head keywords, longtail keywords, & LSI (latent semantic indexing)keywords. We will primarily focus on the longtail and LSI keywords.
Head Keywords— These are your broad, highly searched, short keywords. Let’s say you are starting a coffee store. It would be great if someone typed in “coffee” to Google and found you, but this just is not realistic. It is important to know your head keyword solely to break it down into the right longtail keywords for you.
Longtail Keywords — When you are doing your keyword research look for phrases that have suitable search volume and pay attention to the difficulty to rank. In the case of your coffee store, you may look into “single origin coffee”. I use SEMRUSH as my all around tool for SEO, keyword research, and competitor analysis. I try to choose keywords that provide between 500-5K search volume. If your you have 100 pages this is 50K-500K organic searches per month. Do not feel like you need a high volume to add value to your store.
One thing to note while building your store is that you do not want your pages competing against each other for the same keywords. I recommend only 1 longtail keyword per page (not to be cannibalized to any other page). With E-commerce your longtail keyword will generally be the page, blog, collection, or product title. If you are using Shopify or other pre-made themes the title will automatically be your H1 heading. Once you place this keyword as an H1 keyword, you are saying “hey Google, this is important”, you do not need to add it to the content. You have already established it’s value.
How to Find Longtail Keywords?
The best strategy I use is competitor analysis. I pick 2–4 of my top competitors and look for the gaps or overlaps. If all competitors are ranking for the same keyword they must be valuable. If your competitors are not ranking for a specific keyword, there may be an opportunity. Plug and play your keywords into your research tool and determine which is best suited for your efforts.
Now you have to add content for credibility, that’s where LSI keywords come in.
LSI Keywords — Rather than going into the science behind LSI, I will just tell you that the intent is to find relatable terms and phrases to differentiate your keywords in a way that makes sense to the search. Take “Apple” for instance. Are you talking about the fruit or the company? If your H1 was “Apple” and your H2 focused on keywords such as “red delicious, granny smith, pie”, google would know the context is the fruit. Now change the content to “Steve Jobs, iPhone, MacBook”, it is clear that the company is being addressed.
My On-Page SEO Goes Like This:
- Find a long tail keyword for each page, blog, collection, and product(all uniquely different). I write them down on a word document to keep track and avoid duplication. Remember, you do not want your pages to compete.
- Find 3–5 LSI keywords. I go into google and search the long tail keyword (verbatim). Google will provide a list of related searches and questions. These related searches validate the context of your longtail keyword. I write down 3–5 “related search” longtail keywords as my “LSI keywords”. I also write down 2–3 “related questions”. Do not underestimate the value of questions.
- Once I have planned each page, I go to work on my website. The title (H1) will be the longtail keyword (only used once). The description or content (H2) will be my LSI keywords (each used once) naturally infused in original content. Finally, I take those related questions and make a Q&A section at the bottom, which is just another layer of credibility towards the longtail keyword.
- I repeat this throughout every page, blog, collection, and product until they all have their own unique content. This will take a lot of time, but it is worth it.
- Structure your page in a logical format:
The After Effect — The goal is to rank for all of your main longtail keywords, and supplemental keywords are likely to come with that. The after effect is that as you grow for those keywords, you will likely root authority for many others, maybe even those illusive head keywords.
I hope this brought clear understanding to the on page structure that will help grow your e-commerce store. Feel free to contact me with any feedback or questions.
E-Commerce SEO Tools:
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