SEO for E-Commerce Stores: A Simple Beginner’s Guide
December 21, 2020 ,
Rank your e-commerce website with this easy-to-understand guide to SEO for e-commerce websites.
If you’re running an e-commerce website, you’ll know there’s one main goal: getting your products noticed.
Obviously, there’s a lot more that goes into creating a great e-commerce website, such as providing an easy customer experience. But nothing you do to enhance your website will matter if customers can’t find you.
The three questions to ask yourself when it comes to e-commerce are:
Have you implemented basic SEO for e-commerce site?
Can Google find your website and display it in search results?
How well does your website perform in search results?
In this article, we’ll discuss how to set up your products with great SEO, and how to get noticed in search results, and how to monitor your e-commerce website’s performance.
Firstly, what is structured data?
Before we get started, it’s worth quickly discussing structured data and why it’s important for your e-commerce website.
Structured data is used to identify and describe certain parts of your website, making it easier for search engines like Google to read. The benefit of this is having your data displayed in various ways by Google in the search results, making your result more appealing.
These enhanced results are known as rich results or rich snippets. Rich results for a normal business page may display an image of the building, the opening hours, address and various other important details.
Other popular forms of structured data are recipes, step-by-step guides, event information, and of course, products. By giving users more information on the search engine results page (SERP), it increases the likelihood of them clicking through to your page.
Products are our main focus in this article, as we’re talking about e-commerce.
So, rich results for products allow you to be showcased in carousel results and Google’s shopping tab, where customers can instantly see images and prices.
Improving SEO for your products
The first thing you’ll need to do in order to get your products ranking well on Google is to think about the SEO on your product detail pages (PDP).
By ensuring you have all of your products published clearly, Google is able to more easily serve your pages to the customers who are looking to buy.
Here are some of the key considerations when creating your product detail pages.
When loading your product images, make sure they are good, clear pictures.
Muted or transparent backgrounds work best, specifically a white background which makes everything very clear in the product search results.
You may even find that crisp, clear photos from a variety of angles even attract customers who are doing Google product image searches.
Take some time to ensure your product descriptions are clear, accurate and enticing.
You should mention any key features or specifications of the product because this is where Google will pick up a lot of your product data from. It also makes your product easier to find both on Google searches, and also internal website searches.
Add purchase details
Purchase details are crucial to appearing in rich search results.
These details include price, availability, delivery cost and time, and taxes.
This helps customers make a decision to purchase your product over similar ones in the search results. The more information they have, the more likely they are to click on your products.
Include ratings and reviews
Finally, customer reviews and ratings are a great way to entice more people to view and purchase your products.
Most customers enjoy searching for ‘social proof’, being evidence that other customers have been happy with their purchase.
Make your entire inventory available to Google Merchant Centre
Another consideration when operating an e-commerce business is to upload your entire inventory to the Google Merchant Centre.
This isn’t essential, and you can still achieve good search results without it, however anything that gives you an advantage is a good thing.
By adding your inventory to Google Merchant Centre, you can update product details faster. This is because ordinarily when you make a change to your products, you have to wait for Google to crawl your site before the changes will be in effect on search results.
With Google Merchant Centre, you can push these changes through instantly.
You’ll also have the added bonus of adding more rich data, such as stock availability in certain locations.
Adding structured data to your products
In addition to making sure your product detail pages are in great shape, it’s also a good idea to add structured data.
Remember we spoke about this earlier – this is what allows Google to display your products and website with enhanced search result listings.
There are tools available to add structured data to your website, however the best results will be achieved by hiring an expert.
Structured data can be complicated, and if it’s not done correctly, you won’t get those rich search results you’re aiming for.
Testing structured data
If you’re using structured data, you want to make sure it’s actually working properly. You can use a tool called Google Search Console to check and monitor the performance of all your structured data.
When using Google Search Console to check the structured data on your products, you’ll be shown three key things:
Errors: These disqualify your data from receiving rich search results. Needless to say, these are a priority for you to fix, because if you don’t, those rich search results won’t be displayed on Google. With errors, you can still appear in search results with a regular link.
Warnings: Warnings aren’t essential to fix, however, it’s advisable to check them carefully. These issues cause a diminished experience for users, and while they don’t disqualify you from receiving rich search results, it’s an indication that your results may not look as good as your competitors.
Through Google Search Console you can also view by specific errors.
For example, if you want to know which of your product pages are missing a price, you can find this easily. You can edit the code directly in Google Search Console, or simply share the page with a developer who can fix this for you.
This is where you can test the validity of all the structured data for a single page, and also see how the rich results may appear in Google.
Use Google Search Console to monitor results
Google Analytics plays a key role in understanding customer behaviour and improving your website.
By installing Google Analytics, you’ll have access to a wealth of information such as where customers are dropping out of your sales pipeline, conversion rates, and plenty of other user information. This helps inform your decisions about improving your site for the future.
We already discussed Google Search Console too, and this is important when checking your page’s performance. Simply navigate to the Performance Report on Google Search Console, and start looking for certain data patterns. Common things to check include:
Check which queries are attracting the most traffic. Are people searching for specific products or your business name? If you’re not getting traffic for the searches you want, you can add better SEO to your website to target those searches.
Check the click-through-rate (CTR) for important products. If your CTR is low, it means your products are appearing in search results but users aren’t clicking them. This can be an indicator that you need better products descriptions or structured data.
Look for products that aren’t driving rich search results. These pages should be analysed and improved to ensure rich search results.
There is an absolute abundance of performance data on Google Search Console, all designed to help you improve how and how often you appear in search results. SO remember, as always, data analysis is your friend!
Need a hand with improving SEO for e-commerce store? Contact us today. Our team are all Australian-based, have many years of experience and provide ongoing feedback and reporting so you know you’re succeeding.
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