SEO is an essential component when it comes to optimizing the performance of your eCommerce site. It involves many tactics and strategies for achieving a high ranking in the search engine result pages. E-Commerce SEO basics include targeting the right keywords, optimizing content for those keywords, and ensuring your website has the proper structure and links to other websites. In this article, we’ll discuss the basics of SEO for large eCommerce sites.
Set up GSC and Bing Webmaster tools
Search engine optimization (SEO) is essential to any website’s success. In order to be effective, one must ensure that search engine crawler systems are able to interpret their websites correctly.
For this purpose, two of the most popular web crawler systems, Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster tools, should be implemented on large eCommerce sites.
Google Search Console allows for website owners to view extensive data about how users are able to find them online and optimize their performance within Google’s search results.
It provides insights into the crawl errors and indexing issues this site may have had in the past or are currently experiencing, as well as whether the sitemap has been properly submitted or any server or security warnings need to be addressed.
Bing Webmaster Tools does many of the same tasks as GSC but precisely for Bing’s search engine.
It can be used to find out if any pages on your eCommerce site have been blocked from being indexed by Bing, detect spam links postings coming into your website while being able to disavow them if necessary.
Even optimize content using factors like page descriptions and social media information like page titles, meta tags and images alt tags can also be seen in its dashboard when exploring each page’s placement in organic rankings against keywords that you targeting in your SEO strategy through enhanced tagging roles applied across your store listings.
Set up Google Analytics
Google Analytics is invaluable for measuring your organic traffic performance and allows you to make data-driven decisions.
Setting up Google analytics isn’t difficult and is easy for users of all levels.
Here’s how you should go about it for your business:
Step 1: Create an account – If you don’t have a Google account, you will need to create one first. All accounts come with access to Google Analytics, so signing up takes a few minutes.
Step 2: Install tracking code – You will need to add tracking code on your website’s pages to record data in Google Analytics. This code is unique to your domain and needs to be applied manually or through a plugin if using WordPress or another content management platform.
Step 3: Set goals – Creating goals in the admin section of Google Analytics permits you to track the ‘conversion rate’, which is the percentage of visitors who perform an action (e.g., purchase), as well as track other key performance indicators (KPIs).
Setting these goals makes it clear which web pages are performing well and which require more work or attention.
Step 4: Start collecting data – Once set up is complete, Google Analytics will automatically collect data from your website visitors.
This data can be tracked based on user behaviour, geographic regions and much more.
These types of reports can reveal insights about how users interact with the website and therefore inform decisions about site architecture and navigation paths that should be prioritized for improvement to achieve desired outcomes from users within the targeted audience segments.
Install and configure an SEO plugin (WordPress)
If a WordPress content management system powers your eCommerce website, then installing a WordPress SEO plugin is an important step to enable search engine optimization (SEO) for your site.
This section will cover installing and configuring a WordPress SEO plugin on your eCommerce site.
The first step is to install a plugin like Yoast SEO that provides basic features for optimizing the content on your website.
After successfully downloading and activating the plugin in WordPress, you need to open up its settings section and set up basic configurations.
This includes enabling options such as support for rich snippets, social media integration, XML sitemaps, webmaster verification codes and redirect settings.
Enabling an XML Sitemap feature can help search engines identify all of the pages available on your website which aids them in accessing and indexing new pages quickly.
Similarly, setting up verification codes helps you establish trust with well-known search engines like Google or Bing as they will be able to access data about detailed analytics related to traffic, etc.
Depending on the theme and plugins that are used for creating an eCommerce store using WordPress it might be possible to add rich snippets (code) used by search engine spiders in order to access detailed information about enterprise items such as ratings & review content etc., this enables better visibility of those products in SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages).
Finally, once you have made all necessary configurations related to content optimization, make sure you manually test a few pages from your site using tools like structured data testing tools or SERP simulator tools for validating data accuracy before making accurate assessments about organic performance.
Keyword research is one of the most important aspects of SEO for large eCommerce sites.
The keyword research process involves understanding which keywords and phrases users use to search for products and services.
This process helps to identify which keywords are the most popular and have the most potential for increased site visits.
Understanding consumer demand allows you to select the most appropriate keywords to target in your SEO campaigns.
This article will cover the process of keyword research and provide a guide to optimizing your site for keyword optimization.
Identify your competitors
Before you begin with keyword research for your large eCommerce website, you should take the time to identify and analyze your competitors.
Knowing which businesses you are competing against on the web is essential for successful SEO. It will help you see what key terms work for them and give you insight into topics related to their content.
To conduct competitor research, start by identifying your top three competitors on the web. Take some time to explore their websites and look at the content they have created and shared on social media channels.
Analyze what topics they are covering and how their visitors interact with them online. Additionally, make sure to take a peek at the keywords they are already utilizing on their pages in order to gain deeper insights into demand-filled phrases that drive people to convert on the topic of eCommerce sites.
Following this analysis of what’s already out there, utilize keyword research tools such as Google Keyword Planner or Ahrefs Keywords Explorer in order to uncover more keyword suggestions around your major search terms.
By taking a look at potentially related phrases, synonyms, relevant questions, secondary keywords, and more –– you can expand your selection of useful long-tail keywords that are much less competitive than general categories or terminology used by competitors in the eCommerce SEO space.
Your website is your business’s digital presence –– so make sure it stands out from its competition through an effective SEO strategy!
Conduct a keyword gap analysis
Conducting a keyword gap analysis is an important part of optimizing large eCommerce sites for search.
A keyword gap analysis identifies the biggest gaps between what your competitors are targeting and what you’re targeting within your website’s content and on-page optimization.
Analyzing areas of opportunity to close these gaps represents valuable research time and broadening your overall understanding of the competitive landscape.
The goal— which should be incorporated into any effective SEO strategy— is to increase visibility (not just handfuls of visitors) but the relative frequency with which those visitors encounter a brand or product.
A thorough keyword gap analysis will lay out the groundwork for a website’s success in organic search by identifying trending keywords, analyzing current ranking strategy and even finding areas where competitors perform better.
Some tasks typically involve:
- Identifying competitor keywords
- Checking visibility and traffic volume across sites/competitors
- Identifying opportunities for backlinks
- Checking SERP features by keyword
It’s important to research what keywords your competitors are targeting so you can benchmark against them in order to optimize for more substantial rankings and better-qualified organic traffic.
Find your main ‘money’ keywords
To create effective SEO for large e-commerce sites, it’s important to research keywords that will be the focus of your search engine optimization efforts.
Money keywords define a product or service you’re selling or describe a topic related to your business.
They are generally broad and cover a lot of ground, so they attract qualified customers from all over the web.
These money keywords should capture the attention of both search engines and users, so you must conduct thorough research to choose the ones that will optimize your success.
You should consider how competitive each keyword is, how popular it is among your target audience, and what kind of content you need to create to rank for it.
Here are some steps you can take to find the right money keywords for your e-commerce site:
- Use keyword research tools like Google AdWords Keyword Planner or Moz Keyword Explorer to generate keyword lists related to your business.
- Analyze the search volumes associated with different terms in your list and narrow down those with higher relevance and popularity among consumers.
- Look at competitors’ website content, pay-per-click advertisements, and keyword optimization techniques they use; this will give you further insight into what works in your niche market.
- Use long-tail keywords as well – these are more specific phrases that build off of each other and broader terms—as these can help broaden your reach without too much competition from other sites.
- Most importantly, stay up-to-date on emerging industry trends by tracking conversations about topics related to your business on social media platforms such as Twitter or Facebook; this can help you identify new opportunities for targeting potential customers from different angles that may not have been considered before.
Create a keyword map for product categories
Keyword research is an integral part of any successful SEO strategy. It helps determine what words are being used to search a relevant topic and develops a comprehensive list of associated keywords that potential customers may use in search query.
Creating a keyword map for large e-commerce sites with multiple product categories can be invaluable in driving SEO success.
It breaks down each product category and its related search terms, allowing you to clearly define the type of keywords that should be bid on for each page or category.
Before beginning the keyword mapping process, it’s important to have an understanding of the industry your business operates in.
This will ensure that you are working with the correct keyword sets and not targeting irrelevant searches.
Once you have a general idea of the language specific to your industry, it’s time to start exploring individual search terms for products within your catalog.
To create a comprehensive keyword map, try starting with general key phrases associated with each category and then working from broad concepts toward more niche-specific language.
For example, if you’re creating a map for sports equipment, start by researching generic phrases like “Sports Gear,” “Athletic Wear,” or “Golf Equipment.”
From there, hone in on more specific terms related to sports such as baseball, basketball or running shoes.
By taking this approach, you will build out subsequent levels within each category and refine your research into targeted keywords that represent exactly what products or services you offer customers online.
By laying out all of these keywords into an organized map format – complete with key phrase variations and search volume estimates – marketers gain clear visibility into which products or services they can invest resources in order to drive traffic from organic searches.
This insight helps identify ideal opportunities for content creation and ensure optimization efforts are reaching qualified buyers who show interest in their offerings online.
Technical SEO involves optimizing the structure and code behind your website to ensure that search engines can find it easily.
This includes page speed optimization, making sure the website is mobile friendly and using key elements like structured data, hreflang tags and sitemaps.
Let’s take a look at the different elements of technical SEO that you need to pay attention to for large eCommerce sites.
Leverage “Inspect URL” feature in GSC
It is important for website owners and marketers to understand the technical aspects of SEO in order to ensure that their sites are properly optimized and meet search engine guidelines.
Leveraging the “Inspect URL” feature in Google Search Console can go a long way towards ensuring the technical accuracy of your website, improving your organic search ranking, and potentially saving you time and money down the line.
The “Inspect URL” feature allows you to assess how well Google can crawl your web pages and whether or not they’re up-to-date with changes made on your site.
It helps you identify any issues such as broken links, 404 errors, excessive redirects, canonicalization errors, missing metadata or page titles that could affect how search engines view a page.
With just a few clicks, this powerful tool can help you quickly detect potential technical SEO issues before they become more serious problems down the line.
GSC’s “Inspect URL” feature also displays other important information about each page it scans including indexing status (whether Google has indexed it), and whether there is any content available on the page for Google to crawl (the HTML is visible on rendered pages only).
Any redirects/canonical/hreflang tags associated with the webpages being checked.
This data can help inform further decisions related to optimizing your site for search engines so that you always have an accurate understanding of how each webpage performs in terms of visibility and overall quality when it comes to SEO.
Ensure your website is mobile-friendly
If you want to rank for specific terms in search engines, it is important to make sure your website is mobile-friendly.
Google and other search engines use several key metrics to determine how a website should rank.
One of those metrics is mobile-friendliness. In order to ensure your website complies with Google’s mobile-friendly standards and rankings, you must make sure it can be read on both mobile and desktop devices.
This means that the words must be clearly legible, the navigation should be easily accessible, and the page loading speed should be quick.
Additionally, you must also include some aspects on every page of your website that allow for easy sharing on social media platforms and other web pages, as well as provide an easy way for users to access additional content from smartphones and tablets without too much hassle.
Additionally, don’t neglect the importance of designing a visually appealing website to effectively draw in potential customers or visitors searching for what you have to offer online.
By ensuring that your website is mobile-friendly and visually appealing, you will stand a better chance of succeeding in online searches — which will ultimately result in more visits from users who are genuinely interested in what you offer.
Check your site’s loading speed
Checking your site’s loading speed is key when it comes to technical SEO.
Fast-loading sites have more positive search engine results, increased organic traffic and better user experience.
A slow-loading site will negatively impact all of these factors, so it’s essential to test your page speed and make necessary adjustments to ensure the fastest page load times possible.
Several free tools are available for checking page speed, such as Google PageSpeed Insights, Pingdom Website Speed Test, GTmetrix or WebPageTest.org.
It’s important to test different pages on the site as well; not just the homepage.
Results typically vary based on user location and device type, so it helps to understand various performance metrics like load time, total load size and visitors’ viewport size (the width by which viewers see your website).
Once you understand how each page is performing in terms of page speed, start making improvements where necessary.
This could include reducing image sizes or optimizing browser caching, compressing code or HTML elements for faster downloads – all of which can improve desktop and mobile loading times for a faster overall user experience.
Breadcrumbs are used for navigation within a website, to indicate where the user is currently located (the “breadcrumb trail”) and to allow the user to navigate back up several levels easily.
For example, if a user is viewing a product page, a breadcrumb trail indicating the product category and subcategory can be added above the product title.
Adding breadcrumbs to an eCommerce site allows visitors to navigate your pages more easily and encourages them to explore more content in your store.
Breadcrumbs are also an important part of Technical SEO because they can improve the visibility of pages on search engine result pages (SERPs).
It’s best practice for SEO professionals to add clear links between high-level categories and other content within those categories when implementing Breadcrumbs on large eCommerce sites.
Additionally, creating concise internal links with relevant anchor text can help boost page rankings if correctly implemented.
Creating coherent text hierarchies with main headings and subheadings also helps users quickly identify what type of content is available on each page.
This makes it easier for search engine crawlers to index website content, making it easier for Google or Bing to understand what the page is about, which improves usability factors and overall UX.
On-page and Content
Optimizing on-page and content is one of the most important aspects of any successful SEO campaign, especially for larger eCommerce sites.
Optimizing on-page elements such as titles, descriptions, content structure, and URL optimization can help your eCommerce site rank higher on search engines.
Creating high-quality content relevant to your product and target audience can help drive traffic and conversions.
We’ll take a closer look at how to optimize both on-page and content elements for an effective SEO strategy.
Fix duplicate, missing, and truncated title tags
Duplicate title tags are very common in large eCommerce websites and often occur when the same content object appears on multiple pages or when tags are missed because of a typo.
Duplicate titles can create confusion for search engines, so it is important to identify any instances of this problem and set unique titles for each page.
It is also important to ensure that the title tag isn’t truncated.
Search engines may be unable to understand what your page contains if they can’t view the title tag.
The ideal length of a title tag is between 50-60 characters, so be sure to keep within that range if possible.
It’s worth noting that the longer your titles become, the more particular you need to be when selecting your keywords and phrases; those extra words can make all the difference.
To help ensure that each page has an SEO-friendly title tag, it is important to make use of content management systems (CMS) or other software solutions designed for this purpose.
These tools make it easier to assign titles, custom URLs, meta descriptions and other metadata elements on each page without manually typing in every keyword or phrase.
Additionally, these solutions will help ensure you never accidentally miss or duplicate a tag again — drastically reducing SEO errors.
Find and fix duplicate or missing meta descriptions
Duplicate and/or missing meta descriptions can have a major impact on eCommerce website performance in search engine results pages.
For search engines, meta descriptions are a powerful way to supply relevance signals to help algorithmically determine the best results for individual searches.
When it comes to optimizing content for search engine performance, optimizing meta description tags should be at the top of your list.
Your meta description is essential to determining your page’s ranking on the SERP and its impact on user engagement when the link is shown.
The more compelling and relevant your meta descriptions are, the more likely people are to click on them and spend time engaging with your content—both positive signals that may lead to improved rankings over time.
To check if there are any duplicate or missing meta descriptions within a site or page, crawl or scan the HTML code of each page within an eCommerce website with an SEO audit tool such as SEO Spider or Screaming Frog SEO Spider Tool.
This will allow you to quickly identify any issues with both too many, too few or duplicate (lacking unique) meta descriptions associated with different pages of your site.
After identifying errors in existing pages with identical titles and/or duplicated text in their ‘Description’ tags, these should be addressed by adding unique meta description texts for each URL as appropriate.
Using basic keyword research and optimization practices can ensure that you generate maximum engagement from users, resulting from appearing appropriately in organic search results for relevant terms covered by respective product/category pages throughout a site.
Find and fix multiple H1 tags
When optimizing for SEO on an eCommerce website, it is very important to ensure that all content is provided within the correct tag structures.
One of the most crucial and easy-to-fix issues is when a page contains multiple H1 tags.
The HTML structure of an eCommerce page should have one main H1 tag as the title of the page and then subsections with H2, H3, etc.
This will be easier for search engines to crawl and comprehend what the content on each page is about and how it’s related to the main title on the page.
Having multiple H1 tags will create confusion in crawling search engines because they won’t be able to understand which of these titles is most closely related to your focus keyword or terms.
It’s also best practice as per W3 coding guidelines not to have multiple tags within a single webpage as this creates an undesirable UX/UI experience for your users.
To rectify this, look closely at any multiple tags appearing on your web pages and decide which one should remain as the main title of your page; then change all other tags into other heading tag options such as, etc.
Doing so will help search engines understand exactly what your page content is about more efficiently and improve overall SEO rankings for each page.
Optimize product page content
Product pages are some of the most important pages for an eCommerce site, as they provide the necessary information for online customers to make informed purchasing decisions.
Optimizing and optimizing product page content is a key part of an effective eCommerce search engine optimization (SEO) strategy for large websites.
When it comes to two main areas of on-page optimization — content and keyword targeting — product pages should be treated differently than other pages on the website.
Product descriptions are typically more lengthy than most other types of page copy, so they need to include more detailed information that highlights product features, competitive advantages and benefits.
For best results, descriptions should be written in target keywords should take precedence in terms of placement, keyword density and relevance throughout the page.
Beyond keyword optimization, several other key areas of content must be optimized in order to improve eCommerce SEO performance.
This includes images — with ALT tags attached — detailed product specs and attributes (if available) such as color or size options, cross-promotion links within larger stores selling multiple items or related collections, customer reviews, and any go-to media needed to drive further engagement within the user journey.
Optimizing product page content also requires attention to various elements such as readability;
including headings and visuals within body copy; inclusion of rich passages with structured data markup like recipes;
unique calls-to-action at different points on the page;
placing tables containing pricing or offer info away from block elements;
HTML formatting by including H1s and H2s;
styling text snippets with emphasis tags such as bolding or italicizing important words or phrases;
linking outbound URLs correctly;
optimizing cross-selling opportunities on various platforms like Google Ads’ Shopping ads etc.
All these factors can help large eCommerce sites significantly boost their SEO efforts by refining user experience through improved readability and visibility while improving organic ranking performance over time when followed consistently.
Off-page SEO involves activities that are conducted outside of a website, such as link building and social media marketing.
It is an important part of SEO for large eCommerce sites as it can help build authority and brand awareness.
Link building is an essential part of off-page SEO, as it helps the search engine determine your website’s quality and relevance.
We will discuss off-page SEO in detail and how it can help you reach your goals.
Analyze your competitor’s link profile
Off-page SEO requires marketers to analyze the link profiles of their competitors, such as inbound links to their website.
Analyzing a competitor’s link profile can help surface potential areas of opportunity, uncovering anchor types and link juice you can target or leverage.
Additionally, these insights provide valuable information to inform your own website content further and linking strategies, as well as identify potential risks and spoils associated with existing backlink portfolios.
Analyzing different aspects of competitors’ link profiles should be undertaken on an ongoing basis to make sure you are up-to-date on what type of content they are producing and which links they are most actively leveraging or acquiring.
It is also important to actively watch out for negative SEO tactics being used by competitors, such as spammy or low quality links that could hurt your search rankings if acquired.
When beginning an analysis of a competitor’s backlink portfolio, important factors to review include—but are not limited to—the domain authority/trust flow of the websites linking into them;
how topically relevant those inbound links are; anchor text diversification within the backlink profile;
where the majority of their links come from; how densely their inbound links span across scale_ldmark domains versus referring domains;
And how high quality the content associated with incoming links is (i.e. blog post, homepage, article).
With this information in hand, marketers can effectively prioritize efforts related to outreach campaigns promoting content around competitive topics or similar products/services they offer.
Conduct a link intersect analysis
Link intersect analysis is a great way to identify link building opportunities for eCommerce websites.
It is a process for uncovering which websites link to multiple competitors and analyzing why.
This can help you discover what content your competitors are creating that influences website owners to link to them – then you can create content that is even better, more attractive or more valuable.
When conducting a link intersect analysis, the first step is to compile a list of your top competitors’ URLs.
Then browse through their backlink profiles and make a note of any websites that have provided links to multiple competitors on the list.
Next, analyze those websites’ content and determine what topics tend to get shared and linked to most often within your sector.
You can then use this as inspiration when creating content of your own.
Finally, review the anchor texts used in those links and identify high-ranking keywords which could be incorporated into upcoming content marketing efforts.
You can also analyze any negative SEO campaigns being conducted by rivals against other competitors – if one topic seems inflamed amongst certain websites SERPs may benefit from creating proactive link-building strategies away from these ‘problematic’ topics in order to restore reputation damage and/or improve visibility for key terms.
Target your competitors’ broken backlinks
One function of off-page SEO is to acquire broken backlinks for your website.
If a web page has been removed from your competitors’ site or has gone offline, you can often snap up that link and repurpose it for your site.
This lets you build links from within a related niche, thereby increasing the link quality of your entire domain.
To identify broken backlinks, start by creating a comprehensive list of URLs on your competitors’ websites by scraping the pages to generate HTML code (you might need to use an advanced tool like Screaming Frog SEO Spider).
Once you have all the links, plug them into a link analysis tool like Ahrefs Broken Backlink Checker or Linkody to show which links are no longer active.
Once you’ve identified inbound links that appear broken, contact their sites’ authors and offer them replacements with similar content on your website.
A good place to start is with popular industry blogs and websites as they often feature valuable content that is shared frequently across the web.
As more backlink sources become available, you can look for additional opportunities on various social media platforms or other sites around the web.
By looking for ways to obtain backlinks through outreach efforts or by filling gaps in existing sources of reliable content—such as white papers or research studies—you can increase the trust rank of any site by improving its off-page SEO.
Implement a link building strategy
Link building is an important part of off-page SEO, as it works to increase the number and quality of external links pointing to a website.
Doing so can help the website acquire additional domain authority, boosting visibility for particular keywords.
Link building involves proactively pursuing opportunities to acquire links from other websites or networks.
It should be balanced with efforts to manage link rot (i.e., broken links) through link audits or fresh content initiatives.
When implementing a link-building strategy, first identify strategic sites and networks that could provide relevant links that would be beneficial to your website.
Remember not all link sources are made equal; find sites with higher domain authority and prioritize those when pursuing links.
Additionally targeting other pages with related content is beneficial, as their changes in ranking may lead to higher rankings for your site.
Begin by reaching out with genuinely valuable outreach campaigns such as blog comments or guest post submissions that contextualize conversations or deliver meaningful content that could make a case for linking back to your site from whatever offer you’re providing them (and which actually meets the criteria set by Google).
Additionally, you can pursue artificial link-building tactics such as scripts and automated processes, but use caution when proceeding too hastily here can count against you rather than advancing your cause.
Ultimately developing outlinks helps build domain stability in addition to increasing overall traffic and boosting search engine rankings for target keywords;
make sure whatever approach is used is done carefully and in compliance so that any practices are taking place according to search engine regulations – if uncertain seek experienced counsel on further initiatives!