The Basics of E-Commerce SEO - Part 1

So you want to get your e-commerce business to the front of Google’s search listings, where it’s a hotspot bustling with your competitors and the industry’s big guns. You want to see your brand’s name, bright and bold, sitting pretty at the top of the results. To get your online store climbing the ladder, Upperdog has a quick fire guide to the basics of ecommerce SEO.

Keyword Research

Let’s start from scratch; the research. From an SEO perspective, that fundamentally means figuring out your business, your audience and the keywords that link the two. What is your audience searching for on Google? Your products? Services? Brands? Use online keyword suggestion tools to help you figure out what keywords and phrases you’ll need before you can optimise your e-commerce site.

Site Structure

As easy as one, two, three and as clear as day; that’s how your site should be for your visitors. Drawing up a site map to figure out your site’s structure can determine how your visitors navigate from the homepage straight to purchasing your product. Effort needs to be minimal. You’ll want to keep your site structure simple so that within just 2 or 3 clicks the visitor is where they want to be and not lost in the confusing collection of semi-purposeful pages. Homepage to category to product. Not only does this benefit user experience, but a clear page hierarchy will leave a breadcrumb trail for Google to glide through and index.

Meta Data

Before we go any further, if you’re unsure about the meaning of meta-titles, don’t worry because Upperdog has you covered –head over to our blog on the basics of SEO. Now you’ve got your keywords it’s time to get them in the game. Relevancy is key for your meta data on every main page and product page. Define who you are and what you’re offering, whilst intricately weaving in your keywords to form short, sweet, punctual sentences. If you spam with keywords, Google will see right through your over-eagerness and penalize your site.

Optimised Headings

When it comes to writing your headings (h-tags), don’t just head your category page with a single worded brand or product name. This is a chance to add a keyword or two to let Google know exactly what’s on the page. For example, ‘Upperdog’ or ‘Upperdog products’ is vague and generic. ‘Upperdog Designer Socks and Ponchos for Dogs’ is much more explanatory*.

Optimised Content

Optimised on-page content relates to your brand introductions & product descriptions. Weave in your keywords but maintain full relevancy and readability when describing your products. The difference between usual SEO content and ecommerce SEO content is the style and message. This content needs to be short so to not overwhelm the reader, but whilst being highly informative and rich in detail. Originality is still imperative; copy and pasting is highly detrimental – but you already knew that. If you have a million products, write content for the most popular ones, or the parent categories.

Search Function

An imperative feature on any ecommerce site, the search function is another route for your visitors on the road to purchase. A well indexed site with clear meta-data and headings will mean a search function works wonders for those users that have turned up with a particular product in mind. Predictive or suggestive search is even better.

Old or Out of Stock Products

Don’t let the trail go cold with out of stock, out of season or expired products. There’s no need to redirect or unpublish pages; you’ll lose SEO value and they still have their uses. When the product’s no longer available, use the page to offer relevant alternative items, such as an alternative brand, different colour variation or newer model.  Not only will they user appreciate the help, but you’ve kept the chase for a purchase alive. Alternatively, offer information about the product’s return or even a consolation such as a discount when it’s in stock.   These 7 points make up part 1 of Upperdog’s guide to ecommerce SEO. Whilst these are just a few of the basics, they are integral points to create the foundations of a successful ecommerce strategy. If you’re looking for further assistance about ecommerce website design and development or digital marketing services, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the team at Upperdog.   *Note: we don’t sell socks or ponchos…