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Want even better holiday sales next year? Start your ecommerce SEO improvements now

It’s hard to believe, but yet another holiday season has come and gone.

Hopefully, you’ve had some time to unwind and relax from the ‘break’. Now it’s the moment to look at your sales results and site analytics. While you’re doing that, celebrate your successes, think about what went right and make a plan to tackle any improvements you can make to your ecommerce site ahead of next year’s holiday rush.

SEO for ecommerce is essential for traffic and sales. So how you appear in each Search Engine is a good place to start.

Even if you spend heavily on PPC ads, not ranking for your preferred keywords in Google and other search engines, or making sure your product pages are optimized, could mean that you’re missing out on a good chunk of traffic.

With the rate at which ecommerce is growing, you don’t want to miss out on any opportunities. That means that relying on digital marketing with one or even a few traffic sources is not enough.

At what rate exactly is it growing? Well, there were an estimated 1.92 billion digital buyers globally last year, and ecommerce accounted for 14.1% of retail purchases worldwide. Not to mention the double-digit growth ecommerce saw (from 13% to 32%) in 2019. 2020 is set to be even bigger. Simply put, online shopping is growing fast, the global online shopping market size is predicted to hit 4 trillion in 2020.

Are you prepared to optimize your ecommerce store in time for the 2020 holiday season? 

Sure, it might seem a bit early, but start early you must. SEO needs time.

To help get you started, we’ve prepared a step-by-step SEO guide for ecommerce. Something to help you along as you fortify your ecommerce site for the all-knowing Search Engine. It includes:

  • Keyword Research
  • On-page SEO
  • Backlinks and internal linking

Keep these in mind when you’re working on your shop on Shopify, Amazon, or whatever platform you’re using.

Your future self will thank you when the 2020 holiday season numbers come in.

1. Keyword Research

As we always say, the best way to increase organic traffic in general is to target the right keywords in the right way. With ecommerce, this is especially true for long-tail keywords.

Building an SEO strategy that targets the right words with the right search intent should be your top priority.

These terms can be used in your product pages, product descriptions and throughout your site. Thankfully, there’s lots of space on your ecommerce website to naturally sprinkle these.

Amazon is a great place to start looking for how to craft the right SEO product descriptions. Enter any word in the Amazon search bar to see related product description terms:

screeenshot of amazon.com search feature used as an example of one way to find keywords related to the search "women handbags"

The suggested product description terms for women handbags are all transactional keywords such as ‘women handbags for sale’. There you have the intent. Someone who is searching for women handbags clearance sale is interested in buying a bag instead of someone who is searching for women handbags care tips.

In order to drive targeted traffic with your ecommerce SEO that will convert and buy, you need to make sure your store ranks for transactional keywords.

Ubersuggest is a free keyword research tool that will help you find relevant long-tail keywords for your ecommerce website. It shows trend, search volume, CPC, SEO difficulty, and paid difficulty of each keyword that it suggests:

screenshot of the keyword research tool ubersuggest displaying results related to the search item "women handbags"


It’s a nice free keyword research tool that comes with several other features that are worth exploring, we suggest you check them out.

Related search terms by Google are also very helpful in finding relevant keywords that real people search for. Here are the related search queries for women handbags that are displayed towards the end of the search page:

screenshot of google's feature "searches related to women handbags" commonly displayed at the end of the SERP

These related searches are variable and are triggered based on the searcher’s location. This provides you with a great opportunity to find related search terms in your target country or state.

You can also use the Google Keyword Planner Tool to help build your SEO strategy.

2. On-Page SEO

The keywords searched in the previous step should be incorporated on your ecommerce site, product pages, category pages, and throughout your Content Marketing tactics (i.e. blog posts) to boost rankings. But that’s not all, On-page optimization of an ecommerce site includes a whole lot of things, including:

  1. Title and description
  2. Product and category description
  3. URL

We’ve covered this in general here, but let’s go a little bit deeper with your ecommerce site in mind.

Title and Meta Description

What you write in your title and meta description will have a big impact on the movement of your product. The title should include the primary keyword that you are targeting. It should be catchy, concise, and clear.

Compare these two titles:

  1. Women Handbag
  2. Spacious Women’s Handbag with free shipping

Which one you’d click? Of course, the second one.

Why?

Because it’s persuasive. It makes you want to click it.

See how both the titles are targeting the same primary keyword but that isn’t the only thing that makes a difference, but rather, how it’s used.

The meta description is equally important and should include your primary keyword, a powerful CTA, and catchy product descriptions. The title and description of the product pages are visible in the search result page. This is what will bring your potential buyers in:

screenshot of a singular search result with labels indicating the blue text as the title and the black text as the description

Good Ecommerce SEO makes sure the title and description are worth-clicking. That’s how you will be able to drive organic traffic to your online store.

Product and Category Description

The product descriptions are what people will read after arriving in your online store. Make it exceptionally well worded.

This is where you can naturally add all those secondary keywords. Google will often pick text from the product descriptions and show it in search results, so it should include relevant long-tail keywords.

The category pages’ description should be well-written and must also contain your target keywords.

URL

Keep the URL simple, readable and includes your product title as well as keywords you may be targetting where possible. See how Macy’s is using a clean URL that contains the main keyword:

screenshot of a singular search result labeled to illustrate that the green text stands for the URL

On-page SEO optimization of your ecommerce website plays a crucial role in how your products and pages will appear in SERPs and if they will be clicked by your future buyers. 

3. Backlinks and internal links

Backlinks are still one of Google’s top ranking factors. But as we mentioned, SEO takes time. In this case, it can take an average of 10 weeks for a backlink to improve one rank:

graph illustrating the relation between a website's number of referring domains to its position on the SERP

It means you have to start building backlinks for the holiday season 2020 right now. The earlier you do it, the better. Links acquired a couple of months before the holiday season won’t work at all.

So how to acquire natural backlinks for your ecommerce store that will move the needle, improve search rankings, and drive targeted organic traffic? Here are some of the best techniques to do it right:

  1. Guest blogging: Publish quality blog posts on leading niche sites with a link to your store.
  2. Guestographic: Create and publish an infographic on your store, reach out to bloggers, show them your infographic, offer them unique content, and get a backlink.
  3. 10x content: Create awesome content in your niche, publish it on your ecommerce blog, reach out to people who have linked to the similar type of content, show them your awesome content, and they are most likely to link to it.
  4. Product features: use PR tactics to have your product featured on different blogs and sites.

In addition to Backlinks, internal links are a great way to tell a Search Engine what’s important on your site. So make sure not to forget to build an internal link building strategy as well.

Over to You

We hope you found this helpful. Afterall, Ecommerce SEO gets easier if you know what you have to do and why you have to do it.

This is the best time to prepare your ecommerce website for the 2020 holiday season. The holiday’s may be behind us for now, but they’ll be back again before you know it. There’s no time like the present to start getting your On-page SEO and SEO in general in order.

Start with keyword research. Find keywords to rank for and add relevant holiday season-related keywords (e.g. Christmas sale) to start moving up. Optimize your store by adding these keywords in tags, and finally, acquire backlinks that will supercharge your store’s ranking.

Ranking an ecommerce store on the first page takes time. If you’re really looking to outpace your competitors next year, drop us a line, Ecommerce SEO services can help you get to the top.

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