Why is SEO Important for Ecommerce Growth? → 18 Tips

Get 18 effective ecommerce SEO tips to grow your online store.

Written by
Torbjørn Flensted
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June 21, 2024

In the competitive world of ecommerce, ranking builds trust and revenue.

Higher search engine rankings not only increase visibility but also drive more organic traffic, leading to higher sales.

Search engine optimization acts as a growth wheel that, when activated with the right strategy, enhances user experience and can propel your online store to new heights. By optimizing your ecommerce website for search engines, you can continuously attract potential customers and convert them into loyal buyers, fueling sustained business growth.

What is ecommerce SEO?

Ecommerce SEO is the process of optimizing an online store to improve its visibility and rankings in search engine results, using techniques such as keyword research, site structure optimization, content creation, and backlink building.

For online stores, ecommerce SEO involves optimizing their websites to enhance visibility and rankings in search engine results through keyword research, site structure optimization, content creation, and backlink building.

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and mastering it can be the key to driving consistent, organic traffic that converts into loyal customers for your ecommerce store.

Top 3 organic pages in Google gets up to 70% of the clicks.

Why is SEO Important for Ecommerce Websites?

SEO is crucial for ecommerce websites because it helps achieve lower acquisition costs and better cost-per-acquisition (CPA) by driving organic traffic and improving conversion rates.

  • Cost-Effective: SEO reduces the need for expensive paid advertising campaigns.
  • Higher Conversion Rates: Organic traffic often converts better than paid traffic, leading to improved CPAs.
  • Sustainable Growth: SEO provides long-term benefits by continuously attracting potential customers without ongoing costs.

How Does Search Engine Ranking Affect an Ecommerce Website?

Search engine ranking significantly impacts an ecommerce website's visibility, traffic, and revenue. Let's break it down with an example:

Imagine an online store called "PetPals" that sells pet supplies. Currently, PetPals ranks number 7 for the keyword "organic dog food." The six competitors above PetPals are capturing the majority of clicks and revenue from this keyword, leaving PetPals with minimal traffic and sales.

However, with effective SEO strategies, PetPals can improve its ranking. By optimizing product pages, conducting thorough keyword research, and building quality backlinks, PetPals can move up the ranks. As PetPals climbs to the top positions, it will attract more organic traffic, leading to increased visibility and higher sales. This demonstrates how crucial search engine ranking is for the success of an ecommerce website.

18 Tips on How to Increase Ecommerce Sales with SEO

To boost your ecommerce sales through SEO, follow these essential strategies:

1. Conduct Keyword Research

Identify all product category pages you should build, ensuring you cover all relevant keywords and product groups. For example, if you run an online pet store like "PetPals," you should research keywords such as "organic dog food," "natural cat treats," and "eco-friendly pet toys."

Use tools like Semrush, Ahrefs or SEO.AI to find high-volume, low-competition keywords that can drive traffic to your site. Pay close attention to search volume, keyword difficulty, and relevance to ensure you target terms that will not only attract visitors but also convert them into customers.

2. Optimize Product Descriptions

Use target keywords in product titles, descriptions, and meta tags to improve search engine rankings. For instance, if you sell "grain-free dog food," make sure this keyword appears naturally in the product title, description, and meta tags. Include long-tail keywords like "best grain-free dog food for allergies" to capture more specific searches.

Pro Tip: You can use SEO.AI to paraphrase and optimize the product texts you get from suppliers. This tool can help you enhance the descriptions with your brand voice, making them more engaging and aligned with your overall marketing strategy. Optimizing product descriptions is a crucial part of on-page SEO, ensuring that each product page is fully optimized for search engines.

SEO.AI makes it easy to generate and optimize product descriptions with AI.

3. Create Comprehensive Category Pages

Build detailed category pages that group related products, making it easier for customers to find what they need. For example, create a category page for "Organic Pet Food" that includes subcategories like "Organic Dog Food," "Organic Cat Food," and "Organic Bird Food." This not only improves user experience but also helps search engines understand the structure of your site.

"Failing to map out and optimize all relevant product category pages is one of the biggest mistakes holding back small ecommerce stores from achieving higher rankings, increased traffic, and more sales through SEO."

4. Start a Blog

Many small ecommerce site owners often say they don't want to blog because they believe it's their products that should be at the top of Google. However, this mindset is a mistake. Not providing valuable content that guides users through the buyer's funnel can hold your store back.

Creating a blog that educates customers, offers valuable information, and features your products can significantly enhance your SEO efforts.

For example, write a blog post titled "Top 10 Benefits of Organic Dog Food" and include links to your organic dog food products. Use SEO techniques like keyword optimization, internal linking, and meta descriptions to ensure your blog posts rank well in search engines.

5. Use Internal Links

Link related products and blog posts to each other to improve site navigation and SEO. For example, in a blog post about "How to Choose the Best Dog Toys," link to your product pages for various dog toys. This not only helps users find relevant products but also distributes link equity throughout your site, improving overall SEO.

"Many of the ecommerce sites I see make the critical mistake of not adding internal links between product category pages and also between blog posts and product pages, missing out on significant revenue opportunities."

Pro Tip: Use our free Internal Linking Tool to identify and create effective internal links, ensuring a well-connected site structure.

6. Build Quality Backlinks

Acquire links from reputable websites to increase your site's authority and improve rankings. For example, reach out to pet industry blogs and websites to write guest posts or get featured in articles. Tools like Moz's Link Explorer can help you identify potential backlink opportunities.

  • Guest Blogging: Write high-quality guest posts for reputable blogs in your industry. For example, contribute an article about "The Benefits of Organic Dog Food" to a popular pet care blog.
  • Product Reviews: Send free samples of your products to bloggers and influencers in your niche and ask them to write a review with a link back to your site.
  • Supplier Links: Ask your suppliers to link to your store from their websites. For example, if you sell pet food, request a backlink from the pet food manufacturer’s site.
  • Affiliate Programs: Create an affiliate program where bloggers and influencers can earn a commission for driving sales to your site. This often results in backlinks from their promotional content.
  • Industry Roundups: Get featured in industry roundup posts. For example, reach out to bloggers who write "Top 10 Pet Products of the Year" and ask to be included.
  • Customer Testimonials: Provide testimonials for other businesses and request a backlink in return. For example, if you use a specific ecommerce platform, write a testimonial for their site.
  • Competitor Backlinks: Use tools like Ahrefs to analyze your competitors’ backlinks and reach out to those sites to request a link to your store.
  • Influencer Collaborations: Partner with influencers for product launches or special promotions. Influencers often link back to your store in their posts.
  • Online Directories: List your ecommerce store in online directories specific to your industry. For example, get listed in pet care directories if you sell pet products.
  • Content Marketing: Create valuable content such as infographics, guides, or eBooks and share them with industry websites. For example, an infographic on "Healthy Pet Diets" can attract backlinks from pet care blogs.

7. Optimize for Mobile

Ensure your website is mobile-friendly to cater to the growing number of mobile shoppers. Use responsive design techniques and test your site using Google's Mobile-Friendly Test tool. For example, make sure buttons are large enough to tap easily and that text is readable without zooming.

A simple exercise you can do with a few colleagues is to take your phones and test how easy it is to navigate and buy products on your ecommerce store's website. Pay attention to the ease of navigation, button sizes, readability of text, and overall user experience.

Additionally, use Google's tools like the Mobile-Friendly Test and PageSpeed Insights to identify and fix any mobile usability issues.

8. Improve Page Speed

Optimize your website’s loading time to enhance user experience and boost SEO rankings. Use tools like Google PageSpeed Insights to identify issues and implement solutions like image compression, code minification, and leveraging browser caching. For example, compress large product images using tools like ShortPixel to reduce load times.

9. Leverage User Reviews

Encourage customer reviews to build trust and provide fresh content for search engines. For example, send follow-up emails to customers asking them to review their recent purchases. Display these reviews prominently on product pages to increase credibility and improve SEO through user-generated content.

10. Utilize Social Media

Promote your products and blog content on social media to drive traffic and improve SEO. For example, share blog posts, product updates, and special promotions on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and X (Twitter). Use relevant hashtags and engage with your audience to increase visibility and drive traffic back to your site.

11. Implement Schema Markup

Use schema markup to help search engines understand your content better. For example, add product schema to your product pages to display rich snippets like price, availability, and reviews in search results. This can improve click-through rates and drive more traffic to your site.

The 5 Most Important Markups for Ecommerce Stores:

  • Product Schema: Displays rich snippets like price, availability, and reviews.
  • Review Schema: Highlights customer reviews and ratings.
  • Breadcrumb Schema: Enhances navigation by showing the path to the current page.
  • Offer Schema: Provides details about special offers and discounts.
  • Organization Schema: Displays information about your business, such as name, logo, and contact details.

12. Create Video Content

Video content can engage users and improve SEO. Create product demonstration videos, how-to guides, and customer testimonials. For example, a video showing how to use a new pet grooming tool can attract and retain visitors.

13. Use Customer Data for Personalization

Leverage customer data to personalize the shopping experience. Use tools like Google Analytics to understand customer behavior and preferences. For example, recommend products based on past purchases or browsing history.

14. Optimize for Local SEO

If you have a physical store, optimize for local SEO to attract nearby customers. Use keywords like "pet store in [city]" and create a Google My Business profile. Encourage local reviews and ensure your NAP (Name, Address, Phone number) information is consistent across all platforms.

Local Keyword Examples:

  • pet store in New York
  • best dog food in Los Angeles
  • affordable cat toys in Chicago
  • organic pet supplies in Houston
  • pet grooming services in Miami

15. Monitor and Analyze SEO Performance

Regularly monitor your SEO performance using tools like Google Analytics and Semrush. Track metrics like organic traffic, bounce rate, and conversion rate. Use this data to refine your SEO strategy and identify areas for improvement. Additionally, use rank tracking tools to monitor your most important keyword rankings and see how your site performs in search results over time. To just check a position on the fly you can use this free keyword rank checker.

16. Implement a Robust Internal Search Function

A well-optimized internal search function can improve user experience and increase conversions. Use tools like Elasticsearch to provide accurate and fast search results. For example, ensure that searching for "organic dog food" returns all relevant products and categories.

17. Optimize Product Pricing

While product pricing is not a direct ranking factor for search engines, having the right prices can indirectly improve your rankings. Competitive pricing can attract more clicks from users, which can lead to better dwell time and lower bounce rates—both of which are positive signals for search engines.

Imagine a user searching for "affordable electric guitars" on Google. They see two search results: one from your store and another from a competitor. Your product is priced more competitively, so the user clicks on your link. They spend time browsing your site, reading product descriptions, and even checking out customer reviews. This increased dwell time and engagement send positive signals to search engines, indicating that your site is valuable and relevant to the user's query. As a result, your site may rank higher in future searches.

thomann.de has translated content to boost local rankings.

18. Optimize for International SEO

If you sell products internationally, optimize your site for different regions. Use hreflang tags to indicate language and regional targeting. For example, create separate pages for "organic dog food" in English and Spanish to cater to different audiences.

In Denmark, the German music equipment store Thomann.de decided to expand their reach by translating their website into Danish. They didn't just stop at translation; they implemented a robust SEO strategy tailored to the Danish market. By using localized keywords, optimizing their site structure, and creating content that resonated with Danish musicians, Thomann.de quickly gained traction.

Within just two years, Thomann.de's Danish site saw a massive increase in organic traffic. Their meticulous attention to SEO and localization allowed them to rank higher in search results for key terms like "musikinstrumenter" (musical instruments) and "lydutstyr" (sound equipment). This surge in visibility and traffic led to a significant boost in sales.

The impact was so profound that Thomann.de managed to push the biggest Danish music equipment store, 4Sound, out of business. This story underscores the power of a well-executed SEO strategy when it comes to translation and localization. It shows that even small ecommerce stores can significantly increase their revenues by tapping into new markets with the right approach.

Why is SEO Important for Ecommerce Growth? → 18 Tips

This is an article written by:

Passionate SEO expert, Torbjørn Flensted, boasts two decades of industry experience. As the founder of SEO.ai and having run an SEO agency for 13 years, he's spent the last decade pioneering cutting-edge tools, transforming how agencies and professionals approach Search Engine Optimization.