Ecommerce SEO: a complete guide for beginners

Ecommerce SEO: a complete guide for beginners

SEO or search engine optimization refers the practice of optimizing your website to drive more traffic and visitors. In ecommerce SEO refers the techniques of increasing the quality and quantity of traffic to ecommerce stores through organic search result.

Search engine optimization is mainly a procedure through which an ecommerce store or site gets the top search position on any search engine like Google, Bing or Yahoo.

Why is SEO Important for Ecommerce websites?

Purchasing products from e-retailers is different as consumers never touch or see physically the products before buying them. And that’s why getting new customers is hard but not impossible while you are still on search engine and anytime the scenario can be changed. Search Engine optimization is the ultimate tool to drive unpaid traffic to your ecommerce store or website.

  1. SEO helps to rank top in web search

Why ranking on search engine is important?- is the most asked question and the answer is 44% of online shoppers begin their search with a search engine and you have a great chance make your sales double by receiving the highest traffic to your online store. The highest rank you are on the highest chance you get to be clicked. That’s why you need to organize a SEO strategy.

  1. SEO creates traffic

Properly implemented Search engine optimization could help you to improve your conversion. As traffic creates conversion, SEO creates traffic. You can grow your business with customer acquisition with the help of SEO. According to a study, SEO accounts approximately 30% of ecommerce site traffic. It provides the massive possibility of getting unpaid traffic. It is not only that SEO creates traffic for your site, it also helps you to implement your other sales strategy more effectively.

  1. SEO is cost-effective

Getting traffic through ecommerce marketing can make you spend more money while it is necessary to be successful in ecommerce. Many ecommerce brands and business spend 12% of their revenue toward marketing campaigns. There are other additional costs that can add extra burden on you as you need to spend money to make your business successful.

SEO not only helps to create new traffic or to gain the highest rank, it also minimizes your extra costs- removes overloads from your head. When you follow such optimization it means you bring some changes and SEO is cost-effective in this why while you can personally do such optimization.

For example, you can create powerful marketing campaigns for your products but simply optimization strategy for search engine can boost your product search than those expensive marketing ads.

Step by step guide

  1. Keyword research

Keyword research is the first step of any SEO campaign and in ecommerce SEO keyword research is most fundamental criteria. As customers search for your products by keywords and success of your product to be exposed in web depends on how powerful keyword you use.

What is a keyword?

A keyword is a particular word or phrase that describes the content of a webpage. When you define your site’s keyword or keywords then search engine trigger those words and show your pages or site when any search is called. In ecommerce SEO, ecommerce related keywords generally trigger the products which contain those particular keywords.

For example, when you enter a word like “dog’s collar” search engine will show a hundreds of products and product related pages which dog’s collar or related products.

The reason why every ecommerce store owners should think twice when selecting and using keywords, is clearly hidden in above definition. It is simply to get the top rank in any search engine so that your customers can easily find you and your products.

Keywords research is important not only for ensuring the high rank but also for your other SEO related task. Researching the present demanding keywords not only helps you to learn which terms to use to target the largest traffic but also helps you to learn to turn random visitors to repeat customers.

Head term vs. Long-tail keywords

Ecommerce marketing experts suggest using long-tail keywords while these keywords regarded as the most powerful tool to rank high on Google. A long-tail keyword is keyword that contains three or even more words while a head term keyword tends to be shorter. For example, “bed sheet” could be a head term where “cotton star designed full-length bed sheet” is a long-tail keyword which is likely further along the buying cycle and much closer to purchasing.

Head terms are good for driving good number of traffic but using long-tail keywords can convert them to customers. According to SEOMoz 70% of online searches are long tail keywords and also these long-tail keywords tend to convert better as they drive more qualified traffic along the buying cycle.

How to choose keywords for your ecommerce store

Now you have a list with huge numbers of keywords and wondering which you can use for low completion. Selecting the right keyword is a creditable work but you have the enough knowledge about segmenting and selecting your powerful low competition keywords.

Here are some most used factors which are determined to select the perfect keywords-

  1. Volume

Search volume is the most important metrics to evaluate a search term. The higher the search volume the more potential traffic to your site. Search volume refers the frequency of a keyword to be searched on search engine. If no one searches for your keyword, Google will not rank your page on first page or even on 3rd or 4th page.

  1. Relevancy with your product

What is the purpose of using a keyword that doesn’t match or go with your product? That means you are using a lame keyword that hardly exposes your products to the traffic.

Your keyword must be fit to your products or product category. Seek for product relevant keywords that exactly define your products and use them. Never try to use stretched words comparing your real products.

  1. Competition

Make sure your keywords are less competitive. The lower the competition, the more like you are to rank on search engine for your keyword. Find out what your competitors using as their keywords by visiting their sites, blogs and social media. You can also use SemRush or MozBar to estimate the competition.

  1. Commercial intent

The most valuable metric of determining the right keyword is commercial intent. Keyword that have less commercial intent tend to be highly competitive than those which have high commercial intent. When you use a highly commercial keywords not only the possibility of organic search of your keyword increases, but also these keywords increases the convert rate.

For example, between “contemporary designed round dining table” and “wooden dining table” keywords, which one you think has the highest commercial intent? You are right! The first one as it defines a specific interest to your customers.

Where to look for keywords? Here are some ways to find such powerful long-tail keywords-

  1. Google search suggestions

Google is the largest search engine and you can find thousands of keyword suggestions on it. To look for rich keywords and most searched keywords you can simply input a keyword that you want to use, and Google will give you a list of suggested keywords.

For example, input “coffee” in Google search box and scroll down to related searches and you will find Google’s related search according to your keyword.

  1. Google auto suggestion

Another goldmine for keywords is Google auto suggestion. Simply enter a keyword that is on your mind in search box and wait for Google’s auto suggestions.

Here I am trying to find out women’s products ideas and see what Google suggests me in terms of my search input.

  • Amazon suggestions

Like Google suggestions you can also use Amazon suggestion for your keyword research. Amazon is the largest and most popular ecommerce market place where you can find millions of product’s ideas and keywords.

Search a keyword and you will find other related auto suggestions for keywords.

You can see Amazon’s auto suggested product’s list form where you can get the idea for your own potential keywords.

Again Amazon has the largest and most diverse product content list where you can find thousands of product’s ideas and keywords.

You can click the “Amazon department” or “Full store directory”.

  1. Wikipedia

Wikipedia can be a single way to find out the most powerful keywords which you can use to gain the top rank in web search. Wikipedia is the largest information bank where you can find anything by search. Simply put a word say “t-shirt” and you will find a complete easy on t-shirt.

Take a look on how Wikipedia use and synchronizes all keyword within a great topic format. You can follow those interlinks and keywords for further information and clicking on them will lead you to their respective URLs.

  1. Key word research tools

There are many paid and free tools for keyword research such as Google keyword Planner, SemRush, and keyword tool dominator. You can search keywords by using one of these tools.

  1. Site structure

Site architecture is how your site is organized. Site structure is also a crucial part of SEO as poor site structure often fails to meet Goggle’s rules of rank and gets the lowest rank on search engine.

Generally ecommerce sites tend to have a lot of pages than simple blog sites. Many ecommerce stores have millions of products and so they have millions of pages. Unless organize these huge pages, stores can lose their function and customers may face problems when searching products to purchase.

For example, Search result for Amazon shows about 81 million pages.

You may wonder how does Amazon organize these huge pages and keep the site workable.

Easier, if you follow the rules-

  1. Keep the site structure simple and scalable.
  2. Every page of your site should be as few clicks from your homepage as possible.

It is very important to maintain a decent structure for your ecommerce site otherwise you will fail to connect customers with your store. Your store must have a easy and intuitive navigation, beautifully organized product pages with a well decorated and designed homepage.

The site structure should be pyramid shape while many ecommerce stores follow a linear shape which mainly breaks the golden rules. Your homepage should be on the top of pyramid and underneath it your category pages. If you have large store then you can create subcategories.

Some tips for better site structure-

  1. Divide your pages into categories.
  2. Make sure all categories are equally large.
  3. Improve your internal link structure.

Make sure your site navigation easy to understand otherwise it will hurt your SEO.

  1. On-page SEO

Now you are on third step! On-page SEO is the practice of search engine optimization for your product page and category. This is very important in order to rank high on search engine to drive more qualified traffic. Optimization of these two pages refers the optimization of content and HTML source code.

As a Shopify store you are enjoying some auto on-page optimization as Shopify provides some built-in SEO opportunities. Besides these built in SEO you need to manually optimize some basic on-page features such as-

  • Title tags and meta descriptions to include keywords
  • Adding of Alt text image to include keywords
  • Modifying of title tags with keywords

You need to optimize your title tags and Meta description not only for ranking on first page but also for convincing visitors to click to your site. As click through rate is considered as the main ranking factor, you have to ensure that your site is able to get possible clicks rather than only get searched.

Some on-page SEO tips-

  1. Add modifiers “Buy”, “Cheap” and “Deals” in your title tag to get more long tail traffic
  2. Use magnet words like “X% off” and “Lowest price” to boost CTR.
  3. Include phrases like “Great selection”, “Free shipping” in description tag to maximize your CTRs.
  4. Write long product description with your most keywords.

On-page SEO best practice for product page and category

Optimizing of product page and category is the ultimate challenge for any ecommerce store to survive in ecommerce war. As you create killer contents for targeting traffic, your main aim has to be converting that traffic to make more sales. In order to bring new prospects and turn them to customers to repeat customers you need to provide a great product page and category that is actually your ultimate hero to rank high on Google.

Ecommerce marketers have defined the best practice of SEO for your product page and category. The most used practices are-

  1. Use the right URLs

Poor URLs can create issues in terms of ranking on Google, can keep pages out of the search engine indexes, or can kill your whole website. To avoid these issues you need to make your URLs SEO friendly.

Keep simplicity and avoid long tail URLs. Try to make your page’s URLs keyword rich and follow the URLs guideline.

Some tips-

  1. Make your URLs simple to read and detect.
  2. Use your key words in your URLs.
  3. Short URLs are better.
  4. Match your URL title and your page title.
  5. Minimize dynamic URL string.
  6. Avoid keyword stuffing and using of inappropriate words.


  1. Write a long killer product description

Longer product copy is must if you want to rank top on Google. Many retailers use to write short and even shorter version of product description which might not only lessen the possibility of high ranking but also drive away visitors and potential customers. As customers cannot see your products physically before purchasing, they need to be sure about the product and Google makes sure of it. That’s why a long keyword based killer description always considered as the ultimate sales tool.

Try to write a longer product copy with your keywords but avoid keyword stuffing. If you have huge catalog then only focus your top product pages or which products you want to show for attracting your customers.

  1. Leverage your Latent Semantic Index (LSI) keywords

Latent Semantic Index or LSI keywords are words that are closely related to your main words. It is kind of using synonyms of your main words and Google use it to differentiate between websites.

Including LSI keywords is beneficial for ranking related task. You can find these semantic keywords on Amazon or Google key word planner.

Let’s say you sell Bluetooth headphones, and type your main word “Bluetooth headphones” and you will find related terms of your search on Amazon-

Here “Magnetic wireless”, “Earbuds”, “water proof headphones”, “Sweat proof”, “In-ear sport”, “noise canceling” all are related to your main key words that you input.

  1. Off-page SEO

Unlike on-page SEO off-page SEO is the optimization of your pages or site outside from the website. Off-page optimization of SEO refers the optimization of your site’s online and offline activities like link building, social marketing or social bookmarking.

Off-page SEO is as much important as On-page SEO. As search engine focuses on some SEO factors like on-page SEO, site structure and link building to provide the best search results, some off-page factors also contribute into the whole search engine operation.

Many e-retailers only focus on on-page optimization of Search engine but they don’t know off-page optimization helps to build a strong position for their brand. It also typically leads to gradual increases in positive brand mentions, search rankings, qualified traffic and ultimately your conversions.

Benefits of off-page SEO

A successful off page optimization for search engine is beneficial for all types and sizes of ecommerce business. The main aim of search engine optimization is to ensure the top rank on Google. While on-page SEO helps to build the site beautiful and SEO friendly, off-page SEO activities help business owners to create external links. The more external links a brand gets the more high rank it gets on search engines.

That’s not all. Off page optimization also helps to ensure page ranks on Google. Page rank is a number between 0 to 10, which indicates the importance of a websites to Google’s eye. Thus Google ranks every page on it system.

Another fundamental importance of off page SEO is to get more exposure for your products. The higher ranks on Google means the great number of traffic. When a ecommerce store is on top rank, it gets more search, more visitors who like to click and eventually gets more potential customers.


SEO is very important in ecommerce as the whole operation is done on search engine. There are lots of SEO tactics which may help an ecommerce site to rank top on search engines and to drive more qualified traffics but these four steps are fundamental. That means every ecommerce store needs to optimize them on their initial stage not for only better rank but also for more sales and revenue.

Happy Selling!!!!

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