So you have a website, want to learn eCommerce SEO, then rank in Google search results for highly profitable keywords, get traffic, drive more sales, become a millionaire and retire.
I thought so when I started a few years back.
Little did I knew what is eCommerce SEO, how to make my little eCommerce site rank in Google search, and make pennies first, millions later.
My thoughts back then was,
Well, let me get the site up first, SEO and other things can be outsourced. Let me start a dropshipping thing on the side as well and see how it does. I don’t know what I am doing, so I might as well try every trick in the book!
I still haven’t retired (for the curious) and no, my eCommerce site didn’t quite pick up (for some other reasons). However, I did learn a great deal about optimizing eCommerce websites for SEO and make them rank on Google search results for highly targeted, low competition keywords with rising demand.
According to reports, around 23.6 percent of all eCommerce sales come from organic searches. Just think of the times you’ve typed ‘best mobile phone in 2019’ into Google, hoping to find the best deal. That’s exactly how a fourth of all eCommerce buyers begin their hunt for a product. As an eCommerce store owner, your job is to draw as many of these potential buyers as you possibly can, to your eCommerce store. To get there, you need to focus on your eCommerce SEO strategy and doing that requires a great deal of research and effort.
In this eCommerce SEO guide, I have tried to share my learnings and adventures on eCommerce search engine optimization, driving traffic, targeting low competition keywords and generating sales for a new eCommerce site.
Table of Contents
- Keyword Research For eCommerce SEO
- Competitor Research
- Long Tail Keywords, Synonyms and Related Keywords
- Optimize Title Tags and Meta Descriptions
- Unique and Compelling Product Descriptions
- Optimize Headings and Subheadings
- Fix Duplicate Content Issues
- Do Regular Website Audits
- Fix eCommerce Website Architecture
- Choose the Right URL Structure
- Add Schema Markup and Structured Data
- Implement Breadcrumb Navigation
- Build Quality Backlinks
- Optimize CPC Campaigns For More Conversions
- Optimize eCommerce For Local SEO
- Manage Social media and Online Reputation
- Avoid Most Common eCommerce Mistakes
Keyword Research For eCommerce SEO
Let’s say, you are selling hair re-growth oil, then, you don’t want to reach out to those with lustrous shiny hair. No, not because you hate them for their lustrous shiny hair, but simply because they won’t convert.
The big difference between eCommerce SEO and regular SEO is the traffic that you target. In case of regular SEO, volume matters and you simply want to reach out to as many people as you possibly can, but in case of eCommerce SEO, you only want to drive in qualified traffic that is targeted enough — those who need your product and can afford to buy it. You need to pick revenue-generating keywords for your eCommerce store and we will show you exactly how to do that.
SEO Keyword vs. eCommerce SEO Keywords
Let’s take a look at the below-listed examples to figure out the difference between an SEO keyword and eCommerce SEO keyword.
The keyword ‘best hair products’ is too generic and people who actually have enough hair could be using it to look up for something that makes their hair softer. So, such generic keywords are not going to drive the right sort of traffic for your eCommerce website.
However, the following keyword is not a generic one but has a “specific intent” associated with it.
Each product page on your website has to be mapped with a very specific keyword, while the category pages can target generic, broad keywords e.g Men’s Clothing, Hair Care, Electronics, Women’s accessories and so on.
Let’s see how this is done for a product page first. Let’s say you are selling “hair regrowth oil” in your eCommerce store. So “hair regrowth oil” becomes your “Seed Keyword” or “Head Keyword” or “Root Keyword”.
Type this Root keyword in Google and see what keywords Google is suggesting in Google autosuggest, related keywords at the bottom of the search results page and also in the “People Also Ask” section.
These keywords are the most important, so put them into a spreadsheet like this. What you want to do is pick one root keyword and accumulate all the relevant keywords from different sources into one excel spreadsheet for later review.
Delete irrelevant keywords and generic keywords and keep your list clean. For example, I would not consider “hair care” as a keyword since it is too generic. I would also not consider “Indus valley big tree oil for hair growth” because I do not have that product in my store to sell. So it is not relevant to me.
Only consider relevant keywords that are specific and put them into a spreadsheet, as shown below.
Don’t stop with Google search alone, it is just the beginning. Google search is just the tip of the iceberg, what lies beneath is a combination of other tools, sources and how to curate the final list of keywords you would be targeting on your product and category pages.
Next would be extracting keyword ideas from Google Adwords Keyword Planner, which is accessible for free. The main purpose of Google Adword keyword planner is to plan PPC Adwords campaigns but it is still a “good enough” tool for keyword research.
Download all the keywords in a CSV file and import it in the spreadsheet. For now, only keep the columns – “Keywords” and “Average Monthly searches”. You don’t need other data for now, keep things simple.
Next up is Amazon,
Don’t ignore local eCommerce leaders. The more sources you consult for the root keyword, the better and diversified range of keywords you will have to work with.
This process is a bit tedious but if you religiously do it, you will see the results in time.
Use an Advanced Keyword Research Tool
Okay, so you have exhausted your “freely available” options for keyword research, now it’s time to go to the next step. Consider using a premium keyword research tool to get advanced and in-depth data on keywords (Broad match, Phrase match, Exact Match, Related Keywords). We highly recommend SEMrush for Keyword research, read our tutorial on how to use SEMrush for keyword research and SEMrush product review here. SEMrush is not free, it will cost you a monthly subscription but it is well worth it. You can use this link to get a 7 day free trial of SEMrush at no cost to you.
Once you have the SEMrush subscription, go to the keyword magic tool, enter your seed keyword and then you would see keyword suggestions like this
Once you have compiled your list, you should do the following
- Remove irrelevant and Junk keywords
- Remove duplicate keywords (use this excel add-on to remove duplicates)
- Remove irrelevant data and keep only Keywords, Monthly search volume, Keyword difficulty.
Here is how your keyword research spreadsheet will look like
This is the list of all the keywords that you need to work on, in order to reach out to potential hair re-growth oil product buyers.
You need to use these keywords intelligently in the following areas
- Title tag
- Meta description
- Main content copy of the page
- Anchor text linking to the page
- URL slug
- Headings and Subheadings
- Use synonyms and related search phrases around a keyword in the copy of the page
- Create content around the keywords which satisfies user’s intent and questions
- Don’t use Random Keywords. Although this used to be okay a decade ago, now the competition is pretty stiff. So use advanced keyword research tools like Semrush to assimilate useful and reliable data is a smart way of doing things.
- Use a mix of high competition and low competition Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) keywords to increase your chances of ranking on the first page.
- Snoop around the right competitor and find out what your competitors are ranking for. Now that doesn’t mean you compete against Amazon (not unless you are eBay) so it is important that you choose the right competitor.
- Use Google Trends and Google Adwords to see the demand curve and track record of Keywords, see whether this keyword is pointing up or pointing down.
- Focus on meta content, and make it a point to include the primary keyword in it, If you do not wish to write a separate meta description, then include the primary keyword in the first paragraph of your article.
- Include a higher proportion of low-competition LSI keywords to increase the chances of ranking your eCommerce store.
- Use tools like Semrush to extract the keywords used by your competitors. Once you’ve pulled out the list, find the ones that are easy to rank for.
- Make use of magnet words in the titles like ‘Best deals’, ‘Cheap’ etc.
- Write a unique product description and also include a section that connects with the user and points out the strengths of your product in a subtle manner.
- Do include keywords that are being searched for. You don’t want to rank on Google’s No.1 page for a phrase that only you are googling up.
- Do not compete against industry leaders like Amazon, eBay, etc. during the initial phase.
- Do not compete for high competition keywords during the initial phase, because you are not going to rank for them as a brand new eCommerce store.
- Do not use generic keywords, instead, think from the customer’s perspective and what he or she is going to look up for and weave your keyword strategy around it.
- Do not use irrelevant keywords, just for the sake of ranking your eCommerce product pages on SERP’s.
- Do not waste time driving traffic that doesn’t convert. More traffic does not mean higher sales, and with that in mind, you need to do the keyword research for your eCommerce store and focus on ranking for revenue-generating keywords.
Uncover your Competitors Strategy – See which Keywords they are targeting
Keyword research was the first step. But wait, anyone and everyone is doing keyword research for their own sites, aren’t they?
How would you beat the competition, considering the fact that they are doing keyword research for their sites as well?
Unless you know how somebody made it to Google’s number one page, you are never going to get there. Especially if you run a small eCommerce store, that’s feeling bullied by the biggies in the industry. So, the only way to get into the game is by discovering your competitor’s strategy and that only gets easier with tools like Semrush.
Semrush lets you uncover device-specific statistics of the ad spend, paid traffic, organic traffic, and much more. You can also look up for keywords that your competitor is ranking for and sort out your competitor’s high-traffic pages.
Let’s see how it is done.
Go to SEMrush’s “Organic research” and enter the URL of one of your competitors. You can enter the root domain to see for which keywords this website is ranking on the 1st page in Google
You can also enter a specific URL to see for which keywords that specific page is ranking on 1st page in Google. This includes both broad match and long-tail keywords.
Don’t feel complacent with one page alone. Go further and see which other pages of the same competitor have high visibility in Google search results. See how much traffic each page is getting from Google on a monthly basis, what is the CPC of the main keywords for every page and so on and so forth.
Here are the advantages of using Semrush for competitive research
- Discover competitors’ best keywords
- Explore your rivals’ keyword rankings on desktop and mobile
- View their landing pages displayed in the SERPs for a given keyword
- See how much traffic a search term is bringing organically
- Find new organic competitors, keep close tabs on the dynamic organic competitive landscape
- Get a visual representation of where your site stands amongst other organic search players
- See a list of domains you are battling against for the top positions in Google and Bing. Observe domains’ position changes
- Keep abreast of how your rivals’ domain positions are changing in organic results
- Find out which new keywords helped your competitors enter Google or Bing top 20
- Understand where your own tactics are winning and if there’s room for improvement
Repeat this process for at least 10 competitors and you will have enough data to work with. However, don’t overkill by analyzing hundreds of thousands of competitors. That’s not scalable and that’s not actionable.
Do it for a few competitors which are head to head and relevant in your geographical location, if that matters. Competitor research is important but it should not be done on a universal scale, it should be done on a minimal scale that is manageable and actionable.
- Pick the Right keywords from your competitor’s high traffic webpages, and sort out the ones that you wish to rank for.
- Choose the right competitors. Often times, people classify Amazon as their competitor. No, that is not correct. Amazon could be selling the same products that you are selling but that does not make Amazon your competitor. Your competitor is that eCommerce site which specializes in hair oil products and serves to a very niche audience like you do. So choose your competitors wisely.
- Sort the competitor’s data carefully, by classifying the data based on volume, traffic, keyword difficulty, CPC or other relevant parameters. Always make it a point to do that before you export it as a CSV file, and this makes things a lot easier.
- Form a Backlink Strategy based on the backlinks that your competitor already has. You can find the list of your competitor’s backlinks through Semrush’s domain overview.
- Periodically analyze your competitor’s website.
- Get more ideas from what your competitor is ranking for.
- Do your own site audits, on a regular basis to ensure that your own flaws aren’t holding you back from ranking.
- Don’t waste too much time on what your competitors are doing, unless your own site comes out clean in the site audit and has a good number of pages, to begin with.
- Don’t bother about what your competitors are doing, unless your site is good enough to compete against it.
- Don’t choose too many competitors, pick the right ones and pick a few competitors to ensure it is manageable and actionable.
Optimize Product Pages with Long Tail Keywords, Synonyms And Related keywords
The product pages on an eCommerce website usually drive the highest amount of traffic. The key to successful eCommerce SEO is to use long-tail keywords, related keywords, synonyms and other close variations of the main keyword phrase in the right places.
Now how do you find long-tail keywords for your eCommerce Product pages? Start with Google Auto Suggest (type in your product keyword and see what long-tail keywords Google is suggesting)
In the above example, our product is “hair growth oil” and one of the long tail keyword suggestion from Google is “hair growth oil for men”, or “hair growth oil preparation”.
Google’s Auto suggest suggestions are limited and so are the suggestions from other free keyword research tools, so you should not just stop here. Pick one long-tail keyword and use it in Semrush Keyword overview and Keyword Magic tool to see more suggestions
In the above example, Semrush shows a whopping list of 9000 long-tail keywords for your seed keyword. Export the list as a CSV file and then import it in an Excel Spreadsheet, so you can sort by search volume, keyword difficulty, competitive density, and other useful metrics.
Very Important – Do not Forcefully Add all the Long tail keywords
You just cannot optimize your product pages for every other long-tail keyword. That’s not natural and that’s not the goal of the optimization process. The goal is to look at your product page and ask yourself –
- Which of these long-tail keywords makes sense for my product page?
- Which of these long-tail keywords flows naturally with the content and context of the page?
- How can I tweak my existing content to accommodate these long-tail keywords without them looking as if I am keyword stuffing or artificially adding all the keywords and long-tail variations?
Once you have identified the most important long-tail keywords, re-write the content on your product pages to accommodate long-tail keywords, synonyms, related keywords and other commonly searched variations of your primary seed keyword.
Best Practices With Long Tail Keywords
Focus on solving the pain point first. Ensure that your product page has content which solves a very specific problem that the reader’s been facing. If Joe’s been looking up for ‘How to set up Amazon Echo Dot’ then he probably has no clue about how to set it up, and that could be holding him back from buying your product.
Think, what pain the user is facing and what he is asking for. For example, look at Quora questions and answers to get an idea about the pain points
If you provide Joe with a step by step solution on the product page, then that solves the problem for Joe and he may even feel confident enough to buy one. Joe wouldn’t be looking up for ‘How to set up Amazon Echo Dot’, if he wasn’t interested in that product, so voila! You’ve reached out to the right prospect with a correct and relevant content strategy.
Leverage transactional and educational keywords and optimize your Product Pages with long-tail keywords, which are easier to rank for. Usually, these are very specific terms like ‘best hair regrowth oil for bald people’ or ‘best Attorney in Dallas for personal injury cases’ and so on. Include related keywords, synonyms and other commonly used variations around your seed keyword.
Examples of educational long-tail keywords
- Reviews of best hair growth oil for men
- How to grow thick black hair naturally for women
- Best coconut oil for hair growth
Examples of transactional long-tail keywords
- Beardo hair growth oil
- Cheap hair growth oil with discounts
- Buy hair growth oil for kids
Don’t shy away from using very specific “Customer-centric” Long tail keywords. You don’t want to drive traffic that’s not going to convert. Ecommerce SEO is all about reaching out to prospects who are looking up for your product and can afford to buy it.
So be specific and see what they are already saying about a product online. Do not add every other keyword which “Looks good”.
A very good way is to look at customer reviews and see how the end-user is reviewing the product on Amazon and other popular eCommerce sites (competitors included)
Try To Rank your Product Page for synonyms. If John is looking up for ‘best products to prevent hair fall’ then to get him to your website, you need to rank for it. This won’t happen if you only focus on ranking ‘best hair regrowth oil’. So optimize your content for synonyms and related phrases as well and not just on the root keyword you are targeting.
Check the search volume of Longtail keywords. You don’t want to waste your efforts ranking for a term that does not have enough demand or is not being searched by a good enough audience. You can ensure this by using Semrush to look up for the right long-tail keywords which has high monthly search volume.
Repeat the keywords at right places – Make sure to use them at least 3 to 4 times in your article to maintain the right keyword density.
Use longer content. It’s no longer a secret that longer content ranks better in the long haul, so if possible – focus on long form of content. There is no strict word count for ecommerce product pages but if you see an opportunity to increase the textual content on your ecommerce product pages, do it.
Have a clear and obvious call-to-action and build pressure on the prospective buyer, by offering limited period offers, such as steep discounts.
- Pick a Root keyword and then research long-tail keywords around that seed keyword.
- Confirm that the long-tail keywords that you wish to use, are being searched for. Check for monthly search volume, keyword difficulty, competitive density, and other important metrics.
- Pick the most relevant long-tail keywords, related keywords, and synonyms. Don’t include the whole suggested list. Ask – Does this keyword phrase makes sense to my product page?
- Optimize your product pages with long form of content. Look for opportunities to increase the amount of text in each product page of your eCommerce store.
- Lookup synonyms and related keywords on Semrush.Always pick keywords that can help connect with the buyer’s intent.
- Don’t try to rank for shorter keywords as they are more generic and ideal for the masses. Also, shorter keywords are highly competitive and the rewards that come with it aren’t worth the efforts, because, with an eCommerce store, you want to draw the attention of a very specific target audience.
- Don’t pick long-tail keywords or synonyms randomly without doing enough research. Always find them and confirm their potential through reliable tools like Semrush to ensure that you reap the rewards of your labor.
- Don’t pick keywords that do not relate to the product or service that you are selling on a particular product page.
Recommended Tool – We recommend using Semrush for getting long-tail keyword ideas, related keywords, and synonyms. If you do not have an account yet, you can use this link for a 7 day free trial of Semrush.
Optimize Title Tags and Meta Descriptions For eCommerce SEO
The title tags and meta description are two very important SEO elements that you just cannot ignore. The first thing a user notices on Google search result page is the title of a webpage, which is followed by the meta description about what the page is all about.
The Title tag, meta description and the first paragraph of your product page must be optimized with the right keywords and search phrases to ensure they rank in search results and receive clicks from users.
So how do you actually craft a Killer Title and meta description tag for your eCommerce product page, so that it not only appears on Google search results for relevant searches but it also receives click-throughs from a prospective buyer?
1. Start by defining the root keyword. In this case, it is “Hair regrowth oil”.
2. Define the Intent of your page. If you are selling Hair Regrowth Oil, the first version of your page title could be “Buy Hair Regrowth Oil Online”
3. Make a List of High volume keywords around your seed keyword. These are the words which are in demand, so make sure you use them in your title tag and meta description.
4. Define Demographic/audience and segment the Title tag to a specific audience if needed. If your page is selling the product for Men, rework on the title and change it to “Buy Hair Regrowth Oil Online For Men”.
5. Include long-tail keywords, synonyms and related keywords in meta description tag and diversify your targeting as much as possible.
6. Use SEMrush’s topic research tool to research ideas and suggestions and Craft an attractive, useful headline
Best Practices With Titles and Meta Descriptions
Write accurate Page titles and descriptions. Don’t write deceptive titles or descriptions which does not match the product or the buyer’s intent. Your page title and description should clearly state what the page is all about and not promise something that it does not deliver.
Have Clear Call to Actions. The meta description and the title should encourage the user to do something, there should be some call to action associated with the title tag and meta description tag. For example, “Get free shipping on orders above $50” is a strong call to action. Here is an example meta description used on a Fashion eCommerce portal, notice how carefully they have included the call to action for higher CTR’s.
Target specific words and phrases. Don’t try to achieve everything in one title and description, that’s simply impossible. Be specific and narrow your focus as much as possible. Finalize a set of keywords, use the most relevant ones in the title and meta description.
Show The Tangible Benefit. Are you selling gym pants? Tell the reader that this product is ideally suited for long hours in the gym. Are you selling leather jackets for women? Tell them they will look so stylish and trendy in that blue jacket which will turn heads, even in Summer.
Here is an example which shows the tangible benefit to the shopper through a meta description
Once the reader sees the tangible benefit and how your product makes their life better, they are slightly more convinced to check it out and if they are convinced, they may want to give it a go!
Use Verbs. It is often a good idea to make use of verbs such as “Buy”, “Try”, “Watch” “Get Free Shipping” etc.
Use Synergy. Make it a point to use appropriate Heading and subheading tags and include the primary keywords which you used in the Title and meta description tags. This creates synergy and helps the page rank higher in search results, sometimes.
- Keep the meta descriptions under 160 characters, as Google’s going to truncate the data anyways. So, anything that you write beyond 160 characters, it’s not going to be displayed.
- Get rid of duplicate meta descriptions and title tags if you have them. Use Google search console reports or Semrush Site audit feature to scan your website for duplicate meta descriptions and title tags. Every page must have a unique Title and a Unique Meta description.
- Include target keywords in your meta description and Title tag.
- Make it flow naturally, don’t make it “sound artificial” or “Robotic”.
- Target emotions. Ask Your grandma – “What will make you click this Link if you were buying a sweater for your niece online?”
- Make the Title Tag Intuitive. Make it natural. Be genuine and above all – HELP THY USER!
- Don’t copy your competitors’ meta description or page titles. Instead, write your own optimized meta descriptions.
- Don’t think “XYZ” is the leader and you have to always follow their approach. Be unique and differentiate yourself from leaders and competitors – have your own voice!
- Don’t try to trick search engines by optimizing only for the title or description and not delivering what it promises.
- Don’t always use templates. Yes, templates save a lot of time but it also robs the human touch and handcrafted content which search engines prefer over auto-generated descriptions and titles. Templates could be fine for few sections or category pages but we strongly recommend to use Handcrafted Titles and Descriptions over Auto-generated templates.
Write Unique, Detailed and Compelling Product Descriptions
What is a “Product description” in eCommerce?
A product description is nothing but that content or copy which explains what the product is, what benefits it has and why it should be purchased by the end-user. The goal of a product description is to provide all the necessary information to an interested buyer so that they are compelled to buy it.
To Increase sales of your products, you must write exceptional product descriptions that instantly connects with the reader and compel him to convert to a sale.
Let’s look at some examples of good product descriptions and bad product descriptions.
Now consider this one.
This one does not tell the casual buyer what this product is. It just uses “fuzzy keywords” e.g “Training”, “Cycling”, “Super soft”. That’s not helpful. That’s not what the shopper expects. The shopper expects you to tell her more about the product, the height, material, quality, and other things. Think about it – After reading the product description, if the shopper still has questions in her mind about the product and Googles it again, aren’t you wasting her time and effort?
This description does not serve its purpose and hence it is a bad product description.
Length is Strength. Sweat it Out and Add As Much Value as You Can
Add more value to your product descriptions.This is the only secret to writing good compelling product descriptions for eCommerce product pages or landing pages. There is no other secret and there is no other trick.
Add as much details as possible, add pictures and elaborate your product as much as possible to help the user satisfy his needs and questions. Let’s look at another example page with a superb product description
Now who do you think ranks in Google for the search term “Staunton chess set ebony boxwood”
Other gigantic eCommerce Stores with millions of Products? Nope.
This guy ranks. And they deserve the #1 spot because their product description is so detailed and useful.
Best Practices For Writing eCommerce Product Descriptions
Bigger is generally better. Write long-form of content and add as much value as possible in your product descriptions. If Needed, hire high-quality writers and ensure the product descriptions are of the highest quality possible and satisfies every other question the casual shopper may have.
Build Curiosity with compelling product descriptions, by starting off with ‘Make your surroundings safer in less than a month’, just in case you are selling a DIY lint cleaning kit.
Don’t shy away from using the good old magnet words such as discounts and limited period offers. Building a wee bit of pressure on your prospective buyers is absolutely fine.
Optimize your product descriptions, with very specific long-tail keywords. So if your keyword is ‘mobile tripod’, then try using something like ‘cheap mobile tripods’ or ‘Best deal on mobile tripods’. We recommend Semrush Keyword Magic Tool for generating long-tail keywords
Plan the right upsell. Sell bundled products or services, to make your product page stand out. Let’s say, you are selling a bedside table, then you could probably sell them in pairs, at a discounted price because every bed has two sides and most people would be looking at buying two identical bedside tables. You can then write a description of this combined offer and how it would benefit the buyer.
- Try to start with the most positive trait of your product and explain how your product can deliver better value to the end-user.
- Build pressure by offering time-restricted discount offers to the customers which compels them to take an action within a specific time frame.
- Use the storytelling technique to connect with the reader and to address problems that the reader is facing. With that, also convey to the reader that your product is the best solution for all their problems.
- Make it a point to craft optimized content for your product descriptions.
- Use attention-grabbing headlines with the sort of magnet words that your customers are looking out for.
- Make it a point to include the target keyword in the product description
- Make your product pages more user-friendly by including high-quality images and readable fonts.
- Don’t market things the wrong way. If you are selling something that’s pretty common like Play-Doh, you really don’t have to go on explaining what the pack contains. Instead, you need to highlight the problem that it solves, so say something like ‘Finally! A Toy that lets mothers sleep blissfully’.
- Don’t beat around the bush. Always remember that online buyers do not have a lot of time to read through the fluff. In fact, most of them have already made their decision whether or not to buy a certain product. So all that you are doing, is persuading the buyer to make the purchase through your eCommerce store.
- Don’t make your product description sound salesy, or like you are begging the Reader to make a purchase. Instead, craft the product description in a manner that you put across the facts and let the reader make a decision on his own.
- Don’t try to rank for irrelevant keywords.
- Don’t copy the product descriptions from Amazon or any other eCommerce website.
- Don’t use the same content in the product description of ‘Model A’ and ‘Model B’ — because if you did that, then Google would consider that to be duplicate content.
Optimize Headings And Subheadings
Headings and subheadings add better structure to your product and category pages and help the reader navigate. They also help search engines understand what the content of the page is all about, which sections contain what type of content and they are also an important signal to search engines on topic relevance, versatility, and other things.
When a reader browses through the product page, he should be able to navigate to that section which offers the most relevant information to him. It could be product description, product specifications, refund policy, customer reviews, related products and so on.
While there is no hard and fast rule with heading tags and subheading tags, their order and how many times can you use a particular heading tag on your eCommerce store, there are certainly some best practices to consider.
The rule of the thumb is
- H1 is the most important heading tag which should describe the intent and objective of the page. It should ideally not repeat more than once per page.
- H2 is the second most important header tag, followed by H3, H4, H5 and H6
- There is no specific order with which a heading or subheading tag must appear on a page, but for semantic correctness, the H1 tag should appear first, followed by H2, then H3 and H4.
- Hierarchical Nesting of header tags is a good practice. If you have a main heading “Product specification” as H3, and there are three subheadings under it, it makes complete sense to use the H4 header tag for subheadings and not the H2.
Let’s now see the anatomy of how header tags are used in eCommerce product pages, so we all understand the practical usage of header tags.
In a Product description page, use the following hierarchical heading and subheading structure
- H1 – Name of the product
- H2 – Product descriptions, Sponsored products, Discounts, Deals, Customer reviews, Related Products
- H3 – Nested sections under H2 e.g Product specification, Shipping and Packaging, or “Customers who bought this also bought”
Similarly, for category pages or home page, you can use the following hierarchy
- H1 – Category name (e.g “Men’s Footwear” or “Women’s Clothing”)
- H2 – Title and Name of All Listed Products for that Category
- H3 – Widget headers or “Special deals”
- Don’t wrap product excerpts or entire product descriptions under Heading tags or subheading tags. That’s not a good practice.
Best practices with Headings and Subheadings
- Segregate every portion of the text under a relevant subheading, so that it makes sense to the reader. The goal of headings and subheadings is to give structure to your page so that the reader can navigate to those sections which he wants.
- Include the most relevant keywords in your header tags, but while doing so, do not lose out on the main purpose of the subheading, which is to give the reader an overview of what he can expect to read in that particular section.
- Use Hierarchical Nesting of a header tag, if required.
- Keep header tags consistent, interesting and most importantly, genuine.
- Write subheadings that give a clear picture of what the text under it is going to deliver.
- Use only one H1 tag per page.
- Include subheadings that are relevant to the main title.
- Use your root keyword, a long tail keyword or synonym if it flows naturally.
- Use Semrush’s Site Audit feature to scan your entire website for duplicate H1 header tags or missing H1 header tags. Fix those issues.
- Do not wrap entire product descriptions under a specific heading tag, it will not give any special SEO benefit.
- Do not stuff too many keywords in heading tags, thinking it will help you rank higher in search results.
- Do not use the H1 tag inside the body of the page where it is not needed. Some people unnecessarily put specific keywords under H1 header tag thinking it will add to the SEO. It won’t, don’t do it. Don’t make a mess of your page with header tags. Keep it simple.
- Do not repeat the same subheading within the article, instead, ensure that every subheading is unique.
Fix Duplicate Content Issues
Duplicate content is the worst nightmare for any website and not just for an eCommerce website.
Duplicate content generally refers to that content which is accessible through two different URLs. The URL’s can be within a domain or spread across multiple domains, it does not matter. If you have content on your website that either completely matches other content or are appreciably similar, you are up for some big trouble!
Why should you care about duplicate content? Well, if you don’t fix duplicate content issues, here are some of the things which will eventually happen
- Your website will get flagged for duplicate content by Google and your website’s pages will start losing rankings in search results.
- Not just those pages which have the duplicate content but other pages will also start losing rankings because duplicate content violates Google’s webmaster quality guidelines. So Google and other search engines will lose faith and trust on your website, and they will slowly start removing your website’s pages from SERP’s.
- You might face a duplicate content penalty (check your Google search console messages for more information)
- Your entire website may be de-listed from Google search results if duplicate content is found in large number.
How do you find Duplicate Content on your eCommerce Website?
Do you check for each page manually or use a plagiarism checker tool? Do you Outsource this job to India or freelancers in Fiverr? Well, it totally depends on you. I would certainly not recommend going the manual way (it’s laborious, time-consuming, frustrating and above all – there is always the possibility of “human error”).
Next, you can use plagiarism checker tools or free tools to look for duplicate content issues but I would again strongly recommend against it. Free tools come with their own limitations and are often not completely accurate. I use Semrush’s Site audit to find duplicate content in all of my websites and I fix them as soon as they are discovered.
Simply go to Site Audit, run a complete audit for your domain and the tool will scan your entire website and show you the pages which have duplicate content issues.
What Scenarios Can Give Rise to Duplicate Content Issues?
There could be so many scenarios and technical glitches which can cause duplicate content issues on your eCommerce website. A simple configuration change and bam! Suddenly, you have 5378 pages with duplicate content, titles and meta descriptions.
Internal Duplicate Content – Let’s assume that your eCommerce website lists 7 models of the same mobile phone. So you used the same content, images, design, and call for action (with minor modifications) simply because you felt your readers would know the difference. In assuming that, you were right and wrong, because, humans aren’t the only ones reading through your content — you forgot to analyze how the search engine bots look at your content and for the bots, its point-blank duplicate content. Let’s call this type of duplicate content, as ‘Internal Duplicate content’.
External Duplicate Content – Let us now look at another scenario where you have an eCommerce website and have listed a product with the exact info that the supplier provided you with, legitimately. So you simply paste that info onto the product page as several other eCommerce site owners did. Now all the websites that did that are marked for duplicate content, except for the first one (probably the supplier) who posted that content publicly onto their official website. Now, this is called ‘External Duplicate content’. Besides content, the SERPS also take into account several other factors like header, footer, title, image, description and more. So before you get caught flat-footed by the search engine robots, ensure that all those elements are unique.
This is the reason why we do not recommend free tools and manual audits for keeping a tab on duplicate content. Let’s look at some other scenarios when duplicate content issues may occur on your eCommerce website
- Schoolboy Mistake. You have manually copied product descriptions, title tags, descriptions and used it on your website’s pages. In this case, it’s like running towards a well and jumping straight to it.
- Shopping Cart. Your Shopping cart page is not configured properly. For example, maybe when people add items to their cart, the URL changes to a query parameter and this new page has the same content as the product page. If search engines are able to get to this new page with query parameters and if you have not explicitly set a canonical tag, then there could be duplicate content issues.
- Hired Cheap, Low-Quality Writers. You have hired cheap, low-quality writers or Freelancers from Fiverr who have stolen content from other sites and have used it on your website. You have no idea when and how that happened, or you don’t remember at all.
- Search Results Page. Your website’s search result pages are not configured properly. Similar to the checkout page, the search result page in an eCommerce website can cause duplicate content issues
- Software, CMS or Scripts. Your eCommerce software or scripts used for sorting products may cause different URL’s with the same content and it can cause duplicate content issues
- Product reviews, if not used intelligently can cause duplicate content issues. Sometimes, there would be a dedicated page for product reviews and the same reviews will also be displayed in product and category pages – which will, of course, cause big problems with respect to duplicate content if you don’t handle it properly.
- Category pages which houses the same products and are slight aberrations of each other can cause duplicate content issues.
The above list is endless and there are hundreds of thousands of scenarios which can occur, depending on how your website’s URL structure and everything else is configured. I recommend you to read this article to learn more about Fixing Duplicate content issues in eCommerce websites.
Best Practices With Respect to Fixing Duplicate Content issues
- Don’t copy-paste content from other sites. Don’t use software or script to auto-generate content or “spin” content. Write the content yourself. Here is Google’s advice on “spun content” for eCommerce sites
- Do not have the same Meta Title or meta description across a range of pages.
- Use Canonical Tags, which are tags that tell the SERPS that although two URLs may seem different, they aren’t. This works particularly well if you have two separate URLs — one for the desktop and another for the mobile site. Learn more about Mobile SEO.
- Adding ‘No Index’ Tag to archive pages helps prevent duplicate content issues.
- Write unique content and product descriptions from scratch. Every product page on your eCommerce website should have handcrafted unique content.
- Do add meta no-index tags to archive, search results, and other unimportant pages.
- Make use of 301 redirects, Meta no index tags wherever you see there is a chance of duplicate content.
- Understand how your eCommerce CMS works. Learn it end to end.
- Make use of tools like Semrush to detect and fix duplicate content issues. Get the Free trial here.
- Don’t use variations of the same content, for different products, which may seem similar.
- Don’t paste the info sent by the supplier, directly on the product page.
- Don’t syndicate content from other sites into yours. Don’t take the shortcut, it leads to hell!
- Don’t hire low-quality cheap writers to write content for your website. Don’t outsource to Fiverr and random agencies. If at all you outsource, make sure you keep a close eye on duplicate content issues and catch them before they become a problem.
Regularly Audit Your Website and Fix Important Issues
It’s not just duplicate content, meta title, description or backlinks – there are so many technical SEO jobs which you need to take care of on a regular basis. It helps to create a Google-friendly site which can be easily crawled, indexed and shown in search results, so the overall health of your website should be a top priority.
Semrush has this amazing Site Audit feature, which tells you about the health of a website, on an ongoing basis and makes suggestions as to how you can fix these errors. It helps you detect duplicate content, broken links, broken external images, certificate expiration, DNS related issues and much more. If you don’t have a SemRush account, use this link to get a free trial. Of course, you can do site audits with other alternative tools like Ahrefs, Spyfu etc but I strongly recommend Semrush because it’s much more detailed and a complete solution.
The following issues should be audited at least once a month
- Pages with Duplicate Title tags
- Pages with Duplicate Meta descriptions
- Pages with Duplicate Content
- Incorrect Hreflang values
- Broken Internal Links
- Broken External Links
- Missing Title Tags
- Incorrect URL’s in Sitemap.xml
- Incorrect HTTP Status code returned by some pages
- Mixed content errors
- AMP related issues
- Images with missing Alt attributes
- Broken External links
- Pages with low word count or thin content
- Pages which do not have an H1 tag
- Pages with Blocked Internal Resources
- Too many URL parameters
- Crawling and Indexing issues (Check Google search console reports as well).
- Nofollow links and links to broken external sites.
And many more issues are there on this list, it goes on and on.
Best Practices With Respect to Website Audit
- Prevention is better than cure. First, fix the issue completely. Then, investigate what was actually causing the issue and then “Nip it in the bud” once and for all. Prevention is better than cure!
- Attend to all the Errors listed under the Issues, on a priority basis as this could cause a significant amount of damage to your online reputation if neglected.
- Aim for a high site health score.
- Don’t hire freelancers for site audit. Don’t outsource this to an SEO agency. You must do this yourself. You must understand all these issues yourself. Your website is a child and nobody can care for it more other than you. So be a good, responsible father no matter how busy you are.
- Make it a weekly routine to fix all the issues detected by Semrush. If not weekly, at least once a month is absolutely mandatory to ensure your website’ health is in shape.
- If you can’t fix issues yourself, hire a developer and get it fixed. Do not procrastinate.
- Don’t neglect Warnings or Notices, if you are serious about ranking on the first page of Google.
- Do not use free tools thinking you will get by. You won’t. Invest in a premium solution and give your website’s health the top priority.
Choose the Right eCommerce Website Architecture
Website architecture is the way your website’s pages are structured, linked and how easily accessible it is to both users and search engines. Think of website architecture as highways, roads, pavements, and overhead bridge so that no matter how busy the traffic is, pedestrians can easily navigate to their destination.
Website architecture is very important for good user experience as well as search engine optimization of your website.
- A good website architecture allows search spiders to crawl all the content of your website with the least possible effort. Good crawling improves website SEO to a great extent.
- A good website architecture makes it easy to let the “Google juice” flow across the site. Think of it as your heart, pumping blood to all corners of your body. A good website architecture ensures that your website’s authority is evenly distributed across your site and is not concentrated on a few pages with backlinks.
- A good website architecture allows users to find what they are looking for. Imagine you are a casual shopper and want to pinpoint a specific shop in a busy marketplace. If there are no pavements to reach that shop, no overhead bridge to cross the highway, you will never get to that shop. A good website architecture ensures that any pedestrian can reach any shop they want to, no matter how busy the marketplace is and how many cars are running on the highway.
3 Principles For Good Website Architecture
For eCommerce website architecture, there are a few principles to keep in mind. It’s not a hard and fast rule but considered good practice to follow the below principles.
- An eCommerce Website’s architecture should be hierarchical in nature and not random, without any logic or pattern.
- Every page on the website should not be deeper than 3 levels. Which means, any page on the website should be 3 clicks away from the homepage. This number 3 is not a hard and fast number, sometimes it could be 4, 5 or 6. But lesser the depth of a page, the better it is.
- There must be links in your website to reach a given page and no page should be orphaned from the rest of the group of pages. For example, if you have a page on your website “Shoes-for-summer.html” and this page is not linked from any other page and just kept as a standalone page, that is not a good practice.
Let’s look at some examples to understand a good eCommerce website architecture and a bad eCommerce website architecture.
The above one maintains all the principles stated above. It is hierarchical in nature and you can clearly see the pattern in which pages are organized. Every page on the site is accessible within 3 clicks from the homepage. No page on the website is “orphaned”, every page is linked to at least one page through a link.
Now let’s see an example of a bad eCommerce website architecture.
In this example, we see all the principles are violated. There is no pattern or logical reason of how pages and different sections are organized. There are way too many levels (more than 7), there are orphaned pages, the category pages are not always on the same level and a lot of product pages are not accessible from the category page but linked from another product page.This site architecture is bad and not at all scalable. When you keep adding more products and categories to your eCommerce site, it will become way too cluttered and beyond a point, it will become completely unmanageable. Also, consider the fact that since some pages are way too deep, their visibility in a search engine may be affected and you might not see them performing well in terms of sales, repeat customers, engagement and other metrics.
Let’s now take a look at a real example of an eCommerce Site with too many categories and see how product categories are maintained and neatly arranged in sub-categories and sub-sub categories.
Here is how Flipkart’s Site Architecture looks like
Flipkart sells a lot of products and they have many categories. Of course, they cannot have a separate category for each product vertical, so they have neatly arranged all of their products under three levels of categories
- Level 1 – Main Category. Electronics, Apparel, Appliances, Home and Furniture.
- Level 2 – Sub Category. So if the main category is Electronics, the subcategory will be “Television”, “Washing Machine”, “Home Appliances”, “Kitchen Appliances” and so on.
- Level 3 – Sub Sub Category. So if the main category is Electronics, and the subcategory is “Air conditioner”, the sub sub category would be “Split AC”.
Note that Flipkart has not linked Product pages directly from the Root of their site and neither do they show products in the navigation menu. Why do you think they have done that?
This is because Flipkart has too many products and too many customers. They just cannot list every other product in the website navigation menu and link the product pages from the Root page. That’s not logical and that’s not scalable. That’s not how a good eCommerce website architecture is supposed to be.
Hence, Flipkart has arranged the first three levels of their site architecture into categories, subcategories and then subcategories.
Once the user has decided what category he is interested in, he is shown different subcategories as choices. Once he chooses one sub-category, he is shown sub-sub categories. Once he chooses the sub-sub category, only then he is taken to a product page.
Let’s now look at one of the product pages of Flipkart to understand the hierarchy even further.
Best practices For eCommerce Website Architecture
- Use a Logical website architecture which is organized into categories, subcategories, and sub-sub categories if required.
- Any page on your website should be accessible within the first 3-4 clicks. For larger sites with too many categories and subcategories, it might be okay to consider 5-6 clicks to reach a product page.
- Use an HTML Sitemap to link to important Category pages. The HTML Sitemap should be placed in the Root of your website and if possible, include it in your website’s footer or navigation menu for quick accessibility.
- Take your time to create pages and sections slowly. Don’t rush. Don’t mess up your site’s hierarchy – you will eventually have to start it all over again when it becomes too cluttered and unmanageable. Do one thing at a time and do it well.
- Plan the website architecture before creating pages. You should have the structure chalked out before you even start creating the category and product pages. I recommend using Flowmapp for creating visual sitemaps, website hierarchy, and UX Flows.
- Keep a consistent balance between subcategories and categories. If one category has 7 subcategories, ensure that other categories also have a similar number. You don’t want one category to have 5 subcategories and the other category to have 50 subcategories – that’s not good architecture.
- The Main Navigation Menu of your website should be a reflection of your website’s hierarchy. By looking at the navigation menu, one should be able to understand your website’s hierarchy – it should be that simple and straightforward.
- Consider doing some usability testing on your website and see if the existing site architecture is actually helping users or not. Just because a site architecture makes sense for an eCommerce site does not mean you have to implement the same thing on yours. Your site may have different usability, site architecture must be finalized after usability testing is done. Read this article to understand how to do usability testing for your website.
- Don’t create too many categories or subcategories if it’s absolutely not required. The ideal number of the main category should be below 10. I have seen sites with hundreds of categories and then they make a mess out of their website navigation, sitemaps, and other navigational elements.
- Don’t link product pages from the Root page, if you have too many products (over 100). Always link product pages from the category or subcategory page. Think – when your eCommerce website grows to house more products will it still be scalable to link product pages from the Root page?
- Don’t change website architecture too often. Don’t confuse search bots, spiders and your loyal customers. Maintain a consistent experience over time so both search engines and users are comfortable understanding how your website works and how things are organized.
- Don’t ignore other unimportant sections of your website e.g Blog, Support, Profile and Knowledgebase. These sections are also functional elements of your site and there is no reason why they should not have a hierarchy like your product and category pages. Use the same principles to new and existing sections which are not the bread and butter of your business.
- Don’t leave orphaned pages. Link them from a suitable category page.
Choose the Right URL Structure
The right URL structure for any website can make a big difference in SEO. Often times, website owners don’t pay attention to URL slugs and choose one randomly, I have done it myself until I learned the importance of URL slugs in SEO and why it should be chosen carefully.
Let’s say you are looking to buy a shirt which is blue in color. Which of the following URL’s will you click?
Any sane person will prefer the first one because the first URL slug has keywords in it which hints the user on what content, products or services he can expect if he chooses to visit that page. A URL slug is like a business card which gives a glimpse of who this person his, what is his designation, his phone number, office address, and other things. Also, the URL’s slugs are shown in search results which affects click-through rates
An optimized URL structure receives more click-throughs and also results in good user experience, so you should choose a logical URL structure for your eCommerce website which helps both users and search engines.
How you choose a URL structure? Mostly, this depends on the CMS you are using and how URL’s are dealt by that CMS for category pages, product pages and other sections of your website. You have to know your CMS in and out and if necessary, make use of plugins to modify the URL structure according to your requirements.
I suggest you choose the following URL structure for your eCommerce website
- Home page – www.domain.com
- Category Page – www.domain.com/category/
- Sub Category Page – www.domain.com/category/sub-category/
- Sub – Sub Category Page – www.domain.com/category/sub-category/sub-sub-category/
- Product Page – www.domain.com/category/sub-category/sub-sub-category/product
Let me illustrate this with an example. Let’s say you have an eCommerce website on apparel, garments, dresses, and fashion.
URL(s) of Category pages
- Men’s clothing – www.domain.com/men/
- Women’s Clothing – www.domain.com/women/
- Kids clothing – www.domain.com/kids/
- Home and Living – www.domain.com/home-and-living/
- Home Furnishing – www.domain.com/home-furnishing/
URL(s) of Sub category pages (Considering that the main category chosen is Men)
- Men’s Clothing – www.domain.com/men/men-clothing/
- Men’s Footwear – www.domain.com/men/men-footwear/
- Men’s Grooming – www.domain.com/men/men-grooming/
- Men’s Top wear – www.domain.com/men/men-top-wear/
- Men’s Bottom Wear – www.domain.com/men/men-bottom-wear/
- Men’s accessories – www.domain.com/men/accessories/
And so on.
URL(s) of Sub Subcategory Pages (Considering the main category as Men and the Subcategory as “Men’s top wear”)
- Tee Shirts – www.domain.com/men/men-top-wear/tee-shirts/
- Shirts – www.domain.com/men/men-top-wear/shirts/
- Kurtas – www.domain.com/men/men-top-wear/kurtas/
- Suits – www.domain.com/men/men-top-wear/suits/
- Blazers – www.domain.com/men/men-top-wear/blazers/
- Ethnic – www.domain.com/men/men-top-wear/ethnic/
- Winter wear – www.domain.com/men/men-top-wear/winter-wear/
- Seasonal wear – www.domain.com/men/men-top-wear/seasonal-wear/
URL structure of Product Pages (considering the main category as Men, subcategory as “Men’s top wear” and the sub sub category as “Shirts”
- Casual Blue Shirt – www.domain.com/men/men-top-wear/shirts/casual-blue-shirt.html
- Checkered Green Shirt – www.domain.com/men/men-top-wear/shirts/checkered-green-shirt.html
- Striped Black Shirt – www.domain.com/men/men-top-wear/shirts/stripe-black-shirt.html
- Formal Blue Shirt – www.domain.com/men/men-top-wear/shirts/formal-blue-shirt.html
Do you see how the URL of each category page, subcategory page, sub subcategory page, and the Product page is logically organized and gives a clear meaning to the user on what the page could be all about?
Best Practices With Choosing a URL Structure For Your eCommerce Website
- Ideally, the URL structure should match the website architecture and navigation structure. There should be clear synergy between the three.
- Google (and other search engines) prefer short URL(s) over longer ones. So if possible, make the URL(s) short and simple. It also sticks in the mind of the customer and he can type it in to visit your page in the future.
- Keep URLs consistent across the whole website. It shouldn’t happen that one product and category has one URL structure and another product or category has a completely different URL structure.
- Handle subdomains carefully. Often times, a subdomain is considered as a separate entity and not part of the main website. I strongly recommend using a subfolder structure for the category and product pages and not subdomains.
- Do include keywords in your URL structure. Keywords should be used naturally and not artificially plugged in. If you use category name, subcategory name and product name in the URL slug, that should be sufficient.
- Keep it short and simple.
- Keep URLs authentic. A page which has the words – shirts, blue, cotton should take the user to a page which shows cotton blue shirts and not women’s blouse in blue color
- Always use lowercase letters in URLs.
- Avoid URL parameters in the URL slug, as far as it is practicable. For search result pages and pages with custom filters on, it’s difficult to avoid URL parameters. But normal product landing pages and category pages should be free from URL parameters.
- Do not use underscores or other separators for separating words. Always use hyphens.
- Do not think that by omitting certain portions of the URL, you will drastically improve the SEO of a page. It’s just one of the ranking factors so don’t start over-optimization by removing category names and sub-category names and only displaying the product name in the URL slug for product pages.
Add Schema Markup To Product and Category Pages
Google tries hard to understand what your page is all about, what purpose it solves and how relevant it is to the user’s query. Schema markup adds an additional description to a page’s content which helps search engines understand the content of the page even better.
Structured data is a standardized format for providing information about a page and classifying the page content; for example, on a recipe page, what are the ingredients, the cooking time and temperature, the calories, and so on.
Does adding Schema markup or Structured data to a page guarantee improvement in search rankings? No, they don’t guarantee a boost in the rankings. But for sure, schema markup gives more clues, hints, and guidelines to search engines and it does help them understand whether your page offers a product, service, a cooking recipe, flight tickets, contains booking options for appointments and so on.
When search engines have this critical information with them, it is easier for them to rank your page in search results to that user who is searching for a specific product with specific intent.
Look at the following two search snippets.
The first and third result is a Rich snippet with Schema markup enabled while the second and 4th one is a regular snippet. We can clearly note a few observations
- The first and the third result immediately catch our attention because of the Ratings, reviews, stars
- The results with schema markup tell me that it has customer reviews and I also get to know the average customer rating.
- Since I am aware of these two things, it’s only natural for me to expect more information regarding pricing, nutrition, deals, coupons and offers in the results which contains schema markup.
According to a report by search engine journal, adding Schema markup to your pages can improve click-through rates, sales, and conversions by as much as 30% (depends from one site to another). It is certainly better to have some markup than having no markup but don’t take our word for it. Add Schema markup to your website and test it out – see for yourself if it increases click-through rates from Google search and if the conversion rate increases.
Here are some useful tutorials related to Schema markup and Structured data for eCommerce websites
- 5 eCommerce Rich Snippets That Will Help you Rank higher and get more sales
- Using Rich Results to Improve the eCommerce Search Experience
- How to Use Schema.org for eCommerce Websites
Implement Breadcrumb Navigation On Your eCommerce Website
Breadcrumb navigation is secondary navigation that tells the user his location in a website, web application, eCommerce store, blog or any other website with content or product listings.
Breadcrumbs help a user navigate quickly to important sections of the website, thus resulting in good user experience with improved click-through rates, higher retention, and engagement. Most eCommerce websites have way too many pages, which results in clumsy navigation and makes it difficult for the user to explore. Including breadcrumbs make things easier for your users to jump to different category pages, pages with related products, and it also helps search engines discover content on deeper pages and crawl it effectively.
Here is how Breadcrumb navigation looks in an eCommerce website (almost every other eCommerce website has Breadcrumb navigation these days)
So if your casual shopper is not satisfied with one shoe, he can quickly use the breadcrumb navigation and jump to the “Shoes and Handbags” category page or choose to Check out shoes from only the WS9 brand, as seen in the above example.
That said, not every eCommerce website uses Breadcrumb navigation. Some consider breadcrumbs as “Distractions” and conclude that it results in fewer sales since the user is easily distracted. There are different schools of thought but we prefer breadcrumbs for the simple reason that it results in good user experience.
For example, Nordstrom does not use any breadcrumb navigation on their eCommerce website (see example)
To me, this is a little difficult to navigate since I am used to breadcrumbs while browsing an eCommerce Store. I “expect” traditional hierarchical navigation and the absence of it “erks me off”.
Broadly, breadcrumb navigations are of three types
- Traditional Hierarchical breadcrumb navigation. This structure follows a hierarchical path based structure. First, the homepage, then the category page, then the brand page and then the product page – this is how traditional hierarchical breadcrumb navigation is implemented. Most eCommerce websites follow this structure and this is the simplest one.
- Attribution based Breadcrumb navigation. This structure works on filters and user’s chosen criteria. So if the user is interested in Men’s shirts with Blue color and has refined his selection by “Slim Fit”, then the breadcrumb will be “Home > Men’s > Shirts > Blue > Slim Fit”. The user can navigate to other pages and broaden his results by “de-selecting” the filter he has chosen.
- Path-based. This structure shows the user the path they have taken to reach a particular page on the eCommerce store. This one does not follow a logical hierarchy and simply shoes the audit trail to the user so he can “Go back” to the previous pages easily.
Depending on your preferences, you can select either or use both. What I would recommend is to start small and start simple with traditional breadcrumb navigation and then experiment with attribution based navigation or history-based navigation to see if it brings positive results.
Breadcrumb navigation is also shown in Google search results and allows the user to jump to a category page or other sections from Google search results. So this makes Breadcrumbs a very important navigational element for eCommerce sites
Best Practices With Breadcrumb Navigation
- Placement – Breadcrumb Navigation menus should ideally be placed under the header and above the content. In some cases, there could be exceptions but in most cases, the breadcrumb is placed just above the product name or category name or brand name in an eCommerce website.
- Use shortcodes – By making use of shortcode, you can decide on which pages you want the breadcrumbs to appear. This entirely depends on the CMS you are using for your eCommerce site.
- Use traditional hierarchical breadcrumbs – Keep it simple. There is no need to overcomplicate things with modern breadcrumbs and thinking it will give you an SEO boost. Start small.
- Keep it short and to the point. Ideally, the breadcrumb navigation should not have more than 5-6 links. Don’t add 30 links in the breadcrumb navigation and make it cluttered. The goal is to help the user navigate, don’t make the medicine a disease
- Always make it a point to start from the home page and not the category under which the particular page is.
- Do place the breadcrumbs high up on the page and above the main content.
- Separate each level clearly. Homepage, category page, brand pages, product pages – there has to be a clear distinction and the user should know where he is headed to.
- Ask yourself – Is this helping the user? Ask your grandma, friends and family members on what they think about it. Don’t go by your judgment alone. The average user is not tech-savvy and what you think is helping may actually be a hindrance.
- Measure clicks on Breadcrumbs using Google Analytics events. See how often people interact with it. If nobody is clicking it, is it worth keeping there just for the sake of it?
- Do not use breadcrumbs when it doesn’t make sense. For example, your site may not have a logical hierarchy and may only have direct product pages. In this case, don’t add breadcrumb navigation just for the sake of adding one.
- Don’t use breadcrumbs if you are a new E-Commerce site with very few pages on it.
- Don’t use breadcrumb navigation as your main navigation. Remember, it is just a secondary aid and should not act as a replacement of your website’s main menu.
- Don’t hyperlink the current page the user is on. It helps the user identify where he is on a given path.
- Don’t place ads next to breadcrumb navigation and “encourage” users to click on ads when they try to use the breadcrumb navigation.
- Don’t reduce the font size of breadcrumb navigation too much. Make it clickable on mobile and tablets too and ensure people can read the content of breadcrumb navigation easily.
- Don’t stuff too many keywords and long-tail search phrases in breadcrumb navigation. It is not meant for keyword optimization, it is meant for good user experience. Don’t spoil the party!
Build Quality BackLinks to Your eCommerce Store
Good content is not enough to get to the first page of Google. Great content does help you get your foot into the door, but there’s a lot more that you need to do.
There are three ingredients, necessary for success with backlinks –
- Good, old fashioned hard work.
- Correct Strategy.
- A lot of Patience.
After great content, comes Links. Without backlinks from authority sites that are contextually related to your website’s landing page, it’s almost impossible to beat your competitors and appear on the first page of Google for most search queries, if not all.
And why is that so? Because most of the sites who appear in the first page of Google for keywords which are in high demand, already have a good number of links pointing to their pages. Google considers them more authoritative and useful than yours if you do not have enough links to your website’s product and category pages.
So what do you do to build quality backlinks to your eCommerce website? What are the principles you follow for eCommerce link building?
Never do the following to build backlinks
- Never outsource link building to an external source, freelancer or a “Run of the mill” marketing agency. Don’t do that. They often employ unusual tactics to win links for your website and sooner than later, you will get caught. Google can figure out which links are natural and which links are paid, so don’t spend your hard-earned money and time on black hat SEO tactics.
- Don’t spam blogs and website owners and ask them to link to you, in mass.
If your content is not useful, people simply won’t link. Understand this reality and work on your content, product, and services first. Differentiate yourself from your competition and the links will come.
- Don’t do reciprocal link exchanges.
- Don’t participate in Link schemes or signup for selling links on your own website. Stay Miles away from these cheap tactics which no longer works and will get you into trouble.
That said, let me explain some link building strategies for eCommerce sites. I will consider palamsilk.com in our examples below and discuss how I would do backlink research if I was the owner of that website.
The first step is to figure out who are you are competing against. You cannot win a war if you don’t know who your enemy is and what is their strength and weaknesses. In short, you need Competitive Intelligence.
So go to Semrush organic search tool, enter your domain name and get a list of all the competing sites
Now that I know who I am competing with, I will look into each competitors backlink profile and see the sources from where they are getting contextually relevant backlinks.
Backlink Strategy Example #1
Let’s take the first competitor site – sundarisilks.com
Enter this domain in Semrush’s backlink analytics tool and go through each link one by one. If needed export all of this in an Excel spreadsheet for future reference.
What you have to look for is a contextually relevant link from an editorial site, which is dofollow and which has a good enough domain authority. Disregard spam links or nofollow links obtained from directory sites or other less credible sources for now, only consider the good links for your research.
The two link sources are as follows
Looking into the above two sources more deeply, I found that
- Both of them are linked to “Travel”.
- The content in both the pages is a “Travelogue”.
- Both the authors are Females (And boy, we all know how much they love to shop, don’t we?)
- Both the pages are written by foreign tourists who visited Chennai for the first time.
- Both the content pieces focussed specifically on where to eat in chennai, places to visit, where to shop and other tourist experiences.
- One is a personal blog while the other is a community site where travelers share their experiences.
Bingo! The strategy is uncovered. Travel Blogs like reviewing Shops they loved during their visit.
There is a good opportunity to win links from travelers and tourists who visit my store from other countries. They surely do, I get these customers every once in a while. Most of them have personal blogs.
Action Plan – The Next time I have a tourist from the United States or Greece visiting my store, I will get their email address and not just the phone number. I will request them to write a review about my shop on their blogs. If that doesn’t work, maybe I will send a memento to them asking for a review of my shop on their travel blog.
Only when I looked into my competitor’s websites backlink profile, I was able to uncover a link building strategy and have an action plan around it to implement it. The above is just one way of doing it, if you keep looking at backlinks and try to discover a pattern, you will surely come up with new ideas to build quality backlinks to your eCommerce website’s product pages and category pages.
Backlink Strategy Example #2
Let’s try one more strategy.
Go to Google, type in a generic seed keyword and include one of your competitors brand name in “double quotations” e.g “best silk sarees [brand name] ”
The first link in this example has not linked to me ever, so it is my target blog or source from which I can try to win a solid backlink. The second website has linked to me in the same article they have linked to my competitor, so I will ignore the second one for now. My goal is to win quality backlinks from as many referring domains as possible, so winning 2 links from one website is inferior to winning 2 links from 2 websites.
The target page on the first source website talks about Bridal costume and links to a few competing sites. I do sell Bridal costumes myself and there is a clear opportunity in their site to submit a blog post.
Now there are two things I can do
- Submit a blog post which talks about bridal costumes in Southern India and win a link to my category or product pages.
- Send a cold email to the Website owner, develop a relationship and then position my pitch.
I will try both.
Here is how my email pitch looks like (you should experiment your own pitch and see what works and not copy what others suggest. Be creative!)
If you apply the above backlink strategy for 50 websites, I am sure you will be able to collect anywhere between 10-20 solid backlinks to your product and category pages. This technique works most of the times because the person giving you the backlink is also getting something in return.
Likewise, you can create more strategies to win backlinks – just keep looking at your competitor websites and industry leaders and try to discover a pattern in pages with the most number of dofollow backlinks.
Use Semrush’s backlink analytics tool to discover what type of content gets the most number of links. Do this for your own website, your competitors and also for industry leaders.
Figure out what type of content attracts links naturally and once you have that data, you can create more Link worthy content on your site to attract links naturally and implement the above mentioned link building strategies.
Best Practices With Winning Backlinks For Your eCommerce Website
- People Link to Content and Pages that they like. Do create some link-worthy content on your site first and only after that, implement a backlink strategy. If the content, product, and services are not good, you will not succeed in attracting quality backlinks over a period of time. Content First, Links Later.
- Quality matters more than quantity, so focus on the qualitative aspects of links. Numbers do matter to some extent but not as much as the quality of links, so make it a point to get backlinks from high-quality authority websites.
- The goal is not to make your backlinks look natural, the goal is to ensure that your backlinks are natural.
- 10 Links from 10 unique domains is better than 10 links from 6 unique domains. Get links from unique IP addresses and referring domains – the more, the better.
- Get rid of all toxic backlinks from spam sites, article banks, and sites that copy your content. Use the Disavow tools in Google search console.
- Build deep links to product pages, category pages and try to win editorial links to specific sections of. your website.
- Be patient. Building links takes a lot of effort and time. What takes time, takes time. Don’t get frustrated and commit an error. Good things will happen if you keep hustling and keep pushing.
- Chase “Do follow” backlinks. You have to chase them to get them.
- Study up your competitors, authority sites and leaders in your niche. Keep a close tab on their content and check which of the pages gets the most number of links. Ask – Why do these pages are getting links but not mine? What do they have which I don’t? Fix that gap.
- Discover a pattern and use data to create a backlink strategy. All answers are there in the data, so torture the data until it reveals the answers.
- Build a relationship with independent bloggers around your niche. When you have something link-worthy, reach out to them and see if there is an opportunity. Often times, there is and you just have to knock the door once.
- Create useful guides and detailed tutorials around a topic. So if you are selling bridal costume, create a listicle “100+ Ideas for the perfect South Indian Bridal Costume”. These articles attract links naturally over a long period of time. It takes effort to create high-quality content but it will return dividends exponentially once it gets some momentum.
- Take the initiative to reach out to people who have linked to similar content in the past and ask them to link to your site. Chase relevant sources only and don’t spam. Offer something in return. Think – “What’s in it for the other guy?”
- Create seasonal landing pages and run contests and giveaways to attract eyeballs and increase footfalls. This is a proven way to get backlinks and also boost sales.
- Don’t get spammy backlinks, else you may do more damage than good to your website’s online reputation as well as SEO.
- Don’t buy paid or sponsored links from random websites.
- Do not participate in Link Schemes, Reciprocal link building, and other black hat SEO techniques.
- Don’t’ register 10 domain names of your brand and win paid links on one site, then 301 redirect it to your main website. Don’t do that – it’s simply a waste of time.
- Don’t do guest blogging for links on a massive scale. Once in a while it is okay but don’t make it your full-time job to publish low-quality guest posts on random websites and get links with specific anchor texts. Google knows what you are up to, they know it all.
- Don’t spam the comment form of blogs, websites, and forums with signature links. It hurts your brand and the links you get don’t actually help you rank higher. Say No to “Anchor text spam”.
Optimize PPC Campaigns
Tired of thinking about your next PPC ad campaign? Not sure whether it’ll work despite all the efforts and money that you are going to put into it? Well, here’s an easier and more realistic way of doing things, to optimize your chances of getting the most out of your efforts.
Start using your competitor’s data for search ads — leverage what is already working out for your competitors. If it worked for them, it is most likely going to work out for you.
Semrush’s Advertising Dashboard has all the answers to your troubles. You can get the most profitable keywords for paid search used by your competitors, and even explore your competitors’ ads. You don’t have to copy them entirely, but using it as reference material makes life so much easier.
Here are some more reasons why we recommend Semrush for paid campaign research
- Know your main paid search competitors, see the keywords they are bidding on and discover examples of their live ads.
- Gain insights into the audience targeted by your rivals in Google display network
- Know which keywords trigger their products to show up in Google shopping results
- Analyze historical data – see what worked in the past and is not working now. This helps you connect the dots and change your strategies accordingly.
- Uncover the product pricing strategy of your competitors
Just enter your competitors’ domain name in Semrush advertising dashboard
You can also lookout for more ideas for search ads, see the differences in your ad copies and your competitors ad copies.
And more ideas for the Display Ads
Over 64 percent of the people who look up on Google for something, end up clicking on a paid ad. While Google helps you connect with possible prospects, here’s what you need to do to get the most out of your PPC ad campaign.
Best Practices With PPC Ads for eCommerce
Use unique ad copies so that you can better connect with your target audience. Single keyword ad groups do much better as compared to using the same ad text for multiple keywords.
Planning the right sales funnel can greatly improve your conversion rates. Optimize your ad copies, ad campaigns, landing pages to complement your website’s sales funnel.
• Do your market research to understand customer expectations.
• Get a clue about how your potential targets are searching for your product or service.
• Create ads and content that converts information seekers into potential customers.
• Don’t be too salesy on your Ad copy or on your landing page. Setting the right expectation in your ad copy is very important. Don’t promise something which you do not deliver.
• Don’t neglect negative keywords and continuously refine your campaign’s negative keywords
• Don’t think like a Seller. Think like a Buyer and put yourself into the “Buyer’s shoes” first. Ask – What is it that the buyer wants and what will entice him to click one of the ads in Google search results?
Optimize Your eCommerce SEO for Local Search results
Ever found yourself looking up for the closest cafeteria on Google or Bing? Well, so you did run a local search like everyone else who relies on search engines to get the best value for their dollar. The most interesting part here is that you had already made your decision to visit a cafeteria, even before looking out for options that matched your preferences. That means, there’s very little persuading that needs to be done.
Let’s see how local search works for eCommerce stores with niche products, tailor-made for a location-specific audience.
This is a general product-specific search query on Google which does not include any location-specific keywords. In this example, we see all the big players ranking – the bigger eCommerce websites with lots of products, content, links, and reviews usually show up for these queries.
However, when we add a location-specific query to it, the search results change to accommodate local search results.
We change the search query from “Buy Silk sarees online” to “Buy Silk sarees in Chennai” (Chennai is a city in southern India and Saree is an Indian garment for women). Now the search results contain those websites which are optimized for local search results and have a lot of local content, local products, very popular among the niche audience who only want sarees from a custom city or shop, local customer reviews, and other signals.
Why Optimize Your ECommerce Website For Local SEO?
Now, do you understand why you need to optimize your eCommerce website for local search results?
- Local search queries bring a ton of targeted traffic which converts!
- More than 70% of mobile users used “Click to call” on a Local business listing in Google Maps.
- 95% of smartphone users use their mobiles to perform local searches.
- When it comes to apparel, shoes, garments and other culturally inclined products, most online shoppers prefer buying something local, tailor-made and stuff that has a cultural appeal to it.
- Local search queries are very specific and the audience is generally educated about the product. They need less persuasion and are already aware of your brand or have interacted with it before
- Local search queries are not as competitive as broad search queries, so the number of competing websites are less.
- It is easier to rank for local search results if your product has a local appeal, taste, niche superiority and flavor.
Let’s dig deeper. Let’s see the local presence of one of these websites and see what they are doing to ensure their site shows up for local searches. (I will consider Palamsilk.com for my example)
Here is their Google My Business Listing
They have more than 500 4 Star reviews from Local Shoppers! That’s a Lot, a lot for a new eCommerce website which is just a few years in operation.
All these customer comments contain genuine reviews, content with local keywords which helps Google understand that this business is a star candidate for local search queries. So whenever a user is searching for Silk sarees and is interested in South Indian garments or apparel, the probability of this site showing over Amazon, Myntra, Flipkart and other bigger players is higher.
Now let’s look at the backlink profile of this website in Semrush
This site has tons of dofollow backlinks with Local keywords and product names as anchor text. Most of the anchor texts contain keywords related to the product and the location, which helps Google rank this website higher in local search results or on Google Maps when someone is searching for a local boutique store to buy a genuine south Indian product (and not a generic product manufactured in Northen India and sold with a Gimmick)
The Backlink analytics report of Semrush tells us that this website has tons of links from more than 500 referring domains and IP’s across the globe, with a thick density around Southern India. This is again a strong signal to search engines that this website is a leader in South Indian garments and hence it ranks it higher in search results for location-specific search queries.
Let us now look at their organic positions and the keywords for which this website shows up in local search results. Again, I will be using SEMrush’s organic positions report to quickly see for which local keywords this website is ranking, their organic positions, monthly search volume, keyword difficulty, and other things.
Now you may wonder –
Wait, I don’t have all day to optimize my website for local searches, this looks like a lot of work. I just Can’t afford to hire someone to check the consistency of all my business listings in local search results, directories, maps, local apps and a plethora of other sources.
Well, you don’t have to! Here’s how you can optimize your local search results with Semrush Listing Management Tool.
The Listing management tool from Semrush helps you get your business data correctly distributed to dozens of authoritative directories. It helps you manage all your NAP related issues (Name, Address, Phone Number) on your website and local search listings. With the listing management tool, you can
- Easily edit information across a range of local search directories all at once.
- Check if all of your business listings are correct and consistent
- Distribute your business data to the most authoritative directories
You can see data about location listings, when a location listing stops linking to you, fix those issues and also keep tabs on your competitor’s local listings and see what they are doing. Learn more about Semrush’s Listing management tool and how it helps you manage your business listings across the web.
Best Practices To Optimize Your eCommerce Website For Local Search
- Setup your Google My Business Profile. This is an absolute must and there is no reason why you shouldn’t do it. It’s Free!
- Add Local Business Schema markup in your website’s pages.
- Check your local business listings across various search engines and social networks on a regular basis to ensure that there are no inconsistencies. You can do that quite easily with Semrush’s Listing Management tool by your side. However, this is currently available only within the US and Australia.
- Track Ratings and Reviews to ensure that your online reputation remains high. Well, you can’t bash up those who don’t like your products or services, but you can at least find out where you are going wrong and improve your services.
- Ask your shoppers to leave an honest unbiased review in your Google My Business listing. You don’t get what you deserve, you get what you ask. So ask, don’t shy away.
- Do some self-promotion in local directories, get some eyeballs and try to win links from blogs, directories, and editorial sites. Self-promotion is not bad, and remember that nobody else is going to do it for you.
- Tip but don’t spam. Value other people’s opinion and time.
- Be polite and courteous to those who leave negative feedback in your Google My Business listing, directory listings, and other local directories.
- Periodically, track reviews and ratings — this shouldn’t take too much of your time with Semrush’s Listing management tool.
- Update Name, Address, Phone number citations on your website and make it consistent everywhere.
- Setup Local Social media Signals. Facebook Page, Twitter Page, Youtube Channel, Instagram Profile – you name it!
- Keep a close watch on your competitors’ local SEO strategy. See what they are doing and what you have been ignoring.
- Prioritize reviews. Ask your customers to leave reviews on Google my business page or in another directory site which you are targeting. Don’t forget sites like TrustPilot and other user-generated content sites which focusses on unbiased reviews of businesses.
- Configure Semrush’s mobile crawler while you set up the Site Audit. Use the keyword magic tool to enhance your website’s visibility for local search results.
- Do your best to appear on online local news portals.
- Don’t get into arguments with those who do not approve your products or services and leave negative reviews. Respect their opinions and leave a polite comment to address their issues. Investigate where it went wrong and take steps to fix it.
- Don’t delete negative reviews and only show positive reviews with 5 stars. Be genuine, be authentic and be fair.
- Don’t neglect Semrush’s Performance report and routinely monitor the listing management tool to check which listings you lost
- Don’t start mass promotion in local directories, buy links from cheap directory sites and do guest blogging to win links thinking it’s going to help you with local SEO. You may get a temporary spike but in the long haul, it’s not worth spending your time and energy trying to trick the system.
Manage Social media and Online reputation
The amount of damage that negative online reputation can do to your business or profession, is unimaginable. You need to find ways to keep a tab on how you come across to customers on social media.
You need to ask yourself these questions
- Which pages of my website receive the most traffic from Social media sites?
- Which pages receive the most engagement from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest?
- Which pages drive the most conversions or sales from social media?
- Is my social presence improving or is it in a downward spiral?
- What are the recent negative comments or raging remarks about my brand on each social channel? What am I doing to track them and address them as soon as they are posted online?
This isn’t that easy because social media is a two-way street and the only thing within your control is your own communication. But with Semrush’s social media toolkit, you can manage all your social media channels from one place and also keep a close eye on your brand’s reputation.
Once you have set up Social media poster and social media tracker on Semrush’s social media toolkit, you can see engagement across all your social channels. For example, how many interactions you have had on Instagram and Facebook in the last 30 days? Has the interaction rate increased in the last 6 months or has it decreased compared to the last year?
You can also look into the demographic data to understand audience types, ages, regional influence, and so many other important metrics.
The Mentions tracker is extremely useful to track online mentions of your brand across the web. You can find out who are the power users or loyal followers who are constantly talking about your brand, which sites mention you frequently and track individual sites using the Brand monitoring tool.
This is so useful when you want to manage your website’s online reputation from one place
Semrush has a very useful tutorial on how to set up your social profiles for posting and constant monitoring for every platform here
On social media, always live 2 separate lives, one personal and the other professional. When you do that, you have better control over your personal accounts and business accounts. Moreover, you sure don’t want your clients to see you surfing in a bikini, nor would you want your family to read a derogatory comment made by an arrogant customer.
Don’t give in to trolls, and always remember that at some point in time, this is likely to happen on social media. When that happens, stay away from reacting. Instead, stick to maintaining a low profile during such phases.
Stay away from sharing “fake news” or “fake publicity”. Not many people would share it if they knew about its falsity, but that’s not enough. So, the safest thing to do is to stay away from posting any sort of “news” unless you are cent percent sure of it.
- Check the validity of anything that you post on your social media channels.
- Find and share relevant content which creates engagement and regularly track what type of content brings more engagement
- Moderate comments periodically to keep your site clean.
- Regularly, take a sneak peek into your competitor’s social media strategy.
- Don’t get into mud-slinging.
- Don’t write rude comments that can have the guns pointing at you.
- Don’t forget that several others are reading your comments, so it’s not a one-on-one communication.
Avoid the most common eCommerce Mistakes
Now that we are through with some of the most amazing eCommerce SEO strategies, let’s conclude by understanding the most common eCommerce mistakes.
Don’t choose a random eCommerce platform or CMS – Choosing the right eCommerce platform is critical for the success of everything else that you are going to do. So, make the choice based on the type of product or service that you wish to sell, scalability, and future scope.
Don’t neglect your customers – Customer is King and you’ve got to treat them like one if you want better conversions. So, make sure that you pay necessary attention and remain courteous to them, in every manner possible.
Don’t neglect the checkout process – Make it a point to keep your checkout pages simple and easy to use, so that it doesn’t give your prospect the time to change their decision of buying your product or service, as most online purchases are made in an impulse.
Tips to optimize your eCommerce Checkout Pages
• Add two sets of checkout buttons, one at the top of the page and other at the bottom.
• Always offer the option to “add products” on the checkout page, to maximize sales.
• Make sure that the checkout button stands out and is unique.
• Don’t burden your potential buyers with the sign-up process before they get to the checkout page. Have the option of “Guest Checkout” if someone is unwilling to signup as a user.
• Recommend a discounted bundle of related products on the checkout page.
Pay attention to design, copy and overall appeal – Pay a lot of attention and focus to design, copy and overall presentation. Don’t just pick yet another free eCommerce template because its cheap and you think you are saving a lot of money by not hiring a designer to do a custom design. If you use a free design, your website will look like yet another run of the mill online store and it will become very difficult to stand out and create “Recall value”. Pay attention to copy and overall presentation of your product, so it sticks to your user’s mind and makes them come back again and again when they want to purchase products.
Alt Tags for Images – Make sure every image on your eCommerce store has an ALT tag. Don’t leave them blank and take some time out to fill unique ALT tag for all your product pages that have images inside it. Alt tag optimization not only helps with the SEO of your eCommerce store but it also helps users understand what a product is all about, just in case the image fails to load in their browser or if they have a slow internet connection.
Pay attention to Security – Install an SSL certificate throughout your website and not just on the checkout pages. Customers these days are obsessed about security and confidentiality of their data, so you want to make sure that your website visitors know that their information is secure and transactions will happen over a “secure” website or connection.
Use High-quality Images – Human beings are visual creatures, they judge products with their visual appeal first and once convinced, they will look into the details and feature set. Use high-quality images to encourage click-throughs and write detailed product descriptions to convince the buyer.
Don’t dilute your efforts by doing too many things – This is a very common mistake which most new eCommerce business owners do. They try to do everything, all at once. They try to sell products, capture leads, make them subscribe to the email newsletter, Like their Facebook page and the list goes on. STOP! Don’t distract your user. Remember, the more options you give them, the less likely they will choose any of them. So Focus your efforts and give fewer calls to action.