A Comprehensive SEO Guide For E-Commerce Sites

There’s no doubt in a marketer’s mind that ranking on top of Google is imperative, but what if SEO is all new to you? What if you are unaware of the SEO tricks and tips that will get your e-commerce site ranked on top? If people are not clicking on your site like they should, it probably means you are missing out on sales.

Whether you are new to understanding SEO for a new e-commerce site or are simply improving an old one, you need some useful and tactical suggestions to step up the game. A few years ago, a study revealed that e-commerce sites which ranked at #1 received CTR (click-through rate) of 36%, sites that ranked at #2 received CTR at 12.5% and sites at #3 achieved 9.5%.

Another study indicated that first position almost doubled the share of impressions, totally illustrating how valuable the first spot on Google truly is.

Before you optimize your e-commerce site you need to need to conduct keyword research and competitor research. This is an important step to getting SEO right. Using the wrong keywords can generate low quality traffic and you certainly don’t want this for your business.

Keyword Research

The homepage and product page are two of the most important pages of your e-commerce site. When finding keywords you should look at relevancy, ranking difficulty and search volume. Avoid choosing keywords that are too competitive and too broad. If the keyword is too broad it will end up with people clicking on your site but not finding what they are looking for. If it is too competitive it will take a long time to get a good ranking on the first page. For instance, if you sell coffee filters, you should avoid keywords like natural coffee and organic coffee. These are both broad and competitive keywords and you will find it difficult to rank them against the bigger competitors.

When you cannot place additional keywords on the main e-commerce site, you can create blog content to rank your business for these keywords. Long-tail keywords are unique searches that are made up of more than one word and which consumers use to search for things online. For instance, if you sell coffee beans you would naturally use the word coffee. But, research indicates that less than 30% of online searches performed used the word coffee. The remaining 70% used long-tail keywords.

When writing blog content or web pages never stuff them with keywords. Instead, focus on creating amazing content so that your followers will want to read and share it on their networks.

Once you’ve conducted your own keyword research, there’s still half way to go. You need to conduct keyword research on your competitors. It is always better you know what keywords your competitors are using so that you can focus on a separate set of keywords instead of going head to head on the same keywords.

Identifying Current Errors

You have completed keyword research, what is the next step? You need to audit your e-commerce site for problems that can be fixed. List a summary of errors including redirects, missing header tags and duplicates. This is to improve site SEO, conversion rates and overall usability.

Once you’ve fixed the errors you need to focus on site speed. Visitors are not interested in a slow speed website. Users have short attention span, they will not wait around for your site to load when there are ample websites that are much quicker. Research indicates that nearly 40% of users redirect their attention after 3 seconds. Therefore, it is very important for e-commerce site to load quickly.

On-Page SEO

As much as off-page SEO like link building is vital to improving the overall optimization of your website, so is on-page optimization to achieve higher ranking. Here are some pointers you need to focus on when it comes to on-page optimization, and let’s further discuss some of these pointers.

  • Keyword optimization
  • Usability
  • Site structure
  • Mobile friendly
  • Customer reviews
  • Social media integration


Usability is vital to SEO and to make your users happy. If your e-commerce site is user-friendly you will have repeat customers. People will be happy to visit your site time and again. When a site is fun, easy to use and helpful people are happy to open up their wallets. Usability ensures there are as few steps as possible from start to finish. No one wants to spend an endless amount of time clicking on various steps just to get to checkout. They will abandon the cart and go off somewhere else. Make navigating simpler for visitors and ensure the checkout is a seamless process.

Site Architecture

If you are developing a new website or re-designing one, site structure is important so let’s look at it further. Great architecture can have a dramatic effect on your site’s usability, ranking and conversion. If you plan the execution of your site well it will make expanding product lines in the future that much easier.

Mobile Friendly

Mobile shopping is a hot topic today. Not only are people shopping online but they are using their mobiles to make their purchases. It cannot be reiterated enough that you should have a mobile friendly e-commerce website. Here are some stats to ponder on.

  • 31% of mobile users use their phones to go online.
  • 61% of users go to competitor websites if a certain site is mobile unfriendly.
  • 58% of users expect mobile sites to load quicker than desktop sites.

To Conclude

While business owners have plenty of reasons to optimize their e-commerce site, we think everyone can agree that the primary reason is to increase sales. When sites are optimized properly, there will be an increase in quality traffic that will lead to repeat visitors and more conversions. Remember this one thing. SEO is not a one-off thing. Major search engines constantly update algorithms to give users the best search results. This means you will need to stay on top of all these changes and updates. And as each change or update comes your way, you will need to re-strategize or even bring a new strategy to the table. SEO requires a lot of work, time and dedication. But, you will reap the benefits and it will help boost the sales on your e-commerce website.