When it comes to running a successful SEO strategy, Ecommerce is a monster that’s hard to tame.
Unless you are in a crazy niche industry like military power supplies, SEO for Ecommerce is extremely challenging because websites and their content are almost always set up in ways to target broad search terms.
The Ecommerce SEO Catch 22
Multiple studies reveal that online shoppers are significantly more likely to make a purchase from a website that looks clean, modern, and is easy to navigate.
This means textual content is almost always limited in order to give that desired minimalist aesthetic. For most SEOs, this can be problematic, as more than 70 percent of a site’s ability to rank is on-site content, and the most powerful location always resides on the homepage.
Without strategic content on a homepage, achieving top organic ranking can be difficult. Yet, if you publish 1000 words of amazing content to your homepage that gets your site ranking on page one of Google, what’s the point if the appearance of heavy text turns people off and they bounce?
In light of Google’s recent algorithm updates over the last few years, even if you try a textually heavy content strategy, and you rank above the fold, ongoing high bounce rates and poor conversions will send signals to Google informing the search engine that your site is not an added value to the SERPs. And, eventually your ranking will drop.
Just remember that generating traffic is the first step to converting clicks into paying customers. This means SEO must be growth-driven with the intention to perform beyond the brinks of ranking.
How can Websites with Thin Homepage Content Generate Organic Traffic?
Since Ecommerce sites generally don’t convert well with tons of textual content on the homepage, make sure the content that there is written to generate organic traffic.
The best growth-driven SEO agencies ensure that the content that did make it to the homepage reflects your navigation menu, contains the right keywords, and speaks your branded voice.
Award-winning SEO agencies also focus organic traffic generation efforts off the homepage to compensate for the limited text. These buckets fall under link building, product descriptions, primary service / product pages, and social media marketing.
Link Building for Ecommerce SEO Results
If you are limited in adding content to your homepage or top level web pages, link building could easily be your greatest asset.
These are links existing in strategically written content that lives on referring domains, pointing back to a landing page on your website. Links can go to a blog, primary service page, or homepage, based on the strategy.
A lot has changed in terms of link building best practices. Back in the day SEO agencies were notorious for syndicating links out to hundreds of directories.
Today this is spamming and can result in a Google penalty. In order to boost your SEO game to generate high-conversion traffic, your link building strategy should include the following considerations:
• Only link from sites with high domain authorities
• Make sure the referring domain content is relative to your own site’s
• Try to get links with a “dofollow” attribute
• Check the referring domain’s own backlink portfolio to ensure it is high quality
• Try to link form platforms that get lots of interaction with readers
• Ensure you are given full control over the anchor text
• Link should be used naturally and avoid being promotional
A strong backlink portfolio can send valuable SEO juice to your site to improve rankings. Just make sure the off-site articles are aligned with on-site content as part of a holistic strategy.
Optimizing Product Descriptions
Product descriptions are one of the most underutilized places to draw organic traffic that converts. In 2017 we split test two sets of Ecommerce strategies with Group A consisting of 250 words in each product description.
This content was hyper optimized for SEO results, while Group B’s product descriptions consisted of the standard. Group A saw an average ranking improvement by an increase of 56 percent and conversions increased by 27 percent.
Ultimately this proved that content added to product descriptions didn’t interfere with the user experience as it normally does when people visit homepages.
Here are some of the strategic points implemented into the client’s product descriptions:
• Addressed a buyer pain while showcasing the product as the best solution
• Stated who the product is for, and who it’s not for
• Used branded keywords mixed with buyer-focused keywords
• An H2 was added
• Product was compared to similar products while showcasing one thing that makes it unique
• Purchase button was placed up at the top right corner of the product description going to a simple one-page checkout
• Strategically written blogs that ranked well linked to various singular product descriptions
Remember, Google’s algorithm runs on AI and machine learning. This means the search engine self-educates itself in how to pair the right results to search queries in a way that addresses intimate buyer needs. And the above formula for product descriptions does just that.
This works because it attracts buyers based on their needs, and the internal linking component adds structured content easy for Google to crawl, decipher, and note relativity.
When it comes to sourcing keywords for an Ecommerce business, using a tool that reveals the most frequently searched keywords and phrases won’t cut it. While ranking for broad search terms with high search volume has value, the greater value lies in ranking for keywords that are more relevant to a buyer’s needs.
Even though these see significantly less search volume, they convert at a much higher rate. Here are some ways to generate powerful longtail keywords and search terms that resonate with your ideal buyer audiences:
• Use Google Trends – Enter the main keyword and note its trending history and any seasonality. Google Trends has a number of filters that give telling details on keywords that encompass location, time, category and search type.
• Google Related Searches – Scroll down to the bottom of the page and note the searches related to your search term. These can give you ideas for adding context to your target keywords.
• Social Media Groups – When people share or remark on content related to your products, what are the most popular topics? What are the common buyer pains being expressed?
What about these products gives buyer’s the greatest sense of value? These are your actual customers and their unfiltered feelings and opinions can be used to craft keywords around content that will rank, and convert to sales.
SEO for Ecommerce is Just a Different Animal
Stop telling yourself that SEO for Ecommerce is impossible. There are a number of strategies that can be deployed to help generate high quality organic traffic that will convert.
By understanding your buyers and Google’s finicky algorithm you can optimize your strategy to garner revenue and play a huge role in securing your brand’s year-over-year growth.