Organic traffic is unlike any other source of marketing traffic. Every visitor to the site is free and every free session is a potential sale.

Unlike paid search or social media campaigns, organic users have no immediate marketing costs.

However, most of the time, many online retailers are stuck in a retention pattern for the growth of SEO in e-commerce.

They don’t know how to create landing pages that attract high quality traffic and perform well in search.

Unlike paid traffic, increasing your visibility organically is not as simple as increasing your advertising budget.

If you feel you are facing a barrier to the types of effective e-commerce SEO you can create, this article will help you.

Follow this guide and it will inevitably increase your site’s ranking potential. This should provide a baseline for reviewing your website and identifying where you should focus your efforts this year and beyond.

Before you start

We developed this report based on our strategic market opinions, guided by current developments, best practices and data.

What works for the industry as a whole may not work on your site, and we cannot promise that you will see positive gains, even if you implement all the changes.

Any changes made to your website should be made with care. That way, you can see what works for you – and what doesn’t – and be able to adapt your strategy before any changes become permanent.

1. Let search engines read reviews

One way to attract new customers and increase your visibility is with exclusive informative content on your product pages.

If you have hundreds of product pages, you can have the bandwidth to constantly create new content.

One option to develop a constant flow of new content is with product recommendations and reviews.

Your customers send comments and act as salespeople to convince others to convert.

Almost 90% of customers trust online reviews and personal recommendations from friends or family, which means that some reviews can go a long way in increasing your conversion rate.

Highlighting these reviews on your website is great for users, but also for your e-commerce SEO efforts.

Content-rich analytics provide new updates to your pages, something that Google rewards and improves the context needed by crawlers to understand why they should show your product in a search result rather than in one of their competitors.

Unfortunately, some of the most popular product review tools display this rich and valuable content in a way that search engines can’t read.

With these tools, revisions are injected into your page via JavaScript and the text of the actual revision is not present in the source code.

Although Google is improving its understanding of this complex coding, it is not perfect.

If search crawlers have a hard time understanding your JavaScript, it will be ignored entirely.

When creating a review platform, choose one that incorporates the content of the review directly into your site’s HTML.

This ensures that users and search engines can read these recommendations, improving your long-tail keyword list and increasing your qualified traffic leads.

2. Create dynamic meta descriptions

The meta description appears directly below the page title in the SERPs. Google doesn’t read what you write in the meta description, but your customers do.

In addition to the title and URL, they are the only information they have on your site before deciding whether or not you receive the click.

For e-commerce sites that offer thousands of products that are usually replaced seasonally, finding a way to write compelling meta descriptions at scale is a challenge.

Some companies spend time creating a unique description for each page, but this is not possible if you are a small business or a large department store retailer.

Smart SEOs use “Concatenation schemes” and establish a set of rules to automate the creation of meta descriptions and generate unique content.

This is a small piece of code that uses a predetermined set of rules to write relevant descriptions automatically.

For example, the following rule can be written for the photography retailer:

Buy the PRODUCT NAME at BRAND. BRAND provides SUBCATEGORY and CATEGORY for all photography and electronics enthusiasts.

In action, the product description looks like this:

Buy Canon EOS Rebel at B&H Photographs. B&H Fotografias provides DSLR cameras and digital cameras to all photography and electronics enthusiasts.

Rather than taking days or weeks to update a category, this scheme allows you to update the entire site automatically.

With a little testing, you can find a description that improves your organic clickthrough rates.

3. Keep your product descriptions unique

Along with meta descriptions, you want to ensure that your product descriptions are also unique.

Exclusive content became a priority after Google launched the Panda algorithm, which focuses on promoting high-quality content relevant to users.

The goal was also to penalize duplicate content that was discarded from other pages.

One of the first steps to increase your SEO efforts in e-commerce is to identify any content on your product pages that contains duplicate copies, especially those pages with the same description of products offered by competitors or manufacturers.

After identifying duplicate content, rewrite it from scratch.

This makes your content unique compared to competitors, and well-written descriptions provide Google with additional context about what you are selling, increasing the likelihood that they will show your product for relevant searches.

If you need to prioritize your content and have a seemingly endless list of product descriptions in front of you, first create the content for your highest margin and top selling products.

Then, develop a strategy to replace duplicate descriptions in phases or as new products are added to your schedule.

Eventually, you will convert the entire site to the new descriptions.

4. Only index one version of your domain

Speaking of duplicate content, you want to ensure that there is only one copy of any page on your domain.

Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for companies, even large ones, to have their entire site duplicated.

This usually happens when a website has an active “www” and a “non-www version”, such as a page that starts with “http”.

When you have multiple duplicate sites, your pages compete against each other in search, and competitors with just one page for a particular product will surprise you.

Duplicate pages usually occur when subdomains are not blocked by Robots.txt files, placed behind a password-protected login wall, or redirected to the main www page.

Search engine crawlers find duplicate pages and divide assets between rankings.

Instead of one page receiving 100% of the value, two pages receive 50%.

There are several steps you can take to identify whether you have multiple versions of your domain indexed:

Track on your webpage using a tool like SEMRush.

Review Google Analytics data for organic landing pages to see if unwanted subdomains are showing.

Search the Google index on your site using advanced modifiers, such as “site: mysite.com, br -inurl: www” to display all pages indexed on the site that are not located in the www subdomain.

Ideally, you’ll block duplicate pages before creating them, but if you notice them in your index, update your robots.txt as soon as possible.

Google Algorithm

5. Add pagination elements to category pages

On category pages with thousands of products, the last thing you want to do is force users to load everything at once and scroll through the listings until they find what they want.

Most e-commerce sites resolve this by dividing the category into easily digestible pages with only a portion of the listings, usually with 25 to 50 items per page.

While this is great for the customer experience, it can have a negative impact on your ecommerce SEO, as Google isn’t sure which category page to display to users in search results.

The addition of SEO paging elements with the tags “rel = next” and “rel = prev” tells Google and other search engines how the pages are related.

Smart web developers also offer users the option of viewing all listings on one page.

If you decide to add the option to your ecommerce pages, follow the canonical rules outlined by Google to avoid confusion and penalties for search crawlers.

6. Prioritize speed

After July 2018, speed has become one of the ranking in Google’s mobile search results.

In addition to impacting the SEO of your e-commerce, the speed of the site significantly affects the user experience.

An average increase in mobile site speed in one second can increase your bounce rate by 8.3%, decrease your conversion rate by 3.5%, and decrease page views by 9.4%.

Google best practices say a page should load in less than four seconds and the faster your site becomes, the better.

SEO experts need to quickly identify and correct anything that slows down your page.

Start by monitoring the bounce rate, load time, and time on the site to understand the integrity of the site’s speed.

You can also use free tools, such as Page Speed ​​Inshigts, to identify page speed bottlenecks.

7. Canonical URLs

E-commerce sites have some of the longest and most confusing URLs you find online.

The bigger the store, the worse it gets, as adding parameters to the search and navigation systems can add millions of unique URLs based on click paths.

It is not uncommon to see large retailers with up to 1,000 URL variations for a single product.

Thanks to the search functionality, this result is usually inevitable, as the last thing you want to do is to prevent your customer from finding the products they are looking for.

Unfortunately, this scenario is problematic for retailers and brands, as it wastes Google’s time while crawlers crawl and index all versions of the URL.

If this is the case for your company, eliminate bloat from the index using canonical tags and also with the Google parameter exclusion tool.

8. Depth of the categorization architecture

Reducing the depth of your site’s architecture can increase the ranking of the main pages in the category, consolidating the site’s equity.

Generally, the best practice for SEO for e-commerce is to build a more horizontal architecture that limits the depth of the pages that Google needs to absorb to find and isolate categories.

In Ecommerce, it’s not uncommon to see architecture that seems to last forever, like:

Home> Category> Subcategory> Family> Brand> Product

While this granular architecture makes sense for your products, it buries the pages of smaller categories, because each time you create a new branch, it lessens the likelihood that Google will assign any value to that page.

The development of a shallow website architecture, with most pages located just one or two subcategories outside the main domain, increases the value that Google assigns to each page.

9. Discontinued products with index

When your products run out, you probably set up a 404 error page on your website, which means that the page no longer exists.

This means that browsers will not find any information if they try to browse the site or visit the page through an existing link.

Unfortunately, these 404 pages are usually linked by internal and external sources and trap Google’s crawlers who are confused by many redirects or dead ends.

Instead, reduce 404 pages, establishing a process to quickly remove the old page from Google’s index.

You can also automatically redirect users to the category, brand or family page, so that they can continue browsing, even if that specific product is not available.

10. Boost social signals

Social media interactions help drive brand search, increase visibility and help companies develop a community of active online fans.

While there is no direct correlation between social media and e-commerce SEO, social media can be a powerful source of traffic that points social trackers to the health and value of your website.

Most importantly, however, social media offers another opportunity to reach and interact with its users.

Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts offer ways to answer questions and show the human side of your business.

The most successful e-commerce companies on social media are those that truly connect with customers and provide real value online.

11. Use dynamic Sitemaps

One of the biggest opportunities for SEO for ecommerce is in long tail keywords.

These search queries generally have four or more words and do not have a high search volume.

What they lack in volume makes up for in revenue, as these terms generally have a higher conversion rate because customers who use them are usually closer to making a purchase.

Proper targeting of long-tail keywords generally requires the creation of content within the site structure.

While these pages may have the exact answers that your customers are looking for, Google needs to locate and track them to assign value to search results.

One way to take advantage of long-tail search terms is with dynamic sitemaps.

Dynamic sitemaps are automatically generated XML files that describe all the URLs on your site in a format that makes Google easier.

At Webtrends, for example, we use Yoast SEO that generates these sitemaps dynamically.

Essentially, you’re giving search engine tips on how your pages are stored and classified to make it easier for them to crawl.

Creating a dynamic sitemap is easy enough, but maintenance is not.

It is easy for e-commerce sitemaps to be out of date, with broken URLs or even missing URLs when shared with search crawlers.

Digital Marketing and SEO

12. Invest in local SEO

Do you have physical stores and presence in e-commerce? The creation of local pages can generate substantial improvements in e-commerce SEO.

Local results appear when a user geographically close to your store searches for products or services you offer.

Potential customers can learn your hours of operation, directions to your location and any offers or events you may have soon.

This will not only make it easier for users to discover your locations, but also allow Google to assign part of your ecommerce store’s assets to your physical location.

This means that search engines are more likely to show your business’s location when local customers search for your products.

13. Promote your content

Traditional advertising strategies are often ignored by retailers, but they serve as powerful traffic drivers and link building tactics that can improve your ecommerce SEO.

If a blog, website or influencer trusted by your customers appreciates your content, they share it with your audience, driving traffic to your page, increasing your overall reach and creating a valuable backlink to your pages.

In today’s SEO environment, link quality outweighs quantity. A link from a trusted website has more than any number of artificial links placed in low quality comment sections, forums or related sites.

To create natural and official links, you need to create something that is worth linking. Whether it’s an infographic, interactive or original search page, it should be something that engages your readers.

By making your content educational and non-promotional, partner publishers will be more open to presenting your content to their audience.

You need to start with great content before others want to link to it.

14. Consider switching to HTTPS

Over the past four years, Google has made a tremendous public effort to encourage domain migration to protect HTTPS environments.

As of July 2018, any website that does not use HTTPS in its URL started to be marked as “not secure” in Chrome.

Retailers rely on the customer’s trust to convert them. If your customers don’t think your site is secure, they don’t provide credit card information or other personal information.

If you want to continue to generate organic traffic and help customers trust your brand, you’ll need an HTTPS environment.

15. Clean your HTML

HTML is the code and other elements on your web page that tell the customer’s browser how to display your content.

Google also uses HTML to understand the context of the content and how it is displayed to human visitors.

Without HTML, your customers would see a blank screen or worse, a mass of unreadable text.

Title tags, meta descriptions, and headers help people understand what your page is and quickly find the information most relevant to them.

Google uses your HTML information to understand the relevance of your content.

In fact, the effective use of HTML is a ranking factor, because the easier the crawler determines the content of your content, the easier it is for users.

Review your HTML to make sure it is not outdated, bulky or with more damage than benefits.

Some cuts can improve the SEO of your e-commerce and increase the overall speed of the website.

Conclusion

We hope these tips can help you improve your Ecommerce SEO and start appearing on the first page of Google searches.

Don’t forget to also check out how to attract more customers to your digital business.

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