Ecommerce marketers can use structured data, HTTPS protocol, product content, clean URLs, and search intent to improve search rankings and increase website traffic.
Search engine optimization seeks to help search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo understand a page’s purpose and content in the hope they will serve up a highly-ranked listing in search results.
An ecommerce business could spend months or even years optimizing search engine traffic. Some SEO techniques require wholesale changes in site structure, a nearly constant flow of new content, or days of keyword research.
But with a little development expertise or the ability to turn a phrase, there are at least five SEO tactics you could execute in just a few hours.
Structured data give search engines “explicit clues” about a web page’s content. Google, as an example, uses structured data to recognize products on an ecommerce website and share additional information about those products in the form of rich results.
Increases the likelihood Google or other search engines will display a page listing with rich results. Rich results, in turn, may encourage more searchers to click on a specific result.
“Rich results may include a product’s price, review information, or an opportunity to appear in other result areas like Google images.”
- Google engineers and spokespeople have hinted that JSON-LD structured data may become a ranking.
Everyone who has ever used a web browser is likely familiar with HTTP and HTTPS.
Both describe a procedure for communicating across a computer network, and both are widely used on the internet.
However, HTTPS — Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure — takes the additional step of encrypting information before sending it across the internet.
Ecommerce sites should already be using HTTPS for any page that includes customer or payment information. But not every ecommerce website uses HTTPS for landing pages, category pages, and product detail pages. This is unfortunate since search engines like Google use HTTPS for ranking.
Effectively this means that if there are two otherwise equal product detail pages, Google may rank a page using HTTPS over one using HTTP.
Search engine algorithms love original, useful, informative, and entertaining content.
From Google’s perspective, high-quality content makes for happy consumers. Google wants to provide users with the best possible search experience. When someone searches Google, that search should lead to a page that delivers the information, product, or experience the user seeks.
So why not give Google’s search bot what it wants? Add high-value content to e-commerce category and product detail pages. Consider including a short description, a long description, product specifications, and reviews.
Simple, easy-to-read URLs are an asset both for site visitors and search engine crawlers. In fact, Google recommends short, simple URLs.
A site’s URL structure should be as simple as possible. Consider organizing your content so that URLs are constructed logically and in a manner that is most intelligible to humans (when possible, readable words rather than long ID numbers).
- Avoid URL parameters such as: ?_id=PXH1687Dbhda8kjd&color=darkblue.
- Use dashes to separate words.
- Include keywords.
- Use lowercase letters.
Consumers use search engines for a purpose — to learn something, find something, or, perhaps, buy something.
The action a searcher has in mind is her intent. For ecommerce SEO, focus on users with transactional intent.
This focus will include optimizing for buying-intent keyword phrases like “best laptop for students” or “best laptop for my grandma,” and making certain ecommerce pages are streamlined for conversion.
Writing on Search Engine Watch, Mansoor Shah, managing director of Digitalis Middle East, pointed out that e-commerce landing pages should:
- Provide useful content to help visitors make a buying decision.
- Make it easy to complete a transaction.
- Have a clear call to action.
- Include simple and straight forward “purchase” language.
“We have to make it abundantly clear to Google that if someone types in a purchase-based search term, your page has to be at the top of it” wrote.”