Ecommerce in Australia is taking off: in 2020, 82% of households made an online purchase, with 1.3 million households doing so for the first time. This is only set to continue, with 5 million households buying online each month in 2021.
Basically, if you’re selling any sort of product, you can’t afford not to take advantage of eCommerce.
Unfortunately with the increase in demand comes the influx of businesses trying to cash in – including your competitors. So how can you make sure that your online store stands out among the rest and secures those sales?
While most standard SEO best practices are applicable here, there are some things you’ll want to pay extra attention to when it comes to the world of eCommerce SEO. Below, we’ve compiled a list of the things you need to consider when devising a winning SEO strategy.
01. Find keywords for your category and product descriptions
Like other types of SEO, a successful strategy starts with the right keywords. Tools like Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, Ahrefs, or Moz can help you identify the average monthly search volume, CTR, and how many people are targeting each keyword.
You’ll want to focus on high intent keywords – that is, keywords that will translate into purchases – that are not overly competitive. Longer-tail keywords can be your secret weapon here: although more specific, this means that the user likely already has an idea of what they want and are further along in their purchasing journey.
02. Use HTTPS
This is a simple one, but you would be surprised at how many online vendors haven’t gotten on board. As you might expect from the name, eCommerce sites are all about transactions. This means that users will be on guard, protecting their details and payment information.
Using HTTPS lets users know that their information is secure, meaning they’ll be more likely to make a purchase. It also directly helps to boost your SEO efforts, as search engines like Google use HTTPS as a ranking signal.
03. Make mobile your priority
Again, this might seem obvious in 2021, but there are many businesses out there – including your competitors – who make this easy mistake. And, considering how many online purchases are made via mobile, this is one area you don’t want to neglect.
Most digital marketing agencies and web developers will take a mobile-first approach, but if you choose to set up an online store yourself, make sure you focus on responsive mobile design, navigation – and most importantly, the checkout.
04. Simplify your site architecture
If you want your products to be easily searchable, you need to design your pages as logically as possible.
The perfect site architecture is debated by SEO experts and web designers. Although the popular ‘3 Clicks Rule’ – that is, that information shouldn’t be more than three clicks away, or else you risk your users abandoning the site – has been disproven, the principle behind it is solid.
In general, you’ll want a relatively flat architecture starting with your home page, category pages, sub-category pages, and product pages. Of course, this will ultimately depend on your industry and the variety of products you sell.
Breadcrumbs can be a useful way to navigate the different levels of your store. Below is an example from eBay, Australia’s most popular eCommerce site:
This allows users to see where the’ve come from – and, more importantly, find their way back if this product isn’t exactly what they’re looking for.
05. Write unique category and product descriptions
Don’t just copy and paste product descriptions from manufacturers. Your product page is the perfect opportunity to communicate directly with your potential buyer and tell them why they should buy from you.
It’s also a great opportunity to tell Google exactly what your category/ product is about, and target those valuable long-tail keywords.
Your content should be short, sweet and easily scannable – most of your buyers won’t take the time to fully read it. You may want to list key selling features in a bullet list or answer some FAQs.
06. Avoid keyword cannibalisation
Chances are that some of your product pages are similar, offering variations in design, colour or specs. Say you sell shoes, or phone accessories, or even doormats – it’s incredibly likely that some of your products will overlap.
Keyword cannibalisation is when more than one page is targeting the same keyword. This means that your pages are now in direct competition with each other, which often results in both performing poorly than they would otherwise.
It can help to list your different product pages and the different keywords you are targeting for each in a spreadsheet. This will allow you to easily identify any duplicates and ensure that your content is as impactful as possible. You can also use a canonical URL element to tell search engines what pages they should focus on.
07. Take care of any broken links
As your eCommerce site grows, chances are that some of your links won’t work like they should. Not only is this frustrating for visitors, but it can impact your page ranking.
There are lots of tools out there (Moz, Screaming Frog) that can help you quickly identify any broken links on your website.
08. Publish regularly
While creating content for your blog can be a time-consuming effort, it’s certainly a worthwhile one. Not only does it provide regular updates and position your website as a relevant source of information, but it also gives you a greater chance to rank for various queries your customers may have. It’s impossible to target every keyword with a single product page, but with a blog you have the opportunity to do some valuable keyword optimisation and internal linking.
Those who are still in the research phase will be looking for information to help them make their decision. Answer their questions and get to them before your competitors and you might just win them over.
09. Leverage customer reviews
With 91% of people reading reviews before making a purchase decision and 84% trusting these reviews as much as a personal recommendation, you can’t afford not to take advantage.
You can include these directly on your product page, allowing potential customers to gain an insight into the quality. This can improve your conversion rate by 14–76%.
Reviews can also directly help your local SEO efforts, as Google uses reviews (and your responses) to determine your ranking.
10. Constantly adapt your SEO strategy
With search engines like Google constantly changing their algorithm, you need to be routinely reviewing and adjusting your eCommerce SEO strategy.
That being said, many of the tactics we’ve listed here are resistant to algorithm changes and will serve you well in the years to come. Above all, make sure you’re producing quality content that your buyers want and you can’t go wrong!
Want to find out more about how you can make your online store into a selling powerhouse? Get in touch with our specialist eCommerce team now!