This is an add-on to my previous blog post about Key Fundamentals about SEO for Ecommerce. We would suggest to read that before reading this post.
Lesson 5: Links (1 min read)
Google uses internal links (links on your own site that point to other pages on the same site) to discover new content. By following the different links on your website, Google can understand the relationship between the different pages in your store.
In addition to understanding the relationship between your page’s content, Google assigns values between all the links on your web pages. In most cases, your homepage will have the highest link value because it typically has the most back-links (also called “inbound links” are links from other websites that point to your website).
Pages linked on your homepage will then have the next highest ranking, then the links from those pages will have the next highest, and so on.
If you want to gain a better understanding of how this works, Search Engine Land gives a detailed outline in this article.
Lesson 6: Site speed (1 min read)
Google recently said that site speed (and as a result, page speed) is one of the signals used by its algorithm to rank pages.
Page speed isn’t just important for search engine crawlers, it can also heavily impact user experience. In fact, a Google Page Load Time Study, uncovered the following stats:
- 1–3s the probability of bounce rate is increases to 32%.
- 1–5s the probability of bounce rate is increases to 90%.
- 1–6s the probability of bounce rate is increases to 106%.
- 1–10s the probability of bounce rate is increases to 123%.
Think of it this way — In short, speed equals revenue.
There are several ways you can improve the page speed throughout your website.
To test your site or page speed, you can use one of the following testing tools:
Lesson 7: Keywords for SEO (2 min read)
A keyword — in relation to SEO — is a specific word, term, or phrase used to help search engines and web users find websites on the internet.
For example, if I’m looking to buy a new phone online, I might use the keywords ‘phone’ or ‘black iphone’ to help me find websites that sell iphones.
We’ll take a look at how to research and choose keywords so we can reach users looking for terms related to product/services you offer.
A keyword, in the context of SEO, is a word or phrase that describes the content of a web page. Keywords act as shortcuts; they sum up the content of a page or website. Before you jump into doing keyword research for your online store, there are a few keyword related terms you’ll want to get familiar with. These include:
Long-tail keywords — Long-tail keywords are keywords that contain three or more words. Long-tail keywords are important because they make up over 70% of online searches. They also tend to convert better, as they catch people further along in the buying cycle.
For example, someone searching for a “yellow mattress” is likely in the early information gathering stage vs. someone searching for “yellow king sized mattress price”. Given how specific this search is, this person is likely further along the buying cycle and much closer to purchasing the product.
Search volume (average monthly searches) — Search volume is usually measured in average monthly searches. This is the total number of searches each month for each particular phrase. Ideally you want to look for keywords with the highest search volume. Ranking highly for terms with increased search volumes means more potential traffic and conversions for your business.
Competition — Search volume isn’t the only thing you need to consider. Competition is equally, if not more, important. There’s no point in trying to rank for keywords you have no chance of ranking for. Competition refers to the difficulty of ranking for each of your keywords. In an ideal situation, your chosen keywords would have high search volume and low competition.
Lesson 8: Keyword research (1 min read)
To succeed in SEO, you need to focus on creating keyword-rich content (i.e., placing the right keywords in the right place) that captivates your target audience and creates a better overall experience for your customers. Having a keyword strategy in place ensures you’re using terms or phrases that help your visitors find your content/web pages.
Before you start thinking about what keywords your business should rank for, take a step back and think: who is your audience and what are they actually searching for?
Ask yourself a few questions:
- What are people searching for when looking for your products/services?
- Who is looking for your product/services?
- When are people searching for your products/services? Is it seasonal or throughout the year?
- What words do people use to search for your products/services?
- What devices do people use when searching?
- Where are the people searching for your products/services located?
Answering some or all of these questions will help you gain insight into what your audience is searching for, which can help you better answer your audience’s questions through your website’s content.
Tools for keywords research
Below are tools you can use to discover new keywords and uncover the value of different ones you’re using:
Lesson 9: Refining your keyword list (1 min read)
Once you have a list of relevant keywords, it’s time to go back and check your work. You may have added keywords that are low competition or high search volume, but these might not accurately describe your products or offering.
Ask yourself — Are these keywords relevant? If someone searches for a term and lands on your website, will they find exactly what they’re looking for?
Search for the keywords on Google, Amazon, and Bing — Understanding which websites already rank for your keyword will give you valuable insight into the competition and how hard it might be to rank for the given term. If the top results are for major and well-established brands, it’s going to be more difficult to rank for your chosen keyword.
Once you’ve gathered and prioritized your keywords, you can boil down your list. To start, focus on a handful of keywords — around 4–8. These will be the main keywords you focus on. Then, it’s a good idea to keep a broader list of around 10–20 keywords to work with in your longer term keyword strategy.
Lesson 10: Write and optimize your content for keywords (2 min read)
Ten years ago optimizing content for keywords looked very different than it does today. A key point to remember is that SEO is always changing. Tactics like keyword stuffing and writing for search engines are a thing of the past. Today, search engines place high value on user experience — so naturally, content that’s relevant and actually ‘answers’ a user’s question, performs best.
Before writing a piece of content, ask yourself: why am I writing this?
Common reasons to write content include:
- To rank on SERPs (search engine result pages)
- To earn links
- To educate an audience
- To generate leads
Once you’ve defined the purpose of the content you’re creating, you’ll need to align your writing with two things: your user’s intent (what do they want to do? what information are they looking for?) and your keywords. Doing this ensures that you’re putting the user and their experience first, while also being strategic and ensuring that you rank for high-value keywords.
We’ve listed some other SEO content best practices below:
- Identify keywords and phrases that your customers use when researching your products. Then create content based on those topics.
- Informational pages and blog posts should have at least 500 words.
- Humans are visual creatures. Many users won’t spend a lot of time reading a bunch of website copy, so you need to grab their attention by including engaging images and videos.
- Avoid duplicate content. If you have more than one page with the same product description, use canonical tags on those pages to prevent being penalized by search engines.
- Shopify automatically applies a canonical URL for all URLs (products, collections, pages, and blogs), so there isn’t a risk of duplicate content in this instance. You can use Google Search Console to check for duplicate content or any crawling errors in the index coverage report.
- This Google support document outlines ways to address duplicate content issues, and how to use canonical URLs for Google to crawl less often
- All content on your website should be unique and written by your business.
- For example, don’t use product descriptions from manufacturers, as this would be considered duplicate content.
These are some of the key fundamentals for SEO in ecommerce. As I study this topic I will be writing more about it (expect a Part Three to come soon). If you think this post taught you something and helped you understand SEO better, please share it with someone you know it will help.
If you ever want to connect, don’t hesitate to DM me on IG, click here to head to my profile. Throw me any questions you have, any feedback, suggestions, or if you need help with your store.
Thank you to everyone that made it this far in reading this post, if you did make it this far, I know you’re interested in building your own store. Trust me just go do it. Build the sh*t out of it. Keep building and don’t ever stop.
PEACE And take care everyone! I will be back.