How to Optimize Your Keywords and Website Structure for Better SEO Results.
If you’re looking for the complete guide to eCommerce SEO, we’ve got you covered. Our experts teamed up to offer you everything you need to know about eCommerce SEO online. Learn how to optimize your website, increase targeted traffic, and set your online business up for success.
Let’s get started with Chapter 1 of our 3 part series!
Chapter 1: eCommerce Keyword Research
Why Is eCommerce SEO Important?
eCommerce SEO is crucial to your online business. The statistics prove it. 44% of people start their online shopping journey with a Google search and 37.5% of eCommerce traffic comes from search engines. These statistics show that there’s a huge pool of potential customers waiting to do business with you. Since 23.6% of completed eCommerce orders come from organic traffic, it’s important to create an effective SEO strategy. You shouldn’t rely solely on paid advertisements. If you want to see results, you need to follow an eCommerce strategy that creates action. Check out these actionable steps you should take for effective eCommerce SEO.
1. Perform eCommerce Keyword Research
Keyword research is the foundation of any SEO campaign, and eCommerce is no exception to the rule. What makes keyword research so important? It is the starting point for nearly every SEO-related task you perform on your webpage and online. Optimizing products, creating page titles and descriptions, and writing content for your category pages all start with keyword research.
Technical SEO also uses keywords. Your site structure and your URLs should also be plugging in those industry keywords you gather from your research. But that’s only if you want your business to be visible for the searches related to your industry.
Now that you understand how crucial keyword research is to the future of your business, how do you find the right keywords for your niche market?
Easy Keyword Research for Your eCommerce Business
When it comes to eCommerce keyword research, it’s important to remember one thing. Traditional keyword research focuses on “informational keywords.” (Think “how-to” content) But eCommerce works differently. Your eCommerce website needs to use keywords that focus on product searches.
When conducting keyword research for eCommerce, you need to choose product-focused keywords. How? Think like a consumer. If you were looking for the products or services your business has to offer, how would you search for it online?
One of the best ways to perform eCommerce keyword research is to go to the biggest online eCommerce website. You guessed it! Amazon. Tapping into Amazon is like a goldmine for your business when it comes to keyword research. By simply heading over to Amazon’s website and typing in a keyword that describes one of your products in the search bar, you’ll get a whole list of suggestions in the dropdown.
Amazon didn’t become the biggest eCommerce retailer online through magic. They have the money and resources to get the best when it comes to SEO. Therefore, the keywords they suggest will be very targeted to your search.
The long-tail keywords you find in the Amazon suggestions will lead to higher conversion rates and less competition. Take some time to go through most of the products on your website and use Amazon suggestions to gather the best keywords.
Keyword Research Tools
Another great resource for eCommerce businesses when it comes to SEO are the keyword research tools that are available. You can find a variety of keyword research tools all over the internet. Keyword research tools give you a variety of keyword suggestions to improve your SEO results.
Here’s a list of some great keyword research tools to get you started:
- Keyword Tool Dominator
- Google Search Console
- Ahrefs Keyword Explorer
- Google Keyword Planner
- Moz Keyword Explorer
- Keywords Everywhere
- Keyword Snatcher
- Google Trends
Not only do these tools give you keyword ideas, but they also make finding long-tail keywords faster and more effective. You’ll get a variety of keyword ideas that you might not have thought about. Some tools allow you to add these keywords to a list you can save.
Keyword tools give you a closer insight into what your customers might be using to search for the products you offer. If you want to get the results you need to grow your business, finding the right keywords in this respect is crucial. Even with category pages. Although category pages do not convert as well as product pages, they can still generate sales. So, it’s important to spend some time finding keywords for your category pages, not just your product pages.
Another effective way of improving the SEO surrounding your category pages is to look to your competitors to see what categories they use. Once you’ve gathered a basic list of categories that make sense for your business, focus on finding keywords that effectively describe what your business sells. Here’s an example.
If your business sells men’s fashion clothing, you can go to Amazon for some examples of keywords. When you drop down to the main categories, you notice that Amazon uses “Clothing, Shoes, Jewelry, & Watches.”
While this may be too broad of a category for you, you can dive deeper into the category drop-downs for more ideas.
As you can see above, Amazon uses categories to target the buyer. In your case, it would be Men’s Clothing.
Within the category of Men’s Clothing is even more keyword options as seen above.
To dive deeper into Men’s Clothing, you can click on the clothing category and see how it’s broken down even more. So, Men’s Clothing Shirts, Men’s Clothing Sweaters, and Men’s Clothing Jeans are all examples of keywords that would be relevant in this category.
Finally, within each specific category for clothing type is more specific keywords. So, if a potential customer is searching for a specific type of shirt, they might search “Men’s Clothing T-Shirts, Men’s Clothing Polos, or Men’s Clothing Dress Shirts.” You should do your best to exhaust all your options. For example, “Men’s Dress Shirts, Men’s Tank Tops, and Men’s Polo Shirts” would all be examples of similar keyword variations.
2. Choose the Right Keywords to Use
Once you’ve crafted your list of keywords, you’re probably wondering which you should choose. There are actually 4 steps you can take to choose the right keywords for your eCommerce business. Here’s what you should look for:
This is the most important item to evaluate when you are sifting through your search terms. Obviously you want to use keywords that users are looking for online. If no one is searching for the keywords you use, there will be no traffic to your website. A great way to find search volume is to start plugging your keywords into the Google Keyword Planner. This tool will show you how many searches are being performed each month for each keyword.
Keyword to Product Fit
This is another important thing to consider when choosing which keywords you will use. It’s great to identify keywords with a high search volume, but do they fit well with what you sell? The worst thing to do to your eCommerce business is mislead your potential customers. Be sure your keywords are a very close fit to the products you sell.
Before you make a final decision with keywords, you need to check out the competition rating. It’s one thing if you rank #1 for a high volume keyword, but it’s another if you rank #1 for a high volume keyword that customers are following through with purchases. The Google Keyword Planner is a great resource to check out a keyword’s competition rating. In general, the higher the competition, the more likely your customers will be to make a purchase. The rule of thumb when it comes to competition is to choose ratings that are medium and high.
Now that you’ve gotten the first three in order, it’s time to see how hard it will be to get to the front of the search engines. Keyword difficulty determines how competitive a keyword is to rank for and how likely you are to be able to get to the top when it comes to the competition. Keyword tools like SEMRush have a keyword difficulty tab. When you plug in your keyword, they will give you a difficulty percentage. That tells you how hard it will be to rank in the keyword in the search engines.
How to Target Keywords and Optimize Your Pages
Once you’ve picked your keywords, it’s important to optimize your pages around each keyword. Check how the top 10 keyword ranking competitors have optimized their pages. The good news here is that if they are only semi-related to your keywords, you can easily outrank your competition by optimizing your page to be highly-targeted towards your keywords.
Chapter 2: eCommerce Website Structure
The structure of your website is important to SEO. Site structure is how your pages are organized and arranged. This isn’t just important for all websites, it’s particularly important if you have an eCommerce business. That’s because eCommerce has so many more pages than a normal business website.
With a large amount of pages, it’s important that your website is organized. An unorganized website can be a major turn-off to your customers. So, it’s critical that your site structure is optimized to make shopping easy for your users and allow the search engines to find all your pages. Let’s dive into the best practices for site structure.
The Best Practice for eCommerce Site Structure
When it comes to site structure, there are two very important rules to follow if you want to run an effective eCommerce business and rank higher in the search engines. When it comes to setting up your website, consider the following:
- Keep your website simple and scalable
- Keep each page on your website less than 3 clicks away from your homepage
Before we talk about the right way to structure your website, let’s talk about the wrong way. This will help give you a deeper understanding of the important of website structure. When your website structure is complicated, it makes it difficult for your potential customers to understand the logic of navigating through your website. If your website isn’t scalable, you will not be able to easily add categories and pages as your business grows.
Any time a website takes more than 3 clicks to get to a specific product page, your customers will be more likely to lose interest in your business. Having a complicated site structure can turn customers away. In today’s fast-paced, competitive business world, customers want to get to what they are looking for fast! The longer it takes for customers to find your products, especially potential customers who come to your site knowing what they want, the more likely your users are to leave your site.
Effective Site Structure
A more effective way to build your website is to divide your products into categories, then sub-categories of the main category, then products of the sub-category. This will help your pages more easily rank with search engines and make it easier for each page to be indexed. In addition to helping with SEO, your users will love the ease of navigation and the clear direction of your website. The easier it is for customers to see everything you offer, the more likely they are to shop through all your products and buy.
Let’s take a quick look at an example of a website structure that’s both user-friendly and effective in SEO results.
Under Armour is a great example of a clean, organized, and effective site structure. Customers can clearly identify the categories of products right on the homepage.
hen a user hovers on one of the main categories, they are brought to subcategories. These include shoes, tops, bottoms, and accessories.
When a user clicks on the “Graphic T’s” subcategory, for example, they are taken to a product page that displays all the products in that category.
From there, customers can browse through all the graphic tees, or use the filter option that is conveniently displayed at the top of the page. And, they can still easily see the main categories and navigate through their options with the convenient sticky menu that is clearly displayed at the top of the page structure.
The better your website structure, the better your SEO results. While keyword analysis and site structure are extremely important, they aren’t the only steps you need to take for better SEO results. In part 2 of this 3 part series, we’ll talk about OnPage and Technical SEO.
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