5 eCommerce SEO Tips for 2018

E-Commerce continues to grow without an interruption. According to data provided by Statistica on retail e-commerce sales,  in the United States alone, eCommerce sales are projected to surpass 603 billion in US dollars by 2021.

ecommerce stats 2018

Smart Insights data from 65 million e-commerce transactions demonstrates that top e-commerce traffic sources driving sales for eCommerce sites are organic traffic (22%), email marketing traffic (20%), paid traffic (19%). Surprisingly, organic social media traffic accounts for around 1%.

Important note on organic social media traffic: Don’t let 1% of social media discourage you from investing in social media. Social media often is great awareness platform that plays a great awareness role at early stages of the customer journey. But if your CEO or CMO wants immediate traffic and sales, SEO, email marketing, and paid search advertising are the digital marketing channels you want to put more focus on in order to achieve results, drive up sales and increase revenue.

With organic traffic being the biggest and cheapest of all those channels, we’d like present to you 5 practical ecommerce SEO tips for 2018 that you absolutely should be adopted in 2018 and beyond.

#1. AMP for ECommerce

Accelerated Mobile Pages Project, also known by AMP, were introduced a couple years ago by Google as an open-source initiative to improve the user experience and page load of editorial content on mobile pages. In late 2017 and now in 2018, many eCommerce websites started using AMP to improve the performance of their product pages as well and saw good results. Since then we have been that implementing AMP for all of our eCommerce clients by focusing on following pages:

    • Category Pages – Category pages are the second most important pages in eCommerce after product pages. In fact, some argue that they are as important as your product pages because they contain the text that many new customers search in google and other search engines in order to find and discover your products. For example, if a customer is looking for to buy a soccer ball for her son or daughter and she doesn’t have any particular brand in mind, she is going to be searching for the term “soccer ball” or “soccer balls”. In that case, returning the category or subcategory pages that have a list of soccer balls with different sizes, brands and options make the most sense hence that’s what’s Google will most likely rank. Implementing AMP pages for category and subcategory pages can help improve page speed for mobile users, improve user experience and hence SEO for your category pages. 
    • Product Pages – Product pages are the most important pages on your eCommerce pages and core to your e-commerce business. If you don’t have products, you have no eCommerce business. Hence optimizing the product pages technical issues is a must. Same example above, if a customer is looking for a specific soccer ball, chances the actual product page will rank hence implementing AMP will help the performance of product pages User Experience which can lead to improvements of conversion and SEO.
    • Editorial Pages – The AMP pages were originally created for blogs and News sites and editorial pages of each site. Each day, millions of Americans read and browse through blogs, news and other editorial content using their mobile devices before they make a buying decision. Many eCommerce sites use blogging to position themselves as an authority of influencer in their market, hence making sure your blog is fully optimized and SEO friendly is a good marketing tactic. Adding AMP can enhance their user experience and SEO of your blog posts.

#2. Schema Markup Codeschema markup code

Taking full advantage of schema markups can improve your eCommerce website’s organic clicks and click-through rates via search results. Such improvements lead to improvements in organic rankings. Some eCommerce shops have reported an additional 30% organic traffic boost from implementing schemas. Below are some useful schemas for your eCommerce shop.

    • Product Schema: This schema code helps you optimize your product pages: http://schema.org/Product
    • Rating & Reviews: http://schema.org/Rating
    • Pricing: http://schema.org/price
    • Availability: http://schema.org/availability
    • Local Schema:  http://schema.org/Store  (if you have a store where client can come and pick up orders)
    • Company Schema: http://schema.org/Corporation (if you have your own branded products) 

#3. Unique Content

Creating unique content is one of the most important yet neglected tasks for eCommerce as many of e-commerce sites don’t invest in creating unique content for their products. Creating unique content for your unique visitors can help SEO and help in improving conversion and sales which is what you want. In other words, do not simply copy and paste the manufacturer’s product description, invest in writing unique content to make it as unique as possible that make sure you set the theme so it talks to your customers.

    • Category Content – The quickest and easiest win is added relevant content in the category and subcategory pages. Category and sub-category pages are important pages for search engine optimization because of they can naturally contain highly searched keywords. For example, if you are looking for soccer shoes for yourself, daughter or son, you expect to see a list of soccer shoes hence optimizing your category pages for those keywords makes the most sense. As the result, if you are able to properly optimize for soccer shoes, you will have more share of 60,500 monthly searches that phrase gets.
    • Product Content – Product pages are the most important pages for eCommerce SEO  but they are also the most neglected when it comes to unique content. There is too much-duplicated content across the web because vendors don’t take the time to write unique product content and simply copy and paste manufacturers content.  This lazy and lousy approach is costing them lots relevant traffic and can get them in trouble with the next Google Panda update. 
    • Blog Content – Our data shows that those eCommerce sites that have consistent blog calendar and programming do better in search engines. The key is to make sure that your blog content is aligned with your product and marketing goals.

#4. Videos

The disadvantage eCommerce stores have is that customers cannot physically see or touch their products in person. Hence, it is important to focus on high-quality visuals and videos. Below are some of the most effective videos eCommerce shops can use to boost sales.Video SEO for YouTube

    • Branding Videos – Create videos that tell your brand’s story will help you stand out among the very crowded e-commerce space online and gain consumer trust.  Branding videos must have 3 unique features:
      1. Tell a story: Create videos that re-iterate  your brand’s values, explain any possible technology it uses and promise, company
      2. Be Short: Create short and to the point videos. Aim to make a video topping out at 30 seconds so they are more likely to be shared on social media.
      3. Be human: Your potential customers are humans with feelings and tapping into their human emotions using videos is a great way to promote your brand.
    • Product Videos – Your product videos should focus on features and application of your products. 360 videos are a good start but ideally, someone presenting your product in or around 30 seconds will have the best results. 
    • Customer Service- Customer sales cycle is complicated. Once a customer buys your products, that customer can either be your brand’s advocate referring you many new customers or that customer can disappear and do nothing with you anymore. Or even worse, that customer can be totally unsatisfied and spread negative feedback online that can harm your online reputation and all your marketing efforts. Hence connecting your customers using videos is a good method to maintain their satisfaction and customer loyalty to your shop. Below are a couple of customer service videos that eCommerce shops find effective for that purpose:  
      • Training & How To Videos – If your products need to be assembled, or if they have features that require training, then creating how-to videos are a lot more effective than “user manuals”. Especially newer generations such as Millennials and Generation Z use video sites such as YouTube to look for how-to videos
      • Testimonials – Video testimonials continue to be useful in all stages of buyers journey. They provide reassurance to new customers that they are satisfied existing customers, so these new customers are more likely to reach out for help if they have any issues with your products.

#5. User Experience

Your website, its content, and flow in its entirety needs to be user-friendly. The easier and better the user experience of your e-commerce shop, the easier it is for User Experiencecustomers to buy your products and more likely they’ll recommend it to others. Below you find 5 UX features for eCommerce Sites:

      1. Mobile First – Majority of your traffic will be mobile users, so a super mobile-friendly website will help eCommerce UX. Responsive design is usually the way to go, although some more complex eCommerce sites may have two sites, one for desktop and one more mobile. Either way is fine.
      2. Pagespeed – Internet users have no patience for slow websites. Amazon’s calculated that a page load slowdown of only 1 second can cost them over  $1.6 billion in sales in a period time of one year. PageSpeed is one the most important user experience topic so constantly try to improve your page speed of your eCommerce site. Important pages to improve are your category pages, product pages, and shopping cart pages. Slow shopping carts tend to result in buyers abandoning their transactions.
      3. Easy Checkout Larger eCommerce companies focus heavily on creating an easy checkout process because they know it will encourage shoppers to shop your products. Amazon pioneered this by introducing 1 click checkout process which they have a patent for, but other eCommerce sites have implemented similar checkout process without violating Amazon’s patent and that’s helping them.
      4. Wishlists – Customers aren’t ready to shop all the time, providing them a wishlist option, can help them add the product to their wishlist for when they are ready to purchase.
      5. Gift Certificates – Gift certificates are most sold eCommerce products especially during the holidays. Providing that option gives an excellent user experience to your shop. 

Running an eCommerce business can be a lucrative business. However, eCommerce business can also be very competitive regardless of the products you sell. Competition is fierce especially with big players such as Amazon and eBay, however, there are lots of opportunities to stand out and make money. The best way is that eCommerce managers and owners should be on top of all marketing trends and make sure to implement all the best digital marketing and eCommerce SEO techniques, including the ones we mentioned in this post.

Need to hire an eCommerce SEO consulting firm? Look no further, contact us today.