E-Commerce SEO: How To Optimise Your Online Store To Drive Traffic
Updated on: 10 September 2021
Online shopping. Love it or hate it, this trend has become an integral part of every consumer’s experience. The shift to online shopping has only accelerated with the COVID-19 pandemic, as consumers prefer to shop in the comfort and safety of their own homes rather than going to a brick-and-mortar store. What makes online shopping even more enticing is that you can purchase items that are not sold in Singapore.
Due to the rise of e-commerce platforms, numerous businesses have begun shifting to an e-commerce model to cater to the demand. However, this shift also means increased competition in the digital realm, making it more challenging for brands to stand out. If your company has also recently shifted to an online business model, then you need to consider e-commerce SEO to ensure your online store appears prominently on the various search engine result pages (SERPs).
However, what is e-commerce SEO? And how can you optimise your website to drive traffic to your online store? These are undoubtedly questions many entrepreneurs, such as yourself, will have when starting their new business. As such, let us share more about this tool and how you can utilise it to improve the sales of your online products.
What is e-commerce SEO?
Let us share an in-store shopping experience to demonstrate why e-commerce SEO is vital to brands utilising an online store. For example, if you need some new clothes, you would probably head over to Google and search for “clothing stores in Singapore” to find a clothing store located near your home.
Once you head over to the store, you will probably go straight to the clothing section with the outfit you are looking for. New arrivals and best sellers will likely be placed at the front so that the customers will be able to notice them better. If the salesperson hid it at the back, will you be able to find the product and purchase it? Probably not, unless you spend some time searching for it.
That is basically what e-commerce SEO entails. With the proper optimisation, your online store will be more visible in SERPs. If consumers are searching for products that you do provide, you will want to rank as high as possible to get more traffic. After all, most people will not bother clicking past the first page results to find the items they are looking for.
In order to enhance users’ experience, e-commerce SEO places a significant emphasis on headline optimisation, product description, internal link structure, navigational structure, and metadata. Each of the products you have on sale on your online store should have a dedicated page designed to draw traffic from those accessing the search engines.
The importance of e-Commerce SEO
E-commerce platforms aren’t an entirely new concept to us. In fact, the e-commerce industry has been around for years. However, recently, online shopping has become an essential part of many people’s lives, with the pandemic accelerating its progress.
Once a trend starts gaining traction, numerous entrepreneurs will look to adopt it to boost sales, and it is no different for the e-commerce concept. Think of any famous brand, and the probability of them having an online store is practically 100%. Needless to say, your competitors will likely have one themselves.
Moreover, with local COVID cases gradually soaring, many Singaporeans will prefer to shop online rather than risk exposing themselves to the virus. This is evidenced by a report published by The Straits Times in 2020, which shows that a whopping 74% of consumers in Singapore are turning to online shopping, with over 31% of them making an online purchase for the first time. Will we observe another boost this year? Only time will tell.
Since businesses are experiencing less face-to-face interaction with their customers, e-commerce is more important than ever. Moreover, with the increased competition, it is pivotal for your online store to stand out from the crowd, and that is where e-commerce SEO can help. By optimising your website, you are opening your doors to an abundance of prospecting opportunities.
How to optimise the online store to drive traffic
1. Conduct competitor research
Optimising your website to drive traffic is a significant process. However, if you have no clue where to begin, you can consider conducting competitor research. The big players in your industry would already have done significant work to optimise their online stores and attract organic traffic.
By taking a look at your competitors, you can better understand how to begin optimising your website. Of course, we are not suggesting you should copy everything wholesale. After all, no one likes a copycat. However, it would help to analyse the keywords they utilise on their homepages and their top product pages.
MozBar is a free Chrome Extension that lets you see the SEO title and description used by your competitors. Moreover, it can display the website’s domain authority, page authority, and the number of backlinks established. Other information you can access includes types of links, page elements, and even the website’s origin.
You can also use tools like SEMrush to find out the keywords your competitors are ranking for on organic and paid searches. SEMrush is particularly helpful because of its ability to analyse your competitor’s SEO strategies, such as the keywords, advertisements, and backlinks used. Furthermore, you should pay close attention to their landing pages and see how they utilise the keywords for SEO purposes.
2. Revamp your e-commerce site architecture
Once you have done your research and selected the keywords you wish to target, you will have to put that information in action, starting with your website’s architecture. Even if your online store is just a single aspect of your website, you still need to organise the various category and product pages. The aim is to enhance the user experience by making it easy for consumers to navigate and access the best and most relevant content.
When it comes to a great site structure, there are a few unspoken rules:
1. It has to be simple and scalable.
2. None of the pages should take more than three clicks to access.
3. Utilise keyword research to develop relevant page URLs and subdirectories.
Let us share an example of a bad site structure:
If your site structure is poor, your product pages will likely be hidden deep within your website, making it challenging for consumers to find the item they need. This can hurt your website’s ranking; let us share why.
When users are required to click several links to access your product pages, this indicates these pages are buried deep within your website’s architecture. As a result, Google will deem them as less important, resulting in poor ranking for your product pages.
Furthermore, consumers may not have the patience to navigate your online store just to find the product they want. Hence, the time and effort you have put into designing and optimising the pages are wasted.
Here’s an example of a good site architecture:
First and foremost, your home page should contain links to all your major category pages and possibly even some of your best product pages. To maximise the SERP potential, you would want to have your most crucial pages – containing your best performing keywords – within the first three levels.
Allowing consumers to navigate your website quickly and utilising proper internal linking will provide your home page with a better chance of securing a high ranking on the various search engines. Your job is to show Google, and therefore, a prospective customer, how your products can cater to and are related to the searches of the consumers.
With online shopping on the rise, it is more crucial than ever for you to adopt e-commerce SEO for your online store if you have not done so already. With an optimised and high-ranking website driving high-quality organic traffic to your e-commerce platform, there is a higher chance of you converting these prospects into regular customers.
However, if you are struggling to garner traffic to your online shop, you may want to consider hiring a digital marketing agency that specialises in SEO services to help you spruce up your website. At Impossible Marketing, our SEO team has handled multiple clients from across a wide variety of industries. With our experienced team assisting you, you can rest assured that your e-commerce platform is in safe hands. If you are interested to learn more, don’t hesitate to contact us at +65 6208 8111!