Create SEO strategy for ecommerce
1. Conduct user interviews, user journey mapping, and competitive research to understand your target audience and their buying journey.
Interview customers, potential buyers, and customer service agents. Ask questions surrounding their thought process in discovering a need for, doing research on, and searching for the products you sell. Complete a customer journey map. This will allow you to discover topics and keywords for SEO along the entire user journey, not just at the bottom of your funnel. Understand your audience, pain points, and path to buying, to start your path to effective SEO.
2. Brainstorm an initial keyword set based on the research, and build upon it by conducting keyword research using free or paid SEO tools.
Create a list of keywords you would like your ecommerce website to rank for. Examples include: Your product names, like ABC Co 10-inch ceramic pan The problems your products solve, like cook an egg without it sticking, The categories of product you create, like low-cost ceramic cookware. Use paid tools like SEMrush, Moz, and Ahrefs that allow you to plug in a keyword and see a list of suggested keywords. Alternatively, use free tools like Answer the Public, or Google’s own suggested phrases and People Also Ask, to brainstorm your list.
3. Map your brainstormed keywords to the key locations for content on an ecommerce website: main website pages, product pages, product category pages, and blog posts.
Product pages are best for specific, bottom-of-funnel keywords around products and solutions. Your blog is perfect for mid and top-of-funnel keywords.
4. Create a plan for creating and updating content.
Content creation, including updating product descriptions and writing blog posts, is critical to ecommerce SEO. Create a plan to prioritize these efforts, and get this content written by a writer who is familiar with SEO best practices and your ecommerce website’s industry.
5. Prioritize content creation on two of your ecommerce website's key assets: your product pages and your product category pages.
Create unique content on your product pages that speaks to product uses, specifications, and benefits. This will help it rank for bottom-of-funnel terms. If your ecommerce website purchases products from manufacturers or dropships, you will want to rewrite the product descriptions sent to you by the manufacturer to produce unique content for your website. Create unique content for product category pages that can help you rank for broad searches such as big and tall men’s hiking shorts.
6. Complete on-page SEO basics that are powerful for ecommerce like on-page audits and updates, and a technical SEO audit.
All of your website’s pages should have basic on-page elements including a page title, image optimization, meta description, an H1 tag, and a focus keyword used in the body copy. Work with a professional to perform a technical SEO audit to ensure your site is well-structured for search engines to crawl and understand. Work with a copywriter and an SEO specialist to optimize your titles and descriptions.
7. Simplify your site architecture so that users can get to any page in 3 or fewer clicks.
Make sure returning to your homepage from any part of your website requires no more than 3 clicks as well. Use the framework Product Category > Product Subcategory > Product page to keep navigation around your website simple and intuitive.
8. Build links to your site from other websites by building partnerships with influencers, bloggers, or providing other sites with content that links back to your site.
This step requires building personal relationships with site owners, whose sites could drive traffic to yours. Work on relationships where you have mutual benefits from your collaborations for the greatest success. An alternative method involves finding broken links on content in your niche on external websites. Contact the website owner to offer a replacement option from your site.
9. Use Google Analytics and Google Search Console to monitor your SEO performance on an ongoing basis.
In Google Analytics, navigate to Behavior > Site Content > Landing Pages report, then click the All Users dropdown and select Organic Traffic to understand which of your pages receive organic traffic, and how much. In Search Console, navigate to Core Web Vitals to look for common issues with your site performance.