According to SEMrush, organic search accounts for 32% of monthly ecommerce visits, making it a critical driver of traffic and revenue. Yet ecommerce SEO requires a deep understanding of Google’s evolution and its focus on users.
In many ways, SEO still comes down to the fundamentals: exhaustive keyword research, a focus on user experience, website optimizations, and robust content marketing. Given the broad signals including in search algorithms, Erin Everhart, Home Depot Sr. Manager, Media Strategy & Mobile, thinks ecommerce sites can’t afford to think of SEO as a single practice.
“There’s no silver bullet or smoking gun when it comes to truly exceptional ecommerce SEO,” Everhart said in an interview for this article. “There’s no ‘one thing’ that will rocket you to the top of search engines. It just doesn’t exist. You have to have a strategic combination of sound technical implementation and content development with constant optimization or you won’t sustain lasting results.”
Once you’ve laid a strong SEO foundation, there are a number of ways to enhance ecommerce SEO to increase customer visibility and drive revenue.
Supercharge product videos
When it comes to modern SEO, video marketing creates an incredible opportunity to drive organic growth. Cisco predicts that video will account for 80% of Internet traffic by 2021, meaning your customers are looking for compelling video content. But beyond your overall content marketing strategy, organic video offers threefold benefit to SEO. With more than a billion viewers, YouTube is the second largest search engine. Beyond ranking well in YouTube, Google has been testing new ways to deliver video in search results pages, further increasing the reach and impact of your video content.
However, the biggest opportunity lies in embedding compelling video on blog pages, product category pages, and targeted landing pages where they can be contextually indexed by search engines. Many SEO practitioners and webmasters simply embed video on product pages or blog posts without adding structured data or schema markup, meaning Google lacks additional signals to strengthen relevance to keywords.
Search engines continually improve their algorithms to match a user’s search intent to relevant content. High-quality video, supported by detailed structured data and an updated video sitemap, leads to much stronger SEO by providing additional signals to be crawled.
Stay ahead of redirects
Ecommerce websites change constantly. As a company introduces new product categories and inventory shifts, website architecture changes with it. Given the importance of optimizing new content, it can be easy to forget about what happens when old pages or site categories are no longer in use. After deleting pages or removing content, implementing a 301 redirect to new, relevant pages allows you to retain the value of old inbound links while maintaining a smooth user experience for customers who click older links.
Secure your site with HTTPS
Google is dedicated to providing a good experience for its users, and that includes considering the security of the sites it indexes. Since 2014, Google has included HTTPS (sites with a security certificate) as a ranking signal and has recently started marking sites without HTTPS as “Not Secure” in search pages. Yet, at the end of 2016 only 40% of ecommerce websites had made the switch to HTTPS.
In 2018, site security is not only an SEO necessity – it is also a competitive advantage for online retailers. Trust plays a huge role in converting visitors to customers. Even if HTTPS remains a relatively small ranking signal, the peace of mind it offers will increase your likelihood of attracting and converting search traffic.