In this post, we are going to take a look at on-page SEO tips that can help your ecommerce website get found online. In the past, this site has published other ecommerce SEO guides. Today, we will list actionable tips that you can go away and implement today to see an improvement in your organic website traffic.
Once you complete these on-page SEO actions and start to get more traffic, you can then look to improve your sales through conversion rate optimization which tests different layouts, colors, calls to actions and much more to squeeze as much out of your website as possible. But to run a conversion rate optimization test successfully you are going to need traffic, and this is where this post comes into it.
Once you have done your keyword research you are going to need to optimize your pages on the website for the keywords you have chosen. One mistake I see many ecommerce websites do is they use the same keywords on multiple pages. Using the same keywords on the different pages is going to confuse Google to which page should be shown in the results.
Let’s look at an example. If you have an ecommerce store that sells computer hardware, and you optimize your homepage and a category page for “Computer Hardware for Sale in Canada” and “Asus Computer Hardware for Sale in Canada” you can see how similar these pages are and this can confuse the search engines. This is known as keyword cannibalization which should be avoided as both pages will rank lower than they would if they weren’t competing with each other.
Yoast has a good guide on keyword cannibalization if you want to learn more on how to avoid it.
Optimizing Your Titles, Descriptions and Header Tags
When optimizing your ecommerce website to be found online, you should start your on-page SEO actions with your most important elements which are your page title, page description and the header tags on the page. Depending on the content management system you use, you will have a different way of editing the titles, descriptions and header tags. For the sake of this article, we will look at the most popular content management system – WordPress.
You can use a few different plugins in WordPress to help you change the descriptions and page title. Yoast, Rankmath or the All In One SEO tool can all do the above and personal preference will decide which one you use.
First, the title tag should include your main keyword for that page you want to rank for. If the keyword is “Computer Hardware” your title could look something like this:
“Computer Hardware for Sale – (Free Delivery This Month)”
Putting your main keyword at the beginning of the title will help with your search ranking (this is something I have tested significantly) and including an offer such as free delivery can boost the number of clicks your listing gets.
Page description tags
Next, is the page description which describes what the page is about. Once again using the example above you should include your keyword along with more information about the products you sell. A description of computer hardware could look like this:
“We are a leading supplier of computer hardware and PC components. We stock Hard Drives, Motherboards and more. All with free delivery this month.”
Your meta description should be no longer than 158 characters or it will get truncated by Google.
Header tags (H1, H2, H3, H4, H5) are used to structure a document or page and are used to tell Google and the other search engines what the most important titles on a page are. Every page on your website should have 1 unique H1 tag, but web developers who are not well versed in SEO can build your templates without them.
To find out if your page has an H1 tag right click on your page in Google Chrome, select “inspect element” and you will see the code behind your website. Next press CTLR + F and type: “<h1>” You will then be shown your H1 tag for that page. If no results are found, you will need to speak to your web developer to put one in. If you find multiple H1 tags you should also speak to your web developer to remove them. Your page should only have one H1 tag. In my experience, Shopify templates are the worst for not having the right number of H1 tags, so if your website runs on Shopify check this now.
Using the computer hardware example, a good H1 title would look like this:
“<h1>Computer Hardware for Sale</h1>”
Then subsequent header tags on the same page could look like this:
“<h2>Asus Computer Hardware</h2>”
“<h2>Mac Computer Hardware</h2>”
<h2>PC Computer Hardware</h2>”
From above, you can see you can have multiple H2 tags and this is true for H3, H4 and so on. To see how many tags your page should have, search for the keyword phrase you want to rank for on Google and take a look at the top three results. You can then inspect element on those pages like we did above and count the number of tags. You can then average those numbers out and know that your page should have 10 H2 tags, 3 H3 tags and 2 H4 tags.
This may seem a lot of work and it is, but Google is already telling you what it expects by showing your competitors page. All you have to do is reverse engineer the results.
The Google algorithm is smart, but sometimes needs help to know what a website is about. Blogging helps your website build a topical relevance.
Let’s stick with the example of a computer hardware ecommerce website that sells Microsoft hardware. To build topical relevance that will boost your on-page SEO, you may want to create blog posts reviewing the latest motherboards that work on PC desktops and within that article link back to the Microsoft hardware page.
When you do this enough times, Google and the other search engines are smart enough to work out that your page selling Microsoft Hardware is now relevant to someone searching “What motherboard should I put in my windows desktop” and could show them for this result.
Image optimization is a great way of getting extra traffic without doing much work. Here are some of the ways you can optimize your website images.
Compress your images
Compressing your images will speed up the time it takes for them to load and page speed is a known ranking factor. You can use tools such as Photoshop to shrink your image size or just do an online search for image compression tools.
Renaming your images
You can rename the images on your page to match the keywords which you are trying to rank for. Sticking with the same example, you could rename your image from 3001.jpg to computerhardware.jpg this small change alone will put your image into the Google image search which does drive clicks to your ecommerce store.
Optimizing the image alt tag
The image alt tag is used by screen readers to explain what an image is about to those who are visually impaired. Therefore, you shouldn’t spam the image alt tags with your keywords, but you can include them in there. If you are using the WordPress CMS, you can upload an image and add the alt tag when doing so. An example of an alt tag could be:
“Asus motherboard suitable for Microsoft PCs”
The above on-page SEO tips are some of the most important elements to get right on your ecommerce store. When you have your on-page optimization covered you can then move on to building links to your website and testing conversion rate optimization techniques.