SEO for ecommerce

E-commerce SEO in 2021: The Ultimate Guide

SocialB Digital Marketing Blog Last modified: 23 Feb 2021 by SocialB

SEO for e-commerce comprises a series of activities to optimise a site to improve its ranking on search engines, in order to intercept more organic traffic interested in the products we want to sell. The process of applying a proper SEO strategy to an e-commerce site consists of 3 steps:

  • Analysis of competitors, search intent, keywords, site health, buyer personas, target audience, etc.
  • Optimisation of the criticalities found during the analysis, such as structure, navigation paths, internal/external links, scanning errors, content semantics, robots directives, etc.
  • Promotion through link building activities, link earning, mentions, citations, increasing social presence etc.

In addition to the standard actions needed to optimise a site, there are various SEO and web marketing techniques that can be used to improve the visibility of an e-commerce site, as well as to improve organic traffic, the number of customers and conversions.

YouTube videos are a powerful weapon in the arsenal of an SEO project. They are generally the first to be placed in the search results (you can do this yourself), so a good video can be used to intercept many target users.

Tips: – make short videos, or edit the official videos that are often released by the manufacturers and post them on your e-commerce YouTube channel.

– use the appropriate keywords in the title and description of your video to optimise everything and remember to put the link to your product in the description!

Google Shopping is another powerful weapon to push sales of your products and it is free.

Thanks to this favourable positioning, you can get thousands of targeted visits to your product pages through Google shopping. There are a lot of big companies that have multiplied their turnover thanks to Google shopping campaigns.

In order to promote your e-commerce products via Google Shopping, you just need to register with Google Merchant Center and upload a feed of your products, using the specifically structured data markup.

Google delays mobile-first indexing deadline to March 2021

Catch buyers intentions

Information searches are an important part of a website’s traffic. It is important to know that in most cases, the purchase of a product/service is only the final stage of a wider research session.

This means that the purchase is almost always preceded by information searches on topics related to the product/service of interest.

If, for example, I want to buy a cleaning product, before proceeding, I will certainly google phrases such as: “best oven cleaner”, “best floor cleaner pet safe”, “best cleaning product plastic-free”, etc. These types of searches arise from the user’s need for information and advice before making a final choice.

Most people who run an e-commerce store only focus on product-related keywords (transactional searches), totally ignoring information searches.

It is indeed true that transactional searches have a higher conversion rate, because they intercept an immediate need, e.g. “offer Delphis antibacterial sanitiser” or “offer Dunhams Washrooms toilet cubicles “, but at the same time, it is also true that intercepting informative searches and satisfying the user’s need can bring excellent results.

What do we need to do then?

Definitely creating a blog and/or a guide can meet the needs of users on most of the questions related to the products we sell and have few more chances to convert.

To do this, we can use a keyword research tool such as SEMrush, SeoZoom, KeywordTool etc

It is also important to insert and include links to products that you are promoting.

If possible, always include call-to-actions that tell users exactly what to do.

For example, if you’re creating a guide on the best cleaning products for cleaning your home, include a link at the end to the products you’ve listed as the best in the ranking.

Another very useful action to increase the ‘value’ of a website is to get links from other relevant websites: that is called Link Building.

This will not only improve the link juice between your internal pages on your site but could also bring in sales from interested users that you have managed to convince through your blog or guide!

SEO News 2021: What can we expect?

Increasing sales from e-commerce is the main objective of those who own an online business. SEO changes super quickly and we need to keep up to date, only then can we do an optimal job. Imagine if you are working hard on a strategy and then you discover that Google no longer rewards sites that work in a certain way because it has completely changed the evaluation parameters. So what should you focus on?

Google Page Experience: New algorithm

A good user experience will make navigating a site easier and therefore also increase the time a user spends there.

Google in 2021 has decided to reward even more sites that offer an optimal user experience. To explain the criteria it will use to evaluate sites, Google has launched the ‘Web Vitals Essential Metrics For A Healthy Site’ programme. The criteria that Google uses for evaluation are essentially 3:

  • LCP (Largest Contentful Paint): perceived page load speed;
  • FID (First Input Delay): reactivity of users interacting with the page;
  • CLS (Cumulative Layout Shift): visual stability of the page and quality of the layout used.

If your site does not yet meet all these criteria, don’t worry. It is a gradual process and you can work on it over time alongside a professional to deliver a great user experience.

Mobile-first index

Mobile-first indexing means Google predominantly uses the mobile version of the content for indexing and ranking. Here at SocialB, we have already talked in one of our blog posts about one of the big SEO innovations of this 2021. Take a look!

Mobile-First Index - What Is It and How Does It Affect SEO? - Blog Delante

Google Lens

It is very likely that this is the year when alternative search methods will finally take off.  Voice is certainly gaining share, but there was something we didn’t count on. We knew that the bet on Artificial Intelligence is key, but it seems that one of those projects that are usually left running on the sidelines is going to be much more important for organic positioning in 2021: we are talking about Google Lens.

This reverse image search system has been working for years through the assistants developed for mobile applications, but almost without making any noise it started to work natively in browsers as well. Basically, what it does is to scan an image and return similar results, but not like the traditional Google Images search where it focuses on the similarity between two images.

Google Lens is able to interpret the content of the photograph and show us products related to what appears in the image. Imagine applying Google Lens to a photo of a fashion influencer. You will be able to find shops that sell the clothes she is wearing and, in addition, other clothes that are different but fit her style. This is not only an SEO trend in search engines for 2021, other types of big online references are already using it in other channels. We are talking about the Amazon app that does something very similar or Pinterest Lens with its social network. We better should keep an eye on this, because it looks set to grow significantly over the next 12 months.

SEO during Covid

Covid changed our lives and has brought a real revolution in eCommerce as well. During the months of confinement, there was a brutal increase in certain niches and sectors that had never experienced anything like this before.

What implications does this have for SEO?

Well, it is likely that this 2021 competition will increase significantly in certain segments such as online supermarkets, food delivery, fitness and home entertainment. All of them are going to become much more competitive and -in addition- to all this, we have to add the physical shops and retailers of all kinds that have joined the online channel to try to find a space to continue to grow or maintain their business.

We will have to reinforce our “space” with more content or, at least, with content that is better aligned with what users are looking for (Rethinking search intentions and updating our keyword research is essential)

Attributes that were not very important before are becoming basic. Who sold face masks a year ago? Who cared if a product was antiseptic or sanitized?

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