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11 Important Tips to Create an SEO-Friendly Website for Your E-commerce Business

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Everyone wants to land on the top spot in Google search results. However, the most cost-effective way to make that happen is by implementing search engine optimization tactics.

Also known as SEO, it is the process of ensuring that your website ranks for relevant keywords.

For example, you sell limited edition Nike shoes online. When someone types “limited edition Nike” on Google, your website should be included in the result.

The rationale here is to put your business front-and-center to your target customers.

When done correctly, SEO also allows you to encourage that someone to visit your website. From there, you can coax him to check out your product and buy it.

That’s why it is vital that you rank high on search engines so that it will be easier for people to find you. The more traffic you bring into your website, the higher the possibility of increased sales. That’s why you are in the business in the first place, right?

In this post, let us walk you through some helpful tips on how you can maximize your SEO efforts for your online store: 

1. Search for the right CMS platform

Note that not all Content Management Systems (CMSs) are the same. 

Some are specifically tailored for blogging, while others are for e-commerce. Your choice of CMS platform is a great starting point for any e-commerce website development process. 

Usually, it will affect: 

  • The cost of the CMS solution and the cost of development. 
  • Features your site has. 
  • Design features. Many CMS do come with templates and themes that can easily be used. 
  • Google rankings. 

2. Use the HTTPS protocol

Search engines will prioritize the security of web pages where conversions and purchases do happen. Google pushed for more security of websites with the adoption of HTTPS encryption. 

This can be helpful, especially if you have an e-commerce site. The HTTPS protocol signifies that your website is secured and that it is safe for customers to enter their credit card information. 

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Having a secure site means that you’re making your security standards a priority while giving you an edge with SEO as well. 

3. Look for the right keywords

Looking for the right keywords is vital if you want your e-commerce site to rank higher on search engines. So, take time doing in-depth keyword research, and choose ones that fit your particular activity. 

For instance, using long-tail keywords allow you to rank high on a specific niche where your competitors aren’t there already. Often, these keywords help you attract the right kind of traffic and boost your conversion rates. 

Think of it in terms of user queries. 

More often than not, specific users and type in more conversational queries are often searching for something. You need to think of your keywords in terms of the search intent of the users. 

4. Use canonical tags properly

If you’re an e-commerce site, you must have products to show in several categories. For instance, you can categorize a sweater under “Women’s Tops” or “Products on Sale.” 

You should also avoid having these pages appear as duplicates on search engines. It would help if you came up with unique URLs that are canonicalized to a product’s primary URL. 

It’s also relatively common to use URL parameters for selected product variants like colors and sizes. In this case, you can canonicalize your URLs on the primary product page so search engines won’t get confused. 

5. Ensure mobile responsiveness

If you’re trying to develop a web design that’s SEO friendly, it’s a bit challenging to know which elements will be crucial to your business’ success. 

Having a responsive design is one of the most vital components in driving your success. If you want to have a website that’s SEO friendly, then you should integrate a responsive site design. 

Having responsive site designs lets you adapt to whatever device a user is using. So, whether they’re accessing your site through mobile, tablet, or desktop, they’ll get a version of your site that best fits their device. 

Keep in mind that mobile devices have small screens. Hence, your site should adapt to fit these screens. So, if you don’t adjust your site precisely for mobile devices, then it’s highly likely that their experience on your site won’t be positive. 

It means that people will leave your site quickly and choose a competitor where their site is better optimized. 

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Ideally, you want leads to stay on your site longer since it usually sends a positive signal to Google. More often than not, Google will rank your site higher up on search results, especially if they think that your site is relevant to the user’s intent. 

So, to create a better-optimized site, you should integrate a responsive mobile design. Doing so allows you to have a more SEO-friendly website design that keeps leads on your site longer.

6. Reduce page load times

Your page load speed is a vital ranking factor. This means that it can affect your e-commerce website’s search engine ranking. That’s because page load speed can impact user experience. 

Ideally, your focus should be on the user experience. However, there are also things that you might need to consider, such as how quickly your site loads. Make sure that you take steps to have the fastest loading sites among your competitors. 

Make sure that images are correctly compressed so as not to bog your site down.

7. Come up with compelling product descriptions

Usually, coming up with compelling product descriptions can massively impact your conversion rate. This explains why you shouldn’t be using the product descriptions of the manufacturer.

Keep these descriptions unique and appealing, and incorporate relevant keywords. That way, it will be more search-friendly. And instead of talking about product features, explain how this is beneficial for your customers.

Many stores will also copy and paste the description from the manufacturer, which creates thin and duplicate content. On the other hand, unique product descriptions help strengthen your brand. It also engages and educates shoppers. As such, you are setting your online store from the rest of the pack. 

If done well, you can do this by simultaneously enhancing your conversion rates. 

8. Optimize product images

E-commerce sites rely heavily on images. That’s because, for your customers, it is the closest thing to holding a product in person. Hence, your images should be compelling, high-quality, and unique. 

However, excellent images aren’t often enough for search bots to find them. You need to pick photos with tremendous SEO potential to drive a lot of traffic back to your site.

Also, make sure that you have a keyword-rich ALT tag. Doing so makes your images SEO-friendly.

9. Tailor your content with your buyers’ needs

The mission of Google is to organize different information, making it highly accessible and helpful to users. 

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That’s why you need to create the type of content that will answer users’ search queries. When brainstorming content ideas, think about the goal of the users. What are their specific intent, needs, and desires? 

Let’s say that the users look up one of your product names, and you provide them with the corresponding product page. Not only you’re fulfilling their desire, but they’re also learning more about your product for them to purchase it. 

10. Improve internal linking strategy

Although internal linking is believed to be an outdated strategy, it’s still essential. It would help to focus on placing relevant internal links throughout the page copy, not only for search engines but also for humans who will read. Your site will be thanking you in the long run. 

What’s important is that you’re not keyword stuffing and putting irrelevant links. Meanwhile, internal linking throughout your site is one of the best ways for search engine bots to understand your website better. 

11. Redirect all broken or 404 pages

Search engines often attribute the keyword rankings and site authority with individual URLs. When a page has a 404 error code, it can impact your website’s UX. Meanwhile, redirecting it to the right page prevents you from turning off a customer.

If a product is sold out, you should put in place a permanent redirect. That way, you’ll be able to pass the associated keyword rankings of your page with the most relevant product or category. 

The more relevant a link redirect is, the more likely customers will be preserving the ranking for original keywords. 

Another benefit of this is when you redirect shoppers with a closely related product. Then they’re more likely to find the product that they’re looking for rather than meeting a dead end. 

Over to You

Using the SEO tips listed above to your advantage helps you increase your e-commerce revenue. However, it takes time to see the impact that SEO can bring to your online business.

Still, this should not discourage you from implementing various SEO tactics. If anything, we suggest that you optimize your website now. That’s because it is an excellent way of future-proofing your business.

By that, we mean ensuring that any algorithm update will not hurt your e-commerce website’s search engine ranking.

Kenneth Sytian is a web designer in the Philippines. He is the owner and CEO of Sytian Productions. He has been designing websites and developing web apps for more than a decade. He is the driving force behind the company and influencer in the industry of web design and development in the Philippines.