We already hear you thinking, "Is SEO for eCommerce different from SEO in general?". No, it is exactly the same! But in e-commerce you can make specific profit on a number of points. In this blog we explain what SEO is and we share practical tips to optimize your webshop for search engines.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is an important process for optimizing your eCommerce environment. In a targeted way you generate organic traffic to your webshop by scoring high search positions on Google and other search engines (Bing). It offers your organization a valuable source of traffic, which is all too often ignored.
Specifically for eCommerce websites, it is essential that your product pages appear at the top of the search results in order to drive qualified visitors to your webshop, resulting in more purchases. This means that when a potential customer searches for your type of products (for example, a leather corner sofa), your goal is for your webshop to appear at the top of Google search results.
Everyone wants to be found well with a webshop, which is why it is often given high priority. Paid search traffic can get you to the top of search results, but the costs of staying there may not be profitable enough in the long run. So you have to invest time and money in good SEO.
In markets or niches where there is strong competition, paying for website visitors can be up to many euros per click. Or you have to buy more visible advertising spaces. With the effective use of SEO for your eCommerce platform, you are less dependent on this traffic. Each option has its own advantages, but in terms of the long term, organic search traffic is the most effective for acquiring new customers. Research has also shown that organic search traffic has the largest share of increasing sales.
The purpose of a search engine is to offer the visitor relevant content that matches the search query you have entered. The meta title and meta description help the search engine to “explain” briefly what the page is about.
To ensure that all offered products are easy to find, it is therefore important to always fill in the meta title and description. Best practice is to give the meta title a maximum of 60 characters and the meta description approximately 160 characters.
Images speak the most to the imagination, so don't be too frugal with this. By giving all images an alt text (alternative text), you actually tell search engines what is shown on the image and the image can be shown as soon as it matches a search that matches it.
Your goal is to make the products you offer appear as a result for the correct searches. This only works if the product description clearly explains what the product contains, what properties it has and possibly also what problem it solves. A search process often starts with a problem of which it is not always immediately clear which product solves the problem. So keep this in mind.
Often an eCommerce platform automatically generates a URL for new (product) pages. If this URL does not contain a product title, but for example only a product or page ID, it is not possible for a search engine to deduce what the page is about. It is also nice for a visitor if the URL describes what he / she can expect after clicking. It is therefore very valuable to optimize the URLs of your webshop.
To make a website SEO proof, you often start with keyword research. Keywords are words that visitors enter into a search engine. We ourselves still notice that the use of keywords is rewarded.
Determine in advance for which keyword(s) you want to optimize a page. Best practice is to include the keyword in the meta title, meta description, URL, H1, image alt text and first paragraph of the page.
You may recognize the frustration. You fill in a search for a specific product and click on the result of which you see that the webshop has the product in stock. Then you land on the product page and it says “Out of stock”. That is a bad first impression, it causes irritation and there is a good chance that the visitor will not return to your webshop. Therefore, be transparent and provide current information about stock, price, delivery time and whether the price includes or excludes VAT. To display this information up-to-date in Google, use Google Merchant Center.
Ratings and reviews play a major role in the buyer's journey orientation process (customer journey from orientation to purchase and beyond). In addition, high ratings contribute to a higher ranking of these product pages and / or your webshop in the search results. Therefore, actively ask for reviews about the delivered product and the webshop.
Do you often first click on a rich result when you are in your search process on Google? Maybe you do it unconsciously, but these rich results stand out, grab your attention and generate the most traffic. The implementation is pretty easy and it's free! Read more about the possibilities on the Google website.
You can test whether the structured data is correctly implemented with Google's Rich Results Test.
A few weeks ago, Google launched the largest update ever in Google Analytics: the Google Analytics 4 property. The new property focuses on the visitor's engagement. You get one customer view across different channels (website, app, webshop, etcetera) so that you can get a better ROI from your marketing. Very valuable!
At the moment the Universal Analytics and Google Analytics 4 properties still exist side by side, but Google has announced that it will only develop further on the Google Analytics 4 property.
The benefits of Google Analytics 4:
We advise you to get started with GA4, retaining your current universal property so that the layout is in place, you already collect new data and you can take advantage of the new features available in this property.
If you are new to Google Analytics, you will automatically use the Google Analytics 4 property. If you already use Google Analytics, you can easily upgrade to Google Analytics 4 with this Google step-by-step plan.
View the Google Analytics 4 walkthrough from Google.
A webshop can also benefit from social media. When your number of social media followers grows, many of those followers respond to your posts or share a post, this contributes to the ranking of your webshop in search engines.