How To Improve your Online Retail Store’s Search Engine Optimization

e-Commerce Website SEO Tips
Improve your e-Commerce Website Search Engine Optimization
You know the math right, According to the National Retail Federation’s annual consumer spending survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, consumers plan to spend an average of $935.58 during the holiday shopping season. Total spending includes gifts for others, self-spending, food, flowers, decorations and greeting cards for Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. Total planned spending this year is second only to the record total spending in 2015, at $952.58.

NRF Expects online retail sales in November and December (excluding autos, gas and restaurants) to increase a solid 3.6 percent to $655.8 billion. Online sales are forecast to increase between 7 and 10 percent over last year to as much as $117 billion. Retailers are expected to hire between 640,000 and 690,000 seasonal workers this holiday season, in line with last year’s 675,300 holiday positions.

In our last article I talked about how November Replacing Black Friday & Cyber Monday for USA, UK & Canadian Shoppers. So, now you know the Online Retail Trends & want to be top of search engine organic result. In This article, I'll focus on how to optimize your online shop or website for higher search engine organic ranking.

Have an e-Commerce Website? Every bit of your e-Commerce website markup, titles, description text, links and images that can be read by a search engine crawler and indexed in a search engine database needs to be optimized; and by optimizing, you have to make it easier and faster for a search engine to find your website content.

Your competitors are already exploring this option, why not you? If you are not utilizing this, you will find yourselves drowning in new organic visitors.

While the principle is relatively simple to understand, the ‘how’ and ‘where’ to start can get progressively intricate but before that happens, here are two axis (On-Page & Off-Page SEO) of Search Engine Optimization to work your online shop.

On-Page SEO Factors: The first place to start with SEO is on your e-commerce Retail Store’s website itself. Search engine algorithms look for several factors when they crawl through each page of your site. The most important ones are:

  • Website Structure
  • Website Speed
  • Keywords
  • Product Page URL
  • Title Tag & Meta Descriptions
  • Content Optimization
  • Images Optimization
  • Internal Links & Anchors

Website Structure

Structural elements of your online site and the way pages & products link to each other also affect ranking. Search engines go through a link structure to find and index pages. If your site is structured well, all pages and product pages will be easily found by search engine crawlers & can achieve higher organic ranking.

A clear site structure is important not only regarding ranking but most of all regarding good user experience. The aim is to build an eCommerce Site where shoppers can easily find products and information they came for.

Website Speed

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Having the best site structure will not mean anything to search engine, if your website or shop don't load fast enough (ideal is below 3 second). An statistics found that 69% of consumers leave slow loading websites. While, 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less & 40% abandon websites that take more than 3 seconds to load.

Modern ranking algorithms take the loading speed of a website very seriously, simply because good search engines don’t like recommending slow pages as this would be bad for user experience. Also, as search engines are in the business of bringing their user the best results, doing otherwise would reflect badly on them.

Free Tools to Measure Your Website Speed:

April 09, 2010, Google Official Webmaster Central Blog Statement is "Speeding up websites is important — not just to site owners, but to all Internet users. Faster sites create happy users and we've seen in our internal studies that when a site responds slowly, visitors spend less time there. But faster sites don't just improve user experience; recent data shows that improving site speed also reduces operating costs. Like us, our users place a lot of value in speed — that's why we've decided to take site speed into account in our search rankings. We use a variety of sources to determine the speed of a site relative to other sites."


There are different types of keywords, as well as different types of search queries that people use to find products they are looking for. Search Engine Optimization is pretty much based on keywords. Finding out what words searchers use to find online stores similar to yours is the key to your online business success.

After doing a deep research, you’ll have a list of relevant keywords in your bucket. You can then start the optimization process which means placing keywords throughout the whole website. The main keywords should be used in titles, URLs, headlines and repeated naturally in the content; others should be located in image tags and meta descriptions.

Free Tools to Start Keywords Research:

Product Page URL

One easy way to improve organic ranking on your e-commerce site is to ensure that each of your product URL is SEO-friendly, which means that it should include the main keyword that the page is targeting.

URL stands for uniform resource locator; it is a web address of a single web page. URLs are displayed in a web browser and on SERPs. There are two types of web addresses: static and dynamic.

A Static URL Looks Like:

A Dynamic URL Looks Like:

I recommend you to use static URLs whenever possible, because static one make sense & easy to remember.

Title Tag & Meta Descriptions

The Title Tag should define a site’s content in a concise and clear manner. You should keep it short & simple, I suggest that, keep it under max 60 characters. Be sure to include at least two of your most important keywords along with your brand’s name.

A title tag plays a significant part in search engine organic ranking as well as increase CTR, as it appears in the search engine result pages (SERPs), on external websites and directly in browsers.

Google Meta Tag Example
Google Title Tag & Meta Descriptions In Action.

As you can see above frog this screenshot, a meta-description is a short paragraph which is displayed right under a title tag  & URL on SERPs.

Sometimes a short title is not enough to adequately communicate what your e-commerce website potential visitor. Meta Description gives you the opportunity to introduce your brand before a searcher pays you a visit and see the products you offer.

The optimal length of a Meta Description should be max 160 characters. While creating a copy is good to be as much creative as you can. A boring description can decrease CTR and bring you fewer organic visitors. Unlike Title Tag, Meta Description is not visible directly in browsers.

Content Optimization

Although content don't play much when it's comes to online shopping site, but website content still has its technical importance for search engine ranking. A eCommerce Website with a blog and continuously new content posting using keywords related to its products is likely to get a high place on search engines if, of course, the content is of related to the user interest.

    Unique Product Descriptions: The Unique Product Description are extremely important factors in top organic ranking. The better the information is, the better the information will be (description, faq, images, etc.) and rich media (photos from all angles, videos, products in context, etc.). In addition, the more complete the product descriptions (description, faq, images, video, etc.), the better your site will be indexed on the search engines.

Tip: 81% of consumers search and shop online before buying a product, either online or in-store. However, a retailer or distributor who does not present all of their online products will lose sales.

Images Optimization

Take the time to name your product images correctly before you upload them. Not XYZ64564 but “winter-baby-boot-0325”, and also add an Image ALT tag “Winter Baby Boots”, Also if there's any folder or directory where your upload images, use the same thought.

Internal Links & Anchors

Links that point to other pages of your site called Internal Links – are an important part of on-page SEO aspect. Internal Links help search engine to crawl through your site, indexing each page as they go. Links can be text, images or representations of buttons you can click on to ‘navigate’ or jump to other pages or files. In this case you will focus on text links, which can make a world of difference to your website internal linking structure.

SEO Internal Links Best Practices

Anchor or Keyword in Links - This is the word or phrase that ‘names’ the link. Search engines like Google take into account the Anchor or Keyword Text in Links. Let’s say that these links are placed at the home page of your eCommerce Site, they would look a bit like this:

  • Women's Watches
  • Men's Watches
  • Shoes for Men

You are telling users and search engine crawlers that behind those links and according to their anchor text phrasing, that they will find either Watches for women, Watches for men and Watches for men.

It all seems pretty obvious when done right, but let’s see what over optimized links would look like. If we take the same phrases but apply the anchors the wrong way:

  • Women's Watches
  • Men's Watches
  • Shoes for Men's
With these over optimized anchors text, you are telling the web crawler to only take into account the following words:
  • Women's
  • Men's
  • Men's
My Opinion is, anchors text should be human understandable as well as to search crawler.

Off-Page SEO Factors: Off-Page SEO techniques involve building links from other parts of the web to your site. In the past, e-Commerce site managers would scatter links to their site all over forums, directories, and comments sections, as well as buy links on other sites. These kinds of link building techniques are penalized by search engines these days, which means that you need to take a different approach.

Focus on building relationships & link earning, not link building. Note it, Not all the links hold same weight, it means that you make sure that the links you build are natural & authentic. Read More about, Google's Link Schemes Here.

Although proper link building is not an easy thing to do, there are still many white hat SEO techniques you can start with even today, without considerable efforts or expenses. Check out following link building methods.

  • Ask for Backlinks.
  • Build Relationships.
  • Give a Testimonial.
  • Start a Blog.
  • List your Site in Trustworthy Directories.
  • Design & Share Infographic.
  • Write a Great Guest Post.
  • Discover competitors' Backlinks.
  • Recover your Broken Backlinks.
  • Launch a contest or a giveaway campaign.

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So, keep your link building plan until you achieve the #1 on Google also make sure to share your thought in the comment field. Use these simple tips to help you get started with your eCommerce website Search Engine Optimization Campaign and keep an eye out for my next article, where I'll explain How Your Competitors Dominating Over Your Business.