SEO Best Practices for E-Commerce

Lauren Owens - December 30, 2014

Image-heavy E-Commerce websites face unique challenges when it comes to SEO, including textual content constraints, potential page load time issues, and categorical considerations. But there are many ways to optimize E-Commerce sites for search engines, it just takes being creative with how, and what, you implement from an SEO perspective.

In this post, we’ll look at some SEO best practices for E-Commerce websites.

Categorical Organization & Optimization

Your website should be organized to include category pages that can be optimized for overarching keywords. These pages should fit well inside your overall content strategy.

For example, a jewelry E-tailer that sells a variety of jewelry might organize its top-level navigation as:

  • Bracelets
  • Necklaces
  • Rings
  • Earrings
  • Men’s Jewelry

The sub-categories under Bracelets might be:

  • Diamond Bracelets
  • Pearl Bracelets
  • Silver Bracelets
  • Gold Bracelets
  • Gemstone Bracelets
  • Charm Bracelets

In order to have the potential to rank Organically, these category and sub-category pages need some textual content. However, even without a lot of text, you can still target a desired categorical keyword. For example, include the keyword in:

  • The Title Tag
  • H1 tag
  • Select on-page content, that is placed on the page unobtrusively so as not to distract from the product listings
  • Directory / URL structure

Keyword-Targeted Product Pages

The most optimal product pages will have just enough content to demonstrate relevancy and have the potential to rank, while still being uncluttered and conversion oriented. SEO-needs include a well-targeted Title Tag and H1 tag, as well as additional user-facing content that describes the product and also helps the user convert. Other user-friendly and keyword-relevant content includes on-page product ratings and FAQs.

optimized webpage layout

Here’s an example layout for an optimized ecommerce product page.

The primary goal here is to be descriptive. Individual products should be described as distinctly as possible, with the idea that they can rank for several relevant keyword variations – which will help users find the product they’re looking for, and for you to make more sales.

Optimizing Images

E-Commerce websites are image-heavy, so the optimization shouldn’t stop with textual content. Follow SEO best practices for optimizing images, including using descriptive file names and Alt image tags.

Don’t Stop with SEO

When constructing your website strategy and individual pages, remember to focus on website visitors first, search engines second. Continually consider how you can make your website (and content) user-friendly and conversion optimized – not just more SEO-friendly. You can do this by tracking your conversions and performing A/B and multivariate testing in order to optimize overall performance.

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