Is SEO for ecommerce websites drastically different from other websites? Yes and no.
Ecommerce for SEO doesn’t deviate too far away from any approach you would take for normal SEO. There are two key differences: the focus on individual products, and the importance of brand and brand awareness. While brand awareness is always key, it plays a larger role with ecommerce, because if consumers don’t trust a brand, they simply will not buy it. Therefore, offsite mentions play a bigger role with ecommerce sites.
So, how do we approach this? There are three tactics that you will want to focus on to send to search engines, and ultimately to users, the right trust signals: customer satisfaction, structured data, and social media. Read on for your primer on SEO for ecommerce.
This has to be a key with any ecommerce site. How does an ecommerce site prove customer satisfaction? Reviews and ratings are key—onsite and off. Your site needs to have product reviews with structured data behind it to tell Google, Bing, and Yahoo! that this product is actually worthy of purchase.
Beyond onsite, Google and other search engines looks to sites like Yelp to cite quality. Therefore, SEOs work hard there, as well. Reviews on quality sites are picked up and utilized by search engines and very much affect rankings.
Structured data can tell a search engine exactly what they are seeing. Structured data is a specific “vocabulary of tags,” as Moz puts it, that you can add to your HTML. Structured data produces what is called “rich snippets,” the extra bits of text or information that shows under individual search results. This can provide Google and other search engines the info they need to present your products in a more attractive manner. For instance:
Due to structured data, Google knows that they are looking at an actual product, as opposed to having to guess based on context.
Further, search engines also know the product rating based on reviews, especially when structured data is implemented directly. This allows Google to actually show a snippet of a five star review on the page. This product is many times more likely to be clicked on than the others due to the rating it has. It’s a matter of drawing the user’s eye to that result, and most importantly with ecommerce, consumer trust.
Sales are very directly tied your brand. If you don’t have a trustworthy, authoritative brand, you are less likely to actually sell.
One of the easiest and most effective ways to establish brand authority is through social media. No other avenue allows you to engage with consumers in such an intimate level and environment. By establishing relationships with your customers you create word-of-mouth buy in that can’t be established with organic traffic alone.
One of the reasons social media helps boost SEO in general is the fact that it helps establish brands. Major social media sites like Facebook are not currently used by search engines to boost rankings, but they are used to confirm the authority and trustworthiness of a brand.
Ecommerce Isn’t Different
Nothing much changes with your approach to ecommerce over every day SEO. Everyone is selling something, the only difference is what. Ecommerce SEO may be a bit different from websites that aren’t actually selling products, but the greatest difference is simply the time it takes to optimize the amount of products that most ecommerce sites list.