On-page SEO for ecommerce

Now that you’ve done your keyword research and your site structure is ready to rock, in this part of the SEO guide we’ll talk about how you can optimize your two highest value pages:

  • Product category pages
  • Product pages

Not surprisingly, it starts with the basics.See more about SEO.

The basics

If you’re already using Shopify, you likely know that there are some built-in SEO features you can take advantage of. Some are automatic:

  • The canonical tags we talked about earlier are included.
  • Your website’s sitemap.xml and robots.txt files are generated.
  • Themes generate title tags that include your store name.
  • Themes are required to have social media linking and sharing options.

But some features require your optimization skills:

  • You can edit the title tags, meta tags, and meta descriptions to include your keywords.
  • You can edit the alt text for product images to include your keywords.
  • You can make sure your file names include your keywords.
  • You can choose the URLs for blog posts, webpages, products, and collections.

When optimizing your title tags and descriptions, note that these are Google-facing. So, step one is ranking on the first page. Step two is convincing searchers to actually click through to your site.

Modifiers like “Deals,” “X% Off,” “Free Shipping,” “Wide Selection,” etc., can give you a boost when placed in the meta description. Why? Because Google is suspected to use click-through rate (CTR) as a ranking factor. So, it’s not enough to cater to the search engine overlords, you have to pique searcher interest, too.

Those modifiers can also help you attack long-tail keywords.

1. Choose the right URLs

According to DH SEO , there are a few URL guidelines to follow for optimal ranking for ecommerce SEO:

  1. Your URL should be easy for real, live humans to read and interpret, because accessibility matters to Google.
  2. Using your main keyword in URLs is still highly encouraged, as they show up in search results.
  3. Short URLs are better than long URLs. Try to keep it below 50 to 60 characters.
  4. Make sure that the main keyword is used in the page title. Typically, you don’t want to include your entire page title in the URL though.
  5. Don’t include stop words like “and,” “of,” “the,” and “a,” unless they’re part of the keyword.
  6. Keyword stuffing (overusing a keyword) and pointless repetition don’t trick Google and make your store look spammy.

Keep these guidelines in mind when choosing your product page and category page URLs.

2. Reduce thin content pages with long and unique product descriptions

In ecommerce SEO, Google and other search engines use the content on your page to decide which keywords to rank your page for and how high your page should rank for each keyword.

So, if your product page has a short little description and not much else, Google doesn’t have a whole lot to go on. Copying and pasting a description from a manufacturer or supplier is called duplicate content and is also advised against. Writing a unique description with a lot of important detail can help improve the ranking of the product page and reduce thin content on your online store.

That’s why you’ll see product pages with longer descriptions, reviews, etc.

Write long, in-depth descriptions for your products so Google can work its magic more effectively. Include a few different relevant keywords on each page to help Google understand what your product is. If your catalog is huge, focus on your top products or on products ranking on the bottom of the first page or the top of the second page first. While it can be tedious, investing in your product description not only helps ecommerce SEO but also conversions.

The more you write, the more accurate Google can be in ranking your page. And, well, the more opportunity for using your keywords.

Plus, let’s face it, as long as you have a high-level description for the highly motivated, your customers won’t hate the extra product info either. It might even help persuade them to buy.

3. Take advantage of latent semantic indexing (LSI) keywords

LSI keywords are keywords closely related to your main keyword.

You can find these through either a quick Amazon (or other big-name competitor) search or good old Google Keyword Planner, which we talked about above.

If you’re getting traffic from that main keyword, you might as well try to slide onto the first page for related secondary keywords as well. So use these LSI keywords whenever they make sense.See more about SEO.

4. Create internal links

The longer you can keep your visitors perusing your online content, the more chance you have of snagging a sale. Relevant links to other landing pages on your site help your potential customers browse and discover information or products.

In your anchor text (the words that you place the link in), make sure you include the target keyword verbatim. Internal linking can be used to drive customers to relevant product pages, category pages, and educational content.

💡 Pro tip: If you understand your audience’s decision-making process, you can develop content that helps them through the various stages in the buying journey.

Also, make sure not to go too crazy with internal linking. One or two links every few hundred words is enough.