Guide to E-commerce SEO

Websites, and especially online stores, that contain numerous sub-pages require an approach towards SEO completely different from most services companies. This results not only from the great potential of keywords but also from effective use of specific “phases of customer journey”. Therefore, how can we properly rank online store within search engines?

Sales are the basis for proper functioning of online stores. In case of e-commerce, sales are primarily based on Google. It becomes even more obvious when we take into account the fact that nearly 80% of potential customers begin their search for products by typing phrases within Google search engine. Thus, in order to properly use this potential, we ought to determine how does a potential purchasing process look like at first:

Let’s imagine that we wish to buy a bicycle. Since we are pure amateurs in this area, we type in “bicycle” in Google. At this stage, we are still not sure which model or type of bicycle would be the best for us, not to mention the price ranges for particular models. Do we need a bicycle worth PLN 500, 1,000 or 2,000 for occasional bike trips with our friends? We might also ask ourselves – what is the difference between particular bicycles? Hence, we view offers from different online stores, search for information and…leave it all for later.

After several days, we are sure that a city-bike would be the best solution for us. However, we still do not know which model. Thus, we type in “city-bike” into Google. In order to narrow down the results, we might type in “city-bike for up to 1,000 PLN”. We continue analyzing offers provided by different stores, we gather information about particular models and…we either proceed with the purchase or leave the decision for later.

After we carefully consider all “pros and cons”, we type in the name of the model that interests us into Google. Afterwards, we proceed to search for the store that has the most favorable offer and meets our criteria, for example: it offers the selected bicycle model painted black.

As online store owners, on which phase do we wish to “capture” the users?

The answer to this question is simple – on all phases! However, we are most interested in users who are fully aware of their needs. Visits from such persons at our online store have the biggest chance to end with a transaction. Therefore, we deem it as the most valuable for us. Such assumptions are perfectly met by long tail SEO – namely niche keywords. At first, we see the results for the most detailed phrases as they are less competitive (and, at the same time, more profitable). Afterwards, we see the results of more difficult and most sought-after phrases. This is how the process looks like in a nutshell.

I have had many opportunities to analyze online stores that struggled (often unsuccessfully) for the highest rankings for very competitive keywords but, at the same time, completely forgot about the long tail. Single long tail phrases are searched for less often. However, their numbers provide the possibility to create both enormous and valuable movement. Usually, it can be multiple times bigger compared to the most popular and sought-after keywords within the industry. The majority of agencies that provide SEO services prepare sets of several or dozen or so keywords for their customers. Afterwards, they determine the SEO method as long tail. However, this still constitutes SEO of a closed ensemble of keywords that does not have to translate into either movement or sales. Effective long tail SEO is based on advanced analytics, site optimization, expansion of content and finally – building the domain’s authority by obtaining high quality links.

In order to show you the results of long tail SEO, we present a visibility graph of Ahrefs tool of several our customers, with whom we had the opportunity to launch co-operation over the past year.

Interior finishing industry:

Zoological industry:

Clothing industry:

Industrial lighting industry:

Automotive industry:

Interior design:

Based on the graphs above, we can observe an increased visibility of particular domains within Google search engine. The “organic keywords” parameter indicates the number of keywords for which Ahrefs tool found the analyzed domain among the search results. The higher the visibility parameter the better. However, we need to remember that not all keywords will immediately comprise the source of movement. Domain’s appearance for the specified keyword among 30 rankings will be noted on the graph above. Nonetheless, it does not have to be a source of movement. This will change along with the growth of visibility though. In case of SEO with a closed list of keywords (of even dozens of keywords), it would be difficult to achieve such increases of visibility. The cost of such SEO would most likely be much higher as well. Therefore, in case of e-commerce, the most optimal solution is to work on the whole domain instead of a fixed number of phrases.

However, in order for long tail SEO to become possible it is necessary to have unique contents and develop them unceasingly. Google is a content search engine and thus, we need to take care of them in order to ensure displays on high rankings. Furthermore, optimization of such contents in terms of search engines is important on a par with their uniqueness. In most cases, it is worth to entrust a specialist with content creation. A specialist would precede the writing process with a thorough research of the keywords’ potential. This would result in product or site category’s visibility for dozens, or even hundreds of different keywords. Below, you can find a graph of Ahrefs tool. It indicates the increase of visibility for one sub-category that was subject to our optimization:

As seen at the graph above, before undergoing optimization, the sub-page was displayed for approx. 20 keywords. Currently, the number amounts to nearly 80 different phrases. Furthermore, it also became a source of movement and sales for our customer.

Below, you can find an example of a sub-page that already had visibility within Google search engine. However, the visibility doubled. At the same time, it is able to generate several time higher movement than it did previously:

Long tail SEO is probably the most complex type of SEO. It requires constant engagement from the agency as well as close co-operation from the customer’s side. Only this way are we able to develop results that would be stable and satisfactory for both sides.

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