December 7, 2018 Last updated December 7th, 2018 1,930 Reads share

How to Better Rank Your Ecommerce Website: SEO Checklist

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Did you know that 75% of your customers never scroll past the first page in the SERPs? Unfortunately, in the overcrowded e-commerce world, where new competitors are constantly popping up, appearing on the first page of search results isn’t that simple. Apart from having a gorgeous site, you need to optimize it for Google, too.

Here are a few tips that will help you rank higher.

Do keyword research.

Like with any other SEO campaign, keyword research should be the first item on your SEO checklist. It lets you minimize the guesswork and focus on what your target customers are really searching for. Now, there are several amazing resources that may help you find the right keywords for your site:


Amazon may be your competitor, but it is also the largest e-commerce site in the World Wide Web. All you need to do is type a keyword phrase that describes your product or category into Amazon’s search bar. As their keywords are highly targeted, the suggestions you get will be truly precious. To automate this manual process, use Keyword Tool Dominator that shows Amazon suggestions for the keyword you enter.

Your competitors’ sites.

They are absolute goldmines when it comes to finding category keywords. You just need to browse through their categories and subcategories and see what keywords they use to name them. Each of these phrases is your potential keyword, too.


SEMrush is amazing, as it presents you with the keywords your competitors already rank for. Most importantly, enter your site and SEMrush will show you the sites similar to yours.

When choosing the right keywords for your site, you need to pay attention to a few metrics, including:

  • search volume that shows the total number of searches performed on Google for a given keyword.
  • the relevance of a keyword to your product– if the phrase has nothing to do with your product or category, you shouldn’t use it.
  • keyword difficulty tells you how difficult it is for a given keyword to rank high.

Check your site’s architecture.

When designing your site architecture, there is just one, golden rule you need to follow- your pages should never be buried deeply in your site’s architecture, as they will fail to get enough link juice. Additionally, always make your navigation is simple, scalable, and ensure each page is three clicks away from your homepage.

Handle technical stuff.

Your site’s performance may impact not only your rankings but also your user experience. This is why you need to optimize it from the very beginning. Start with a thorough technical SEO audit. Tools like ScreamingFrog, Raven Tools, or Ahrefs may help you. The next step is to fix your major site issues, including:

  • too many pages
  • duplicate content
  • pages with thin content
  • poor page load speed
  • a site not optimized for mobile

Optimize your site’s pages for maximum reach and exposure.

Once you’ve created a perfect site architecture, it’s time to work on your on-page SEO. Your goal is to optimize your individual pages for exceptional rankings. Now, there are a few elements of your website pages that need to be perfectly optimized for search engines.

  • Title tags. Apart from adding your primary keyword to the beginning of your title tag, you should also add modifiers and click magnets like “buy”, “sale”, or “best” to drive more long-tail, qualified traffic.
  • Meta descriptions tell your potential visitors what your page is about and inspire them to click on the link below it. They need to be highly informative, engaging and contain the above-mentioned click magnets.
  • Product and category descriptions. This is one of the most challenging aspects of on-page optimization. You need to boost customer engagement and yet not spam your content with a bunch of keywords. First, write the 1000+ word descriptions, at least for the most popular pages. Second, add your major keywords 3-5 times, but make sure they’re placed organically.
  • URLs. According to the recent Backlinko’s study, there is a strong link between URLs and rankings. Make sure your URL is optimized for the right keywords and remains as short as possible.
  • Internal links. Your goal is to link from highly authoritative pages to less authoritative one to pass authority to them.

Start blogging.

Content marketing is proclaimed king for a simple reason- it gives you an amazing opportunity to create a great story around your keywords, engage your customers, and boost an authoritative brand that stands out. Most importantly, you will build trust among your target audience and position yourself as a highly authoritative online resource. Apart from enhancing your rankings in the SERPs and driving loads of traffic and links to your site, content marketing will also help you boost sales.

When building your content marketing strategy, use the language that resonates with your target audience, create engaging stories around your keywords and make your content trending and relevant to its readers. Above all, experiment with the forms of content to keep readers interested. Apart from traditional articles, videos, infographics, podcasts, and case studies also work.

Build quality links.  

Link building is one of the most powerful SEO techniques for e-commerce sites, as it gives their category and product pages a notable boost in the SERPs. Now, link building is extremely complex and you need to choose the right strategies for your e-commerce brand. Some of them are:

  • Broken link building. You find a broken link on an authoritative site and offer your page as a relevant replacement.
  • The international option. Find sites that link to your competitor in a different market (e.g. you’re in Australia, they’re in the US) and ask them to link to your site, too.
  • Find where your competitors build links and connect with these sites.
  • Engage on Q&A sites and leave comments on popular websites in your niche. Try to leave an insightful answer and then add your piece of content or product as a solution to a certain problem.
  • Get your site featured on “Where to Buy” pages.
  • Guest blogging comes as a cherry on the top. Your goal is to publish relevant and industry-specific content to highly authoritative sites to boost your backlink portfolio and industry credibility.

Over to you

SEO is the foundation of your e-commerce site’s online presence. It lets you boost your online exposure, build a solid brand image, and improve the user experience. And, these are some basic tactics you should use to rise above your competitors.

How do you optimize your e-commerce site for Google? Let us know in the comments!

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Nate Vickery

Nate Vickery

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