12/3/19 3:41 PM

As an online merchant, you understand the importance of managing search engine optimization (SEO) on your ecommerce website. In theory, you may even have grand ideas of how you’d optimize this to improve performance, however in execution, ecommerce SEO management ranks low on your to-do list. Is ecommerce SEO really that important? Yes, and spoiler alert, there’s an easier way to do it. 


Why is ecommerce SEO so important?

According to statista, 67% of millennials prefer to shop online and 56% of gen-xers opt for the digital shopping cart. When you consider that 93% of all online experiences begin with a search engine and Google holds approximately 90% of the search engine market share, it should emphasize the importance of ecommerce SEO management. 

If improving ecommerce SEO is so important, why don’t more retailers focus on this as a marketing strategy? Because search engine optimization is difficult, time-consuming, and at times, downright confusing. Our friends over at Emarsys, the largest independent marketing platform company in the world, summarized this perfectly in a post about SEO and PPC campaigns.


“SEO is a time-consuming and resource-intensive process, and so not all businesses are prepared to invest into it, even though for many it can produce the very best return on investment in the long run.”


If you have the budget, you could decide to pay for web traffic, but consider that upwards of 80% of web visitors ignore paid search results; many opting exclusively for organic search results. 


What is ecommerce SEO?

According to CrazyEgg, one of the leading SEO advisory websites, ecommerce seo is defined as:


“The process of making your store online more visible in the search engine results pages (SERPs). When people search for products that you sell, you want to rank as highly as possible so you get more traffic.”


What does this mean for online merchants? There are a number of lengthy SEO checklists you can follow, however this usually involves optimizing the following aspects of your product pages of your website. 

  • Headlines
  • Product description
  • Meta data
  • Internal link structure 
  • Navigational structure for search & user experience 


There is also the process of optimizing non-product-orientated pages like the homepage, the about page, or the contact us page. Add to that keeping up with Google’s latest algorithm changes, and it’s easy to see how without a comprehensive plan, SEO management becomes more of a burden and even less of a priority. 


How to easily improve & manage ecommerce SEO 

SEO management across any industry requires three things: focus, patience, and discipline. It’s important to understand where you stand today in terms of SEO metrics and build goals from those benchmarks. Then you can begin to identify and implement repeatable checks and balances to ensure you are contributing (even if just a little) to your ecommerce SEO campaign. 

Here are some ways you can improve SEO management to your ecommerce site. 


Full SEO access 

Regardless of your ecommerce platform, you need to have full SEO access to items like alt tags, browser titles, and meta descriptions. Ideally, you want a platform or content management system that allows you to easily make, edit, and test changes manually, however if you’re strapped for resources, some systems can automate these fields. 




Image storage, processing and optimization 

Site speed is a well-known contributor to rank; especially on mobile sites. According to Google research, people expect a web page to load in less than three seconds on mobile before they consider backing out to a different results page. 

One major contributor to site speed is the content on the page; specifically image size. Workarea has solved this by managing image storage and optimization for all image assets across the shopping experience. It serves static content such as images, CSS, and Javascript via a content delivery network (CDN), and using Javascript service workers to leverage browser-side caching and native Progressive Web Application (PWA) functionality, creates a better and quicker user experience. This results in a better search engine rank without additional work. 


Curate your social media presence 

Links to your site from social networks will help boost SEO, but if your presence on social media relies on the default appearance a platform scrapes from your site, every link that’s tweeted and shared on Facebook is going to look the same or even worse, render incorrectly. 

To encourage engagement, you want to be able to customize the OpenGraph content on a per-page basis. This means the image and text a user sees on a social network is targeted for that social platform. An action shot of a product will catch a user’s eye better than your site’s logo, or your default product detail image. 


Ditch the developer

Not all together, but for the sake of SEO, you should be able to manage this without heavy reliance on IT. For example, on the Workarea Platform, CSS and Javascript can be uploaded straight to page. This comes into play when you are implementing tracking codes for anything from Google Tag Manager to Pixel Tracking or even Behavioral Analytics, like Hot Jar. You should also have access to important SEO tags, such as page title, image alt tags, and meta descriptions, without having to wait for a developer to find time in their workload to make those changes on your behalf.

Alex Deck