November 6, 2023
Technical SEO for Shopify and WooCommerce: Essential Tips for Ecommerce
When it comes to ecommerce, having standout products isn’t the sole ticket to success anymore. To truly shine, your brand needs to understand and master technical SEO.
Whether it’s Manchester City Football Club, or a medium-sized clothing retailer at the other end of the country, Technical SEO forms the infrastructure of most online ecommerce platforms, such as Shopify Plus or WooCommerce.
Its role? Ensuring search engines effortlessly crawl, interpret, and index website data.
Given the sprawling nature of ecommerce sites, where ecommerce product listings can range from a mere handful to thousands, maintaining a site that search engines can easily digest is imperative.
This means that your site structure, product categories, and the intrinsic value of each product should be discernible to search algorithms.
Comprehensive Keyword Research: Laying the Groundwork
At the heart of any effective ecommerce SEO strategy lies comprehensive keyword research. This isn’t merely about pinpointing popular search terms, but about understanding the language of your potential customers—especially when they’re poised to make a purchase.
Focusing on long-tail keywords with clear purchase intent is vital. While they might attract fewer searches, their conversion potential is significantly higher. As market trends and consumer behaviours shift, it’s essential to revisit and refine your keyword strategies.
Optimising Your Content for SEO
SEO-optimised content within ecommerce isn’t just about driving traffic—it’s about driving relevant traffic. Relevant traffic translates to visitors who are genuinely interested in the products you’re offering and are more likely to convert into customers.
In the ecommerce sector, the content isn’t just confined to blog articles or generic product descriptions. It encompasses reviews, Q&A sections, how-to guides related to the products, and even user-generated content. Every piece of content is a chance to showcase not just a product, but the value and experience that come with it.
Once you’ve determined your keywords, the next step is seamlessly integrating them into your product titles, descriptions, meta descriptions, and even image alt-text. But it’s not enough to merely sprinkle keywords. Your content must provide genuine value. For example, a product description should paint a vivid picture, addressing potential questions a buyer might have, and emphasising the unique benefits of the product. It should be engaging enough to hold attention, yet detailed enough to inform.
Moreover, with the rise of voice search through smart devices, adopting a conversational tone and including natural language or questions within content is becoming increasingly vital. Think about how someone might ask Siri or Alexa about a product and tailor some content to fit these verbal searches.
Importantly, while content optimisation is about using the right keywords, it’s equally about avoiding over-optimisation. Search engines today are sophisticated enough to recognise and penalise keyword stuffing, which harms rather than enhances visibility.
Engaging content goes beyond text. Incorporating high-quality images and videos that are relevant to the product can significantly enhance the user experience. It’s not just about showcasing the product, but about narrating its story, its relevance, and its place in the customer’s life.
The Skyscraper Technique and Diversifying Strategies
The skyscraper technique, an innovative approach to content marketing, is grounded in the principle of building upon what already stands tall in the digital arena.
Originated by Brian Dean of Backlinko, this technique primarily focuses on improving existing popular content and then reaching out for link-building opportunities.
The first step involves identifying content within your niche that has gained significant traction or backlinks.
Numerous tools, like Ahrefs or BuzzSumo, can assist in pinpointing such content. Once identified, the next step is to ask: How can this be bettered? Perhaps the information could be updated with the latest research, or maybe there’s room to make the content more comprehensive or visually engaging. In ecommerce, this might be writing up product comparison, seasonal style guides or in-depth product reviews. Both Shopify and WooCommerce have in built blog features that can make posting these articles a simple process.
After crafting a piece that’s superior to the existing top-performing content – in essence, constructing your ‘skyscraper’ – the process transitions into outreach.
By connecting with those who’ve linked to or shown interest in the previous top content, you present them with something more updated and valuable, encouraging them to link to your content instead.
The brilliance of the skyscraper technique lies in its simplicity. Instead of starting from scratch, it leverages existing demand and builds upon it. However, it’s crucial to emphasise that the success of this strategy hinges not just on the content’s quality, but also on effective outreach. The ultimate goal isn’t just to produce superior content, but to ensure it gets the recognition and backlinks it deserves. In the bustling market of online content, the skyscraper technique emerges as a strategic beacon, guiding businesses on how to stand tall amidst competition.
On-Page Product SEO: A Close-up Look
In the vast digital marketplace, products must shine, not just through quality, but also through visibility. It’s here that on-page product SEO becomes the beacon, guiding customers right to your digital doorstep.
Product Titles Matter: These aren’t mere labels. Think of them as a digital handshake. Infusing titles with specific keywords, like “Waterproof Men’s Trail Running Shoes by [Brand Name],” ensures your products appear prominently in search results.
Narrate Through Descriptions: Product descriptions are an opportunity. They should craft a story that not only informs but entices, integrating keywords organically, addressing customer pain points, and highlighting unique product features.
Meta Descriptions as Click Magnets: They might not directly affect rankings, but a well-crafted meta description can significantly boost click-through rates. It’s your brief pitch to potential visitors, so make it compelling!
Crafting URLs with Precision
If your website was a book, the URL would be its title. URLs are pivotal in signalling both users and search engines about the page’s content.
A readable and concise URL can be the difference between a potential customer trusting your site or skipping past it. For instance, consider a webpage that showcases men’s running shoes. A URL like www.shoestore.com/mens-running-shoes immediately communicates its content.
This not only aids user experience but can be a boon for search engine rankings. Incorporating primary keywords and keeping the structure clean helps search engines understand and rank pages more effectively.
Harnessing the Power of Structured Data
Structured data, also known as schema markup, plays a crucial role in SEO. It’s essentially a standardised format to provide information about a page and categorise its content.
Rich Snippets: By using structured data, you enable search engines to display more detailed results, known as rich snippets. These could be product ratings, prices, or even stock availability.
Enhanced CTR: Rich snippets can dramatically increase click-through rates. When users see additional information upfront, they’re more inclined to click on a result, believing it to be more relevant to their query.
Voice Search Optimisation: Structured data aids voice search devices, such as Google Assistant or Alexa, in understanding the context of your content, thereby making it more likely for your site to be a reference point during voice-activated searches.
Staying on Top, Always
Strategising is one part of the equation; executing efficiently is another.
Tools like Google Search Console, Screaming Frog, Ahrefs, and Semrush can identify errors, streamline keyword research, monitor backlinks, and track overall performance.
Using these tools judiciously not only saves time, but can also offer invaluable insights into your site’s health.
SEO isn’t static. Think of it as a living, breathing entity that thrives on constant nurturing. As search algorithms become more sophisticated and consumer behaviours change, so must your SEO tactics. Regular site audits, content updates, and strategy recalibrations are par for the course.