What is E-commerce SEO?

E-commerce SEO is simply optimizing your site based on search engine algorithms. If your E-commerce site isn’t running like a well-oiled machine, you could be leaving money on the table. 

You might even be accidentally hurting your SEO! This can happen due to duplicate content, using non-recommended HTML tags, not mobile-friendly website design, and not having enough internal links between pages (to name a few). 

To fix these problems, you need an experienced e-commerce SEO specialist who understands how search engines work.

Few ways you can optimize your e-commerce site structure for SEO 

1. Use hreflang Tag Properly: hreflang tag tells Google that your site has different variations of language or location targeting. 

For example, if you have an e-commerce store that targets UK customers but also has some French customers as well, it makes sense to tell Google which version of your landing page should show up in SERPs depending on where they live.

The hreflang tag will do just that; use it properly or risk losing valuable traffic from international buyers who don't find what they're looking for on your landing page. 

2. Make sure Product Pages Are Fully Indexed By Search Engines:

Before adding any new products to your site, make sure product pages are fully indexed by search engines. According to Statista, 63% of online shoppers first begin to search for a product on Amazon - so make sure you rank higher when shoppers type red shoes into Google.

On top of that, make sure every detail about your product is included in each page's HTML code - otherwise, one keyword phrase won't accurately describe all variants of one type of shoe. 

3. Utilize Schema Markup Properly: Schema markup allows users to quickly extract relevant information about certain types of sites without ever clicking through to another web page, saving them time and increasing sales. 

Is there anything more important than that? No, I didn't think so either.

When entering their preferred payment method and delivery details, online shoppers want to know exactly what they're paying for and when they'll receive it. Using schema data helps automate processes making the customer experience more enjoyable. 

4. Mobile Usability Is Everything: Just because you've optimized your e-commerce site does not mean everything is fine!

If your e-commerce store is difficult to navigate on mobile, you lose half of your potential consumers right off the bat. Not to mention, search engines give priority to mobile-friendly sites. 

5. Consider Partnering With Experts: SEO is much easier said than done - no matter what stage of development you're at. There's no shame in admitting you need help with strategy or implementation.

Sometimes, it's better to seek help from an SEO consultant to stay on track with ranking goals. If you are launching a full e-commerce site for your brand, partnering with an expert can be very helpful. 

6. Grow Your Email List Early: If you're getting ready to launch a brand new e-commerce site, start collecting email addresses early!

Growing your email list now is crucial to provide value before people have started buying. Email newsletters are also helpful in educating visitors on what you offer and how they can buy it.

Why is e-commerce site structure important?

A good e-commerce site structure is critical because it will help your website rank better in search engines. Although better might seem subjective, there are specific elements that Google looks for when indexing a website—and you need to know what they are.

For example, if you want your e-commerce site (or any site) to be found on page one of search engine results, then your category and product pages must contain relevant keywords. 

Also make sure there is consistency between pages, like title tags and meta descriptions. Consistency is key! This means making sure all links go to an e-commerce subdomain; product links should never point outside of your domain.

You don't want people to leave your site or buy something from another company; both scenarios hurt profits. 

The overall goal is simple: Attract customers back to your main website, not someone else's.

Let's get started with six ways that can optimize your e-commerce site structure for SEO.

Optimizing your E-commerce Site Structure

The design of your navigation is what gives potential customers an idea of what you’re about. If it’s overly complicated or includes too many sub-categories, they might be deterred from browsing your products. 

There’s nothing wrong with a few levels, but if someone has to think too hard to click on something, they probably won’t bother. 

The opposite can also be true—if you have one category that contains hundreds of similar items and another with only a few, many visitors will probably take a quick look at both and make a judgment based on which looks less busy.

Sometimes keeping things simple is good for business.

Create a User Friendly and Simple Navigation

Make your site’s navigation clear and logical. Give visitors one easy path through your content. If your navigation isn’t clear, search engines won’t be able to figure out where they should rank your page to related searches, which will negatively impact your rankings. 

Use links that are short and direct, using common words instead of slang or industry lingo that might confuse people.

Make sure that links are relevant; you want searchers clicking on links while searching Google to find exactly what they’re looking for when they land on your site. 

As an example, let’s say you sell men’s jeans. A logical set of anchor text would include pants, jeans, denim. Each link can also be anchored by both click here and a few other words – like men's pants. 

If a potential customer does arrive at your eCommerce site from Google search results, they need to have confidence that their purchase/inquiry is going to go smoothly. Make sure that all necessary information about each product or service is easily available and comprehensive. 

Have calls to action built into each page so that shoppers are encouraged to continue engaging with your brand before making any sort of commitment (formal sign up for an email newsletter, social media followings, etc.) 

Look through Google Webmaster Guidelines for examples of what quality websites typically do in terms of layout and content style. Make sure you’re following common best practices in web design when it comes to layout organization, copy length, etc., especially if you want your site to be highly ranked in search engine result pages.

Create a hierarchical site architecture

Because of how Google’s ranking algorithm works, it’s always best to create a hierarchical site architecture that focuses on your targeted search term first. 

This allows you to fully understand what pages should come first in your navigation, making it easier for users who are trying to find specific information on your site. 

Not only does it help with user engagement, but it also helps increase conversion rates by increasing exposure.

Keyword phrases are essential when creating an e-commerce site structure because they allow you to highlight products or services based on what customers are looking for online. It’s better to understand their queries and answer them than it is to guess what might be popular.

Optimize for desktop and mobile

Before you even get started on your eCommerce site design, you must make sure your site will be easy to read and navigate on any device. Even though most people are using smartphones now, desktop traffic still accounts for 43.15% share worldwide.

Be sure that your eCommerce store is optimized not only for mobile but also desktop viewing. This includes ensuring that text is large enough to read on any screen size, including tablets and laptops. Larger texts aren't only helpful for customers with vision issues; they can increase customer engagement by making reading easier and faster. 

Also, keep in mind that 79% of shoppers primarily use a smartphone when shopping online. To put that in perspective, 80% percent said they compare products on their phone and also checked reviews before purchasing at a physical store.

Optimize your Website Speed

It’s no secret that menu dropdowns and mega dropdowns can impact your rankings. While Google has become smarter with its mobile search algorithm, many websites still aren’t optimized.  

As I mentioned before, Google loves clean, structured HTML code. If you have extra links that users have to click through—even if they are on a different subdomain or at a different domain altogether—you could be slowing download time and hurting your search performance. Most e-commerce platforms allow you to make these changes very easily. 

Make sure you test them out on desktop before optimizing for mobile devices since it’s important to make sure all your navigation is visible in both places.

Mobile users want fast access and if your site is slow, they will not stay. The average internet connection speed in America is between 54.99 (download) and 10.45 (upload) megabits per second (Mbps), which means if a webpage takes longer than five seconds to load, most people will close it and move on to another website.

Add Breadcrumbs

Breadcrumbs are a simple way to guide people through your website. Not only do they serve as a reference point, but they also help visitors understand where they are in relation to your site’s hierarchy.

In addition, breadcrumbs help search engines find every page on your site without having to guess which specific words or phrases should be used. 

If you have a large site with lots of pages and categories, breadcrumbs will give Google more information about how your page is structured and can increase rankings. 

Think of Google Breadcrumbs as the Hansel and Gretel story where they left breadcrumbs in their path so that they could find their way back home after being lost in the woods.

As you are designing your e-commerce site, make sure that you are optimizing all of your pages with basic HTML best practices in mind to ensure that your customers get what they need quickly. 

It’s also important to include structured data markup for things like menus and map locations since Google can parse them out more easily.

The fastest way for visitors to leave your website or app is by dropping off because of bad connectivity or their device timing out while trying to load something new. It may seem obvious but make sure you test everything thoroughly across multiple devices before making any final changes so you don’t experience any issues once your store goes live.

Create an SEO friendly URL Structure

Though there are some exceptions, creating an SEO-friendly URL structure is crucial for helping search engines crawl and understand your website. 

This means more of your content will be indexed correctly by search engines. Additionally, your product pages will rank higher in search results.

Conclusion

The above tips help with understanding your eCommerce site structure so you can optimize it for both your users and search engines. Ultimately, giving users what they want will ensure their loyalty, return visits, and future sales. 

Be sure to avoid overcomplicating things too much because people are more likely to abandon a website if it’s difficult to use or doesn’t provide enough relevant information. With proper optimization of your website, you should be able to see an increase in traffic as well as conversion rates. 

You may also find that other elements on your site become easier or less complicated thanks to user feedback.

With all of these positive effects occurring on top of increased profits, improving your eCommerce website is worth putting effort into optimizing!