60 SEO tips & Online Marketing techniques for ecommerce Websites

seo-tips-ecommerce-siteImproving the Online Marketing presence of an Ecommerce website is usually a very challenging task. This is because the Online Marketers & SEO Professionals have to optimize the website in order to achieve better rankings on Search Engines, they must improve the user experience, they have to use all the available channels to promote the Online business and above all they have to find ways to increase conversion rates & boost the sales.

Few weeks ago we published a detailed SEO Checklist with 60 essential checks that need to be done before launching a website. In this article we list 60 important SEO tips and Online Marketing techniques that can be used in order to improve the Online Marketing presence of an ecommerce website. The list touches upon several different parts of the optimization process and thus we group the various tips & techniques in 8 large categories.

Link Structure

1. Use SEO Friendly URLs which contain the important keywords of each product or category.

2. Choose carefully your categories and use a tree-like link structure.

3. Prefer the “example.com/product1” URL structure over the “example.com/cat1/procuct1” structure if you have multiple categorization. The second one can create duplicate content issues.

4. Link directly from your homepage to your best selling products.

5. Watch out for duplicate content and use canonical URLs. Don’t create multiple landing pages for minor product differences (color, size etc).

6. Eliminate all the Dangling & Broken links by using the Link Structure Tool.

tree-deep

On Page Optimization

7. Conduct Keyword Research and find out how people search for your products.

8. Use targeted, compelling and unique Page Titles.

9. Usually you should use singular over plural (example camera vs cameras). Check the trends in your industry to see which is more popular.

10. Don`t use generic manufacturer product descriptions to avoid duplicate content issues. Write meaningful & useful descriptions for at least the best selling products.

11. Optimize your pages for the targeted keywords and check their Keyword Rank with Keyword Analyzer tool.

12. Don`t create thin content and pages that are not needed. Panda is watching you!

13. Produce compelling SERP snippets to increase CTR.

14. Use schema.org to label the product details and prices.

15. Update your content regularly to keep it fresh.

16. Optimize your images (filenames, alts, surrounded text) to increase the traffic that you receive through Image Search.

on-site-optimization

Link Building

17. Use targeted anchor texts by using the keywords that appear on the title of each product/category.

18. Analyze the link building campaigns of your competitors and try to acquire links from the same high quality sources.

19. Use text hyperlinks to link between your products and categories.

20. Build links that point directly to the product landing pages and don’t focus all your link building efforts only on homepage.

Design & User experience

21. Use properly the call to actions. Keep them clear and place them strategically on your pages.

22. Create a compelling, user friendly, professional design.

23. Use “security badges” (McAfee, VeriSign, Better Business Bureau or Direct Marketing Association) to gain the trust of your visitors.

24. Don`t confuse the visitor with 1 million options. Steer his/her attention to the call to action.

25. Offer all the cool features such as “Add to wishlist”, “Send Email alert when product becomes available”, “subscribe to Newsletter” etc. They are good for the users and they can help you increase conversion rates.

26. Use several images and videos featuring the best selling products.

27. Ensure that your website is cross browser.

28. Keep your check-out and payment process simple to increase your conversion rate and reduce the Shopping cart abandonment rate.

29. Reduce the loading time of your website by minimizing the size of css/js/image files and by using caching mechanisms.

user-experience

Website Structure & Architecture

30. Choose carefully the Ecommerce platform that you will use. Ensure that it is regularly updated, that it has lots of plugins, that it is supported by an active community or a serious company and that it is SEO Friendly. Don’t select the platform only based on its cost.

31. Create HTML & XML sitemaps and submit them to the various search engines.

32. Avoid using AJAX, Flash and other non SEO Friendly technologies for important parts of your page.

33. Ensure that the session IDs do not appear in URLs. This can create a duplicate content issue.

34. Mind Pagination and the order of the products in those pages. Ensure that the most important/best selling/popular products appear first on the list.

35. Create a product RSS feed.

36. Offer to your users the ability to search for particular products based on their name, brand, price and characteristics.

Social Media & Promotion

37. Add the social media buttons on a strategic place of your page.

38. Use product reviews and ratings.

39. Organize contests to generate positive Buzz for your company.

40. Create a blog within your website and write reviews for the best selling products.

41. Use PPC advertising to get highly targeted traffic.

42. Use Email Marketing campaigns and keep in touch with your loyal customers.

43. Sign up on Google Merchant Center to have your products appearing on Google Product Search.

44. Check if affiliate marketing can help you boost your sales.

45. Don’t use spammy methods to promote your website (spam mail, comment trolling, etc)!

Network with leader

Monitoring

46. Track user behavior and see how he/she navigates through your website.

47. Identify your good clients, request their feedback and reward them by offering discounts.

48. Identify the trends and the best selling products.

49. Focus on conversion rates and make the appropriate changes to improve your sales.

50. Use A/B and Multivariable Testing to improve user experience and sales.

ab-testing2

Off page factors and other must-have Features

51. Decide how many languages you should support on your website and which should be the default one. Have a different URL for each language version, don’t use a cookie solution.

52. Choose the name and the TLD of your domain wisely. A .com or a country specific TLD can really make the difference.

53. Host your website on a reliable hosting company. Choose wisely the country of the server.

54. Decide on whether you should use GEO Targeting methods.

55. Offer a lighter & simpler mobile version of your website.

56. Recommend similar products to your visitors.

57. Provide various payment methods to your customers (Credit Card, PayPal, Direct Bank Transfer etc).

58. Offer different shipping methods and reach to as many countries as possible.

59. Use robots.txt to ensure that search engine spiders can’t access the various ecommerce features/functions such as Add to Basket, complete purchase, add to wishlist etc.

60. Create Special Offers & Brand Landing Pages to boost your sales.

ecommerce-planning

Even though optimizing an ecommerce website is a complicated and challenging task, I believe that the above list along with the initial SEO checklist that we published recently, can cover the most important parts of the process and they can be a great starting point for the SEO professionals & Online Marketers. I wish to all of you the best of luck and I’ll be happy to hear your thoughts and suggestions.

What other tips do you have for optimizing an Ecommerce website? Leave your comments below and don’t forget to share this article if you like it. :)

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  • Urs E. Gattiker - @ComMetrics

    Vasilis

    Thanks for this post. Very interesting and many things to do. I just wonder who has the time to do all these things unless this is your job :-)

    Jost for those of us with limited time, Lior Levine suggested that we focus on 6 things only regarding SEO … in a recent blog entry:

    SEO is dead: Long live social media.
    ===> http://commetrics.com/articles/digital-marketing-strategy-should-include-seo/#comments

    Put differently he prioritized things to make it easier for those of us that do not have the time to take care of all the 60 great suggestions you made above.

    Thanks for sharing.

  • bbriniotis

    Hi Gattiker,

    Thx for your comment.

    I have to [strongly] disagree with you on the “SEO is dead” part. Here is why:
    http://www.webseoanalytics.com/blog/the-top-20-seo-myths-you-should-be-aware-of/

    I agree with the fact that SEO can be time consuming and complicated, but so does any other type of Promotional Campaign/Method. This does not mean that we should ignore this important Online Marketing channel. If SEO seems to be complicated, you have always the option to outsource it to an experienced SEO Professional (and this is usually the best, safest and more effective way).

    Please note that Social Media are great tools both for Businesses and for SEO Professionals, nevertheless they are notoriously known for their low ROI (focusing primarily on sales). Social Media are great channels to engage the user, increase your brand awareness, generate buzz etc but they are not the most effective sales tools out there. PPC & SEO usually have a much greater ROI:
    http://www.webseoanalytics.com/blog/social-media-a-promising-new-channel-or-another-internet-bubble/

    Again this does not mean that one should ignore Social Media either! They are important Online Marketing tools that should be used along with the other channels. Balance is the key:
    http://www.webseoanalytics.com/blog/is-search-engine-traffic-the-best-traffic-you-can-get/

    All the best,
    Vasilis Vryniotis

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  • Chris Stevens @ Website Design

    And I thought I knew a bit of the stuff… :(

    Quite an insightful and in-depth explanation, my friend. Yes, optimizing is a long term process with a multi-pronged approach. This can at times become a bit of a crunch for any webmaster. SEO professionals are the best option.

    Please keep sharing.

  • Logo Design

    Impressive post. But managing all the stuff requires a lot of time.
    Also, I disagree with “SEO is dead…” views running amok on the web. SMM is an integral part of SEO, and has to be combined with SEM as well.

    Looking forward to more of your posts.

  • Andrews

    Quite an interesting and informative article…………. SEO is now a part of website, each and every website now SEO work is performed; because this is the world of racing to be the first and only first………. So perform the SEO for the site…… I got to learn a lot from this article………… Waiting for such quality article in future too….

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  • Graham

    Thanks for the tips, your tips will be very effective. I liked them a lot, specially the On – page optimization tips, because I have very less knowledge on on – page…..
    Thanks for the informations…..

  • SEO Berkshire

    Ecommerce is a major area in which we work and these are tips to take on board for sure! Many thanks for this, very helpful indeed

  • seo philadelphia

    Woooa. I dare not ask you how long it took you to realize all this. I mean the extract is great treasure. Seems like you spent years in finding all this about SEO and Internet marketing. I would conclude that you did a remarkable job.

  • cbse

    Woh ! ! !

    That Good information about search engine optimization techniques article ! ! If any one used this tactic I surely say ! ! any websites SERP on Top Ten ! !

  • SEO Schweiz

    some excellent tips there. personally I’d put SEO-friendly URLs, good content, lots of internal deep linking, and lots of relevant external backlinks into the top 4.

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  • John

    Its true that Internet marketing is one of the fast paced growing marketing in this world . Its just because of the proliferation of social media sites .Lot of social media sites now gives access to its platform to share the news and post different topics on it.If one follows these techniques I am sure than can succeed in this field . It is also a good guide for beginners.

  • Employment contract

    This really is a mine of practical SEO tips for us novices…”thanks”…. improving the online presence of our ecommerce website is indeed a challenging task and without the help of your SEO tools and blogs we would be up excrement creek in a Native American watercraft without a propulsion device. :)

  • Peter

    Thanks for the tips. Your tips has help me a lot. If anyone doing seo will follow your tips then they will achieve better ranking to their websites.

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  • Design your own t-shirt

    Ecommerce is an area we are pretty much in and an area in which we are working hard to build up and develop our online profile at present. We have a new website which has gone live and we are working like crazy at present to make sure the new website generates the new business we badly want!

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  • Market research Jobs

    Hello …
    This is really very useful tips for Seo professional you have discuss so simple that Fresher also can easily understand.

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    I try to soak up any thing related to SEO, so this post was extremely helpful to me. The is always something new to be picked up and learned. I liked the points you made on the on site seo.

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    You really put your heart and soul into this post. The information you are freely giving out is awesome. Everyone should read through this multiple times, maybe even print it out. Great mini course in SEO.

  • Premium eye centers

    I love that you are sharing your SEO experience with us.We are all willing to learn more about this emerging new branch of marketing.Do you offer your services for free or can I pay you to optimize my website?

  • Gail O

    Comprehensive list for content. Would just add that more ecommerce sites have images associated with their products. Each image should have the product name associated with it and alt text is also helpful to search engines. Search engines cannot see the images, they must “read” them.

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  • Dan - search engine marketing

    With the internet filled with millions of online businesses, making your website stand out from the crowd can really be a challenge. However, never never opt for black hat SEO. Such tactics only give short term results, can lead your website to doom and ruin your reputation.

  • Electrical Supplies

    These are ideas worth putting into action on our current website. At the moment, we have been work hard on the navigation side so there is a good user experience throughout the website.

    The link building is also having a more and more important emphasis..

  • Genelyn San Jose

    A pretty long article but it’s worth reading. I already bookmarked it. I am working on a website right now and I want it to be optimized. Good thing, I bumped to this post :D

    -Gen

  • Sweets

    We have read this article over the past few days, spending hours optimising our website using ALL of the tips that you talked about. As you said in a previous reply, time consuming, but what isn’t these days? Hopefully this will benefit us in the long run. Thanks for a great post.

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    Don’t use site-wide links. They are highly deprecated in the latest algorithm changes, and may even lead you to a penalization of your website’s SERPs. As a measure of precaution, I recommend a maximum of one site-wide (no matter the number of pages) for every 40 to 50 unique links from 40 to 50 unique domains.
    Use the title and meta description tags as wise as possible. They are your best choice of avoiding supplemental pages. Try to make each page with it’s own unique title and description, and never repeat more than 20-25% of the title and description tags content on different pages. Use a limited number of characters (8-10) in the title tag, and put the most important of them, relevant to each page, at the beginning.

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    Don’t be a Copycat. Don’t write news or posts just to have something for the big Google. Nowadays, duplicate-content filters are continuously evolving and even if you gain something on the short term you will loose it later. Try to be innovative.nUse a pen and paper. Always have an agenda and a pen around. Note down every crazy idea you think of … Most of us have truly great subjects to write about, but during the day we forget, busy with other issues. I always note my ideas. At the end of a day, I am amazed to see a 20 subjects list to write about, versus 1 or two that I can come up with at writing time.nSuggest “related websites” in your website’s Alexa information page. That will bring some traffic.nIf you want that early search engine boost, don’t just buy a new domain and invest $10K on the website design and development. You are better off buying a 5 year domain and investing $5K on the website. Age matters a lot and it will matter good years from now on.

  • Virtual Experts

    Online marketing techniques can improve online Marketing presence of an ecommerce website. Thanks for sharing tips for SEO & online marketing techniques for ecommerce website. These tips are useful and interesting.

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    Blogging for business is a great way to personally interact with your prospective customers and old customers. Link your website from your blog and place your blog’s link on your website for easy access.

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    Really nice tips. Helpful for seo people. i will make sure to visit back here again, though I am the regular visitor of this site. Thanks for sharing such a nice blog. Keep it up. :)

  • sajan kota

    Online marketing techniques can improve online Marketing presence of an ecommerce website.Really nice tips and helpful for seo people.Thanks for sharing.

  • Brian Jensen

    Hi Vasilis,

    Great post. Another tip for ecommerce websites is to make sure all product photos and descriptions are original and unique. I agree with your previous comment that SEO is not dead. SEO is simply optimizing your website for users and search engines alike. While techniques may change, sending clear signals, and focusing on user engagement isn’t going anywhere. @eatdrinkrock1

  • seobuilders.com

    To make an ecommerce website is not easy. During our thesis project my other classmate make an ecommerce website. It is not easy, many factors could considered it. The Hard part to make that people have different taste. So your site must be flexible at all. Great tips you have shared. Originality and uniqueness is the most important.

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