In addition to guest posting on the UpCity blog, Over the Top SEO is featured as a Top SEO Company in Chicago. Check out their profile here.

E-commerce store owners are always looking for ways to increase traffic to their site. An increase in organic traffic along with improved conversions and higher customer retention rates helps to boost the overall performance of an e-commerce site.

Here are 13 ways to help your e-commerce site improve its search rankings:

1- Write Better Product Descriptions

What to write and how to write can be a challenge. It is well known that longer content positions better in Google. The same thing also applies to an e-commerce site, especially your product pages.

  • Make your product descriptions unique in order to differentiate them from that of your competitors.
  • Create a list of features and benefits of the products that you are selling.
  • Define your tone of voice. It will help differentiate your brand.
  • Keep in mind the keywords that your client will utilize if they search for your product. Add those keywords in the product title and description.
  • Make your product description interesting and informative as this will help to attract the customers.
  • Keep it original as it is not only better for your customers but it also improves the probability of Google serving your content above your competitors.
  • Include product video if available.
  • Justify using superlatives by clearly proving why your product is best, the simplest, or the most innovative.

2- Add Reviews to Your Product Page

Reviews act as social evidence to your potential clients by giving more affirmation that the item is for them. If you are not receiving product reviews then you are missing a high percentage of sales. According to Internet Retailer, adding product reviews to your online store helps to increase e-commerce conversion rate by up to 76 percent. Reviews also impact purchasing decisions as online reviews are read by 61 percent of customers.

Below are some tips that can engage your customers and help you in getting reviews from them:

  • Create incentives for your customers in order to get more product reviews. Incentives like discount coupons, free shipping coupons, thank you gifts, or loyalty points can help encourage reviews.
  • You can add product samples. Not only does this give your audience a product description but also helps you to get more reviews from customers.
  • Your customers might not be aware that you have a review feature on your web store if your store is new. Ask them to leave a review. Make them feel as if their opinion matters and by writing a review they are helping other people avail the best product or services that has just delighted them.
  • Make your review process simple by avoiding the complicated steps of filling out too many details.

3- Increase the Speed of Your Site

The faster the site the higher the conversion.

Conversion Rate by Load Time

According to Hosting Facts, a single second postponement in your website loading time can bring about 7 percent loss in conversion, and 40 percent of web clients will abandon a website if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load.

You can test the speed of your site with tools like:

These tools will analyze the overall speed of your site and provide tips on ways to improve it.

  • Web Page Test enables you to distinguish bottlenecks in page speed.
  • You can also upgrade your hosting server.
  • Reduce the size of your page to keep the loading speed slow.
  • To keep high-resolution images without compromising on the load time, use TInyPNG.

4- Switch to HTTPS (Secure Hypertext Transfer Protocol)

Switch your whole domain to HTTPS so it’s more secure. An e-commerce store’s site collects a lot of private information such as a customer’s card number, password, and home address so it’s important that the user trusts that the site is secure. There is a also a minor increase in rankings for HTTPS sites as affirmed by Google.

Migrating your website from HTTP to HTTPS is a straightforward process:

  • Buy an SSL certificate.
  • Install your SSL certificate on your site’s hosting account.
  • Double check all your connections.
  • Any URL not refreshed from HTTP to HTTPS will break after the migration.

5- Check your Robots.txt

If configured incorrectly, your robots.txt file can stop all the organic traffic from arriving at your site by blocking your pages from indexing.

It also helps to direct search engines to the necessary URLs on your site instead of leaving it up to their own best guess.

Robots.txt also:

  • Protects against Google and other search engines from accessing or indexing your admin area.
  • Prevents duplicate content issues by blocking Google from accessing specific URLs on your site, like category index pages, tag pages, and other locations where information may appear multiple times.
  • Prevents Google from trying to access user account or other gated sections of the site that are not for public access.
  • It also saves time and ensures that search engines are only seeing the most important pages of your site for indexing.

6- Maintain a Good Site Structure

Good site design is important especially for an e-commerce site.

Observe Amazon and their 111 million pages on Google.

google site structure

A good general thumb is that customers should be to able access product pages within three or fewer clicks.

Check out the below example:

link juice graph

Consider the following when thinking about your e-commerce site structure:

  • Create a hierarchical structure of your site with no more than three levels.
  • Make a simple menu that replicates the site structure.
  • Avoid unnecessary pages and use side menus as it will help customers find the products they want.
  • Improve your URLs by using appropriate keywords. For example, if you’re offering a large red umbrella on a specific product page, end your URL with /large-red-umbrella-v1 rather than /10031490314180.
  • Add a breadcrumb menu to all pages. When users arrive on a particular product page they can use the breadcrumb to see what different products are in the same category.
  • Create a good client- sitemap by displaying all the important categories and subcategories of a website in a single page so that users can find easily what they want.

You can see the below example from the HP online store:

hp sitemap

  • Every URL on your e-commerce platform needs to be unique, applicable to the page, and keyword optimized.

Building solid URL structures helps in improving the overall usability of your website which will help customers in getting a more pleasant experience while browsing your products and services. In addition, a great user experience keeps your audience longer on your site.

7- Redirect your 404 Pages

If your item is not available or you have decided to erase a page, your customers may get a 404 error page which is not good.

customized 404 page

As indicated by a Webmasters survey, 77 percent of individuals who attempt to visit a webpage but receive the 404 Error Page instead make no further attempt to access the searched-for page.

To ensure 404 errors don’t get out of hand, regularly check and fix broken links.

  • Broken internal connections are easier to fix. Change the hyperlink for each 404 that returns a “Linked from” value in Search Console.
  • Set up a 301 redirect for pages that have external broken hyperlinks. This will help preserve your ranking. For instance, another website may link to example.com/red-black-shoes/ rather than www.example.com/black-red-shoes/
  • 301 redirects pass between 90-99% of link juice to the redirected page.
  • Monitor 404 errors with Google search Console.

8-  Use Modifiers

One of the greatest things that can drive traffic to your website is the use of correct modifiers.

“Formal shoes”

“Best formal shoes”

Which seems most like what a potential customer would search? Obviously the second one.

Modifiers give you a better chance of ranking for your selected keywords.

Below are some of the common modifiers that you can utilize:

  • Find: This is an ideal modifier for someone who is searching for a particular product or service.
  • Best: This modifier is great for comparing something.
  • Cheap: This is a great one for shopping.
  • Top: It can be used for item quality like top shelf liquor.

Below are the product modifiers that you can use on your site:

  • Model number
  • Style number
  • Year it was created
  • Material of the product number
  • Version number
  • Prices
  • Weight

9- Build your Social Signals and Online Brand

Case studies show that social signals had a great impact on search engine rankings in the short and long term. Social links help you get more organic links as people get to know and love your brand. It also helps to enhance some important on-site metrics.

You can start growing your social signals quickly by adding social buttons to your product pages, blog posts, and landing page. If you don’t know how many social signals you have online, you can always evaluate your Klout score here: Check My Klout Score. Klout is an online application that evaluates your utilization of social media, your impact, etc.

10- Use Rich Snippets

Rich snippets are extra information that permits a search engine to recognize additional information on the page in order to completely understand the value of your product page. Try to get your site featured in rich snippets and it can drive in lots of visitors to your site.

Adding rich snippets on your page enables the searcher to make a quick decision. Using rich snippets in your e-commerce store is one of the best strategies for increasing your products visibility, improving your click through rates and driving more revenue.

Below are 6 rich snippets that you can apply for your e-commerce sites:

  • Product name and price
  • Limited time offer
  • Images and videos
  • Review and rating
  • Paid product search
  • Product availability

In order to install rich snippets follow these steps:

  • Access the HTML of each page.
  • Include the microdata for the desired rich snippet.
  • Test to ensure it works here:

http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/richsnippets.

You can also add rich snippets using plugins like WP Review or All in One Schema.org rich Snippets.

11- Make your Site Mobile Friendly

Mobile devices are developing fast and you must ensure that your e-commerce site is designed for mobile users. 42% of all visits to retail sites were produced by means of smartphone.

With Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test you can check whether your site is mobile friendly or not.

To make sure that your site is deemed mobile friendly, follow the below suggestions:

  • Your site must avoid software like flash.
  • The text used by your site must be readable without zooming.
  • Your site content should be responsive and automatically sized according to your screen.
  • You must locate the links far enough apart from each other so that the right one can be easily tapped.

12- Leverage the Power of User Generated Content

User generated content is anything written or made by your customers like reviews and photos. It will benefit you in many ways:

  • Unique content will position higher in the search results.
  • Your pages will be updated frequently.
  • A higher review rating will mean higher ranking scores.
  • It builds trust in your brand. Studies have shown that 92 percent of online consumers trust recommendations from others.
  • Increases the engagement with your website. When users see the content they and other users have made on your site, they’ll feel more connected with you.
  • Leverage your relationship with your loyal customers. Having your most passionate customers produce content for you is a great way to leverage the relationship and boost more sales.

13- Optimize Titles and Meta Descriptions

A title tag should define a webpage’s content in a brief and concise manner.

Here are a few tips for creating relevant title tags:

  • Include one primary and one secondary keyword that best highlights the content on your website.
  • Use spaces, commas, and dashes as separators.
  • Ensure that the length is no longer than 55-65 characters.
  • Do not copy any page titles on your website.
  • Avoid using an underscore.
  • Be sure to include one or two of your most significant keywords along with your brand’s name.

brand name keywords

As you can see in the above example a meta description is a short paragraph which is shown under a title tag on SERP.

A meta description gives you the opportunity to present your brand before a searcher visits you and see the products you offer.

Reach a Wider Audience

An effective e-commerce site requires a professional SEO foundation, technical infrastructure, well written content, high quality photography, web based social networking, and numerous other elements.

By following the above actionable tips you can increase the traffic on your website which will eventually drive more conversions.

Guy headshot
Guy Sheetrit
CEO at | More Posts

Guy Sheetrit is the CEO at Over the Top SEO, and is an accomplished senior executive with 14 years of success across the technology, marketing, and software development industries. He has extensive experience providing customized SEO marketing solutions for e-commerce, local SEO, and Fortune 500 companies.