The Ecommerce SEO Guide is for online merchants with questions about link building, off-page SEO, how to handle product variants, the SEO of product pages and category pages, and SEO-friendly ecommerce site architecture.
Why We Created The Ecommerce SEO Guide
For three years, I led the e-Commerce efforts of Save-On-Crafts, an 8 figure online retailer that sells wedding and event decorations. Although I worked with some third party vendors to help with PPC, just about everything else was handled in-house — from website production and SEO to social media marketing to email marketing to buying to product design with manufacturers.
Not including our fulfillment center, I could count the number of dedicated in-house staff on a single hand. And I have a hunch that my experience was not unique. Competing with ecommerce giants such as Amazon and Walmart has forced many etailers to maintain rock-bottom margins and to find creative ways to keep overhead as low as possible. An Ecommerce SEO expert can strategize ways to outrank the big brands while still playing by all the rules set out by Google and other search engines. Hiring on an ecommerce SEO company might be in your budget, but either way, this guide will help you better understand some of the best pratices that will give your company an edge.
As a result of this need to keep operating costs low, many successful 6, 7, and 8 figure ecommerce sites depend on lean teams led by T-shaped ecommerce professionals. A variation on marketing maven Rand Fishkin’s illustration of a T-shaped web marketer, the T-shaped ecommerce professional has an even broader skill set with additional capabilities including pricing, retail buying, digital merchandising, and on-site search optimization.
In my experience, mastering SEO as an ecommerce professional is incredibly difficult because there just aren’t many quality resources on how to do the best ecommerce SEO, specifically.
And that’s really the origin story of our Ecommerce Guide to SEO. CanIRank teamed up with some of the most knowledgeable ecommerce experts to address issues that my former team grappled with on a daily basis. Questions that you too have probably asked — perhaps even recently. Questions such as:
- It’s hard to get people to link to my store. What are link building strategies that work for eCommerce stores?
In his chapter on link building strategies for eCommerce, contributor Richard Lazazzera outlines some really easy strategies that you can implement right away to start building your link profile and web authority. You’ll also have access to more advanced tactics –accompanied by case studies –that have worked to get hundreds of backlinks for other estores.
- How much copy should you have on a category or collection page in your ecommerce store? What should it be about?
There are four steps you need to take to enhance the SEO of a category or collection page on your eCommerce site. Kenny Rosenberg walks you through these four steps that have helped ensure viable rankings for BVACCEL’s Shopify Plus clients.
- It’s not feasible to have 1,000 word descriptions of each of my products. How long should my product descriptions really be?
In his chapter on SEO for product pages, Dave Hermansen outlines the two-pronged approach you can take to provide the type of content that not only helps convert browsers into paying customers, but that also satisfies the search engines. You’ll be pleased to discover that it doesn’t take 1,000 words to outshine your competitors.
- What are SEO best practices for handling dozens of variations of the same product?
You actually have two options for approaching the challenge of dealing with product variants. SellerAct founder Ronen Amit walks you through how to do implement each of these two solutions, but then makes a persuasive case for why one of the methods is vastly superior to the other if you care about conversions.
- What does SEO friendly ecommerce site architecture look like?
Ecommerce sites can be organized with deep site architectures or flat site architectures. Gorilla360’s James Dillon diagrams what each of these looks like and poses some questions that you’ll want to think about as you consider how to build an ecommerce site structure that offers a good navigational experience for humans and robots alike.
- What is off page SEO? Is it important for an ecommerce store?
Some people think off-page SEO is synonymous with link building. But there’s far more to it than that. In fact, there are four main categories under the off-page SEO umbrella. In the chapter I’ve authored, I’ll walk you through those four categories and explain the factors over which you as an online merchant have control.
Contributors to The E-commerce SEO Guide Include:
- Richard Lazazzera, entrepreneur and founder of A Better Lemonade Stand – an ecommerce blog and incubator for early stage entrepreneurs
- Kenny Rosenberg, VP of Design and Development at BVACCEL – the fastest growing Shopify Agency in the world
- Dave Hermansen, founder of StoreCoach.com – an online community for ecommerce entrepreneurs – and an ecommerce expert who has built dozens of 6-figure profit ecommerce store and consulted on hundreds of others
- Ronen Amit, senior ecommerce strategist and founder of SellerAct, an ecommerce marketing powerhouse focused on results
- James Dillon, Content Manager and storyteller at ecommerce marketing agency Gorilla360
- Diane Ellis Scalisi, Ecommerce Strategist here at CanIRank and author of this blog post!
What’s Not Included in the SEO for Ecommerce Guide?
If you’re just getting started creating an ecommerce SEO strategy, you won’t find information on introductory SEO fundamentals in this handbook. For some solid SEO basics, we recommend Shopify’s SEO 101 Video Series and Backlinko’s Guide to E-commerce SEO.
Also not included in this guide are a bunch of fluffy, general quotes about marketing. SEO for ecommerce sites is a different beast. While assembling quotes from a lot of people with large Twitter followings may be an effective marketing tactic – it’s not the most helpful when you’ve got specific questions for which you need answers!
As an added bonus, check out this collaboration of best shopify themes!
What’s Actually Inside the Guide to Ecommerce SEO?
The contributors to the 27-page free guide on Ecommerce SEO answered your frequently asked ecommerce questions with detail and specificity. You’ll find loads of concrete examples in theseecommerce seo tips. Some of them work for highly proven ecommerce SEO companies, while some have simply been in the industry for long enough to know the in’s and out’s like no one else. On thing is for sure, though, they all bring a high level of expertise on the ecommerce realm. And each Q&A pair is followed by a valuable collection of additional resources, giving you a curated reading list on each ecommerce subject so that you have everything you need all in one place.
As a bonus, we included the top 10 ecommerce blogs you should be following now! These are blogs we love that provide tremendous value to online merchants on a regular basis.