Sam Rose - Head of Content

Sam Alexandra Rose

29th September 2022

SEO For eCommerce Blog Series Part One: Why Does SEO Differ For eCommerce Websites?

Ooh, we’ve got a bumper blog series for you starting today! Welcome to our six-part series all about SEO for ecommerce. We’re going to start by explaining exactly why we’re writing this and why you should care – what is SEO for ecommerce websites, why is SEO different for ecommerce websites compared to lead gen sites, and how does this impact your goals and activities? This first blog post introduces the topic, and in the subsequent posts over the coming weeks we’re going to dive into the topics listed below all from the point of view of conducting SEO specifically for ecommerce websites:


Part Two: Site Architecture, Categories and Products

  • Website architecture
  • Category pages
  • Product Listing Pages (PLPs)
  • Product Detail Pages (PDPs)
  • Product Listing Pages Filters & Sort Options (categories & attributes)


Part Three: User Experience

  • User intent
  • User experience and customer journeys
  • Page speed
  • Images
  • On-site search


Part Four: Keyword Research, Meta Data and Schema

  • Keyword research
  • Meta descriptions
  • Headings
  • Image alt tags
  • Schema markup


Part Five: Blogging, Content and Links

  • Blogging
  • Featured snippets
  • Duplicate content
  • Internal linking
  • Breadcrumb trails
  • Link building


Part Six: Additional Content and Reporting

  • FAQs
  • Reviews
  • User-generated content
  • Calls to action
  • Goals & reporting


Why does SEO differ for eCommerce websites?

So, what’s the difference between doing SEO for ecommerce websites versus other types of websites such as lead generation? For starters, with ecommerce websites, the focus is generally on increasing sales and revenue. While the same can be said for all websites (what business isn’t trying to increase sales and revenue?), ecommerce websites are different because those sales happen directly on the website. This means that for ecommerce, we can set goals around revenue and online transactions for organic search, which is trickier (though not impossible) for lead generation sites. While lead generation sites may have goals of increasing contact forms, this is less likely to be the most important goal for ecommerce sites – although secondary goals such as “subscribe to newsletter”, “follow us on social” or physical store visits may still be important metrics, demonstrating value. Both lead gen and ecommerce websites may set goals around sessions or users, but these may be more important for lead gen sites than ecommerce.


Where should your focus be?

Now that we know the goals may be different, we can take a look at how we achieve those goals. For lead generation sites, we may focus on service pages, the blog, and other static pages on the website. These are also important for ecommerce, but again, the more important pages will be those related to the sales and revenue goals, so the product pages are often the main focus, followed by category pages.

That isn’t to say that other pages such as blog posts aren’t important for ecommerce – they still absolutely are. But when a customer is able to make a transaction on the website, we want to nudge them towards doing that. Ecommerce conversion rates tend to be higher on product pages; on a blog post, such as “Best widgets for young professionals”, quite a lot of work has to be done to get the visitor from the blog post over into the product pages and then buying.

The same can be said for lead generation websites – we always want users to move down the conversion funnel. But ecommerce websites contain different pages and elements where we can do that. So SEO for ecommerce isn’t about throwing away anything we already know about SEO – it’s about expanding on that knowledge to incorporate strategies that include all the different elements of an ecommerce website, and optimising all of those elements to reach those online sales and revenue goals. Generally, an ecommerce site can be considered in two large parts, a “blog” and a “store”, and the blog shares much in common with a lead gen site, with the added task of getting visitors over into the store if at all possible.


What next?

Now that you know why you may need to take a different approach to SEO when working on an ecommerce website, over the course of the next five articles in this series we’re going to show you how. Read our second instalment, where we explain the different page types found on ecommerce websites, including category pages, product listing pages, and product details pages, and how to optimise them.

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