Sam Rose - Head of Content

Sam Alexandra Rose

17th October 2022

SEO For eCommerce Blog Series Part Three: User Experience

Welcome to part three of this SEO for ecommerce blog series! So far we’ve explained why SEO is different for ecommerce sites compared to lead gen sites, and we’ve looked at some of the unique elements of ecommerce websites, including category pages, product listing pages and product description pages. This time, we’re digging into user intent and user experience, including page speed, site search, and images.


User Intent

It’s important to think about user intent when you’re considering the purpose of each page and the keywords you are targeting within them. Sometimes keywords will tell you what the user’s intent is. For example, someone searching for “how robust are softshell suitcases?” is likely just looking for information at this point, to decide if they want a softshell suitcase. If someone is searching for “softshell suitcases” that is a little ambiguous, but they could well be looking to make a purchase. The terms “where to buy softshell suitcases” and “cheap softshell suitcase” indicate clearly that the user is ready to buy. This is useful to know when optimising each page of your website, as you’ll know to use those informational search terms on pages such as buying guides and blog posts to provide people with the information you are looking for, while your product description pages and product listing pages should be optimised with the appropriate keywords users search for when they are ready to purchase.

Although users landing on information pages such as blog posts will not be quite ready to buy at this point, it’s a good idea to provide them with the opportunity to move further down the sales funnel anyway. Linking to relevant PLPs and PDPs can help with this, or you can use calls to action to encourage people to make micro-conversions such as following you on social media or signing up to your newsletter.

Learn more about user intent in our blog post How to Align Your SEO Content with User Intent.


User Experience

Now onto one of the most important aspects of any website – user experience. If your website is difficult to navigate, slow to load or confusing to use, customers will leave quickly, abandon their carts or go to your competitors instead. User experience is not an issue exclusive to SEO, and it’s easy to think SEO is purely about getting people to the website through organic search. However, getting people to the website is only half the battle – you then need to get them to convert, which is an issue for all traffic streams. Conversion rate optimisation (CRO) and SEO overlap, so it’s important to consider user experience if you are measuring your SEO against revenue and sales goals – which you should be.

If something on your website is preventing people from converting, it’s important to find and fix it for the sake of all your marketing channels. Take a look at your website and consider the navigation, buying journey, checkout process, and so on, using different browsers and devices including mobile and tablet. Perhaps there are other issues such as hidden costs – are people turned off by high delivery prices they didn’t know about before getting to the checkout? Are there any confusing processes or long forms that span several pages? Do they need to be long, are you asking for more information than you really need, or could they be made shorter – or more simple – by implementing options such as PayPal, Google Pay and Apple Pay?

Don’t forget security concerns, too – a lack of SSL certificate will concern savvy shoppers and also affect how Google ranks your site. Another problem is malware – if Google finds this on your website, it won’t send traffic to it.


Page Speed

Slow page speeds are an issue that will affect your ranking as well as test your customers’ patience and trust in you, with detrimental results for your sales. Page speed is affected by technical architecture and how the page has been coded, as well as the content added to it. Here are some steps for optimising your page speed:

  • Check page speeds for both mobile and desktop using Google Analytics and Google’s Core Web Vitals tool.
  • Implement lazy loading so that content only loads on the page when the user scrolls down.
  • Reduce sizes of images, especially product images as large photos will slow down page loads. PNGs are bigger than JPG files so consider converting them.


On-site Search

If you have an on-site search function, this is another element of your website that needs to be configured well for the best possible user experience. If you don’t have one, it could be a very useful addition to your website, especially if you have hundreds or thousands of products available.

Consider what information your internal search results pages should show:

  • Product or page title
  • Description
  • Photo
  • Page type, for example if it’s a product, blog post, and so on.

Your search facility could also be a good source of data – what are people searching for? What pages should you therefore be focusing on and what content might people be looking for that isn’t yet present on your website? Find out more about what makes a great site search function.



Images are an important part of your website because they should show the customer an accurate representation of your products. Their size also affects your page speed, as previously mentioned. Here are our top tips for images on your ecommerce site:

  • Provide high quality product images
  • Ensure your product images show the most important or relevant parts of your product and represent it accurately
  • Provide a zoomed-in version of the photo if appropriate
  • Ensure images aren’t too big and aren’t hindering page loading speed
  • Ensure image alt tags are present with relevant keywords


That’s all for now! Stay tuned for the next instalment of this series, where we break down keyword research, metadata and schema markup for ecommerce websites.

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