Here’s the thing with eCommerce SEO approaches (and SEO in general) — everything you read (or watch or listen to) online is written by marketers for marketers — It’s a half-hearted attempt for eCommerce brands, small business owners, content creators, and bloggers.
Why half-hearted? These eCommerce SEO approaches — propagated as absolute truth — isn’t for everyone.
Imagine your life as a self-employed “anything”. You barely have time for your life, kids, and your business. Do you seriously think you’d be able to sit there and send out 650 cold emails per day for back linking?
Do you have the time and resources needed to write 7500-word cornerstone content or content pillars? Is it even possible to keep churning out content for the Skyscraper technique.
Heck, if you think about it, you’d barely have the time to get a decent publishing velocity up and going for your brand — this isn’t including what you have to do for social media, videos, email marketing, paid ads, landing pages, marketing automation, and more.
eCommerce SEO Approaches Are Not Universally Applicable
Everything you read or learn is not just about learning and implementing. Many businesses can’t bring themselves to implement — for various reasons including time, resources, and budget.
Just because you read about back-linking techniques and skyscraper techniques doesn’t mean you can do it (and it’s not that you can’t).
Pick what you can do for your business, given your circumstances and abilities.
As for learning, a few noted sources and resources for SEO are all that you need.
ECommerce SEO Basics (aren’t Going Anywhere)
Without SEO basics, everything else we do for digital marketing is useless.
First, make sure your website or eCommerce store loads fast — with less than 3 seconds being the benchmark ( this also applies to any satellite pages, eCommerce landing pages built with landing page software, product pages, and other pages you might create)
Use Shopify. Use BigCommerce. Use Strikingly. Use Wix. Use any of the dozen no-code builders.
The rule still holds.
Second, get the “On-Page SEO” basics right. Product descriptions accompanied by meta descriptions. Proper formatting of blog posts when you consider going long on eCommerce blogging.
Clever use of titles in a way that you do justice for both humans (making impact and value-added information) and for search engines (Optimzed enough to help with discovery on search).
If you are primarily focused on eCommerce SEO, see the various modules and features Google enabled to help eCommerce brands discovery on search.
eCommerce SEO is all about Publishing Velocity
The whole world will tell you everything except what’s most crucial for SEO success — it’s called publishing velocity. I define it as the fixed, “I’ll-never-deviate-from-this-under-no-circumstances” rate of publishing content.
1X blog posts per week, 2X blog posts per week, 3X blog posts per week, or more? Decide and stick to it. If you don’t do anything else on this list (or any list), just do this.
I guarantee you’ll do better than your competitors and you’ll have results to boast about.
How many words should your blog posts be? What kind of content should you create as a part of content strategy? Is the grammar spot on? These are part of the many content marketing mistakes folks do (and you shouldn’t).
These are questions that only distract you from the hard work that content publishing, content distribution, and content management really is.
Google Ignores product Pages; But Loves Resource Pages & Collections
According to Alexa Collins on Shopify, Google ignores your product pages. You can optimize these pages and do what you do, but it’s not going to matter.
A helpful tip she provides is to build “collection pages” — interlinking your products, based on collections and/or categories.
I’d add to that: Build collection pages and also build resource pages with Product links inserted where it makes sense (or when you mention some of your products).
SEO Is Not “Dump Keywords, Set It, & Forget It”
Optimizing for SEO includes a whole lot of things, including (but not limited to):
- eCommerce blogging (writing blog posts at a fixed frequency)
- Making sure your blog posts add value to the topic cluster that your business relates to.
- Blog posts also double up as dynamic content rigged to help users discover your business leading to first contact and discovery.
- Titles, URLs, meta data, and other structured data.
- Rich snippets
- Optimized Images (also helps for Image discovery on Image search).
- Other forms of content (Infographics, eBooks, reports, and others) will also help build your content footprint.
- Social content also performs on search.
- Videos (especially YouTube) also get listed on search giving you a boost for search discovery
Pick any of the broad items off this list and you’ll realize that it’s never a “one-time thing”. eCommerce SEO or any SEO management requires long-term commitment, constant publication, never-ending tweaks, and rework (on whatever you worked on until now).
If you take one of those “Instant eCommerce SEO approaches to bring in those millions”, you’ll be heart-broken. You’ll have nothing to write home about.
17-Page Shopify Store (or a 7-Page regular Website) Won’t Qualify
17-pages Shopify stores — with a few main pages and a bunch of product pages — will never see the light of the day. Throw away your billions on any fancy SEO techniques and it still won’t work.
This isn’t the 1990s.
Most eCommerces stores will do this mistake of writing and publishing “thin” content — a few words on “About the company” and a few more words for each of the products as product descriptions.
See? That won’t make it to search unless you are the only business of that kind or if you are operating in a country with Zero search activity.
This is the reason why you need more content and that’s best delivered by blogging — writing about all the things that relate to your products, the solutions your products provide, how your products help, the inside working of some of your best products, behind the scenes of product creation, and so on.
That helps open the doors to your potential customers. Your customers know what’s happening, who you are, what your products are all about, and more.
How do you think eCommerce SEO approaches should change today?