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The eCommerce industry in the U.S. is growing rapidly. Total revenue earned in the eCommerce sector in 2022 was $819 billion, and projections expect it to balloon to nearly $1,500 billion by 2027.

For eCommerce website owners, getting consistent, high-quality organic traffic is vital to compete in a crowded market. But let’s be real, keeping up with search engine changes and all that industry jargon can be tough, especially when you’re an ambitious entrepreneur who needs to focus on different operations of your business like inventory management, order processing, customer support, marketing, legal issues and refunds.

As an online seller, you must thoroughly understand the steps required to maximize your website’s visibility on search engine result pages (SERPs). To do that, you need to understand SEO for eCommerce. This guide walks you through optimizing your website and taking your sales to the next level.

Understanding SEO for eCommerce

SEO for eCommerce refers to a series of actions to rank your eCommerce website higher in SERPs for Google and other search engines. The basic idea is that when your target audience searches for a product name in a search engine, your website should rank as highly as possible in the SERPs.

SEO for eCommerce is about understanding what people search for and then gearing your pages to appeal to both customers and algorithms based on the specific keywords used as search terms. The results of your SEO for eCommerce efforts establish where your page is placed in the SERPs for a user’s query.

For instance, when we search for the “best keyboards for gaming,” multiple results pop up from affiliate websites and eCommerce stores.

Google shows results for the search: “best keyboards for gaming.”

This is a transactional search intent where searchers are looking for a product to buy. As an eCommerce business owner, you want to ensure that when users search for your products, your website ranks in the initial few results, or at least on Google’s first page.

Research shows that click through rates (CTR) drop fast. Featured snippets get an average CTR of 42.9%, and the first result of a search sees a 39.8% CTR. Appearing on the first page but in position nine (bottom of the page) drops CTR to a tiny 2.9%.

Why eCommerce website owners should care about SEO

An eCommerce website owner should prioritize SEO (Search Engine Optimization) because it plays a pivotal role in driving organic traffic to their online platforms. 

In a highly competitive digital market, where countless products and services are vying for consumer attention, appearing prominently in search engine results is crucial for visibility and customer acquisition. 

Effective SEO strategies enable ecommerce sites to optimize their product pages, enhance site architecture, and employ relevant keywords, thereby improving their rankings on search engine results pages. 

However, higher visibility not only increases the likelihood of attracting potential customers but also builds trust, as users often associate top-ranking results with credibility and reliability. 

By investing in SEO, eCommerce websites can establish a strong online presence, reach a broader audience, and ultimately boost sales and revenue.

Benefits of SEO for eCommerce

Following SEO best practices can be useful for your online store in many ways.

Organic traffic

Organic traffic refers to website users who arrive through unpaid search engine results. Optimizing your eCommerce website for target keywords lets you improve its ranking in SERPs, making it more likely for potential customers to find your products and services. Increased organic search traffic leads to a higher chance of attracting qualified leads, which boosts conversions and sales.

Lead generation

When your website is positioned higher in search results, it acts as a magnet for potential buyers actively seeking products similar to what you offer. These users are likely to convert since they have already expressed an interest in your niche or industry. Whether you are optimizing a WordPress website for lead generation, or a custom eCommerce store, lead generation is vital to any business.

Brand awareness

Higher search engine result rankings help your brand gain more visibility and exposure to a broader audience. Users often perceive websites listed on the first page of Google as more reputable and credible, so these higher rankings also build the idea of brand authority and build trust with searchers.

Higher click through rate (CTR)

Users are more inclined to click on the top search results. By using SEO for eCommerce techniques effectively, your website has a better chance of appearing among these top results and increasing the likelihood of searchers visiting your online store.

Improved user experience

SEO best practices often involve optimizing website structure, optimized website architecture, improving overall website speed, including page load speeds and promoting mobile-friendliness. When you make these changes to your website, users can navigate the website efficiently, access information effortlessly and have a positive browsing experience. Those good experiences contribute to higher customer satisfaction and increased chances of repeat business for retailers.

A step-by-step guide to eCommerce SEO strategy

With increasing competition in the online marketplace, you need a comprehensive approach to SEO. An eCommerce SEO strategy includes performing keyword research, writing SEO-friendly content, building backlinks, optimizing website structure and tracking SEO performance.

1. Find and finalize keywords

Start by identifying the high-value search keywords that drive organic traffic for your niche. Note that eCommerce keyword research differs from blog keyword research because the former is aimed at transactional intent, while the latter focuses on informational keywords.

Using a keyword research tool

Tools like Ahrefs can help you determine where you are currently ranking and what keywords you need to prioritize.

We recommend taking a leaf from your competitor’s book if you’re just starting. Enter the complete website domain URL on the keyword research bar at Ahrefs and click the organic keywords icon. You will now look at all the organic keywords your competitor ranks for.

Ahrefs returns a list of competitors’ organic keywords.

Ahrefs also helps you sort keywords based on search volume and organic traffic. You can identify which keywords attract the most volume on your competitor’s website so that you can start by tracking those.

Amazon auto-complete shows baby-related keywords.

You can use Google and Amazon’s autocomplete features to get an idea of what most people search for on these platforms. These keyword ideas give you insights into what potential customers are searching for and how they are phrasing those queries.

Finalizing the right keyword

How do you sift through your large list of specific keywords from your research and separate the wheat from the chaff? Consider the factors below to choose the appropriate target keywords:

  • Keyword relevance: Choose keywords that align with your existing products, services and target audience.
  • Volume: The higher the keyword volume, the more potential traffic it offers. Ahrefs will give you reliable data on keyword volume.
  • Competition: Lower competition means more you won’t be fighting with so many competitors for traffic on those specific keywords. Ahrefs will identify keyword difficulty through (KD) rating.
  • Long-tail keywords: These are longer phrases with low search volume but can be invaluable for capturing highly targeted traffic with low competition. For example, “toys for a toddler” is a long-tail keyword that can help you to target a smaller sub-niche with fewer competitors.
  • Seasonal trends: Some keywords fluctuate in search volume based on seasonal demand. For example, the search volume for winter coats will be lower during summer.
  • Cost per click: A keyword’s cost per click (CPC) is an essential factor to consider when choosing appropriate keywords for your online marketing campaigns, especially in the context of pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. CPC indicates how much you’ll need to pay for each click on your ad when using platforms like Google Ads or Bing Ads.

2. Write quality SEO-friendly content

Without high-quality content, your other efforts won’t bear fruit. High-quality product descriptions and blog posts help improve your search engine optimization results.

  • Use keywords naturally:  Stuffing keywords can lead to a poor reader experience. You need quality content that resonates with your potential customers before you can optimize that content. Create buyer personas and understand their needs, pain points and motivations to help you write product descriptions and other content that offers value to your readers.
  • Add technical specifications: In eCommerce, customers look for technical specs like color, brand, model and size because they can’t examine the product in person. Adding these details helps meet your customers’ search intent and signals to search engines that your content is relevant to user queries.
  • Use customer reviews and testimonials: Social proof, what others say about your brand and products, helps establish credibility on the product page.
  • Answer common customer questions with FAQs: Proactively answering common questions can improve user experience and minimize the chances of searchers leaving your website to look for answers elsewhere. 
  • Add value to your pages: Additional value-added items like in-depth research on the product’s benefits, how-to videos or actionable advice about the product help build customer confidence and provides more opportunities to place optimized content.
  • Optimize for featured snippets: Answer common queries related to your products by providing concise answers in your content. Adding step-by-step instructions, tables, lists and heading tags can help your content be chosen as a featured snippet. Additional interactive features like reviews can help you rank as a rich snippet.

3. Earn backlinks 

Backlinks are hyperlinks from external websites that point to your eCommerce store. These links act as endorsements, signaling to search engines that your online store is credible and trustworthy. Some tried-and-tested ways of link building include:

  • Influence marketing: Contact influencers or popular bloggers in your industry and ask if they’d be interested in reviewing your products and linking to your website. Be aware that most established influencers charge for this type of marketing.
  • Guest blogging: Websites devoted to your product niche often accept guest blog posts on relevant topics. These provide a way to link back to your website in the text or an author byline.
  • Participate in industry forums: Participating in industry-related forums, social media discussions and online communities can help you establish connections and earn backlinks organically. By being active and genuinely contributing to these platforms, you’ll build credibility, which may lead others to link back to your website.
  • Create link-worthy resources: Create shareable and informative content like blog posts, infographics or videos. Leverage social media channels for content promotion to increase shares and the likelihood of earning backlinks.
  • Monitor competitor backlinks: Use SEO tools like Ahrefs and Semrush to look into your competitor’s backlinks. Analyzing their backlink data can help you to find opportunities for earning backlinks.

When building links, aim for high-authority websites with relevant content. Numerous backlinks from low-quality websites can drastically impact your SEO negatively.

4. Optimize website structure

Google directs users to eCommerce websites with the best possible website navigation experience. Websites that provide a positive user experience without glitches or flaws are rewarded in the ranking algorithms.

A website with easy navigation should be easy to move around for customers without being overwhelmed by a large amount of information. You can use tools like Screaming Frog to help with on-page SEO and an SEO audit to optimize your website. For example, you can use it to identify broken links and optimize internal links.

Optimize for mobile

The mobile market accounted for nearly 42% of all eCommerce sales in 2022. Mobile shopping fulfills consumers’ need to manage shopping wherever they are during busy days and continues to grow.

However, desktop website formats can get distorted and lose their shape on mobile. Mobile optimization includes reworking the design of your webpages and your images to ensure that the content loads quickly and appears in a comprehensible manner for mobile users.

Focus on page speed

The longer it takes for a product page on your website to load, the more frustrated customers will get and the less likely it is to get a decent rank on Google’s algorithm.

Today’s shoppers expect speed. An eCommerce website that loads in one second’s conversion rate is two and a half times higher than websites that take five seconds to load. To improve your SERP ranking and your website speeds, you might have to incorporate a few technical SEO changes in your website.

  • Reconsider image file sizes: Larger images take longer to load. Use web-size images and compress your images to optimize load times if necessary.
  • Browser caching: A browser typically loads resources when it loads your website. Browser caching can store these resources on a user’s computer to help improve load times as they move between pages or on return visits.
  • Script Handling: Style sheets (CSS) and Javascript (JS) files can slow down the speed of your website. Ask your web developers to minimize unnecessary scripts and merge multiple files when possible to cut server requests.

5. Measure SEO performance

A shopper uses a credit card to pay for online shopping on mobile.

Tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) creates a high-level view of your SEO performance. You can measure these metrics to see how well you’re doing and determine what steps you can take to improve your SEO. Some of the KPIs to track include:

  • Organic Revenue: You can view this metric in Google Analytics to track your revenue generated by unpaid SEO efforts. By monitoring organic revenue, you can assess the effectiveness of your keyword targeting, content quality and optimization and overall SEO for eCommerce strategy in driving conversions.
  • Conversion rate: Conversion rate is the percentage of visitors who take a desired action such as a completed purchase. You can use Google Analytics to set up conversion tracking. Once you have the data, divide the conversions by website visitors and multiply the outcome by 100 to obtain the conversion rate.
  • Cart abandonment rate: The cart abandonment rate refers to the percentage of users who place products in their shopping carts but do not complete the purchase. High cart abandonment rates can indicate issues with the checkout process, website usability or customer trust. By analyzing this metric, you can identify potential barriers to conversion and make needed changes. Most analytics programs support event tracking to measure cart abandonment rates.

Best eCommerce SEO tools for beginners

  1. Google Keyword Planner: This free tool by Google aids in keyword research, helping beginners identify relevant and high-traffic keywords for their products.
  2. Yoast SEO: If your eCommerce site is built on WordPress, Yoast SEO is a plugin that provides actionable suggestions for optimizing content, meta tags, and other on-page elements.
  3. SEMrush: While it offers more advanced features, SEMrush also has user-friendly tools for beginners. It provides insights into competitors’ strategies, performs site audits, and suggests improvements.
  4. Moz: Moz offers a variety of tools, including MozBar, which provides on-page analysis as you browse, and Moz Keyword Explorer for comprehensive keyword research.
  5. Ubersuggest: Ubersuggest, created by Neil Patel, is a straightforward tool for keyword research, backlink analysis, and site audit, making it suitable for beginners seeking a holistic approach to SEO.
  6. Google Analytics: While not exclusively an SEO tool, Google Analytics is essential for understanding website traffic, user behavior, and the effectiveness of your SEO efforts.
  7. Google Search Console: Another free tool from Google, Search Console helps monitor and maintain your site’s presence in Google Search results, providing valuable insights into how Google views your site.
  8. Ahrefs Webmaster Tools: A simplified version of Ahrefs, this tool is free and designed for beginners. It provides insights into site health, backlinks, and keyword rankings.

Final thoughts: An in-depth guide to SEO for eCommerce

Regardless of your eCommerce platform, a robust eCommerce SEO strategy ensures your store is seen. Much like a physical location can make or break a brick-and-mortar store, your SERPs ranking can make or break an eCommerce store.

A strong SEO strategy, including link building and understanding of KPIs and keywording, is vital. However, your eCommerce platform is also vital and can influence the behind-the-scenes factors that Google and other search engines prioritize, such as website architecture, speed, ALT tags, how file names are handled and much more.

WooCommerce hosting is designed to support websites built on the powerful WooCommerce eCommerce platform. It can help to optimize the functionality and performance of your online store, especially when it comes to website user experience speed, scalability and security. You can launch your online store today by using Bluehost’s WooCommerce hosting.


How do I optimize product pages on my eCommerce website for SEO?

To optimize product pages for SEO for eCommerce websites, place relevant keywords in page titles, title tags, meta descriptions and product descriptions. Create unique, engaging and informative content and optimize images with descriptive ALT text. Ensure user-friendly navigation and write strong call to action (CTA) text. Incorporate customer reviews and ratings for social proof.

How should I deal with out-of-stock products in eCommerce SEO?

If your page generates significant SEO value, use a 301 redirect to route your users to a relevant product category page. Also, mention that the specific product is out of stock.

What are some common mistakes people make while implementing SEO for eCommerce?

Common mistakes in eCommerce SEO include using duplicate content for two similar product pages, ignoring product descriptions, excessive keyword stuffing, neglecting user experience and failing to optimize for mobile devices.

  • Minal Agarwal

    Minal is the Director of Brand Marketing at Bluehost. With over 15 years of business experience in the technology industry, she strives to create solutions and content that fulfill a customer's needs. She is a dog mom and a stickler for calendaring.

    Masters in Marketing Management
    Previous Experience
    Strategic Partnerships, Customer Success, Events and Community
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