Ecommerce SEOThe Definitive Guide

This is the most comprehensive guide to ecommerce SEO online.

In this expert-written guide you’ll learn everything you need to know about optimizing your ecommerce site, from keyword research to technical SEO to link building.

Free PDF: Download a free PDF version of this guide. PDF contains all chapers and resources listed here

Why SEO Matters for Ecommerce Websites

NChannel reports that 44% of people begin their online shopping experience with a search engine.

According to Kissmetrics 30.5% of all traffic to ecommerce sites comes from search engines.

Data by Custora shows that 26% of ecommerce online orders originate from organic search engine traffic.

As you can see, it’s almost impossible for ecommerce businesses to thrive today without search engine optimization. Unfortunately, ecommerce SEO is more challenging, complex and competitive than ever.

Not only are you competing against giants like Amazon and Walmart, but you need to pay attention to new ranking factors like site speed, user experience and organic click through rate.

Fortunately, this guide will show you exactly how to beat the odds and outrank your big brand competitors in Google.

So if you’re looking to get more targeted traffic from search (and turn that traffic into customers for your ecommerce business), then you’ll love this guide.

Let’s dive right in…

Chapter 1Keyword Research

If you want to run an effective ecommerce SEO campaign,
make sure to kick things off with keyword research.

Why?

Because keyword research informs everything other SEO-related task you do on your website (for example, without keywords, it’s impossible for you to optimize your product and category pages).

Believe it or not, but your list of keywords influence your technical SEO efforts as well. For example, your site architecture and URLs need to take keywords into account.

So you can see that keyword research is a VERY big deal for your ecommerce site. Here’s exactly how to find untapped keywords that your customers search for...and how to choose the best ones for your site.

How To Find Keywords For Ecommerce Product and Keyword Pages

Most keyword research tutorials focus on “information keywords”. These are keywords that people type into search engines to discover helpful “how-to” content.

While these keywords have their place for an ecommerce business, the majority of your site’s keywords will be tailored around product pages. That means that you need to tackle keyword research with product-focused keywords in mind.

Here’s exactly how to do it:

Amazon Suggest

Yes, Amazon is probably your competitor. But it’s also the biggest ecommerce site online, which makes it an absolute goldmine of product-focused keywords.

Here’s how to tap into Amazon for keyword research:

First, head over to Amazon and enter a keyword that describes one of your products.

amazon suggest

The keywords Amazon suggests tend to be very targeted (also known as long tail keywords). Not only do long tail keywords like these convert better than 2-3 word keywords, but they tend to be less competitive too.

Rinse and repeat for the most important products on your site.

PRO TIP: Amazon will sometimes suggest categories above the keyword suggestions. These make great keywords to use for category pages.

amazon category suggest

Keyword Tool Dominator

Keyword Tool Dominator is a nifty tool that scrapes Amazon’s search suggestions.

To use it, just enter a seed keyword into the tool:

keywordtooldominator

And it will spit out dozens of keyword suggestions.

keywordtooldominator results

Not only does the tool make this process significantly faster than doing it manually, but in my experience, it gives you significantly more keyword ideas than doing this the old-fashioned way.

For example, when I used the keyword “organic dog food”, Amazon suggest gave me 8 keyword ideas. The tool spit out 49.

To keep things organized, you can save the keywords that make sense for you to a list.

keyword list

Before we leave Amazon, it’s time to use one more feature on the site that’s a goldmine for category page keywords.

Amazon (and Competitor) Categories

As someone that’s consulted for dozens of ecommerce businesses, I find that many ecommerce site owners optimize their category pages around random keywords. Sure, they’ll put some thought into what their customers might use to find products that fall under that category. But the keywords they use tend to be, let’s just say...less than ideal.

This is a huge mistake. While category pages may not convert as well as product pages, they still generate sales. So it makes sense to invest some time into finding awesome category pages keywords.

And the best way to do that?

Look at the categories your competitors already use.

If you’re competing against Amazon, hover over the “Shop by Department” button at the top of the homepage. This will list out Amazon’s main categories.

amazon shop by department

These are all likely too broad for your site. So hover next to any that make sense so you can see that department’s subcategories:

subcategories

Now we’re talking.

You can also hit up Amazon’s “Full Store Directory”.

full store directory

This will show you all of Amazon’s departments (and subcategories) on a single page.

amazon directory

Now it’s time dig deep through the list and find category-focused keywords that would fit with what your site sells.

For example, let’s say your site sells healthy dog food.

You’d click on “Pet supplies”:

example category keyword

Then click on “dogs”.

subcategory example

Then choose “food” from the list:

amazon subcategory

And Amazon will show you the keywords they use to describe their dog food-related categories in the sidebar:

amazon categories

These are all keywords to consider using for your dog food ecommerce category pages.

PRO TIP: If your category is unique in some way, make sure to include that unique feature in your category page keyword. For example, you could turn the Amazon category keyword of “dry dog food” into “healthy dry dog food” or “organic dry dog food”. These keywords are less competitive and more targeted to what your target customer searches for in Google.

Amazon is a great resource for finding category page keywords. But it’s far from the only place you can find category page keywords that your customers search for every day.

That’s why I also recommend taking a look at the keywords that your industry competitors use to describe their categories.

So if your ecommerce site sells high-end headphones, you’d want to head to Headphone.com.

And just like you did with Amazon, look at the terms they use to describe their category pages:

category filtering

And add them to your list.

Wikipedia

Wikipedia is one of my all-time favorite sites for finding keyword for product and category pages.

Here’s why:

Just like with category pages on your ecommerce competitor sites, Wikipedia organizes topics by keywords and categories. In other words: they’ve done a lot of the hard work of organizing things for you!

Let’s look at an example to see how you can tap into Wikipedia for ecommerce keyword research.

First, enter a keyword that describes a product or category your site sells:

wikipedia search.

Then scan the Wikipedia entry for words and phrases that make sense for the products you have on your site:

wikipedia example keywords.png

In addition to scanning the article, take a look at the contents box. These can sometimes contain excellent keywords for category pages.

wikipedia contents box.png

Once you’ve exhausted Wikipedia’s keyword suggestions, it’s time to move onto one of my favorite keyword research tools: SEMRush.

SEMRush

If you implemented the strategies I outlined so far you should have a decent list of keyword ideas.

But if you have the budget, I highly recommend trying SEMRush as it can often uncover keywords that you’d be hard-pressed to find any other way. That’s because SEMRush doesn’t generate keyword ideas. Instead, it shows you keywords that your competition already ranks for.

Let’s take a look at how ecommerce site owners can use this tool to find ecommerce-focused keywords.

First, enter a competitor into SEMRush’s search field:

semrush search

Then pick “organic research” from the sidebar:

semrush organic research

This will show you all of the keywords that your competitor ranks for:

semrush positions results

Can you say gold mine?

If you want to squeeze every keyword out of SEMRush, hit the “competitors” button in the sidebar:

competitors

SEMRush will show you sites that are similar to the one you just entered.

organic competitors

Repeat this process with the competitors you just found.

semrush search 2

This should give you enough keywords to last you until 2025.

Google Keyword Planner

Last but not least we have the good ol’ Google Keyword Planner. Even though the GKP is essential for keyword research, it’s not very good at generating unique keyword ideas.

For example, if you enter a potential category page keyword like “organic dog food” into the GKP, it spits out super-close variations of that term:

gkp results

That said, if you do some digging, you can find some gems that aren’t straight-up variations of the keyword you put into it.

google keyword planneer good keywords

PRO TIP: Before clicking on the “Keyword Ideas” tab, glance at the keywords listed under “Ad group ideas”. This tab can contain unique keywords that may not appear in the “keyword ideas” tab.

gkp ad group ideas

Because the Google Keyword Planner doesn’t generate a lot of unique keywords, I recommend using the GKP mainly to check search volume and commercial intent.

Which leads us to our next step...

How to Choose Keywords for Ecommerce Product and Category Pages

Now that you have a list of potential keywords in-hand, you’re probably wondering:

How do I know which keywords to choose?

The answer? Use this 4-step checklist to identify the best keywords for your ecommerce SEO campaign.

#1: Search Volume

This is (by far) the most important metric when evaluating a search term. If no one searches for that keyword, it doesn’t really matter how well it converts or how competitive Google’s first page happens to be.

That said, there’s no way for me to give you specific search volume recommendations. In some industries, 100 searches per month is A LOT. In others, 10,000 monthly searches is nothing.

As you spend time looking at the search volume for the keywords on your list you’ll start to get an understanding of what constitutes a “high volume” and “low volume” search term in your industry.

To find the search volume for a given keyword, just pop it into the GKP. You’ll find the number of searches in the “Avg. monthly searches” column.

monthly search volume

PRO TIP: Some keywords have HUGE seasonal variations. Of course, you’re going to get more searches for “ugly Christmas sweaters” in December than in June. But there are other non-seasonal that have peaks and valleys throughout the year. For example, the keyword “organic dog food brands” gets 2.5x more searches in October than November.

monthly search variations

Why? Who knows. But it’s an important thing to note as you select keywords for your ecommerce site as these fluctuations can directly impact your bottom line.

To quickly see how search volume changes throughout the year, hover over the little chart icon next to any keyword listed in the GKP. And it’ll show you a chart with month-to-month search volume info.

monthly searches over the year

#2: Keyword-Product Fit

This is a big one. Let’s say you find a keyword that gets tons of searches. It must be a winner right?

Well...not really.

That’s because the keyword may not fit well with what your site sells. If the keyword you pick is even a little bit of a stretch compared to what you have for sale on your ecommerce site, you’ll have a hard time converting anyone.

So before you move onto the next two stages in this process, double-check that the keyword you’re considering fits like a glove with what you sell.

For example let’s say your ecommerce site sells Japanese green tea bags. And you come across a keyword like “matcha green tea powder”.

example keyword

Even though you don’t sell green tea powder (only tea bags), you might be able to create a category page around this and then convert those searchers to what your site actually sells.

This is totally possible. But it’s tricky to pull off. That’s why I recommend not stretching into other product categories until you’ve exhausted the keywords that your target customers search for.

Even though the keyword may get fewer searches, I recommend choosing a keyword that’s much more targeted to your business, like “green tea online”.

low volume buy targeted keyword

Now that you’ve got a list keywords that get a decent amount of searches -- and fit well with your ecommerce site’s products -- it’s time to see if these searchers are likely to whip out their credit card and buy what you sell.

#3: Commercial Intent

Ranking #1 for a high-volume keyword? Awesome.

Ranking #1 for a high-volume keyword that only tire-kickers search for? Less awesome.

So before you decide on a keyword, take a second to see if people using that keyword are ballers that buy...or broke peeps that browse.

Fortunately, this is super-easy to do using the Google Keyword Planner.

First, check out the keyword’s “Competition” rating.

keyword adwords competition

“Competition” reflects how many people bid on that keyword in Google Adwords. In general, if a lot of people are bidding on a keyword, there’s money to be made. That’s why, when it comes to SEO for ecommerce, I recommend sticking with “medium” and “high” competition keywords.

As you can see, the competition metric is a helpful way to see if people that search for that keyword will convert. But the most important metric of all is: “Suggested bid”.

Suggested bid is an indicator of what people tend to spend on a single click in Google Adwords. When sizing up commercial intent, the higher the suggested bid, the better.

Obviously, keywords with expensive suggested bids are also more competitive to rank for in Google search. But we’ll cover that in the next section.

For now, check out the Suggested bid for the keywords on your list.

suggested bid

And note how certain words and phrases that suggest “I’m ready to buy!” impact the estimated bid. As you can see above, the keyword “Japanese green tea” has a suggested bid of $1.19.

That’s because many people searching for that keyword probably aren’t ready to make a purchase. They might be looking up the definition. Or they might be curious about green tea’s health benefits.

On the other hand, a similar keyword like “buy green tea online” has a suggested bid that’s 3x higher.

suggested bid 2

On the flip side, this keyword gets significantly fewer searches. That’s why it’s important to take all four factors into account when evaluating keywords for ecommerce SEO.

#4: Competition

Finally, it’s time to see how hard it’ll be to crack Google’s first page.

Here’s how:

SEMRush’s “Keyword Difficulty”

This metric gives you an idea of how competitive a given keyword is to rank for.

You can find a keyword’s difficulty in SEMRush by entering a keyword into the search field…

semrush keyword search

...clicking on “Keyword Difficulty” in the sidebar…

keyword difficulty

And then looking at the “Difficulty %” column.

difficulty score

The higher the number, the more competitive the keyword is to rank for in organic search.

Keyword Targeting and Page Optimization

Here’s where you evaluate Google’s first page to see if the pages in the top 10 are optimized around that keyword.

If the pages are only semi-related to that keyword you can sometimes outrank them with a highly-targeted page (I’ll show you exactly how to optimize your page soon).

For example:

If you search for “bamboo cutting board with handle”, you’ll notice that the most of the first page isn’t optimized around this specific search:

page not well optimized

Most people searching in Google are probably wondering: “Where da handle at?”.

So if you optimize one of your ecommerce category pages around the keyword “bamboo cutting board with handle”, you’ll have a good shot of leapfrogging the competition.

PRO TIP: Exact keyword targeting isn’t as important as it once was (thanks to Google Hummingbird). However, if you optimize your page around a specific keyword, it still gives you an edge over pages that aren’t as well optimized.

Now that you have a list of keywords that get searched for, have little competition, AND are likely to turn into buyers, it’s time to set up and optimize your ecommerce site’s architecture.

Chapter 2Site Architecture

Site architecture -- or how the pages on your site are organized 
and arranged -- is an important SEO consideration for ANY site.

But it’s doubly important for ecommerce sites. That’s because
your average ecommerce site tends to have significantly more
pages than your average blog or local pizza shop website.

For example, BestBuy.com has over 6 million pages:

total pages

With that many pages, it’s critical that your site architecture makes it easy for users and search engines to find the most important pages on your site.

The secret?

Following the Two Golden Rules of ecommerce site architecture:

Golden Rule #1:
Keep things simple and scalable
Golden Rule #2:
Keep every page 3 (or fewer) clicks from your homepage

I’ll have more details on these two rules in a minute.

But first, let’s look at an example of how the wrong site architecture can hurt your SEO efforts...

Example of How NOT to Set Up Your Ecommerce Site’s Architecture

Here’s an example of a site architecture that breaks the Two Golden rules:

What’s wrong with this picture?

First, it’s not simple. It’s hard to understand the logic of what goes where.

Second, it’s not scalable. Every time you want to add a new category, you need to create a new layer and reorganize your existing categories and subcategories.

But most important for SEO, it’s way too deep. For most ecommerce sites, the majority of the site’s link authority (PageRank) will reside on the homepage.

And when you have a “deep” site architecture, that authority is diluted by the time it reaches your product and category pages.

In this example it takes six clicks to reach the first product page. As I mentioned earlier, you want all products to be three clicks or less from your homepage.

PRO TIP: If your site already has a less-than-ideal setup, don’t start moving pages and around until you’ve consulted with an SEO pro. They can help you make sure that old pages redirect to new pages. When done right, you can implement huge changes to your ecommerce site’s architecture without losing significant amounts of your search engine traffic.

Example of an SEO and User-Friendly Ecommerce Site Architecture

Now that you’ve seen an example of how not to do things, it’s time to take a look at an example of a well-optimized ecommerce site architecture.

As you can see, authority is concentrated in this site’s product and category pages (which tend to be the most important pages for most ecommerce sites). This concentrated authority helps these pages rank in Google. It also boosts indexation.

And here’s an example of how this might look for an ecommerce site that sells shoes:

Not only is this great for SEO, but users will love it too. A simple, flat architecture makes it easy for browsers to find the products they want.

Let’s take a look at a real-life example of an ecommerce site with this optimized architecture: PetSmart.com. LIke in the above example, no product is more than three clicks away from the homepage.

For example, let’s say you want to get a new dog food bowl for Fluffy.

You’d head to the homepage and click “Dog”.

category selection

Then “bowls and feeders”.

subcategory select

And you’d have a list of products in that subcategory:

product list

Just like that, you’ve found what you want (and Google can easily find and index all of PetSmart's product pages).

Chapter 3On-page SEO

Now that you have your site architecture all set up, it’s
time to optimize your category and product pages. For
most ecommerce sites these two types of pages generate
the lion’s share of traffic and sales.

This makes sense if you think about it: someone searching 
for “red Nike running shoes size 10” is much closer to making
a purchase than someone searching for “buy shoes online”.

Without further ado, let’s see an example of a “perfectly optimized
ecommerce page”.

Title Tag: Add Modifiers Like “Buy”, “Cheap” and “Deals” to Get More Long Tail Traffic

You obviously want to use your primary keyword in your page’s title tag.

But don’t stop there. Adding “modifiers” to your title tag can help you show up for more long tail searches.

For example, let’s say the target keyword for your category page is: “noise cancelling headphones”.

Instead of making your title tag simple” “Noise Cancelling Headphones at Headphones R’ Us”, you’d add a word or two that people are likely to use when searching for “noise cancelling headphones”

Here are some common terms people use when searching for products in Google:

  • Cheap
  • Deals
  • Review
  • Best
  • Online
  • Free shipping

So your title tag could be:

search engine listing preview

Title Tag: Use Click Magnet Words like “X% Off” and “Lowest Price” to Boost CTR

Google likely uses organic click-through-rate as a ranking signal. And even if they didn’t, it would still make sense to optimize your title tag to maximize CTR. That’s because: Higher CTR=more clicks=more sales.

Fortunately, there are a handful of words and phrases that magnetically move a searcher’s cursor to your site. I call them “Click Magnet Words”.

Here are some of the best Click Magnet Words for ecommerce product and category pages:

  • X% off (“25% Off”)
  • Guarantee
  • Lowest Price
  • Free Shipping
  • Overnight Shipping
  • Sale

Here’s an example of these words in action:

search engine listing preview 2

And when you include these in your title tags (and description tags), you’ll find yourself with more clicks (which can mean more customers).

Description Tag: Include Phrases Like “Great Selection”, “FREE Shipping” and “All Our Items are On Sale” To Maximize Your Page’s CTR

Your site’s description tag used to be an important part of on-page SEO. While that’s not the case anymore, your description tag is still important for maximizing your CTR (which DOES have a direct effect on rankings).

The title tag Click Magnet Words that I listed above also work for description tags. The only difference is that, with a description tag, you have more room to include longer phrases.

Here are a few examples of phrases you can include to get more clicks:

  • Get the best prices on ____ today.
  • Save X% off on ____.
  • All of our ____ are on sale right now.
  • Get FREE shipping on all ____ today.
  • Click here to see all of our exclusive deals on _____.
  • Great selection of ____ at the guaranteed lowest price.

Here’s an example of how a a description tag optimized for clicks might look:

product description example

Product and Category Page Content: Include 1000+ Words of Content and Use Your Keyword 3-5x.

Optimizing product and category pages is one of the most challenging parts of ecommerce marketing. Yes, you want high-quality content. But unlike a blog post, you need to also keep conversions in mind.

Here are the three most important on-page SEO tactics that I recommend for ecommerce pages:

1. Write 1000+ Word Descriptions

Industry studies have found that longer content tends to rank best in Google.

(And yes, those findings apply to ecommerce sites).

The fact is this: Google wants to understand what your page is all about. And the more content you provide, the better Google can do it’s job. Plus, when you publish long content, customers can better understand what they’re about to buy.

It might be impossible for you to write 1000 words for EVERY page on your site. If that’s the case, I recommend writing long, in-depth descriptions for your 50-100 top-priority product and category pages.

For example, this Amazon product page for a Kitchenart mixer boasts 2,109 words…

amazon product page

...and that’s not even counting the reviews at the bottom of the page (which add another 500+ words).

amazon product reviews

2. Sprinkle Your Keywords (3-5x)

Once you’ve written your in-depth description, it’s time to make sure
that you’ve included your target keyword 3-5 times.

This has nothing to do with keyword density or keyword stuffing. 
It’s simply making sure your keyword is mentioned on your page
so Google can understand what your page is all about.

For example, if your target keyword was “6 quart crockpot” you’d want 
to make sure you have that exact phrase in your product description
at least 3 times:

sprinkled keywords

PRO TIP: Google puts slightly more weight on keywords that appear at the top of a webpage. So make sure that one of your keyword placements is at the top of your page (for example, in the first 100 words of your product or category description).

3. LSI Keywords

Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) keywords are words and phrases that 
are closely tied to your main keyword.

For example, let’s say you were optimizing an ecommerce category 
page around the keyword “slow cookers”. Terms closely related to 
that keyword include:

  • Crock-Pot
  • 6 quart, 4 quart etc.
  • Timers
  • Pressure cooker
  • Manual
  • Recipes
  • Stew
  • Soup
  • Programmable
  • Stainless steel

See how that works?

Here’s how to find (and use) LSI keywords specifically for ecommerce SEO.

Step #1: The Amazon Eyeball Test

First, head over to Amazon and search for your target keyword.

Then take a look at terms that appear multiple times on the category page…

lsi keywords from category page

...or product page for that keyword.

lsi keywords from ecommerce product page

PRO TIP: If you have a competitor that outranks you for your keyword, use this same process on their site.

Step #2: Google Keyword Planner

Next, enter your target keyword into the Google Keyword Planner.

Then take a look at the keywords that Google suggests to you for Ad groups…

gkp ad groups

...and for keywords.

keyword suggestions'

Step #3: Sprinkle These In Your Content

Finally, sprinkle the LSI keywords that make sense into your product or category description.

URLS: Use Short, Keyword-Rich URLs

Our analysis of 1 million Google search results found a clear correlation between URL length and rankings.

Specifically, we found that short URLs tend to rank higher on Google’s first page than long URLs.

url length google position

Because you run an ecommerce site, your URLs will be slightly longer than other sites due to the fact that you’ll likely include category and subcategories in your URL.

For example:
https://example.com/category/subcategory/product.html

However, that doesn’t mean you want your URLs to stretch out to 50+ characters. That’s because long URLs confuse Google and dilute the impact of the keywords in your URL.

Here’s an example of an unnecessarily long ecommerce product page URL:

really long URL

(Not only is this URL a mile long, but it contains SEO (and user) unfriendly terms like, “productID.300190600”).

Speaking of using SEO-friendly terms in your URL, you also want to make your URLs keyword-rich.

For category pages, include a 1-2 word description of that category:

https://example.com/kitchenappliances

Follow the same process for subcategories. Only this time, the subcategory will come after the category in the URL:

https://example.com/kitchenappliances/slowcookers

Then, for product pages, include just your target keyword for that product, separated by dashes (“-”).

https://example.com/kitchenappliances/slowcookers/6-quart-crockpot

PRO TIP: Some ecommerce sites remove categories and subcategories from their URL. For example, instead of https://example.com/kitchenappliances/slowcookers/6-quart-crockpot, your URL would simply be: https://example.com/6-quart-crockpot. This makes your URLs shorter and more keyword dense. I don’t necessarily recommend this, but if that’s how you have things set up, it certainly won’t hurt your product page rankings.

Internal Links: Liberally Link to High-Priority Pages

One of the nice things about ecommerce SEO is that internal linking is done almost automatically. That’s because your site’s navigation creates a lot of natural internal links:

ecommerce seo internal links

That said, strategic internal linking is an ecommerce SEO best practice. So you should spend some time on it.

Specifically, you want to internally link FROM authoritative pages TO high-priority product and category pages.

For example, let’s say you have a blog post that’s generated a lot of backlinks. And you also have a product page that ranks #5 in Google for a high-converting term (like “moleskin notebooks”).

You’d want to add a keyword-rich anchor text link from that post to your product page.

example internal link

Rinse and repeat for all of your top-priority pages.

Implement Product Review Schema to Get Rich Snippets Displayed in Google

If you want an easy way to stand out on Google’s first page, look no further than adding rich snippets to your search result.

And for ecommerce sites, you have the opportunity to tap into one of the most eye-catching rich snippets out there: reviews.

Here’s an example:

rich snippets -- reviews

How do you get these awesome snippets? By implementing Schema markup on your ecommerce product pages. Schema markup is simply a special code that you add to certain pages on your site. This code gives search engines (like Google and Bing) a deeper understanding of your page’s content.

Here are the types of markup specific to reviews.

schema review example

While there’s no guarantee that Google will display rich snippets just because you ask them to, adding proper Schema markup boosts your odds.

You can manually set up Schema markup, but it’s not easy. That’s why I recommend that you use Google's excellent Structured Data Markup Helper.

Here’s exactly how to use this helpful tool so you can quickly implement review Schema markup.

First, head over to the tool and choose “products” from the list of options.

product schema

Next, find a product page on your site that has reviews and ratings on it. This can be a single reviewer, or as is the case with most ecommerce sites, user reviews.

product page reviews

Paste the URL of that product page in the URL field and click “Start Tagging”.

Structured Data Markup Helper

Then highlight the section of the page you want to tag. In this case we’re going to focus on product reviews and ratings.

schema highlight

If your product was reviewed by a single person, choose “Review”. Then highlight the name of the person that reviewed the product, the date of the review etc.

schema review

If your site’s customers reviewed the product, highlight the number or star rating and pick “Aggregate Rating”.

rating value

Make sure to provide as much info as you can. For example, don’t forget to highlight the number of reviews and choose the “count” tag.

rating count

When you’re done, choose “Create HTML”.

create HTML

You can either copy and paste this new HTML into your page or simply add the new Schema markup to your existing HTML.

html schema markup

PRO TIP: Use Google Search Console to double-check that your Schema is implemented directly.

Head over to “Search Appearance”.

google search console search appearance

Then choose “Structured Data”.

structured data

Then you’ll see the Schema markup Google has found on your site...and if you have any errors.

structured data errors

Chapter 4Technical SEO

Technical SEO is one of those things that’s important for ALL
sites... but doubly so for ecommerce sites. That’s because
ecommerce sites tend to have lots and lots of pages to manage.
Even a “small” ecommerce site can have 5,000+ pages. And all 
of those pages increase the odds of technical SEO issues.

Not only that, but most ecommerce product pages don’t have 
a lot of backlinks pointing to them. That means that technical
SEO is often the “tiebreaker” on Google’s first page. For example, if you and your competitor are neck-and-neck, a technical SEO issue can be the difference between the 5th spot and a coveted #1 ranking.

That’s why regular technical SEO site audits are considered an ecommerce SEO best practice.

How to Run a Technical SEO Audit on an Ecommerce Website

In this example we’re going to use Raven Tools. In my opinion it has the most thorough and easy-to-understand site auditing system out there.

In addition to Raven Tools, here are other SEO tools you can use for ecommerce site audits:

To use Raven for your ecommerce SEO site audit, choose “Site Auditor” from the left-hand sidebar:

raventools site auditor

Then Raven will analyze your site for potential errors.

site auditor message

Then scan the report for issues that crop up.

site auditor report

Like problems with your title and/or description tags:

duplicate title tags

Duplicate and thin content:

duplicate and thin content

And broken links:

link issues

Now that you’ve seen how to identify common SEO errors on ecommerce sites, it’s time for me to show you how to solve them.

How to Fix Common Technical SEO Issues
On Ecommerce Sites

Problem: Too Many Pages

Having thousands of pages on your site can be a technical SEO nightmare. It makes writing unique content for each page a monumental task. Also, the more pages you have, the more likely you’ll struggle with duplicate content issues.

Why It Happens

Some ecommerce sites simply have lots and lots of products for sale. Because each of these products require their own page, the site accumulates lots of pages. Also, sometimes each slight variation in the same product (for example 15 different shoe sizes) has its own unique URL, which can bloat your ecommerce site’s total page count..

How to Fix it

First, identify pages that can be deleted or noindexed without affecting your bottom line.

In my experience, 80% of an ecommerce site’s sales come from 20% of it’s products (the old 80/20 principle at work). And 60%+ of their products haven’t generated ANY sales over the last year.

Rather than work to improve these pages, you’re often better off simply deleting them, noindexing them, or combining them together into a “super page”.

You can use your ecommerce CMS (like Shopify) to see which products haven’t generated any revenue for you. If they haven’t, put them into a “maybe delete” list.

zero traffic pages

If a page isn’t bringing visitors to your site or putting cash in your pocket, you should ask yourself: “what’s the point of this page?”. All it’s doing is making your technical SEO efforts more difficult.

In some cases these “deadweight” pages will make up 5-10% of your site. For others, it can be as many as 50%.

Once you’ve removed excess pages that might be causing problems, it’s time to fix and improve the pages that are left.

Problem: Duplicate Content

Duplicate content is one of the most common ecommerce SEO issues on the planet. And it’s one that can sink your site in Google’s search results (thanks to Google Panda).

Fortunately, with a commitment to unique content on every page of your ecommerce site (and using advanced SEO techniques like canonical tags), you can make duplicate content issues a thing of the past.

Why It Happens

There are a lot of reasons that duplicate content crop up on ecommerce sites.

Here are the three most common reasons.

First, the site creates unique URLs for every version of the product or category.

For example, if you have a category menu like this…

ecommerce category page menu

...it may create a unique URL for every selection the person makes.

unique URL

If those URLs gets indexed by Google, it’s going to create A LOT of duplicate content.

This can also happen if slight variations of the same product (for example, a unique URL for every shoe size or color) create unique product page URLs.

Second, we have boilerplate content. This is where you have a snippet of text that appears on multiple pages.

Here’s an example:

boilerplate content

Of course, it’s perfectly fine to have a short line or two on every page (for example, “At Brian’s Organic Supplements, we use the best ingredients at the best price.”).

But if your boilerplate content gets to be 100+ words -- and appears on multiple pages -- it can be seen as duplicate content in the eyes of Google.

Finally, we have copied descriptions. This happens anytime you have the same (or very similar) content on multiple product or category pages.

For example, here’s an example of duplicate content on two different ecommerce product pages...

product description 1

Product Page #2:

product description 2

As you can see, the content on these two pages are almost identical. Not good.

How to Fix it

Your first option is to noindex pages that don't bring in search engine traffic but are causing duplicate content issues.

For example, if your category filters generate unique URLs, you can noindex those URLs. Problem solved.

This is a dead-simple way to nip a lot of duplicate content issues in the bud.

Once you’ve noindexed all of the URLs that make sense for your site, it’s time to tap into the canonical tag (“rel=canonical”).

A canonical tag simply tells search engines that certain pages are exact copies or slight variations of the same page. When a search engine sees a canonical tag on a page, they know that they shouldn’t treat it as a unique page.

(Not only does canonicalization solve duplicate content issues, but it helps makes your backlinks more valuable. That’s because the links that point to several different URLs reroute to a single URL, making those links more powerful).

PRO TIP: Implementing canonical tags can be tricky. That’s why I recommend that you hire an SEO pro with technical SEO expertise to help. But if you prefer to set up canonicals yourself, this guide by Google will help.

Finally, it’s time to write 100% unique content for all of the pages that haven’t been noindexed or set up with canonical URLs.

Yes, this is hard work (especially for an ecommerce site with thousands of pages). But it’s an absolute must if you want to compete against the ecommerce giants (like Amazon) that tend to dominate Google’s first page.

To make the process easier, I recommend creating templates for product and category page descriptions (I’ll have an example template for you in the next section).

Problem: Thin Content

Thin content is another common technical SEO issue that crops up on ecommerce sites. Even after you’ve solved your duplicate content issues, you may have pages on your site that have very thin content.

And make no mistake: thin content can derail entire ecommerce SEO campaigns. In fact, Ebay lost upwards of 33% of its organic traffic due to a thin content-related Panda penalty.

organic traffic drop

But let’s not focus on the negative. Our data from analyzing 1 million Google search results found that longer content tended to rank above thin content.

content total word count

So I recommend that you see publishing in-depth, unique content as a competitive advantage.

Why It Happens

One of the main reasons that ecommerce sites suffer from thin content is that it’s challenging to write lots of unique content about similar products. After all, once you’ve written a description about one running shoe what can you write about 25 others?

While this is a legit concern, it shouldn’t stop you from writing at least 500 words (and preferably 1000+ words) for all of your important category and product pages.

How To Fix It

First, you want to identify pages on your site that have thin content.

PRO TIP: Everyone has a different definition of “thin content”. In my mind, thin content refers to short snippets of content that doesn’t bring any unique value to the table.

You can go through each page on your site one-by-one or use a tool like Raven Tools to find pages that are a bit on the thin side (Raven considers pages with fewer than 250 words as having a “low word count”):

thin content pages

Once you’ve identified thin content pages it’s time to bulk them up with high-quality, unique content. Templates make this process go significantly faster.

Here’s an example template for a product page description:

PRO TIP: The more truly unique your content is, the better. That means actually using the products you sell. Write your impressions. Take your own product images. This will make your product descriptions stand out to users and search engines.

Problem: Site Speed

Site speed is one of the few signals that Google has publicly stated they use as part of their algorithm.

But site speed isn’t just important for ecommerce SEO: it also directly impacts your bottom line. Research by Radware found that slow load times can increase shopping cart abandonment by 29.8%.

Why It Happens

Here are the three most common reasons that ecommerce site pages load slowly:

  • Bloated Ecommerce Platforms: Certain ecommerce platforms are inherently  slow due to bloated code. And unlike a blogging CMS like Wordpress, you can’t just install a plugin and watch your speed improve. (By the way, you can check out this study to see how the loading speed of different ecommerce platforms compare).
  • Large Image File Sizes: High-res product images are awesome for your  customers, but can make your page load like molasses.
  • Slow Hosting and Servers: When it comes to web hosting, you get what you  pay for. A slow hosting plan can put the brakes on your site’s max speed.

Fortunately, all three of these site speed issues can be solved somewhat easily.

How to Fix It

  • Upgrade Your Hosting: I can’t recommend specific hosting providers because your decision depends on your preferences and needs (for example, the level of support, pricing, security, etc.). But what I can say is that you should spend at least $50/month on your host. If you spend less, your loading speed is likely to suffer.
  • Invest In a CDN: A CDN is one of the fastest (and cheapest) ways to significantly  crank up your site’s loading speed. Bonus: a CDN also makes your site more  secure from attacks and hacks.
  • Optimize Image File Size with Compression: This is a biggie for ecommerce  product pages. Make sure to export images so they’re optimized for the web.

Chapter 5Content Marketing For 
Ecommerce Sites

Like any site, ecommerce sites can significantly boost their traffic
and sales by tapping into content marketing.

For example, the popular cookware ecommerce site
Williams-Sonoma.com has an outstanding blog that features
recipes, cooking tips, interviews with chefs, and more.

williams sonoma blog

With a regular output of top-notch content, it’s no wonder that their blog’s homepage has a Page Authority of 66.

page authority moz

How can you do the same thing for your ecommerce site?

Here’s a step-by-step guide to creating awesome content for your ecommerce site’s blog.

Step #1: Find Where Your Target Customers Hang Out Online

Hanging out with your customers gives you incredible insight into the thoughts, dreams, fears and desires of your target audience. Because this isn’t always possible in the real world, I recommend finding out where they tend to spend time online.

For example, if your target audience are made up of coffee snobs, you’d want to check out places like Reddit’s coffee community…

reddit coffee community

...and even old school forums about coffee.

forum example

Step #2: Learn What Words and Phrases They Use On The Web

Now that you’ve found your target audience, it’s time to stalk them. Don’t worry, this isn’t as creepy as it sounds :-)

You want to keep an eye out for words and phrases that they use to describe their problems and issues:

example keywords

These phrases represent keywords that your audience use on Google when they’re NOT shopping for products. These make great keywords for you to create blog content around.

For more on finding and choosing the right keywords, check out this guide.

Step #3: Create An Outstanding Piece of Content Around That Keyword

Next, it’s time to create a piece of content that’s the bar-none absolute best on the planet.

The easiest way to do that?

The Skyscraper Technique.

This video will walk you through the entire step-by-step process:

 

And when you’ve finished step #3, start back at the top and go through the process again. When you consistency publish content using this formula, you can find yourself with a significant amount of traffic, leads, backlinks and customers.

Chapter 6Link Building for 
Ecommerce Websites

When you publish amazing content on your ecommerce
 site’s blog you have the world’s link building strategies at
your disposal.

Yes, building links to your content can give your product and
category pages a boost in Google’s search results. But those
links aren’t nearly as powerful as links that point directly to 
your product and category pages.

But you might be wondering:

“Why would anyone link to a product page?”.

That’s the same question that Backlinko reader Chris Laursen wondered. He had a ecommerce client that was struggling with link building. Then Chris decided to try The Moving Man Method.

After implementing this strategy, the number of links pointing to his client’s website rose dramatically:

referring pages

Sure, it was great that Chris built so many backlinks…
But the TYPES of links that he was able to develop — contextual links from highly-relevant sites in the consumer electronics industry — is the real story here.

He got links from…
A DA68 consumer electronics product site:

example broken link

A popular Danish Mac news site:

danish 1

And an editorial link from an online electronics magazine:

danish 2

Even better, several of these links point directly to product and category pages, like this one from the trusted and authoritative (DA66) MacNews.com:

mac news product and category

Here’s the exact step-by-step process that Chris used.

Step #1: Find Outdated, Moved or Expired Resources

This is important:

Unless you have something that adds value to another person’s site, you might as well give up on link building right now.

Because the only way you’re going to convince someone to link to you is by making their site better.

But…HOW?

That’s where step #1 comes in…

Step #1 is finding resources that are out-of-date, expired or not working.
Here are a few examples from the real world to show you what I mean…

A Real Life Example

Because Chris was working with an ecommerce site, he zeroed in on companies that had recently gone out of business.

But no matter what you sell, there are businesses in your industry that have gone under…and have THOUSANDS of links pointing to their old site.

In many cases, the domain name actually expires. When that happens the entire site gets replaced with parked pages, like this:

job explore

Because pages on out of business websites are still technically working (they’re not 404s), broken link checkers can’t find them.

Although parked domains are harder to find than broken links, the advantage of using them is this:

They hook you up with link building opportunities that your competition doesn’t know about.

For example, look no further than Blockbuster.com (175,000+ links).

blockbuster closing

You probably heard that movie rental giant Blockbuster closed its doors a few years back.

Because Blockbuster Video is a household name, their site — Blockbuster.com — generated A LOT of quality backlinks over the years.

If you’re in the entertainment industry, Blockbuster.com is an absolute gold mine of link building opportunities.

But how do you find these outdated resources?

That’s what I’m going to cover next…

Strategy #1: Domain Aftermarket Sites
When an authoritative domain expires it’s usually picked up by a big domain auction site like GoDaddy Auctions, NameJet or even Flippa domain search.

godaddy auctions

Domain auction sites have done a lot of the hard work of finding outdated resources for you.

They’ve found domains that had something going for them (either traffic, backlinks or both)…and they organize them in one place to make them easy to sift through.

Strategy #2: News About Business Closings, Rebrands and Mergers
Google News is a treasure trove of information about companies that close, rebrand or change domain names.

Just head over to Google News and use one of these search strings:

  • “Chapter 7” (Chapter 7 means the company dissolved. Chapter 11  means the company is restructuring)
  • “Business closes”
  • “Has closed”
  • “Out of business”
  • “Rebrands as”
  • “Bankruptcy”
Google news search

Strategy #3: Find Parked Pages
As I mentioned earlier, parked pages are PERFECT for The Moving Man Method.

Here’s how to find them:

“This page is parked FREE, courtesy of GoDaddy.com” +”domain is for sale”

This brings up parked GoDaddy sites that are for sale.

google search results

It may take a bit of digging…

…but if you look at enough sites in the results you’ll find at least one link that you can use for The Moving Man Method.

Back to Chris

When Chris dug for outdated resources, he noticed a parked domain in the same niche as his client (iphone cases) -- edge-design.com.

edge-design

Edge Design used to sell customized iPhone cases…before they closed for unknown reasons.

And it’s a product that his ecommerce client sells.

Chris thought to himself:

“If we’re linking to Edge Design’s website, I bet other sites are too.”
And he was right.

Which brings us to step #2…

Step #2: Grab a List of Pages Pointing to the Outdated Resource Once you’ve identified a popular-but-outdated resource, it’s time to find sites that link to it.

Tools like Ahrefs and Majestic SEO make this process a breeze (I’m going to use Ahrefs in this example).

First, grab the URL of the dead resource.

If it’s an individual page on a site (for example, a tool that’s not working anymore or a service that a company no longer offers), enter the URL of that specific page.

If the entire site is down, you can use the homepage URL:

ahrefs site explorer

If you find a page with a lot of referring domains, head over to Archive.org and see what used to be on that page.

Then recreate a similar resource on your site. Because you have a solid replacement for the outdated page, the email outreach you do in step #3 will be crazy effective.

Next, export the list of external links:

export backlinks

And you have yourself a list of pages linking to the outdated resource that you found:

List of links

And this leads us to the last step.

Step #3: Send Emails, Get Links

You’re almost done.

Now it’s time to let people know about their outdated link.

The best way to do that? Email outreach.

Here’s a word-for-word script you can use (this is an actual outreach email that Chris sent out):

chris email 1

As you can see, Chris didn’t just tap the person on the shoulder and let them know about the outdated link…

…he also gave them a replacement link.

It just so happens that the replacement is a page on his site.

When you send out brief outreach emails (Chris’s was only 21-words) — and improve other people’s sites — email outreach tends to convert REALLY well:

chris email 2

That’s all there is to it.

Get a PDF Version of This Ecommerce SEO Guide

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That's why I put together a full PDF version of this guide.

This PDF contains all resources and strategies listed here.

Click the image below and enter your email to access the guide:


download the ecommerce seo checklist

380 Comments

Thuong Le

Hi Brian,
Another great post from you.
Just want to say thank you very much.
Best Regards!

Reply
Brian Dean

Hey Thuong. Glad you liked it 🙂

Reply
Michele Hersh

Yes, Brain. It’s really an awesome guide.
I have been a reader of your blog and fan of strategies for a very long time. I am applying some of your methods on my website, and it’s working most of the time. Outreaching and link building are not working well for me, but I guess I am not good at it.
I am also thinking to sell some products on my site, and this guide is going to help me a lot.
Thanks. 🙂

Reply
Brian Dean

You’re welcome, Michele. Outreach can take some time to master. But it’s worth it.

Reply
Brian Dean

Thanks Felix. Put a lot of work into this one so I appreciate the comment 🙂

Reply
Nick

I’d like to comment first and then read this post. Thanks Brian.

Reply
Brian Dean

Whatever floats your boat, Nick 🙂

Reply
Adiel

Brian this is a fantastic post, thanks so much for sharing your knowledge. Best always.

Reply
Brian Dean

You’re welcome, Adiel. Glad you enjoyed it 🙂

Reply
Michael Bely

Hey Brian,

Good post with great tips and insights.

A couple of more tools-related suggestions to empower this strategy of link building for your readers with no or little cost:

– There is a free tool SEOSpyGlass that allows to find up to 1000 backlinks for a website, check their Google Pagerank, Alexa and many other metrics. Free version’s main restriction is that it does not allow export the results, so you need to sort the results and open found links manually.

– Scrapebox is another super great tool to do a lot of stuff including finding backlinks and dropped domains. It is paid (it is one-time payment of i think $57), but it’s totally worth the investment if you are serious about link building and domain lurking.

– Also, pay attention to Xenu Sleuth that is free and allows to crawl website(s) and check their links, including outbound. If a link is a broken with “no such host exist” error, it is possible that the linked domain has expired and available.

Being creative with any tools links can be build relatively easily without any content if following advice in Brian’s post.

Reply
Brian Dean

Thanks Michael. AWESOME tool suggestions. I actually forgot about Xenu (I use it for BLB…but not so much for this). Thanks for taking the time to leave such an awesome comment.

Reply
Salman Baig

Really cool strategy! Backlinko readers are also genius like you Brian. Thumbs up.

Reply
Brian Dean

Glad you liked it, Salman. That’s true: Backlinko readers ROCK!

Reply
Brandon Pindulic

Brian,
as usual great post. I shared it on Growthhackers.com 🙂

As for the outreach, does it matter what email address you send from? More specifically, is it better to send from a personal gmail or from your company’s address?

Reply
Brian Dean

Thanks for the GH love, Brandon 🙂

Really good question. I prefer to send from my company’s email.

Reply
Christian

Great stuff as usual Brian!
Was considering making websites completely based on this method. When a website goes down offer almost the exact same thing and this’ll give you a niiice boost to start.

Reply
Brian Dean

Thanks Christian. Wow, I never thought it that. Killer idea 🙂

Reply
Mike Bonds

Great post as always Brian…top notch content here!

Reply
Brian Dean

Appreciate it, Mike. Let me know if you have any questions 🙂

Reply
Scott Taft

Thanks for post Brian (and for the proof of concept, Chris).
I love how actionable all your posts are. Halfway through reading this one I had to start trying the strategy out for some of my clients and am already seeing the advantages. You have single handedly improved my SEO work. Thanks!

Reply
Brian Dean

Wow, what an awesome comment, Scott. My goal is for people to actually use the stuff I write about. Glad yo hear you didn’t waste any time 🙂

Reply
Ryne Landers

Hey Brian, another great guide. I’ve provided the link to this one and the one to the original Moving Man guide, to a staff member internally to build out a strategy for a few of our clients based on this. I think it will be a great exercise for them to explore search strings, dead domains, backlink exercises, etc. and really get into that deep SEO mindset. And hey, hopefully we’ll get our clients a few links out of it as well.

Reply
Brian Dean

Thanks Ryne. That’s a good point: this is an awesome strategy to get them thinking like a link builder. And I think you’ll get at least a few quality links out of it too 🙂

Reply
Hudson

Hey Brian,
As usual, stunning post. You should start a school. .edu link galore!

Reply
Brian Dean

Thanks Hudson. Hmmm. Actually, why not just create Backlinko.edu? It has a nice ring to it 🙂

Reply
Ed Harris

Why? Why? Why did you do that? Why did you publish such a comprehensive guide that will undoubtedly help me, when it’s 70 degrees outside here in the Midwest?

Now I’m glued to my computer thanks to all the great tips I want to try out!

Anyhow…I’m not sure how this can apply to the insurance business (I have been a broker for 33 years), but I’ll try! Insurers just don’t go out of business.

Reply
Brian Dean

LOL. I’m a tough cookie, that’s why 🙂

Good question. I’d maybe look at personal finance resources or sites that wrote about insurance-related content.

Reply
Brian Dean

Cheers Mark. Glad you see the effort that goes into posts like this 🙂

Reply
James Parker

As I notice you just talk about brand sites, how did I rank my site in a small niche ?
Thank you for this valuable topics, wish you the best 🙂

Reply
Brian Dean

Hmmm. To do well with SEO today you need to build a brand, James. You don’t need to be the next Amazon…but just be the best site in your small niche 🙂

Reply
Aamir

Awesome post, Thank You:)

Reply
Brian Dean

You’re welcome, Aamir 🙂

Reply
Mark

Hi Brian
Great post – enjoyed this one and several others.
In your method it focuses on reaching to webmasters for replacing the link – what about just creating the same tool / content as one the expired domain and make an 301 redirect to the content on your site?

Reply
Brian Dean

Hey Mark. Glad you liked it. That’s a great thought…and it might work really well. My only reluctance is that a lot of people are 301ing expired
domains to their sites. Even though this would be more legit, Google’s been known to to throw the baby out with the bathwater…

Reply
Mark

Hi again
I can see your point – in danish law it’s illegal to send mails to recipients without their permission so i guees Chris called the webmasters before sending the mail. Hence my question with 301 redirects to save time:)

Reply
Brian Dean

Oh I see what you mean, Mark. I didn’t know about that law. Another tip for you: you don’t need to reach out only to Danish sites. Chris emailed a lot of US site owners as well 🙂

Reply
Philip

Fantastic strategy Brian! I thought about how to link build for ecommerce sites this week and here it comes 🙂 Thanks!

Reply
Brian Dean

You ask and I deliver, Philip. Let me know how it goes.

Reply
Lenny Robbins

Great post Brian. I’m not a techie and therefore require really specific instructions on how to do stuff as you have done here. Looking forward to info on your course next week!
Thanks.

Reply
Brian Dean

Thank you Lenny. I’m also not the best when it comes to tech stuff. That’s why things like the screenshot tool work well for me 🙂
And Look forward to sending you more into about SEO That Works (and hanging out with you in the member’s area).

Reply
Ivan C

Insane guide Brian! This is as good as money in the bank. Me and my family certainly thank you for it. (^_^)

Reply
Brian Dean

Cha-ching! Thanks Ivan 🙂

Reply
Ivan C

Forgot to ask Brian: Do you know if Xenu Link Sleuth will do the same as screaming frog’s spider?

Reply
Brian Dean

Actually (as far as I know) you can’t get a nice list of external links across an entire domain with Xenu…but I could be wrong.

Reply
Todd Pettee

Brian,
Your ingenuity never ceases to amaze me!
Yet another great strategy to add to the large arsenal that you’ve given me.
Thanks so much!
Todd

Reply
Brian Dean

Todd, I aim to please. I appreciate your support since way back 🙂

Reply
iliass

Great post as usual Brian! thanks

Reply
Brian Dean

You’re welcome Iliass.

Reply
Brian Dean

Thanks Robert. Take your time…the post isn’t going anywhere 🙂

Reply
Candace Chira

Absolutely brilliant! I don’t recall how I found your site but your articles and tips are just phenomenal. I believe you are a genius!

Reply
Brian Dean

Thanks Candace. I really appreciate that. Send me an email if you have any questions 🙂

Reply
Paul Back

Masterful 🙂

Reply
Brian Dean

Cheers Paul. I appreciate it 😀

Reply
Mikk

Brain, again.. Great stuff.
I’m going to try something huge. In the next 6 months, I’m going to try to get at least 500-600 (legit links) with the help of your blog posts and STW. Let’s see how it turns out 🙂

Cheers

Reply
Brian Dean

Thanks Mikk. That’s a VERY ambitious project. But I think you can handle it 🙂

Reply
Christopher Laursen

Hey Brian,
thanks for featuring our link building case here. as always you break it down in a way that anyone can get results with your methods.
Great content is the way forward for sure when doing link building. However this strategy does solve the problem of getting links to generic product pages AND help out webmasters improving the user experience fixing bad links.

Reply
Brian Dean

Thanks Christopher. You’re 100% right that content is important. I just wanted to really emphasize that it’s possible to get results without it by showing people how you did it.

Reply
Andrei Constantin C

Brian,
I’m presently working for an e-commerce client and your article came spot-on! Building links to online shops was always a pain in the back side.

Nevertheless, looking forward for more great tips to building links to e-commerce/product pages.

Cheers,
Andrei

Reply
Brian Dean

Andrei, Good timing, right? Let me know how the moving man method works out for your e-commerce client 🙂

Reply
Mike Schwarz

Brian, i think you must be never sleeping or eat some mind blowing red or blue pills. How else you could write such great stuff all the time?? Pitty im in the german speaking part of Europe and most of your tipps won’t work as there are no similar services here… and i can’t place only links from english spoken pages to german ressouces… or i never tested it out actually. But replacing links as described here might work as well for german websites. Have to test this once. Greetings from switzerland, Mike

Reply
Brian Dean

Actually, I sleep A LOT. It must be helping 🙂

Fortunately, while some of the tools may not work in German, the search strings (when translated) definitely do. Let me know how it goes,
Mike.

Reply
Fernando

Great tips Brian. Thanks for sharing the detailed article.

Reply
Brian Dean

My pleasure, Fernando.

Reply
David McSweeney

Excellent follow along Brian and definitely one of the best ways to acquire strong, authority building links.

Like a couple of the commenters above I’m a big fan of xenu for a quick scan of a site/page for broken links. Found many high quality linking opportunities in the past.

Reply
Brian Dean

Thanks for commenting, David. Yeah, Xenu is an amazing tool. Doesn’t get a lot of love because it’s old and ugly. But it works like a charm 🙂

Reply
Sean Lade

Hi Brian. Your video was really well produced. Enjoyed it a lot. Great strategy. Think this will work really well for me. Thanks 🙂

Reply
Brian Dean

Thanks Sean (I also liked how the video turned out). Cheers 🙂

Reply
Ian Ainslie

SEO + Thinking Waaaay Outside The Box = Results

Great stuff and thanks for sharing!
Ian Ainslie

Reply
Brian Dean

Can’t disagree with that formula, Ian 🙂

Reply
Paul

Regarding the broken link building, I think this will get better as time goes on. I think there’s so much ‘seo content’ on the web from pre-2012!

Also I’d love to see more on (semi) automating outreach (i.e. via mail merge). I find this is perhaps a piece of the puzzle that’s omitted.

Reply
Brian Dean

Yes, that’s another massively untapped strategy Paul: finding outdated content and offering to freshen it up in exchange for a link. I actually wanted to include a tutorial on mail merge (because that’s what Chris used for outreach), but the post was getting a bit long and I didn’t want to overwhelm people with too much info 🙂

Reply
Christopher Laursen

Maybe something for your next blog post, Brian 😉
As Paul state it has to be SEMI automatic outreach. In my experience I get the same success rate (10-15%) as with manual outreach. And it saves me plenty of hours to spend on being creative instead.

Reply
Joe Robison

Do you still snatch up expired domains, fix them up, and use them for link building? I know it’s more of a gray hat technique, but if you’re coming across so many great expired domains, how do you resist just outright purchasing them?

Reply
Brian Dean

Good question, Joe. That’s something a few other people raised in the comments. My take: it’s worth considering. It’s just a bit risky because so many people are building PBNs with expired domains and Google might “reset” the links pointing to expired domains.

Reply
Richard Marriott

Wow Brian, this post is pure gold! I have already started using ExpiredDomains.net and the Screaming Frog + Links Checker combo and getting hundreds of new leads! Email blasting begins tomorrow! I gotta say the frog and links checker combo is my favourite. Might even be cheeky enough to use this combo on infographic directories 😉 That way it’d be easy to see which sites that submitted infographics with their original source link have gone bust and then find all the other sites pointing to that infographic and replace them!

Reply
Brian Dean

Thanks Richard. I’m pumped (although not surprised) that you’re already putting this into action 🙂
Dude, I think you’re only something potentially HUGE there. Really creative idea.

Reply
brian

You’re a champ Brian! Incredible quality post :). Will definitely take advantage of this strategy

Reply
Brian Dean

Thanks Brian. Let me know how it goes 🙂

Reply
Charlene

Hi Brian,
This is cool.
I’ve subscribed to your newsletter and this is the first email I’ve received. Nice technique!
Waiting for more newsletter from you. 🙂

Reply
Brian Dean

Hey Charlene. Thanks! I always deliver the goods to my newsletter subscribers 🙂

Reply
Janet

This is a monster blog
Great work Brian 🙂

Reply
Brian Dean

Cheers Janet. Glad you liked it 🙂

Reply
Philip

This is one of the best tutorials I have read in a long a time. You are just handing out value left and right. I cannot wait to get home and start figuring out how to implement this stuff on my side projects.

I work for a bankruptcy lawyer and am mad that I never though of using bankruptcy searches to identify potential linking opportunities lol

Thanks a ton for all of this, definitely signing up for the email list

Reply
Brian Dean

Thanks Philip. Wow, you’re in the PERFECT niche for this strategy. Let me know how things go for you or if you have a question.

Reply
Mike Stevens

This reminds me of a similar system I encourage my service business clients to use with phone numbers. When a company goes out of business, try to acquire or purchase their old phone numbers. The longer they have been in business, the more popular their number is. In phone books, stickers, the internet, everywhere. Anyway, I never applied it to SEO. Thanks for connecting the dots.

Reply
Brian Dean

Mind=blown. You know, Mike, I’ve been searching high and low for an analogy that I can use to quickly explain The Moving Man Method. Now I have it. Thanks!

Reply
Riaan

As always, an insightful and inspiring read – makes you wanna drop everything and go get them links 🙂
Thanks Brian.

Reply
Brian Dean

Well said, Riaan 🙂

Reply
Solmadrid Vazquez

Is there any software that can do what AHRefs and OpenSiteExplorer do? I’ve heard Screamingfrog, SEO Spyglass, etc mentioned on these boards. Still new to building backlinks so I don’t know what the difference is between the subscription services and Screaming Frog, Spyglass, etc.

Reply
Brian Dean

Great questions, Solmadrid. Spyglass, ahrefs, OSE, and Majestic SEO all do the same thing: check links. Screaming Frog actually scans a site like a search engine spider. Of the link checking tools I prefer ahrefs…with Majestic as a close second.

Reply
Stephen Alberts

Wow this is such a great idea:

“he zeroed in on companies that had recently gone out of business.”

Genius! Thanks for this post and I’m going to put it in action for my clients. 🙂

Reply
Brian Dean

Thanks Stephen. Let me know how The Moving Man Method works out for your clients 🙂

Reply
Gabby Gabriel

Hey Brian,
Thanks so much for this great post. I am new to SEO, and your post is so inspiring!

Reply
Brian Dean

Happy to help get you started in the right direction, Gabby 🙂

Reply
Dennis Miedema

Hey Brian,

Love this blog post! This is actually one of the first SEO posts in a long time that shares some new ideas for me to play around with.

This statement is worth repeating btw: “The best backlink sends you traffic”.

And last but not least: your post got me excited so I can’t resist to geekify your technique lol. The outreach step of your technique can potentially be improved using some simple conversion optimization! I highly recommend people go ahead and do an A/B test with the actual outreach email they’re sending. Simply send template A to X people and template B to the same amount of people and see which template converts more outreach prospects into outreach “buyers”. People can use an A/B split test calculator (just Google it, plenty of them out there you can use for free) to then calculate with a 95+% level of confidence (= statistically significant) whether template A or B converts more contacted people into linkers. If test B wins from A, then B becomes the control to beat. If the test doesn’t win from A (the standard template), then people can try coming up with another template to test against A.

Point being: by doing A/B split tests with the outreach emails you’re sending and tracking the results of the tests, you can get to the point where outreach emails will become more and more effective over time, which means this technique itself will become more and more effective over time. Not that this isn’t already awesome. Just wanted to make it super duper awesome haha.

Reply
Brian Dean

Thanks, Dennis. GREAT comment.

To be honest, I do a lot of informal A/B testing with my outreach emails (not good!). I know that I’d get MUCH better results if I hunckered down, but I’ve been too lazy to do it. Not anymore. Thanks for the kick in the pants that I needed 🙂

Reply
Dennis Miedema

You’re more than welcome 🙂 keep up the good (innovative) work! And feel free to return the favor with one of my blog posts (finishing up a new one soon)

Reply
Brian Dean

You’re too kind, Collin 🙂

Reply
Parth salwan

Really smart strategy. Liked the way you teach, mentioned everything and cleared my questions… thanks Brian Dean.

Reply
Brian Dean

Thanks Parth!

Reply
Simon

I have to say there is some great information on here. Brilliantly detailed with fantastic examples. I use outreach e-mails a lot to get links, but it’s not a begging thing, it’s only to people who are in a similar niche market who have shown interest in my site. And if they don’t want to link to me, I don’t bug them about it, I just move on.

Reply
Brian Dean

Thanks Simon. Same here: I don’t bug people if they link the first time around. As you’ve seen firsthand, you can build plenty of links without needing to do that 🙂

Reply
Ayman Saa'd

Thanks a lot Brain, I find it very useful, I also would like to suggest a tool that can help us find popular content on the web and probably authoritative websites that we can use to add on Screamingfrog and see their external links using the tool you suggested for any broken or outdated resources,

here’s the tool : http://buzzsumo.com/

BTW, this tool can help us with skyscraper technique too 😉

Reply
Brian Dean

Thanks Ayman. I’ve been using that tool a lot lately. It’s awesome 🙂

Reply
David

GOLDMINE!!!

Thx for sharing!
David

Reply
Brian Dean

You’re welcome, David. Let me know how it goes 🙂

Reply
Darren DeMatas

Hey Brian –

To be honest, I am having trouble finding good linking opportunities for one of my sites. I can find broken sites, etc. But almost all of them have a backlink profile thats not worth while.

What did work for me was:
1. doing a google search for my target keyword.
2. Running a SEO report in ahrefs
3. Filtering To Find Pages With 404
4. Running a batch backlink analysis on the 404 pages in ahrefs

I still think your technique is awesome, just coming up short for this particular market.

Reply
Brian Dean

Thanks for the update, Darren. The thing that’s great about this strategy is that even if you don’t find opportunities right away, you’ll be ready the next time a major player in your space goes out of business or rebrands.

Reply
Danny

what was the subject text in the email. have you split tested which ones get better open rates?

Reply
Brian Dean

I’m not sure what he used, but I use “Problem with (SITE)”. I’ve tested a bunch and that’s worked best for me.

Reply
Chris Laursen

I used “question about (SITE)”. No split testing but putting their web address in the subject line works

Reply
Mahesh

Thank you Brian Dean for Awesome Guide regarding E commerce, I used to think how they do their SEO except PPC and advertising.

Reply
Brian Dean

You’re welcome, Mahesh.

Reply
soam

Great resource for link building. Thanks

Reply
Brian Dean

You’re welcome, Soam.

Reply
Prateek Bansal

Brian, I am looking forward to create a blog network and will it be effective for ecommerce..

Reply
Brian Dean

That can work, Prateek, but I wouldn’t reply on a blog network too much. It’s risky.

Reply
Frank

Brain you made my day. Such an amazing read thank you for sharing those amazing modern SEO practices.

Reply
Brian Dean

You’re welcome, Frank 🙂

Reply
Sunny

Hey Brian,
Wonderful strategy. Last week, I read first few paragraph of this post and started practising this strategy.
To my surprise, I send 5 mails to different websites, where links were broken and got all of them replaced within a week. Man, and the surprising fact is that, the conversion rate was 100%, OMG and above that, most of them also said thanks! 🙂

But here are 2 Questions which I wanted to ask:
1. We see a lot of broken links on news/ PR websites, how to trick these guys out? Of-late I have discovered lot of links from these guys pointing to those who have gone out of business.
2. What can be a good backlink strategy for Deal of the Day kind of website, while using this method?

Reply
Brian Dean

Nice work, Sonny 🙂
1. You have to find the original author of the article.
2. I’d find coupon sites or saving money-focused content.

Reply
Colin

Some interesting strategies there thanks. Very “outside the box” which makes a refreshing change in this industry

Reply
Brian Dean

Thanks Colin 🙂

Reply
Rafael

Cool article. Thank you very much Brian. Greetings from SPAIN

Reply
Brian Dean

You’re welcome, Rafael.

Reply
Beth Daniell

Does it feel a little dishonest to say “these products are now found”, kind of like you’re telling the person that you’re the person who was selling the product before? Do you use a different script for non-product related broken links, e.g. you’re offering this post to someone who’s link to another link-building blog post is now leading to a non-existent site?

Reply
Sarrah

Nice Stuff…!!
My question is “Is there any other software like Screaming Frog”?

Reply
Brian Dean

Thanks Sarrah. Not that I know of 🙁

Reply
Neha

A brilliant post Brian…Working on it straight away..
You may have another case study to write about in a few months!!! jus sayin 🙂

Reply
Brian Dean

Thanks Neha. I hope so. Let me know if you get some results.

Reply
Plabon Hassan

Hi Brian, another great post we’ve got. But personally I want to get another detailed tutorial about Ecommerce On Site SEO and Ecommerce Link Building.

Reply
Brian Dean

Thanks for the suggestion, Plabon.

Reply
Mazux

Very nice stuff, that’s what I’m calling creativity and being solution-oriented.

Reply
Brian Dean

Thanks Mazux.

Reply
Jordan

In Screaming Frog it has a status code tab couldn’t you just go of that instead of using the screenshot tool?

Reply
Brian Dean

Jordan, the nice thing about the screenshot tool is that it shows you pages that are technically working but have something funky going on (like the example I have above).

Reply
Cao Minh

Hi Brian, your article is super useful.
I bookmarked it and came back many times to read it
Long time no see your new update
I’m looking forward to your new post
Best

Reply
Brian Dean

Thanks 🙂

Reply
Greg

So I understand, when you find a broken link you are replacing that link with one of your own that will link back to your site, and they are typically grateful for pointing out the fact that a link is broke? Thank you!

Reply
Brian Dean

That’s exactly right Greg.

Reply
Jens larsen

What an awesome piece of advice/guide. I will try to implement some of the things in my own SEO strategy.

Reply
Brian Dean

Sounds good, Jens. Let me know how it goes.

Reply
susan

An excellent post man! It is really helpful and I am planning to implementing it on my new project.

Reply
Brian Dean

Sounds good, Susan. Keep me posted 🙂

Reply
Tim

As always another excellent and informative post from Mr. Dean.

Reply
Brian Dean

Thanks Tim 🙂

Reply
Richard Hale

Brian, awesome article. Appreciate the time you spent and great research. I’ve been doing SEO for years and I’m still taking some great pointers away. This is exactly why I love researching because you find hidden gems like this article. Nice work!

Reply
Brian Dean

Happy to help, Richard. Let me know how this strategy works for you.

Reply
Dane Frampton

This is eye opening!! I have been struggling for years to build quality back links, struggled to the point where i literally gave up. I can’t thank you enough for this post!!

Reply
Brian Dean

Happy to help, Dane 🙂

Reply
Carolina Clover

Hi Brian,
Great info here. Question: if you have a parked or expired domain with valuable outdated links that could be useful to your site, who are you contacting and how are you obtaining those links? The ones where the site is RIP? Thanks!

Reply
Brian Dean

Hi Carolina. In that case you’d reach out to people linking to your expired domain.

Reply
Bharath

Cool info Brian. Wondering if you offer any services at backlinko.com so is it pure knowledge sharing site / blog like Neil’s? I like that you showed step by step guide as opposed to just superficial content.

Reply
Brian Dean

Thanks Bharath. I offer a premium training program called SEO That Works. Registration will open up again next year.

Reply
Pierre Angela Cruz

This is the strategy I’ve been searching for. I know link building in e commerce website than on the other site is quite different. Thank you for this one.

Reply
Brian Dean

You’re very welcome, Pierre 🙂

Reply
gary

Solid advice again Brian. I have been using this method for a short while now and it works exactly how you describe. Nice clear breakdown and instructions…
Cheers
Gary

Reply
Brian Dean

Glad to hear that, Gary 🙂

Reply
Fred Aguilar

Hi Brian,

I am creating a link building plan for a new website and i seems that this strategy is a good point to start with.

Best,

Fred

Reply
Brian Dean

It definitely is, Fred. The Moving Man Method is perfect for new sites.

Reply
Mike

Hi, Brian,
Happy to read another great post from you.
It is a hell of hard work finding, and especially organizing all the link opportunities using this method. But I think it will pay off finally.
Said we got 1000 link opportunities uncovered, and the success rate is about 5%. That number of high quality and relevant links is enough to get a new small business site to take off.
I haven’t put this smart idea into practice yet, and I am not that confident that people will give me a link in return for my pointing out the outdated resource on their sites.
There must be a simple social philosophy backing this idea.

Best,
Mike

Reply
Brian Dean

Hey Mike, As you said, 5% can make a HUGE difference in your rankings. It’s not easy, but nothing worth doing is 🙂

Reply
Mike

Yes, Brian, that’s true.

I think the Skyscraper Technique is another great way for ecommerce sites to succeed in SEO.

I mean creating great, relevant blog content based on a proven frame work and try to ask people to link to you. Let the PA boost of that specific blog post give the whole site a lift (DA) in the SERP.

Mike

Reply
John M.

Thanks for the great advice. I am addicted to your blog to help me learn more seo techniques. We invested a lot of money in seo years ago and it worked great till everything they did was blacklisted by Google. So now starting from scratch again and your blog is a great help.

Reply
Brian Dean

Happy to hear that, John. Here’s to a fresh start with SEO 🙂

Reply
pawan

Outstanding concept! I never come across such whitehat link building techniques in the past, Our ecommerce site has been hit by Google penguin update in 2012, since we are striving to find out the replacement in google. I think this technique would be betterment for us to regain visibility in google.

Reply
Brian Dean

Definitely give it a try, Pawan.

Reply
Cem

Hi Brian
Cem here again and as always, reading everything your write 🙂

Just have a question. When I send the email with my replacement link, do I need to provide a link to my specific product? or can the link just point to my ecommerce site?

I ask this because I find it easier to find blogs in my niche rather than sites that sell the same product as I do.

Hope that made sense 🙂
Cem

Reply
Brian Dean

Cem, you want a link to the product page for sure.

Reply
Hao

Hi Brian Dean,
Thank you for your good share. I also interest in the way you explain on your images: rectangular, arrows.
Could you please tell me which software help you do with those images? Thank you.

Reply
Brian Dean

Hao, I use a program called Greenshot.

Reply
Diwakar

Wow! Thanks Brian, I had never tried this technique. This is really awesome and unique for me.
Thanks!

Reply
Brian Dean

You’re welcome 🙂

Reply
Andrew

I am struggling with ecommerce SEO for my shopping portal. I am really excited to follow all the strategies especially moving man method to build links. Will inform you about my progress.

Reply
Brian Dean

Sounds good, Andrew. Let me know how it goes.

Reply
Imon

Brian, Your writing is mind blowing. Your snapshot included articles helps me enough.

Reply
gaurav

I am struggling in SEO for e-commerce from a long time. i am studying all this seo process for e-commerce and will try to my e-commerce project. what is latest symentic strategy for e-commerce. that will also helpful.

Reply
Josh

Hey,
I just wanted to say great post Brian, I’ve been following you for a few months and I really enjoy how thorough your posts are. I’m glad I found your site!

Reply
Marina

Hi Brian,
I really want to show my appreciation and respect for your unique intelligence (which you put towards all the great work you do) and for the help you provide. You really make it so clear and fully explanatory, even for a non-tech person. Many thanks!

Reply
Brian Dean

You’re welcome, Marina 🙂

Reply
Diana Pette

Brian, this is a very awesome technique.

I am applying this now to my pet shop. Will keep you posted 🙂

Thanks
Diana

Reply
Rica

Hi Brian,
Great post! I am just starting to learn link building and am sure I am in the right path if I follow your techniques.
I have an ecommerce site, and only ships domestic. Do I get penalised if I get links from other countries?
Thanks!

Reply
Tauseef Alam

Hi Brian,
You write this article at the very right time. Just got an SEO project for an e-commerce website. This article will surely gonna help me a lot.
Gonna bookmark this for future reference. It has a lot of learning.

Regards
Tauseef

Reply
Brian Dean

That’s good timing, Tauseef. Enjoy the guide.

Reply
Gokhan Tunc

Hi Brian,

You are one of those bloggers who I know I will learn a lot of things every time I receive an email from. I never delete your emails 🙂

I love this definitive guide, thank you.

Is there any possibility for us to download this as pdf or ebook?

Cheers,
Gokhan

Reply
Brian Dean

You’re welcome, Gokhan. Yup, I’ll probably offer this as a PDF in a week or so.

Reply
David Attard

Brian, awesome post as always!

Three things:

1. Keyword difficulty – how do you make a judgement of what is something good to focus on in terms of difficulty, and one which is obviously out of league. Of course it does depend on the budget, but what can give you the most bang for your buck so to speak.

2. Search intent – this is key. If your customer is at the top of the sales funnel, I think it’s somewhat useless to target those keywords for SEOing on your product pages.

3. Long form content – how do you go about writing long form content for shops with thousands of products without creating thin content?

Reply
Brian Dean

Thanks David.

1. There’s an art and a science in terms of difficulty. Impossible to get a raw number that will help you say “yes or or no”.
2. 🙂
3. Either not have so many indexed pages or write them. It’s not easy but critical.

Reply
David Farkas

Excellent post, Brian as always!

The one point I think may come across a bit oversimplified is the amount of time, energy, and skill that is needed for successful outreach.

I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to build thousands of quality links for my clients and can attest that ‘quality content’ is merely the very beginnings of a successful link building campaign.

Based on my experience outreach is undoubtedly the hardest part of link building.

Unfortunately, it’s also the most important part and I can’t begin to tell you how many prospective clients have come to me with a ‘definitive guide’ they’ve created with little to no links pointing to it even after months of trying outreach on their own.

Reply
Brian Dean

Thanks David. Fair point: email outreach is no joke. A lot of people think it’s easy…and then find out it took them 45 minutes to send a single email.
But as you said, it’s an absolute must.

Reply
Dimitar Margaritov

I am totally going to use this guide on a friend of mine’s ecommerce store and see how that goes.

Reply
Brian Dean

Sounds good, Dimitar. Keep me posted.

Reply
Spyros

Hi Brian,

Such a detailed and up to the point guide!

Thanks,
Spyros

Keep up the brilliant work!

Reply
Brian Dean

You’re welcome, Spyros.

Reply
Emanuele

Wow man, you really take content creation/content value on another level… Very impressed!! You deserve all your success!

Reply
Brian Dean

Thanks Emanuele. Yes I do 🙂

Reply
Yousef Zatari

Hi Brain,

Thanks for this amazing guide! I have a question about Site Architecture… What should I do If the product pages should have classification in GEO-Targeted (Cities) & Categories?

I thought to redirect the visitors based on geo-targeted and do the rest as your guide… What do you think?

Thanks!

Reply
Brian Dean

Yousef, that’s a tough call. Sometimes in those circumstances you want to have unique pages for each city + category. Hard to say without seeing the site.

Reply
Sajjad ul islam Azad

Very timely post. Thanks Brian. There are tons of people outsouring their Ecom SEO work these days. I have read a few posts on that as i am interested to work as an SEO for ecom sites but there were most general posts. Not as useful as yours. Do you have any plan to write a post on doing Amazon store SEO?

Reply
Brian Dean

You’re welcome, Sajjad. Hmmm, I may do something on that in the future.

Reply
Joseph

Hi Brian,
Great Brian, This is so helpful and i will try to apply it as i cane on my project of launching a web hosting e-commerce site.
sure that this guide will be the most honest and useful like the keywords one.
Thank you very much and I hope you achieve great results doing this.

Reply
Brian Dean

Thanks Joseph. If you apply these strategies you should start to see results.

Reply
Scott Flear

Hi Brian,

I love it when my phone pings me a notification to say you’ve released a new post! Always great content and thank god someone has finally done a comprehensive e-commerce guide as ALL of my clients are in this field.

One question though, you mention building 1000 words on category pages.

To do this, would you do a drop down box to reveal all the text as 1000 words above the products in the category pages could put customers off or do you put the content below the products in the category?

At the moment I’m using a drop-down with “more info on (product category)” to show 1000 ish words on the category. I don’t feel this is spammy as it’s clear but I know Google can be annoyed by “hidden” content.

Category pages usually have 4-5 sub categories on the page so adding text above without hiding it can be annoying if that makes sense.

Thoughts?

Reply
Brian Dean

Thanks Scott.

Great question. Obviously your #1 priority should be conversions. That said, as you suggested, you can add some content below the products. Dropdowns aren’t spammy perse, but you’re right…Google doesn’t like them.

Reply
Alison

What’s the main difference between Ahrefs and SEMrush? I’m interested in researching competitors backlinks. Thanks!

Reply
Brian Dean

Alison, both have keyword research and backlink analysis features. I use SEMRush for KW research and ahrefs for backlink analysis.

Reply
Lars Skjoldby

Hi Brian
Fantastic work once again.

One question though: What are your thoughts about drop down mega menus regarding getting linkjuice to sub categories?

You know lots of ecommerce websites are using mega menus now and they often generate hundreds of links on each page to top categories and sub categories. And each top category and sub category get the same amount of internal links give or take.

Love to hear from you.

Regards,
Lars

Reply
Brian Dean

I appreciate that, Lars.

That’s not a bad approach for pure SEO. The issue is from a UX point of view. When you open those it’s actually HARDER to find what you’re looking for. So it’s a balance.

Reply
Zahid Sindhu

Thank you for yet another great post, Brian!

There is explosive ecommerce growth in Pakistan right now and most (read almost all!) are struggling with SEO!

Bookmarking and sharing with a few friends and clients! 🙂

Reply
Brian Dean

You’re welcome, Zahid. Glad you enjoyed the guide.

Reply
Amina

Hi Brian,
I wanna just thank you, for all information you share it with us, you’re just ana amazing guy 🙂 .
Therfore, I wonder to know if therse is a keyword genrator like Keyword Tool Dominator, for professional ecommerce website that sells machines and equipement for professional customers.
Thanks

Reply
Brian Dean

Hi Amina, good question. That tool is tailored to Amazon. But if Amazon sells those products you can use it.

Reply
Pur

Thank you very much Brian, this is what I’m looking for a long time!

When writing 1000+ words for product category page, where is the best place to put the article, below or above the product list?

Reply
Brian Dean

You’re welcome, Pur. It depends. But in general, I recommend putting some above and some below.

Reply
Anshul Johri

This is incredible info Brian. I want to say many thanks to you for your work and effort. Going to circulate this with all my team mates and friends.

Reply
Brian Dean

You’re welcome, Anshul. Thanks for spreading the word.

Reply
Hammad Afzal

Hi Brian,

Thanks a lot for amazing and superb SEO Stuff for eCommerce.
I have a question….
Can I rank for high competition keywords? As my client wants to rank for these keywords.

Cheers,

Hammad

Reply
Brian Dean

You’re welcome, Hammad. You can, but it takes time. I recommend starting with lower competition keywords first.

Reply
Hafiz Rosila

As usual. You are the BEST Brian! Every email form you, I opened it right away, because I know I’ll learn something GOLD in your post. I love EVERY single piece of your post!

Reply
Brian Dean

Thanks Hafiz. I try 😀

Reply
Logan Badger

Hey Thanks Brian Dean, My head is spinning right now, full of ideas to crush it on Amazon. That was almost like a course in itself. I will try this out and be back with more comments!
Thanks, I am pumped about this!

Reply
Brian Dean

You’re welcome, Logan. I’ll keep an eye out for your update 🙂

Reply
Babs

Hey Brian,

Got your email and once again… You killed it man, This has to be the one… Now in a few days from now this power page will be dancing on the first page for eCommerce SEO. Amazing.

Thanks for the guide.

Oh and yeah! Thank God… I was going to mail you in a few hours time. I’ve got a question to ask you and it’s a simple one. What are the 3 email marketing tools you can’t live without? I’m making an expert roundup and I want you in it.

Since you reply to every comment… Here’s a chance of getting a reply from you.

Thanks a lot Brian… Tweeting this 🙂

Reply
Brian Dean

Glad you liked the post, Babs. Sorry dude, I’m taking a break from roundups 🙂

Reply
Babs

Brian but why?

This makes me sad… Alot 🙁

Reply
Brian Dean

Nothing personal. It’s just not a priority for my business at the moment.

Reply
Ashley Orndorff

Every time you release a new post, I always walk away with so much value. My mind may be spinning, but I’ve learned several new things, received step-by-step tips and tricks to try, and oftentimes, discovered a new spin on something I’m already doing to make it just that bit better. Thank you for what you do, and thank you for sharing what you learn with the rest of us!

Reply
Brian Dean

You’re welcome, Ashley. Let me know how the techniques in this guide work out for you.

Reply
Brendan McCoy

Detailed article but well worth reading all the way through.
Thanks for putting it together Brian!

Reply
Brian Dean

You’re welcome, Brendan. Glad you enjoyed it.

Reply
Alan Boyd

Hey Brian, having a design background, I appreciate that you made the task bar green on mobile. It’s all about the details and it looks great.

Reply
Brian Dean

Thanks Alan.

Reply
Jiri

Awesome guide! Thank you for all the value, will be implementing a lot this week

Reply
Brian Dean

Sounds good, Jiri

Reply
Adam

Brian, thanks for another great piece. This is the first time I have ever heard anyone say to remove pages from your site because it might be hurting your SEO. Is it just the duplicate content issue? Is there another downside to having dead-weight pages there?

Reply
Brian Dean

You’re welcome, Adam. It’s mostly for duplicate content. But in general, smaller sites tend to be easier to manage.

Reply
Carlos

Most epic April post related to SEO on Web, thanks Brian 🙂

Reply
Brian Dean

Thanks Carlos. 3 days left for someone to beat me 🙂

Reply
Michael Akinlaby

Thanks for writing this comprehensive guide Brian. I just tweeted and shared it on LinkedIn.

Reply
Brian Dean

You’re welcome, Michael. And thanks for the Tweet and LinkedIn share. You rock!

Reply
Marcio Santos

I am going to implement this for the online store for a small furniture store. Excited to see if we can get some good results.

Reply
Brian Dean

Sounds good, Marcio. Let me know how it goes.

Reply
Mike

Brian, Great info and as a writer I finally have a much better handle on what is really involved in SEO…both from my viewpoint and from the viewpoint of what clients might need help with. Not that I would be actually doing it…. Seriously, this was super helpful for overall understanding of SEO, how it affects marketing and how I might write for it.

Reply
Brian Dean

Happy to help, Mike. SEO is a HUGE topic, but this guide gives you the most important parts (when it comes to ecommerce SEO).

Reply
Luis Maia

You are the Boss! Thanks for this wonderful resource!

Reply
Brian Dean

You’re welcome, Luis. Glad you liked got so much value from this guide.

Reply
Danny

Brian thanks so much for this guide! Absolute gold. I can’t believe it’s free!

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Brian Dean

You’re welcome, Danny. Now it’s time to implement everything 🙂

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Paras Shah

Truly the most complete and in-depth guide to ecommerce SEO. And you provided all of the knowledge for free? Hats off! Thanks a lot Brian for this. Will be implementing it part by part.

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Brian Dean

You’re welcome, Paras. I created this to be the most comprehensive guide to ecommerce SEO on the web. Looks like I nailed it!

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Craig Davidiuk

Finally a guide that is specifically for ecommerce! Everything out there is for software sales, not hard goods. I can’t wait to try this stuff out!

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Brian Dean

That’s exactly why I made this bad boy, Craig 🙂

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Anand Jha

Amazing! This guide is perfect to start any eCommerce business. Thanks Brian

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Brian Dean

You’re welcome, Anand. That’s true: this guide can get your new ecom site off on the right foot for sure.

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Adz

Hi Brian thanks for the detailed report. Just one question.. Why do many SEO’s suggest to no-index categories. Wouldn’t this harm seo? What’s your opinion?

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Brian Dean

You’re welcome, Adz. SEOs recommend that? Maybe if you comment with me an example post I can take a look.

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Sarah G

Hi Brian
Fab stuff! Something I’m struggling with at the moment is backlinks for a fashion/accessories ecommerce store. Due to the recent Google change the a lot of bloggers are now doing nofollows, so the classic technique of sending out products for review is going downhill. Any pearls of wisdom for lifestyle rather than functional brands?

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Brian Dean

Hey Sarah, thanks! I recommend checking out chapters 5 and 6 from this guide. Lots of techniques that don’t involve reviews.

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Zakir Hosen

This is an awesome step by step guideline. i already point out few and waiting for implement on our ecom site. thank you #Brian

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Brian Dean

Sounds good, Zakir.

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James

I do not have ecom site, but rather products from Amazon affiliate program. Will there be any different if my products pages are filled with affiliate links from Amazon? How do you recommend on this?
Thanks

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Brian Dean

Hi James, many of the strategies will apply to your site. But in your case your product pages are reviews, right?

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James

Both. Meaning having review sites and also blog sites using your PP method to interlink to best selling product pages.

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Brian Dean

I see. For the review sites I’d focus on some of the other strategies from Backlinko. But for big ecommerce sites I’d use this. That said, all of the strategies from the blog apply to blogs, service sites and ecommerce sites.

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Matt

Solid stuff (as per bloody always) Brian! Perhaps a bit unrelated question 🙂 but say you were starting fresh with backlinko today, how would you approach the 800-pound gorilla ‘SEO’ niche?

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Brian Dean

Thanks Matt. I’d use the same strategy when I launched Backlinko 3 years ago 🙂

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mazharoddin

Excellent post Brian, I have question, How to optimize product page with variants..is it’s better to create different pages for each variant or crate one page and have different variants on same page…which is better from SEO and customers point of view.

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Brian Dean

Thank you. From an SEO point of view, I recommend canonical URLs. I have more info on that in this guide.

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Olaf

Hi Brian, thanks for the useful post.
Just wanted to let you know about another keyword research tool that maybe useful
http://www.what-to-sell.com – collects searches from ebay users.
Thanks for your efforts to educate us!

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Brian Dean

Hey Olaf, that tool looks very cool. I’ll check it out.

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Tony

Great post, loads of useful insight, and none of the self congratulatory BS that see on other sites. Nice one!

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Brian Dean

HA! Thanks Tony. I do have to give myself props for this one. But I left that out of the guide 🙂

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yuvraj Wadhwani

Excellent guide as usual Brian. I have a question.

When you mention architecture, wouldn’t the optimized architecture fail if pagination is counted in. If a product lies on 7th page, it would need a lot more than 3 clicks to reach the product page.

When I launched my website a couple months ago (link in my display name here)(coincidentally I sell cases as well, like your example), I spent a lot of time thinking about the architecture myself. I had to make sure that products were accessible via, categories and filters both while maintaining a flat architecture and keeping duplicate content issues at bay. (I still have some duplicate content for product descriptions).

What I did was a full flat architecture. My products don’t link like

Home/category/product
or
Home/category/filter/product

I simply made all my url like
Home/product

and all my categories page urls as
Home/category

My category pages showcase all the products in that category but the url points to the flat url Home/product.

The advantage is that the product URL remains the same no matter how the customer lands on the page (search, filter, navigation etc).

What would you say to this strategy?

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Brian Dean

Yes that’s right, Yuvraj. That’s why I recommend having what you have or one more “layer”, ie. home/category/product. Either work.

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Dean Davis

Over the past 9 years, I’ve read possibly every SEO/e-commerce guide that ever existed. Most of them were okay but all of them said the same thing in some form or another. That was until I read this! Wow! Just wow! Brian mate, you’ve knocked this out of the park!

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Brian Dean

Thanks Dean. I appreciate that. I tried to make this comprehensive without rehashing a lot of stuff that experts like you already know.

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Anthony Tourville

Great article as always, I really loved the part on structured data because it always seemed a lot more difficult than how you were able to portray it.

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Brian Dean

No worries, Anthony. Structured data can be confusing. But that Google tool makes it 100x easier to implement.

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Jeff Fagan

Great seo article for e-commerce sites. Well thought out and a lot of useful information.

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Brian Dean

Thanks Jeff.

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Alex Ramirez

I find this interesting Brian–You talk about commercial intent keywords, yet ALL of your posts have just informational keywords. Even inside ahrefs…What gives?…(The reason I put this here, is because this is your latest)

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Brian Dean

Lots of so-called “informational” keywords have serious commercial intent behind them.

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Burkhard Berger

This Guide is awesome! Brian, you are awesome! 🙂
All your posts are very understandable and applicable. That motivates very much!

One question I have: The flat icons in your guides looking very good. For the creation do you use a platform or do you work together with a designer? Can you recommend a service?

Thank’s a lot and best wishes!
Burkhard

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Brian Dean

Thanks Burkhard. I try 🙂

Yes, I hired a freelance designer to design the page from scratch (including the icons). I recommend finding someone on 99designs or Upwork.

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Anoop

Brian… This is a gem.
Really liked every word of this post. I think if implemented well, these techniques can help skyrocket the organic traffic to an eCommerce website.
Thanks for sharing this..

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Brian Dean

You’re welcome, Anoop.

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max

Hi Brian
Thanks for your useful content!
I’ve an ecommerce site running on PrestaShop and a lot of URL Parameters detected by google search console like “p”, “id_product”, “ajax” ,etc.
the question is “What should I do with them to have clean urls Google love without ranking loss?”
Thanks again.

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Brian Dean

Max, I’d 301 redirect them to cleaner URLs. But if you’ve never done that I recommend hiring an SEO pro to help.

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Adam

Quite detailed post, impressive as usual! Keep up the good work Brian, thumbs up! Thanks.

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Brian Dean

You’re welcome, Adam. I tried to cover it all.

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Zach Grove

I like the point about finding the exact phrases and language your customers are using. If I had a physical product to sell, I’d be using my customers’ exact words in my bulletpoints, product descriptions, and (of course) keyword research.

Great post as usual!

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Brian Dean

That’s a good one, Zach. It still applies if you sell digital products or services. It’s the cornerstone of great copywriting!

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Alok

Moving Man method is great. I would like to read it more. I have received an ecommerce store and now i am going to apply this Moving Man Method on that project.

Thank you Brian!

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Brian Dean

You’re welcome, Alok. That’s good timing 🙂

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Aaron

Excellent seo coaching. I already bookmarked and review your e-commerce strategies in several times. Bravo!

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Brian Dean

Sounds good, Aaron. Let me know how it goes.

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Brian

Hi Brian,

I have been reading your your post and down loading all your guides for a while trying to work up the nerve to give it a go.

I notice you have been using some really nice jump buttons on your site lately. I was wondering if you use a designer or is there a really easy tool out there for that?

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Brian Dean

You can totally do it Brian. Yes, I hire a designer to do custom things like jump links to specific chapters.

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Ryan

Great walk-through, as always.

I think this might even be helpful to sell clients on the value of SEO for ecommerce. Most are savvy enough to know SEO can help, but this shows the many, MANY ways organic campaigns can be expanded to produce massive results.

Thanks for sharing!

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Brian Dean

You’re welcome, Ryan.

That’s true: this will show clients SEO is worth investing in.

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Carmelo

Cool post, Brian.

Just wondering (with the skyscraper technique) how links to a guide on your site will help your product pages rank higher.

Do you recommend linking to the products from the guide?

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Brian Dean

Thanks Carmelo. Two ways: they boost your site’s DA and via internal linking. So yes, you want to do that where it makes sense.

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Mohammad Umair

And they said, “We want our content writer to do SEO for our e-commerce site”. Sigh.

This is as comprehensive as it can get. Priceless and informative. Thanks Brian

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Brian Dean

You’re welcome, Mohammad 🙂

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Marius

Wow… One of the most amazing thing I’ve ever read. Nice job, Brian!

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Brian Dean

Thanks Marius. Glad you liked it.

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Daniel Jackson

Amazing guide Brian, this is exactly what I needed to serve my ecommerce clients in a better way. Loads of helpful information, I’m caught myself getting back to this guide at least 3 times this week while I was working on some of my SEO clients haha. Thanks for putting the amazing content out there!

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Brian Dean

NICE Daniel. That’s exactly what I was aiming for when I created this guide.

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Parker Chuks

This is the most comprehensive guide I have ever come across that deal with all aspect of “setting up eCommerce” site. I will always consult this guide.

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Brian Dean

Sounds good, Parker.

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Sam

Awesome Brian,

I’m beginning to realize it’s all about increasing your DA as much as possible then internally linking to your internal pages you want to rank, in particular from your homepage.

Sam

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Brian Dean

That definitely helps, Sam. It’s always best to get links directly to the page you want to rank. But this approach is the next best thing.

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Vikash Sharma

Hi Brian,
I am so lucky to find out this guide at the right time. I have just started my eCommerce business and was not sure about the SEO part.
Thank you so much for sharing such an awesome and detailed guide with us. This is really very helpful.

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Brian Dean

Happy to help, Vikash. Good luck with the new ecommerce site.

Reply
Kelly

Wow is all I can say. Great information! So much to take in. You answered a ton of my questions just in this one article. Thanks!

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Brian Dean

Thanks Kelly. My goal with this post was to create an “all in one” resource on ecommerce SEO. Glad to see that I did it!

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Bharath

Awesome. God how much time did you invest into writing this epic content. Brilliant. So I wanted to go ahead and print this out as a guide for reading. Is there a PDF version to it that I could print? I’m going to follow this to the last word along with FB marketing and see how things shape up.

Reply
Brian Dean

It took a while, Bharath. At least 20 hours 🙂

Reply
Carlos Miguel

Hi Brian,

Your articles are awesome but I didn’t finish this one yet (but don’t worry I already bookmarked it.)

I’ve been a silent reader for over a year and it seems you are doing a lot of hard work in replying comments.

I get it, you’re one of the legit SEO experts out there and (correct me if I’m wrong) I noticed that you don’t have a scheduled day to post your work. On the other hand, SmartBlogger aka BoostBlogTraffic of Jon Morrow almost post his and guest bloggers work every week.

Is this your preference? Is having a scheduled blog post have some good SEO benefit?

*I read one of your articles before where you don’t post for almost 3 months but still racking up those traffics. Blog promotion I guess?

Reply
Brian Dean

Hey Carlos, there’s more than one way to grow a blog. Jon’s approach to a publishing schedule definitely works. So does mine 😀

Reply
Victor G

Gold as usual Brian.

Was looking for a guide just like this, so a huge thank you!

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Brian Dean

Happy to help, Victor. Happy to hook you up 🙂

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Suren

As usual. Great informative and delicious article by Brian Dean. Going thru this epic article most of my doubts are cleared.

If someone ask me who’s Brian dean…I’ll say he’s SEO god.

Thanks SEO god for sharing the eye opener article.

Reply
Brian Dean

Thanks Suren.

Reply
Dylan

Can I target “where to buy keywords” as an affiliate marketer? Or does Google rank pages that directly sell the product higher?

Reply
John

Nice piece of info – thanks!
I’ll try to dig further into this right away.

Thanks, Brian.

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Brian Dean

You’re welcome, John.

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Berit Jensen

Okay, that is very usefull information. I am a total newbie, but think ecommence seo is something I can’t live without, now that I have a webshop.

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Brian Dean

Thanks Berit. That’s right: SEO is HUGE for ecommerce sites.

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Suzanne Dean

Thanks Brian for sharing this post. SEO has always been my nemesis. You have helped me so much.

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Brian Dean

You’re welcome, Suzanne. Deans rock 🙂

Reply
Kathy

Thanks Brian for this but one question that I tried to use the keyworddominator tool for amazon based keyword but the problem is not showing any data. Can you tell me why its not showing any data.

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Brian Dean

Not sure, Kathy. You’d have to ask them

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Shirsendu Das

Probably they are looking for any explicit keyword that is not available in Amazon !

Reply
Randy Downs

Thanks for the Amazing Resource. Everything we could want for e-commerce SEO

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Brian Dean

You’re welcome, Randy. Yup, it pretty much covers it all.

Reply
Shaheer

This article answered lots of my questions related to e-commerce optimization.

Thanks a lot Brian!

Reply
Irina Weber

Hey Brian,
You did a big and excellent job! I need some time to digest all this post.
Amazon and Google Keyword Planner is a nice tool to search for product-focused keywords. They are free and easy to use. But the negative side of them is that everybody gets the same results and use them for their makreting campaigns.
For keyword research, Semrush and SE Ranking (you surely need to check it out) are my must-have tools.
I’ve just bookmarked the post! I would love to view in the future something about untapped ways to promote ecommerce sites.
Thanks!

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Brian Dean

You’re welcome, Irina.

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Brian Dean

You’re welcome, Irina.

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Peter Conley

Damn Brian. Knocked it out of the the park again. Question: on average, how much time do you spend per blog post for backlinko?

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Brian Dean

Thanks Peter. It depends. Usually 20+ hours.

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T.J

On a scale of 1 to 10 on quality and length of post, I would have to say you get a 100! It’s clear you put a lot of effort into this post and it shows. What I like is that many guides offer good info on general seo, but it’s true that Ecommerce SEO is……. a “different animal” altogether. I personally found the Site Architecture part very informative and although it’s basic stuff, it’s often overlooked. Some sites don’t get it and forget about user friendlness. Thanks for the reminders and great infographics btw.

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Brian Dean

You’re welcome, TJ.

You’re 100% right: ecommerce is same same…but different (especially when it comes to site architecture). Glad you enjoyed the guide.

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Andy Hunt

Great work Brian! I wish I had this before launching our e-commerce brand here. Certainly makes a lot of the research and other legwork much easier.

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Brian Dean

Better late than never, Andy 🙂

And I’m glad you enjoyed the guide.

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Klaus Nymand

Hi Brian, I really love reading your articles. Trying to take whatever suggestions you have and apply to our own website.

Thank you for great content!

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Brian Dean

You’re welcome, Klaus

Reply
Charl Vollmer

Hi Brian,

Great article as always.

I’ll definitely use these pointers with the new E-commerce website i am working on.

Keep up the great work!

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Daniel

Amazing content Brian. It took some time to scroll it the bottom and if finally finished it 🙂

I love how you did your keyword research and then sprinkle those keywords to the content page.

Any tips on how to create 1000 content page for your product? Is it gonna be sales page copywriting style or education?

Thanks

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Andreas

Thank you very much from Germany. I’m going to start a ecommerce Site next week. I love your Guide. I’ll try to implament as much as possible. We’ll see how it works over here 🙂

Best Greetings,
Andreas

Reply
Jenny

Hi Brian. Thanks for this post. I need to start working on this. I have never for once give it a trial. Ecommerce site building and SEO for it has been the most challenging thing for me in blogging. Though, its because and yet to concentrate more on it. Am sure you have enough resources on this site to guide me through. Thanks again

Reply
Shuki Haiminis

Brian,

Fantastic post! This is one I am going to save and go back to again & again to try to tackle each point and implement them over time.

Thanks!
Shuki

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Jason

Great read…hoping to apply some of this to our office furniture company’s website as we move in the e-commerce direction…

Reply
Tom Nguyen

Brian, this was a long and informative blog post. Thanks for taking the time to provide this content. I’ll be sure to share the content and use some of your techniques myself. How long did it take for you to write this? Blog posts with about 1000 words take me 4 hours or more to write. I’m guessing that you spent a few days on this? Interested to find out.

Reply
Naveen Verma

Hey Brian,

I’ve just started with eCommerce SEO and I have one medium sized eCommerce client having more than 5K products. I am soon launching my own ecommerce store for UK.

I am facing a big problem of managing keywords and keeping track for their rankings.

The keyword research methods you suggested will easily make more than 1000+ keywords even for a smaller e commerce store.

My Client’s store keyword research has moved to 3k+ keywords and not completed yet.

What is the best way to keep track of these keywords on a tight budget? I am using AWR currently, but it is costing me more and I still have to organize the data in excel.

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Matthew Kong

A fantastic guide with brilliant stats that shows online stores the value of great SEO and the opportunity it brings.

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Carl Heyns

Thanks for this valuable article, Brian. Wow! You really have taken your time to share all this information with us. I actually saved the webpage locally so I can read it again in greater depth 🙂

Reply
Elvina Goves

Hi Brian,
Thanks for coming up with this detailed and informative post! Loved it!

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Bill Martin

Wow, this is by far one of the best and detailed guides on Ecommerce SEO I found to far. It must have taken you a lot of time to write this post and I really appreciate your efforts. Thank you so much!

Reply
SILVAN

Hej Brian,

Great post as always! I am a great fan of your strategies and I am trying to implement then in our SEO team 😀
I have a question regarding the use of magnet words in the title tag.
Do we not run in some duplicate problems if we use the same 5-6 magnetic words in 60.000 products?

Reply
Mike

Hello Brian,

Please tell me what is the best sitemap generator for ecommerce store with more than one million pages? I am unable to find any good one.

Reply
Ladislav Voros

Hi Brian awesome post, another awesome piece of work, thanks a lot 🙂 I have one small question, I have an ecommerce site with 1200 products, my category pages have about 800+ words, but the products have no description. Will you recommed me to put noindex, follow to all of them? Thanks 🙂

Reply
Brad Griffin

Brain, while I “get” all of this technique stuff, and I’ve been reading about the Moving Man (or Woman) for a while, here’s the part that I still don’t quite understand.

After all, any, some, most of these techniques to “find” the links are finally d-o-n-e (which takes a good bit of time), gambling on a return for your investment & time seems to be completely and totally contingent on a [drumroll] WORKING EMAIL [/drumroll] to receive the URL swapping request.

Doing 90% of the effort seems a bit pointless if folks are sending emails that amount to not-much-more-effective-than-spam.

That’s not at all a ‘knock’ on what your saying ~not at all! But the question though is !important—> HOW do you get qualified and effective emails?

If all the work is done to find the links, and then there’s nothing more than the $reporter_who_wrote_the_story ~or~ $the_guest_blogger to send an email to, then it’s all for nothing.

Any tips (other than [email protected] or something like that) for getting to the actual decision making person who has access and can control the website’s content?

Thanks! -Brad

Reply
matt

Brian, yellow box at the top has Chapters spelled as “Chapers” so you can fix that typo.

Also, when is STW 3 coming out?

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John Zabkowicz

An unbelievable amount of knowledge all within one article. Thank you so much for putting this together. At this point I’ve only made it through Chapter One but the information provided there should be able to help anyone doing keyword research.

Something that I have run into with past clients is using terms & phrases that suit the business’ marketing department and not necessarily the terms used by customers. Then they wonder why their organic search is struggling.

Thanks again! I have to get back to reading now.

Reply
Hitesh Agarwal

Brian,
Loved this insightful article. I am bookmarking this URL for forever.

Reply

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