Ecommerce SEO: The 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.

So if you’re looking to get more targeted traffic (and customers) from search, you’ll love this guide.

Let’s dive right in.

Ecommerce SEO Guide
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Why SEO Matters for Ecommerce Websites

Let’s quickly look at some interesting stats…

44% of people start their online shopping journey with a Google search (nChannel).

Proportion of traffic to ecommerce from search engines

37.5% of all traffic to ecommerce sites comes from search engines (SEMrush).

Traffic sources distribution

23.6% of ecommerce orders are directly tied to organic traffic (Business Insider).

Proportion of ecommerce orders from organic traffic

With that, let’s dive into the actionable strategies in today’s guide.

Chapter 1:Ecommerce Keyword Research

Ecommerce Keyword Research

Keyword research is the foundation of every ecommerce SEO campaign.

Why?

Because keyword research informs every other SEO-related task you do on your website.

(For example, without keywords, it’s impossible to optimize your product and category pages).

Believe it or not, but your list of keywords influence your technical SEO too. That’s because your site architecture and URLs need to take keywords into account.

As you can see, keyword research is a VERY big deal for your ecommerce site.

And here’s exactly how to find untapped terms that your customers search for… and how to choose the best keywords for your site.

How To Find Keywords For Ecommerce Product and Category Pages

Most keyword research tutorials focus on “informational keywords”.

These are keywords that people type into search engines to discover helpful “how-to” content.

(Like “How to make pour over coffee”)

While informational keywords have their place in ecommerce, the majority of your site’s keywords will be tailored around product searches.

(Like “Chemex coffee filters”)

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 Amazon a product keyword goldmine.

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.

When you do, Amazon will list suggestions around that keyword.

Amazon – Search – Dog food

The keywords Amazon suggests tend to be very targeted (also known as long tail keywords). Not only do long tail keywords tend to convert better than shorter terms, but they’re usually 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 – Search category

Keyword Tool Dominator

Keyword Tool Dominator is a nifty keyword 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

Yup, this tool makes finding long tail keywords from Amazon Suggest significantly faster. But in my experience it gives you more keyword ideas too.

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 best keywords to a list.

KeywordToolDominator – 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 can tell you firsthand that lots of 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 in 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 spend time finding keywords for your category pages.

And the best way to do that?

Look at the categories your competitors already use.

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

Amazon – Departments

These are probably too broad for your site. So click on any that make sense so you can see that department’s subcategories:

Amazon – Browse category

Now we’re talking.

You can also hit up Amazon’s list of departments.

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

Amazon site directory

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

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

You’d go to the “Pet supplies” category:

Amazon – Site Directory – Pet supplies

Then click on “dogs”.

Amazon – Site Directory – Pet supplies – Dogs

Then choose “food” from the list:

Amazon Pet Supplies – Dogs – Food

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

Amazon Pet Supplies – Dogs – Food type

These are all GREAT 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 keyword. For example, you could turn the Amazon keyword “dry dog food” into “healthy dry dog food” or “raw dry dog food”. These keywords are going to be less competitive and more targeted than the broad versions of those terms.

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.

Headphone site

And just like you did with Amazon, look at the terms they optimize their category pages around.

And add those keywords to your list.

Wikipedia

Wikipedia is one of the BEST places to find keyword for product and category pages.

Here’s why:

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

Let’s look at an example of how you can use Wikipedia for ecommerce keyword research.

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

Wikipedia

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

Wikipedia – Backpack

Make sure to take a look at the contents box. These can sometimes reveal excellent category page keywords.

Wikipedia – Backpack – Contents box

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

SEMrush

The strategies I outlined so far should have helped you get a hefty list of keyword ideas.

But SEMRush is a little bit different. SEMrush doesn’t generate new keyword ideas based on seed keywords. Instead, it shows you keywords that your competition already ranks for.

Let’s take a look at how you can use this tool to find keywords for your ecommerce site.

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

SEMrush – Dashboard search

Then click “organic research” in the sidebar:

SEMrush – Sidebar

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

SEMrush – Organic positions

Nice!

If you want to squeeze every keyword out of SEMrush, check out the “competitors” report:

SEMrush – Competitors menu

SEMrush will show you sites that are similar to the one you’re looking at.

SEMrush – Competitors

Repeat this process with the competitors you just found.

SEMrush – Organic Research – chewy.com

This should give you enough keywords to last you until 2037.

Google Keyword Planner

Last but not least we have the good ol’ Google Keyword Planner.

Even though the GKP is a halfway decent keyword tool, it’s not very good at generating unique keyword ideas.

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

Google Keyword Planner

That said, if you do some digging, you can find some gems that aren’t straight-up variations of the keyword you just typed in.

Google Keyword Planner – Keywords

Because the Google Keyword Planner doesn’t generate a lot of unique keywords, I recommend using it 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:

Which keywords should I choose?

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


#1 Search Volume

This is (by far) the most important metric when evaluating a search term.

After all:

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, 10k monthly searches is nothing.

Over time you’ll get an idea of what a “high volume” and “low volume” keyword is for 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.

Google Keyword Planner – Average monthly searches

Pro Tip: Some keywords have HUGE seasonal variations. You’re obviously going to get more searches for “ugly Christmas sweaters” in December than in June. But there are lots of non-seasonal keywords that have peaks and valleys throughout the year. For example, the keyword “organic dog food brands” gets 4x more searches in April than December.

KWFinder – Search time

Why? Who knows. But it’s an important thing to note as these fluctuations can directly impact your bottom line.

To quickly see how search volume changes throughout the year, type your keyword into KWFinder. And it’ll show you a nifty chart with month-to-month search volume info.


#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 be a perfect 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, people that search for that term aren’t going to convert.

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

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

Keyword Planner – Matcha tea powder

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

But it’s tricky to pull off. That’s why I recommend stretching into other product categories AFTER you exhaust 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”.

Keyword Planner – Green tea online

Now that you’ve got a list of keywords that people search for (and fit well with your site’s products) it’s time to see if these searchers are ready to whip out their credit card and make a purchase.


#3: Commercial Intent

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

Ranking #1 for a high-volume keyword that 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 …or broke browsers.

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

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

Keyword Planner – Competition

“Competition” reflects how many people bid on that keyword in Google Ads. 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 websites, I recommend sticking with “medium” and “high” competition keywords.

You also want to take a look at “Top of Page Bid”.

Top of Page Bid is how much people tend to spend on a single click in Google Ads. And when it comes to sizing up commercial intent, the higher the suggested bid, the better.

Obviously, keywords with high 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 Top of Page Bid for the keywords on your list.

Google Keyword Planner – Price

And note how certain words and phrases that suggest “I’m ready to buy!” impact the estimated bid.

As you can see in this example, the keyword “Japanese green tea” has a suggested bid of $2.20.

Google Keyword Planner – Price –

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 the health benefits of green tea.

On the other hand, a similar keyword like “buy green tea online” has a suggested bid that’s 2.4x higher.

Google Keyword Planner –

#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 – Search

…clicking on “Keyword Difficulty” in the sidebar…

SEMrush – Keyword Difficulty menu

And then looking at the “Difficulty %” column.

SEMrush – Keyword Difficulty

The higher that number, the harder it is to rank for that keyword in Google.

Keyword Targeting and Page Optimization

Here’s where you see if the sites ranking in the top 10 are optimized around that keyword.

Why is this important?

If the pages in the top 10 are only semi-related to that keyword, you can sometimes outrank them with a highly-targeted page.

For example:

If you search for “bamboo cutting board with handle”, you’ll notice that some of the results aren’t optimized around this specific term:

Google search

In other words: most people searching for this keyword 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 cracking the top 10.

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 super-specific keyword, it gives you an edge over pages that aren’t perfectly 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 architecture.

Chapter 2:Ecommerce Website Architecture

Ecommerce Website 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.

With that many pages, it’s critical that your site architecture makes it easy for users and search engines to find all of your pages.

The Two “Golden Rules” of ecommerce Site Architecture

There are two important rules to keep in mind when it comes to setting up your ecommerce site’s structure:

Golden Rule #1: Keep things simple and scalable
Golden Rule #2: Keep every page three (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 Setup Your Ecommerce Site’s Architecture

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

Example of poor site architecture

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 it’s also way too deep.

Most of the links that point to ecommerce sites point to their homepage.

Most of the links that point to ecommerce sites point to their homepage

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

Authority is diluted by the time it reaches deep pages

In this example it takes six clicks to reach the first product page.

(You want all product pages to be three clicks or fewer 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 and a developer. They’ll make sure that old pages redirect to new pages…

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.

Well-optimized site architecture

As you can see, link authority is concentrated in the site’s product and category pages.

This concentrated authority helps these pages rank in Google. It also makes it easy for Google to find and index every page.

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

Example of ecommerce site architecture selling shoes

Not only is this great for SEO, but users will love it too. That’s because 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 AWESOME architecture: PetSmart.com.

PetSmart

Let’s say you want to get a new dog food bowl for Fluffy.

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

PetSmart – Menu

Then “bowls and feeders”

PetSmart – Menu – Bowls

And you get a list of products in that subcategory:

PetSmart – Bowls and feeders

Within three clicks, you’ve found what you want.

And because Petsmart uses a flat site structure, Google will fully index all of their pages.

Chapter 3:On-Page SEO for Ecommerce Sites

On-Page SEO for Ecommerce Sites

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”.

With that, here’s how to keyword-optimize your product and category pages.

A “Perfectly Optimized” Ecommerce Page

Let’s look at an example of a “perfectly optimized” page from an ecommerce site.

Perfectly optimized ecommerce page

Let’s break each of these elements down:

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

You (obviously) want to use your target 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 your target keyword is: “noise canceling headphones”.

Instead of making your title tag: “Noise Canceling Headphones at Headphones R’ Us”, you want to add a word or two that people might use when searching for “noise canceling 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 something like this:

Shopify – Page title

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 still makes sense to optimize your title tag for CTR.

That’s because: Higher CTR=more clicks=more sales.

Fortunately, there are a handful of words and phrases that magnetically move a person’s cursor to your result. 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:

Shopify page title – Cookers

And when you include these in your title tags (and meta 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.

Even though that’s not the case anymore, your description tag is VERY important for CTR.

And 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 use in your description tag 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 description tag optimized for clicks might look:

Shopify – Meta

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 hardest parts of ecommerce SEO. Yes, you want to write high-quality content. But unlike a blog post, you also need to keep conversion rate 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.

Longer content ranks best in Google

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

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 its job. Plus, in-depth product page content helps customers understand what they’re about to buy. So there’s a user experience benefit too.

To be clear:

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 product descriptions for top 10-50 most important product and category pages.

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

Amazon – KitchenAid

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

Amazon – KitchenAid – Comments

2. Sprinkle Your Keywords (3-5x)

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

This has nothing to do with keyword density or keyword stuffing. You’re just including your keyword a handful of times to help Google 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:

Shopify description

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).

Put one of your keywords in the first 100 words

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…

Amazon – Slow cookers

…or product page for that keyword.

Amazon – Slow cookers – Detail

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:

Keyword Planner – Slow cooker

Step #3: Sprinkle These In Your Content

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

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 are probably going to be longer than other sites.

That’s because your URL will 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:

Microsoft link

(Not only is this URL a mile long, but it contains unnecessary junk 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 don’t use categories and subcategories in their URLs. 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’s not going to hurt your 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 usually creates a lot of natural internal links:

Only Natural Pet

That said, strategic internal linking is definitely 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.

Strategically internal link

For example, let’s say you just published a blog post that’s generated a lot of backlinks.

And you also have a product page that ranks #5 in Google for “moleskin notebooks”.

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

Post link

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 rich snippets.

And ecommerce sites have the opportunity to get one of the most eye-catching rich snippets out there: reviews.

Here’s an example:

KitchenAid – Ratings

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

Here are the types of markup specific to reviews.

Review snippet

While there’s no guarantee that Google will display rich snippets just because you ask them to, 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.

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”:

Markup Helper – Products

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.

WalMart – Slow cooker

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

Markup Helper – Paste link

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

Markup Helper – Tagger

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.

Markup Helper Tagger – Review

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

Markup Helper Tagger – Aggregate

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.

Markup Helper Tagger – Count

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

Markup Helper – Create HTML

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

Markup Helper – Copy HTML

Pro Tip: Use Google Search Console to double-check that your Schema is implemented right.

If you have Schema setup, you’ll see “Rich Results” under enhancements in the sidebar:

Google Search Console

(I don’t have any live Schema, so that report doesn’t appear for me).

Chapter 4:Technical SEO for Ecommerce

Technical SEO for Ecommerce

Technical SEO is one of those things that’s important for ALL sites… but doubly so for ecommerce. That’s because ecommerce sites tend to have LOTS of pages. And all of those pages increase the changes that technical SEO issues will crop up.

Not only that, but most ecommerce pages don’t have that many backlinks pointing to them. Which 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 4th spot and a coveted #1 ranking.

That’s why regular technical SEO site audits are key.

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 audit feature 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:

Raven Tools – Menu

And Raven will analyze your site for potential errors.

Raven Tools – Crawling

Then scan the report for issues that crop up.

Raven Tools – Issues

Like problems with your title and/or description tags:

Raven Tools – Issues – Meta

Duplicate and thin content:

Raven Tools – Issues – Content

And broken links:

Raven Tools – Issues links

Now that you’ve seen how to find SEO errors, 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 just 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 you can delete or noindex… without affecting your bottom line.

In my experience, 80% of an ecommerce site’s sales come from 20% of its products (the ol’ 80/20 principle at work). And around 25% of an ecommerce product pages haven’t generated ANY sales over the last year.

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

Most ecommerce CMSs (like Shopify) make it easy to find products that haven’t generated any revenue lately. If they haven’t, you can put them into a “maybe delete” list.

But before you actually delete anything, check Google Analytics to make sure these pages aren’t bringing in any traffic.

Analytics – Landing 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?”.

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 a product or category page.

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

BestBuy – Categories

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

BestBuy – Link

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, different shoe sizes or colors) 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 use some of the same content 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 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 Page #1:

Product description

Product Page #2:

Product description

As you can see, the content on these two pages is 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.

Once you’ve noindexed all of the URLs that need to go, 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.

Use the canonical tag to differentiate between duplicate and original pages

(Not only does canonicalization solve duplicate content issues, but it helps makes your backlinks more valuable. That’s because 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 unique content for all of the pages that you haven’t 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 ecommerce sites have to deal with. So even after you solve your duplicate content issues, you might have pages with 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.

eBay – Traffic loss

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

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”):

Raven Tools – Word count

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:

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.
  • 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 5:Content Marketing for
Ecommerce Sites

Content Marketing For Ecommerce Sites

Content marketing can help you get LOTS of targeted traffic… and sales.

The question is:

How do you use content to get higher rankings and more traffic to your ecommerce website?

Here’s a step-by-step guide…

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

Hanging out with your customers gives you incredible insight into their thoughts, dreams, fears, and desires. Because it’s not always possible to hang out with customers in real life, I recommend going to places that they tend to hang out online.

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

Reddit – Coffee

…and even old school forums about coffee.

CoffeeGeek – Forums

Step #2: Learn What Words and Phrases Customers Use

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

Reddit – Coffee comments

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

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 execute this entire SEO strategy again.

When you consistency publish content on your e commerce site, you’ll find that all of these links, traffic and social media shares actually help your product and category pages rank better.

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

Which is one of the main reasons that so many sites link to them.

Ahrefs – Williams Sonoma

Chapter 6:Ecommerce Link Building

Ecommerce Link Building

In this chapter I’ve got not one but TWO in-depth ecommerce link building case studies for you.

In the first case study you’ll see how Chris built links directly to his ecommerce site’s product pages… Without ANY content.

Then you’ll read how Mike increased used two creative link building strategies to boost his ecommerce site’s organic traffic by 2272%.

Case Study #1: How Chris Got Backlinks From Popular Tech Blogs

Backlinko reader Chris Laursen had an ecommerce client that struggled with link building.

So Chris decided to try The Moving Man Method.

After implementing this strategy, the number of links pointing to his client’s website shot up like a rocket:

Number of links to website increased due to using the moving man method

Sure, it was great that Chris built so many backlinks…

But the TYPES of links that he was able to get (contextual links from highly-relevant sites in the electronics niche ) is the real story here.

Specifically, Chris got links from…

A popular consumer electronics product site:

Gadgeteer – Edge Design

A popular Danish news website:

Maczonen post

And an editorial link from an online electronics magazine:

Elektronista post

Even better, several of these links point directly to product and category pages, like this one:

Mac Tech – Edge Design

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


Step 1: Find Outdated, Moved or Expired Resources

Step #1 is finding resources that are out-of-date, expired or not working.

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:

Apollo Forex

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.

So: how can you find these outdated resources?

Here’s one strategy that works really well:

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

These sites have picked up 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.

Chris 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.

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.

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 – Edge Design

Glance at the number of referring domains. The more referring domains, the more link opportunities there are for you.

Ahrefs – Edge Design – Referring domains

Finally, hit “backlinks” to see all of the pages linking to the outdated resource that you found:

Ahrefs – Edge Design – Backlinks

And this leads us to the last step.


Step 3: Send Emails, Get Links

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

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

Christopher – Email

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.

It just so happens that the replacement is a page on his client’s site 🙂

And when you send out brief outreach emails and improve other people’s sites email outreach tends to convert REALLY well:

The Gadgeteer – Response

That’s all there is to it.

Case Study #2: How Mike Built Links to His Wedding Ecommerce Sites

Mike Bonadio recently launched an ecommerce website in the wedding space.

And considering how competitive the wedding industry is, Mike knew that he needed to build links fast.

Here’s the strategy that Mike used to get a HUGE influx of links.

Mike campaign

One day Mike was poking around various wedding-related Facebook groups.

And he noticed groups put on events… events that featured products from wedding vendors.

Mike realized that he could use these events to build links his groomsmen gift shop, Groomsday.

And Mike was right! This simple strategy led to a bunch of great links.

Let’s break down the strategy step-by-step:


Step 1: Find Groups in Your Industry That Put On Events

Join a few Facebook groups in your industry. Then check the “events” tab inside the group.

Facebook – Events

Step 2: Look For Events That Need Stuff

Look for upcoming events where your products might be a good fit.

Facebook events listing

Some events even say that they’re looking for vendors.

Facebook events contribute

Step 3: Reach Out to Event Organizers

Reach out to the people hosting the event. Ask if they would like to feature some of your products at the event.

Facebook messages

You can ask up front if products that you send will get featured in the group or in press coverage. Otherwise, just send them free stuff and hope for the best.


Step 4: Ship Your Products

You can ask for unused items to be sent back. But it’s easier to not have to deal with return shipping.

Facebook messages – Shipped

Step 5: Stay In The Loop

Keep in touch with the event organizer about the event. Specifically, when they’re writing a post about the event. Keep track of everything and watch out for your event or photoshoot to be featured. And make sure you’re credited with a link when it goes live.

Facebook messages – Published
Black Nuptials

Some events get published on super high DA sites with tons of authority. Here’s one on a DA77 site:

Ruffled – Blog

Nice!


Step 6: Thank the Organizer

And offer to work together again on a future event.

The links from this campaign helped boost Mike’s traffic during the wedding season by 2272% compared to the previous year:

Analytics – Groomsday

LEGIT.

Now It’s Time to Hear From You

Your Turn

I hope you got a ton of value from Ecommerce SEO: The Definitive guide.

And now I’d like to hear from you:

Which strategy from today’s guide are you going to try first?

Are you going to use Title Tag Modifiers?

Or maybe you want to try The Moving Man Method.

Either way let me know by leaving a quick comment right now.

424 Comments

  1. 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, 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 can be build relatively easily without any content if following advice in Brian’s post.

  2. 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?

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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 🙂

    1. To do well with SEO today you need to build a brand. You don’t need to be the next Amazon…but you need to aim to be the best ecommerce site in your niche.

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

  7. 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!

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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!

  13. 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!

  14. 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

  15. 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?

    1. 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.

  16. 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.

    1. 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.

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

  18. 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!

    1. 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.

  19. 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?

  20. 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.

  21. 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?

    1. 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.

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

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

  23. 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

    1. 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.

  24. 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! 🙂

  25. 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

  26. 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?

  27. 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

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

  28. 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!

  29. 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!

  30. 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!

  31. 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?

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

  32. 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.

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

  33. 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.

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

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

  34. 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?

  35. 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?

    1. Hey Sarah, thanks! I recommend checking out the end of this guide. Lots of techniques that don’t involve reviews.

  36. 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

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

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

        1. OK. 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.

  37. 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?

  38. 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.

  39. 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?

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

  40. 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!

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

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

  41. 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)

  42. 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

  43. 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..

  44. 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.

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

  45. 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!

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

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

  47. 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?

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

  48. 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!

  49. 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?

    1. 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.

  50. 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!

  51. 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.

  52. 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

    1. 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.

  53. 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.

  54. 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!

    1. 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!

  55. 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.

  56. 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?

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

  57. 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.

  58. 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!

  59. 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.

    1. 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.

  60. 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.

  61. 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

    1. Thanks Daniel. It should definitely be more of sales page copy. But education is part of that. So it’s a combo.

  62. 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

    1. Hi Jake, you’re welcome. These guides aren’t easy to put together for sure. But the content bar is MUCH higher than ever before. So it’s a must to stand out.

  63. 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.

  64. 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 🙂

    1. Hi Elvina, you’re welcome. Let me know if you have any suggestions for other guides or blog posts that you want me to write about.

  65. 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!

  66. 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.

    1. Hey John, thank you. And I know exactly what you mean there. Lots of marketing departments only market to themselves!

  67. Hey Brian,

    This is a quite a comprehensive guide, one thing I want to add is when people think of search engines, most of the time they conjure up the usual suspects i.e., (Google, Bing, Yahoo!). I try to remind my eCommerce clients that sites like shopping comparison engines, and even social media networks are also search engines.

    Another thing is so many times I come across these websites and they have focused on such a singular and direct approach to building links, when in reality it is in the end all about relevance – a potential customer doesn’t want to start searching for best office chairs and be bombarded with La-Z-boys!

  68. Brian, I love how actionable your posts are and how they’re always updated. We just started a new ecommerce venture and will be following this one closely. Thanks again.

  69. I was watching a video from Chase Reiner and he said to look at this post. He said that we should deindex unpopular pages. The way my site is structured i think my content pages get all the traffic and then i try and push to commerce from those pages. Is this something you think i should do? I really know my rankings should be higher compared to many people especially in the local side but content vs commerce is maybe 50-3000 pages.

  70. Brian, this was a great follow-up to the Ecommerce SEO video you launched on Youtube a few months ago. I appreciated the specific example on that video about the Tactical site and the success your friend had with the long blog post of top shooters. This Guide is very definitive and I appreciate all your work on this piece!

  71. Hello Brian, I never know that we can get keywords from Wikipedia and from Amazon. I must say you give tips to find keywords from anywhere. I like the way you explain everything with proper statistics and images. Thanks for such amazing post.

  72. Hi Brian,
    Been following you for quite some time and I just switched over to a role doing ecommerce. This guide, as usual, was a treasure trove full of ecommerce-specific tactics.

    Additionally, you write so clearly that the steps are insanely easy to follow. A true master!
    Thank you!

  73. Great post Brian.
    I wonder if you have a printed version (book) for this guide. If yes, how can I buy one?
    Thanks

  74. Hey Brian,

    If I have two different products with the same description (but, of course, with only the product’s name changed in the description), how can I use are canonical or non index tag?

    I want both pages to be visited, because they are two different products wth different prices, although the store owner opted for a generic description.

    What can I do to keep this from damaging the store ranking?

  75. Hi Brian,

    as everybody else, I want to thank you for your work. It is really helpful to me. Right now, Iam in a position when Iam trying to nail seo for an e-shop of the company I have recently started working for. With my basic to mediocre past knowledge and practice in seo, your articles and guides really helps me to keep my head above water.

    After reading your article, I was wondering about one thing though. Our e-shop is offering many different types of advertising items. That means A LOT of products. Usually the page goes with brief text (less than 200 words) on the top, followed by rows of products to choose from.

    I would like to expand on those texts, fill in some useful tips, etc. However, that means that Iam pushing displayed products downwards. From heatmap analysis I learned that lower something goes under average fold, fewer people scroll there.

    I wonder if you ever encountered this to be a problem and what would you suggest.

    Many thanks and keep the bar high.

    1. Hi Lubos, you’re welcome. It’s a balance for sure. You want to create something that’s SEO-friendly and make sure your pages still convert.

  76. I’ve been an avid reader/follower of Backlinko for more than 2 years, but haven’t gone through this guide (didn’t see a need to).

    But I a got new client who wants to rank her new e-commerce site, then I quickly remembered that you have one article that talks about it.

    Thank you for being here for us Brian.

  77. This is actually something I was looking for. You’re always ready and producing contest as the industry is changing and reshaping. Thanks for all the valuable info, once again Brian!

  78. Thank you Brian. I had’t seen your previous Guide. Tis is such valuable information. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom.

    1. Hi Angela, thank you. I thought it was time for a major update. Plus, like you said, lots of people hadn’t seen the guide yet.

  79. I have allot of ideas for new keyword research because of this post thank you so much! Allot of great juicy content again Brian! This is really valuable and will give me plenty of inspiration for next optimalization steps. I use WordPress – Woocommerce – Yoast plugin.

    I also use Ahrefs for keyword research but this gives very different search volumes vs Google Keyword planner. Which one do you think is more accurate?

    Kind greetings,

    Koen

    1. Thanks Koen. Happy to have helped you out there.

      To answer your question: I go with the GKP because the data comes straight from Google.

    1. Awesome post Brian. Informative & at the same time interesting with all those case studies included. Really appreciate it 😊

  80. Hello,

    I am not with you on structure data part you explained here because the way of using data highlighter is deprecated and not possible with this generation CMS & frameworks where it is impossible to make changes at core html level.

    Instead, I would just giving tips to add markup with GTM. Moz has explained that very well and I do same for my all clients as I am full time freelancer and markup expert 😀

    Thanks
    Sunny

  81. Incredible update of your E-commerce SEO guide, Brian. Well done!

    Any more advice on product category pages?

    I’ve been trying for years to increase the ranking of a couple of pages and I keep struggling to get above 30 in spite of having better content than any of the competitors who rank 1-10 on the keywords I target.

    1. Thanks Guerric. Category pages are tough because it’s hard to create content that’s 100x better than your competition. So I’d focus on link building.

  82. Hi Brian, in your article you write about domains of closed businesses. Instead of asking backlinking websites to change their links to your site, you can think about a less labour intensive approach and try to buy that lost domain and use a 301 redirect to have all backlinks pointed to the pages of your site. How do you think about this?

    1. That can definitely work. The only issue is that it can look black hat if you buy and redirect a bunch of expired domains to your site.

  83. Shared this to my peers! Awesome resource. Can’t thank you enough for all the guides you’ve put out. Backlinko has been a marketing bible for me. Keep it up! Looking forward to more case studies on ecommerce sites specifically on link building strategies.

  84. Hi Brian,

    just a huge big thank you!

    This is an amazing resource. It’s like what has been said already in a few earlier comments, this is high quality information and not just old info put together and rehashed.

    One of the main problems I have found is that there are so many sites that offer confliciting information and a lot of time and effort can be wasted reading through and checking what they say is actually correct.

    With this guide, you get the feeling that none of your time is wasted reading any part of it and it’s all relevant and straight to the point.

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Alan, you’re welcome. I 100% agree. To me, there’s a ton of value putting everything there is to know about a topic in one place. Hence guides like this one.

  85. Hey Brian,
    thanks for another amazing post. I do have a question though, it does not directly relate to ecommerce, but a classifieds website which has many adverts and these mostly does not include much content. I tend to keep them online after expired (or marked as sold), so they are still in the index and my page can be found via keywords, which I wouldn’t have otherwise, but the “Thin content” part of this guide got me wondering.. would it be better to delete them and lose these keywords in favor of boosting other pages?
    Thanks.

  86. This should be a bible for every store owner that wants real and consistent organic traffic. Great read and very informative as always!

    Keep it up Brian!
    Must say that this article and your “17 Ways to Get More YouTube Subscribers (2019)” are my favorite articles this year. 🙂

  87. Brian I’ll tell you what’s happened with our site, given that we have done more or less everything you described above.

    Not a whole lot worked to improve traffic until we started writing skyscrapers. We focused mainly on big guides to certain types of products or rooms in the home etc, how to select and choose between, the benefits and uses of certain types of items, etc. We build internal links to these pages and linked back to relevant categories and products, and across to related articles.

    What happened after each skyscraper was published, was within a few days Google would suddenly boost topically related keywords into a much better ranking position, elsewhere on the site, e.g. to collection pages. Words we weren’t even in the top 100 for suddenly had some placement (usually in the page 2..4 of google). And also over time the number of backlinks skyrocketed organically without a whole lot of outreach effort.

    Traffic has significantly increased to these skyscraper pages, and there has been minor increase to collection/product pages. The trouble is, and this is the major issue for ecommerce… typically the folks landing on the skyscrapers are not turning into buyers. In spite having numerous jumping off points, links to categories, etc. For sure we are getting overall site authority, relevancy, link juice increases etc to important pages but it’s not really turning into increased sales.

    This is the struggle we’ve encountered before. Google likes big quality pages, but big quality pages tend not to be shopping pages. We’ve considered trying to create a hybrid that somehow combines skyscraper-like content with integrated shopping, but we haven’t nailed it yet. A kind of flow of information/education plus product browsing. This seems in some way to be the holy grail for ecommerce because somehow we have to move folks further along the sales funnel.

    Any suggestions/recommendations on this? Is it the type of content? Does it need to be more link-bait type of social content? I’d really love to see an in-depth guide from you about what KIND of content actually works for e-commerce in terms of increasing sales, because we’re finding that the skyscrapers alone are not doing it. Yes they’ve helped, but 90% of the improvement is “locked into” those pages. How can we attract more traffic that actually increases sales?

    1. Hey Paul, glad to hear that The Skyscraper Technique has helped you out. The short answer is to use a process from SEO That Works called “Authority Sculpting”. It’s a strategy specifically designed to help ecommerce and product category pages rank better.

      1. We already basically are doing authority sculpting, ie we are sending links to important pages from ‘power pages’. In various forms. It doesn’t appear to have a significant impact on those target page’s traffic. For the people who land on a skyscraper, we get maybe 5% who even look at shopping options at all or click through to anything and less than 0.5% who ever buy (or worse). The indirect benefit to the category/product pages doesn’t even register on the analytics charts. There has been practically no change.

  88. Hey Brian, thank you so much for taking the time to compile such a great and comprehensive SEO guide for Ecommerce sites and to make it available at no cost when you could easily have charged for it. It’s sincerely appreciated.

    I printed all of it and will be going through it with my yellow highlighter while having several cups of coffee.

    All the best,
    Casper

  89. Wow this one is amazing strategy Brian. Actually all the information is excellent, I am currently working in an E-commerce and this guide has been of great help to me. Thank you 🙂

  90. Thanks Brian for the post with real case study on how Chris & mike got their backlinks that too with High DA. Great!

    Motivates us newbies to work harder on How a content should be written to rank better as well as get more engagements. Genius !

  91. Man all these comments! Took a while to get to the bottom, and you answer them all! Commitment.
    Loved the article. I’m currently learning about SEO and your blogs, posts and videos on Youtube have been a great help!

    My biggest obstacle is linkbuilding, but the Moving Man method sounds interesting. Again thanks for all the help Brian. Keep it coming.

  92. It’s astonishing that you’ve spent 20-30 hours working on this issue. I don’t have such a patience 🙂
    There’s one question left. Why do you prefer SEMrush to Ahrefs or Serpstat for collecting keywords? Is it just a habit? I’ve compared the results on the analysis of domains and keywords you’d checked and got the following results:

    chewy.com (number of keywords)

    Ahrefs – 908 448
    Semrush – 604 900
    Serpstat – 944 876

    dogfoodadvisor.com (number of keywords)

    Ahrefs – 157 778
    Semrush – 111 800
    Serpstat – 229 251

    organic dog food (number by keyword and KD)

    Ahrefs – 1 728 and 6
    Semrush – 922 and 56.75
    Serpstat – 1 241 and 40.61

    I think Ahrefs has a bug when evaluating KD for this phrase, but it provides twice as many ‘having the same terms’ keywords as SEMrush does. Serpstat shows much more data when analyzing domain’s keywords.

    1. Hey Matthew, Interesting stuff. Thanks!

      That’s right: it’s more that I’m familiar with SEMrush and trust the data. Not to say Ahrefs or Serpstat aren’t legit. I just haven’t put them to the test.

  93. Hi Brian,

    I like this post but I think, previous version of post is better. Sure this version has better design but in previous version more information is given.

    How can I get previous version of post?

    Thank you …

  94. Brilliant information Brian.

    I have a query though. I have been trying for the last couple of weeks to implement the “Moving Man Method” and also using tools to identify broken links in pages which content is related to the keyword I am trying to compete.

    Finding resources that are out-of-date, expired or not working with go daddy is being hard so far. I was using the keywords of the post I want to rank for.

    Also, when it comes to broken links, I use broke links checker to try identifying broken links for pages where I would be interested in having my post linked.

    So far, I did not have much success and most of the pages have working links (an awesome job for all I have to say). Is there something I am missing here to perform this task better?

  95. Hey Brian,

    Great article!

    I would be extremely interested in a future article covering the organizational aspect.

    As an SEO, what’s the most efficient way to handle complex projects when bucketing/categorizing keywords for large sites like Chewy or Purina that have large amounts of primary categories, subcategories, etc. ?

    Excel or Google Sheets is the obvious answer, but I think that there’s a lot that could be detailed.

    1. Hey Dalton, good question. In my opinion, some sort of visual works best. It’s really hard to picture how everything fits together without that.

  96. Hi Dean,
    Thank you very much for this piece of content. I will use this guide for my work on my two eCommerce stores and I am sure they will help with the SEO visibility.
    It was just made public that Google Stopped Supporting Rel=prev/next in search indexing years ago. I am not sure which impact this really have on eCommerce stores?

    1. Hey Anders, you’re welcome. I saw that too. I think most of the sites that used rel=preview/next were ecommerce sites. So I bet quite a few of them are scrambling right now!

  97. Great post again.

    We are a startup in medical diagnostic services e-commerce. We are having a very different kind of challenge:
    – Though our products are limited (around 800 max) but their prices & service providers changes with the city. Thus, even in case we write good content for a product, it will be duplicated for 100 different cities we serve.
    – As most of our searches are localized, we need to have local city wise pages for each of our product/service.

    Thus, we are facing the problem of duplicate and thin content along with multiple pages. Any suggestions?

  98. Hey Brian,

    Great post! I really enjoyed reading it. I especially found the part about on-page optimization interesting, but will also be trying out the moving man method for clients.

    Have a great friday 🙂

  99. Fantastic article once again. I’m currently redesigning an ecommerce website for a client and I’m definitely doing it with this article as the main guide.

  100. Perhaps I’m just yet another drop in this ocean of appreciation comments… but I won’t let pass the chance to thank you indeed for this post an others you share. It’s inspiring and helpful for us newbies to SEO. Cheers from Madrid, Spain!

  101. Your post came in timely, as I am preparing a new ecommerce site. Thumbs up!

    A quick question. For product names that has long name like “Girl and Beach Ball Clear Pouch Long” and “333 Kit Clear Pouch Long v5”, how should we name the two URLs ? Both are clear long pouch, and i can’t shorten both URLs to be /clear-pouch-long, isn’t it ?

  102. Hi Brian,

    I have been following your blog from the early days of backlinko and now i consider myself an Intermediate SEO and it has huge contribution of your articles.

    Although i don’t do ecommerce SEO because of the heavy competition with the big giants but after reading your article i may try my hand on a new project.

    Thanks for making me a better SEO.

    Doug

  103. Many thanks for this amazing guide. Your generosity is astounding. And, as is evident from all these comments, much appreciated.
    Too bad, though, that you consistently misspell “Bryan”.

  104. This is great! I’ve been curious about the organizational strategy for ecommerce and how that played into SEO. Definitely going to be using the amazon keyword suggestion approach to make sure i’m getting all the good variants.

  105. Awesome post Brian, love your work!

    I’d appreciate your comments on ecom for our situation below.

    We have a non-ecom site that we want add woocommerce to.

    We have a product line that has many components needed to built a kit, it includes size variants that have different prices and a kit could include 30-40 separate components.

    My struggle has been incorporating informative/educational category content information with ecommerce.

    UX is a important factor and I had considered a 3 option store approach;

    1. Simple category/ subcat/ product – for purchases of one off items or experienced buyers.

    2. A guided purchase UI by selecting variables to build out the kit.

    3. Using a CTA like, “Get Expert Help” to turn the session into a tradition hands on transaction.

    We are forced into ecom by competitors gaining a lot of traffic in top of page SERP with Google merchant.

    Ideally I’d rather not have to incorporate ecom into our site and instead use a sub domain shop like Shopify, but I get the SEO value of having it all under one roof.

    Your insight would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Thank you, Jason. It’s hard for me to say without doing more of a deep dive into your site and the keywords that you’re targeting. But if you only have a few products, I wouldn’t necessarily install an entire ecom site.

  106. Just spent this Saturday applying the tactics that are relevant to me. Will come back for the rest every other month. Fantastic job Brian.

  107. Brian

    Thanks for this post. You made my daily train ride between Brussels and home a lot more interesting.

    I always learn so much from your posts. It’s in fact thanks to Backlinko that I rank #1 in Google Belgium for “seo copywriter freelance” and #3 for “seo-copywriter”.

    Everytime I get a mail from Backlinko, I immediately open it up and read the whole post on your site.

    I’d be crazy not to do it.

    Merci Brian!

    Forever grateful,

    Jasper Verelst (Belgian freelance seo-copywriter)

  108. If you use “KEYWORDS EVERYWHERE” chrome extension and search for any product on Amazon it will show the Traffic Searching for that product… it will save your Precious time (I am not an affiliate of keywords everywhere 😉

  109. Amazing post as always, Brian!

    Whew, this was a long one. I try to stay on top of the new posts you publish (because each one is packed full of so much value), and even though I’m not technically in the ecommerce space myself, this was a tremendous read.

    I gotta ask, for the custom graphics you use in your posts – do you have an in-house designer, or do you use a service?

  110. You’re a Super-Ninja, Brian! I’ve never seen any type of blog in the online marketing world with this level of quality information as what you’ve presented. Not to mention it’s so easily digestible. I was planning a move into eCommerce and this will be a significant help in getting off the ground. Thanks so much. Looking forward to reading a lot more of your blog in my off-time.

  111. Great article Brian and so easily digestible! Great for a startup ecomm owner like myself. Quick question, how do you implement the product review schema HTML code into a wordpress, woocommerce site?

    1. Hi Ali, you can do it manually actually using the WordPress post editor. But you probably want to use a plugin.

  112. Great post and really find the link building chapter most interesting. Always find it difficult link building in the ecommerce sector.

    One thing, in the technical SEO section, particularly where you talk about duplicate content, canonicals and noindexing pages, I was wondering if you should add something about the robots.txt file. IMO this is essential in ecommerce as bots can easily get lost in facets and filters, leading to huge crawl bloat.

    1. Thanks Stefan. You’re right: robots.txt is really helpful for exactly that. My only issue is that, as I’m sure you know, it can do more harm than good if not used properly.

  113. Hi Brian,

    Great content as always.

    I noticed you don’t provide navigation on your blog website. Are you doing it on purpose so that we can search for your content using “backlinko ecommerce”, “backlinko seo tools” etc.?

    I have been reading about the importance of having people searching for your brand on Google. Am I right to think that you hide navigation for this purpose so that you can increase the brand search on Google?

    Mali

  114. Hi Brian and congrats for this amazing post!

    One quick question, which tool do you use for your screenshots ?

    Thanks 🙂

  115. Your blog is always fantastic.
    I am doing SEO for Hong Kong websites, it’s really tough as many tools you are using can’t show accurate results for Chinese Keywords. And it’s really tough to have quality back links in Hong Kong… as most quality links need to pay…

  116. Great post. How do we determine the value of a backlink? I have certain products that are $70-$100 in cost and there is no shortage of sites that want me to send them to review. Aside from no-brainer PR hits that will drive a lot of traffic, is there a threshold for when it makes sense to send out an item?

  117. Recently, I have been watching your videos and learnt a lot about SEO. Honestly speaking I prefer your tips over others out there. I’m becoming a huge fan of your work. Even though you don’t know me personally but thank you for helping me to find the right path.

  118. Hi Brian. I found you on Youtube. Your videos are amazing and now I am going to read your blog! Thanks for the good work, it’s truly a gold mine of information.

  119. My head is spinning. I’m new to the world of e-commerce and need to learn everything there is to know about SEO – this oh-so-comprehensive post was just what I needed. The kitties and I thank you.

  120. This is still a fantastic resource! I am working more and more on ecommerce these days and the section on the SEMRUSH competitor report I have found particularly useful- thanks again Brian!

  121. Thanks for the clear, practical structure for product descriptions. I’m going to use it on our new e-commerce project we just started!

  122. Hi Brian , I hv been following your stuff for a few weeks now and it is all great but want to ask you how everything will work now since google has changed their core and all this search policy ?i am just stepping into my small start up and doing my best to focus on marketing also …

  123. Hi there Brian, thanks for a larded guide that even I, not having English as my native language, could understand and profit by. You’re the first person, I’ve come across, to prove that SEO really works.

    For a decade+ I’ve been extremely negative towards SEO. Tired of the massive BS, fair words and unrealistic promises that has been legion in the SEO industry until today…

    You accomplish your projects very cleverly, cleverly in deed! Reading the guide I got a notion of cogs interlocking, starting to turn a giant gearwheel around. I’m certain that I, by coping your stuff, turn it into Swedish, could gain some of your tremendous success. That’s what I call a quality advice.

    However, copycat is not my thing. I’m going to implement your SEO concept on my wife’s web-shop to boost it’s performance and ranking. If I, contrary to expectation, do fail you’ll be my trusted fallback. And Brian, one just have to love what, and how you do it. He-he!

  124. what a great post!!
    thanks. i am trying to do what you have said, step by step.
    i have a question brian. can i use Review Schema for a service ( like translating ) instead of a product?

  125. Brilliant article. Took me cup of coffee and pin drop silence to go through this but in end it makes my job easier and gives me more confidence in my new role at a company. All elements for ecommerce seo addressed.

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