When looking for something on the internet, people usually use a search engine like Google, Bing or Yahoo. Naturally, the higher a website ranks in the search results, the more visitors will find it and may buy from it.
You can get better rankings for your pages and bring more potential customers to shop with you if you are working on your online store’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
In this article, you will find some essential SEO practices for making your store more discoverable in search engines.
In this article:
See our videos
Introduction to SEO
See also our video about improving your SEO:
One of the basic SEO techniques is making your store URLs simple, descriptive and clean of unnecessary symbols. Such URLs can be easily read by both humans and search engines. As a result, you can improve your store ranking in the search results.
Your Ecwid store automatically generates SEO-friendly URLs for products, categories, cart and checkout pages. Here is an example of a product page with a clean URL:
Your store’s URLs are short, meaningful and clean from hashes (“#”) and other parameters like “?”, “&” and “=”, which makes your store better indexed by search engines.
If you use an old version of Starter Site and want to enable clean URLs for your store, you can switch to the new version for free. For that, open Ecwid control panel → Settings → What’s New and enable the “New & Improved Starter Site: Build & Customize your Store” option.
In case your online store is installed on other platforms (e.g. Joomla, Adobe Muse) or a custom-made website, learn how to manually enable clean URLs in your store.
When analyzing a webpage, search engines get information about its content from the so-called “meta tags” – page title and meta description. Search engines use the information contained in meta tags to describe pages as they appear in the search results and rank them by relevance:
Ecwid automatically creates meta tags for the Store Front Page using your Store name specified in general store settings and from your Store Front Page description.
If you are using Ecwid Starter Site, the meta title and meta description for its landing page are automatically taken from the headline and description that you’ve added to the Starter Site’s cover in case you use it. When you add text to the first tile of your Starter Site, make sure to provide valuable information to your prospects and include relevant keywords.
For individual product (and category) pages Ecwid automatically creates meta title and meta description using their names and their actual description.
It is very time-saving, but it may not always be the best option since search engines display a limited number of characters on the search result pages.
You may want to rewrite the auto-generated tags to make sure they contain accurate product information and relevant keywords within their character limit for better SEO compliance. You can do it with editable SEO fields.
To add custom meta tags for your products:
- Go to your Ecwid Control Panel → Catalog → Products.
- Click Edit Product to view its details.
- Switch to the SEO tab:
- Write text for Page Title and Meta Description tags in the corresponding fields:
- Check how the product will look on Google when indexed:
- Click Save.
If you have a lot of products in your store and would like to update meta tags in bulk, follow these steps: Importing custom meta tags.
Your online store can rank above your competitors in search results and attract more customers if you describe your products and services in a way that addresses people’s searches. It means that your product names and descriptions should contain relevant keywords – words and phrases identifying what people are searching for.
You can find the right keywords to include in your text by doing keyword research. Here are a few points for you to get started:
- brainstorm the terms that you think your potential customers might be searching for;
- check the related terms that appear at the bottom of Google search result pages:
- discover social media hashtags that people use when sharing your products or similar goods;
- check search queries in Google Search Console to collect keywords that people already use to find your website.
With a list of relevant keywords at hand, you can start adding them to your product names and descriptions, as well as to page title and meta description tags to make them more SEO-friendly.
Keep in mind, that you have to focus on writing for humans, not for search bots. For example, make sure to avoid keyword stuffing, when a keyword is placed in every other sentence:
Include your main keywords in product names and first sentences of descriptions and use keyword variations throughout the unique content:
When ranking websites in search results, search engines are not just paying attention to the information you publish yourselves. They also take into consideration what other people say about products in your online store – customer reviews and ratings:
Through customer reviews, ratings and comments you can impressively increase your store’s rankings by providing search engines with fresh content about your products and services, relevant keywords and lots of backlinks to your online store.
You can collect customer feedback about your products and services with several applications from Ecwid App Market:
Both apps will help you get more organic traffic by showing ratings for your products in Google search results.
Read more: Ratings and reviews for your Ecwid store
You can tell Google and other search engines about the structure of your site content via a sitemap. A sitemap is a .xml file that contains a list of important site pages. A multi-level menu (Home → Category → Subcategory1 → Subcategory2 → Product) takes Google a longer time to index these products because their pages are deep in the site structure. A sitemap will help search robots crawl and index your products faster.
You can submit a sitemap to Google via Google Search Console by following these steps:
- Verify your site ownership in Google Search Console to be able to submit a sitemap to Google through it.
- Create a sitemap for your store pages (if you use Ecwid Starter Site, it comes with a ready sitemap) and submit it to Google. This article describes this step: Submitting sitemap.
New pages – and new products – are indexed faster with sitemap since search engines check sitemaps every day. New pages appear on the sitemap in about a day.
By sharing your products in social media, you can improve your store’s visibility to search engines and increase your reach. Due to the strong web authority of social sites, Google and other search engines can consider your product shares on Facebook or Instagram as higher-quality links and rank your online store higher in the search results.
You can use several tools for sharing your products in social media:
Share buttons in your Ecwid Control Panel
You can share your products to Facebook and Twitter as you create them or edit their details in your Ecwid Control Panel → Catalog → Products:
Share buttons in your online storefront
You can engage customers with sharing your products on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest by enabling share buttons on product pages:
- Go to your Ecwid Control Panel → Design.
- In the Sidebar section, enable the option Share buttons:
The buttons will appear on all product pages:
Besides sharing products in popular social media, it is important for SEO to have external links to your store from high-quality and relevant sites. Here are some of the ways to naturally build backlinks to your store:
- Create awesome content and add it to your site so that people are tempted to share it. It can be interesting text, audio or video, to name a few.
- Reach out to bloggers in your niche to have your products reviewed by them.
- Write a guest blog post on popular blogs. You are also welcome to write a guest post in our blog as a merchant.
- You may want to start your own blog and write creative and useful posts that include the links to your products.
- If you are selling products of another company, ask the manufacturer to add your store’s link in their list of retailers.
Find more tips on getting backlinks for your online store.