SEO algorithms are complicated. Luckily, optimizing your ecommerce site for SEO doesn’t have to be. You don’t have to be a marketing rock star or have a huge budget to see improvements in your search engine rank. In fact, the only investment you’ll need is a bit of time. Trust us, it’s worth it.

Step 1: Research
Make a list of all the keywords and phrases you can think of for your site. You want this list to be as thorough and nuanced as possible, so include synonyms and variations wherever you can. Once you think your list is complete, add to it. Plug your keywords into Google and see how the search engine suggests you finish phrases. Additional suggestions can be found at the bottom of a results page.

Now that your list is complete, search each term. Use Incognito Mode for this so the results aren’t skewed by your own search history. What competitors rank on the first page? Whose ads do you see? Remember, SEO is all about generating traffic, so blogs could be competing for those visitors too. Most importantly, take note of your own rank and whether or not your site shows up on the first or second page of results.

Step 2: Identify
With all the information you have gathered, identify your best opportunities. Single words and short phrases are likely dominated by heavy-hitting, very large competitors-but that’s okay. Those longer, more specific phrases probably offer more opportunity for you to rank well anyway. They also have the added advantage of bringing in visitors who are looking for exactly what you provide. Take a closer look at those keywords where you rank on the second page of results too. Getting onto the first page will absolutely drive more traffic your way.

Step 3: Act
Armed with an understanding of which keywords have the most opportunity, you can now begin on-page optimization. Choose a strategic primary keyword for each page on your site and make sure you don’t miss any easy keyword locations:

  • URL
  • Title tag
  • Meta description
  • Heading tags
  • Photos and videos
  • Content
  • Internal and outbound links

Long-form and new content rank particularly well, so shareable blogs and/or vlogs need to be part of your SEO plan.

Finally, a few aspects of your site itself can affect your search rankings, no matter what keywords are used. Site speed has to be up to par and a responsive design is no longer a luxury – it’s a necessity. Voice search is also gaining popularity and sites with this feature can benefit in search rankings.

SEO optimization can seem pretty intimidating and a lot of ecommerce sites never seriously tackle the issue. Just setting your hesitation aside and diving into the process can put you ahead of many competitors.