It’s 120 million.

Wondering what?

The number of online shoppers in India in 2018. And this number is expected to march towards 220 million by 2025.

With increasing internet and smartphone penetrations, our Indian E-commerce industry is on an upward growth trajectory showing no signs of decline. This stresses enough the importance of businesses breaking into e-commerce and planning appropriate marketing strategies to broaden their brands.

If you are in any kind of retail and if you want to get more clicks and sales to your E-commerce website, then ranking higher than your competition on search engine results pages is a must. There is a multitude of SEO (search engine optimization is the process of generating free and organic traffic to your website by ranking high on search engine results) strategies to step up this game of getting your e-commerce site to the top and what ranks first is an On-page SEO Strategy.

What is an On-Page SEO Strategy?

The process of optimizing individual web pages by making changes to the “on-page elements” like content, site structure, title tags, etc. in order to improve its position in the search rankings is on-page SEO and the plan of action to achieve this is an On-Page SEO Strategy.

How to develop an On-page SEO Strategy for your E-commerce website?

1. Keyword Research

Every second, 40,000 searches happen on Google. With such a crazy number, how do you be certain that people will find you in the search engines? It’s simple; make sure you use the right keywords. Before using the keywords, do some research on them like

• what type of keywords people search
• how often they search for them (keyword search volume)
• what they look for when they use those keywords
• how competitive those keywords are

2. Content Optimization

Now that you have your keywords list ready, the next step is to use them in your content. Content not only refers to the text that appears on the page itself, but also the invisible ones, such as alt-tags, meta tags, URLS, etc. Here’s where to use your E-commerce keywords in the content.

Put them in the

URL: Use your primary keywords here (Keep the keywords as close to your domain as possible) and also make it readable.

Eg: https://www.xyzclothingstore.in/Womens-clothing

Title tag: Include the keywords in title tags that will appear on search results pages and your web pages as well like H1, H2, etc.

Example for title tag in SERP page: Online shopping for women – Buy women’s clothing

Visible content: Add text covering a minimum of 300 words with your keyword included at least 2-3 times

ALT tags: Add keywords to the text describing the images

Meta description: Include the main keywords in the grey text that shows up in your search listings. Google bolds these keywords in the search results to draw the eyes of searchers and maximizes click-through rates.

Don’ts:

• Don’t just stuff your site with too many keywords because it isn’t going to work in this age of intelligent search engine algorithms.

• Avoid building content around only one keyword and try to include various relevant keyword combinations.

• Avoid keyword cannibalization (Targeting a specific keyword across multiple pages). This will save your pages from competing with each other to rank for the same keywords.

Quick Tip: Consider adding a Q&A section to your product pages (since it is an E-commerce site), it can help with conversational searches.

3. Site structure

A clear site structure is essential for both find-ability and usability of your website. It not only provides great user experience by helping the users to navigate easily on your site and find the products they are looking for, but also increases your chances of ranking higher in the search engines by reducing bounce rate and improving dwell time. How to create an ideal E-commerce site structure?

– Plan out a hierarchy:

For eg:

  • Home page
  • Categories
  • Subcategories

Each category should be unique and each subcategory should somehow relate to the category under which it is located. For eg: Category can be “Women’s Western Wears” and subcategory “T-shirts”. Also, try to balance (or approximately even) the number of subcategories within each category as this will make for a great site structure.

– Organise your URL structure according to your site hierarchy.

For eg: https://www.xyzclothingstore.in/womens-western-wear/Tshirts

4. Internal linking

Internal linking helps to connect one page to another on the same website. When you build a smart internal linking strategy for your E-commerce site, it can significantly boost your site’s performance in the search engines. Both users and search engines use internal links to discover new content on your site. Imagine if you publish a new web page and don’t provide internal links to it and if the page is not in your sitemap too, will the users and search engines be able to find your page? No, they won’t know that it even exists. So, having a strong internal linking strategy in place is a must. How do you go about it exactly? Here are a few tips –

• Group topically-related web pages together and link them
• Create text links using anchor text
• Add simple navigational links
• Add links in places where it looks logical and adds value
• For any new piece of content, include two or three related links to old content
• Since it is an eCommerce site, add links to high converting pages (if they are related)

5. URL structure

For good search rankings, your URLs and their structures should appease both search engines and users. So, how do you build a SEO-friendly URL structure? Let’s get to it.

• Avoid spaces or underscores and opt for dashes or hyphens
• Stick to all lower-case letters
• Make it keyword-rich but avoid keyword repetition
• Keep it as short as possible
• Make it easy to read
• Trim unnecessary parameters
• Use a max of two folders per URL
• Make it future-proof to keep changes at minimal

URLs can be static or dynamic. Static URLs are friendly to search engines but dynamic URLs are not. So, keeping a check on the dynamic URLs of your E-commerce sites can help avoid the risk of losing search engine positioning.

6. Canonical tags

The use of canonical tags helps to resolve the issue of duplicate content on a site. In an E-commerce site, the issue of duplicate content arises when one product gets listed in more than one category.

For eg:
https://www.xyzclothingstore.in/womens-western-wear/Skirts
https://www.xyzclothingstore.in/Womens-indowestern-wear/Skrits

Here, the product “Skirts” is listed on more than one page with different URLs. And hence, the search engine’s understanding of these two pages becomes very problematic. To combat this issue, canonical tags help. The proper use of this tag allows the search engine not to waste time crawling multiple versions of the same page and deciding which one to show up in the search results.

7. Site Design

A well-designed website has a good impact on SEO. Yes, the better the design, the better the dwell time and lower the chances of users “bouncing” off your page back to the SERP. This low bounce rate signals search engines that your website is meeting the expectations of the users and contributes to superior search rankings. What are the elements which impact your web design?

• Navigation options
• Images and videos
• Font choices
• Layout consistency
• Responsiveness

If your website design is complex, it has some potentially disastrous consequences for your SEO. So avoid any element that hampers the simplicity of your website design. Good website design is the one that lets the users find what they are looking for with ease.

8. Technical optimization

Technical optimisation also helps to send the right signals to Search engines and set you up for SEO success. So, what are the technical components to be optimised?

• Server response times
• File sizes and Website Speed
• SSL certificates
• Mobile Friendliness
• Accelerated Mobile Pages
• Page redirects
• Back-end factors such as hosting and indexing, etc.
• Schema markups and rich snippets like Top Stories carousels, Review stars, Site-links search boxes

These technical optimisations are a smart investment of your time as it will increase the chances of your site getting found in search engines.

Conclusion

The search landscape is ever-evolving and therefore succeeding in organic search today requires a tremendous focus on “on-page” elements. So, have an effective on-page strategy in place for your e-commerce site and get your organic traffic rolling in and drive more sales.

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