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Our #1 E-Commerce SEO Strategy Revealed

Our Number One E-Commerce SEO Strategy 1

This article was originally published as a part of the Smash Digital Inner Circle.

It’s the private newsletter for our clients, partners, and friends, where we share one super actionable SEO tip that has worked well for us, every week.

If you’d like to get these months before the public, you now have the chance to do so by filling out the form below.

How to Increase Your E-Commerce Stores Organic Traffic the Easy Way

We’ve had a lot of requests for tips for e-commerce SEO so that’s what we’re going to tackle today.

Today, I’m going to share the number one thing that successful e-commerce stores do to increase their organic traffic.

It’s going to be short and sweet so lets get to it.

Time to learn: 5-10 minutes

Impact (1-10): 9

Tools required: None

The Problem With E-Commerce Stores

The majority of organic search traffic for E-commerce stores goes to their category pages. An example of this would be a page like

Let’s pretend you have an electronics store that sells Apple products – iPhones, MacBooks, iMacs, and so on.

The problem here is that Google only sees the code of your site and the words on the page. They don’t care about how good your prices are, what your customer support is like, or even what the specs of the products are.

The only way they judge who should be #1 and who should be #7 is based off:

  1. Whether the site and page are in good condition (on-page SEO)
  2. What relevant words are on the page to determine which queries it should rank for
  3. The backlinks of the site

The problem in e-commerce is that everyone is probably going to be selling the same products, which means all of the content is going to be the same. 

If you’re an Apple reseller, you will have the exact same product titles as everyone else and even the same descriptions.

This leaves us with one way to determine who should be number one – who has the most backlinks.

And unless you’ve been around for a long time (and are using our link building service *wink*) that’s probably not a competition you’re going to win.

But there IS another way.

So how can we tell Google we are more relevant for Apple accessories than all of our competitors?

Well, how about giving them what they want and just putting more words on the page? 

If we have 700 words, beyond the usual product titles, that talks about the different types of accessories, what to look for, and things to consider – Google will see that we provide more value than others and we’ll likely rank for some long-tail keywords because of that as well.

The other benefit of this is that category pages are often “over-optimized”. 

Here’s an example I found buried on the 7th page for the term “waterproof laptop bags” by Crumpler.

overoptimized ecommerce category pages

They’ve used the word “laptop” 48 times and barely have 400 words on the page itself. Google is going to see that this page is “trying too hard” to rank for laptop related words and they will not reward you for that.

Well, if they had a 1,000 word guide on this category page to show you how these bags are different and which one you should go for based on your needs… Not only would they sell more bags and create trust with users, they’d also rank a lot better.

While I couldn’t find an example of anyone in the laptop bag space making use of this strategy, here’s an example from ranking quite well for Bluetooth speakers.

This is the content they have below the category itself:

how to create optimized content for ecommerce

Then there are other sites that put the content above the category but hide the bulk of it behind a “read more” to not distract readers too much. Google can still see this content as well.

Here’s an example from Andertons, a UK-based music equipment store:

hidden content on ecommerce category pages

We’ve actually developed our own “hidden content plugin” for this purpose, which you can check out here (it’s free):

Now I could go on and on with these examples but you can try it out for yourself.

Try to Google for generic category-based keywords and look through the top ranking pages. More often than not, you’ll see that the lengthier pages tend to outrank the ones that are lacking content.

You’ll see exceptions to the rule and this is largely due to massive sites like Amazon and the insane amounts of backlinks they have.

If you don’t have a massive backlink advantage, you can use this strategy to compete with the big boys.

That’s all there is to it.

You may be asking – what kind of content should I be creating for these pages? I’m going to take the easy route and refer you to our guide to creating content that ranks.

Let me know if you have any questions and I’ll see you next week with yet another actionable SEO strategy.

Meanwhile… Let’s Smash it!

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Karl Kangur

Karl Kangur

When being a chess prodigy turned out to be too demanding, Karl converted to being a marketing nerd. He loves to theorycraft and when he starts talking about SEO, he can't stop.
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