The keys to great SEO strategy for online retailers

October 15, 2020 - 6  min reading time - by Catherrine Garcia
Home > SEO Thoughts > The keys to great SEO strategy for online retailers

Running an ecommerce retail store is no cakewalk. And neither is ecommerce for large retailers. Given their financial spending capability and access to the best tools, a lot of us think that ecommerce for large retailers is a walk in the park. However, that is not the case. Ecommerce stores have a larger range of offerings to manage and they work hard to beat the best from the competition in order to keep their customer base from walking away. This is where SEO marketing plays a prominent role.

SEO considerations for online retailers are highly evolved and demand special attention from the social and marketing department. They either have a very large range of products to deal with or are thriving in a highly competitive market. In either of the two cases, their ecommerce SEO strategy needs to be absolutely robust and functional.

So, here’s how large retailers nail their SEO strategy for maximum effectiveness — and how you can, too.

Your content is the source of all happiness. Really!

Well, that sounds weird, right? However, it is very far-fetched from what it reads like. As an ecommerce retailer, the content around your products can be your best plot for SEO success.

Putting forward high-quality content that revolves around your products is your best bet at success as an ecommerce retailer. To capture the prospective shopper’s attention, your content should sport high-quality product images. If you’re using a CSM like WordPress, you should ensure that they are well displayed with the use of widgets such as Jetpack Sidebar Image Widget. You must use your content to offer valuable information about products to prospects. And when that happens, the search engine algorithm is going to reward you for the same with favorable rankings.

For example, if your ecommerce business deals with products and services in the technology niche, you can always produce content such as blogs, ebooks, and talking about the sector latest in the tech and how your products/services can resolve the tech-related pain points of its audience. This also provides an opportunity to link related products or services somewhere on the page, providing the benefit of internal linking.

This applies not only to your product pages, but also to category pages. Thanks to links between category pages and other pages on your website, category pages are the ones that will rank, and rank well! You should work to create category pages that are at least 1,000 words long. This leaves an impression of credibility since your pages have well-researched and detailed information that the audience is seeking. Long-form content is also preferred by the search engines.

Keyword research should not be a bottomless pit

We all have been there, searching for some of our first keywords. And god knows what a task it felt like. For ecommerce retailers, it is more than just a requirement to constantly work towards developing and evolving a solid keyword strategy that keeps working.

Free Keyword research tools such as Google keyword planner or Ahrefs Keyword Generator can be of huge help. However, for ecommerce-specific keywords, Amazon Search has gained quite a reputation.

Long-tail keywords should be your prime area of focus and should be done the right way. The right long-tail keywords are the ones that fall into the category of Q&A format and are focused on helping the seeker. When they are chosen with the right approach, they are the ones with a high search traffic percentage. They are the simpletons and can provide your ecommerce site the boost it is looking for.

Once you are thorough with your keyword research, you should strategically keep refreshing the placement of these keywords across your content. Keyword stuffing is always a big NO and if not followed through, might end up penalizing your ecommerce website, leading to a drop in the search engine rankings.

Having said that, medium and short-tail keywords also have their fair share of prominence. As a large ecommerce retailer, don’t forget to take into account your average customer’s life cycle while approaching your keyword strategy.

Keeping a close eye on the competition

Competitor research is a huge part of a winning SEO strategy. And this applies to ecommerce retailers as well. Not ranking first is like losing money and targeting the keywords from your competitors is equivalent to feasting from a served platter. However, being smart and not overdoing the whole thing is the key. This is where unique keyword variations come into play.

Tools like SpyFu can be of great assistance when it comes to keeping track of your top competitors’ SEO moves. You can search for competitors and look over their keywords and ads and also dig deeper into their content, keywords, and backlinks. SEMrush and Sprout Social are some other very popular tools to help ecommerce retailers see how their competition is ranking.

Voice search is the new favorite

Modern life is a great rush and catering to the customer base that wants instant results is the key to ultimate success when it is about ecommerce. Recently, there has been an uproar in the prominent use of voice search. Most people tend to make buying decisions either when they are driving or commuting to work. Voice search is an enabler in the Alexa voice command obsessed buying segment.

Did you know that a study states that 55 percent of all households in the United States will own a smart speaker by 2022?

Optimizing the SEO for a large ecommerce retail site now requires reconfiguring ecommerce marketing strategies to take the new search methodology into account. Check out how you can get started with voice search optimization for your own ecommerce SEO strategy.

Don’t forget mobile

Would you be shocked to learn that revenue from mobile commerce sales in 2019 is more than two times that of 2016? That’s right; mobile commerce growth has seen an average year-on-year increase of 33.8 percent since 2016. A very huge chunk of traffic on the web comes from smartphones and tablets instead of desktops. As an ecommerce retailer, making strategic decisions about approaching mobile SEO is absolutely crucial.

Two out of every three dollars spent on online purchases today are done through a mobile device. This is why developing mobile-first strategies is a good start. This is so because users like to make all the buying research from their mobile devices. It is after this rendezvous with mobile devices that they prefer to finally shop from their desktop. This further entails that your ecommerce website should be all decked up to be a great mobile site that delivers impeccable buying experience. However, don’t confuse mobile sites with AMP for ecommerce because ecommerce sites have quite a dynamic content.

User-generated content is the holy grail

As an ecommerce website, you probably already know how reviews are such a great determining factor. They not only impact your business reputation, but they also have quite an effect on your SEO and digital marketing performance. So, why not utilize their prowess for the good of the business.

Star rating matters and hence, social media reviews have a very high credibility score and the right ones can work like magic for new interested buyers. When users mention your ecommerce business, that can impact your search engine performance. Large ecommerce retailers can also afford to benefit from reviews on third-party platforms such as Trustpilot to help boost their search engine results page (SERP) potential.


While building an SEO strategy for an online retail business is going to take quite some heavy work and definitely a lot of research and expertise, it is no harm done to get basics done the right way. The tips mentioned above are going to help you lay the groundwork for building the ultimate SEO strategy for your ecommerce retail business. Once you know the ABCs, it won’t take very long to crack conversions and sales in a jiffy.

Catherrine Garcia See all their articles
Catherrine is an experienced Web Developer at WPCodingDev and a passionate blogger. She loves to share her knowledge through her writing.
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