If your business has an ecommerce website, you’re going to want it to rank as highly on search engines as possible to maximise the chance that customers will buy your products.

November 2019 data from Advanced Web Ranking shows that organic results in position one of a search engine results page (SERP) have an average click-through rate (CTR) of 33.41%, whereas results in position two have a CTR of 16.05%. This means that if your website is in position one for a specific search term, you’ll receive twice as many clicks as the site in position two.

The benefits of optimising for search engines are obvious – more clicks equals more sales. But if you ignore SEO for your ecommerce website, your competitors are going to catch up and overtake you, pushing you further and further down the SERP. A website in 10th place on the SERP gets on average just 1.2% of clicks – a fraction of the possible clicks of an optimised website.

With that in mind, there are certain steps you can take to improve the on-page SEO of your ecommerce website. Ecommerce Website Builder from Fasthosts comes with built-in SEO and marketing tools that guide you through the process of search engine optimisation. Apps such as SECockpit are free with any package and give guidance and advice on how to improve your search rankings.

If you’re new to SEO, using keywords effectively might take a little time to learn – so what can you do in the meantime? We also offer Listing Manager, which lets you control how your business appears on over 20 business listing websites, and provides suggestions as to how you can improve the visibility of your listing. Having a good business listing presence will mean you can rely less on the SERP and still be visible to your customers.

Gather your keywords

A keyword is what someone might enter into a search engine in order to locate a product like yours. Incorporating the most relevant keywords into your content is a surefire way to increase the chance that your website will rank higher in a SERP.

The above tools give you an immediate and expansive list of keywords that you can target to improve the SEO of your ecommerce website. The list shows the search volume and an expected ‘competition analysis’ figure that shows how easy it would be to rank highly for that search term.

You can then begin to build your content around the suggested keywords. Include these keywords in the titles and description of every page, make sure they’re in your page URL and repeat them sporadically throughout the content on your page. However, don’t overdo it – aim for a ratio of one keyword for every 33 words in your content.

Get ready for mobile

It’s becoming ever more important that webpages be optimised for display on mobile devices. According to data from Hitwise, mobile searches now make up 60% of all Google searches, so it’s expected that whether a site can be properly viewed on mobile will affect its ranking. Google’s search algorithm now ranks pages with mobile-first indexing, so having a site that is mobile-optimised is essential for gaining rankings.

Ecommerce Website Builder also accounts for this need. Its built in themes contain responsive design by default, so can be viewed on any device without you needing to do anything. Its dynamic previews allow you to see what your website will look like on mobile while in the editor, so you can make sure it all looks good as you go along.

Don’t forget about structure

Keywords aren’t everything when it comes to SEO. In fact, optimising for keywords is just one of hundreds of different factors that search engines look for when calculating rankings.

The structure of your on-page content is important. Search engines can’t see a page like humans can. Instead, they read the structure as presented in the code. For example, an H1 heading should include your keywords so that a search engine can see that the page is targeted at relevant keywords.

An H2 tag can be used to break up the content on the page, and inform the search engine that the subject has changed, or is more specific.

The inclusion of images on a page has been determined to increase search engine rankings, although search engines can (currently) not ‘see’ what the images represent. To get around this, alternative text can be placed on the image from within the code of the website, or from the CMS in WordPress or Ecommerce Website Builder.

<img src=”http://www.example.com/RedBassGuitar.jpg” alt=”Red 4-string bass guitar”>

This tells the search engine that the picture is of a red 4-string bass guitar, and so the search engine knows that the picture is relevant to the search term ‘red bass guitar’. The alt text should be descriptive and contain relevant keywords. Another advantage of effectively using alt text is that your site will be more accessible for visitors that use screen readers. These rely on the alt text of the image to relay its contents to the user.

There are many steps you can take to improve the SEO of your ecommerce website, but making use of available tools such as Ecommerce Website Builder and Listing Coach will give you a head start.