In the Ecommerce SEO blueprint I go over everything involved in the success of the project and how to do ecommerce SEO: tips for SEO people and finding them, setting objectives, KPIs, the four keyword buckets, click-through rate tactics, increasing engagement from ideal prospects, credibility tactics and checkout completion rate tactics.

Video Transcription

Here are the other videos in the ecommerce SEO series:

How I stumbled on a brilliant way to max out revenue with SEO

5 KPIs that will make or break your ecommerce business

In the last video I shared how I grew to love working with ecommerce stores because of performance tracking accuracy and the fact that their goals are usually straight forward… Revenue $$

And I shared how I went through several challenging years before stumbling on the uniqueness of my business.

Also I went over the Revenue-based SEO Ripple Effect (the hidden benefits of revenue-based SEO):

  • Able to prioritize the most profitable opportunities to pursue
  • Conversion rates go up
  • Changing customer trends are easier to identify
  • Content gaps are revealed
  • KPIs help you focus on the things that Google tends to rank higher
  • Your brand becomes stronger
  • Your company becomes more authoritative
  • Trust goes up with prospects
  • Projecting future sales and growth becomes more predictable

Let’s move on to today’s topic.

Find SEO people who focus on delivering value

SEO people feel the stress of trying to keep up with all the latest trends and changes with Google. You feel like I have to keep up with every development or else I’m not going to be as competitive as an SEO.

The fact is no one person could keep up with all of that. Just in 2019 Google rolled out 12 major updates (according to Moz) not to mention all the little updates, over 3000 algo changes. It’s impossible to keep up with all of that.

But the part of your job that you must focus on is delivering value so that the business becomes more profitable. To do that you need a methodical, consistent approach and that means less stress because it’s repeatable.

Plus it’s safer to go with the tried and true methods. If you stick with what’s proven, there’s less stress.

Another way Revenue-based SEO brings less stress is you actually know and can quantify the value that your contributions are creating for the organization. And that’s your job, to make sure the SEO project is profitable and measurable so you can manage it. Then you know how you are doing at any time.

You understand exactly how your work impacts the business, so you have that sense of meaning and purpose. You see how it affects people’s lively hoods, how the business improves because of the good work you’ve done and it’s tangible.

Lesson for the day…

The Ecommerce SEO blueprint

Some people are nervous about implementing SEO, like this guy. He doesn’t know if he has a good SEO person, he doesn’t know if it will be worth it or not, he’s just praying it will turn out right.

And that’s because he’s already spent a lot of time and money putting together the website to sell his product. The website looks good, the offer and pricing is good, but no one is finding it; it’s lost in the sea of all the other websites. Now his dream may be on the line.

Many people have spent years planning their web business, saving up money, building the site, buying inventory and then in a few months or often a year, they are out of business. Their dreams are shattered, that thing they hoped for and put so much time and money in is gone. They hoped people would find them, the traffic would come and convert, but now they are out of business.

How can we change that?

Set objectives and key results

Objectives are goals that tell you where you want to go.

Each objective has key results that indicate how you will get there and each key result involves accomplishing specific tasks.

For example, perhaps you sell barbecue sets online and you want to grow your business to 250,000 this quarter, that’s your objective. Your key results might be to rank on Google’s first page for “buy barbecue set” along with
other revenue based keywords and engage your ideal prospect with a Facebook ad campaign.

Let’s look at the main ecommerce KPIs:

  • Order conversion rate
  • Average order value
  • Average revenue per visit
  • Average cost per order
  • Add to Cart rate
  • Checkout completion rate

These are the basic KPIs for e-commerce stores. There are plenty more to track as well but these are foundational. A wise person once said whatever we track and measure will start to grow and if we don’t track and measure we won’t grow.

Google Analytics E-commerce is perfect for tracking revenue and to see anything and everything that impacts your revenue, like KPIs.

Accurately tracking and interpreting KPI’s is like following a treasure map
to a goldmine. Tracking KPI’s accurately is the first step, interpreting KPI’s involves identifying the drivers of the desired change and a recommended course of action to improve the KPI.

Here’s some of the SEO KPIs:

  • Number of landing pages that receive traffic from organic search
  • Number of landing pages from search resulting in transactions
  • Average pages per session from organic search
  • Average session duration from organic search
  • Branded keyword traffic
  • Target keywords traffic

Organize keywords according to the KPIs, this naturally leads to prioritizing
keywords based on revenue.

Four keyword buckets to watch for ecommerce SEO opportunities

So the first bucket is converting keywords that rank well but have a low click-through rate, converting keywords that do not rank well, newly discovered keywords that convert, keywords that rank well but do not convert.

These are the four key word buckets that are important to your
ecommerce store but you will need to deal with Google’s not provided issue in order to see how your keywords perform.

I use a Python script that syncs data from Google Analytics and Google Search Console, then organizes it all into a spreadsheet showing me revenue from landing pages that contain a lot of organic search keywords and other goals I’ve set up in Google Analytics.

This allows me to see the average conversion rates for brand versus targeted keywords. There are a number of tools that attempt to provide the above data, one that I like is analytics edge.

Identify converting keywords that rank well but have a below average click-through rate. So in this shot you’re seeing Google Search Console and I’ve highlighted three keywords and these are all in the top ten on average in the position and they have good impressions.

They have some clicks but you can notice that the click-through rate is 1% and it’s below average for this site. These are the ones I’m going to mark as revenue keywords to work on.

Next, identify converting keywords and new keywords with purchase intent that aren’t ranking well. So again here’s three keywords I’ve identified
that are just off the first page of Google. They’re on the second page of
Google and they are converting keywords.

They have a great number of impressions, the problem is they’re off the first page and if they were on the first page I bet the click-through rate would be higher.

Are your organic search listings for these keywords that we’ve identified
engaging enough to be clicked? Look at your search listing in Google search
results for that keyword.

Does a keyword or a form of that keyword appear in the title tag? Improve the click-through rate by adding action words in the title tag and/or the description tag to attract purchasers.

Purchasers are interested in words like buy, purchase, lease, for sale,
rent and so on, so people know what they’ll be doing on that page.

Similarly you want to improve the click-through rate by identifying and
adding identifier words to attract people in research mode. So they’re
interested in things like blogs about the topic, so blogs, articles, review,
opinion, comparison, video and similar
things like that.

Now let’s move on to prioritizing landing pages with the most impact on KPIs. What are your top organic search landing pages? You can find this
by going to Google Search Console, then performance and pages.

Prioritize landing pages based on revenue

So prioritize landing pages based on revenue. Is the landing page the most relevant page for your primary keyword for that page? Is your landing page engaging enough to prevent searchers from jumping back to the search results to find something better?

Evaluate your landing page bounce rates, pages per session and average
sessions duration to identify poor engagement landing pages. Here in Google Analytics I’m showing three different landing pages all of which have lots of sessions but the bounce rate is high for each of these three, the pages per session is low and average session duration also is low.

So I want to dig down deeper and in the drill down you can see each traffic source for that landing page. So I did that with this particular landing page and you can see that when you look at the traffic sources. Well Google is the one we’re concerned about here and the bounce rate is good, it’s below 50%.

The pages per session is high and the session duration is high for traffic from Google.

Now let’s look at how to increase category page engagement.

Make the content useful, interesting, maybe a buyer’s guide to your products. A buyer’s guide is just awesome for someone who’s not sure which product to buy or why they should buy a particular product.

Show reviews and ratings of the overall business. If possible show basic
product ratings for each product in the category. So product ratings are different than business reviews and ratings.

Okay so a lot of times customers can review the specific product, but they can also review the entire business and it makes sense to delineate between
those two. Category pages are great for the business reviews and ratings, not necessarily just the product page.

Add content that helps the prospect make a decision, so product comparisons, demos, evaluation criteria and customer stories are all great types of content for prospects. Add interesting stats about popular products and sales trends.

Alright let’s get into the product page and how to improve product page

Product descriptions ought to be written by people who really care about the product and love it. Sometimes these are customers that can help you write outstanding product descriptions because they understand why it’s so great.

Do your own photography if you can. Add multiple high-quality images of your products and of course utilize schema markup for product reviews and other elements that attract your ideal prospect directly from the search
results page. Add video of your product and use it like a demo of its features.

Internal navigation and linking structure for ecommerce SEO

So for category pages, you want to modify category names to better reflect
products with a keyword. Is there a better way to categorize these products?

Sometimes there are some products should be in a different category than they’re in currently.

Should more categories be added? A lot of times I see this where a category page will have fifty or a hundred or more products in it. No prospect is
interested in that many products. You can usually break those down into like no more than 20 products per category, so you can help the prospect focus better on the specifics of this grouping of products, it could be just a certain color or size or it could be the serial number or something.

Those are the kind of things that you know help them to focus in on a certain thing.

Now for product pages you want to ask similar questions. Should the product names be modified to include a key word or should something more creative be added to the name to make it pop off the
the search results page?

You want to utilize breadcrumb links and add these links to the recommended products on the page as well, if it makes sense for the particular product.

Alright now we want to get into double your conversion rate and how to do that.

Reduce shopping cart abandonment

You want to best align with your buyers by reducing your shopping cart abandonment rate as well. Credibility is something that is really the reason why a lot of people buy so do your prospects wonder if you have
credibility? Word-of-mouth of course is the best credibility you can get and a lot of times that comes from places outside your business, like review sites, links from reputable sites, where your prospects gather.

I hate to say it but high search rankings are very much considered credible, endorsements from respected businesses, customers, vendors
and celebrities. These are all great sources of credibility.

Just over 30% of people who begin making a purchase actually complete it. These people, the 70% who bail, are the hottest prospects on your site.

Here are some of the reasons that people abandon shopping cart checkouts and you see the top three they are extra costs are too high, the site wanted me to create an account, too long or complicated checkout process and on and on.

Today shopping cart platforms are more sophisticated and shoppers are more sophisticated. Weak checkout experience elements cause doubt or frustration; strong checkout experience elements cause confidence to move forward.

Add credibility signals in your site and in the checkout:

  • Customer testimonials – obviously in your site but maybe you can put them in the checkout as well.
  • Brands that endorse your business – obviously in your site but also in the checkout if you can.
  • Find ways to show proven results – you know these can be put in your site as well but sometimes there’s a way to show proven results right in the checkout
  • Add point of action assurances – these are things that come up in a shoppers mind when they’re about to open their wallet and put their credit card number. Suddenly, all these doubts and fears come into the forefront of their mind so this is where you want to add guarantees
  • Add security assurances that somehow visually you can show that your site is secure
  • Estimated delivery time are awesome types of things that keep people moving forward
  • Craft abandonment messages for those who do jump ship out of your cart

I like to send the first cart abandonment email within three hours of abandonment and this, of course, is not the time to send a coupon code.

If they don’t come back and buy then you want to send the next email
within three days, but if they don’t buy within five days, that may be the time to send a coupon code.

Now if you don’t have their email you can use remarketing and a lot of times that can be very helpful if you craft the right message.

So I’ve already gotten a lot of questions on the blog about revenue based SEO. What I want you to do is please go down into the comments section of this post and tell me what your number one question is and I’m going to answer every single one.

In the next video I’m going to show you how to estimate where your ecommerce store is financially and where it can be in e-commerce SEO math.

Tom Shivers
Tom Shivers

I'm a ecommerce SEO consultant and President of Capture Commerce. I've managed digital marketing campaigns for scores of clients since 2000 and found that every business is unique with its own challenges and opportunities. When I see that I have contributed to the success of a business by helping them grow, it makes me feel awesome! That’s the coolest thing and I’m so thankful for the opportunity to do this.