Creating great content is the most important part of all successful eCommerce SEO strategies. And it’s no different for eCommerce companies.
Yes, you want to do SEO for eCommerce product pages and category pages. And those product and category pages should have their own unique, relevant descriptions on them.
But delivering great longer-form content is crucial for eCommerce SEO. And doing it right depends on the sales readiness of your audience.
That is, how close someone is to actually making a purchase.
You can do all the on-page SEO for eCommerce in the world, but if your content isn’t in front of the right people, it doesn’t matter. To extract all the benefits of eCommerce SEO, you need to target the right audience, and invest in the best ecommerce platform for SEO.
The Sales Funnel
The sales funnel is typically broken down into three sections: top, middle, and bottom.
High-Intent: Bottom Funnel Keywords
Imagine someone searching “purina lamb and rice formula sensitive stomach.” They’re looking for that specific product. They’re ready to buy. Their sales readiness is high. Your product pages target these people.
These keywords are known as “bottom funnel” keywords because the user is nearer the bottom of the sales funnel. They’re about to make a purchase.
Medium-Intent: Middle Funnel Keywords
Now imagine someone searching “best lamb and rice dog foods” or “best dog foods for sensitive stomach.” Those folks are still in the research phase of buying. Their sales intent is lower, but still present. These users are looking for answers. Create content that targets this type of search, deliver high-quality content that answers the searchers’ questions, and direct visitors to your product pages to purchase recommended products.
Broad, Low-Intent: Top Funnel Keywords
Or what about someone searching “is rice good for dogs?” There’s no specific sales intent for that query. But the searcher is clearly thinking about giving rice to their dog. Why not your lamb and rice formula? Targeting low-intent, relevant keywords is another crucial piece of successful SEO content creation.
Here’s the great thing:
The keyword research principles you learned above apply to all parts of the funnel. Apply what you learned and create informed, useful content that addresses a keyword or group of related keywords.
If you have top- and mid-funnel content linking to related bottom-funnel content, you’ll find that you can actually have a hand in creating or growing sales intent in users.
Which brings us to how to link all the content together.
Before any product, category, or blog page can rank, it needs other web pages linking to it. Every unique web page that links to your product page is, in the eyes of Google, a vote of confidence for that product page. It’s also a handy tool for users to use as they navigate around your site and discover your products.
One way to easily build links into your pages is with internal links, or links from other pages on your site.
External linking is important, too, as we cover in our post about off-page SEO for eCommerce.
But onto internal linking...
It’s Easier for Search Engines
The job of a search engine is to figure out what your page is about and show it to a user if it can provide them value. One way search engines understand the meaning of web pages is by looking at the pages that link to them.
Here’s an example:
Consider a product page for fresh monkfish. If a bunch of web pages about skateboarding linked to it, it would make it more difficult for a search engine like Google to figure out what the page was about. And, consequently, it would consider the page of lower value and give it lower rankings.
On the other hand, if that product page for fresh monkfish had inlinks from web pages about monkfish nutrition, it would help Google understand its meaning, value, and where to rank it on the search engine results page.
It’s Easier for Users
By having robust internal linking throughout your website, you make it easy for users to discover related products naturally. The easier a user can go to different pages of your website, the more products they’ll discover, the more time they’ll spend on your website. The latter two of which are actually ranking signals that Google considers when presenting search results.
The way your internal pages link to each other is called your internal linking profile.
Here’s how to create the most advantageous one:
- Favor linking within specific categories and subcategories. Link from pages about lobster to pages about other types of crustaceans. Link from pages about mackerel tuna to pages about skipjack tuna. Make sure there’s relevancy between pages if they’re linking to each other. Not all pages linking to each other need be in the same category, but the majority should be. This shows Google the pages are related and helps Google more accurately identify the content on your page.
- The ratio of inlinks to outlinks should be roughly 1:1. That means for every link coming in from a related page on your site, there should be a link going out to another related page on your site. Don’t sweat it if you can’t get a 1:1 ratio. A 20% swing in either direction is close enough.
- Your most valuable content, also called your cornerstone content, should have more inlinks than outlinks. And this content is your bottom funnel content that leads to sales. This is the exception to the 1:1 rule. Your best and most complete content, or your most popular products, should have more inlinks than outlinks. Those extra votes of confidence let search engines know it’s your best content. And you can get a bird’s eye view of the ratio of inlinks to outlinks using SEMrush’s Site Audit tool, or any other similar eCommerce SEO tools.
- When you link out to related internal pages, use relevant anchor text. Anchor text is the clickable text in a link. Determine the top targeted keywords for the page you’re linking to and use one of those keywords as your anchor text. Instead of saying “click here” you can say check out other “fresh seafood” products.
- Add navigational, contextual, and hierarchical links. Take advantage of every type of internal link you can. Navigational links are inlinks from footers, headers, and menus. Contextual inlinks are from unique content like product descriptions and blog posts. And hierarchical inlinks come from parent, child, or sibling pages. Breadcrumbs and clickable taxonomies are great examples of hierarchical linking opportunities. Check out some of the best direct to consumer brands for inspiration.
- Adding a Related Product section is an easy way to create internal links. By adding a Related Product section, you open a natural opportunity to link to related products in the category or subcategory. This is easy using integrated tools in an online marketplace.
Internal linking brings us, then, to the next entry in our series: technical SEO for eCommerce sites.
There we’ll cover overall website structure. And you’ll see how intuitive website structure lends itself to logical internal linking, easy user navigation, and a site that search engines can crawl and understand quickly. This is especially important if you're in a very competitive field like running a subscription website.
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