E-commerce has exploded recently, with online sales projected to overtake brick-and-mortar this year. Yet the SEO strategies that work for ordinary websites don’t always translate for online stores. Understanding the critical differences between traditional vs e-commerce SEO is crucial for retailers to succeed.

With the right technical SEO foundations and product-focused content, e-commerce brands can thrive in online marketplaces. Here are vital distinctions shops should recognize between standard and e-commerce SEO, along with best practices:

The Mindset Shift

Unlike content sites designed primarily to inform or entertain visitors, e-commerce sites serve people who are ready to buy. The SEO strategy must map to that customer journey.

While educational content still matters for product guides, the site architecture, page layouts, and calls-to-action should all feed the shopping experience from product research to checkout.

Technical SEO Power

On ordinary websites, compelling content wins. For online stores, technical site health and performance carry much more weight. Core web vitals like site speed, mobile optimization, and indexing issues have an outsized impact on SEO.

E-commerce brands investing in technical audits, website migration to modern platforms, and hosting infrastructure give themselves a distinct edge for capturing relevant searches like “SEO services Canada.”

Mitigating Thin Content

By nature, product pages contain far less text compared to long-form blog articles. To satisfy search engines’ hunger for quality content, retailers should incorporate:

  • Detailed product descriptions
  • Customer questions and reviews
  • Category buying guides
  • Site blog content
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Optimizing for Localization

Unlike content sites targeting just one country, global ambition is a hallmark of e-commerce. Shops must present content in relevant languages and currencies and follow legal requirements across regions.

Connecting with Local Customers

Even shops focused solely domestically need to incorporate localization as people increasingly search for nearby stores and prefer seeing content reflecting their city. Tactics like location pages and Google My Business optimization are essential.

Rethinking Link Building

While editorially-placed links remain useful, e-commerce brands should also pursue:

  • Directory links/citations
  • Sponsored blog product features
  • Influencer brand mentions
  • Links within online buying guides
  • Relevant niche authority sites

The paths users take to purchase online require a specialized e-commerce SEO approach. By tailoring content and technical fundamentals to the product-driven customer journey, e-commerce brands can capture relevant organic traffic and turn searchers into satisfied customers.

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