6 Effective Techniques for Driving Organic Traffic to E-Commerce Websites


For e-commerce business owners, you, of course, want traffic coming to your website. After all, the more people who visit your site, the greater the chances of converting them into loyal customers. 

But here’s the catch: how can you achieve this without resorting to expensive paid advertising campaigns? 

Your answer might just lie in a well-curated e-commerce SEO strategy. 

In this article, you’ll find everything you need to know about SEO for e-commerce. Let’s start from the top. 

What is e-commerce SEO and its importance?

E-commerce SEO (search engine optimization) involves optimizing your online store to improve its search engine ranking and visibility.

Why should you care? When people want to make a purchase, 30% of them use search engines to find the best options available. 

But here’s the deal. Searchers barely make it to the second search engine result page (SERP), considering that 94.75% of the organic search traffic stays on the first page. 

So, before anyone can consider your e-commerce website, you have to appear on the first SERP. It’s even better if you can appear at the top of the SERP, where you’re likely to attract 34% of the total traffic, like Etsy below. 

This is where e-commerce SEO comes in. It helps ensure that your website is visible, ranks well, and is positioned in front of people who are looking for what you offer.

6 e-commerce SEO best practices 

Here are some tips to follow for the best SEO results for your e-commerce website 

1. Keyword research for e-commerce

Keyword research helps you uncover the specific words and phrases your target audiences use when searching for products. Incorporating these in your content increases your visibility and organic ranking in search results.

Before you can know the keywords your audience searches, understand your audiences by answering questions like: 

  • Who are they? 
  • What are their demographics? 
  • What are their interests and pain points? 

Then use these answers to create a buyer's persona. Say your e-commerce website sells clothes. You can have a persona like Maria Di (See below). Maria is a student that wants comfortable, unique, and affordable clothes.

So, when searching, she’s likely to input search queries like affordable summer wear for students, comfortable clothes, etc.

Keyword research tools like SemRush, Keyword Planner, and Ahrefs can also help with top keyword ideas. Simply input the keyword that defines your offerings (seed keyword) into the search bar, and you’ll find several keywords to target. 

See an example below for “yoga mats.” 

Note: keywords with high volume and low KD (keyword difficulty) or competition are a sweet spot, especially for newer websites. 

Spying on competitor keywords can also give you valuable insights into what your audiences are looking for. 

But there’s more. Amazon also has an auto-complete feature that gives several keyword suggestions around your keywords:  

The best thing is that Amazon keyword recommendations are long tail keywords, which should always be your focus:

Long-tail keywords help you target a more focused audience, capturing visitors who are ready to make a purchase. For example, instead of "running shoes," use "women's lightweight trail running shoes." This specificity helps you attract users actively seeking what you offer, boosting conversions.

2. On-Page optimization for e-commerce

On-page optimization involves optimizing various elements within your website to improve its user experience. Remember, Google uses user experience signals as a ranking factor. 

Let’s start with your product pages. First, use relevant target keywords in your product titles, meta descriptions, and meta tags. But be careful of keyword stuffing. Yoast SEO recommends keeping the keyword density within 0.3 to 3%. 

Further, make sure your product description and copy highlights your product’s key features and benefits. Ideally, this should be at least 300 words. 

Next, keep your URL clear, and concise with relevant keywords. For example, instead of "www.example.com/product12345," use "www.example.com/womens-lightweight-running-shoes." This accessibility matters to Google. Also, it’s best to keep your URL around 50 to 60 characters. 

Moreover, organize your site architecture logically, creating product categories and subcategories that align with your offerings. Here’s an illustration to guide your site architecture planning:

You can also implement breadcrumb navigation in your architecture. This feature displays the hierarchical path leading to the current page (see below). It enhances user experience and helps search engines understand your website organization better.

Internal links are also an essential part of your architecture. Use them to connect relevant pages within your website. For example, on a product page for women's running shoes, you can include internal linking to related products, such as socks or sportswear. This improves navigation and user engagement while helping search engines discover and index your pages better.

Additionally, strategically link to important category and subcategory pages from your homepage or navigation menu. This distributes authority and signals the importance of these pages to search engines.

Don’t forget your product images. Compress and reduce the file sizes to improve page load times, which is crucial for SEO. You should also include descriptive file names and alt tags for each image. Instead of generic terms like "IMG_12345," use descriptive words (containing your keyword) like "women's-lightweight-running-shoes-red." This increases your chances of appearing on Google image searches. 

Google prioritizes fast sites. So, pay attention to your website load speed. To improve your page load times, go to Google PageSpeed Insights, insert your URL, and you’ll find suggestions on improving your page speed. 

Finally, implement a responsive design that adapts to different devices and screen sizes. This responsive design improves the mobile device user experience, considering that mobile e-commerce continues to grow rapidly. 

3. Technical SEO for e-commerce 

Optimizing the technical elements of your website ensures that search engines can properly crawl, index, and understand it. 

To start, create and submit an XML sitemap for your website. This file lists all your pages, helping search engines navigate and index your content. You can use tools like Yoast or Google XML Sitemaps to automatically generate and update the sitemap as your website evolves:

Once created, submit the XML sitemap to Google through Search Console:

Besides, add a robot.txt file to your website's root directory. This file guides the crawler on which pages or directories to crawl and index while excluding sensitive pages like the admin page. You can also prevent the crawler from accessing non-authority pages such as archive or confirmation pages, which can impact your online ranking:

Duplicate content in e-commerce websites can dilute the SEO value and lead to lower rankings. To address this issue, generative AI can be employed to create unique and high-quality product descriptions for each page. By using generative AI algorithms, you can generate custom descriptions that are tailored to each product, ensuring that no duplicate content exists across multiple pages. Suppose you have multiple pages with the same content. Use canonical tags to specify the page you want the search engine to rank for the content. Simply insert the tag in the HTML source code of non-preferred pages, specifying the preferred URL. Here’s an example:

<link rel="canonical" href="https://www.example.com/preferred-page">

Additionally, implement structured data markup or schema markup on your web page. This code provides additional context about your webpage content, thus helping search engines understand it better. 

Schema markup can also make rich snippets appear in your search result, showcasing additional information like product ratings, prices, availability, and reviews. This helps you stand out from competing results:

Some of the structured data to add on your e-commerce website include: 

Organization schema:

Breadcrumb schema: 


Product schema:

Availability schema: 

You can follow the instructions on Google Structured Data Markup Helper SEO tool to implement this data. 

Moreover, 404 errors occur when a visitor attempts to access a page that no longer exists or has been moved. These errors can negatively impact user experience and harm your SEO efforts. 

To handle 404 errors, create custom error pages that provide helpful information and options to navigate to other pages on your e-commerce website:

Also, regularly monitor your website for broken links using tools like Google Search Console. When you find broken links, redirect them to relevant pages using 301 redirects. This seamlessly guides your visitors to the correct content, thus, improving their experience and preserving e-commerce SEO value. 

4. E-commerce website content strategy 

Content is king when it comes to e-commerce SEO. In essence, your content's quality and relevance can significantly affect your ranking.

First, avoid using a generic, cookie-cutter copy for your product page description. Instead, invest time in crafting unique and keyword-rich narratives for each product. Highlight key features and benefits: 

E-commerce stores can also borrow something from SaaS companies - blogging. Blogging is one of the most effective SaaS marketing strategies for two major reasons. First, it helps these brands educate their audiences. Second, it supports their SEO efforts. After all, with a blog, it’s easier to target specific keywords.

This is a strategy Printful follows: 

Writing FAQs can also contribute to your e-commerce SEO efforts. 

Last, remember that Google always wants to display the most credible result to searchers. So, adding trust signals like user-generated content and customer reviews can increase your chances of ranking higher. 

5. Off-page SEO for e-commerce 

When other reputable websites link to your e-commerce site, it signifies to search engines that your content is valuable and worth promoting. As a result, search engines are more likely to rank your website higher in search results, making it more visible to potential customers. 

But how can you build your backlink profile? First, leverage expired domains. Use platforms like GoDaddy or Flippa to find expired domains that used to offer something similar to yours. Let’s use mytable.com, for instance:

Then, use a tool like Ahrefs to find websites that used to link to these domains: 

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Reach out to the editors or managers of those websites, informing them about the outdated link and why they should link to you. 

Guest posting is another strategy to consider. Find reputable websites and blogs in your industry that accept guest posts. Search for the keyword your niche + “guest post guidelines” to find these websites. 

Then, write high-quality content for their readers. Include a relevant link back to your e-commerce site within the author bio or content. 

Besides link building, guest posting also helps position you as an industry expert. So, it’s really important you do this even when you’re just at that stage you’re starting a business. You want to start building your authority from the get-go.

6. E-commerce SEO analytics and tracking

SEO analytics helps you determine whether your strategies are working or not. If not, you can return to the drawing board and double down on your tactics. 

You’d typically find most of the necessary metrics on Google Analytics. So, make sure you set up one for your website. There’s also a new iteration of Google Analytics, Google Analytics 4, you can use. This version comes with predictive analytics. Thus, you can easily anticipate user actions and optimize your SEO strategy accordingly. 

That said, some of the key metrics to consider include: 

  • Organic traffic 
  • Bounce rate 
  • Average session duration 
  • Conversion rate 
  • Page load time 

For each metric, always set specific goals. This could be increasing organic traffic by a certain percentage within a specific period.  

Keep analyzing your SEO performance and make data-driven decisions. Say you notice that certain landing pages have a higher bounce rate. Identify the potential issues with those pages. It could be due to slow loading times, poor design, or an unclear call-to-action. Armed with this information, optimize these landing pages to improve user engagement and conversion rates

In closing

E-commerce SEO is a cost-effective way to boost your visibility, drive organic traffic, and increase conversions. But you have to put in the work to see the results. 

Begin by conducting extensive keyword research and doing your on-page optimization. Also, don’t forget technical SEO. 

Content is king in SEO. So, create a scalable e-commerce content and off-page SEO strategy. Finally, track your metrics to know how you’re faring. 

Follow these tips and you’ll reap the best SEO results!

E-Commerce and Retail

Austin Andrukaitis is the CEO of ChamberofCommerce.com. He's an experienced digital marketing strategist with many years of experience in creating successful online campaigns.

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