e-Commerce SEO Trends Merchants Need to Know in 2020

Did you know Google makes more than 3,200 algorithm changes per year? No wonder it’s so hard to keep up with SEO when you’re running an online business.

To succeed in the search engines, be thinking about these four e-commerce SEO trends:

  1. Increase page load speed
  2. Add videos to your product pages
  3. Optimize for question keywords and voice search
  4. Leverage local SEO

Let’s explore these trends in more detail.

1. Increase Load Speed

When shopping online, consumers don’t want to waste time waiting for websites to load. More than 50% of a site’s visitors spend under 15 seconds on a site, and 29% of smartphone users will abandon a site if it loads too slowly. Research suggests that the ideal loading time for a website is less than 2 seconds. Not much time for you to win over a potential customer!

Making things even more challenging, in July 2018, Google announced that load speed would be considered an important ranking factor for websites, with slow-loading content performing less well for shoppers conducting searches.

What e-Commerce Merchants Can Do

Accelerated Mobile Pages can help you build web pages that will quickly load on mobile devices and help improve rankings. By removing JavaScript from a page and prioritizing text-based content, AMP can improve the user experience and improve search rankings.

Other ways you can speed up your mobile site’s performance and improve search results is by minimizing redirects, optimizing image size and minimizing website code.

Leveraging Google Analytics for e-ommerce SEO can help you understand which pages need improvement.

2. Add Videos to Product Pages

Online videos aren’t just for TikTok, Instagram and YouTube anymore. With people viewing more than 6 billion hours of video monthly, videos are a great way to tell your story. Even better, videos can help you improve engagement metrics like bounce rate, time on page and time on site.

This is important for several reasons. First, better engagement can lead to higher conversions. Second, from an e-commerce SEO perspective, engagement can be a factor in search engine ranking. Google rewards pages that have high engagement rates, since it’s an indicator that the content on a page is high quality. Google also rewards pages with a mix of content type – including text, images, and videos.

What e-Commerce Merchants Can Do

Because Google prefers to rank websites featuring videos — and because videos can also boost local SEO — look for opportunities to use visuals, sound and movement to communicate everything a customer needs to know.

But don’t forget to optimize your videos for search. This means including relevant keywords into the video’s meta tags and even uploading a transcript of the video that includes top keywords.

3. Optimize for Question Keywords and Voice Search

Amazon Alexa. Google Assistant. Siri. Consumers today can rely on virtual help with nothing more than a voice command to turn on lights, start appliances and even shop online. With voice search becoming increasingly popular — there were 1 billion voice searches monthly as of January 2018. By the end of 2020, it’s predicted that 30% of all website sessions will be conducted via voice-only searches, with consumers browsing the web by speaking into a device instead of typing their query.

Voice search SEO is quite different from traditional e-commerce SEO. It’s critical to understand how voice search changes the rules of the SEO game and how you can keep up.

What e-Commerce Merchants Can Do

To improve the odds of your site being ranked for voice search queries, think about optimizing your content for voice search and question keywords. Think about the questions your customers are likely to ask Alexa or Siri, and proactively create content that provides answers, including FAQs, videos and images.

Also look for opportunities to use long-tail keywords that consist of several highly specific, targeted words. Sites like Answer the Public and TubeBuddy can show you what questions consumers are asking and searching for in order to help identify the keywords to integrate into website content and video titles.

4. Leverage Local SEO

When e-commerce businesses are looking to grow locally, one of the first things to do is find ways to gain visibility in the targeted location(s).

Even if you’re running an online business, it’s important to realize that Google displays results based on relevance, distance and prominence. If you have both an online presence and a brick-and-mortar location, you can benefit from adding local SEO to your website and even taking advantage of your Google My Business page to serve as a second home page that comes up higher on search results.

What e-Commerce Merchants Can Do

Creating a robust Google My Business page — complete with ample positive reviews, photos and business information — that’s keyword optimized will help your business stand out from the crowd. To help boost local search performance, make sure your web content mentions proximity to local landmarks and press mentions.

Consumers often use phrases like “near me” or “nearby” for local searches, or they might use keywords specific to the neighbourhood, city, zip code, etc., they’re in when conducting voice searches. Therefore, include these terms in title tags, meta descriptions and internal links.

Utilizing tools such as Yext to take control of your local SEO will help you manage various reputation management platforms and can make managing your online reviews and key business information much easier and more efficient.

While SEO remains an important way to attract customers and win business, it’s by no means the only trend merchants need to implement. ClearSale’s popular E-Commerce Technology Trends identifies the emerging technologies we think will be important to retailers in the year ahead, and we also share great examples of online retailers who are leveraging these trends well. After you read it, if you’re ready to integrate these strategies into your sales efforts, just contact us. We’re ready to help.

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