E-commerce Web optimization: The Newbie’s Information

  • December 31, 2022
  • elkenz
  • 17 min read

E-commerce Web optimization is about understanding how individuals seek for what you promote, then creating and optimizing pages to rank for these phrases.

That will sound straightforward sufficient, however avoiding technical points alongside the best way is a problem. 

This information teaches you learn how to navigate the e-commerce Web optimization minefield to drive extra free site visitors to your on-line retailer.

Technical Web optimization could appear essentially the most daunting start line, however it’s essential for e-commerce websites. That’s primarily due to points referring to faceted navigation, however there are additionally a couple of issues to bear in mind. Let’s undergo them.


HTTPS is a safe protocol for transferring knowledge between web sites and guests. It prevents hackers from stealing delicate data that guests generally share with on-line shops, akin to their identify, tackle, and bank card particulars.

It’s additionally been a minor Google rating issue since 2014.

You’ll know in case your retailer makes use of HTTPS as a result of it’ll have a “lock” icon within the tackle bar:

Example of an HTTPS site

Hottest e-commerce platforms use HTTPS out of the field, so it shouldn’t be a priority for most individuals. However whether it is, be sure that to repair it.

Study extra: What Is HTTPS? The whole lot You Must Know

Website construction

Website construction is how your web site’s pages are organized and interlinked. 

Most e-commerce shops manage their pages roughly like this: 

How to structure e-commerce sites

Listed here are two causes this construction makes sense:

  1. It’s straightforward to navigate Guests can discover what they’re in search of in just some clicks.
  2. It helps Google discover your pages – Google can “comply with” inner hyperlinks from web page to web page.

Generally, it’s straightforward sufficient to create your major class pages. Simply make them the principle stuff you promote. 

For instance, in the event you promote audio tools, they could be headphones, audio system, and turntables

Your subcategory pages are the place you possibly can goal key phrases individuals are looking for, akin to “wired headphones” and “wi-fi headphones.” You’ll learn to discover these key phrases within the subsequent chapter. 

Study extra: Web site Construction: The right way to Construct Your Web optimization Basis

Faceted navigation

Faceted navigation permits guests to filter the merchandise on class and subcategory pages. 

Right here’s what it seems like: 

Faceted navigation example

Regardless of its usefulness for guests, it might probably trigger critical Web optimization points as a result of filter combos usually create new parameterized URLs.

For instance, in the event you filter for purple Sony wired headphones, it might create a URL like this:


Even in the event you solely have a handful of filters, there will be 1000’s of combos. Which means 1000’s of recent URLs that Google can find yourself crawling and doubtlessly indexing.

That isn’t good as a result of it can: 

  1. Weaken necessary pages’ capacity to rank Filter combos can usually result in the creation of a number of URLs with the identical content material. Until Google realizes this (which doesn’t all the time occur), rating indicators will get break up between the duplicate pages.
  2. Stop Google from crawling necessary pages Google will solely dedicate finite assets to crawling your web site. If it has to crawl a load of junk, it might not have the assets to crawl all necessary pages. 

There are numerous options to those points. For freshmen and intermediates, the best choice is often to canonicalize faceted URLs to their grasp class or subcategory.

Some e-commerce Web optimization platforms do that out of the field. Test if that is so in your web site by putting in Ahrefs’ Web optimization Toolbar, visiting a couple of faceted URLs, and checking the “Indexability” tab. If the canonical URL is non-faceted, likelihood is this isn’t a problem in your web site.

Checking Indexability issues with Ahrefs' SEO Toolbar

Study extra: Faceted Navigation: Definition, Examples & Web optimization Finest Practices

Chapter 2. Key phrase analysis

Key phrase analysis helps you perceive how individuals seek for what you promote. You should utilize this data to create subcategories and product pages that cater to go looking demand. Let’s take a look at learn how to do this.

Discovering subcategory key phrases

Subcategory pages present the forms of merchandise you promote in a class. 

For instance, a headphones class might have subcategories like wired and wi-fi.

You in all probability already know some subcategories that make sense in your retailer. However as individuals search in some ways, it’s helpful for Web optimization to create subcategories that align with these phrases.

Right here’s learn how to discover concepts for subcategories in Ahrefs’ Key phrases Explorer:

  1. Enter a couple of broad key phrases associated to your class
  2. Go to the Matching phrases report
  3. Search for the forms of stuff you promote

Listed here are a couple of concepts for headphones subcategories: 

Subcategory ideas for a headphones e-commerce store

Word that this isn’t all about search volumes. It is best to use widespread sense and select phrases that make sense as subcategories. 

For instance, “audio technica open ear headphones” gained’t be an acceptable subcategory as a result of it’s too particular. The identical is true for “bone conduction headphones” except you promote greater than a few pairs.

Right here’s a fast cheat sheet for selecting subcategories for Web optimization:

How to choose e-commerce subcategories for SEO


Usually talking, you shouldn’t select greater than a handful of subcategories. It makes your navigation messy and convoluted. Three to 10 is sufficient for many shops.

Repeat the method for different classes.

Discovering product web page key phrases

Product key phrase analysis isn’t actually a factor in the event you promote branded merchandise, as individuals will seek for the merchandise themselves. 

For instance, there are an estimated 857K month-to-month searches within the U.S. for “airpods professional”:

Estimated U.S. monthly search volume for "airpods pro"

Should you promote these headphones, your product web page already targets that key phrase.

Nonetheless, in the event you’re promoting unbranded merchandise or merchandise from unknown names, it’s possible you’ll need to discover and goal extra descriptive phrases that individuals seek for.

For instance, let’s say you promote a pair of cat ear headphones. Until individuals are particularly looking for the model or mannequin, it might be higher to focus on a related key phrase that individuals really seek for, akin to “cat ear headphones.”

Estimated U.S. monthly search volume for "cat ear headphones"


Maintain search intent in thoughts when doing this. If the highest search outcomes for a key phrase are all e-commerce class pages, this will likely point out that searchers need selection. Through which case, it might be higher to focus on the key phrase with a subcategory web page or faceted URL (extra on these later). 

On-page Web optimization is the method of optimizing the content material in your web page. It consists of optimizations to the content material you see and code underneath the hood. Let’s undergo a couple of concerns and optimizations for e-commerce websites.

Title tags, meta descriptions, and H1s

Most e-commerce shops use templates for his or her title tags and meta descriptions.

Right here’s an instance:

Example of templated title tags and meta descriptions

Utilizing a templated method is smart as a result of writing distinctive copy for 1000’s of product and class pages is no one’s thought of enjoyable. Sadly, it might probably result in stale, duplicate copy that doesn’t entice clicks.

You’ll be able to resolve this with a hybrid method the place you employ templates for many pages however distinctive ones for these with essentially the most search site visitors.

Right here’s learn how to discover pages with essentially the most search site visitors in Google Search Console (GSC):

  1. Go to the Search outcomes report
  2. Choose the “Pages” tab
How to find top pages in Google Search Console

Should you don’t use GSC, you may get a free estimate in Ahrefs’ Website Audit with an Ahrefs Webmaster Instruments account.

  1. Choose your undertaking in Website Audit
  2. Go to the Web page Explorer
  3. Filter for Inner pages
  4. Type by natural site visitors from highest to lowest
How to find top pages in Ahrefs' Site Audit

For H1s, it’s easy—simply use the class or product identify. 

Example H1 on e-commerce category page


URLs ought to be as easy and clear as doable. 

Right here’s a easy template that works for class and subcategory pages:


For instance, listed here are a couple of classes and subcategories for our audio retailer that comply with this template:


Issues are somewhat extra difficult with regards to merchandise as a result of the plain construction will probably be this: 


Nonetheless, as merchandise usually fall into a number of classes, this may result in duplicate content material. In different phrases, the identical product being accessible at numerous URLs. 

For instance, AirPods are each wi-fi and in-ear headphones, in order that they’ll find yourself with two URLs:


You’ll be able to resolve this drawback through the use of this template for product URLs:


Study extra: The right way to Create Web optimization-Pleasant URLs

Product and class descriptions

Product and class pages usually have little to no content material. That isn’t essentially dangerous, however including distinctive descriptions may also help Google and guests higher perceive the web page.

Listed here are a couple of suggestions for doing this:

  • Maintain them quick and candy
  • Be sure that they’re descriptive and useful
  • Point out long-tail key phrases

To search out long-tail variations and synonyms, plug a competing product or class web page in your major goal key phrase into Ahrefs’ Website Explorer and test the highest 10 rankings within the Natural key phrases report. 

Long-tail keywords for "wireless headphones"

For instance, listed here are a couple of notable key phrases one of many top-ranking pages for “wi-fi headphones” additionally ranks for:

  • bluetooth headphones
  • wi-fi earphones
  • bluetooth earbuds 

Will probably be straightforward and pure to say these phrases within the web page’s description. 

Hyperlink constructing for e-commerce shops is difficult as a result of there’s often no worth for another person to hyperlink to a product or class web page. Nonetheless, there are a couple of tried and examined strategies. You can even use different strategies to get hyperlinks to your homepage. Let’s go over a couple of techniques. 

Product suggestions method

If in case you have merchandise that solely you promote, the product suggestions method may also help you get featured on lists of the perfect merchandise in that class. 

Right here’s the method:

  1. Discover fashionable lists of the perfect merchandise
  2. Supply the writer your product in return for suggestions
  3. Ask them to think about together with it on their checklist (in the event that they just like the product)

Given that the majority authors will hyperlink to the merchandise they function, it is a easy option to construct hyperlinks on to product pages.

To search out lists of the perfect merchandise that don’t point out yours, search Google for greatest [product category] -brandname.

Searching Google for product listicles that exclude a particular brand

Alternatively, run an “In title” search in Ahrefs’ Content material Explorer for a similar factor and filter for pages with site visitors to search out fashionable lists.

Searching Ahrefs' Content Explorer for popular product listicles

For instance, right here’s an inventory of the perfect good audio system that don’t point out any Sonos audio system:

Example product listicle

If Sonos needed to construct extra hyperlinks to considered one of its good speaker product pages, it may provide to ship the product to the writer totally free in return for suggestions. If the writer loves it, Sonos can ask the writer in the event that they’ll think about that includes it of their publish.


By no means explicitly provide to ship authors your product in alternate for a hyperlink. It may result in a penalty as a result of Google sees “exchanging items or providers for hyperlinks” as a hyperlink scheme. 

Unlinked mentions in opinions

Unlinked mentions are on-line mentions of your merchandise or model and not using a hyperlink to your web site. 

They will occur for all types of causes. Nonetheless, they’re usually tough to show into hyperlinks as a result of there’s hardly ever an apparent or compelling pitch angle. 

For instance, right here’s an unlinked point out for Audio-Technica:

Unlinked mention for Audio-Technica

Sadly, on this case, there’s no compelling pitch angle. That’s as a result of the unlinked point out is in an article a few band promoting gear to fund music training and there aren’t any hyperlinks to different talked about manufacturers. 

Nonetheless, if somebody opinions your product and doesn’t hyperlink to you, asking them to hyperlink to the official product web page so readers can study extra in regards to the product is a logical and at the very least considerably compelling angle. 

Right here’s learn how to discover product opinions with unlinked mentions utilizing Content material Explorer:

  1. Enter “your model identify” + overview
  2. Change the search mode to “In title”
  3. Paste your area into the “Spotlight unlinked” filter
  4. Click on export, test the “Solely pages with highlighted domains” field, and export the outcomes

The ensuing CSV file will checklist product opinions that don’t hyperlink to your web site. 

Exported unlinked mentions from Ahrefs' Content Explorer

Even when only some reviewers add the hyperlink, that’s a couple of straightforward hyperlinks to product pages. 


HARO (Assist a Reporter Out) is a service that connects journalists and bloggers with sources. 

Should you enroll as a supply (free), HARO sends you each day emails with requests like this: 

Example HARO request

On this case, the blogger desires suggestions for the perfect workplace headphones.

If we plug their web site (Welp Journal) into Website Explorer, we see that it’s a DR 59 web site with loads of natural site visitors. So it’s definitely price pursuing the hyperlink.

Domain Rating (DR) for Welp Magazine, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

Even higher, we all know the blogger will hyperlink to these they function as a result of their request says this: 

Example requirements for HARO request

Lengthy story quick, we may in all probability get a hyperlink from this web site by sending our suggestion to the blogger together with the opposite particulars they need. 

Chapter 5. Superior e-commerce Web optimization suggestions

The whole lot above will get you off on the fitting foot with e-commerce Web optimization. However there are different issues you are able to do to draw much more search site visitors and gross sales. Let’s undergo a few of them.

Index faceted URLs with search demand

Individuals seek for merchandise in some ways, so that you in all probability got here throughout phrases throughout key phrase analysis that didn’t make sense for subcategories. However you probably have faceted navigation in your retailer, you probably have already got parameterized URLs focusing on many of those phrases.

For instance, there are an estimated 200 month-to-month searches for “jabra over ear headphones” within the U.S.:

Estimated U.S. monthly search volume for "jabra over ear headphones"

Should you promote these merchandise and let guests filter for them utilizing faceted navigation, they’ll in all probability find yourself at a URL like this:


Since most e-commerce shops canonicalize faceted URLs to a grasp class or subcategory, this URL in all probability isn’t indexable. Nonetheless, you possibly can repair that by altering the canonical to a self-referencing one.

Should you do that for all faceted URLs with search demand, you usually entice extra search site visitors with out creating any new content material.

Right here’s a cheat sheet from Aleyda Solis that can assist you determine which of them to index:

How to choose which faceted URLs to index


Some e-commerce platforms make selectively indexing faceted URLs simpler than others. Should you’re planning to do that and lack technical experience, we extremely suggest hiring a educated Web optimization and developer to assist.


Should you discover individuals looking for product attributes you don’t presently have filters for, think about including them.

For instance, there are various searches for headphones appropriate with numerous units:

Examples of popular product attributes

You’ll be able to simply add a “Suitable with” set of filters and index related faceted URLs to draw search site visitors from these phrases. 

Create product-led content material for search

Product-led content material helps readers resolve their issues utilizing merchandise you promote. Creating this content material round key phrases individuals are looking for can entice extra potential clients from natural search.

For instance, this weblog publish about fixing headphones that solely work in a single ear will get an estimated 12.8K month-to-month search visits:

Estimated monthly organic traffic to a post about fixing headphones that only work in one ear

It explains learn how to repair widespread points earlier than recommending new, sturdy headphones for readers who didn’t handle to get issues working.

Recommendations for new headphones in a post about fixing headphones

On this case, the location recommends merchandise on Amazon. However there’s no purpose you possibly can’t suggest and hyperlink to your product pages in these articles.

To get began, you’ll have to do a bit extra key phrase analysis to search out what individuals seek for. 

Right here’s the method:

  1. Enter a couple of merchandise you promote into Key phrases Explorer
  2. Go to the Matching phrases report
  3. Toggle the “Questions” tab
Questions people are asking about headphones

Search for key phrases referring to issues that your merchandise assist to resolve.

For instance, key phrases like “learn how to clear headphones” don’t work as a result of the searcher isn’t out there for brand new headphones. However key phrases like “learn how to repair damaged headphones” may work as a result of most headphones aren’t simply fixable—so a brand new pair is likely to be the perfect answer. 

Study extra: Product-Led Content material: What It Is, Why Use It, and The right way to Get Began 

Add schema markup to product pages

Schema markup is code that helps engines like google higher perceive and showcase your pages within the search outcomes. Including it to product pages may also help them win wealthy snippets like this: 

Rich snippets example

Right here’s what the schema markup may seem like for a web page promoting AirPods Professional:

<script kind="utility/ld+json">

  "@context": "https://schema.org/", 
  "@kind": "Product", 
  "identify": "AirPods Professional",
  "picture": "",
    "@kind": "Model",
    "identify": "Apple"
    "@kind": "Supply",
    "url": "",
    "priceCurrency": "USD",
    "value": "249",
    "availability": "https://schema.org/InStock",
    "itemCondition": "https://schema.org/NewCondition"
    "@kind": "AggregateRating",
    "ratingValue": "4.9"


It tells Google the product’s identify, model, value, overview score, and if it’s in inventory.

There are many free schema markup turbines like this one, so that you don’t have to jot down the code by hand. Some e-commerce platforms even have the choice so as to add schema markup constructed in. 

Study extra: What Is Schema Markup? The right way to Use It for Web optimization

Carry on high of technical points

A strong technical basis helps you keep away from widespread points that always plague e-commerce shops. However technical Web optimization isn’t a one-time factor. New issues will come up over time.

That’s why monitoring your technical Web optimization well being and fixing points as they pop up are important.

Utilizing Website Audit with an Ahrefs Webmaster Instruments account, you are able to do this totally free. It screens for 100+ widespread Web optimization points, together with these you usually see on e-commerce websites like duplicate content material, canonicalization points, and orphan pages.

Duplicate content issues in Ahrefs' Site Audit

You’ll be able to schedule each day, weekly, or month-to-month crawls to remain on high of points.

Continue learning

E-commerce Web optimization is way from easy. Getting the fundamentals proper is simple sufficient, however catering to go looking demand whereas avoiding widespread technical points is commonly extra difficult than it’s possible you’ll suppose. 

Listed here are a couple of useful assets to study extra about these points:

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