E-commerce SEO: A Beginner’s Guide

In marketing, visibility is power. Consequently, in digital marketing, SEO gives power to your website. Do not let anyone tell you otherwise. After you have built your online shop according to your preferences and specifications, do not expect an outburst of traffic through its web pages automatically. You will have to do the work to make that happen. That is why you need to learn about eCommerce SEO.

What is eCommerce SEO?

E-commerce SEO, or Search Engine Optimization for E-commerce, is the practice of optimizing online stores and product pages to improve their visibility in search engine results.

The goal is to increase organic (non-paid) traffic to the e-commerce website, enhance the site’s ranking on search engine result pages, and ultimately drive more sales. 

In plain English, eCommerce SEO is what you do on your website so that it can rank high in search engines such as Google, Bing, and so on. It is the series of actions you take to generate more organic traffic to your online store.

In Ghana, several businesses have the practice of using radio and TV adverts to promote their websites. But, my stance is that traditional means of marketing (e.g., radio, TV, newspaper, billboard, etc) should be used to reach target audiences who do not have the habit of buying on the internet. 

Therefore, I posit that if you are promoting an online shop, it is best to prioritize digital marketing channels (SEO, social media marketing, email marketing, etc). 

The reason why e-commerce shops should engage in SEO is that when your website or parts of it (e.g., your product pages) have good SEO scores, it will probably appear at the top of search engine results pages. 

Now, when most people do a Google search, they usually click on the first three websites that appear in the list. Imagine your website among these top 3. That would mean more traffic. But if it is not found among these top 3, you will not enjoy much traffic.

Let me use an illustration. Let’s say you have a website that sells skincare. When people search for say “facial cleanser” and the Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser product on your website appears at the top of the search results, the likelihood that the searchers will click the link, see the product on your website, and make a purchase is higher than when they do not see your product appear on the search results. 

SEO is crucial for the survival of your eCommerce shop. Hence, I recommend every ecommerce shop to have an SEO manager. If you cannot afford one, don’t worry in the next section I will show you how to do eCommerce SEO. 

If you need assistance with search engine optimization, you can have a look at our SEO packages by clicking here

How To Do an eCommerce SEO

Step 1: Keyword Research

The first step is to conduct a keyword research. Keywords are the words or phrases people enter into Google search. You need to make a list of keywords that are related to your eCommerce niche.

Step 2: Create Content Pillars

Content pillars are thematic areas you will be creating. The second step is to group the keywords you listed in Step 1 into clusters. These clusters are your content pillars. Each content pillar can have sub-pillars under it.

For example, the skincare eCommerce shop can have the following content pillars: Ingredient education, skincare basics, skincare routine, and skincare concerns. 

Step 3: Site Architecture

Every house has a plan drawn by an architect. The same goes for websites. 

For instance, when you visit a physical supermarket, you notice the products are arranged such that you easily know where to find the detergents and where to find the sardines. It is because they are grouped according to their categories.

Your eCommerce store’s architecture involves how the products are grouped according to their categories and sub-categories. 

This facilitates user navigation, enhances search engine crawling and indexing, and ultimately improves the overall performance of your online store

Step 4: Content Creation

This is where you use Steps 1 and 2 above to create content. Content refers to product descriptions and blog articles.

Therefore, you write blog articles based on the content pillars. The advantages of an eCommerce store having a blog are that:

  • It helps you rank for more keywords increasing your potential traffic
  • It positions you as a thought leader in your niche.
  • It helps you to consistently produce fresh content on your eCommerce shop. Google loves fresh content.

Moreover, you make sure the keywords you found in your keyword research are used strategically in the product descriptions.

For example, the skincare eCommerce shop can write a blog article on “double cleansing”. This will fall under the “Skincare routines” content pillar. This blog article will then link to the “Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser” product. Moreover, the product description of the “Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser” can have the keyword “double cleansing” keyword in it.

The biggest problems I see on many eCommerce websites, even popular ones, are duplicate content and scanty content. Duplicate content is when they copy and paste the same product description from another website into theirs. Scanty content is when there is not much content on the website. Either the e-commerce shop doesn’t have a blog and/or most of the products do not have detailed product descriptions.  

Step 5: Technical SEO

There are three aspects of SEO: Technical SEO, On-page SEO, and Off-page SEO. 

Technical SEO for an e-commerce shop involves optimizing the website’s technical elements to enhance its visibility and performance in search engine results.

It includes

  • Optimizing images, using CDNs, and employing other techniques to make the website run faster.
  • Creating and submitting an XML sitemap to Google Search Console and other search engines to help them understand the structure of your e-commerce site.
  • Creating clear and descriptive URLs that include relevant keywords, makes it easier for both users and search engines to understand the page’s content.
  • Securing the site with HTTPS to protect user data and gain a potential SEO boost, as Google tends to favour secure websites
  • Ensuring your e-commerce site is designed to be responsive, providing a positive user experience on both desktop and mobile devices.

Step 6: On-page SEO

On-page SEO for an e-commerce shop involves optimizing individual pages (e.g., product categories and product pages) within the website to improve their visibility in search engine results. 

Key aspects of on-page SEO for an e-commerce shop include:

  • Strategically placing relevant keywords in product titles, descriptions, and meta tags to align with user search queries.
  • Writing compelling and unique meta titles and meta descriptions for each product page to entice clicks from search engine users.
  • Creating unique and compelling product descriptions that provide valuable information, address customer concerns, and incorporate target keywords.
  • Utilizing header tags to structure content, making it more readable for both users and search engines, and incorporating relevant keywords.
  • Implementing strategic internal links between related products or categories to improve navigation, distribute link equity, and help search engines understand the site’s structure.
  • Encouraging and showcasing customer reviews and ratings on product pages can contribute to higher search visibility and build trust with potential buyers.
  • Using optimized images and optimizing their file names and alt text with descriptive keywords to enhance search engine understanding.

When you are using a WordPress website, installing and using plugins such as Yoast SEO, AIOSEO, Rank Math, and so on, will help you do On-Page SEO without stress.

Step 7: Off-page SEO

Off-page SEO for an e-commerce shop refers to the activities and strategies implemented outside the website to improve its visibility, authority, and reputation in search engine results. 

Unlike on-page SEO, which involves optimizing elements on the website itself, off-page SEO focuses on external factors that contribute to the site’s overall online presence. 

Key elements of off-page SEO for an e-commerce shop include:

  • Acquiring high-quality and relevant backlinks from other reputable websites to boost the e-commerce site’s authority and credibility in the eyes of search engines.
  • Utilizing social media platforms to promote products, engage with the audience, and generate social signals that may influence search engine rankings.
  • Collaborating with influencers or industry experts to promote products, create brand awareness, and potentially gain backlinks and social mentions.


Mastering the art of eCommerce SEO is not a choice but a necessity for Ghanaian businesses aiming to thrive in the digital landscape. As you embark on this journey armed with newfound knowledge, remember that the key to sustained success lies in the continuous adaptation and refinement of your SEO strategies to stay ahead in the ever-evolving online marketplace.

If you need assistance with search engine optimization, you can have a look at our SEO packages by clicking here

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