What if we told you web developers and designers directly impact the discoverability (also known as search engine optimization or SEO) of an e-commerce WordPress website? 

In this guide, we dive into why developers and designers are key players in knocking WordPress SEO out of the park. And yes, it goes beyond just creating visually stunning sites.

Let’s dive in. 

Technical SEO

SEO is a broad umbrella term. So, let’s break it down into each component, starting with the technical aspects. 

Website Speed and Performance

If your e-commerce WordPress website fails to load on time, visitors will likely get frustrated and leave. Chances are that they won’t return to your e-commerce website again. Scary, right? Here’s what you can do:

  • Run performance tests to analyze your website’s speed with tools like Website Grader or Google’s PageSpeed Insights Tool
  • Compress your image size with an image compressor tool like TinyPNG
  • Reduce CSS and Javascript file sizes

Mobile Optimization

Most users (about three-quarters of Americans) use mobile phones to access mobile phones for shopping online.

About Three-Quarters Of Americans Report Buying Things Online Using A Smartphone, But That Share Is Even Higher Among Adults Under 50
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So, you need to create an engaging mobile experience for them. Here’s how:

  • Implement the lazy-loading script to your images and videos
  • Use the WP Rocket plugin to implement mobile cache
  • Optimize images for mobile and desktop differently
  • Use a responsive WordPress theme

Schema Markup and Structured Data

When you implement schema markup, it enhances how search engines understand and present your content. 

When search engines can understand your website, you have a better chance of appearing at the top of the search engine results pages (SERPs). 

An e-commerce WordPress website must have the following structured data markups:

  • Organization schema: It provides information about your company — company name, logo, address, phone number, and social media profiles
  • Website schema: It allows users to directly search for the product on SERP
  • Breadcrumblist: It provides information about site architecture to search engines and potential customers
  • Item list: It showcases a full range of your products without breaking Google’s guidelines
  • Product schema: It allows you to add unique product attributes to your product listings to appear as rich results on SERP. These attributes include price, reviews, ratings, offers, product descriptions, awards, etc.
Visually Rich Presentation Of Products For Sale
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On-Page SEO

With the technical details out of the way, let’s review the SEO strategies you need to apply on each web page. 

Keyword Research and Optimization

Keyword research is the heart and soul of SEO. These keywords align with the search intent of your potential visitors. 

To conduct keyword research, identify the keyword intent of your target audience by analyzing tools like Google’s Autocomplete or the People Also section.

Screenshot Of A Google Search For Red Basketball Shoes
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Screenshot provided by the author

From there, create a short list of keywords that align with your product offering. Then, use tools like Ahrefs and Semrush to determine:

  • Search relevance
  • Keyword difficulty
  • Search volume
  • Search intent

Look for long-tail keywords “red basketball shoes womens” vs. “red basketball shoes” to cut through the noise. These keywords have a lower monthly search volume but less competition (lower keyword difficulty). 

You’ve found a goldmine if you can find a keyword with a high monthly search volume and low keyword difficulty. 

Once you have created the list of keywords, identify the primary keyword for each page and include it in the following elements:

  • Product description
  • Meta description
  • Heading
  • Title

Content Strategies

When you have a proper content strategy in place (publishing high-quality content consistently), it will attract more organic traffic to your website. 

This leads to more website visitors, increases brand awareness, and drives sales. Without content, it’s extremely challenging for consumers to find your brand — especially as online competition grows.

Here are a few content marketing strategies you can use to increase your brand awareness:

  • Write compelling product descriptions
  • Leverage influencer marketing
  • Build an affiliate program
  • Write long-form content
  • Create videos demonstrating how products work, their features, and benefits

Need more inspiration? Take a look at how CoinLedger created a comprehensive crypto tax guide covering all the questions on the topic.

Example Of Long-Form Content To Drive Traffic To Your Website

Why does this work so well? It matches the search intent of the target audience. So, people typing in questions about crypto taxes to Google will find the answers to all of their questions without the need to go to another website. 

Not only does this help build brand awareness for CoinLedger, but it also improves time on the page, signaling to Google it’s a trustworthy website. In return, this helps boost the article to the top of the SERPs.

TL; DR: Write evergreen content that remains relevant to consumers and will drive organic traffic to your website for years to come. 

User Experience and Navigation

Visitors are likely to drop off when your e-commerce WordPress website doesn’t provide an intuitive and user-friendly experience. So, focus on making the navigation through your website easier for visitors.

Analyze website analytics metrics to track user behavior and identify areas for improvement. By understanding how visitors interact with your site, you can make data-driven decisions to improve navigation flow and overall user experience.

Clean Origin hits the nail on the head by making it super easy for potential customers to find their dream lab-grown diamond engagement ring on their website with a search feature and clean navigation bar. 

Clean Origin Home Page And Navigation Bar
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Here are a few ways to do it yourself: 

  • Employ a chatbot to enable consistent customer support.
  • Organize your site’s navigation by categorizing products. 
  • Give personalized product recommendations.
  • Have an easy checkout process.

Off-Page SEO

Now, let’s dive into off-page SEO techniques to take your e-commerce WordPress website’s SEO to the next level. 

Backlink Building and Outreach

Imagine a third person bragging about your e-commerce brand to their friend. That’s where backlinks come into play. They act as a positive review in a digital environment. 

Acquiring high-quality backlinks signals to Google that your site is trustworthy and authoritative. That means it’s more likely to push your website higher in the SERPs.

Only 5% of webpages have backlinks at all, and of those, the top-ranked SERPs have 3.8 times as many backlinks as lower results. 

Here’s how to acquire backlinks (without the help of an esteemed SEO agency):

  • Create guides, expert roundups, listicles, comparisons, and product reviews.
  • Write guest posts on other websites with a similar target audience.
  • Replace or prune outdated and old content from your e-commerce website.
  • Leverage influencer marketing.

Social Signals and Engagement

Social signals, such as likes, shares, and comments, contribute to your site’s authority and rankings. So, actively engage with your audience on platforms relevant to your industry.

Plus, social engagement helps build a community of customers, likely to increase sales and conversions.

Online Reputation Management

A positive online reputation builds trust with customers. It also signals to search engines that your e-commerce site is reputable and reliable. So, the first step to improving and maintaining your online reputation is monitoring it. 

Here are a few ways to do so:

  • Use social listening tools (e.g., Hootsuite) to track brand mentions and listen to what customers say about your brand.
  • Offer good customer service and be responsive when interacting with people online.
  • Encourage customers to share online reviews and video testimonials.
  • Know when to respond to negative reviews.
  • Keep your reviews updated.

E-commerce Specific Strategies

We’ve covered the three main categories of SEO. However, a few additional categories are worth exploring when running an e-commerce store. Let’s take a closer look at some. 

Product page optimization and layout

Shoppers want to know every detail about the product before making the final decision. This can’t happen if the formatting of your product page is inconsistent. 

The anatomy of each product page should look like this (and remain consistent):

  • Product description
  • Product name
  • Features
Wayfair Product Description For A Sofa
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Product categories

Product categories help shoppers find products on your e-commerce WordPress website. 

For example, if a shopper is looking for table lamps on your home decor website, they’ll navigate the ’lamps and lighting’ products category on the website. 

To optimize your product categories:

  • Include sorting and filtering to quickly find the right product 
  • Add the description and overview of the product category
  • Include product comparisons 
  • Link to product categories
Wayfair Lighting Landing Page
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Customer Reviews and Ratings

Showcase customer reviews and testimonials on the e-commerce WordPress website. Positive reviews build trust and contribute to the overall SEO of your e-commerce site. 

How? By adding a social-proof WordPress plugins like Stars Testimonials and TrustPulse.

Local SEO for E-commerce

Finally, if you have any physical locations, spending time and effort on local SEO is wise. 

Local SEO Optimization

32% of consumers in the United States use the internet to find local businesses multiple times per week. This figure shows the importance of optimizing your website to appear in local searches. 

To optimize your website for local searches, do the following:

  • Claim your Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business) listing
  • Get your business on local listings like Bing, Facebook, etc.
  • Add product prices in local and global currencies
  • Include location-specific keywords
  • Create local landing pages

Google My Business Integration

Google My Business Is A Digital Listing Where E-Commerce Brands Can List Their Brand Digitally
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Claim and optimize your Google My Business (GMB) listing. This enhances local visibility, provides valuable information to customers, and contributes to local search rankings. 

So, optimize your Google My Business profile and integrate it with your e-commerce WordPress website.

Location-Based Content

Create content tailored to your target locations to get more traffic from your local audience.

  • Host local events, seminars, and workshops to interact with your local audience
  • Earn backlinks from local businesses and websites in your area
  • Focus on localized keywords

SEO Tools and Resources

Here are the best SEO tools and resources to add to your tech stack. 

SEO plugins for WordPress: Leverage WordPress plugins like Yoast SEO, All in One SEO Pack, and Rank Math for easy and efficient on-page optimization.

Analytics and Monitoring: Utilize tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console to track user behavior and identify areas for improvement.

SEO audit and reporting: Regularly conduct SEO audits to identify and address issues. Establish a reporting system to track key metrics, providing insights into the effectiveness of your SEO strategies.

Case Studies

YUPLAY, a trusted online retailer of PC games, hated paying a high monthly fee for low-quality content. Their primary goal was to increase organic search. 

So, they hired a digital marketing agency. The agency analyzed the brand’s e-commerce website and identified key growth areas, prioritizing on-page SEO efforts and building high-authority backlinks.

The results were nothing short of exceptional:

  • Improvement in domain rating (DR) from 31 to 60
  • Ranking for 5,200 additional keywords
  • 599 new referring domains
  • Increase in organic traffic
What If We Told You Web Developers And Designers Directly Impact The
What If We Told You Web Developers And Designers Directly Impact The

Screenshot provided by author

The takeaways? These SEO efforts work. They might not show results overnight, but the investment is worth it. 

Future Trends in E-commerce SEO

The future of e-commerce SEO is constantly changing. But let’s highlight a few areas that’ll remain front and center in 2024. 

Voice Search and AI

More and more e-commerce websites will maximize the use of voice search and AI on their websites. 

Graphic Showing Voice Search Stats
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  • Voice search. This feature is helpful for shoppers to find the product just by giving commands through their voice.
  • AI. This technology is helpful for giving personalized recommendations to shoppers.

ADA compliance

E-commerce companies should prioritize ADA compliance. However, only a few companies currently do.

  • It guarantees that everyone can buy your product
  • It protects your business from lawsuits and fines
  • It supports an A+ user experience

You can either use an ADA compliance checker or hire a design agency specializing in ADA compliance.

Wrapping Up

While the world of SEO can seem daunting, especially with its ever-evolving nature, understanding and implementing these advanced strategies is key to boosting your online visibility and driving sales. 

Each component plays a vital role in your overall success, from optimizing your website’s technical aspects and enhancing user experience to leveraging off-page SEO tactics and keeping up with future trends.

Remember, SEO is a marathon, not a sprint. Your efforts today might not yield immediate results, but they lay the foundation for sustained growth and a robust online presence. 

About the author

What If We Told You Web Developers And Designers Directly Impact The
What If We Told You Web Developers And Designers Directly Impact The

Kelly Moser is the co-founder and editor at Home & Jet, a digital magazine for the modern era. She’s also the content manager at Login Lockdown, covering the latest trends in tech, business and security. Kelly is an expert in freelance writing and content marketing for SaaS, Fintech, and ecommerce startups.

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