E‑commerce SEO

Definition of e-commerce SEO

E-commerce SEO (search engine optimization) is a free method of making your website more visible on search engine results pages (SERPs).

How does e-commerce SEO work?

E-commerce SEO is a marketing technique used to get more traffic to your store by making it more visible on search engine result pages (SERPs). A well-ranked page will receive more traffic, so you want your page to rank as high as possible.

Unlike paid ads, which drive traffic to your web store by making you pay per click, SEO allows you to capture highly relevant traffic at virtually no cost. Search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo, all rank your web store based on SEO.

To improve SEO on your web store, it’s important to pay attention to the content on your web store. It’s possible to improve your e-commerce SEO through comprehensive web store product pages, optimized product descriptions, by implementing a blog, or by running a technical audit of your website.

For your web pages to rank higher in SERPs, you need to ensure your website is optimized for search engines.

Here are a few examples on what this looks like:

  • The keywords you use to target pages
  • The technical setup of your web store
  • Whether your web store is mobile friendly

These all have an impact on your e-commerce SEO and whether or not your web pages will rank in SERPs like Google.

Is there a difference in doing SEO in B2B e-commerce vs. B2C e-commerce?

Though SEO in B2C and B2B e-commerce have the same outcome (increasing organic traffic), they do have some key differences:

  • Target Audience: While B2C SEO is targeted towards individual consumers, B2B e-commerce SEO content has to cater to a more formal audience, since their customers represent whole organizations.
  • Longer Buying Cycle: B2B is notoriously known for having longer buying cycles than in B2C. This also means that your customer may need more time, information and content before making a purchasing decision.
  • Goal: The goal of B2B SEO content tends to be educational/informational, while B2C SEO attempts to trigger a purchase.
  • KPIs: Since B2B and B2C have such different goals, their KPIs differ also. Whereas B2B SEO success is measured by lead generation, conversion rate, revenue and customer lifetime value, B2C SEO is more easily measured by traffic and average order value.

👉 Looking for more than just a definition? Check out the full blog guide on SEO specifically for B2B e-commerce and how to develop your strategy.

4 key components in an e-commerce SEO strategy

1. Content

Optimize your content with search terms for which you would like to be found: including your URL, H1 header, content, meta description and meta title.

2. Technical setup

Optimize the technical part of your web store: like for example HTTPS, mobile-friendliness, page speed, indexation, XML sitemap (this is the index for Google), etc.

3. User experience

Google leverages user statistics to determine which sites will rank on their search engine and in which order. This includes time on page, bounce rate, conversion rate, load time, etc. Ultimately, they want to know: can users find what they are looking for? Are you a reliable source of information?

Proving so to Google can mean ranking on their first page of search results. And with 75% of people never looking past page 1 for their answer, this can add major value.

4. Link building

You need to think about which internal links (from within your website) and external links (from other sources) you link to and from. You also need to keep on top of other resources linking back to you for authority. Choosing the right sources or being the cited resource for another organization can help boost your credibility and brand reputation.

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What are the benefits of e-commerce SEO?

There are countless benefits to setting up an e-commerce SEO strategy. Here are the top 3 benefits to e-commerce SEO:

Better user experience

One of Google’s key ranking factors is providing users with a good user experience. If your site is targeting the right keywords for your target audience and answering queries that website visitors might have, then Google sees that as a positive experience and your ranking will consequently go up.
But if users are clicking your site and immediately clicking away, Google will see that as a negative experience and it will hurt your ranking.

Focusing on optimizing your user experience in the name of SEO has a knock-on positive effect for your customers, who will in turn find your web store more attractive to use and adopt.

Expanding your reach

E-commerce SEO helps your web store receive more traffic, which consequently expands your brand’s reach. Once a user lands on your website organically, you can later reach out to that person again with paid retargeting campaigns. SEO remarketing is a highly effective practice.

When your site ranks organically for search terms that are relevant to you, it also allows you to establish brand authority, thereby differentiating yourself from your competitors.

Better quality traffic

When your website ranks higher for relevant keywords, it is more likely to attract visitors who are already interested in the products or services that your organization offers. The result? A higher conversion rate, since your visitors are more likely to become customers.


SEO is a relatively low cost channel to run efficiently, especially when compared to paid ads. Unlike paid advertising, in which you need to pay for every click, optimizing your website draws in organic traffic for free.

Low maintenance

Unlike e-mail or paid adverts, which require constantly thinking of new campaigns, refreshing content, and can involve a lot of maintenance to run efficiently, once you have rolled out your SEO strategy, it continues to work for you.

What are the challenges of e-commerce SEO?

The challenges that many companies overlook when optimizing their e-commerce SEO are:

Lack of quality content

The biggest problem with optimizing e-commerce SEO is that some sites try doing so quickly and forget that it’s not just about the quantity of content. It’s about the quality of the content. Your product pages can’t just be a copy-paste of the manufacturers’ description, they need to be concise descriptions accompanied by pictures.

For organizations focused on B2B e-commerce SEO, it’s tempting to check all the technical requirements for strong SEO and neglect the most necessary component: unique content that adds value for visitors. Content is the biggest ranking factor for SEO and is vital for a successful long-term strategy.

Forgetting about the technical setup

Although content is king, you can’t forget about your technical SEO setup. Things like HTTPS, mobile-friendliness, page speed, indexation, XML sitemap are often forgotten about.

E-commerce SEO best practices

So how do you go about ensuring your e-commerce SEO stays consistently strong? Here are a few best practices to keep in mind:

Define your buyer personas before starting keyword research

Establishing who your target audience is before you begin your keyword research will help streamline your efforts, and ultimately, lead to far more effective SEO. Creating buyer personas allow you to get into the minds of searchers you want landing on your web store.

Craft unique titles and content

Search engines like Google penalize websites that have “duplicate or near-duplicate” versions of content. When you’re working on new pages for your web store, be sure the content is relevant and unique to that page for the best chance of ranking well.

When creating titles and descriptions for new pages, be sure to have a focus keyword in mind that you can build this around. Including your target keyword early and with a healthy number of times within your content can help it rank since Google places more value on terms that appear on the top of a page.

Refresh content periodically

SEO is an active channel, and doesn’t end when you hit publish on a new page. Tracking how your page is ranking is a crucial element of e-commerce SEO success. Be sure to go back and periodically refresh content so that it stays fresh and relevant. You may also choose to combine two pages if you notice their keywords are competing with each other – this is known as keyword cannibalization, and can be avoided as long as you’re staying on top of how your content is performing.

Don’t ignore low-volume keywords

Ranking for keywords can be competitive, and this is especially true for high-volume keywords, which can help you capture a lot of traffic to your website. However, especially in the case of B2B organizations, specificity can actually help draw in highly relevant traffic that are far more likely to convert.

When conducting keyword research, try to target highly relevant low volume keywords, for the best chance of having a visitor move down your marketing funnel.

Build high-quality backlinks with high-quality content

Off-page SEO is a crucial component of a successful SEO campaign. Target relevant third-party websites for your content to be shared on, as this will help build authority and draw traffic to your web store.

Other ways to achieve high quality backlinks include link exchanges, guest posting on third-party websites, and implementing a digital PR strategy that enables you to grow more effectively.

KPIs to measure e-commerce SEO success

Tracking the success of your SEO channel gets easier when you know what KPIs to look out for. Here are the most relevant ways you can tell your SEO efforts are working:

  • Organic Traffic: This measures the number of visits coming in to your website from organic search engines, and is the most obvious KPI for anyone looking to measure SEO efficacy.
    • You can use Google Analytics to measure your organic traffic over time.
  • Keyword rankings: If you’re creating content with a certain keyword in mind, measuring how you’re ranking for that keyword is important.
    • You can use Google Search Console or a dedicated tool like SEMRush to track how your content is performing against certain keywords. These tools will also help you see if you’re pulling in any other keywords that might be relevant for your web store.
  • Organic CTR/ Bounce Rate: To truly consider a SEO campaign successful, you’ll need to ensure that the traffic you’re capturing is a) staying on your website, and b) taking an action you might wish them to take. CTR from the SERPs can also provide you with valuable information in how effective your meta-titles and descriptions are in drawing in visitors.
    • Use Google Search Console and Analytics to measure how your visitors are interacting with your content.
  • Revenue: Observing how much of your organic traffic ends up converting into measurable revenue can help you pinpoint exactly how much value your e-commerce SEO is bringing into your marketing efforts.

Driving qualified traffic to your web store should result in a natural increase in revenue: if this isn’t the case, it’s a good indicator you might need to review the customer journey on your web store.

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Read full blog guide on SEO in B2B e-commerce

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