*BEWARE OF LONG READ* Just wanna share some findings based on my 1.5 year experience working on E-Commerce stores. Hope my points can save you some time and budget if you are working on Ecommerce:
1. Related editorial backlinks do really rank INDIVIDUAL pages, not whole website as I initially thought. We usually rank ecommerce categories, we post linkworthy content to that category and do outreach. Once campaign is finished, we change category to standard view and it continue ranking.
2. New keywords are much easier and faster to rank for. Our campaigns can usually rank on top for new keywords basically overnight while we can reach top20-30 for old keywords. Then ranking will be jumping up and down (even outside top100) until you eventually reach page 1.
3. English markets are much more competitive than non-English. As you probably noticed, many English ecommerce stores build backlinks to individual pages while non-English just have backlinks pointing to homepage, that's where Ahrefs Keyword Difficulty (KD) comes from. This opens massive opportunities for us, you can make millions on non-English markets like French, Spanish, Japanese, Italian, German… no need to know the language. I wouldn't start working on English ecommerce store until I can rank non-English.
4. "Content is King" doesnt really work in ecommerce. Products or categories don't rank just because of descriptions. You can't write 100 times better description than your competitor. We were creating super good supporting articles, even building backlinks to them, some of those articles got ranked pretty well for information keywords (with backlinks or without) then we linked internally to product categories using different anchor texts related to products. Do you know what results we got from these? Zero! They don't help to rank product categories. I know many people will disagree but I don't care, I don't believe in information I find online, I only believe in my own test results. Many large ecommerce stores don't even have blogs and still rank super high. The only way this could work if you can create a super well integrated product banner ad or carousel in that supporting article and people who come to read it, will click on that product and then Google you by brand name.
5. Ahrefs Domain Rating (DR) doesnt mean anything, branded search DO. Google considers your ecommerce store to be autoritative not by your overal backlink / RD profile but by how many people and how your brand is searched on Google. This means your business is real and people want to buy from you. I've seen websites which ranked very well with prety weak backlink profile. Sometimes large YouTube or Instgram influencers create their own ecommerce stores which got ranked on page 1 without any SEO unintentionally. Increase branded search (ideally brandname + keyword for example, bed sheets amazon) and your organic nonbranded rankings will improve. Ways to increase branded search: paid ads, influencer marketing. Yes, stores which master paid ads do rank faster.
6. And last point, avoid overoptimization. Including your main keyword everywhere: url, page title, h2s, description text, meta title, meta description is probably not the best idea in 2021, overoptimization will definitely hurt rankings, experiment with different combinations. Also, having few categories urls with the same main keyword is a bad idea, for example, mainkeyword1 and longermainkeyword1, these pages will compete. We recently had one page ranking on position 12 for super competitive keyword, then published another category which uninternionaly had the same keyword in url and eventually category1 dropped outside top100, then came back to positions 60-80. Both pages had backlinks pointing to them.
All I want to say is DO YOUR OWN TESTS. Don't just Google specific issue and use that solution. Journalists don't know all solutions or those solutions can be dated.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can still drive massive results. I'm sending a piece of luck to each of You! There's still time to take an action and crush it in 2021.
p.s. please don't ask me about my websites or niches. Linkworthy content is different in every niche and should be either created or bought. In case you need any help with your Ecommerce SEO, let me know!
Your point "Many large ecommerce stores don't even have blogs and still rank super high. The only way this could work if you can create a super well-integrated product banner ad or carousel in that supporting article and people who come to read it, will click on that product and then Google you by brand name." seems interesting.
I was recently doing a competitive analysis and was surprised that one big player in that niche didn't had a blog section.
Can you share how did you test "create a super well-integrated product banner ad or carousel in that supporting article" and what specific results itbrought? Higher sales or keywords ranking improvement?
I haven't tested this a lot because good informational is also pretty expensive, for now I would rather spend resources on ranking money pages. As I already told, supporting articles won't directly improve rankings of your money pages but I'm pretty sure with proper banner integration you will be able to convert small %, think Facebook ads, they are showed to people who came to read posts / see photos and then ad is integrated. Something similar happens in your blog, you can control who comes to read your posts (niche – keywords, geolocation – language, geo tags). Plus it will have a good side effect as branded search which increases your authority
Very interesting! Thank you for taking the time to share. Are any of these e-comm stores yours or do you do only client work? In point 1, are you saying that you switch the page content from an article format to a product category format after getting links?
I currently work on my own stores, no time for others. Yes, I switch format once campaign is finished.
Thanks for sharing this content! Could you elaborate on point 3? I've a marketplace myself and have been thinking a lot about translating the content automatically to other languages to get that upside.
It's easier to compete in non-English markets because websites usually don't have backlinks pointing to their internal pages. Make sure you have different URLs from your English ones, add well-optimized content but avoid overoptimization (my point 6), then you will have a chance to get ranked. Sometimes websites just add translated content to english Urls, that's not a good practice.
Nathan » Denis
Very interesting tip – I'm trying to make sure I understand: are you saying that the internal urls should not be identical to the internal links that the English pages get? I'm asking cause I thought that's how many people approach translating pages – they use the hreflang or something like that to serve whichever language matches the visitors' but it seems you're saying create totally new content?
Nathan I mean you should have keyword in your translated language. Some apps just translate content but page url stays the same (in english for example). I usually have a separate store for each market. If you have a single store for many markets / languages, then add hreflang tags for sure
I am interested in No.6 about mainkeyword1 and longermainkeyword1. Do you mean if I have a page about flood light and another page is led flood light, then they are complete?
Chen yes, they definitely compete. Google will probably decide which one is better to rank at some point but it may take months. If you want to speed up things, avoid this.
These may satisfy you:
» SEO Difference Between eCommerce and regular Websites
» Make a Blog Section to Strengthen the eCommerce