Grasp E-commerce website positioning in 2023: Newbie’s Information

If you wish to drive extra potential clients to your on-line retailer, e-commerce website positioning could also be simply the ticket.

Hold studying to study what it’s, why it’s vital, and how one can grasp it.

E-commerce website positioning is the method of optimizing an internet retailer to enhance its visibility and rankings in serps like Google. It focuses closely on bettering the efficiency of class and product pages, as these are typically essentially the most profitable.

E-commerce SEO is mostly about ranking product and category pages higher

It’s usually a more cost effective strategy to attain your clients slightly than bidding on costly paid promoting key phrases.

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

Safe your website with HTTPS

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, equivalent to their title, deal with, 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 “padlock” icon within the deal with bar that appears like this:

HTTPS "padlock" icon in a Chrome browser

Hottest e-commerce platforms use HTTPS, so it shouldn’t be a priority for most individuals. However whether it is, be certain to repair it.

Make your website construction straightforward to navigate

Web site 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 explanation why this construction makes sense:

  1. It’s straightforward to navigate Guests can discover what they’re searching for in only a few clicks.
  2. It helps Google discover your pages – Google can “comply with” inside hyperlinks from web page to web page.

Getting your website construction proper from the beginning additionally means you’ll keep away from the headache of redesigning it later on. 

In terms of inside hyperlinks, it’s finest to maintain it easy to start out with. You should utilize the arrows within the illustration above as steerage on how one can interlink your pages.

For instance, your homepage ought to hyperlink to your class pages, which ought to hyperlink to the related subcategory pages, which ought to hyperlink to the related merchandise.

Implement faceted navigation accurately to present your pages one of the best likelihood at rating

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

Right here’s what it seems to be like: 

Faceted navigation example, via

Regardless of its usefulness for guests, it could possibly trigger critical website positioning points for e-commerce web sites as a result of filter combos usually create new parameterized URLs.

For instance, if you happen to filter for on-ear headphones, it might create a URL like this:


Even if you happen to solely have a handful of filters, there will be hundreds of combos. Which means hundreds of latest URLs that Google can find yourself crawling and doubtlessly indexing.

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

  1. Weaken vital pages’ means 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 cut up between the duplicate pages.
  2. Stop Google from crawling vital pages Google will solely commit finite sources to crawling your website. If it has to crawl a load of junk, it might not have the sources to crawl all vital pages. 

There are numerous options to those points. For newcomers and intermediates, a easy possibility is to canonicalize faceted URLs to their grasp class or subcategory.

Some e-commerce website positioning platforms do that out of the field. Examine if so in your website by putting in Ahrefs’ website positioning Toolbar, visiting a number of faceted URLs, and checking the “Indexability” tab. If the canonical URL is non-faceted, chances are high this isn’t a difficulty in your website.

Right here’s an instance of this in motion:

Non-canonical URL example, via

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 look demand. Let’s have a look at how one can do this.

Discover key phrases for subcategory pages

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

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

You most likely already know some subcategories that make sense in your retailer. However as individuals search in some ways, it’s helpful for website positioning to create subcategories that align with these phrases.

Right here’s how one can discover concepts for subcategories in Ahrefs’ Key phrases Explorer:

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

Listed here are a number of concepts for the “headphones” subcategories: 

Subcategory ideas for a headphones e-commerce store, via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

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

For instance, “audio technica open ear headphones” received’t be an appropriate 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 website positioning:

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.

Discover key phrases for product pages

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

For instance, there are an estimated 622K month-to-month searches within the U.S. for “airpods professional.”

Estimated U.S. monthly search volume for "airpods pro," via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

In the event you promote these headphones, your product web page already targets that key phrase.

Nonetheless, if you happen to’re promoting unbranded merchandise or merchandise from unknown names, you might wish 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, equivalent to “cat ear headphones.”

Estimated U.S. monthly search volume for "cat ear headphones," via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer


Hold search intent in thoughts when doing this. If the highest search outcomes for a key phrase are all e-commerce class pages, this will point out that searchers desire a alternative. On this 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 website positioning 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 number of concerns and optimizations for e-commerce websites.

Save time with title tag, meta description, and H1 templates

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

Right here’s an instance of a meta description template.

Example of templated meta descriptions on a Google SERP

Utilizing a templated method is smart as a result of writing distinctive copy for hundreds of product and class pages is no person’s concept of enjoyable. Sadly, it could possibly result in stale, duplicate copy that doesn’t entice clicks.

You possibly can resolve this with a hybrid method the place you employ templates for many pages however distinctive ones for these with essentially the most search visitors.

Right here’s how one can discover pages with essentially the most search 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

In the event you don’t use GSC, you may get a free estimate in Ahrefs’ Web site Audit with an Ahrefs Webmaster Instruments account.

  1. Choose your venture in Web site Audit
  2. Go to the Web page Explorer
  3. Filter for inside pages
  4. Type by natural visitors from highest to lowest
How to find top pages using Page Explorer, via Ahrefs' Site Audit

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

Example H1 on an e-commerce category page, via

Use easy and descriptive URLs

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

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

Issues are slightly extra sophisticated in the case of merchandise as a result of the apparent construction will likely be this:

Nonetheless, as merchandise usually fall into a number of classes, this could result in duplicate content material. In different phrases, the identical product is on the market 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 possibly can resolve this downside through the use of this template for product URLs:

Add distinctive product and class descriptions to assist guests and Google

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

Listed here are a number of ideas for doing this:

  • Hold them quick and candy
  • Make 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 primary goal key phrase into Ahrefs’ Web site Explorer and examine the highest 10 rankings within the Natural key phrases report. 

Long-tail keywords for "wireless headphones," via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

For instance, listed here are a number of notable key phrases that 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 normally no worth for another person to hyperlink to a product or class web page. Nonetheless, there are a number of tried and examined strategies. You may also use different strategies to get hyperlinks to your homepage. Let’s go over a number of ways. 

Use the “product suggestions” method to get featured

When you’ve got merchandise that solely you promote, the “product suggestions” method might help you get featured on lists of one of the best merchandise in that class. 

Right here’s the method:

  1. Discover widespread lists of one of the best merchandise
  2. Supply the creator your product in return for suggestions
  3. Ask them to think about together with it on their listing (in the event that they just like the product)

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

To search out lists of one of the best merchandise that don’t point out yours, search Google for finest[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 visitors to seek out widespread lists.

Searching Ahrefs' Content Explorer for popular product listicles

For instance, right here’s a listing of one of the best good audio system that don’t point out any Sonos audio system:

Blog article listicle with no mention of Sonos, via

If Sonos desires to construct extra hyperlinks to one among its good speaker product pages, it could possibly supply to ship the product to the creator totally free in return for suggestions. If the creator loves it, Sonos can ask the creator in the event that they’ll take into account that includes it of their submit.


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

Declare unlinked model mentions in evaluations

Unlinked mentions are on-line mentions of your merchandise or model with out a hyperlink to your website. 

They will occur for all types of causes. Nonetheless, they’re usually tough to show into hyperlinks as a result of there’s not often 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 couple of band promoting gear to fund music schooling, and there aren’t any hyperlinks to different talked about manufacturers. 

Nonetheless, if somebody evaluations 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 not less than considerably compelling angle. 

You will discover unlinked evaluations with Ahrefs’ Internet Explorer, which searches an index of billions of pages. Simply enter this search: Intitle:[your brand] evaluate -outlinkdomain:[] -site:[

For instance, if you happen to needed to seek out unlinked evaluations for Audio-Technica, you’d search this: intitle:audio technica evaluate

Finding unlinked reviews using Ahrefs' Web Explorer

It’s then only a case of reviewing the pages and asking them so as to add the hyperlink the place it is smart. Even when just a few reviewers do that, that’s a number of straightforward hyperlinks to product pages. 

Use HARO to get high-authority hyperlinks

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

In the event you join 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 one of the best workplace headphones.

If we plug their web site (Welp Journal) into Web site Explorer, we see it’s a Area Ranking (DR) 59 website with loads of natural visitors. So it’s actually value 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 characteristic as a result of their request says this: 

Request example from blogger

Lengthy story quick, we might most likely get a hyperlink from this website by sending our suggestion to the blogger together with the opposite particulars they need. 


Since we first printed this technique, HARO has grow to be extra aggressive, however it’s nonetheless attainable to get high-quality hyperlinks if you’re persistent.

Chapter 5. Content material advertising

Capturing the eye of your viewers is significant in e-commerce. By creating precious, related, and fascinating content material, you’ll be able to improve your on-line retailer’s visibility, construct buyer relationships, and drive extra conversions.

Let’s take into account a number of of the highest priorities in content material advertising for e-commerce websites.

Discover industrial investigation key phrases to focus on with weblog posts

Business investigation key phrases are phrases individuals are looking for when researching what to purchase.

For instance, if you happen to seek for “finest wi-fi headphones” on Google, it’s possible you might be prepared to purchase an excellent pair of wi-fi headphones.

Figuring out “finest” product searches is an easy strategy to begin discovering industrial intent key phrases.

The best means to do that is to: 

  • Enter your key phrase into Key phrases Explorer.
  • Add an Embrace filter containing the phrase “finest.”
  • Apply the filter and hit Present outcomes.
Finding commercial intent keywords using the "Include" filter in Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

We will see from this fast search that Ahrefs has recognized over 9,396 key phrases we are able to doubtlessly use.

In addition to “finest” key phrases, you can even discover industrial intent in questions. For instance, if you happen to had been to seek for “how do noise canceling headphones work,” chances are high you’d be occupied with shopping for a pair.

In Key phrases Explorer, you will discover these kinds of key phrases within the Questions part after you’ve plugged in your key phrase.

Right here’s a fast instance of an informational key phrase for “noise canceling headphones.”

Searching "noise canceling headphones" in Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

Keep in mind to search for key phrases referring to issues that your merchandise assist to resolve.

For instance, key phrases like “how one can clear headphones” don’t work as a result of the searcher isn’t available in the market for brand new headphones. However key phrases like “how one can repair damaged headphones” may fit as a result of most headphones aren’t simply fixable—so a brand new pair is perhaps one of the best answer. 

When you perceive the psychology behind industrial intent key phrases, you’re able to create product-led content material.

Create product-led content material to draw extra clients

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 submit about fixing headphones that solely work in a single ear will get an estimated 13.3K month-to-month search visits:

Estimated monthly organic traffic to a post about fixing headphones that only work in one ear, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

It explains how one can 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’ll be able to’t advocate and hyperlink to your product pages in these articles.

Optimize your product photographs for search to get extra clicks

Google Images is the world’s second-largest search engine. It’s liable for over 20% of all on-line searches.

So when potential clients are looking for your merchandise, it’s possible they’ll flick through it to seek out the product they’re searching for.

Headphones SERP, via Google Images

If you wish to seem on the prime of Google Pictures, you’ll want to start out by optimizing your e-commerce photographs for website positioning.

You’ll then want so as to add a descriptive filename separated by hyphens. Attempt to preserve your filename to the purpose and keep in mind to incorporate vital key phrases, like the instance under:

Image filename of a pair of AirPods

Then add descriptive alt textual content to your picture. Alt textual content is code that appears like this:

<img alt="your alt textual content description goes right here">

So, for instance, for these headphones, the alt textual content can be:

<img alt="Apple AirPods Max in silver">


As of late, most content material administration methods (CMSs) could have the choice so as to add alt textual content whenever you’re importing photographs, so that you received’t must edit the code manually.

It’s best to make your alt textual content as succinct as attainable. Right here’s an instance from Apple, the place the alt textual content reads: “Entrance view of AirPods Max in Silver.” 

Airpods Max code highlight, via

Though the rules of alt textual content are straightforward to know, it’s straightforward to overlook so as to add it. Loads of web sites could have not less than a number of photographs which have lacking alt textual content on them.

The quickest, free strategy to examine your website for lacking alt textual content is to make use of a software like Ahrefs Webmaster Instruments. 

When you’ve run a crawl of your website utilizing the software, head to the overview in Web site Audit to see if there are any points. 

Right here’s an instance of a website with 2,712 photographs with lacking alt textual content.

A site's missing alt text, via Ahrefs Webmaster Tools

Clicking by means of on the “Lacking alt textual content” subject takes you to the affected URLs. You possibly can then order the listing by clicking on “Natural visitors” to prioritize the pages already performing properly in search. 

URLs affected by "missing alt text" issue, via Ahrefs Webmaster Tools

If the web page already has excessive natural visitors, it’s possible the photographs on that web page can carry out properly in Google Pictures.

When you’ve optimized your photographs, you’ll be able to monitor the clicks they get by clicking on “Efficiency” after which deciding on the search sort as “Picture.”

Image performance tracking, via Google Search Console

Chapter 6. Superior e-commerce website positioning ideas

Every thing above will get you off on the fitting foot with e-commerce website positioning. However there are different issues you are able to do to draw much more search visitors and gross sales. Let’s undergo a few of them.

Index faceted URLs with search demand to get extra clicks

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

For instance, there are an estimated 150 month-to-month searches for “jabra over ear headphones” within the U.S.:

Estimated U.S. monthly search volume for "jabra over ear headphones," via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

In the event you promote these merchandise and let guests filter for them utilizing faceted navigation, they’ll most likely find yourself at a URL like this:


Since most e-commerce shops canonicalize faceted URLs to a grasp class or subcategory, this URL most likely isn’t indexable. Nonetheless, you’ll be able to repair that by altering the canonical to a self-referencing one.

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

Right here’s a cheat sheet from Aleyda Solis that will help 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. In the event you’re planning to do that and lack technical experience, we extremely advocate hiring a educated website positioning and developer to assist.


In the event you discover individuals looking for product attributes you don’t have filters for, take into account including them. For instance, there are various searches for headphones appropriate with numerous gadgets:

Examples of popular product attributes, via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

You possibly can simply add a “Suitable with” set of filters and index related faceted URLs to draw search visitors from these phrases.

Add schema markup to product pages to win wealthy snippets

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

Rich snippets on a Google SERP

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

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

  "@context": "", 
  "@sort": "Product", 
  "title": "AirPods Professional",
  "picture": "",
    "@sort": "Model",
    "title": "Apple"
    "@sort": "Supply",
    "url": "",
    "priceCurrency": "USD",
    "worth": "249",
    "availability": "",
    "itemCondition": ""
    "@sort": "AggregateRating",
    "ratingValue": "4.9"


It tells Google the product’s title, model, worth, evaluate ranking, and if it’s in inventory.

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

Hyperlink to vital subcategories to spotlight them for guests (and Google)

Linking to vital subcategories out of your class pages prioritizes the hyperlinks that guests are most probably to be occupied with. 

This makes it simpler in your retailer’s guests to navigate round your web site.

Right here’s an instance the place vital subcategories have been highlighted close to the highest of the class web page.

Subcategories highlighted near the top of the category page, via Sports Direct

This design permits guests to get to the subcategories they wish to rapidly. It’s additionally useful for cellular customers, because it means they don’t should scroll by means of hundreds of merchandise.

It’s additionally attainable that the situation of those hyperlinks might enhance the authority of those subcategory pages, in response to the reasonable surfer model established in Google’s patents.

Right here’s one other instance the place one other retailer has linked to widespread subcategories on the prime of the class web page.

Subcategories highlighted near the top of the category page, via John Lewis

Monitor technical website positioning points to keep away from sudden visitors drops

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

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

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

Duplicate content issues found using Ahrefs' Site Audit

You possibly can schedule each day, weekly, or month-to-month crawls to remain on prime of points.

E-commerce website positioning errors to keep away from

Listed here are a number of examples of widespread points that may have an effect on e-commerce web sites and harm rankings.

  • Not together with breadcrumbs – Guests (and Google) discover breadcrumbs on e-commerce web sites helpful.
  • Forgetting so as to add schema markup – Including schema might help you win wealthy snippets. 
  • Indexing low-quality pages – Indexing e-commerce filters or search pages that don’t add any worth.
  • Key phrase stuffing – Repeatedly mentioning your key phrases in your web site.
  • Blocking key pages of your web site – Generally, noindex tags or “Disallow” directives in robots.txt will be added by mistake, which means pages don’t present in Google.

The way forward for e-commerce website positioning

I don’t have a crystal ball to foretell precisely what the longer term will seem like for e-commerce website positioning, however listed here are some ideas.

With Google beginning to incorporate generative AI into its search expertise, it’s possible that search and e-commerce website positioning will evolve into a distinct expertise from what we’ve at this time. 

Right here’s an instance of what the SERPs seem like at this time for a seek for “bluetooth headphones.”

Google SERP for "bluetooth headphones," via

If we ignore the “Individuals additionally ask” outcomes, the remaining are class pages from e-commerce shops.

Now check out the SERP for this identical search underneath Google’s AI-powered Search Generative Experience:

Generative AI Google search results, via

With this consequence, Google’s successfully generated its personal class web page proper there on the SERP.

If this modification turns into actuality, it’s attainable that the way forward for e-commerce website positioning might shift its focus extra to optimizing product pages.

Aleyda additionally talked about these potential changes and her predictions for e-commerce website positioning. 

Remaining ideas

E-commerce website positioning is way from easy. Getting the fundamentals proper is simple sufficient, however catering to look demand whereas avoiding widespread technical points is commonly extra sophisticated than you assume. 

Listed here are a number of useful sources to study extra about these points: