Search engine optimization (SEO) holds unquestionable value for all businesses, and eCommerce websites are no exception. Indeed, with increasingly stiff competition in the digital age, it can serve as a powerful tool at your disposal. Thus, after choosing the right eCommerce platform, it would be wise to optimize your business website for SEO. However, SEO factors are not immutable. In fact, while crucial components may mostly remain the same, the exact metrics and algorithms will invariably shift over time. Furthermore, SEO strategies must also adapt to rising and fading trends to yield maximum benefit. With this in mind, we’ve consolidated some vital eCommerce SEO tips for 2021 below.
SEO Trends For 2021
First and foremost, regardless of the eCommerce industry, SEO is set to change over 2021. Informed by such technologies as AI and such conceptual cornerstones as semantic search solidified by Google’s Hummingbird update, one can safely assume some current trends will expand and continue. Noting the following trends should help inform your content strategies and set a solid SEO foundation for your business.
#1 Semantic Search Will Improve Toward Search Intent
As highlighted above, Google’s algorithm continues to value search intent. Search intent is simply the user’s purpose behind their search query. This is often divided into four groups:
- Information; seeking general information.
- Commercial investigation; investigating commercial options.
- Purchase; search with the intent to complete a purchase.
- Navigation; search seeking to navigate to a specific known site.
Furthermore, in a continuous effort to improve the user experience, Google’s search engine already analyzes search queries in semantic terms. As such, results don’t merely rank based on exact keyword matches. Instead, many semantic factors weigh in:
- Keyword order and synonyms
Naturally, this trend must inform our eCommerce SEO tips for 2021, given all its implications. Creating content with the specific intent of meeting users’ semantic criteria can be invaluable.
#2 Mobile-Friendliness Will Continue To Dominate
A similar trend lies in mobile device usage. An increasing number of internet users navigates the web through mobile devices, which is only expected to continue. For eCommerce specifically, this factor is vital; between social media marketing and mobile searches, purchase intent increases continuously.
Nonetheless, mobile-friendliness is a vital aspect of SEO already. Google has stated this in no uncertain terms and even provides a mobile-friendliness test to make it easier for businesses.
#3 Voice Search Will Surge
Following both of the above, voice search continues to surge in popularity. In this regard, consider the following statistics:
- 27% of all internet users use voice search on mobile.
- 55% of all households are predicted to own a smart speaker by 2022.
- Over 55% of consumers use voice search to locate local businesses.
This trend is invaluable to note. Overlapping with semantic search, voice search hinges on the differences between spoken and written queries. As such, optimizing for spoken queries can present massive lead generation opportunities, fine-tuning your eCommerce SEO for 2021.
#4 Local SEO Will Play A Vital Role
On the subject of local SEO, eCommerce can reap notable benefits from this somewhat underappreciated SEO type. Building a strong local consumer base is always lucrative, especially for small-to-midsize businesses (SMBs) – and eCommerce is no exception. Consider the following trends on this front:
- 46% of searches with commercial investigation or purchase intent are for local businesses.
- “Near me” searches have increased by over 500% in recent years.
- 80% of local searches result in conversions.
- 28% of local searches result in a purchase.
As such, while interest in international purchases will also continue to grow, the local market should not be overlooked.
#5 Content-Length Will Continue To Increase
Finally, a shift in written content length has already been visible throughout 2020. Namely, the usual length of 901 to 1,200 words is steadily giving way to longer, richer content.
It’s likely no surprise since Google appreciates valuable, informative content. 1,500 to 3,000 words seem to produce much better results in both visibility and engagement. Thus, you can note this trend and create more valuable, engaging content to boost your eCommerce SEO.
eCommerce: Local And Organic SEO
Having established that local SEO will become more prominent, eCommerce businesses may face a logical dilemma. A growing advantage of eCommerce is the continued buyer preference for international goods and services, as opposed to local ones. However, the two are not competitors; instead, they’re different approaches to the same strategy. Furthermore, local SEO is still SEO, so the two overlap somewhat.
Organic SEO intends to refine your content for search engines when they see no local search intent. It’s practically what we would refer to as general SEO, and it relies on over 200 unique factors. For the sake of text economy, consider the following among the main aspects of organic SEO:
- Domain authority (DA) and Page authority (PA).
- Content length and quality.
- Keyword relevance and keyword density.
- Content structure; headings, bullet lists, alt. tags.
- Image and video content.
- Loading speed and mobile-friendliness.
- Social signals; engagement, shares, user retention.
This is by no means an extensive list, and it doesn’t include paid marketing. However, establishing a solid organic SEO foundation in advance can prepare your eCommerce business for the future.
In essence, local SEO hinges on increasing local visibility for “near me” searches through local factors. Notably, queries without the “near me” component may still be informed by physical proximity. In this regard, consider the following local SEO factors:
- A claimed Google My Business (SMB) profile.
- Accurate and complete name, address, and phone number (NAP) information.
- Locally relevant keywords.
- Local reviews, citations, and backlinks.
- Geographically focused content.
Perhaps most notably, apart from the trends mentioned above on local queries, local SEO provides increased visibility. Namely, it allows for more visibility on SERPS in Google Search knowledge panels, as well as Google’s ecosystem, including Google Maps. Finally, such pursuits as reducing load times and improving the user experience affect both organic and local SEO.
In conclusion, future-proofing your business might hinge on valuable eCommerce SEO tips for 2021, hopefully including the above. With such trends and distinctions in mind, you should be able to make informed, proactive decisions toward improving your SEO.