This article will cover a brief explanation of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and some steps businesses selling online through ecommerce may take to ensure their website appears when customers are looking for their products or services.
Last Published: 10/20/2016

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

A number of steps are required to ensure that your eCommerce site will appear when customers are looking for the kinds of products you sell.

Lay the SEO Foundation for Your  Site

Most people start with creating a website before developing their store. This is an important first step, because not only does your website serve as a kind of calling card, but also you are able to use it to develop your image and identity, which is your brand. The store component of your website can be added later. What’s important is that you include quality information without gimmicks or irrelevant keywords, so that search engines will recognize your site as  useful.
You can choose from multiple vendors, such as Ecwid, which allows your store to easily integrate into any existing website. The store can then appear on social media sites  such as Facebook and related selling  platforms. 

Use Intuitive Site Structure

Build your site structure so that it’s simple and user friendly. Make it easy for the visitors to find what they are looking for. Use simple declarative sentences, keeping in mind that your international visitors may not be fluent in English. The last thing you want is for visitors, including search robots, to get lost on your site. Consider welcoming the international visitor prominently and telling them that you ship internationally. If your products qualify under existing free trade agreements, share that information with buyers, indicating that they may save money by paying lower or no duties. Indicate that you are delighted to receive orders from wholesalers and distributors, as it is usually more profitable to sell pallets and containers whenever you can.
One important element on your site is your contact information. All search engines pay attention to whether there is contact information on the site, including phone numbers and e-mail addresses. 

Use Original Content and Include Keywords

It should be clear and obvious for your website visitors what your company does, what services you provide, and what products you sell. You also may include interesting content on your website, such as a section about your company history or an “about us” paragraph on your home page. Original content also may come in the form of a blog, which can help bring more traffic to your site. If your product is made or designed in the United States, be sure to mention it, because international buyers overwhelmingly have a high opinion of things U.S. Make sure you describe products. Make sure you describe products in detail, as some international buyers will prefer more information to less. 

Use Your Own Photos

Whenever possible, take and use your own product photos. Doing so will enable those images, with links to your store, to be found by Google Image Search. 

Use Links That Are Easy to  Understand

Make sure that the pages (or URLs) on your website are readable. For instance, instead of a randomly generated string of charters to a particular link, name pages with understandable words describing your offerings, such as These types of URLs will be more convenient to read, and people will immediately understand to which page the link leads. Many website builders will allow you to name or rename the new pages you create for your site. 

Apply Unique Metadata

Metadata tags describe in a few words the content of each page of your site. They make    it easier for search engines to display your site in the results from relevant search queries. Add tags to your website pictures and videos if you have   them.

Keep your Content Fresh

You should update your content as often as possible, even if it’s just a few items. Compelling content will keep visitors on your site longer. The more time they spend, the greater the relevance of your site, which affects your search  ranking.

Use Search Widgets and Categories

A menu with tabs can help visitors navigate through a store by showing the main categories of products. A search field can help visitors quickly find specific products for which they may be looking.

Get Shoppers to Buy More

Tantalize the visitor into clicking more links to see additional products or services. Consider using a widget that shows what other customers commonly buy in addition to a specific product, or what items are currently popular or on sale. Let users set up automatic reminders for products they need regularly. Avoid gimmicks that spin, pulsate, or perform other tricks that may be a turnoff to visitors.

Mine Data for Best Results

Don’t just put up the site and the store and then ignore them. Your site can be a source of valuable data on where visitors are coming from and what they’re looking at. Are buyers abandoning the checkout page before completing the transaction? If you are tracking their activity, the results may suggest a problem with payment options, or some other stumbling block. Maybe you need an app that enables the buyers to switch to a page in their native language. To assess visitor behavior, consider an analytics tool that will integrate with store apps. Google Analytics is one example. If visitors are coming from a particular part of the world, consider using search engine ad tools to attract more of them to your site. You pay for the ad only when someone clicks through to your website or online store.
DISCLAIMER: Links to websites outside the U.S. Federal Government, or the use of trade, firm, or corporation names within the International Trade Administration websites ( and are for the convenience of the user. Such use does not constitute an official endorsement or approval by the U.S. Commerce Department of any private sector website, product, or service. When selecting links, be aware that you are subject to the privacy and security policies of the owners/sponsors of the outside website. Prepared by the International Trade Administration. With its network of 108 offices across the United States and in more than 75 countries, the International Trade Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce utilizes its global presence and international marketing expertise to help U.S. companies sell their products and services worldwide. Locate the trade specialist in the U.S. nearest you by visiting

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