How to align searcher intent for better eCommerce SEO

“If you build it, they will come.”

Hold that thought. This isn’t 1989, you’re not playing the starring role in Field of Dreams, and you’re not in a cornfield. You’re in the highly competitive eCommerce space, fighting to pierce through the noise and make consistent sales.

SEO for eCommerce sites is brutal. There are millions of players in the game trying to climb to the top of the search engine results, and the odds of you boxing them out are slim. Even with a perfectly sculpted eCommerce site architecture, simply “building it” isn’t enough in today’s competitive landscape.

But, there’s still hope!

When you use Lightspeed eCom, you have an SEO-optimized back-end, mobile responsiveness, and beautiful designs at your fingertips; giving you the eCommerce SEO tools you need to succeed.

With Lightspeed, you’ve got the right tools, but do you know how to make the most of them? Make sure you consider searcher intent in your eCommerce SEO strategy, otherwise, you could be missing the mark.

Follow these eCommerce SEO tips for addressing searcher intent.

Woman shopping online

What Is Searcher Intent in eCommerce SEO?

Searcher intent refers to the type of problem a search engine user’s query is meant to solve. Put simply, a search can have transactional (do something), informational (know something), or navigational (go somewhere) intent. An SEO plan for eCommerce websites should include the analysis of which searcher problem each page will solve.

 

How Does Searcher Intent Affect SEO for eCommerce?

Being that eCommerce is product focused, the searcher intent will usually be transactional. The buyer’s intent is to purchase a product.

However, keep in mind secondary searcher intent while doing SEO for eCommerce websites. Searchers may also be expecting to see certain product specifications, and pricing details while visiting one of your web pages.

For example, your eCommerce website, BakedWithLove, is in a niche eCommerce market that offers specialty baked goods packages for holidays. You’ve spent some time on your eCommerce search engine optimization, and your Easter cookie package is ranking for “BakedWithLove Easter cookie package,” and getting about 15 organic visitors per day during the weeks leading up to Easter.

When someone arrives on your Easter cookie package page via that search term, their main intent is most likely transactional: they want to buy your easter cookie package.

The searcher may also want to see the pricing of your cookie package, and they want to know if your cookies are gluten-free as well. This would make their secondary intent informational.

Without completely addressing all components of searcher intent during your on-page SEO for eCommerce, the user might leave your site for a competitor’s website that is more forthcoming with product pricing and nutrition facts.

 

Targeting Keywords vs. Targeting Searcher Intent

In the old school days of eCommerce website SEO, you could get nearly guaranteed SEO results by simply cramming a keyword onto your target page 300 times. In today’s digital marketplace, keywords are no longer the “be all, end all” that they once were. Your page can follow all of the eCommerce SEO best practices for on-page keyword placement, and still not rank well.

Make no mistake, keywords are still important, but keywords alone will not take you to the top of the SERPs.

Remember back to the BakedWithLove example. Imagine you’ve followed all of the SEO tips for eCommerce sites, and your cookie package is starting to rank on page one for the unbranded keyword, “Easter cookie packages.” No matter how many links, positive reviews, and social shares you get from marketing your business on social media, you cannot get it to rank higher than position eight for “Easter cookie packages.”

Brute forcing your way to the top won’t work today like it did five years ago. You need to diagnose the issue. Take a look at the bigger picture, and analyze your page from a keyword and intent standpoint.

Targeting Keywords

Many of the on-page eCommerce SEO tips that held true years ago still hold true today.

  • Examine related keywords, and leverage the power of latent semantic indexing in your keyword strategy
  • Include your target keywords in the title, h1, sub-headings, and meta-description
  • If your page is in the navigation, consider linking to it with some variation of your target keyword.

You’ve got your on-page eCommerce SEO bases covered. Now it’s time to examine how your page aligns with searcher intent.

Targeting Searcher Intent

One of the best ways to gauge how a user and search engines might interpret the intent behind a search query is to browse through the top results. Think of this as a miniature market analysis for your keyword of interest.

You look through the first page of results for “Easter cookie packages,” and notice that the top seven results are all lists of some sort. They’re either blogs that list the top Easter cookie packages, or internal search pages of an eCommerce website that list several of their Easter cookie packages.

You begin to realize that when people are including “packages” in their search, they are expecting to find several options. Your page doesn’t align with searcher intent, because it only lists one package.

Now you have a better grasp on the intent behind your target keyword. You can opt to either shift your focus toward optimizing your internal “Easter cookie packages,” site search page, or even list several of your other, less popular cookie options on the static version of your popular Easter cookie package.

You’ve now turned your valuable web page into an organic landing page that converts, ranks well, and aligns with searcher intent.

 

Focusing on SEO for eCommerce Websites

As the search engine market leaders continue to hone their algorithms, and incorporate machine learning into the mix, fully satisfying searcher intent will become a qualifying dimension instead of the determining dimension it is currently. This will no longer be an optional consideration to bake into your eCommerce SEO strategy, but a critical piece of the pie.