Getting more organic traffic to your website can dramatically improve your online store’s bottom line. In terms of web visitors, those who find your site organically are the leads that don’t cost you anything, so obviously they are the most valuable.

But organic traffic is harder to come by than anything you bring in with paid advertising. It requires a targeted search engine optimization strategy and that starts with a solid site structure. After all, the better your site is, the longer people will stay which can boost your ranking and improve the chances of conversion.

If you’re ready to get started, here are 36 expert SEO tips to improve your site’s visitor experience.

  1. If it’s not already, you’ll want to move your ecommerce site from HTTP to HTTPS. This helps to protect your customers’ sensitive information. It’s also trusted more by Google, which means your site will rank better as a result.
  2. Focus on speed. Slow loading pages lead to higher bounce rate, which can decrease your site’s ranking in the search engines.
  3. Mobile matters. Not only are more than half of all ecommerce transactions performed on mobile devices, but 40% of people who have a bad mobile experience will move on to a competitor.
  4. Dedicate some time during your slower season to building high quality backlinks. These help to boost rankings and bring more traffic to your site.
  5. Make sure your meta-descriptions are compelling. This can increase your click-through-rates, which can in turn boost your sales.
  6. Include ALT tags on all of your images. This enables search engine bots to scan and rank them.
  7. Start using breadcrumb navigation to simplify your site and make it easier for visitors to move between categories, products and other pages.
  8. Implement 301-redirects on any expired or discontinued products to automatically bring visitors to newer product pages.
  9. Category pages should be treated as individual pages with their own content and targeted keywords.
  10. Make sure your URLs are structured in a way that is both user-friendly and Google-friendly. For instance:
  11. Offer your shoppers category-level navigation to make it easier to locate the items they’re looking for. This will decrease bounce rate, thereby improving ranking and also increasing likelihood of conversion.
  12. Compress images to ensure faster loading times. Remember, page speed plays a significant role in search engine ranking.
  13. Invest some time and effort into marketplace SEO (i.e. optimize your products for Amazon).
  14. Optimize your title tags. Aim for 60-70 characters each and always include your targeted keyword.
  15. Include social share buttons on all of your product pages. The more people share, the more organic traffic it will drive to your site.
  16. Optimize your 404 error pages to help drive more sales and keep your bounce rate low.
  17. Consider adding a live chat feature to your site. Some stores have achieved a significant boost in conversion rate just by doing this.
  18. Build and submit your sitemap to Google to help speed up scanning and indexing of pages.
  19. Increase internal linking throughout your site. This will keep visitors on your site longer which can help you rank higher in the search engines.
  20. Use internal links to recommend related products or products other shoppers bought (think Amazon) to help drive more relevant sales.
  21. Rather than using phrases like “click here,” use keywords in your anchor texts. This will help rank pages for specific terms.
  22. Keep your calls to action up to date. Optimize them for specific promotions, sales, holidays, etc.
  23. Create a well-written “About Us” page. This will increase your on-site content and also provide more contexts to Google about what your site is all about, what products you sell, etc.
  24. Always include the product name in all of your meta titles to ensure searchers find exactly what they’re looking for.
  25. Focus on long-tail keywords as they tend to drive more organic search traffic.
  26. Optimize your homepage to kick-start the selling process. Begin by suggesting products that are popular to grab visitors’ attention and reduce the likelihood of a bounce.
  27. Structure your category pages using specific keywords that are popular.
  28. Use shorter, keyword-dense URLs, which are favored by Google over longer URLs.
  29. Activate and keep your SSL certificate up to date. Google ranks sites higher that have better security.
  30. Use out-of-stock pages as an opportunity to gather leads. Collect email addresses for stocking notifications.
  31. Make sure images on the mobile-optimized version of your site are smaller than 70KB to keep load times at a minimum.
  32. Use phrases like “buy online” to inform visitors of how they can get your product before they even click. This can increase your organic CTR.
  33. Always use header tags on all of your product pages.
  34. Use canonicalization to organize your content and prioritize specific pages over duplicates.
  35. Create a sense of urgency with your meta descriptions and on all of your product pages.
  36. Last but not least, focus on optimizing your site for better user experience. Make it easy for visitors to find what they need quickly. Remember – modern SEO is about optimizing for people, not search engines.

Getting more organic traffic to your ecommerce store can be challenging, but it’s not impossible. Apply the tips listed above and stay tuned for part two of this post where we’ll be sharing even more SEO hacks for improving ranking and boosting sales.