Ultimate SEO Guide for 2020 Ranking the Best Online Stores and eCommerce Shopping Carts

Are you new to SEO? Do you wonder how does it work and what matters most in 2020? I believe you’re in the right place. This ultimate SEO guide will improve how your content appears in search results, and get more traffic, leads, and sales.

SEO plays a huge role, where all websites including eCommerce sites rank in search results. If you want to improve your site and make it easier for people to find your products in search engines, then you need to optimize your store. 

Today we are going to cover everything that you need to do with SEO and ensure desired growth.

Quick Navigation:

Let’s start!

What is SEO?

SEO stands for Search engine optimization. It is a process of improving ranking in organic (non-paid) search results in search engines so that they appear higher in search results, bringing more traffic to your website. The higher the website rank is, the more people see it.

The history of SEO dates back to the 90s when the search engines come out for the first time. Nowadays, it is an essential marketing strategy.

Most SEO focuses on optimizing for Google’s search engine, which dominates the overall search market with a share of more than 90%. However, it is also possible to optimize for other search engines like Bing, Yahoo, Baidu, Yandex, and others.

If you want to learn more about SEO, you should be ready for a lot of creative, technical, and analytical work. There are many techniques but the main point will remain the same – to be among the highest results in organic searches.

There are two main types of SEO: on-page SEO and off-page SEO.

On-page SEO is all about optimizing content, code, and other sections of your website that you control.

Off-page SEO is all of the activities that you and others do away from your website to raise the ranking of a page with search engines.

You need to use both types of optimization techniques in your SEO strategy.

Hope you got the basic idea about SEO. Now let’s see why it is important and how does it work.

Why SEO is So Important

In today’s competitive market, SEO marketing is very important.

Search engines help millions of users per day looking for answers to their questions or for solutions to their problems.

If you have a web site, blog, or online eCommerce store, SEO can help you get targeted traffic from search engines.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is important because:

How Does SEO Work?

So now you know why SEO is important, we can talk about how SEO works in a little more detail.

To understand how does SEO works to improve search rankings, we’ll need to break it down a little.

What is Search Ranking In SEO?

Search ranking in SEO means the position of your content on the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs). The more rank you will have, your webpage appears first in SERPs.

If you have a top ranking, your web page appears first in SERPs. That puts it at the top of the page unless there’s a promoted result (paid ad).

If your web page isn’t in the top three, it’s still excellent if it shows up on the first page of SERPs. If it doesn’t, you’ll definitely miss out on the organic traffic, as a report said 95% of people only look at the first page of SERPs.

How Does Google Search Work?

Google search engines have three primary functions:

The process looks like:

People usually type words that they are looking for. These are called keywords, and as you’ll see, they are a very important part of SEO. 

Google’s Search Quality Rating

Quality content is another important part of the search process. Google has search quality ratings which look at:

When you do SEO, you’re helping Google’s crawlers to crawl and understand your content. You’re also telling Google that your content is relevant to certain queries, so your web pages show top in the search results.

How To Check Search Engine Rankings

To improve SEO, it is very important to know where you are starting from. That’s why you have to know your search engine ranking.

There are a couple of ways to do so.

Free Tools

1. Follow these instructions from Chrome:

Open a private or incognito window with your browser

A new window will open. You can continue browsing as normal in the other window browser.

You can also add “&pws=0” to the end of your results page URL.
Example: http://www.google.com/search?q=google+analytics+consulting&pws=0

You can also use different tool which can tell you where a specific keyword ranks in Google’s search results.

There are some excellent online tools to use to check your target keyword position on Google.

2. The HOTH Search Engine Ranking free tool helps you identify high volume keywords for your domain.

Just type or paste the domain or URL of your website to view google rankings. The search result looks like:

Paid Tools

SEMrush is a complete solution for keyword checking.

You can enter your website URL or the individual URL of a blog post or a keyword, and it will show you which keywords you are currently ranking for. You can further click on any resulting keyword to check keyword competition and other details.

It is professional software that is easy to use, and you can try it for a couple of weeks for free before deciding whether you want to subscribe.

Here’s how you can find search engine rankings for your web pages with SEMrush.

Go to SEO Toolkit > Organic Research > Positions and type in your domain name. Scroll down to Organic Search Positions option to see which keywords your content ranks for and what ranking position it holds.

You can click different tabs to view each data point one-by-one. Compared to other Google keyword ranking tools, SEMrush Is one of the best Google rank checker options.

Ahrefs is another SEO tool, provides a fast and accurate way to find your search rankings.

Though Ahrefs isn’t a free tool for checking your rank on Google, it is an effective one. Because the platform offers useful tools for checking your SEO. Whether you want to audit your website, discover new keywords, or target competitor links, you can do it with this tool.

To use this tool, just follow the steps:

That’s it! Once you add your keywords, you can start monitoring the website’s performance.

SEO Ranking Factors

Let’s look at how to help improve SEO rankings by optimizing your online presence to appeal to some important SEO ranking factors.

Google focuses on the top three ranking factors:

1. Links

Link is an important Google ranking factor. More links will result in a higher score, but only if they’re from a number of diverse and authentic domains.

There are three types of links matter:

2. Content

Content is another most important Google ranking factors. Relevance and quality are two crucial factors for content. SearchMetrics study found that just 53% of the top 20 queries have keywords in their title tag, and less than 40% of landing pages have keywords in their H1.

The research shows that the length of your content is also important. That’s because content that’s more than 2000 words long tends to get more top places in SERPs. Longer contents also contain more links (another important factor).

3. User Experience (RankBrain)

Another major SEO ranking factor is Google’s artificial intelligence search ranking algorithm which is also known as RankBrain, and it’s all about user experience.

There are three important features of RankBrain:

All of these together tell Google how users interact with your site and if your content is relevant, which can affect search ranking.

Other SEO ranking factors are: 

What is Keyword and Keyword Intent?

Keywords are words and phrases that describe what your content is about and what people are looking for.

Keyword research is about finding those terms so that you can use them properly in content optimization and SEO.

Keyword research can:

Keyword intent or search intent is what searchers intend to find when they enter a particular word or phrase. 

There are a few categories of keywords intent.

Informational: This type of keyword includes all kinds of intent within the “free” category. From general search to online news reading/browsing to looking at any search, this is the information category.

Navigational: This type of keywords are used when trying to find a particular site.

Transactional: These keywords are used when searchers actually want to buy.

Transactional keywords include keyword +:

Investigational: These are mainly pre-purchase searches keywords.

Types Of Keywords

You can think of them as head, body, and longtail keywords.

Google’s search evaluation quality guidelines list three types of searches:

How To Do Keyword Research

The starting point of keyword research will be obvious from your brain. Always brainstorm and think about what your visitors need from you.

Record the keyword in a spreadsheet or in a list. Apply this as you go through the keyword research process.

There are lots of ways and tools for keyword research. One of the easiest ways is to use the autocomplete function in Google. Start type and consider the suggested phrases.

You can also complete a search and look at the terms that appear in the “searches related to” box at the bottom of the Google search page.

You can also use dedicated keyword research tools to find keywords.

Some of the popular tools are:

10 Valuable Places for Keyword Practice

Once you’ve found the keywords, now it’s time to create and optimize your content for better SEO.

I already mentioned the keyword tool to search for keywords. Choose those keywords which have a ranking between 4 and 10. Those are good optimization options, as it will help you achieve a top 3 ranking.

Once you have your selected keywords, there are several places to include them. Here are some of the most important places.

1. URLs

The structure and keywords you use in your URLs are very important. Optimized URLs are important for search engines and human usability, and play a big role in your SEO.

Use keywords in your URL to tell readers how relevant the page is and what sort of content they should expect to find on the page.

If you have an eCommerce site, use your category, sub-category, and product keywords in the URL. A URL like:


tells search engines a lot more about the page than the below URL.


Search engines crawling the first URL immediately as it is in a particular product, while the second URL doesn’t provide any such clues.

2. Title Tag

Title tag or Page titles are the first line of your search results entry. They tell both the Google and searchers what your page is about.

Sometimes, the page title and the SEO title are the same; but you can also tweak the SEO title for better search ranking with Yoast SEO tool.

Titles that are too long will be cut off, so keep them less than 60 characters (including spaces). An ideal length is between 50-60 characters. Search engines have developed an algorithm for determining when someone is trying to manipulate them. Adding too many keywords, or repeating the same keyword again and again, will hurt your SEO.

3. Meta Description

Meta descriptions show up just below the title of a search results entry.

Though Meta descriptions aren’t used as a ranking factor by search engines, you can still use your keyword here to improve your SEO.

Search engines combine meta descriptions with title tags and URLs to create a page’s search snippet.

4. Page Content

The page content is the backbone of your site, and the whole reason your page exists in the first place. 

In the old days, optimizing your content meant organizing your content with keywords and synonyms. 

Since Google’s Panda update, that type of keyword-saturated content looks like useless spam and you’ll struggle to get much more organic traffic.

Instead, focus on creating content that covers the topic in-depth. Google likes long content. The average top-ten pages have around 2,000 words. Concentrating on covering the topic in-depth will allow you to use keywords throughout the page. It will also naturally allow you to use latent semantic indexing keywords. Latent semantic indexing keywords are words that are typically associated with other words. It’s one of the ways any search engines tell the difference between a page about swimming pools and a page about billiards.

5. Headers and Sub-heads

Like title tags, search engines also pay close attention to headers and sub-heads as the clues regarding a page’s content, particularly the <H1> tag. The <H1> tag is the most important header on the page and serves as the title of the content. So it is very important to include your keyword here. Note that the <H1> header is NOT the same thing as the title tag. Use sub-head <H2> through to<H6>, to structure your content and use your keywords consistently throughout the page. Your <H1> doesn’t need to be exactly the same as your title tag, but it should be rather close.

6. Image Alt Text

Search engines can’t “see” images, but you can use them to help your page rank for target keywords. Images are a good place to use keywords.

Ideally, you can optimize:

7. Filenames

Like alt text, filenames of files embedded on your site should include keywords. Don’t use default names like DSC000XX.jpg or video_XX.mov. Optimize filenames in the same way as you would a URL:

8. Internal Linking

Internal linking is sometimes overlooked when it comes to SEO. However, they’re a great resource for spreading the internal links around your content. If your site has been around for a while there’s a good chance you’ve got some pages that have built up a lot. Use some of that page link by linking to other pages on your site using keywords as anchor text. Anchor text is the words that form a link, often underlined in blue colour.

What is an SEO Audit?

An SEO audit is a process of analyzing how well your web presence relates to best practices. It is the first step in creating an implementation plan that will have measurable results.

The purpose of the SEO audit is to identify as many issues affecting organic search performance as possible. The SEO audit will reveal:

Why SEO Audit is So Important?

Some of the most common reasons why you need to audit your site SEO include:

SEO Audit Tools You Need

You don’t need a large number of tools to successfully perform an SEO audit

Throughout the audit process, you can use just 4 core tools:

SEO Audit Process To Boost Google Rankings

Follow these steps of the SEO audit process to nail your site’s SEO and boost your search traffic.

Most SEO audits have two things in common:

This one is different.

It takes only hours, not weeks, and you won’t need a degree in computer science to follow this.

Let’s go!

Step 1: Check For Duplicate Versions of Your Site in Google’s Index

First, you need to check and confirm that only one version of your site is browseable.

Consider all the ways someone could type your website address into a browser.

For example:

The only one of these should be accessible in a browser.

To check for duplicates just do this.

Head to google and type site:yourdomain.com and search.

This returns the URLs that are indexed for your site domain.

If you notice a mix of site versions, you have a potential issue that needs to be addressed.

The alternative way is to enter each URL version into your browser. You should expect to be redirected to a single site version, whichever you use. If not, 301 redirect all versions to a single site.

Step 2: Make Your Site Crawlable

An accessible URL is an important SEO search ranking factor. Make sure that Google can crawl your site to find your content and know what it is about. The XML sitemap is an essential tool for this is. You can easily create an XML sitemap either with Yoast SEO or the XML Sitemaps tool.

You can also check your site for crawl errors with Google Search Console. Log in and go to Crawl > Crawl errors to see how your site is doing.

Step 3: Check Google Search Console for Indexing Issues

To check that your site is indexed, just go to:

Google Search Console > Google Index > Index Status.

You can also check your site indexing status by simply going to the Google search box. Just type site: your domain.com.

This will also tell you how many pages Google has indexed for your domain.

For multivendorshoppingcarts.com, Google has 4210 pages indexed.

Step 4: Check Your Rank for Your Brand Name

Go to Google search option and search for your brand name.

Unless your site is new or the brand is a very generic phrase, I would expect to see your site as the first organic result.

If you don’t rank in position one but do rank further down, then chances are Google thinks another site is a more appropriate result for that branded term.

This is one of the issues you face when you use a generic word as your brand name. It can be difficult to rank because most people don’t want to see your website when searching for the “branded” term.

So what’s the solution?

Brand building and link building means doing things like:

Do that, and you should slowly climb up the search ranks.

Step 5: Check For Manual Actions like BASIC On-page SEO

When assessing your site and the results from your crawl, there are many things you need to check to ensure that your site is properly optimized.

To start this, look for duplicate pages, headers, and title tags.

If you’ve published a lot of content with similar themes, some obviously unrelated content will show up in your crawl.

You’ve to look for duplicates of the same content.

You can use a tool like Copyscape to help assess potential SEO problems arising from duplicate content.

From there, closely examine a few key criteria that Google evaluates in their rankings like:

Page Titles and Title Tags

Meta Descriptions

You have to make sure your content is organized, with a clear hierarchy on the page.

Every page on your site should have a focus keyword and it is included in the first 100 words.

This helps Google to understand what the content focuses on.

But this is not the end.

There are plenty of other places that you should insert your keyword to impact your ranking.

Overall, on-page SEO checks are very important, but they are only one part of your SEO strategy.

Step 6: Check Site Speed

Site speed has been very important for a long time. 

Back in 2018, Google pushed a dedicated Page Speed Update that introduced speed as a mobile ranking factor.

Google has just announced that they will roll out a Page Experience Update in 2021. This confirms UX is more ingrained in SEO success than ever before.

And what we can’t deny is that site speed is important. 

Looking at user behaviors, Google has published data to show that the chance of a bounce rate significantly increases the slower a page loads.

It is more important that your site is fast, both from SEO and UX perspectives.

You can measure your site speed with a tool like GTMetrix.

Step 7: Check for Structured Data Errors

The next step of the SEO audit process is to test any structured data that the site may contain and ensure it is properly formed.

Examples of content that may benefit from the addition of structured data include:

You can also use Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool to test existing structured data.

Paste in the URL box you wish to test and hit the “Run Test.”

Google will evaluate the structured data for the page and return any errors if there is any.

In our search test, we can see there are no errors.

If you do get any errors, it goes without saying that you should fix them. 

Step 8: Manage your Internal and External Links

I already mentioned that sites with logical hierarchies have improved SEO rankings.

That’s why it is very important to check your internal and external links.

If your webpages delete or move, it can result in broken links on your site.

You can easily solve the broken links problem. Integrity (only for Mac) and Xenu Sleuth are downloadable tools that can help you identify your broken links on your site.

Google does score clicks from internal and external links differently, although both have their purpose in improving your SEO rankings.

Step 9: Check Off-site SEO and Conduct a Backlink Audit

Backlinks are important for SEO success.

In this way, Google and other search engines will know that your page is particularly relevant.

Keep in mind that hyperlinks are not the only thing crawlers look for in off-site SEO.

Conduct a backlink audit

Use a tool like Ubersuggest to perform a backlink audit and assess the kind of backlinks you have on your site.

1: Enter Your URL and Click “Search”.

2: Click “Backlinks” in the Left Sidebar

3: Review the Report

Backlink audits are useful because:

Don’t just stop with your site’s backlink audit.

Your competitors are ready with their own SEO capability. They rank above you on your most important search terms.

UberSuggest allows you to see what keywords other sites are ranking for. It also reveals what backlinks are going to those sites.

Here’s how you can do it:

1: Enter Your Competitor’s URL and Click “Search

2: Click on “Keywords” in the Left Sidebar

3: Review the Results.

This gives a clear overview of what your competitor’s site is ranking for. In addition to the keywords, you can review:

Step 9: Confirm That Your Site Uses HTTPS

If your site isn’t using HTTPS, it should be.

You can check this by going to https://www.domain.com in your browser. 

If your site remains on this protocol, ignore this step and move on. If you are redirected to an HTTP version, you need to address this. 

HTTPS has been a ranking mark since 2014, and if your site still runs on HTTP, you need to implement an SSL certificate.

How To Build Links For SEO

Although link building is not an easy thing to do, there are many white hat SEO techniques you can start with.

1. Ask for backlinksThis is a good way to start, especially if you are a beginner in this job.

2. Build relationships: For a good link building, you need to build good relationships. There are plenty of chances to build new contacts. You should start with niche-related communities like forums, blogs, or social groups.

3. Give a testimonial: Testimonial is a good technique for link building. This is a perfect way to build customer trust. On the other hand, it’s a great opportunity for you to get a backlink and potential traffic from that site.

4. Start a blog: Don’t make a blog with one post and one backlink to your site. If you do, you not only wasting your time but also just creating another risky link for yourself. If you have your own blog, you need to keep it alive.

Write various posts on a regular basis. Focus on your industry and on your client’s needs! 

5. Discover competitors’ common backlinks: If you study your competitors, you will probably notice that they have some backlinks which you don’t have yet.

You have to analyze these backlinks and try to get them as well.

6. Get an indirect backlink from your competitor: Try to get a backlink from your competitor site. To get this you can paste your page link on that site.

7. Find the most relevant link building opportunities: There are many possibilities for link building on the Internet. There are many forums, blogs, or sites where you can place your backlink, but usually, it is not so easy to find them. SERP is designed to help you find the most relevant and strongest link results.

What is Mobile SEO?

Mobile SEO is the optimization process of your website to ensure that your site looks great and functions properly on mobile devices. 

According to statista, Google has 95% of the mobile search market. So, it is very important to optimizing mobile for Google search.

Why is Mobile SEO Important?

We already mentioned why mobile SEO is important to your business, but let’s take a look at a few statistics that show why mobile SEO matters:

Best Practices for Creating an Effective Mobile SEO Strategy

You know why mobile SEO is so important, it’s time to start adapting your plan for your mobile users. 

Let’s take a look at some best practices for improving your mobile SEO strategy.

1. Improve your site’s load time

Your site’s load time is an essential part of the mobile experience. When users search for information, they want to access it quickly. If your website doesn’t load fast enough for your audience, they will bounce from your site.

To keep leads on your site, you must improve your site’s load time. Google PageSpeed Insights will provide the information on your site’s load time.

2. Responsive Design

Responsive design is a critical component of creating a mobile-friendly website. When you use responsive design, you ensure that your website adapts to any device. Whether it’s a smartphone or tablet, your visitors will get the best mobile experience for their device.

Integrating responsive design makes it easy for your visitors to browse your site. They can easily scroll through your page and view your site correctly.

3. Focus on the User Experience

The next step comes to responsive design. If you want to be successful with mobile-friendly SEO, you must focus on the user experience.

Responsive design is a part of a positive user experience. When visitors can access and browse your site easily on mobile devices, it provides a positive experience for them.

4. Be Careful of Pop-ups

Pop-ups are an effective way to draw your audience’s attention. Whether it’s to sign up to receive emails or download free content. Many companies use pop-ups to draw the customer’s attention towards the action you want them to take.

5. Optimize for Local SEO

A crucial part of mobile SEO involves local SEO. Mobile searches using the keyword “near me” occurred three times more in the past few years. It means that more and more users search for local businesses.

Visitors often searches with phrases like “near me,” “open now,” and “where can I buy” to find local businesses near them. With so many people searching using local keywords on mobile, you must adapt your SEO strategy to reach these people.

6. Implement an Easy-to-Use Navigation Bar

Your site navigation plays a vital role in how users find and access information. If your navigation is too complex to use, users will get frustrated and leave your site. To ensure you’re creating a positive impression for your audience, create mobile-friendly navigation.

7. Optimize Title Tags and Meta Descriptions

An essential part of mobile SEO is the title tags and meta descriptions. These two elements determine whether someone clicks on your page in the search results.

8. Create a Separate Mobile URL

When companies optimize for mobile, they create a different mobile URL. With a separate mobile URL, you can create a parallel site for mobile users. It creates a custom experience for people who visit your website through mobile devices.

9. Create Mobile-friendly Content

A great mobile SEO tip is to create mobile-friendly content. When you create that type of content, you format it to provide a positive experience on mobile devices.

If you want to create mobile-friendly content, you have to make it easy for users to scroll through it. For example, keeping paragraphs at 2-3 sentences will make it easier for your audience to read through your article.

Best Keyword Research Tools

Wrapping Up the Ultimate SEO Guide

Without proper positioning content in search results, no business can survive long.

By increasing your search visibility, you can bring more potential visitors, and in turn, conversions and sales. And thus you can become an expert in SEO.

FAQs About SEO

We’re almost done with our ultimate SEO guide, but before we finish, let’s answer a few common SEO questions.

What is White Hat and Black Hat SEO?

You might have heard the terms white hat SEO and black hat SEO.

White hat SEO includes all the SEO practices we’ve discussed so far. It takes a long term approach to site optimization and focuses on the user experience and what people need.

On the other hand, Black hat SEO refers to a set of practices that are used to increases a site or page’s rank in search engines through means that violate the search engines’ terms of service.

Black hat SEO practices to avoid include:

Is search engine optimization dead?

Mark Twain once said the death of SEO has been greatly exaggerated. As you’ve seen, there are some SEO practices that supposed to work that don’t work anymore. But there’s also plenty of information right here in this guide that works. And it is proven.

How do you get to the top of Google search results?

The truth is that only one site can be number one for a particular keyword, and there’s a lot of competition out there. But optimizing your site can make a difference as rankings fluctuate all the time. As long as you’re in the top 3, or at least on the first page, you’ve got a chance for people to find and click. If you fulfil their requirement after the click, that increases your chances of being relevant for future searches for that term.

Share this:

Translate »