Semalt E-Commerce SEO: How To Optimize The Conversion In Your Online Shop?

Starting an online store is just the beginning of the road to sell online. Achieving the goal requires paying attention to a number of the elements that determine the conversion in the online store. What is it worth to drive many visitors to your website?

Getting the visitors to your web store is theoretically not difficult. It is a matter of allocating the appropriate funds for this purpose, which will allow you to gain the users quickly, e.g. thanks to Google Ads or Facebook Ads, or in the long term, e.g. by investing in SEO. It is not difficult to use the budget we have, but the store is supposed to be profitable, so the goal should be to create a website that will sell.

''You won't make everyone who visits your website to order any products, but you should aim to maximize your conversion rate.''

What is exactly a conversion? 

It is the performance of a specific action by the user - e.g. on a website that is a company's showcase, the conversion may be sending an inquiry with a request for an offer. In the case of an online store, the conversion is sales. In order to track whether the activities carried out are bringing the expected results, you should analyze the conversion rate, which tells you what percentage of the users visiting your online store made a purchase.

Example: Your website was visited by 10,000 people within 30 days. The users and 200 of them ordered the products. In this case, the conversion rate is 2%. But is it a lot? Little? It depends.

Conversion rate and industry

You can count both the general conversion for the store and the conversion depending on the source of the traffic. Here are some points on which your average conversion rate is based on:
  • Pages recommending the products and the partner websites: 5.44% this is the highest conversion rate, and in this case, we are talking about the redirects to the landing page, among the others from the forums or the blogs.
  • Email marketing: 5.32 percent
  • Direct inputs after entering the website address in the browser (referral): 2.19 percent
  • Organic traffic from the search engines: 2.08 percent
These are overall conversion rates, and there is also an industry issue. It is not that no matter what you're selling, it is real to get the same conversion rate. Taking into account individual industries, it looks like this:
  • Food and drinks: 3.58 %
  • Health and beauty: 3.08 %
  • Games and toys: 2.43 %
  • Jewelry and accessories:  2.14 %
  • Home and garden: 1.81 %
  • Clothing and fashion: 1.85 %
  • Sport and recreation:  1.96%
  • Electronics : 1.27 %
  • Furniture : 0.85%
As you can see, the conversion rate varies significantly. For the furniture, the average is four times lower than for the stores selling food and drinks. This is a very big difference.

In fact, in e-commerce, you should constantly analyze and strive to improve the results, because the market is constantly changing, and so are the customers' requirements. Even if you have achieved a fair conversion rate, that doesn't mean you should rest on your laurels. You should still analyze your store and your competitors' websites. Only in this way you will grow your business and improve your results. What to do to increase your conversion rate? In fact, the different steps may be required for each store.

Conversion optimization in the online store

The steps you need to take to improve your conversion rate depend on how the page looks like, what errors need to be corrected. It is possible that you have already implemented many of my proposals in your store, but maybe you will use at least some of it:

Efficient internal search engines

Very often it happens that when I am looking for something in a given store, I use…Google search. Why? Due to the fact that often the stores' search engines are not optimized and do not show the products I am looking for, even though the robots have one in their resources. The typos are also a problem. If you make a mistake in the stores' search engines, you will not often see the product you are looking for, but Google will have already shown it, as long as the page on which it is located is indexed on Google. The search engines' hints are also valuable. 

A poorly functioning search engine may prevent the user from making a purchase in your store.

Analysis of conversion sources

As I mentioned, depending on which marketing activities you choose, its effects may be different. A low conversion rate, e.g. from Facebook ads, does not necessarily mean that it is not profitable to use such activities. The cost of acquiring a customer should also be taken into account. It is possible that it is the smallest in the case of this social network. The analysis of the results should be carried out for individual activities: SEO, Google Ads, comparison of the websites or e-mail marketing. If the given traffic sources are not effective, the conversion rate is low, and the cost of reaching the customer is high, it is better to transfer the funds used for these activities to the forms of advertising that bring the best results for your store.

Introducing simple navigation

Make sure that the top navigation bar contains all the categories and the subcategories that interest your user. He should not have to click through several subpages to get to the category he is interested in - it must be available from the home page. Another thing - the menu should be perfectly visible at the first glance, immediately after opening the page.

Fast page loading

In the case of e-commerce, the store's page should literally load in seconds. When you enter the website of the online store and want to order a product, but each subsequent subpage takes a very long time to load; what are you going to do? You will likely find another site where there will not have such a problem, and so will do the other users.

As a matter of fact", a one-second delay in loading a page on a mobile device can reduce the conversion rate by up to 20%! The users expect the site to load for no more than 2 seconds. Does it look like this for your store? Find out how to reduce page load times.

Choice of the shipping options

Not every online store owner can afford to offer free shipping to the customers. If you can't do it, first of all, try to price it reasonably and give it a choice. Imagine that you want to buy a product that costs 20 dollars and its shipping cost is the same. Will you order it? Rather not, and so will do most of the customers. It would be different if the delivery cost was from 5 to 8 dollars.

Lowering the price of an abandoned product

The user chose a product, added it to the cart, but ultimately gave it up. What can you do then? Inform him that the price for this assortment item has been reduced. However, it is not about offering such a discount to all the internet users, but it is about personalizing the offer. In the online stores, you can also meet the price negotiation option, i.e. when you leave the website; you will be asked how much you are willing to pay for this product. Personally, I have often managed to save several dozens cent on the orders.

Choice of payment options

Currently, cash on the delivery purchases are not as popular as it used to be, and this includes the fact that it costs more. Everyone has a different preferred form of payment for the products or the services. Some prefer the online transfer, like PayPal. It is worth giving more than one option otherwise you can lose customers.

The short way to buy a product

It is better to shorten the cart to 2 stages and eliminate all the elements in this part of the page that may distract the customer from placing the order. However, it is worth presenting the other products to the customers who ordered a given item or service. This will allow you to increase the average order quantity per buyer.

Taking care of the users' safety

It seems that the use of a secured connection by a store is now standard, but there are still some sites that do not provide this. How do you recognize those sites? Next to the website address, e.g. in Chrome, the information shown in the screenshot below will appear.

Such a message is unlikely to encourage shopping. Meanwhile, an SSL certificate is even available for free. What does it actually do? Thanks to it, the data sent between the user and the device is encrypted and it cannot be changed or intercepted. The store's website should also contain the necessary information that will be a signal for the user that he can buy safely. About regulations or security policy. Contact details, including landline number, are mandatory. Before the first purchase, the customers can verify the existence of the store. If nobody answers the phone, they won't probably place the orders.

If there is not the SSL certificate on your website, how does that affect your website?

  • Weaker positioning - fewer pageviews

SSL (Secure Socket Layer) is an internet protocol; its task is to secure data on the websites by encrypting the entire connection. When the users visit a website, a connection is established between the browser and the website's server. The SSL certificate makes that connection encrypted and secured. Any actions taken on the website - sending data in forms, making purchases will not leak to a third party and will not be redirected to the other places on the web.

The SSL certificate, or rather the lack of it, has a significant impact on the number of the people visiting your website. As we mentioned before, the online security is becoming increasingly important. Everything that is important and serves the users is also appreciated by the Google search engines. This has a great impact on the positioning of our website. The pages without an implemented SSL certificate will be in the lower positions than the competitors' pages that have this certificate. Also this will be directly traduced into the number of the views of your online store or your business card page.

  • Opt-out of the online purchases

Your website without an SSL certificate will be much less visible in the search results, but the users will still have a chance to find it. Unfortunately, without the implemented certificate, your bounce rate will be much higher. All thanks to the messages, your visitors will get from the browser, regardless of whether it is the Chrome or Firefox browser. Your customers will have a warning that the site they are currently visiting is unsecured and "DANGEROUS". This type of information can effectively scare the potential buyers of your goods or services, and the trust in your company will drop significantly.

Simple registration and login

At the first stage of setting up an account, it requires, for example, only an e-mail address and password, and other data when placing an order. A longer form does not have to discourage the user from creating an account, but above all remember to refine it. Add notes for each field so that the users are clear about what information they should provide and in what form.

A website of popular low-cost airlines may be a warning, where information on the form in which to enter the telephone number is unclear. Effect? Dozens of the topics on the Google forums where the users ask how to go through the registration stage. This is a serious mistake that probably led to the loss of a huge amount of potential customers.
It is also worth noting that now it is almost standard to allow the user to make a purchase as a "guest" without the need to register.

Specific product descriptions

On one hand, it is good for the product descriptions to be written taking into account SEO principles, so that those descriptions are clearly visible in the organic results of the Google search engines, but on the other hand, it should convince the users to buy. Focus on the most important advantages of the product and information that is relevant to those interested. Do you get any questions related to a given item in the assortment? So complete the description with this information.


The above actions are only selected solutions that can help to increase the conversion in the online store. Depending on your site, other work may be effective. It is worth constantly developing the store, introducing changes and analyzing the benefits that it brings.