SEO for fashion ecommerce: A definitive guide with 8 proven strategies
Is your fashion ecommerce website struggling to gain traction? It's time to invest in SEO for fashion ecommerce. In this article, we'll show you how optimizing your website for search engines can take your business from zero to hero, with proven tips that will help you outrank your competitors.
Google’s algorithm is in a constant state of change. Fashion and lifestyle retailers are subject to growing international competition between giants and up-and-coming brands. Leverage a fashion-focused SEO strategy to reinforce your position on the market. We will show you the best practices using real-life examples from our customers.
How does SEO for fashion ecommerce differ from traditional retail SEO?
The fashion and lifestyle industries are all about making an impression and expressing the brand’s character. They’re subjected to raising trends, quickly changing customer needs and demand, and above all, high competition. It’s a unique playing field, where every brand has a chance and SEO is one of the tools that levels the ground.
It allows you to put your brand on the map and generate traffic that you’ll later try to convert into revenue. It doesn’t matter if your company is a well-known international star or an up-and-coming brand. It’s all in the time, thought and money you’re willing to invest into your SEO strategy.
However, SEO for the fashion and lifestyle industries is very different from traditional retail SEO.
Five fashion-specific SEO challenges:
1) Site & offer architecture often focused around collections,
2) Heavy usage of images and high-resolution pictures,
3) Content localization for brands selling internationally,
4) Brands often sell collections via channel partners and distributors. This creates a lot of challenges with duplicate content. Local distributors simply copy-paste original product descriptions straight from manufacturers. The same applies when selling via marketplaces like Amazon (Amazon fetches product descriptions directly from the brand's original website).
5) Optimization for mobile SEO — in fashion retail, most customers consume content and purchase via smartphones, especially people coming in from Instagram or Facebook (where approximately 80% of users are on mobile). And we know fashion brands do a lot of influence marketing on social media.
A great site structure is at the heart of every well-performing, SEO-optimized page. We won’t be able to go into every aspect of building a good site architecture in this article, so we’ll focus on the most important aspects like product grouping, product page optimization and collections.
The easiest way to plan site structure relies on crawl depth. Flat site structure is better ranked by Google. You can measure your site’s crawl depth with the amount of clicks that it takes to take you from homepage to any other page. You never want to have more than four clicks in the way.
Google employees have confirmed that the pages closest to your homepage are considered higher priority, so keep that in mind while building your site’s map. If you have a page that's linked to from every other page on the site, Google knows that page is very important and should be promoted. You want to build cohesive groups of content to inform Google what your site is about and which pages are the most important. Each grouping of products creates an SEO landing page. Those groupings are called product category pages (for example, https://tobeouterwear.com/c/men/m-performance/m-p-jackets) and they power the SEO engine. Site map and product category pages are key to a successful SEO strategy. That’s why it's worth the investment of time and effort.
Product category pages in SEO for fashion ecommerce
Product category pages are vital in SEO for fashion, as is proper categorisation.
The most popular way to construct your page map is the product framework, which is based on four factors: product, customer, keyword and essentials. This helps to keep you on track when looking for the balance between customer needs (common sense) and ranking highly on Google.
Product in SEO for fashion
When grouping your products together, you want to focus on the similarities between particular pieces. You can rearrange 100 products into a variety of configurations, easily creating 200 or more subpages. When you have only one or two products from one collection or one category, you're going to have them as part of a general collection. It's worth considering a dedicated collection if you have three or more products in a category. Five or more should always be put into a dedicated collection that can be optimized over time.
The grouping dictates the site architecture. What makes better sense, when you look at your groups?
Example: Homepage -> Main categories -> Subcategories
Example: Homepage -> Main categories -> Subcategory 1 -> Subcategory 2
As mentioned before, flat architecture is overall a better choice because it’s easier for Google to index and crawl the website.
The more categories and the more extensive the tree, the more so-called SEO landing pages. Google receives more SEO-optimized content, and the more content Google indexes, the more traffic. Each additional category in the store is a chance for additional Google traffic. In addition, a well-thought-out category tree makes it easier for Google to reach and index content from the lower levels of architecture, i.e. product pages. Good architecture facilitates the transmission of the so-called link juice (aka page authority) from the home page down the structure, through category pages to product pages. The home page is always the strongest in terms of SEO, and with good architecture and internal linking, it transfers its power to other subpages.
Customers in SEO for fashion
After creating these general collections, it’s time to think about how customers might be looking for them. What will they call them? Will they use questions or nominal sentences to search? Which categories should be linked to each other for easier searching? If you find these questions hard to answer, you can always go back to your ICP and use personas to make it easier and more accurate.
Work on the three most important elements — site structure, navigation and product descriptions.
SEO keywords for clothing brand
When it comes to optimizing a fashion ecommerce website for search engines, one factor involves identifying the right keywords and phrases that potential customers may be searching.
The first step in conducting keyword research for a clothing brand is to identify the target audience. If you specialize in women's clothing - focus on keywords that are most relevant to women. The further you’ll be able to specify your target audience, the better keywords you’ll be able to find.
With the target audience identified, you can start to research the most popular search terms related to clothing. There is a variety of tools to help you find the right keywords for your target audience, including Ahrefs, Semrush, WordStream. They also include trends over time and competition analysis. It allows you to see how difficult it is to rank for specific keywords in the industry in a specific country. By analyzing the competition for a given keyword, you can determine whether it is worth investing time and resources into optimizing your website for that keyword.
In addition to using keyword research to optimize website content, you can also use it to improve pay-per-click (PPC) advertising campaigns. By bidding on the most relevant and popular keywords related to clothing, you can increase the visibility of their ads, attract more targeted traffic and improve clickability.
Here are a few tips on updating your keywords strategy:
Focus on trends. By understanding the latest fashion trends and viral pieces, you can incorporate relevant keywords into the website's content. This can help you increase visibility and attract more traffic to the website.
For instance, if the latest fashion trend is all about vinyl pants, clothing brand can optimize their website for keywords such as "vinyl pants," "trendy vinyl pants," "affordable vinyl pants,"etc., depending on their branding. Using these keywords throughout the website's content, including product descriptions, meta tags, and headlines, can improve your website's ranking on search engines.
Consider the seasonality of fashion trends. Certain keywords are more popular during specific times of the year, like "swimsuits" during the summer or "coats" during the winter.
Use long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords are longer, more specific keyword phrases that potential customers are more likely to use when searching for a specific product or service. For instance, instead of using a general keyword like "pants," a clothing brand can use a long-tail keyword like "men's black leather pants with zippers" to attract more targeted traffic to the website.
Include keywords into image file names and alt tags. By using descriptive image file names and alt tags that include relevant keywords, a clothing brand can increase the chances of images appearing in image search results.
Optimize your website's content for specific keywords. Include relevant keywords in your website's meta tags, headlines, product descriptions, and blog posts. However, using keywords naturally and avoiding "stuffing" them into your content is essential, as this can hurt your website's ranking and lead to a poor user experience.
Consider the intent behind each keyword. Understanding the intent behind a keyword helps you tailor your content to match your target audience's needs and preferences. For example, if someone searches for "best fall coats," their intent is to find a list of the top fall coats available. In this case, you may want to create a blog post or product category page that highlights the best fall coats available on your website.
Monitor and adjust your SEO strategy. This involves tracking your website's rankings for specific keywords and adjusting your content strategy based on changes in search engine algorithms or shifts in your target audience's behavior. It's also essential to track your website's traffic and conversion rates to determine the effectiveness of your SEO strategy.
SEO essentials for fashion sites
To make your site complete, you need to take care of all the essential elements like About Us, FAQ, statutes, contact pages and whatever you consider core site pages. Those pages are important for you consumers, but they aren’t key in your SEO efforts. The only way they affect your strategy is by keeping the dwell time longer. Make sure they’re convenient for your customer to access, and try to build the new page relations around the existing site map.
To make it all easier to understand and implement, we’ve curated some great examples of modern SEO-friendly architecture from our customers.
Modern SEO-friendly site architecture for a small number of products
Tobe Outerwear is a Swedish brand that makes comfortable and stylish winter outerwear. Their brand focuses on the lifestyle aspects of snowmobiling and winter sports. Tobe Outerwear sells cross-border, with 10m euros turnover this year. What’s interesting about their SEO strategy is great, creative grouping. They have limited product offerings, and that’s how they overcame this challenge.
Tobe Outerwear groups their products by gender, with separate category for kids:
Type of activity
Every subcategory is further split into dedicated sections. Dedicated sections aren’t identical across main categories. This way, one product can be included in more than one subcategory, which powers its discoverability through Google.
Effective SEO-friendly site architecture for international brands
International brands face the challenge of creating a site structure with different languages, currencies and countries in mind. One great example of creating an SEO-friendly and user-friendly international website is Stronger.
Stronger is a DTC-focused, fast-growing sportswear and loungewear brand for women.
Stronger chose to be extremely flexible and create the best possible customer experience by keeping country and language as separate choices. Currency is then determined by the country choice.
When selecting the country of Denmark and the English language, all content and products on the store are placed in the catalog https://www.strongerlabel.com/dk-en/, and only from there can the customer go to the next categories.
Similarly, when selecting the country of Austria and the German language, all content and products on the store are placed in the catalog https://www.strongerlabel.com/at-de/.
To determine what language the content applies to, Stronger is using markups such as lang="pl". The tag value changes as soon as we change the language version in the store. This is a great way to inform Google directly and power the SEO engine.
This approach allows Stronger to keep high SEO visibility without compromising ease of site management. Instead of creating separate stores with their own domains, they can get the same results with only one store by using localization. Each product and each category is available in the local language. For example, in the Strongerlabel.com/pl subdirectory, the entire shop exists in Polish. The same goes for every country and every language.
As a women-focused shop, Stronger had to create a non-gender-based cataloging strategy. Its site architecture is also an interesting example of using collections to power the SEO engine, which is very specific for fashion brands.
Stronger groups their products by:
Type of activity / discipline
Collections (limited editions released every season with an extra grouping)
Strategic selling (Last chance, Hot offers, Bestsellers, etc.)
Collection-based site architecture for fashion brands
Collection-based architecture is quite popular, especially for jewelry stores and phone accessories stores. One great example comes from our customer Safira. Safira is a rapidly growing Swedish jewelry brand.
Safira groups their products by:
Type of jewelry
Strategic selling (New arrivals, Hot collections, etc.)
Trend-based site architecture for fashion brands
You need to make your architecture work for your particular business. A good example of implementing outside-the-box architecture is Soft Goat. Soft Goat sells high-quality knitwear online while maintaining low prices. Rather than classic grouping, they’ve found more success with a trend-based structure.
Soft Goat groups their products by:
Genders, without a separate category for kids.
Trend-themed categories (sustainable wear, blends, the fine knit edit, new campaign, etc.)
The whole catalog
Internal linking for ecommerce SEO
Internal linking not only helps you to redirect traffic and increase conversions, but also informs Google about the importance of particular pages. PageRank is the most popular and accurate way of measuring the importance of website pages.
These links also add context and information for both customers and Google. You want to link pages that are already similar or complementary. Links help increase users’ dwell time, generating more engagement and ultimately building trust and ranking higher in the Google search.
You can differentiate between two types of internal links based on the purpose they serve:
Navigational Internal Links create the navigational structure throughout a site and improve the overall customer experience. They can be found in the main navigation, the website’s sidebar, and the footer, and under the blog posts, related products, etc.
Contextual Internal Links are included within the content of the web page. They provide context, introducing new ideas or redirecting to topic-related products.
The most popular internal linking structures are called silos linking and pyramid linking.
Silos internal linking in SEO for fashion ecommerce
Find the site pages with the highest link authority using a relevant link-building tool. For internal links, use the ones with the highest authority. Include them as often as possible. Toward the top of your page, add internal links. The placement of these is not the same for all links. You can drastically affect your dwell time and bounce rate by where you place your internal links, ideally on your website's first fold, and within the first 150 words, if possible.
One great example of linking similar pages is Björn Borg, a sportswear and casualwear brand with a 40-plus-year tradition named after a Swedish former world No. 1 tennis player. Despite decades on the market, Björn Borg has managed to stay on the top of the SEO game. For example, their SEO landing page (Men -> underwear) shows the following:
As you can see, they allow easy access to all the content within the “Men Underwear” silos. With one click, you can go to “Men’s Boxers,” “Men’s Trunks” and “Men’s Briefs.” Whatever SEO landing page you’re on, you are within one click of all the content.
To additionally boost Google ranks, Björn Borg applies this strategy on individual product pages. They use both “Style with” and “You may be interested in” sections to easily connect sister products within the same category. This is a well-known, proven selling and SEO strategy that’s worth implementing on your site.
Another interesting example of linking within the silos can be found on Najell’s web page. Najell is a Swedish brand that creates a variety of baby necessities to help new parents in their daily lives. One of their most well-known categories of products is “Baby Carriers.”
You can see that all content that belongs to the same silos is easily available straight from the hero banner, which is believed to attract the most attention. This is especially convenient for users looking for a particular product.
Pyramid internal linking in SEO for fashion ecommerce
Pyramid site structure is based on page prioritization. The more important the page, the closer to the homepage it should be, clickwise. You group similar content together, and you can use silos tactically as needed. All pages have a click depth of four to five, with fewer clicks on the most important pages.
This is the ideal site structure for all huge brands with thousands of products and collections. It's an easy-to-use strategy that allows the separation of different sections while still building authority in the general area.
To further increase dominance, you might use reverse siloing. You want to link your product page to one supporting blog post that’s linked to other blog posts. Those other supporting blog posts also redirect to the product page.
As you go deeper into a website, the categories and pages become more specific, while the home page is focused on the top-level and general keywords. As many links as possible should point toward the high-quality backlinks in this pyramid strategy so that you drive visitors to the site.
SEO keywords in internal linking
Constructing internal linking includes choosing the proper keywords. The keyword in the internal link is a signal to Google about the page/content to which this link leads. It should provide enough information for Google to understand the overall theme of the end page. There are only two rules for this — keep keywords short, and keep them accurate. You want to choose words that have the most views in Google. Each link should add context to your collection, so choose one keyword for the category name and one extra keyword that describes the particular section.
Optimizing collections pages for SEO
There are two ways to get to the top of Google''s search results for a particular phrase. The first is to have a very powerful site that’s somehow relevant to the phrase. For example, Zalando will be somehow relevant to the “summer hats”. They have a very SEO-optimized site and probably a good offer of summer hats, but what we will find right behind them is a small company with a significantly lower domain rating that’s focused strictly on summer hats. This is the other strategy to get on the first page — create an individual page with great optimization that is a perfect fit for the particular phrase. Each of their products is relevant to the search, and it’s broadly described. They're able to compete with much more powerful sites because the content on the page is optimized in the following way:
Let’s look at the Jackets collection of Stronger’s collection. This is how it’s shown in Google:
As you can see, the main focus is the simple “Sport Jackets for women,” and as you click the link, you’re redirected to the collection page promoting the same message in the headline.
It’s a great practice to repeat the message from Google search or from ads right at the top of the page. This assures the customer that they’ve found what they were looking for and also serves as a signal for Google. Other good practices that we can observe here are:
Including “Sport Jackets for women” in the meta title — important information for Google algorithm.
The category name and main message created strictly from keywords
The main message is additionally highlighted by including it in the headline <h1>.
A short description under the headline including the keyword “jackets”.
At the bottom of the page, a whole section to additionally boost their SEO efforts, which you can see below.
This may seem like customer-dedicated content, but the last few segments of a page are rarely read by users. As such, it’s a good idea to use them strictly for SEO purposes.
Let’s start with the “reviews” section. It’s a great tool to gain the “fresh content bonus” from Google that’s really focused on promoting regularly updated content. Stronger posts new reviews about once a month and is thus being constantly promoted by the algorithm.
Another benefit of adding reviews to your page is getting star ratings (aggregated Google rating) in the Google search, as seen below.
Aggregated Google ratings help in increasing credibility and trustworthiness, improving click-through rate (CTR), boosting SEO performance, achieving higher ranking on local searches, encouraging new reviews and raising position on Google maps. Obviously, this is all very beneficial. Products with more reviews and higher ratings are more likely to be promoted by Google.
To implement star ratings, you will need Google My Business with at least 5 reviews and a schema code generator. Google has some great resources, but if you’re looking for simplified instructions, you can also check out these. Generally, there are two ways to build out the structured data: using microdata in HTML or JSON. You can do it yourself or ask your developer to implement this code. You should end up with a piece of code that is called “rating value” and shows the true rating fetched from Google reviews. That’s the simple information for the algorithm — our rating is 4.9, and Google is able to understand it.
Optimization of all products that Stronger displays on this category page.
Under each thumbnail is a link to the product that contains the keyword "jacket." If you multiply the number of products in this listing, you’ll see that “jacket” appears dozens of times, and that shows how influential this practice is.
Images are key to successful SEO for fashion. One important optimization is using alt tags to inform Google what’s in the photo.
As you can see, Stronger specified that the product on the photo is “Fleece jacket,” which also multiplies the use of the keyword “jacket” on their collection page.
Another good practice to note here is a balance between high-quality images and their size. Customers pay close attention to photos, so their quality directly influences sales, but quality photos tend to take up a lot of space, which is not preferred by Google. Stronger found the right balance between quality and size.
Cross Border SEO, with advanced international and localization features from Centra. After all that planning and building the structure on the default language, you still need to recreate it for each country and language option. With Centra and a centralized management system, it’s all automated. Instead of wasting time and money on replicating the structure, you get a fully optimized SEO landing page with a few clicks for Google.de, Google.en, etc.
All those great SEO practices can also be found at Najell and their category pages. Let’s take a look at the baby carriers category.
We can observe here:
A well-optimized meta title and meta description
Message matching and keyword in the header <h1>
A longer description with relevant keywords in the header
A footer with SEO-optimized content and keywords
How each link to the product contains a variation of the keyword "Baby Carriers."
Pagination done right — no infinite scroll.
You might’ve never thought about pagination's influence on your SEO strategy, but infinite scroll makes it really hard for Google to crawl your site. Additionally, it’s just a poor customer experience, which only damages your rankings further. Let’s imagine that your customer liked something, forgot to open the product in a new tab, and now way later is trying to find it again. How are they supposed to do that easily with infinite pagination?
The best practice is to use standard pagination (numbered 1, 2, 3, 4 ...) and then apply proper settings. You want only page 1 to be indexed in Google. So it should look like this (“index, follow”), while all the other pages should be set only to follow, like this (“no-index, follow”). That’s how Google knows that only the first page of the collection should be shown in the search, but at the same time it's still crawling the other pages, and you can see all of the links to the collections.
When on the topic of pagination, it’s important to mention how to deal with many listings. You can use faceted navigation. It can be a good thing, helping users find what they’re looking for more easily using multiple filters based on listings attributes, or a bad thing that’s destroying your SEO efforts.
Upon applying filters, the URL can also be updated to reflect the selection. Here’s what can happen with the URL:
The listings update with no URL change.
The site changes the parameters of the URL by adding factors ‘?colour=green&season=winter.
The site changes the parameters of the URL by adding a hash identifying the filters applied, e.g., #colour=pink
A new static URL is created
These changes may be useful, for example if the page “winter jackets” is ranking very well for the term and you don’t have a similar catalog. Unfortunately, filters can multiply to the point that almost every product makes it to the filtered results. Maybe this page has 350 products, and 330 make it. So, those pages are duplicated content for Google with a separate URL. This can lead to ranking both pages and thus cannibalism.
You can overcome these challenges by being mindful about creating and managing those pages and navigation. You want to instruct Google on how it should treat those pages. You can use canonicals to inform the algorithm that those are only variations of the original page by pointing back to the main top-level collection. Make sure to block crawling for pages with multiple parameters (NO FLOOW tag for all filter links). If you see the ranking potential for pages with one parameter, you may try to share them with Google.
Another interesting example comes from another customer — Stiga Sports. They offer a wide range of table tennis products and sports equipment for the whole family. We will be looking at their “Clothing & Shoes” category.
Instead of having long paragraphs of text underneath each product, they put a sentence or two of description. They are likely to extract these copies directly from the description of each product, but that doesn’t negatively influence Google. Thanks to this easy trick, they’re able to multiply keywords without producing additional copy.
When talking about SEO for fashion, we can’t skip the important topic of ranking highly in broad-level keywords. Again, you can implement one of the two strategies: you either have a page that’s competitive just based on the volume and relevance of your products, or you have to compensate with a creative content approach. The easiest way to approach this topic is to imagine that the potential customer is looking for a jacket. They don’t know if they need a sports jacket, a bomber jacket, winter jacket or maybe even a trench. You want to use your pagination to help them find what they like, what they don’t and what kind of jacket they’re interested in.
When taking the first road to rank highly in broad-level keywords is to create a collection page with a variety of products and hundreds of options. With different kinds of jackets next to each other, the customer will hopefully find whatever they are looking for. Google recognizes this approach and promotes it to the first pages of results.
But what if you don’t have enough products to create a broad collection? You might want to try a creative approach. There are a variety of different options: videos about finding a jacket, blog posts about jackets for specific body types, or creating a collection page with a guide for choosing a jacket.
Optimizing product pages
It is becoming increasingly difficult to rank product pages. They were removed from search results a few years ago, when Google realized that shoppers are looking for variety, and product pages don't provide that.
There are three main factors critical in creating successful product pages:
Cumulative layout shift (CLS)
We will be discussing those factors once again using real-life examples from our customers, starting with the title tag and description. Tobe Outerwear has a perfectly optimized title and description, using the relevant keywords “vivid jacket.” You want to serve what customers might be looking for, so similarly to individual page optimization, you want to base your content on data from Semrush or Ahrefs instead of just guessing.
After entering the product page, we have the product name, which includes the keyword and is placed under the heading <h1> Vivid Jacket, Freesia </h1>
The website also contains a unique and rich description, which is very important when optimizing product pages. Unfortunately, in the fashion industry, stores often prioritize product photos over description. However, the description is equally important not only in terms of SEO but also in terms of conversion.
It is very important to optimize graphics and photos for SEO. Fashion stores usually have a lot of photos, especially on product pages. Unfortunately, Google has difficulty understanding what the picture shows, so you need to provide proper instructions.
Tobe puts the name of the product in the photo in the alt tag, including the keyword, as you can see above for this particular photo, where alt = "Vivid Jacker, Freesia". That’s a very good practice.
Another way to optimize your photos is to properly name your photo files, including your product name and keyword. Tobe also implements this strategy. When we look at the photo track, you can see that the .jpg file was named 2F36_76c5cb2352-500122-015-vivid-jacket-freesia-010-full.jpg, containing both the product name and the relevant keyword. This is also reflected in the link:
There are many photos on each product page, and each photo contains the keyword at least twice (in the alt tag and in the name of the .jpg file). Thanks to this, we get a page that is very saturated with targeted keywords.
Stronger has equally strong product page optimization. This time, we will analyze the product page of the "tracksuit jacket."
Another SEO-friendly practice from individual page optimization that can be applied for optimizing product pages is implementing star ratings. With product pages, it can be taken further by adding additional information like pricing.
Stronger also serves as a great example of a strong content strategy for product pages.
In addition to unique and extensive descriptions, they use customer reviews as so-called user-generated content. Before making a purchase, prospective fashion customers want to see reviews, testimonials, case studies, and other forms of social proof. This is a way to include keywords, improve trustworthiness and get bonus promotion from Google for regularly uploading new content.
Another important aspect of optimizing product pages for international brands is localization and content translation. With Centra and our fashion-centered features, all product pages are automatically translated and localized. Taking the same product page, we can compare with the German version of “tracksuit jacket.”
The reviews and prices were also automatically localized in Google's results by Centra.
Now, we will move to Najell and their product page for “Wrap charcoal black.”
When analyzing the page, we can spot good practices mentioned before:
The product name contains a keyword and is included in the heading <h1> Najell Wrap - Charcoal Black <h1>.
The product description is long and informative, and includes keywords.
The rich content on the product page is expanded with an FAQ section and user-generated content in the form of reviews.
The presence of reviews causes the search results to also include stars and information about the product's price.
The photos are well optimized. The alt tag contains the product name (alt = "Wrap Charcoal black"), as does the .jpg file.
We can observe once more:
A keyword in the product name in the heading (<h1> Lovely Lace shaping body <h1>)
A long, soothing product description, including keywords
An FAQ section and user-generated content in the form of reviews
Search results including stars and information about the product's price
Optimized photos. The alt tag contains the product name (alt = "Lovely Lace shaping body"). There is a space for further optimization by adding the product name in the .jpg file.
All content is in German, and in addition, we get a localized view on Google (the currency changes from pounds to euros, and the language switches from English to German).
If you ever run out of ideas for improvements, use the SERP as your guide. For instance, if you are trying to rank a product, look at what else is showing up for the terms you are trying to rank for. Then model your pages after those results. Remember to add your unique brand's character and identity.
The last factor that we want to dissect in this section is cumulative layout shift, which is a vital part of Google's core web. It measures how much a page moves as it loads, and is meant to prevent missed clicks. This has probably happened to you before — you clicked one thing but landed on a different page. That can be especially problematic on product pages, because they usually have a lot of data to load. This data is loaded partially as it comes from different apps and external software like Amazon, Google review, an inventory management system, Instagram, etc.
It can be solved by good design. The best practice is to run Google's Core Web Vitals test and learn what exactly loads slower. Only in this way can you redesign your page to leave enough space for loading elements that buttons won’t migrate enough to cause missed clicks.
Studies by Google show that users leave most sites after about three seconds. That is why page speed is an important factor in their search ranking algorithms. Additionally, pages with long load times are known for a high bounce rate. To enable all page owners to control their page speed and actively work toward better results, Google developed Google PageSpeed Insights, a free yet powerful tool to measure the load time needed to fully display website content. It also suggests modifications for your business to further optimize content and decrease load times.
The best-known and most effective modifications include:
Avoiding landing page redirects
Improving server response time
Leveraging browser caching
Optimizing CSS Delivery
Prioritizing visible content
PageSpeed is also a great source of knowledge. Take some time to analyze your page. Here, we’ve curated some benchmarks from our customers:
Djerf Avenue - A Swedish, non-seasonal, ready-to-wear brand offering vintage-inspired basics.
See the page speed report.
In link building, you acquire links from other websites to your own. By gaining backlinks from high-quality sites, you can pass authority to your site, as well as rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs).
You can outsource that process by hiring an agency and get some low-value links, but that’s a very shortsighted strategy. Generating links is a process that’s worth investing time in. If you focus on relevance and create relationships with other brands, you might not only get valuable backlinks but opportunities for further cooperation. When looking for potential partners, think about which companies would benefit from introducing you to their audience. Those are companies you want to reach out to. You want to look for websites, brands, charities and companies, but also experts and independent specialists. If you have no idea about how they can benefit from promoting you, you might look for inspiration on HARO. To find partners, you can use networking sites like Buzzstream or LinkedIn. It will take time and effort (copy/paste emails are not enough), but in the long term, this strategy will bring you much greater value.
When you have your research process set up, after the initial time of building relationships, you want to create a follow-up strategy. The best way is to categorize contacts according to your products and then send them personalized updates relevant to particular groups. You might use a tool like Hubspot to make sure that you take proper care of your network.
Set up inks-monitoring processes. You want to know what was linked to your page, and where. Maintaining control is very important to keeping a high ranking for your site.
SEO for fashion – evaluation of investment
If you’re going to invest significant funds into your SEO strategy, you need to have metrics that will help you measure the effects and differentiate SEO results from brand and non-brand traffic.
Number of keywords your store is ranked for
You want to be generating reports from Ahrefs or any other tool that shows how many keywords are associated with your shop. You will be looking for changes happening from one quarter to another. The more you optimize your site, the longer the list of keywords should become. It’s also important to check how accurate associated keywords are. Accuracy and the number of keywords are directly correlated with the amount of traffic.
Impressions in Google’s Search Console
You need to know how many clicks you’re getting directly from search. Even if the number of impressions isn’t satisfactory, getting any reaction means that Google is indexing your content and promoting it. You might not be yet on the first page of the search results, but you’re definitely off to a good start. You want to track progress overtime to evaluate the ROI of your investment.
Position in search results and organic traffic
This is a metric that should be used by fashion and lifestyle brands with a mature SEO strategy. It can be checked in Search Console or in tools like Ahrefs. You want to keep a high position, but also monitor the changes. At this point, you’re not only asking — how successful your SEO strategy is, but what makes it so successful. You’re always looking for optimizations. SEO isn’t a one-and-done process.
Conversions and revenue generated by your store
You can find it in Google Analytics. Using this report, you'll be able to see how many conversions you're producing from each of your website's pages. It is also possible to filter this by different attribution models, by first, last, or assisted conversions, and by traffic source. You can also investigate the average order value from each page. Make sure to look at organic traffic only.
How to know which organic traffic is the effect of SEO strategy
Some people will be looking for your brand on Google because you’ve been recommended to them or your brand is recognizable enough, etc. You want to differentiate these visitors from your SEO-generated traffic. It takes some work — you need to set up the model comparison tool to recognize the source of traffic.
Differences between enterprise SEO and small brand SEO
When it comes to ecommerce SEO, there are significant differences between enterprise-level fashion brands and small clothing brands. The main distinction lies in the available resources and the scale of operations. Small brands may have a more limited budget and a smaller customer base. This disparity can impact SEO strategies for both types of ecommerce businesses, especially in the highly competitive fashion industry.
According to an interview with SEO expert, Louis Smith, conducted by How The Fxck SEO "The enterprise level fashion brand is dealing with a lot of different moving parts, like huge product catalogs, different content management systems (CMS), many stakeholders, and international markets, while a small brand ecommerce site can be much more focused on just one type of product or one market." An enterprise-level fashion brand has a much larger scope and must consider more complex SEO strategies.
One of the primary challenges for an enterprise-level fashion brand’s ecommerce sites is managing their extensive product catalogs. As Smith explains, "Product pages are the backbone of any ecommerce site, and at the enterprise level, we’re talking about tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of products." The sheer volume of pages makes it difficult to optimize separately. In this case, they might want to focus on optimizing category pages, which act as a hub for the products. By optimizing category pages, they can boost all the products within that category. Focus on creating a strong inventory backup for each product category instead of creating too many product categories. Creating many product categories is a better strategy for small clothing brands.
Small fashion brands have the advantage of being able to focus on a single product or a narrower range of products. This allows them to create highly targeted SEO strategies that are tailored to specific products and audiences. According to Smith, "For a small brand, SEO is all about creating a strong brand identity and building relationships with customers." By doing that, they can differentiate themselves from the competition and attract a dedicated customer base.
Another significant difference is the role of content marketing. For enterprise-level fashion brands, content marketing plays a crucial role in building their brand and establishing their authority in the industry. Enterprise-level brands invest in creating high-quality, informative content that showcases expertise and provides value to the customers, while small fashion brands may not have the resources to invest in content marketing to the same extent. Instead, they focus on creating highly targeted product descriptions and optimizing their website's layout and user experience. Creating a streamlined user experience can improve their SEO rankings and attract more customers.
Successful SEO in the fashion industry relies on understanding the unique challenges and opportunities that come with different types of ecommerce businesses. Enterprise-level fashion brands have to navigate complex product catalogs and international markets. On the other hand, small clothing brands have to focus on building a strong brand identity and creating a streamlined user experience. By tailoring their SEO strategies to their specific needs and resources, they can achieve success in the highly competitive fashion industry.
Maintaining SEO for fashion ecommerce
You’re investing significant time and thought to create a high-ranking site structure, and you don’t want this effort to be wasted over time. That’s why you need to control the buildup of pages that happens naturally over time. Make sure to get rid of old collections, expired affiliates, out-of-date essential pages, etc., before they start to sabotage your SEO efforts. The easiest way to prevent accumulation is to make it a part of the process to know and manage index pages that aren't being used, so they can be deleted at the right time. Another good practice to work around affiliate pages is asking Google not to crawl or index those pages.
In most cases, you already have an internal linking structure for your website unless you have recently launched it. How effective is it? Auditing your internal links regularly is the most effective way to stay on track. You can make strategic decisions based on audit reports. It is recommended to use an advanced tool like Semrush Site Audit to thoroughly audit your internal linking structure.
Common SEO mistakes in fashion ecommerce
Here are some common SEO mistakes that fashion ecommerce businesses make:
Ignoring keyword research: Not researching and using the right keywords is a common SEO mistake. Fashion ecommerce businesses often use generic and highly competitive keywords instead of long-tail keywords that are more specific to their products.
Duplicate content: Creating duplicate content across multiple pages can harm your search engine rankings. Some ecommerce sites may accidentally create duplicate content by using the same product descriptions across different product pages.
Ignoring title tags and meta descriptions: Title tags and meta descriptions are important on-page SEO elements. Ignoring or not optimizing them can negatively impact your search engine rankings.
Not optimizing images: Fashion ecommerce businesses often use high-quality images to showcase their products. However, not optimizing images by including descriptive alt tags and image file names can cause them to be overlooked by search engines.
Not having a mobile-friendly website: With the majority of internet traffic coming from mobile devices, having a mobile-friendly website is essential. Not having a responsive website can harm your search engine rankings and result in a poor user experience.
Ignoring local SEO: Fashion ecommerce businesses with physical stores often ignore local SEO. They can benefit from optimizing their Google My Business listing and creating location-specific pages on their website.
Not having a blog: Creating a blog can help improve your SEO by providing fresh and relevant content for search engines to crawl. However, many fashion ecommerce businesses do not have a blog or fail to update it regularly.
AI-generated content can negatively impact SEO if not used properly. The content can be low-quality and too similar to other content on the internet, resulting in duplicate content issues. However, if used responsibly, AI can be useful for product descriptions and content ideation/optimization.
SEO for clothing brand - conclusion
SEO is a critical factor in the success of fashion brand ecommerce websites. It can help drive traffic to your online store and increase your visibility. We have covered a wide range of topics that are essential if you want to improve your SEO strategy.
Here's a summary of the key takeaways from each chapter:
Chapter 1: Understanding the fashion ecommerce landscape
The fashion ecommerce industry is highly competitive, with customers switching from physical stores to online shopping.
Understanding your target audience and their search behavior is essential in creating an effective SEO strategy.
Staying up-to-date with industry trends and consumer preferences is crucial to remain competitive.
Chapter 2: Keyword research and analysis for clothing brands
Long-tail keywords are particularly valuable for fashion brands, as they are more specific and targeted.
Competitive analysis can help you identify keywords that your competitors are ranking for and give you insights into their SEO strategy.
You can prioritize keywords based on their relevance, search volume, and competition level.
Chapter 3: On-page SEO for fashion brands
Optimize page titles: use descriptive and unique titles that accurately reflect the content of each page, include the target keyword if possible, and keep it under 60 characters.
Meta descriptions: Write compelling meta descriptions that accurately describe the page content and encourage users to click through to your website. Keep it under 155 characters, and consider using questions.
Header tags: Use header tags to structure your content to make it easier for users and search engines to understand the hierarchy and relevance of each section.
Content optimization: Create high-quality content that is engaging and relevant to your customers. Use the target keyword in the content naturally, but make sure to avoid keyword stuffing.
Image optimization: Optimize your images by using descriptive file names and alt tags, compressing the file size, and ensuring they are relevant to the page content, possibly by adding keywords.
Internal linking: Link to other relevant pages on your website to help users and search engines navigate and understand the structure of your website.
User experience: Ensure that your website is user-friendly, with easy navigation, fast loading speed, and mobile responsiveness.
Chapter 4: Technical SEO for clothing brand
Website Speed: It is crucial that a website loads quickly for a good user experience and for search engine optimization. Optimizing images, using a content delivery network (CDN), and minimizing HTTP requests can improve website speed.
Mobile Responsiveness: A mobile-friendly website is essential since a significant percentage of website traffic comes from mobile devices. To optimize your site for mobile, use responsive design, optimize images and videos, and ensure that your site's navigation works well on smaller screens.
Structured Data Markup: Structured data markup helps search engines better understand your website's content. Your search engine ranking can be improved, and you will also appear in rich snippets, which can increase your click-through rate.
SSL Certificate: A SSL certificate is important for both security and SEO. SSL encryption is considered a ranking factor for Google, so having an SSL certificate can increase your ranking.
XML Sitemap: An XML sitemap is a file that lists all the pages on your website, feeding it to search engines, making it easy to crawl and index your website.
Chapter 5: Content marketing for fashion ecommerce
Create high-quality, engaging content: Fashion ecommerce is a competitive field, so creating content that stands out is vital. You can keep your target audience interested on your website by providing them with high-quality content.
Use different types of content: Find out what resonates best with your audience by experimenting with blog posts, videos, infographics, and social media posts.
Optimize content for search engines: By incorporating relevant keywords into your content, you'll improve your search engine rankings and make it easier to reach your target audience.
Leverage user-generated content: Publish customer reviews on social media and other platforms so you can learn from their experiences. Your brand can benefit from user-generated content by building trust and authenticity.
Chapter 6: Link building for clothing brain
To build high-quality links, focus on creating valuable and relevant content that other websites would want to link to. This could include blog posts, infographics, videos, and product reviews.
Outreach is an important part of link building. Get in touch with other websites in your field and ask if they'd be interested in linking to your content. Make sure you target websites that are relevant and have a high domain authority with your outreach.
Guest posting is another effective link building strategy. Write guest posts for other websites in your industry and include a link back to your own website in the author bio or content.
Chapter 7: Local SEO for fashion ecommerce
Focus on local keywords: Use location-specific keywords in your content, including on your product pages, to improve your local search rankings.
Optimize your website for local search: Ensure your website is mobile-friendly, has a clear hierarchy and structure, and includes contact information on every page.
Leverage local business directories: Submit your business information to local directories like Yelp and TripAdvisor to increase your online presence and improve your local search rankings.
Encourage customer reviews: Encourage customers to leave reviews on your Google My Business profile or other relevant directories, as reviews can improve your local search rankings and attract more customers.
Use structured data: Incorporate structured data markup, such as schema.org, to provide search engines with additional information about your business, such as your address and hours of operation.