When you’re in business, nailing SEO—searching engine optimization—is magical. It is the most sustainable, long-term, “passive” way to get consistently high-quality traffic to your dropshipping store.
I say “passive” with quotation marks because ranking highly on Google doesn’t happen by chance; it requires some work upfront and some maintenance over time. However, unlike constant social media posting, or even paid advertising, it’s pretty low-effort once you’ve done the groundwork.
When you start ranking for the dropshipped products you sell, you become part of the picture in which:
The initial SEO effort might take you some time, but as you can see, it will be more than worth it. This guide will help you to get your SEO in order without doing messy work and investing endless hours—just straightforward and intentional actions. Let’s get started!
The first step to ranking your dropshipping store in search results is knowing what search terms you want to rank for.
Whenever a search happens, search engines have a job of choosing between hundreds of thousands of websites, but they only display the ten most relevant on the first page.
Search engines are getting better in understanding what each website is about, but it’s your job to create pointers that will paint the complete picture of your niche and products.
These pointers are your keywords.
Keywords are words and phrases (i.e. not necessarily just single words) describing the content of a web page.
Multiple-word keywords, also known as longtail keywords, make up more than 70% of online searches and the longer they get, the more purchase-ready the searcher is. For example, she’s probably closer to purchasing something if she searches “yellow summer dress floral plus size” than just “summer dress”.
Here are the top ways to create a list of keywords for your dropshipping store and product pages.
Do an initial brainstorm on your own. Before looking at tools and suggestions online, write down a list of keywords, both short and longtail ones, that are related to your niche and your products. This might include categories, specific products, varieties and colors of your products, and any phrases you’d use if you were looking to buy those products yourself.
Look at related searches. Start typing these searches into Google and scroll to the bottom of search results page to look at related searches. For the floral yellow summer dress example from above, you’ll see this:
And if you simply type in “summer dress”, you get this instead:
The numbers you see next to these suggestions on the screenshots represent monthly search volumes. You can see these volumes yourself—and see how popular each term is—by installing the Keywords Everywhere free browser extension.
Search for all the keywords from your initial brainstorm before looking at the lists at the bottom. Then, write down any ideas from here that resonate with your store.
These tools are free and use various search trends, search interests and data points to provide you with suggestions you can then use in your store.
Now, you just need to use these keywords in the right places!
Your page titles are probably the first thing a search engine will try to understand when reading the elements within your store.
It is also the largest and most prominent area of the search result that a searcher will look at to decide which search result to click on.
Next, write a meta description—the text that shows up below the titles in search results—in a way that complements the title, doesn’t repeat the same information, yet still covers any details that might entice the searcher to click through.
Finally, make sure your product page URLs are clean. You have extremely limited space in your search result to make a case for clicking through, and these three elements working together can make a powerful difference.
Look at the above image with pink duvets again and think about how the title, description, and URL of each are working together to attract (or detract) you from clicking!
What to do:
Bonus tip: Name your product categories (and write their descriptions and URLs) based on your keyword research and specific terms that searchers are using to find those products.
As mentioned earlier, highly intentional and purchase-driven searches are incredibly specific and often contain three, four or more words.
This means there isn’t any room in your product descriptions for meaningless phrases that have nothing to do with your product, category, or niche.
Instead, be descriptive in your product copy by going into details and specifics of your item, like ways to use it, colors, models, variations, sizes, and distinctive benefits.
While the description from your supplier or manufacturer will be of help here, it’s still important to rewrite this information into easy-to-read, attractive copy that will be unique compared to any other descriptions of similar products.
What to do:
Images are a huge part of your product pages as they help your potential customer understand how your product looks, feels, and fits. It replaces the feeling of walking into a store and looking at the product in real-time, being able to touch it and imagine it in the typical daily life.
There’s another role your images play: ranking in search!
Google can’t literally view your image, so it uses its name and alt attributes (i.e. text alternatives) to understand what it represents. For your SEO efforts, these two elements are where you need to pay close attention to.
The default name of your image may be something like DSC_1035.jpg or even untitled.jpg. If you’re selling that yellow summer dress mentioned earlier, you should change the filename to something like Yellow-Summer-Dress-Wedding.jpg.
Just like with any other SEO-driven writing, you want to be descriptive and not simply bundle 7 similar keywords together.
Your alt attributes, which is what will show up on your product page if the image isn’t rendered properly, are another thing search engines use to understand what your image is about.
The most important step to take here is to actually fill out all the alt attributes for all your product images.
Just like above, aim to use simple and descriptive phrasing to paint the picture—literally—of what’s in the picture, which will add to the overall understanding of the entire product page from search engine’s point of view.
What to do:
The key takeaway is to understand the words and phrases your target audience uses when searching for products you sell—and using them in a natural, descriptive way that doesn’t feel forced.
When you achieve this balance, you will optimize your dropshipping store for both humans and search engines, which means you will be rewarded with a high ranking in search engines, happy customers, and long-term success.