SEO for Fashion Ecommerce Brands: 2024 Definitive Guide

How do you do SEO for fashion brands?

In this guide, I’m going to walk you through the entire process from A-Z.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Find the right keywords to target
  • Improve your keyword rankings
  • Bring in more organic traffic and revenue
  • Crush your competitors in Google

Let’s get started right away.

Resolve Technical Issues

The first thing to do is identify and fix any technical issues that are holding your site back.

There are so many technical issues you could come across, so I’m going to talk about the biggest ones that typically hold fashion brands back.

404 Pages with Backlinks

I look at this one as more of an opportunity than an issue.

This is when other websites are linking to pages on your site that lead to a 404 error.

The most common causes are:

  1. It’s a product page for a product that you no longer carry.
  2. You’ve changed the URL for a specific page.
  3. You’ve deleted the page.

You’ll need to use a tool like SEMRush to identify any 404 pages on your website that have backlinks.

Here’s how to find those pages on SEMRush:

1. Enter your domain name in the ‘Domain Overview’ area.

2. Click on the ‘Backlink Analytics’ tab on the left side.

3. Click on the Indexed Pages tab.

4. Check the box for “Broken Pages” and you’ll see the pages with 400-level errors that have backlinks.

Go through each of these pages and identify if the page is actually broken.

If it is broken, then you’ll want to redirect the broken page to the most relevant ‘working’ page on your site.

If you don’t have a page that’s remotely similar, then redirect the page to your home page.

Why is this important?

Backlinks are one of the most important ranking factors.

Any time a website links to your site, Google looks at that as a “vote” for your website when it comes to ranking.

The more websites that are linking to you, the more Google will trust your site.

There’s A LOT more that goes into that, but we’ll get into that later.

The problem is that when these backlinks are going to 404 pages, the value of that link isn’t passing through to the rest of the website.

By redirecting that 404 page, you’re allowing the value of that link to “count”, rather than having wasted backlinks.

Recently I was working with a fashion brand that had over 100 hundred backlinks to 404 pages.

I cleaned this up and we saw a pretty drastic increase in their rankings within a couple weeks.

Trust me, it makes a big difference!

Keyword Cannibalization

This is when you’re targeting the same keywords on multiple pages.

This is a big no-no.

I’ve seen brands try to target an important keyword on a bunch of different pages in order to establish relevance for that keyword, but it doesn’t work like that.

Make sure you’re not making this same mistake.

I don’t know exactly what’s happening behind the scenes when you do this, but I do know that it flat out doesn’t work.

Learn from my own experiences – Neither page will rank.

How do you make sure you’re not doing this?

It’s pretty simple actually.

Open a spreadsheet and identify every keyword that you’re targeting, and map them out to specific URLs.

If you track everything this way, you won’t have to worry about targeting the same keyword on multiple pages.

Page Speed

No matter how you slice it, you need a website that loads fast.

If not fast, you need it to at least be average.

Having a fast loading website isn’t a ranking factor itself, but it does help create a better user experience.

And we know that a good user experience signals to Google that you have a trusted website.

Use a tool like https://pagespeed.web.dev/ to determine your website speed and performance.

Paste your website and see what kind of results it gives you.

Don’t freak out if you get a score like this though:

This doesn’t necessarily mean your website loading speed is slow.

There are SO many things this tool looks at, and it could just mean that you’re not perfect in many areas.

The best way to check this is to open a private browser and go to your website.

Pretend like you’re a customer and understand what kind of user experience is created.

If you notice that it took a while to load, then you probably need to implement some thing to make it load quicker.

If you’re on Shopify, there are some pretty slick apps to help you with your loading speed.

If it seemed like loaded at least average, then you’re probably fine.

The biggest takeaway is that page speed itself isn’t a ranking factor, but of course you should be aiming for a fast loading website.

This helps you create the best user experience possible.

Mobile Friendliness

Mobile devices account for 60% of all ecommerce sales.

That statistic alone should drive you to make your website mobile friendly.

To add even more weight to that, having a mobile friendly site will absolutely impact your rankings.

The thing is, everyone has a mobile friendly site these days.

That means it’s a pre-requisite if you want to rank in Google and actually drive meaningful traffic.

The good news is that most platforms make it very easy to make your website mobile friendly.

If you’re on Shopify, then it’s going to be dependent on the theme.

Either way, double and triple check to make sure your website is mobile friendly, otherwise you’ll miss out on a massive amount of sales, and you’ll see negative SEO impacts.

Canonicalization

A canonical tag helps you prevent duplicate content issues.

You want to add a canonical tag to a page, when you’re trying to signal to Google that there is another page that is considered the “source page”.

There are a few specific page types where this makes sense, and it impacts fashion brands in most cases.

The biggest example that you’ll come across is with pagination.

When you have a lot of products in a category, you’ll likely have multiple pages generated so that you don’t have a massive page that takes forever to load.

Here’s an example:

You can see the additional pages you can navigate to at the bottom.

Each page beyond page one will generate a URL that looks like this:

These pages need to have a canonical tag that tells Google that the main URL (without “?page=2”) is the source page.

If you don’t have this, Google will look at these pages as duplicate pages, and there’s a good chance this will hurt your rankings.

Some Shopify themes automatically handle this, but some don’t.

Make sure to double check this.

If it’s not already set up, you’ll want to make sure you DO get it set up.

Website Structure

The biggest reason that website structure impacts SEO is because of the internal linking that’s happening.

I see WAY too many brands trying to get too fancy with their website structures.

Trust me, it’s always going to cause more harm than good.

For SEO purposes (and user experience purposes), try to keep things as simplistic as possible.

That means:

  1. Keep your menu organized, and not too cluttered
  2. Put your most important pages in the menu
  3. Make sure it doesn’t take more than 3 clicks from the homepage to get to a page you’re trying to rank
  4. Most importantly, make sure it’s easy for your customers to find what they’re looking for.

Here’s an example of how The North Face has their menu setup:

They have a TON of products, but take note of the way they have their categories organized.

They have their main categories, and then they have sub-categories nexted within those.

This is so easy to understand from the user side of things.

It’s also a very good setup from an SEO standpoint.

The most important thing to do is to focus on the user.

If you can do that, everything else will fall into place.

Find Keyword Opportunities

Let’s talk about the biggest aspect of SEO: Keywords.

I’m going to break this down into two different categories. Existing opportunities and untapped opportunities.

If you ready any section, read this one.

Because you absolutely have to get this right if you want to see success in SEO.

Existing Keyword Opportunities

If your brand has been around for a while, you’re probably going to have a good deal of existing opportunities.

These are a fantastic place to start because it’s SO much easier going after low hanging fruit, than it is going after brand new keywords.

Here’s exactly how you can find and go after these keywords:

(By the way, you’ll need a subscription to SEMRush to carry out this part. But trust me, it’s worth it.)

1. Open the Domain Overview

2. Enter your domain name in the Domain Overview

3. Click the Organic Search Traffic number that’s displayed

Here you’ll see a list of all of your existing keyword opportunities.

These are keywords that you’re already showing up somewhere for.

4. Click “Export” on the right side to export the entire list

5. Sort this list by the URL and identify the best fit keyword for each URL

Look for the one keyword that’s the most relevant to the associated URL.

Highlight that keyword to keep track of it.

Then do this for every URL.

You should have a “best fit” keyword for each URL.

These will be your target keywords.

You can take this a step further too and prioritize these keywords based on search volume, difficulty, and current position.

I’ll cover how to prioritize your keyword opportunities in a few sections.

Untapped Keyword Opportunities

Your existing opportunities should keep you busy for a while, but I also want to go over untapped keyword opportunities.

These are keywords that you are not currently showing up anywhere for.

The best way to do this is to identify your biggest competitors and see what keywords they’re ranking for.

SEMRush is great because you can pull a keyword gap for your website and your competitors to determine keywords they’re ranking for that you’re not.

Here’s how to do that:

1. Open SEMRush and click on “Keyword Gap”

2. Enter your domain, then enter up to 4 competitors

Once you have them entered, click “Compare”.

This will give you a TON of interesting information, but for this section, I want to talk about one thing: Untapped Keywords.

3. Scroll down a bit and click on “Untapped”.

This will show you every keyword your competitors are showing up somewhere for, but you’re not.

4. Export this entire list

This will give you a spreadsheet of untapped keyword opportunities.

5. Go through this list and highlight keywords that are relevant to your business.

These highlighted keywords that are relevant to your business are your untapped keyword opportunities.

We’ll go over how to attack those keywords later in this article.

Prioritize Keyword Opportunities

You should have a solid list of existing opportunities and untapped opportunities.

But how the heck do you prioritize these keywords?

Which ones should you focus on first?

That’s an amazing question, thanks for asking!

For real though, this part is SO important.

If you put your effort in the wrong place, you’re going to stall out and not see the kind of results you want to see.

Enough of the rambling though, here’s how you should be prioritizing keywords:

Priority #1 – Keywords in position 5-10

The reason these keywords should be your #1 priority is because you’ve already established relevance for these keywords, and you don’t have much further to go.

Too many brands make it a goal to “get to the top 10” for keywords.

But where your fashion brand is going to make money is by being in position 1-3 in Google.

According to Backlinko, here’s the average click through rate by position:

  • Position 1: 27.6%
  • Position 2: 15.8%
  • Position 3: 11.0%
  • Position 4: 8.4%
  • Position 5: 6.3%
  • Position 6: 4.9%
  • Position 7: 3.9%
  • Position 8: 3.3%
  • Position 9: 2.7%
  • Position 10: 2.4%

You can see the difference between position 1 and position 10.

You shouldn’t stop optimizing for a keyword until you’re #1.

Trust me, it’s worth it.

Here’s an example:

Let’s say you’re trying to rank for the keyword “khaki pants”.

It gets searched 74,000 times per month.

If you optimized your website for this keyword and got to position 10 in Google, you’d bring in about 1,776 website visitors per month, according to the above CTR.

Now, what if you got to #1?

You’d bring in 20,424 organic website visitors per month.

That’s a difference of 18,648 website visitors per month.

So take it from me, don’t stop at the first page.

Your goal should be ranking #1.

Priority #2 – Keywords in position 11-19

These should be your next focus.

You’re probably not bringing in much if any traffic when you’re looking at the top ten from the outside.

But here’s the good news:

You’re really close.

That’s why these keywords are such a good opportunity.

The plan should be to identify where you’re lacking.

Do you need to optimize your content?

Do you need to do a full upgrade?

Maybe your content is great, but do you have enough authority?

Those are three main things I would consider if you’re in position 11-19.

If you can’t figure it out, the answer is probably that you need more authority.

Priority #3 – Keywords in position 19+ and untapped keywords

These keywords can still be incredibly value, but they’re generally going to take the longest to see results.

That’s why you should prioritize keywords in position 5-19 before you move on to these keywords.

These keywords are most likely going to require you to:

1. Upgrade your content OR create new content

AND

2. Build more authority

It’s going to be harder, but you probably have a ton of valuable keywords that fall into this bucket.

Optimize Existing Content

By this point, you should have a solid list of keywords, and you should have a good idea of what needs to be done for each keyword.

The two main options would be:

  1. Optimize existing content
  2. Create new content

In this section, I’m covering how to optimize your existing content.

So here’s a typical scenario:

You’ve identified a relevant keyword, and you’re showing up somewhere for the keyword, BUT you’re not bringing in as much traffic as you should, because you’re not ranked high enough.

It’s time to optimize your content.

Here are the main things specific to the fashion space that you should be optimizing:

  • Title tag
  • Meta description
  • Collection title
  • Collection description
  • Product title
  • Product description
  • Headings
  • Main text content

Title Tag

If you’re going to optimize one thing, it should be your title tag.

It’s without a doubt the most important signal you can give to Google on what that page is actually about.

Here are the two main places you’ll see the title tag displayed:

1. In your browser tab:

2. In the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages):

In this example, the title tag for the page is “Men’s Sneakers | adidas US”.

When writing your title tag, here are some things you should keep in mind:

  • It needs to be keyword-rich
  • It needs to make users actually want to click on your listing

Let’s use an example that you’re trying to rank for the keyword “sustainable dresses”.

Not a bad keyword.

1,000 searches per month, and a keyword difficulty of 34.

A non-negotiable is that you have to have the phrase “sustainable dresses” in the title tag.

Another thing you should do is look at what’s currently ranking in Google for that keyword:

Okay, so what are some takeaways?

  • “sustainable dresses” is in every listing in the top 4.
  • 2/4 of the top 4 listings have MORE than just “sustainable dresses” in their title tag.
  • I don’t have the data to back this up, but I would put money on that idea that Made Trade has the best click through rate with their title tag. It’s just more enticing.

Keep in mind that we don’t want to copy these.

So what do we do about it?

We need to write a title tag that makes people want to click it, but also includes “sustainable dresses”.

Here are some examples that would be great:

  • Shop Eco-Friendly and Sustainable Dresses
  • Stylish Sustainable Dresses | Shop Now
  • Luxurious Sustainable Dresses for Every Season

Do you see how these are more enticing to click on than simply using “sustainable dresses”?

Make sure you write a good title tag but don’t spend too much time on this.

This can be easily adjusted later on.

If you take anything away from this, make sure your exact keyword is in the title tag.

Meta Description

The meta description is the description that shows underneath the title tag in the search results.

The same rules apply for the meta description:

  1. Make sure the keyword is included
  2. Make sure it’s something that makes people want to click on your listing

The more fun and interesting you make the meta description, the better click through rate you’ll see once you’re actually ranking for that keyword.

Collection Title

I see way too many fashion brands make mistakes here, and it’s a HUGE missed opportunity.

You’re never going to guess how to optimize your collection title.

It’s so simple: Include your exact keyword in the collection title.

Here’s an example of a brand that is missing a big opportunity:

They’re trying to rank for the keyword “sustainable dresses”, and here’s their collection title.

It’s “dresses” – not “sustainable dresses”.

The collection title is so important in making it clear to both users and Google what this collection page is about.

Having an unoptimized collection title is preventing them from ranking higher for this keyword.

The tough part for his brand is that they’re currently #8, even without having an optimized collection title.

If they simply updated their collection title to be “sustainable dresses”, they’d likely move up a few spots.

Collection Description

This is another big opportunity that most fashion brands tend to miss out on.

The reason most brands miss this opportunity is simply because they don’t know it’s important.

The good news for you is that you’re reading this blog post, so you DO know it’s important.

Why is the collection description important for SEO?

Google relies heavily on text content to figure out what a page is about.

The more text content, the more Google can understand what your page is about.

Added a 2-4 sentence collection description to your collection pages can make a big impact on your relevance for your target keyword.

All you need to do is make sure you use your target keyword in a natural way, and make sure the text content that you add is adding value for people that are on your site.

You can do this a couple different ways.

The first way is to create a short collection description that displays right under the collection title.

It’s important that it’s short if you having it towards the top of the page.

You don’t want to push your products down too far so that your website visitors need to scroll.

The other option is to add longer form content underneath the products.

The benefits of this method are that you can add more content, and you don’t have to push the products down the screen at all.

The main downfall is that it’s not usually easy to setup on Shopify.

You have to manipulate the code on most themes.

Either of those methods will work perfectly fine for SEO.

Product Title

Now let’s go over products.

Following the theme of optimization, just make sure your keyword is in the product title.

You can include other creative pieces in the product title, but just make sure your target keyword is also there.

Not much else to add here.

Product Description

Take advantage of your product description.

This is an opportunity to improve the relevance of your page for your target keyword.

More importantly though, this is an opportunity to convert your website visitors into customers.

This goes more into conversion rate optimization than SEO, but I wanted to touch on it because it can make a big difference in your revenue once you’re ranking and bringing in traffic.

Put your customers first.

Talk about how it’s going to benefit them and change their lives.

Talk about what THEY will be excited about, not necessarily what you’re excited about.

Headings

For any pages that have headings, include your main keyword and variations whenever it’s natural.

Don’t stuff your keywords in there to make Google happy though.

Because it won’t make Google happy – those days are gone.

Main Text Content

I would suggest not even think twice about how many times you’re using your target keyword in the main content.

As long as you’re writing content around your topic, your content is going to be relevant enough for the keyword you’re going after.

Create New SEO Content

Create New Category Pages

New category pages are the biggest opportunities you have with your fashion brand.

You should focus 90% of your time on trying to get your category pages ranked for your biggest keywords.

Create New Blog Content

Make sure your blog content is centered around the category pages you’re trying to get ranked.

Internally link to the relevant category pages.

That’s going to help drive traffic to those pages and improve your conversion rate, and it’s also going to help improve your overall topical authority.

Link Building

Why do Fashion Brands Need Backlinks?

Backlinks are the most important part of your SEO strategy.

You need to be getting links from fashion magazines and fashion bloggers if you want to have any chance ranking for competitive keywords.

How Can Fashion Brands Get Backlinks?

There are a million different ways to get backlinks.

The best long-term strategy is to create extremely linkable content that journalists will want to link to.

Another way is to find websites you want a backlink on, and find a way to get your foot in the door.

What can you provide to them in order to get a link on their website?

These should be unique for every fashion blogger or magazine that you reach out.

How to Identify a Good Versus Bad Backlinks

To sum this up in the simplest way, you want backlinks from websites that are bringing in traffic from keywords related to fashion.

Those are going to be the most relevant, powerful backlinks for your fashion brand.

SEO Services for Fashion Brands

Want help with this?

I work specifically with fashion brands to help them with their SEO.

Here are some of the results I’ve been able to get them.

If you want to take your fashion brand to the next level, book a call here and we can chat and see if we’d be a good fit to work together.

Share the Post:

Related Posts