Ecommerce website optimization is a strategy to improve your website’s user experience, visibility in search, and conversions. We share 10 expert tips, top tools, a checklist, and real examples to help boost sales.

With up to 24 million ecommerce websites worldwide, there’s a ton of competition in every possible niche.

To stand out against the competition, attract customers, and grow sales, you need an optimized site. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about ecommerce website optimization, including pro tactics and top tools.

What is ecommerce website optimization?

Ecommerce website optimization is the process of improving site elements to convert more customers and drive more revenue. This includes improving the website design, structure, keyword targeting, content, messaging, and calls to action. By optimizing your site, you can:

  • Make your brand and products more visible on search results pages
  • Attract and acquire customers at a lower cost
  • Retain customers at a higher rate

Which tactics should you consider?

Ecommerce business owners often focus on these four tactics to optimize their websites:

  1. User experience (UX): Making your site easier and more enjoyable can convert and retain more customers.
  2. Search engine optimization (SEO): Making your website more visible in search attracts more potential customers.
  3. Customer acquisition and retention: Offering incentives to specific segments can acquire and retain more customers.
  4. Conversion rate optimization (CRO): Testing different elements on your website helps you find what drives more conversions.

Are any of these elements more important than the other? Yes and no: every ecommerce marketer has a different view. The most important thing you can do is understand how each element influences and improves the others.

“I would choose UX as the most important factor for ecommerce website optimization as it directly impacts conversion rates and the SEO performance,” explains Tom Golubovich, Head of Marketing at Ninja Transfers.

“Your website’s layout, content, and performance are arguably the most important elements of UX optimization, and solving this will boost your store’s overall SEO and CRO performance. It’s best to start with content, adding rich descriptions, calls to action (CTAs), navigation pages, and social proof to boost your case.”

After that, he says you should optimize the store’s navigation and performance elements, which include improving load speeds, optimizing images, removing redundant code, adding helpful pages, and streamlining the process from visit to checkout.

Which tactics should you consider?

The most important metrics to measure depend on the tactics you use and the goals you want to achieve. Here are a few ecommerce metrics to consider:

  • Conversion rate: The number of ecommerce purchases compared to the total number of site visitors
  • Customer acquisition cost (CAC): The total amount spent on marketing compared to the number of new customers
  • Average order value (AOV): The average amount customers spend per ecommerce order
  • Customer lifetime value (LTV): The total amount customers spend throughout their relationship with your brand
  • Bounce rate: The percentage of site visitors who click away without engaging with your site

What’s the average cost to optimize websites for ecommerce?

Most agencies offer an ecommerce website optimization package on a monthly basis. For a complete package with UX, SEO, and CRO, you can expect to pay an average of $2,500 to $5,000 per month.

So, what can you expect when you hire an agency to manage your ecommerce digital marketing? Results will vary based on the agency, the budget, the tactics, and other factors.

However, we’ve achieved some pretty impressive results for our clients. For example, HawkSEM helped ThriftBooks optimize its ecommerce website and manage marketing campaigns. Our efforts increased clickthrough rates (CTRs) by 35% year over year and boosted AOV by 50%.

How to optimize ecommerce websites: 10 pro tips

How can your brand get the most mileage out of SEO, CRO, and UX optimization? Map out a plan for your ecommerce site with these expert optimization tips.

  1. Make navigation intuitive
  2. Create a keyword strategy
  3. Enhance product pages
  4. Improve product collections
  5. Upsell and cross-sell products
  6. Simplify the checkout process
  7. Prioritize customer support
  8. Use A/B testing
  9. Improve site speed
  10. Optimize for mobile shoppers

1. Make navigation intuitive

When potential customers land on your website, they should find the product or information they seek within seconds. The faster they can find what they need, the quicker they can convert.

You need a simple, intuitive navigation structure that site visitors can understand and use. Here’s an example of intuitive navigation for an ecommerce site:

make navigation intuitive

“With the Formen Inc. website, we’ve prioritized seamless navigation. The website is broken down into obvious categories: Product Categories, Shop All, and Find Us,” explains Andrew Grella, CEO and Founder of Formen Inc.

“We intentionally chose these categories as they are the primary areas clients seek when landing on our site. A new visitor first would like to see our products (Product Categories and Shop All) and have the means to reach us (Find Us).”

Is your online store’s navigation overly cluttered? Start by paring down options to the basics. If you’re not sure which categories or landing pages to focus on, use the website analytics tools below to identify the most popular destinations on your site.

2. Create a keyword strategy

For online stores, organic search can be a reliable source of website visitors and ecommerce sales. To attract and convert search traffic, create an SEO strategy for ecommerce. Start with keyword research.

Use one of the SEO tools below to analyze keywords related to your brand, products, and industry. Then incorporate the keywords with the highest search volume and purchase intent into your website.

“Be what customers are looking for and where they’re looking for it. This means you have to understand how people search and translate your value into those terms. Simple, but not easy, which is where experts can help a lot,” suggests Gabriel A. Mays, Co-Founder and CEO of POPSMASH.

Which keywords are likely to provide the most value for your site?

“Focus on long-tail keywords. These are your golden tickets to attracting highly targeted traffic. I’ll give you a simple example. Go for ‘vintage leather backpacks’ for men instead of just ‘backpacks,'” advises Mateusz Calik, CEO of Delante.

“Because the person searching for this knows exactly what they want, and if you provide it, that’s half the battle won,” continues Calik. “Also, there’s definitely fewer companies popping up when you look for a more specific term. The most crucial element here is relevance. Make sure your content matches the searcher’s intent.”

Once you have a list of relevant keywords, work them into your homepage, product descriptions, and category pages naturally. To rank for more keywords and make your website more visible for a wider range of searches, create a wider variety of content.

In other words, consider expanding your content marketing beyond product pages. Launch a blog that shares answers to customer questions, high-quality how-to guides, and tips for using your products.

3. Enhance product pages

Whether you use SEO, pay-per-click (PPC) ads, or paid social media to drive traffic to your website, it’s critical to get product pages right.

“With Performance Max and automated PPC campaigns, ecommerce optimization will rely heavily on good UX. You need compelling landing pages that visitors will love, with relevant content that addresses the users needs,” explains Sam Yadegar, CEO of HawkSEM.

So, what’s the key to optimizing product pages?

“Break down product pages into different elements like discounted price and codes, product images, trust badges, product reviews and ratings, and product features,” advises Swapnil Pate, Co-Founder and Head of SEO at GrowthSRC Media.

“Having these elements above the fold keeps the user hooked. All these elements build trust with the visitor and push them towards buying a product.”

Looking for an easy place to start? Focus on customer reviews and ratings, which add social proof to your products.

customer reviews

“Your product listings should be short but rich in the details customers are searching for online,” suggests Michael Nemeroff, CEO and Co-founder of Rush Order Tees. “Always include a product reviews section for each listing. These add credibility to your brand. When customers visit your listing, they’ll be more inclined to make a purchase if others share positive experiences with similar items. That’s how you’ll capture cold buyers.”

4. Improve product collections

As important as product pages are for ecommerce sites, they may not be the pages that drive the most traffic to your online store.

“Collection pages are the most important asset on an ecommerce page due to the search potential and volume they command,” explains Pate.

To optimize product collections, Pate suggests:

  • Categorizing products correctly
  • Incorporating relevant keywords into collection descriptions
  • Adding relevant keywords to meta descriptions for SEO purposes

If your collections include a handful of products, you may not need sorting and filtering options. But if your product categories have dozens of items like Rush Orders Tees do, adding price, color, or size filters can help customers find what they need in a few clicks.

Improve product collections

5. Upsell and cross-sell products

Ideally, your online store will convert website visitors into customers. But when your goal is to increase AOV or LTV, you’ll want to invite customers to purchase more than just the basics.

With upselling, you encourage customers to spend more than they initially intended. For example, you can present customers with an automated offer to purchase an add-on or a more deluxe version of the original item before checkout.

When you cross-sell to customers, you prompt them to purchase related products. For example, you can suggest similar items on product pages to encourage customers to keep shopping — like Irresistible Me does below.

Upsell and cross-sell products

Where should you add cross-sells to your site? Pate suggests using one of the heatmap tools below to see where visitors spend the most time on your site.

“Then you can add product recommendation widgets in those positions to improve cross-sell opportunities. You can also add upsell widgets on the checkout cart to boost upsell revenue.”

6. Simplify the checkout process

A successful ecommerce site has to do more than make a great first impression. When you want to drive revenue, you need customers to complete purchases. That means reducing your shopping cart abandonment rate and increasing your ecommerce conversion rate.

“Optimize the whole checkout process, including the shopping basket, checkout page, and, if possible, the payment page. The checkout process stands out as the single most vital aspect to perfect,” advises Nemanja Janjic, CEO & Co-founder of Tunel Studio. “An optimized checkout experience reduces cart abandonment rates and increases conversions by making the purchase process as seamless and straightforward as possible for the customer.”

How can you make your checkout process easier to navigate? Design a better customer experience for logged-in users and guest checkouts alike.

“Create an intuitive and effortless add-to-cart experience on product pages. Ensure customers can easily navigate adding products to their cart, adjusting quantities, and understanding their options on the product page, without confusion. This is key to a positive user experience, which supports SEO and CRO efforts,” advises Janjic.

7. Prioritize customer support

No matter how much you optimize your site and make it easy for customers to use, you can’t anticipate every question. That’s where providing customer support via live chat comes in handy.

“We’re a huge proponent of customer support, and we’ve found add-on features like live chat to be extremely important in CRO,” explains Justin Staples, Co-Owner of Burn Right Products. “Just note that if you’re going to use a live chat, use it well. Make certain you have someone available to manage the chat during store hours, to avoid any potential frustration from users. I can’t stress enough how important customer support is to running a successful e-commerce business.”

8. Use A/B testing

Should you rework your website navigation? How about adding an extra call to action button? Maybe you should tweak your product descriptions?

With A/B testing, you can run different versions of your website simultaneously. When you review the results, you can see which online shopping experience worked best for your target audience.

To split-test elements on your website, use one of the tools below. Then use the results to improve your website design and conversion rate. Before you end the test and launch the winning version, make sure you’ve tested it thoroughly.

“Have users test the site before launching any changes officially. You can invite customers or certified usability testers to record themselves navigating your pages and thinking out loud while they do so,” advises Nemeroff.

“This will give you the closest idea of what your customers will experience as they explore your site in real life, so you know which aspects need refinement and which elements — whether site architecture or copy — that work well right now.”

9. Improve site speed

Adding more product images, testimonial widgets, and review plugins to your site creates more helpful information for potential customers. But the more you add to your site, the more you slow it down — which can cause shoppers to click away.

Generally, desktop and mobile sites should load in less than 2 to 3 seconds. To confirm your website speed, use one of the tools below. If your page speed is significantly slower, take steps to improve it. For example:

  • Enable caching to store data more efficiently
  • Compress images so they load faster
  • Consolidate plugins and widgets and remove any you aren’t actively using

“A good user experience comes from a website that works well on phones, loads fast, and is easy to navigate. The key is keeping it simple, so people can find what they want without issues,” explains Kate Ross, SEO Specialist at Irresistible Me.

10. Optimize for mobile shoppers

If you design your ecommerce site to work on desktop devices only, you could miss out on a lot of potential customers. Mobile users make up almost 50% of online traffic and over 75% of adults have used a mobile device to make a purchase.

That means designing for smartphones is critical. So where should you start? Here are a few essential boxes to check:

  • Prioritize site speed. Make a point to improve page load times for mobile devices, not just desktop devices.
  • Use responsive website design. Every element on a responsive website automatically adjusts to fit the user’s device.
  • Streamline navigation. Simplify menus so mobile users can browse and buy easily.

Examples of optimized ecommerce websites

Need inspiration? Look at these five examples of optimized ecommerce websites.

Ninja Transfers

Ninja Transfers

Ninja Transfers, an online store selling direct-to-film (DTF) transfers, uses website popups to promote discounts. It offers new customer discounts and prompt prospects to sign up for the site’s email list to get marketing messages and abandoned cart emails.

Irresistible Me

Irresistible Me

An online store for hair extensions and wigs, Irresistible Me also uses popups to share limited-time discounts. These popups encourage subscribers to choose a product preference, which allows for segmentation and more targeted marketing.

Rush Order Tees

Rush Order Tees

Rush Order Tees, a promotional product retailer, creates a good UX by letting customers choose where to start: “Shop Products” or “Start Designing.” The site displays dynamic delivery dates to ensure the information is always accurate for customers.



Formen, a men’s grooming retailer, keeps its product pages relatively simple so online shoppers can check out quickly. But below the fold, each webpage has detailed descriptions of product features and benefits for added SEO and conversion opportunities.

Levain Bakery

Levain Bakery

Cookie retailer Levain Bakery ranks at the top of search engine results for competitive queries like “cookie subscription.” This visibility enables the ecommerce site to attract organic traffic, while its simple design and good UX make it easy for shoppers to convert.

Top tools for ecommerce website optimization

Whether you need to manage conversion optimization or search engine optimization for ecommerce websites, the right tools can help. Use this list of top tools as a guide.

Ecommerce platforms

Shopify is an ecommerce platform that hosts millions of online stores based around the world. With Shopify, you can build a customized store, sell across social media and other channels, and measure performance. Using Shopify SEO best practices, you can build a highly visible ecommerce store.

Ecommerce platforms

WooCommerce is a WordPress-based ecommerce platform that powers 4+ million online stores. Between the platform’s apps (e.g., for subscriptions and upsells) and WordPress’s SEO capabilities, you can build a powerful store that’s easy to find in search.


Website analytics tools

Google Analytics is a free website analytics tool for understanding customer behavior and measuring search traffic. It reveals how users navigate your site and where they drop off so you can remove friction points and sell more ecommerce products. If you enable ecommerce tracking, it can also report on items sold and revenue earned.

Website analytics tools

PageSpeed Insights is a free tool for analyzing the speed of your website on both mobile and desktop devices. It simulates how a real user experiences your site and shows you how long your site takes to load. If the tool spots any areas for improvement, it tells you exactly what to fix to make your site faster.

PageSpeed Insights

Heatmap tools

Hotjar is a heatmap tool that shows which parts of your website visitors interact with most often — and which ones aren’t driving sales. You can use its recordings feature to view website user sessions and request visitor feedback to make your site easier to use.

Heatmap tools

Microsoft Clarity is a free heatmap tool that reveals how users engage with any page on your website. Between heatmaps and session recordings, you can see how far visitors scroll on your site and where they click. You can use this data to inform your A/B testing and optimization efforts.

Microsoft Clarity

SEO tools

SE Ranking is an all-in-one SEO tool for keyword research, rank tracking, and content management. You can also use it to monitor your backlink portfolio, review the impact of your on-page SEO efforts, and create data-driven plans to capture more search traffic.

SE Ranking

Semrush is a complete SEO management platform with keyword research, on-page SEO, rank tracking, link building, and content optimization tools. You can also use this platform to analyze competitors — and use their SEO and content strategies to inform your own.


CRO tools

Optimizely is an A/B testing tool for experimenting with different versions of your website or product pages. This platform lets you see which elements lead to the most conversions and gives you control of which users or groups see which version of your site.


VWO is an A/B testing tool that creates personalized experiences for website visitors. With this tool, you can experiment with layouts, forms, CTAs, and personalized popups to discover new ways to drive more conversions and revenue.


Popup tools

HelloBar is a tool for creating announcement bars and website popups. In addition to customizing colors and styles, you can create popups that target website visitors by location, date, or campaign to convert more customers.


OptInMonster is a tool for displaying popups, scroll boxes, floating bars, and games on your website. You can set up different popups for each page and use exit intent detection to display them before potential customers click away from your site.


Checklist for ecommerce website optimization

Search Engine Optimization

Develop a keyword strategy

Enhance product pages

Improve product collections

User Experience

Streamline navigation

Increase site speed

Optimize for mobile shoppers

Prioritize customer support

Conversion Rate Optimization

Use A/B Testing

Customer Acquisition

Simplify the checkout process

Upsell products

Cross-sell related products

The takeaway

With a successful ecommerce marketing strategy, you can attract more prospects, convert more customers, and ultimately drive more revenue. For most online stores, you need a balance of SEO, CRO, UX, and customer acquisition tactics.

Our seasoned team has experience with all elements of conversion optimization for ecommerce websites. We’re here to help. Book a free consultation to learn how we can develop a plan to improve your ecommerce brand’s online performance.

Anna Sonnenberg

Anna Sonnenberg

Anna Sonnenberg is a writer for B2B SaaS companies. She specializes in product-led and strategic content for marketing technology, sales automation, and productivity tools.