What makes an e-commerce site rank?

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When it comes to online marketing, ranking well is king. Your site reaching the top of the search engine results panel is the equivalent of being in a prime location on the high street. By ranking well, you can attract new customers and ultimately generate more revenue.


Achieving top rankings can be a lot of work – but for e-commerce retailers that are dependent on conversions, it’s vital.

A Searchmetrics study has revealed some interesting data about how e-commerce sites function in search, compared to non-retail ‘benchmark’ sites in the top 10. This helps show how prospective retailers should approach their own marketing. Here are some of the most interesting findings…

Create quality pages: This is true of almost every well-ranking site, but for e-commerce it’s a vital step. Avoid installing Adsense or Adlinks on your page, as only 3% of the top 10 e-commerce pages in Google use either of these systems.

Invest in interactives: High-ranking e-commerce pages have a 40% higher number of interactive elements on their pages compared to other high-ranking sites.

Internal links are key: Securing backlinks to your site or category pages may help raise your rankings, but internal links to pages within your site are also vital. E-commerce websites have a 73% incidence of internal links compared to other websites.

Keep things simple: Ease of use is clearly important to e-commerce customers, as sites in the top 10 had 70% more bullets per list than the benchmark. It’s important to present information about your products in an easily digestible format.

.Com triumphs: The top level domains that use .Com addresses are responsible for 99.9% of all e-commerce sites in the top 10. If you’re hosting on a different TLD, it’s worth considering a change.

Video isn’t as vital: Despite video content growing more and more important online, it’s not as important for retailers. For e-commerce sites, only 35% of pages in the top 10 have embedded videos.

Online stores above the fold: e-commerce sites are 139% more likely to have an online store above the fold. Make sure your shopping elements (generally the basket or checkout) are visible and easy to use.

Be explanative: E-commerce websites have a 25% higher word count than the overall average, indicating that product or category information is vital. Think of sizing guides, material information, care instructions and more, which should all be present in an easily digestible format.

What does all of this mean for a retailer?

Your pages should be easy to digest and avoid distraction. You need to create a simple process for a customer landing on your page, finding information and then completing the buying process. You should remove any unnecessary ads, make your page as simple to use as possible and provide as much relevant information as you can by using bullet points and other digestible formats.

Data never lies – with just a few small tweaks your e-commerce site could learn from the best and start performing better online.

Want to revamp your retail site and perform better online? We can help. Get in touch with Mediaworks today.


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