E-commerce is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world, with global sales expected to reach $4.921 trillion in 20231. However, this also makes it a prime target for cybercriminals who are constantly looking for ways to exploit vulnerabilities and steal data, money, or disrupt operations.
According to a report by Imperva, 57% of all attacks on e-commerce websites were carried out by bots in 2021, compared to 33% for all other industries2. Bots are automated software programs that can perform various malicious activities, such as:
- Account takeover: Bots can use brute force techniques, such as credential stuffing, credential cracking, or dictionary attacks, to gain illegal access to user accounts belonging to someone else. This can result in identity theft, fraud, or spam3.
- Transaction fraud: Bots can also use stolen credit card information or fake accounts to make fraudulent purchases on e-commerce sites. This can cause financial losses, chargebacks, and reputation damage3.
- Content scraping: Bots can copy and steal content from e-commerce sites, such as product descriptions, prices, images, or reviews. This can affect the site’s SEO ranking, brand value, and competitive advantage3.
To protect your e-commerce site from these cyber threats, you need to follow some best practices for SEO and security. Here are some tips to help you:
- Align your content with search intent: Search intent is the purpose behind every search query. Google’s ultimate priority is to understand and satisfy search intent. Therefore, you need to create content that matches what your potential customers are looking for. For example, if someone searches for “how to make oatmeal cookies”, they are looking for a recipe, not a product page. On the other hand, if someone searches for “buy oatmeal cookies”, they are looking for an e-commerce site that sells them4.
- Use effective titles and headings: Your title tag and main headers (especially the H1) are the most important elements for SEO. They tell Google and your visitors what your page is about. Therefore, you need to use your primary keyword (the keyword that best represents the topic of your page) in these elements. For example, the primary keyword for this article is “cyber attacks targeting e-commerce”. You also need to write unique and catchy titles and headings that attract clicks and attention4.
- Write strong meta descriptions: A meta description is a short summary of your page that appears below the title in the search results. It helps Google and your visitors understand what your page is about and why they should click on it. Therefore, you need to write a compelling meta description that includes your primary keyword and a call to action4.
- Optimize all images: Images can enhance your content and make it more appealing to your visitors. However, they can also slow down your site’s loading speed if they are not optimized properly. Loading speed is an important factor for SEO and user experience. Therefore, you need to reduce the file size of your images, use descriptive alt text (which helps Google understand what the image is about), and use relevant file names (which helps Google index your images)4.
- Include a number of internal links: Internal links are links that point to other pages on your site. They help Google crawl and index your site better, as well as improve the navigation and user experience for your visitors. Therefore, you need to include relevant internal links in your content that guide your visitors to other useful pages on your site5.
- Provide a user-friendly design (on desktop and mobile): Your site’s design can affect how your visitors perceive and interact with your content. A user-friendly design means that your site is easy to use, navigate, read, and understand. It also means that your site is responsive, which means that it adapts to different screen sizes and devices. A responsive design is essential for SEO because Google favors mobile-friendly sites over non-mobile-friendly ones4.
- Optimize page speed: As mentioned earlier, page speed is an important factor for SEO and user experience. A slow-loading site can frustrate your visitors and make them leave before they see your content or products. Therefore, you need to optimize your page speed by using tools like Google PageSpeed Insights or Semrush Site Audit . These tools can help you identify and fix issues that affect your site’s performance, such as large images, unnecessary code, or server errors4.
- Implement HTTPS: HTTPS is a protocol that encrypts the data exchanged between your site and your visitors’ browsers. It helps protect your site from cyberattacks that can intercept or modify the data, such as man-in-the-middle attacks or phishing attacks. HTTPS also helps improve your SEO ranking because Google considers it a ranking signal and a trust factor6.
- Use SSL certificates: SSL certificates are digital certificates that verify the identity and authenticity of your site. They help establish a secure connection between your site and your visitors’ browsers, which is required for HTTPS. SSL certificates also help improve your SEO ranking because they show Google and your visitors that your site is trustworthy and legitimate6.
- Monitor and update your site regularly: Cyber threats are constantly evolving and becoming more sophisticated. Therefore, you need to monitor and update your site regularly to keep it secure and optimized. You can use tools like Google Search Console or Semrush Position Tracking to monitor your site’s performance, traffic, and ranking. You can also use tools like Semrush Site Audit or Imperva Cloud WAF to scan your site for vulnerabilities, malware, or bot attacks. You should also update your software, plugins, and themes to the latest versions to fix any bugs or security issues6.
By following these SEO best practices, you can protect your e-commerce site from cyber attacks and boost your organic traffic and sales. Remember, SEO is not a one-time thing, but an ongoing process that requires constant monitoring and improvement. Stay on top of the latest trends and best practices, and you’ll be able to grow your online business successfully.