The worldwide web is a big place. It’s estimated that there are about 2.25 billion active websites at this moment. So how does your website stand out? How do you make sure that your target audience finds your website when they are searching for products that your company offers? That’s where search engine optimisation (SEO) comes in. It is a powerful means to drive more website visitors, and potential revenue, to your eCommerce store. What is SEO? Wikipedia describes it like this:
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s “natural” or un-paid (“organic”) search results.
We all want traffic coming to our website. This can be achieved by following best practices, time, and patience. Here are a few ways to get you started.
Blogging is a must if you want to increase traffic to your site. You can blog about almost anything related to your industry such as current trends, events or user guides. Keeping your content fresh and informative cannot be stressed enough. Search engines love up-to-date and relevant information and they hate duplicate content. Any way that you can position yourself as an expert in your field will have people coming to your site.
Another often overlooked way of adding unique content to your eCommerce store is by writing your own product descriptions.
Many times you will see copy and pasted product descriptions but this really isn’t benefiting you, or your customers. Think of who your ideal buyer is and try and appeal to them personally. How would you talk to your ideal customer in person? What are their likes and dislikes? If you have the right store for it, a little humor can be very engaging. Putting yourself in their shoes will give you a good idea of what to write.
Takeaway: Quality blogging and unique product descriptions are great SEO practices.
You want as many links back to your eCommerce store as possible. If you are writing great content, people will want to feature it on their social media outlets. They will share the information with their friends. You’ll see posts like “great article, check this out” popping up. Quality, unique content cannot be overlooked.
Make sure you are utilizing your social media. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google, and whatever else you use should be updated regularly, with links back to your site. The average Pinterest pin is shared an average of 10 times! The exposure stores are getting on Pinterest alone is amazing.
Once you are finished a blog post make sure to share it on Facebook and Tweet about it and encourage others to share this information as well.
Takeaway: The more quality links to your store there are on the web, the better your eCommerce store will rank in the search engine.
Your eCommerce store is going to be full of images so you should be taking full advantage of this. First off, search engines can see if there is an image on a page because in your HTML there will be html tag, but search engines can only know what the image is by information in the HTML to describe that image. You will want to use the alt attribute to describe your image. You are also going to want the file name of your image to be descriptive. Think of what a potential customer may search for, and go with that. Do not overlook this, as many people do. A file name really does count. You can also look into your analytics software to see exactly what your customers are searching for. This can also help you determine what you should name your file.
With many people using mobile devices while shopping you will also need to consider your file size. Load times matter. Make your image as small as possible without sacrificing esthetics. Do not let the browser resize your image. Not only will search engines penalize you for this but your site will be slower to load. KISSmetrics states “a business loses roughly 25% of its online visitors if its site takes over 4 seconds to load.”
Takeaway: Use descriptive alt text and filenames for images to improve SEO. Reduce your image file size as much as possible, so that your pages load as quickly as possible.
Using keywords correctly throughout your eCommerce store can be vital when you are trying to improve search engine ranking as part of your SEO strategy. Your keywords need to be relevant to your audience and stand out from the competition. As with images, you can use analytics to see what words your customers are searching for. Do not think using the same words over and over again will equal higher rankings, it won’t. Using the same words will not increase your ranking, in fact, it will cause your rank to go down.
Each page’s title tag is extremely important. The title tag is what will show up in the search engine results and google puts a lot of weight on the title tag. You can have different keywords on each page and should. You do not want duplicate information. It can be difficult for Google to decipher what page to land on when you have multiple pages that are using the same keyword.
Make sure your eCommerce platform allows you to edit the SEO text used in the title tag for every page for every product, category, and more.
You also need to consider the use of keywords in headings when you are trying to improve search engine ranking. Headings should be a short description of the information that follows. When you incorporate keywords into your headings, it emphasizes the importance of those keywords.
Takeaway: Use the same keywords that your customers use to find and describe your products and services in the title tags of your pages. Also use these keywords naturally throughout the content, especially in the headings.
5. Create a Google local listing and G+ business profile
Creating a Google listing is a sure way to get your rankings up. Why? Because Google reports that 97% of consumers search for local businesses online. If you want to do well in local search results you need to optimize your Local listing. All you have to do is add details about your business such as hours, address, etc. Be sure to update the information if it changes. It’s also free and effective!
You should also sign up for a Google+ Business Page. Use the about section as an opportunity to use important keywords to describe your business. You are also able to add customized links which as stated earlier are great for SEO. Google+ is another social network, so you should keep it updated and engage with customers on it just as you would on Facebook and Twitter.
Takeaway: Google is by far the most popular search engine, so you need to make sure you’re taking advantage of tools they offer like local listings and G+ for business.