You can’t deny that SEO or search engine optimization is important for any ecommerce site no matter what you’re selling. The fact that you can get targeted organic traffic without a huge advertising budget should be a blessing for most and in today’s market if you don’t have an SEO plan for your site you should adjust your plan accordingly now. When dealing with SEO for your site you need to know a few basic tips that will get you pointed in the right direction. Many of the top ecommerce platforms already have their themes search engine optimized but for those using other platforms or building your own templates you should know the basics for on-page SEO and everyone should know the basics of off-site SEO or link building.
Your Page Title:
The title of your page is very important as well as the way it’s formatted. The title of your page should be within an H1 tag listed towards the top of the page. This will not only help the search engines figure out what the page is about but it will also help your users see quickly that they’re on the right page. You should also have the title tags placed within your HTML so that it shows up on the top of the page and lets search engines know what you’re trying to rank for. Almost all ecommerce platforms will have these basics by default but if not then you are probably better off finding another template or service because if they don’t have these basics down then they probably aren’t going to have the other basics covered. This means it will be a huge headache for someone who is more interest in running their store and selling things than having to
Your Page Content:
The content of your page should contain the words you’re trying to rank for but don’t overdue it. In the past many so-called “SEO experts” said to watch for the keyword density and try to get a few exact match keywords within your content so that the search engines can pick up on exactly what you’re trying to rank for. In my opinion you should simply write about what topic is on the page. If your title is correct on the page for the words you’re wanting to rank for and the content is relevant to that topic then it should naturally work itself out. Google also seems to give some weight to the amount of good content on the page so pages that are “thin”, such as less than 100 words, are probably not going to rank well for much. So most people say to have each product page with 200 words or more of unique content along with photos, videos, and any other content you can put on the page that helps your users make a buying decision and also give the search engines enough content to know you’re providing quality content.
Knowing which keywords to target is a big part of gaining traffic and gaining sales. You can use keyword tools such as Google’s Keyword Tool to find how much traffic is going to each keyword. This means that if you have a “Blue Widget” for sale you know that most of the traffic is going to be for “Blue Widgets” but this can give you more insight into long-tail keywords to tack onto your title such as “Blue Widgets – Price, Reviews, and Sales” so that you’re getting a trickle of extra traffic. On the keyword research side you can just get the basics done or you can go in-depth into these keywords to find thousands of variations to create pages to soak up all the traffic within your niche. Another thing you can do is find out what your competitors are ranking for and see how much traffic they’re getting with a tool like SEMRush. This tool isn’t entirely accurate due to the quick changing nature of search engines but it gives good estimates on these figures.
Pages that have great links usually rank better than those who don’t have any good links. While in the past few updates things are still a little sketchy, it still helps to have as many good links as possible. The best way now to build links is through “earned media.” This means things such as getting press, making and distributing infographics, interviews, and so on. You are usually going to get your best links this way. There are other lower level link building tactics such as link wheels, article directories, and web directories but these have essentially little to no value in the rankings today, in fact they may actually be a negative ranking factor.
Another tip you can use is to find what links your competitors have. This is usually called competitive link building or competitive link research. This simply means using a tool such as Open Site Explorer to see what links they have and then see which links you can build using the same sources. This doesn’t mean exactly copy their links but it can give you some insight into what links they are getting and also what type of marketing approach they’re taking.
What You Should Read:
We will be writing an entire blog post about what SEO blogs you should be reading to help advance your store but here are a few basic sources you should read if you’re a beginner in SEO or just need a refresher. There is no exact science to SEO but there are many best practices you should follow if you want sustained organic traffic coming in from the search engines such as Google and Bing. So check out these two sources below to get all of the basics you need for optimizing your ecommerce site or online store for search engines.