Making sure that your ecommerce store is competitive on price and in terms of visibility in search engine results pages is a major factor in ensuring the website’s success. Having fantastic products and a smart site is just the starting point for making it in the world of ecommerce.
To give your site a boost you need to follow a strategy that has SEO at the heart of it. A good SEO strategy will transform your site’s competitiveness by tackling all sorts of areas including: functionality, responsiveness, social media, content and reviews. Read on to discover more about the main areas you’ll need to focus on.
This is the bedrock of your SEO strategy. The results of this exercise will give you the low down on your site in terms of its functionality, speed, ranking in SERPs and general performance. An SEO agency will carry this out as the first stage in their bid to help your site improve. This gives them the foundation to build on and identifies the strengths and weaknesses in the site.
There are number of checks you’ll have to run – here’s a breakdown of the main ones:
- Domain authority
- Number of pages indexed
- Page load speed
- Site map
A well-planned structure will take into consideration the needs of the user – your visitors as well as making use of the target keywords gathered through your research.
Working on the basis that each page is as important as the next is an excellent basis to begin improving site usability. The visitor must be able to navigate freely around the site from product to product and page to page enjoying the experience and moving ever closer to making the purchase.
A much used tip for anyone creating content for the web is to ‘write for the reader not search engines.’ This applies to ecommerce sites just as much as any other type of site in fact in some ways it’s even more important as it’s easy to take short cuts with ecommerce content.
Product descriptions are the bread and butter for ecommerce site content. The more products you have available on the site then the greater the opportunity to create original, interesting and most importantly of all, helpful content. Many websites are happy using the content provided by manufacturers and leave it that. Whilst this is understandable if you have hundreds or perhaps even thousands of products you must remember that they’ll be zero SEO gain from this approach.
Search engines can then index the content you’ve written specifically aimed at your customers. Your users can get your perspective on the products rather than the same angle used over and over again by all the other websites selling the same products and the search engines get something fresh to index. Double win.
If you ensure that your products or services are listed in clear, logical categories to help someone searching by category (e.g. ladies shoes) rather than specific styles or brands then you’ll improve the site usability. Frustrating searches on eCommerce sites lead to customers heading elsewhere and that means lost sales.
April 2015 saw Google’s update known as ‘Mobilegeddon’. This set a new course for all websites as from then onwards sites that were not responsive (mobile friendly) would be penalised in the rankings. This makes ensuring your site is responsive a priority. Another smaller update at Google has just taken place in the last few weeks which now means the site speed loading on mobile is a ranking factor. In short, get your site mobile ready if it isn’t already.
Social Media Integration
Maximising the potential for customers to share the news about their recent purchase or order on their chosen platform allows them to spread the news for you. Make the different options available via easy to find buttons and don’t push them. People are either social media lovers or they’re not and if they’re keen to share the details of their purchase or their experience on your site then they will. Let them.
Blogs, Videos & Guides
If a customer is preparing to spend money via your site then giving them easy access to as much information as possible is a great tactic. A helpful video, a Frequently Asked Question page or a ‘how to’ guide in the form of a blog can be a fantastic way of building authority and trust with visitors.
Providing helpful information can answer questions and equip visitors with the information they need to make the correct decision when it comes to making their purchase or order.
Customer Reviews & Ratings
Feedback from previous customers provides a useful gauge of a product or services quality or suitability. Famous websites such as Amazon have harnessed this technique to great effect and proved that customers like to know how other people have found things. Don’t be put off by the fact that you might get a negative review from time to time in fact use this to motivate you to provide a better all round service.
Essential if you’re ecommerce site is operating in a local market; local SEO is another relatively easy win for site owners. If you’re a bigger player with a wide market then still setting up a local search campaign. A well-managed Google listing is a must as is registering on directories, ensuring you have the correct NAP (name, address & phone number) listed, as well as the lists of other useful information and location or product/service photos.
Checking on your citations and finding out where they’re coming from and secondly that your business information (NAP) is correct and update if necessary. If the NAP isn’t correct then it will affect the listing as in Google’s opinion that will be confusing for the users. Don’t stop at seeking citations from directories however. Blogs, forums, guides, news releases are just some of the other options available giving you a wide range of avenues to explore many of which are far more creative and interesting than directories. Keep those links coming in but only from reputable sites.
Tags & Meta Descriptions
Simple to sort and a fundamental SEO tip. Tags and meta descriptions need to be completed and optimised. Add your keyword from your research and summarise the page content in 150 – 160 characters and make sure that each meta description is unique.
The tags need to be carefully set up too. H1 (header 1) tags can contain the keyword and then be sure to order the subsequent header tags in the correct order – H1, H2, H3. Both tags and meta descriptions are an easy win in your SEO campaign but as with product descriptions, if you’re site has a large number of pages then it can take time to complete them all so don’t rush. Take your time and get them right the first time.
There’s always more you can do to make your site competitive and so it’s worth pointing out again that the steps and tips we’ve touched on here are really just the starting point. Create a checklist and work your way through it. The more familiar you’ll get with your site and the various SEO techniques in the tool kit then the easier it’ll become.
Teapot Creative provide specialist ecommerce SEO support. For more information about our services, take a look at the website or get in touch to have a chat about your requirements.