Optimizing your Ecommerce Store for Search Engines
When you have an ecommerce store, you know the most important aim is making sure that people visit your store and purchase your items. Isn’t it? However, when you are struggling with getting people to your site, there are several things that you can do to overcome this situation. The best way to ensure that you get the traffic you need is to optimize your ecommerce store for search engines. This means that people will lurch upon your store when they are searching for products that relate to the products you sell.
It is not advisable to simply rely on word of mouth or the online advertising that you can afford to get your site in the public eye. When you do popularized advertising, you are trying to get as many people to your site as possible. However, simply advertising your own products and hoping that people will find them while doing searches is not always the most plausible situation. A lot of the sales that take place online happen because someone is using a search engine to look for things that they need, and they turn out to type something that will direct them to your site.
This is what optimizing your ecommerce store for search engines is all about.
For ecommerce sites, it’s all about conversions and sales. How can SEO help? It isn’t a magic bullet, but applied correctly, it can definitely boost results. There are many steps involved in ecommerce SEO process, and if you are going to do it right; you want to be sure that you follow each of the steps.
Let us view some fundamentals for ecommerce SEO:
Choosing the right Keywords: One of the basic fundamentals of SEO is the use of Keywords. Firstly, search engines rely on matching the words that people are searching for to the words that are found on your website. Therefore, it is important to manage and have the words on your site that people will be typing in the search engine box. Then you will be able to find that these match much better than you might think. You need to figure out which words and phrases can be added to your website for SEO. Keywords are sacramental to SEO and basically without using the right keywords, you’re lost from the start. You need to do your keyword research for every important page and products on your website. Make sure the content is adequate and not ‘thin’.
Google advises: “Think about the words users would type to find your pages, and make sure that your site actually includes those words within it.”
Search Engine Index: As basic as it may sound, of course, you need to make sure the search engines are able to crawl and index your website. The best way to do this is by creating an html or xml sitemap to ensure it crawls and indexes every potential page on your website. While the search engines may not index every single page for one reason or another, it’s crucial they do index your most important pages and best-sellers so make sure that is happening.
Sign up to Google Webmaster tools to get detailed reports about your pages’ visibility on Google.
Unique Meta Tags: Meta tags however play a huge role in SEO. While some may think they carry no weight, Google and other search engines place stern focus on Title and Description tags. They are extremely important in gaining user click-through from search engine result pages (SERPs). These short paragraphs are webmasters opportunity to advertise content to searchers and let them know exactly what the given page has with regard to what they’re looking for. For every page, make a point your title tag and description tag are unique and carry the most important keywords of that specific page. In addition, do not stuff keywords into your meta tags that are not relevant to the specific page they are on.
Personally, I like placing the same product description that appears on the product page in meta description tag.
Link Building: Since you’re in business on the internet, you should treat traffic acquisition through link building as a business necessity. For the long-term success, you must try to develop an organic link-building strategy that is completely integrated into your business process to keep those links build naturally overtime. It is said that Content is King and Links are Queens. The tactic about link building is not the quantity of links but the quality of links. If you get links from authoritative websites, they’ll make a huge difference instead of getting several links from very small websites.
Ralph Waldo Emerson quotes, “Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door.”
Avoid Duplicate Content: It is advised to avoid duplicating content at all cost. While this has always been an issue, in the past year, Google has made it clear that it does not like duplicate content from its algorithm changes in Panda. (Refer Google Panda Updates). The algorithm of Google is always looking for new techniques to avoid any possible positioning of website based on duplicate content, poor quality content etc. So make sure every single page on your website does not contain duplicate content from any other website on the web or even your own.
Do you allow affiliates to sell your products? Yeah, I guess you will surely, to increase your business.
If so, make sure there are multiple unique product descriptions and keywords that they can use. Also, be cautious of duplicate content problems that may arise from other companies or your competitors, who are selling the same product, using your product description content on their sites so that you do not get penalized in google search results.
User Experience: Last but never the least, User Experience plays crucial role to a successful ecommerce site. You need to build an aesthetically appealing yet search engine and user-friendly ecommerce store to increase lead generation, manage online reputation and customer communication with massive ROI.
Have you ever noticed sites such as Amazon.com, Overstock.com and eBay.in? There are a few user experience factors that these successful ecommerce sites have in common. In this fast paced world, no one wants to click through pages of junk to finally see the price of a product, thus, upfront pricing and product descriptions are necessary for right conversions. Product sorting options are also a great advantage for user, for example, showing highest or lowest priced items, best-selling items, newest items or relevant items at the top of the on-site search query.
An everlasting user experience helps to build trust and loyalty with your website.
Finally, SEO for ecommerce is highly competitive and constantly evolving. With these fundamental SEO basics for ecommerce, you’ll surely start ranking in the search engines. The more you show up, the better off you are going to be. SEO takes work and patience and in due time, you’ll find visibly positive results.
Many ecommerce businesses fail by not addressing the basic risks and pitfalls along the way. So to take full advantage of the ecommerce opportunity and build path to success, make sure you cover every element of ecommerce.
Let’s have a quick look on the elements to be emphasized while building a user-friendly ecommerce store.
Up-selling: Up-sells are usually very high profit items for the ecommerce business, and sold with very little effort. Now that you have potential customers on your site, the first task is to get them to buy; the next thing is to get them to spend more. By grouping several different products and services, you can give the customer a more advanced package that goes much further towards creating a satisfying solution.
Google merchant: For ecommerce businesses just beginning to build their online presence, turning to cheap – or free – Google tools can be a simple solution. Google Merchant Center is for those who want to put in products and sell them through Google. It is where you upload feeds, check item status, and get information about how well your listings are doing. Your products uploaded to Google Merchant Center feed the searches that other people do for products they want to buy.
Have at least 2 – 3 payment options: Often we get all the way to the end of a checkout process only to find that the site only offers a debit or credit card payment option. By including PayPal and other alternative payment options, it can make huge difference between a sale or a customer leaving your store.
Use of breadcrumbs to guide the users: Breadcrumb navigation locates the current webpage in the context of a navigation path. It can help you to enhance visitor experience and reduce bounce rate. With the help of breadcrumbs, visitors can understand their exact location and therefore, take actions accordingly. Furthermore, it simplifies the navigation process.
Invalid credit card detection: Credit card fraud is a serious problem even beyond identity theft. For a merchant, it is important to ensure a credit card is valid when using it to process a transaction. Fraudulent transactions can cost merchants money if they do not perform basic security checks like reviewing the signature, validity etc.
Browser and operating system compatibility: A frequently overlooked aspect of managing an ecommerce website is testing the appearance of that site across different browsers. Make it a point to test your website every few months to ensure browser and operating system compatibility. Sixty minutes of your time could save your thousands of dollars of lost sales due to the site not working properly on your customer’s computer.
Keep checkout steps to minimum: Keep the number of checkout steps to a minimum and where possible try to reuse information e.g. don’t ask customers to enter their billing and delivery address, assume they are the same and then give them the option to change it. Ask for the bare minimum and do everything you can to get them to complete the transaction.
Registration should not be mandatory: This goes without saying really, but many sites still enforce registration before a customer can make a purchase. Remove any barriers in your checkout process such as compulsory registration. Give users the option to register later, perhaps with a very simple process.Tags: ecommerce,Ecommerce for Online Retail,seo ecommerce,seo elements for ecommerce,SEO essentials for ecommerce,SEO Tips for E-commerce