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Ecommerce Search Engine Optimization Services and Methods
When you have an online store, you know that it’s extremely important to drive people to your ecommerce website. However, you might find yourself struggling to rank in searches, or to get the right amount of traffic. You know you need to convert shoppers into customers, but your ecommerce marketing just isn't bringing in visitors. How do you handle this kind of situation?
Ecommerce SEO services, like those offered by WebpageFX, are the best way to boost your store’s ranking in search results, bring more traffic to your site, and boost your conversion rate. By optimizing your ecommerce store, you’ll be seen as many people as possible. In this digital era, word of mouth or internet advertising isn’t enough. It’s important to do much more to be successful online, and that's where SEO and ecommerce marketing come into play.
When you do general advertising, you’re attempting to get as many people to your site as possible. However, simply advertising your site and hoping that people buy from you isn’t enough. Many of the sales that take place online happen because someone is looking for a very specific service or product. By optimizing your ecommerce website, you’re more likely to show up in these search results – and bring in more targeted traffic.
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Starting the Ecommerce SEO Process
When you start selling online, you want to be sure that you are directing the right type of customers to your site. You can accomplish this by making sure that you have the right kind of content that contains the right keywords.
Search engines rely on matching the words that people are searching for to the words that are found on your website. So if you have the words on your site that shoppers will be typing into a search engine, you stand a better chance at being found. However, it can be difficult to figure out which words to add to your site, and secondly, to make sure that you have room for all of the different phrases you need. To start the ecommerce search engine optimization (or SEO) process, you should first know what keywords or phrases you want to target.
Before building your website, you should research and identify the words and phrases you need to include in your written content. These are often called keywords or keyphrases. By researching online using free tools, asking your customers how they describe your products, or working with a SEO agency, you will be able to identify the keyphrases that need to appear in your website’s content.
Keywords most often pertain to your main subject matter or the things that you are selling or providing. For example, if your ecommerce store sells dog supplies, you would expect to show up in a search for “dog supplies.” So when you develop content for your website, this keyphrase should be included. It can be included in the title, the meta description and keywords, in on-page content, and even menus or navigational breadcrumbs.
The first step in implementing these keywords is to place them on your homepage. As your homepage is likely to be the highest ranked and most important page on your website, you want any content on this page to be keyword-rich, but also readable for shoppers and relevant to your audience. Yes, keywords are important for SEO, but your visitors are going to read your content, too.
Write 1-3 paragraphs that will appear on your website homepage. Work to insert your most important words or phrases into this copy naturally, remembering that your visitors may base their decision to buy from you on whether or not the content is good.
Keywords should also appear in content throughout the rest of your website. This includes product descriptions, text on category and landing pages, menus or other forms of navigational links, or in special content like articles and blog posts.
Although it’s never a good idea to simply jam as many keywords as possible into every space, you or your copywriter should work to achieve a good balance between natural, easy to read content and keyword-rich text. If both search engines and users can read (and understand) your content, you’ll find that both your rankings and conversion rate will improve. This is one of the biggest ways that ecommerce store SEO can be used to increase your online presence.
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Additional Ecommerce SEO Methods
Ecommerce SEO isn’t all about keywords. There are a number of other ways that you can better optimize your online store to rank more highly in search engines. Let’s explore some of these other methods, and learn about additional SEO ecommerce services offered by WebpageFX.
Optimizing Your Product Pages
Every page on your website should be optimized for search engines, and for ecommerce stores, it’s hard to find anything more important to optimize than product pages. Product pages are extremely important because they are most likely to rank for very specific search phrases, also known as “long-tail keywords.” If someone searches for “green rubber dog bone,” you’re probably not going to have this long-tail keyword on your homepage – but it will appear on the product page for this item.
To ensure that your product pages are best optimized for high rankings, make sure that each page has a title, as well as a paragraph or two of keyword-rich copy that describes the item. It may also be a good idea to include the model number (if there is one) so you show up in searches for that, too.
Your product pages should also include images of the items you are selling. Although images themselves have little impact on SEO, including alt text that describes each image is another way that you can get keywords on a page. So don’t hesitate to include images with alt text – they’re beneficial both for search engines and for your shoppers.
Smart Website Navigation
Your website should be easy for users to navigate, even if you carry a wide variety of products. Make sure that everything is sorted into sections or categories, and that there is a link to each top level page from somewhere in your menu. Use clear, sensible language to describe each menu item.
As you may have guessed, these menu items are yet another way to get relevant keywords on your site. So if you sell pet supplies, make sure the link to this section is called “pet supplies” and not just “supplies,” or something even more vague like “buy now.”
Your navigation needs to be easy to use and understand. If it’s not, you may find that users are getting confused and leaving your site almost as soon as they arrive. Why stay if they can’t find what they want? This quick departure, also called a “bounce,” can lead to a higher bounce rate. High bounce rates tell search engines that your website is not as relevant as you claim for specific terms or keyphrases, and can lead to your ranking dropping. So avoid confusing your visitors at all costs!
One other tip to improve your SEO for ecommerce is to use breadcrumb navigation. Breadcrumbs are small links that appear at the top of menu, category, or product pages. Like the story of Hansel and Gretel, a trail of breadcrumbs on a website leads you back where you were previously. This is yet another easy way to add links and keywords to your pages, and can help users find their way when they are lost.
Great Content for Shoppers
Since it’s difficult to compete online, one of the best ways you can both add SEO value and draw in shoppers is to add some original content to your ecommerce store. Content can come in the form of a blog, articles, press releases, and even whitepapers or ebooks. A content marketing strategy serves two purposes: one, to give search engines even more content to crawl for keywords and phrases, and two, to tell your potential customers that you are knowledgeable and trustworthy.
Most ecommerce websites choose to set up a blog for this purpose. Blogs come in many shapes and sizes, and can have one post a month or multiple posts a day. For your online store, you may find it easiest to focus on one or two posts a week. You can write about anything your customers might find relevant, like trends in your industry or new products. If you sell pet supplies, you could even post photos of cute animals or run a “cutest pet” contest.
Additional content may take the form of press releases about important company events, articles about industry topics you are knowledgeable about, or even long-form content like an ebook. As long as this content contains a few keywords (or even links to your site), it will be seen as relevant and may help your rankings.
Building Links to Your Store
One final component in ecommerce SEO is link building. This refers to the process that is used to manually create links to your online store. Your rank in search engines doesn’t depend only on the number of times you use keywords – because then the people with the spammiest websites would be at the top! It also depends on a trust factor, and this is determined by the number of high quality websites that link to you.
Link building for ecommerce stores can be a complicated and very time-consuming process, but done correctly, it can reward you with very high rankings for many keywords. Links can be acquired in a number of manners, from guest posting on other blogs to being linked naturally from a news article or review on another website. There are plenty of methods out there to build or acquire links, and businesses usually choose to use a variety of methods to do this process as naturally as possible.
Ecommerce websites have a good opportunity to build links through reviews. If someone talks about one of your items online on a blog or personal website, they might link to you. You could even reach out to writers or bloggers in your industry and ask if they would like to review one of your products in exchange for a link to your site.
You should avoid paying for links at all costs. This doesn’t mean avoiding advertising online, which is different, but it does mean that handing a company $200 to put a link to your website in their footer is out of the question. Search engines frown upon paid links because they’re not natural. If you’re found to be paying for your links, your rankings might slip – or worse, you could be removed from search results entirely.
Do you need some help with ecommerce search engine optimization? Looking for a reliable ecommerce SEO services provider? Contact WebpageFX today to get your online store better optimized for more clicks, higher conversions, and maximum ROI.