If you are relatively new to website management, among the most critical components of creating a successful website is to implement search engine optimization. SEO is a process that involves the act of obtaining traffic from organic search results via search engines like Google and Bing. Whether you place keywords in the blog posts you write or focus on improving the speed of your website, the proper implementation of SEO should improve the ranking of your website in search results, which will allow your site to gain increased visibility.

If you’re thinking about integrating SEO into your website, it’s important to understand that this optimization technique involves a variety of tactics that should help you bolster your search engine performance. These tactics include everything from creating a user-friendly website to optimizing certain elements of the site like URLs and page titles. Even if you’re currently using some of these tactics with your website, there may be other aspects of search engine optimization that you haven’t even thought of. The basic SEO practices available to site owners and managers include:

  • Use relevant keywords in written content
  • Use title tags
  • Use meta descriptions and meta keywords
  • Make sure that site content is easy to read
  • Improve the speed of your website
  • Use internal page linking via anchor text
  • Use backlinks when possible

Search engine optimization is particularly important for eCommerce websites. When you manage an eCommerce site, you are able to reach your primary audience without needing to pay for ads. When people get to your website, you can provide them with premium content, well-written calls-to-action, and high-quality products.

However, it’s not enough to simply optimize your website for people. It’s important that you optimize your site for search engines as well, which is a simple yet highly effective way of getting people to your site and acquiring new customers. A beautiful and well-designed site means very little if the amount of traffic that reaches your website is low. This article takes a look at some useful SEO tips that you should be aware of if you’re running an eCommerce website.

Design For Shoppers

person purchasing online

The first thing that you should focus on when improving your SEO is designing for shoppers. An eCommerce website should look and feel completely different than a standard blog or informational website. Even if you’re selling items that are appealing and priced well, the customer will invariably choose to leave your site to go to a competitor’s site if their experience is a poor one. As customers continue to leave your website, Google will eventually notice, which will result in your SERP and PageRanking being penalized. When this occurs, your website will become less visible.

Among the more important measurements of a website’s performance is the bounce rate of the pages and content within the site. This measurement identifies the overall percentage of people who enter your website, do nothing, and then leave. When a user bounces from your website, this means that they didn’t engage with any component of the site. In order for a website to be successful and to rank well with Google, it’s important that it doesn’t have high bounce rates. Your website should:

  • Be easy to navigate
  • Clearly tell site visitors what your eCommerce site is all about
  • Have colors and an aesthetic layout that appeals to your main audience and reflect the brand that you’ve built

Keyword Research for Ecommerce Sites

 person with credit card purchasing online

Keyword research is considered to be the backbone of SEO and is essential if you want your website to rank highly with relevant searches. The keywords that you implement into your site content will allow your website to appear towards the top of search results that are related to the keyword in question. While keywords are essential for eCommerce websites, they are the basis of all SEO efforts for any website type. When performing keyword research, your goal should be to find phrases and words that your audience typically searches for on search engines like Bing and Google.

The terms that you choose should be related to your brand or the services/products that are available on your website. Keyword research should also influence your URL naming, the content that you place on each page, and the navigation of your website. When used correctly, keyword research can help you significantly increase site traffic. Keep in mind that there are many fantastic keyword research tools that you can select from, some of which are free.

Local Keywords for SEO

When you’re performing keyword research, keep in mind that Google prioritizes local businesses. In fact, they encourage site owners to claim their business through Google My Business, which can prove helpful when you’re attempting to bolster your SEO. Local keyword research can be done on the town, county, or state level, which gives you numerous options.

Enable Customer Reviews for Your Ecommerce Site

shopping online using a tablet

If you want to increase the chances that site visitors purchase your products or services, it’s recommended that you enable customer reviews. Many users find that being able to review the products they’ve purchased means that their voice is valued and that the feedback they provide is getting to the company behind the product or service.

If you show that you value the opinions of your customers and can react to feedback, they will likely continue to support your brand and website. When customers are able to engage with the products that they purchase, you will likely find it easier to retain these customers. By allowing customers to create reviews of your products/services, they are able to do marketing for you. It’s also important to note that these reviews will likely include long-tail keywords that will help you optimize your site even further while also enhancing your PageRanking.

Avoid Duplicate Content on Your Ecommerce Site

person with wallet making online purchase

If you don’t want the ranking of your website to be dragged down, it’s essential that you avoid placing duplicate content on your website. When there are multiple pages on your site with duplicate content, the search engine won’t know which one to rank. While it’s perfectly acceptable to repeat common phrases and words, entire blocks of text should never be copied. The website you create should always keep the user in mind. In that regard, duplicate text isn’t beneficial to these users. Instead, it’s important that you focus on creating new and unique descriptions for every item that you carry in your eCommerce store.

Optimize Product and Category Pages

The product and category pages on your eCommerce store should be heavily optimized. It’s not enough that you write a few short lines of descriptive text for your product. While listing features can be beneficial, many users won’t find the content to be engaging. The product name should be prominently displayed. This name works as a keyword and should also appear in the URL of your site, which only helps with your SEO efforts. To make sure that Google and other search engines understand what your page is about, you should be as descriptive as possible.

Images are also highly important if you want to increase shopper interest in your product. These images provide additional opportunities for you to tell Google what your website is about. When you place images onto your product categories, the image names should also be descriptive as opposed to simple IMG_product10.jpg names. It’s important that you use alt text with your images as well. This type of text will provide search engines with the ability to learn about your page while also making the page more accessible for visitors who are visually impaired. Optimizing your images heightens the possibility that the images you place on your site will appear in Google Image Search.

Your Ecommerce Site Should be Responsive

responsive mobile ecommerce site

Responsive design is a type of design that allows the website to be easily accessed on all devices. While some site owners choose to create a website for desktop users and another website for mobile users, you don’t need to create two websites when you use a responsive design. When a user enters your website from a smartphone, the website will automatically be scaled to the screen size of the device in question, which negates any issues with extensive scrolling.

Keep in mind that forecasts have stated that around 45 percent of the eCommerce market in 2020 will be made up of mobile users. An increasing number of customers are surfing the web with their phones as opposed to desktop devices, which means that you must cater to these individuals. To understand how important it is that your website can be easily accessed from smartphones, Google prioritizes sites that have been optimized for mobile devices. If you use a responsive design, your website will be simple-to-use across all devices.

Search engine optimization is just as important for eCommerce websites as it is for every other website. When you have products and services that you want your customers to purchase, you need to be able to bring customers to your website. While this can be done through the use of paid ads, the more affordable and effective way to bring in new customers is with SEO, which will allow your website to rank highly on search engines like Google.

While the aforementioned tips are necessarily exhaustive, they should give you the ability to properly implement SEO into your website, which will likely pay dividends in the future. If you’re having difficulties making your website responsive or performing keyword research, you should consider getting help from an SEO or web development agency. These agencies have garnered extensive experience with SEO and understand how to integrate it into any website.

Author
Bryan Miller

Bryan Miller is an entrepreneur and web enthusiast specializing in web design, development and digital marketing. He is a recent graduate of the MBA program at the University of California, Irvine. Feel free to send Bryan a message here.

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