There are many types of websites, from hobby blogs to serious business pages. And there are many ways to spread the news about a website, from paid advertising to word-of-mouth. SEO stands out as one of the best ways to get more eyes on your website with a great return on investment. In order to increase the viewership of your website, more people need to be able to find it through the search engines. While this is true, SEO is often neglected when it comes to e-commerce stores. Setting up SEO for an online store requires some adjustments to ensure that new visitors find your website, fill up those shopping carts while they’re there, and then return later for more purchases. Here, Virtual Market Advantage will go over a few steps you can take as you set up your e-commerce website to get the most out of your SEO campaign.
Setting up SEO for an online store requires some adjustments to ensure that new visitors find your website, fill up those shopping carts while they’re there, and then return later for more purchases. Click To Tweet
What is SEO?
Before we get into the specifics of how to use this type of campaigning for e-commerce, let’s take a look at what SEO is and why you should care about it. Search engine optimization, or SEO, is a marketing technique that optimizes your website around a specific set of keywords in order to rank higher in the search results on sites like Google. If done correctly, the initial work put in while setting up your webpages will benefit your site rankings for years to come, without much extra work from you.
While other types of websites often rely on quality content and audience interaction, e-commerce sites have some additional aspects to focus on when it comes to SEO:
- Write thorough, vivid product descriptions.
- Have eye-catching photos of your products.
- Make your website easy for visitors to use, with large buttons that are easy to see and use.
- Show social proof of your products. Link your social media product posts back to your website.
Keyword Research for E-Commerce
As with any other SEO campaign, you need to start your keyword research right away. What makes keywords different for an e-commerce site? You need to optimize for two types of pages: Category and Product. Categories are broader pages that will connect to several other pages. They should be front and center in your website design and get a lot of your focus when finding the perfect keywords. Product pages are more specific about particular items to sell and are more likely to change over time. These are great to use in conjunction with your social media campaigns.
For every page on your website, you should do a thorough keyword search. Doing this type of research for your site is simple and can be done in two steps:
- List out all the pages on your website.
- Find and map out appropriate keywords on each page.
The keywords should be short, to the point, and draw in people who would be looking for that type of product. You can dig a little deeper by looking at other similar pages on the Internet and see where they rank and what keywords they’re using. Take note of what types of pages are ranking highly for other companies and adjust your keywords accordingly. There are many resources for keyword research available, and you can learn more about the process here.
Optimize Your Website
There are two types of optimization to do for your website: off-site and on-site optimization. Off-site optimization consists of link building. Use social media posts and link them back to your website on related pages. You can also establish other basic link connections with trusted and authorized websites.
For e-commerce, you really want to focus on on-site link building to optimize your website. On-page optimization allows you to use your SEO campaign within your website to help it rank better. There are 8 key parts you need to focus on as you set up your on-site optimization:
- Keyword Optimization – As described above, you need good keywords to direct people towards your website.
- Usability – Your website should be user-friendly and load quickly.
- Mobile Responsiveness – Your website needs to load quickly and look great on all devices, from huge PC monitors to tiny phone screens.
- Internal Linking – Link the pages of your website to each other, so your audience is more likely to view multiple pages.
- Customer Reviews – People trust what others have to say about products they might want to purchase.
- Site Structure – Ensure that your website is easy to navigate and the structure makes sense.
- Good Snippets – A snippet is the text that someone sees before they click on the page results from a search. It’s important that these are informative and enticing.
- Social Media Integration – Social media is a crucial part of modern advertising. Your customers need to be able to directly move between your website and your social media pages.
By making sure each one of these factors is in place, you’ll have some great on-site optimization that will push your website up on the search engines and get more eyes on your pages.
Add Blog Content
Once you have your basic website structure set up, keywords in place, quality photos with descriptions, and your social pages integrated, you should start adding in some rich content. No matter what type of business you have, blog posts can really help you build an online presence and establish trust in your brand.
When you’re deciding on topics for your blogs, consider using keywords that are related to your niche but not already in place all over your website. This gives you a chance to rank for even more keywords, especially those valuable long-tail keywords.
There are many options available when it comes to writing a blog for your business. Write blog posts that are authoritative to your brand or product. Have them showcase a new product or make a how-to for whatever you’re selling. If you write blogs that are informative and fun, they will draw people to your site all the time. Blogs are great for link building, brand building, and helping you gain online authority. You can even post guest blogs from people who are already trusted in your field, helping you build authority while providing them with exposure.
If you have a brick and mortar store and are just starting up the e-commerce side, the most important thing is to make sure that your business’s name, address, and phone number are visible on your site. If you have multiple locations, include all of them.
Google likes to blend local and organic searches for websites, so incorporating your physical stores with your online one will benefit your search results. You can even rank higher than national chains if you have good local search results. Submit your business to all of the major directories online, as well as the niche directories. Also use location-based keywords in your descriptions where appropriate to rake in those local search results.
For the most part, SEO for your e-commerce website is the same as a normal site. However, when it comes to your location, product pages, image descriptions, and some other aspects, there are a few ways to optimize your SEO to your particular type of business. Make sure that you choose strong keywords and that your website is easy to navigate. By focusing on local search rankings, you can build your small business into one that people choose over the big chains. With careful research and time spent on a good e-commerce SEO campaign, your business will be ranking highly in Google in no time!