If you build it they will come, right? Not necessarily. eCommerce websites need more than visually appealing designs, beautiful images, and intriguing content. They need to be properly optimized so that your target audience actually comes to the site.
Below are eight tips to help drive traffic to your website through Search Engine Optimization best practices.
As valuable and attractive as high-quality images and videos are, having too many can slow down your site. A slow site is bad for both the user experience and SEO. To fix this, reduce the size of your images or enable a feature that allows customers to “zoom in” to see larger versions of your products. This will keep your load speeds in check while still giving your users the quality they crave.
It is vital to include keyword rich descriptions on your individual product pages. In addition to listing the product name and image, include a unique description that will be useful to your customers. Whatever you do a description from any website. This can lead to other websites outranking yours in the SERPs, as well as potential duplicate content penalties from Google.
Did you know 61% of customers read online reviews before making a purchase decision? Make sure your site enables users to post reviews on each product page. Not only will reviews increase conversions by eliminating any doubts potential customers may have, they will help increase your search rankings. Search engines love seeing original, value-adding content; with an eCommerce site, you have a key opportunity to generate content from your user base.
Create a new category or subcategory of an existing category to publish your holiday-related content. Include sneak peeks or any promotions you might be having. This is a great place to publish holiday content send visitors to convert, and helps with seasonal searches as well.
Every single URL on your eCommerce platform should be unique, relevant to the page, and keyword optimized. If you’re using an automated means of page creation (i.e. WordPress), you might be left with a URL ending in a long series of numbers and letters, which needs to be changed as soon as possible. For instance, if you’re selling a black dress, end your URL with /pleated-black-dress rather than /1894589384ahf840jfd. Doing so makes it easy for users to know what to expect when they click on that URL. If you have an incredibly long URL it can look spammy and be a turn off.
Internal Link Building
This is one of the most underused SEO techniques. By using keyword rich “anchor text,” the words hyperlinked to a webpage, you help shoppers and search engines find your top products and categories. Be sure not to use the same exact anchor text for every internal link. As previously mentioned, search engines do not like duplicate content.
Social Sharing on Product Pages
In addition to basic social integration, your product pages should have social-share buttons so users can pass your product information to their family, friends, and followers. This is particularly good for SEO because Google uses social signals as a measure of authority.
Google tailors search engine results to favor sites that are optimized for mobile use. So all mobile-friendly sites will have increased rankings. On top of that, if you’re not optimized for mobile, you are missing out on a majority of shoppers. It turns out that 59% of online shopping happens on mobile devices. If your website is not optimized for mobile access, you need to change that immediately.
A strong SEO strategy can yield huge dividends, especially over the long term. Effective search engine techniques and implementation have been proven time over time to produce the highest long term results for traffic. Ensuring your site is search engine optimized helps ensure your eCommerce stores’ long term success.
Stay tuned for upcoming posts on conversion rates and growth hacking for eCommerce, as well as my previous posts on choosing your ecommerce platform, creating an ecommerce content plan, and optimizing your store design.
Guest Post: Anshey Bhatia is a start up enthusiast who founded and runs Verbal+Visual, a digital studio which works with fashion, retail and tech startups to help them develop a beautiful and effective web presence.
If you’d like to learn more about eCommerce website design and development, please visit their blog at verbalplusvisual.com/blog
Article co-written with Priya Thatte of Digital Umami. Digital Umami combines creative strategy, competitive analysis and technical SEO tactics to create the most efficient SEO plan based on your specific needs. To learn more, please visit digitalumami.com.
Stephen – you’re right that content is the key, and it’s not easy. However you don’t have to limit it to product descriptions. These days Google rarely shows products at the top of search results anyway. What you can do though is focus on creating some good secondary related content, like blog posts. But you need to create something that’s truly helpful. This way you can delve into a topic much more deeply, target lots of good traffic, and as long as it’s related to a product, you can provide a Call To Action at the bottom of the blog post that directs people to your product. Keep in mind, you don’t want the blog post to be a sales pitch for your product. Just something helpful, and then something of an “oh by the way, since we’re talking about it here’s my product”. I’ve seen this technique work many times.
I’ve found content is always the toughest part of SEOing an ecom site. You write the product description, but then what? That’s usually only a couple hundred words at the most, and as we know search engines highly prefer longer content.
I guess all you can really do is strive to have longer content than your competition, even if it’s just a bit longer than theirs.
Great content! Looking forward to implement this precious advice to our upcoming eStore! Thank you!