If you’ve got an eCommerce business, then you should already be thinking about SEO. Search engine optimization is the process of optimizing a website in order to make it crawlable, more user-friendly, and ranking high in search engines to bring in more organic traffic that converts.
For example, if you search “black jeans for sale” in Google, you get this:
The top four results on this page are paid ads. The right column shows sponsored Google Shopping results.
The remaining bottom results (in green) are organic search results. These are results that have worked their way up Google’s pages organically while the four paid ads listed at the top are only there because they were paid for.
What does this mean? Well, it means that once those ads are no longer being paid for, then they disappear. The organic results, however, do not rely on payments to keep their positions. Now, that’s not to say that those organic results will be there forever. That may not be true. There are other people out there and other businesses that are vying for those same positions so it’s important to continue SEO efforts in order to maintain your rankings.
If you’re interested in starting SEO for your eCommerce business, there are four things you want to keep in mind: 1) Targeting the right keywords that are relevant to your business, 2) User experience, 3) Quality content, and 4) Technical SEO.
The beginning of every SEO campaign starts with Keyword Research. What is keyword research? It is the process of identifying the terms and phrases that are entered in search engines so that you can determine which keywords you should target for your business.
However, you don’t want to just go after any keywords. You want to go after long-tail keywords that are relevant to your business. For example, if you sell clothing for dogs, you don’t want to go after the keyword “women’s t shirts for sale” because this isn’t going to bring in the kind of traffic you are looking for.
So, how do you find these keywords?
There are many keyword research tools on the web that can help you narrow down the best keywords for your business. One of the tools we use is SEMrush. Within the SEO Toolkit in SEMrush, there is a tool called “Organic Research” that asks for a domain, subdomain, or URL.
This tool lets you see the organic keywords that your website is currently ranking for, the organic keyword growth trend, the top pages of your website, and a list of your main competitors. It can help you determine where your website currently is in regards to SEO so that you can formulate a strategy that moves your business in the right direction for the best results.
The next tool you want to look at is “Keyword Gap.”
This tool is an excellent one to use during the Keyword Research phase. It lets you insert up to 5 domains and look at different comparisons that show you the keywords you are ranking for and the keywords all of your competitors are ranking for.
Once you have a list of keywords, you’ll want to look at the search volume and keyword density. If your site is not ranking for any keywords, or for very few keywords, then you won’t want to go after keywords that have a high keyword density. Keywords with a high keyword density are harder to rank for than keywords with a lower keyword density.
The goal of SEO is to build the trust and authority of your website within search engines and also with your consumers. The idea is to start out small and work your way up to these high-density keywords once you’ve gained enough traction to really be a threat to your competition.
The next thing you want to keep in mind when doing an SEO campaign is user experience. If you’re optimizing your website and targeting certain keywords to draw more traffic to your site, then you want to be sure that your website is user-friendly.
A user-friendly website, for one, isn’t outdated. If your website looks like it’s from the 90s, there is a high chance that visitors to your site will bounce. When designing your website, keep in mind who your target audience is and what your products are. Right away, you want your website to highlight your products.
The amount of time it takes for your website’s pages to load is another factor. If your page takes longer than a few seconds to load, there is a high chance that users will exit your site in search for something else.
Content is another important factor, and can also be tied into user experience. When visitors are landing on your pages, you don’t want to show them a site where every white space is covered in content. Having blank, white space on your home page or other landing pages is good. It does not clutter your website and make it hard for users to pinpoint where they want to go next.
Instead, what you can do is use the white space to offer clean and fresh landing pages to your visitors while using call-to-actions (CTAs) to direct them where you want them to go.
For example, we recently redesigned a website for a client that sells replacement parts for office furniture.
When they came to use, this is what their site looked like:
While it isn’t overstuffed with information, the site did look a bit outdated and was very product-heavy rather than showing who they were and what they could offer.
When 1Digital came in and started the redesign process, we chose to highlight brands, only a select few featured products, and we chose to highlight who the company was and what they offered their consumers. We made the site more user-friendly and gave the option to either shop by brand, pard or simply all products. We kept the layout easy to navigate, offered visitors more valuable information, and kept branding in mind with typography and colors.
Responsive design is another important factor to keep in mind. With more and more people spending time shopping on their phones, it’s important to have a responsive website that will fit any screen.
The third thing that all eCommerce businesses need to keep in mind is content. I touched on this a bit already, but, as the saying goes, Content is King. When conducting an audit of your site, you want to take a look at all of your web pages – which pages already have content? Which need content? What grade does that content get? It is duplicate content? Unique and fresh? Is it engaging? Does it encourage users to continue shopping/exploring? Does it provide value?
All of these questions need to be addressed when creating content for your site. The on-page content, specifically, like for product and category pages, needs to be high quality, engaging, and informative. It needs to offer your readers something they would not be able to find out by simply browsing your site. Your blog should also provide this kind of information but in more detail.
The off-page content, on the other hand, is something that can also be tied into technical SEO. While off-page content does still need to be high quality, engaging, and informative, it is also what is used to create backlinks, and backlinks are extremely important for SEO.
Technical SEO – and Link Building
Technical SEO is a whole other aspect of SEO. It is one of the most important parts of SEO because it aids in telling search engines more about your eCommerce website and helps in ranking higher in search engines.
However, there is a lot that goes into technical SEO.
Is your website secure? Is your data structured in a way that allows Google to crawl your pages, find what they need, and rank you accordingly? Are your pages indexed? Is it mobile-friendly (responsive)? Fast page loading speed? Is your site structure optimized? Are you using keywords in your title tags and URLs? Do you have internal linking? Are any pages on your site broken?
There is a lot that goes into technical SEO. So while it is very important to keep in mind, it’s not a bad idea to start with the first 3 points in this blog in order to get your website up to speed in a more feasible manner. Once you’ve got a handle on the design of your website, have quality content uploaded or ready to publish and have a list of keywords chosen, then you can start to look into technical SEO to ensure your site is fully optimized to maximum results.
For more information about getting started with an eCommerce SEO campaign, give us a call at 215-809-1567 or fill out the contact form on our website.