Can an SEO Overhaul Help with My Online Store?
Most e-commerce website builders now come with in-built SEO capabilities included. But if you are taking advantage of a Do It Yourself e-commerce website builder, how do you know what you can do to optimize the SEO functionality your vendor is offering, and make the most out of the tools it provides?
Using inbuilt SEO functionality to boost traffic to your online store
There are a number of things you can do from your website builder itself to make sure you are making the most of Search Engine Optimization features. Take a look at what information you are being asked to input on the SEO section of your website builder. It is likely that you will be asked for a Meta title, a Meta description and Keywords.
Your meta title and description should be kept short, and include the likely search terms that people will be using to look for your services and products. If you are not sure where to start, try checking out the competition, either by doing some random searches on Google and seeing what comes up, or by using a program like Moz Open Site Explorer, which allows you to look at the keywords and descriptions that other websites use to gain traffic and boost their SEO.
Your page title is also important. Too many people make the mistake of thinking this is irrelevant, and making a thoughtless decision like naming the page “My new shop.” This title gives no SEO advantage whatsoever, as it does not include any likely search terms or information on what you are selling. A better example would be “Designer shoes and bags for the elegant woman.” This title includes keywords such as Designer shoes, and specifies gender, helping the right people find your website quickly.
Another way to boost your SEO is to think about what keywords you are using to describe your online store.
The problem with using the most common keywords is that although they will be the most often searched, you are likely to be using search terms which all your competitors, many of whom are larger and hold more resources and traffic, are using too. It’s easy to get lost in the crowd.
This is where long tail keywords come in. Take a look at the image below from trafficmasters.net, which can help you understand how this process works, and why choosing more specific, longer sentences as keywords can be a better option for you than 1 or 2 word descriptions.
The global pop under provider comment, “By simply altering the length of your chosen keywords it is possible to eliminate a huge amount of your website’s direct competition”
Using the content on your online store to raise your ranking in the search engines
All of that works for behind the scenes, but what about front end? There are many things you can do to improve your SEO, and they all involve improving your customers experience at the same time. This is no coincidence, as Google and other search engines want to promote websites which offer excellent customer service and usability for their visitors.
It is simple to find out what kind of experience you are offering your customers using Google’s page speed insights. This free website allows you to enter your URL, and in seconds you will find out not just how your speed is, (a factor which has a direct effect on your website SEO) but also provides you with a list of ways you can improve your latency and overall customer experience. Google will even prioritise these for you so you know what order to fix the problems.
Make sure you are including original content everywhere possible on your website, including product descriptions. If you simply copy and paste manufacturer information from other websites or from Amazon, this will not be counted towards SEO, and could negatively affect how often your website comes up in the search results, even when the right keywords are used. The best way to find new visitors from search terms is to create rich product descriptions with well tagged images complete with keywords alongside each one. (ie: don’t name your images “Image764”, instead try “Red converse sneakers for men”).
Lastly, remember that your website is no longer simply a desktop experience. Rick Eliason, Internet marketing consultant confirms that “More people are shopping on their mobile than on desktop as of August 2014” and Google are taking this into consideration. The way that your mobile website runs and performs will now have a direct result on the rankings of your desktop version. A responsive website offering an excellent user experience across all devices is therefore absolutely key in driving new traffic to your online store.