6 Tips to Help You Scale Your eCommerce Business with SEO
by Ron Dod
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In the world of marketing, there is an instant gratification in paying for an ad and seeing the traffic to your website or the social media profile dramatically increase. Though it is practically instantaneous, traffic can start to drop as soon you stop running the ad.
We might delude ourselves into thinking that after the promotion ends, the traffic will keep flowing to the site, but that is rarely the case. Fortunately, there is another effective way to drive people to your website that uses another eCommerce strategy. Successful online businesses choose to invest in Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
to drive organic traffic and increase conversions.
SEO requires effort, time and research, but the key is to maintain a consistent level of traffic and help build your brand over time. This is true as long as the strategy and content is delivered on a consistent basis.
On the same note, make sure the content is relevant to your audience. Otherwise, your content will bring low quality traffic to your site that won’t help you meet your growth and revenue goals.
Here, we’ll go over six important and useful tips to scale your eCommerce business with SEO.
What is SEO and What Does It Entail?
Before delving into the tips, let’s discuss what SEO is and the elements that make it successful. As mentioned above, SEO stands for search engine optimization. It involves different best practices to help a website rank higher organically.
There are two different “categories” that help SEO efforts: onsite and offsite factors. Onsite factors involve anything that you can do to your site to improve its ranking. This includes creating content, site structure and organization, and HTML tags such as meta title and meta descriptions. Offsite factors occur outside your website to help SEO, including links directed to your site, social media profiles with activity, news mentions, etc.
Optimize your product pages
eCommerce sites had to significantly improve their posting game to be able to rank organically after Google released its Panda Algorithm, which gives more relevance to content that it perceives as valuable to the user. That meant that keyword stuffing or other outdated SEO practices were off the table. Search engines had to become smarter, pushing online businesses to create “smarter” content that is more user-friendly.
When it comes to eCommerce sites, a good portion of content comes from product pages. This is especially true for eCommerce sites that don’t currently have a blog. Therefore, improving product descriptions is the first place to start when it comes to SEO optimization.
How to write better product pages:
Get rid of any duplicate content. Some retailers save time by copying the same product descriptions as their suppliers, competitors or other pages on their site. Duplicate content is bad for SEO, so it is imperative to stop doing this. If you identify any duplicate content, rewrite it in your own words. If you have many pages to rewrite, focus on your best-selling products first.
Focus on your target keywords. These are the keywords you want to rank for in search engine result pages (SERP). For instance, if one of your target keywords is “digital marketing,” make sure to add that keyword throughout your text and provide helpful content to boost the rankings.
Use the right tags. Your titles should be H1, and your subtitles should be H2. Having the wrong tags can make your website look messy for Google and create confusion about site hierarchy.
Add smart SEO pagination
Pagination refers to how websites organize a list of products that doesn’t entirely fit on the customer’s screen. What most websites do is break up their categories into pages of a determined number of items per page.
While this is great from the customer’s perspective, it can be unfavorable for SEO because Google is unsure about which page to give priority and show users when searching for related searches. Smart pagination should be added with rel=prev and rel=next tags so that Google is aware of the fact that every single page is related to one another. The rise of social media platforms, like Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest, have conditioned users for infinite scrolling, leading to a trend followed by many eCommerce sites to showcase products.
The conclusion? If you want to implement pagination, it has to be done in a way so Google understands your purpose. If you are not sure of how to do it, better turn to infinite scrolling. Your potential buyers are already comfortable with using this feature.
Target keywords wisely
If your eCommerce business is relatively small, be very selective when it comes to the keyword utilization. For example, if you sell flower arrangements, it wouldn’t be best to target keywords such as “flower arrangements” because those types of general terms can be very competitive. That makes it harder to compete with other sites that may have a more established domain authority.
Instead, target keywords that have a decent search traffic and the lowest competition possible. A very effective way to do this is by adding the area in which your business is located – for example, “flower arrangements in Miami.” You can even narrow it down even more. If you sell flower arrangements for funerals, your keywords can be “flower arrangements for funerals in Miami.”
Targeting those longer tail keywords will give your website a better chance to rank. Use Adwords Keyword Planner to find keyword search volume as well as the data of your competitors.
Use HTML tags: Meta descriptions and title tags
HTML tags help search engines understand the information on a web page. The most common ones examples are meta titles and meta descriptions. They are both limited by characters and have a special “formula” for best practices.
Title tags need to be 50-60 characters long and include the keyword towards the front of the title. Meta descriptions are the descriptions that appear below the title and can be 155 characters long. They don’t affect SEO directly, but they make an impact in click through rates (CTR), which can indirectly help with SEO. The higher the CTR, the higher eCommerce businesses can rank for valuable positions.
Use third parties to promote your content
Do your website a favor and do not overlook the power of influencer marketing. If a trusted and popular influencer promotes your product to their followers, you will probably see a rush of traffic to your website, which can turn into high-converting sales.
In the SEO world, quality is key to increase your revenue. A link that comes from a trustworthy website is much more likely to generate results than a hundred links from low-quality sites. Make your content relevant and unique and social media influencers will be more likely to share it. Remember, content is the foundation of everything online. To generate the best results, making an everyday effort will reap big rewards over time.
Get an SSL Certification
These days, having an SSL Certificate is still very important. This small change transforms your website from http:// to https://, which signifies that your website is secure and protected. This also makes it more trustworthy in the eyes of Google and other search engines.
Search engines are infinitely more likely to promote and rank websites and links that they believe to be trustworthy. And remember, consumers will only make a purchase on websites that they deem reliable and upright. Take that into account when deciding whether or not an SSL certification is worth the investment for your eCommerce business.
When it comes to winning strategies for SEO, start by implementing these important tips to grow your brand presence online. Just remember that effective SEO strategies take time to show results. When it’s executed properly, it does bring long-lasting and organic traffic which, in the end, is what you want for higher conversions and healthy revenue.
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Ronald Dod is the Chief Marketing Officer and Co-founder of Visiture, an end-to-end eCommerce marketing agency focused on helping online merchants acquire more customers through the use of search engines, social media platforms, marketplaces, and their online storefronts. His passion is helping leading brands use data to make more effective decisions in order to drive new traffic and conversions.
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