Without an effective SEO strategy, your online store is far less likely to be on Google’s first page of results, which means it will be harder to find. Here are five SEO strategies to implement if you want your e-commerce site to rank higher than the others.
So, you’ve invested the time and the money into establishing your e-commerce website and you’ve promoted the launch of your online store through social media and email marketing. One might think that this is where the work from your end stops, but if these were the only strategies you implemented for your e-commerce site, you might be disappointed.
If your e-commerce platform is not receiving the traffic you anticipated, chances are, you haven’t made much progress on your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) strategy. Without an effective SEO strategy, your online store is far less likely to be on Google’s first page of results, which means it will be harder to find. In Australia, the first page on Google generates an impressive 92% of all traffic, that means more than two-thirds of searchers never look further than the first page. It is also extremely important to note that the top position on the first page of Google claims almost one-third of all the click-through traffic.
Here are five SEO strategies to implement if you want your e-commerce site to rank higher than the others:
- Optimise for Mobile First
With 66% of online transactions now occurring on mobile devices, it comes as no surprise that Google is factoring mobile design considerations into its search algorithm by indexing mobile versions higher than desktop site versions. So, before you make those next steps in optimising your online store for search rankings, you also need to consider how this will apply to your mobile site. Luckily, most e-commerce platforms now come with built-in mobile responsive design template.
- Get your Website up to Speed
Have you ever exited a website because it’s taken too long to load? We’re all guilty of it and potential customers do it too. If your website doesn’t load within four seconds, the likelihood is that you will lose you’ll lose 75% of your site traffic. Considering your website will consist of high resolutions images, it is important that the website theme loads content appropriately. To avoid loading external elements, and make sure you’ve got a good hosting plan in place, you may want to consider using a content distribution network to improve site load times around the world.
- Structure Your Information so it’s Easy to Navigate
Customers want a website that’s easy to navigate and this is the same as search engines. Search engines sift through all the links to understand how pages relate to one another and if your products and services are set up in sensible categories, then you’re already halfway there. When planning your URL scheme, it’s best to base it around your product categories, and use real words rather than codes and numbers.
Typically, there would be multiple options for how you handle colour or size variations of a particular product, so invest the time to understand how customers are searching for items within your store. It’s usually best to list them as a single item with options, but if one colour is more popular this season, you might choose to list it separately. As search engines understand text better than drop-down lists, it can also help to include prominent text about your offered options, such as “available in red and black”.
- Write Original, Engaging Content for Real People
Ensure that you create content that resonates well with your customer base. After all, they’re the ones with a genuine interest in your products. Another thing to remember is that search engines can penalise you for copying your own content. So, while it may be tempting to re-use your own content, do so with caution to avoid penalties for duplicate content.
If you’ve opted to use a database of product information from a vendor, don’t forget to add your brand’s own personal flavour to it. Databases tend to be full of technical information that customers can sometimes find difficult to engage with. Adding user-generated content is an effortless way to get more unique content on your site, so encourage customers to post reviews and endorsements, and publish them with the products, rather than on another part of the site.
- Research your keywords and use them wisely
Keywords play an essential role in SEO as they come into play on every part of your site. The best approach is to use an analytics tool to look closely at searches that are getting people to your site. Various parts of your site will use different keywords, and you don’t want to end up with them competing, so think about keywords for individual products rather than just your home page. Then use your keywords throughout your site, not only in your content but also in the metadata, such as title tags, anchors, and image file names.
As new website technology becomes available and search engine algorithms are updated, SEO will change. Optimising your online store isn’t a set-and-forget process, so keep on top of the latest developments and remember: you can fool the algorithms, but not for long, and it can take years to undo the damage. The one thing all algorithms have in common is that they favour websites with genuine, meaningful content that online shoppers will find useful.