Online retailers understand how vital SEO is, but for many, it’s still daunting. Emma Rapadas from eStar explains how to optimise for maximum results.
Taking Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) seriously for e-commerce websites means giving your brand the best opportunity at being found by your target market – the digital equivalent of being the shop on the coveted High Street corner. Getting your SEO performing on a beautifully designed and easy to use website helps to support the performance of your bricks-and-mortar stores and also maximises your presence with established and new customers.
A digital flagship store has three main requirements for success:
Discoverability – easy to find via digital channels like search engines and social media.
Accessibility – making digital content available and usable for as many visitors as possible.
Experience – time spent browsing your website is an enjoyable and intuitive experience for the visitor.
SEO is all about the details – words, content algorithms, and creating a digital experience that results in customer satisfaction and ultimately sales.
How to optimise your eCommerce website
SEO is the systematic process of explaining to Google (and other search engines) why your e-commerce store is better and more relevant than your competitors, through a series of optimisation techniques including:
Posting relevant, up-to-date content.
Not skimping on site architecture details like index-friendly sitemaps, canonical links, redirects, mobile friendliness etc.
Taking the time to include HTML code (not as scary as it sounds!) with keyword-rich page titles, descriptions, header tags etc.
Providing interactive social media options.
Having security measures in place.
If you build it, they will come…but only for a reason. Your target audience must first know that you, your brand, and your digital flagship store, exist. They must then know that you can provide what they are looking for, what they need. Then they must have a great experience to keep coming back and build loyalty to you and your brand.
A delightful example of excellent e-commerce SEO
E-commerce SEO is all about the detail. For example, if a fashion e-commerce site posted a new product online, they would need to prove to Google that people searching for this product would want to find their website.
What is going to be more helpful to Google in guaranteeing their searcher will be delighted with their find? Simply listing ‘New dress – $279.00’, or….providing the visitor with a smorgasbord of interactive product information?
This Country Road product page ticks many SEO boxes, helping to give Google the confidence that their searcher will have a delightful experience by clicking through to this page. Google picks up that the page has:
Helpful descriptive text.
Media-rich content including four photos and a video.
Links to other related products and content.
Has been added/updated recently.
Keywords naturally scattered throughout the text and HTML code.
Secure payment methods.
E-commerce Platform + SEO = Maximum Discoverability
Google, in their bid to provide their customers ever-better experiences by providing the most relevant search results, does not make SEO easy for e-commerce websites. But if you build a strong foundation on a robust and flexible platform, and make sure that you get the critical search factors right – mobile-friendliness, security, quality content and a focus on relevant keywords, as well as optimisation for local search – you are on rock-solid footing to be discovered online by your target market.