As an entrepreneur selling on the web, having a nicely designed website is one thing, but being discoverable among the crowd is something else. Have you ever asked yourself how your potential customers will find your webstore? Can you really sell if nobody finds your e-commerce website? The answer, obviously, is no. That easily explains why so many e-commerce stores fail.
The solution is called Search Engine Optimization, a crucial step in your e-commerce store’s success. Wikipedia quotes: “Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine “natural” or un-paid search results”. Obviously, the better your performance at optimizing your e-commerce store, the higher your rank in search engine results, yielding more potential visitors to your website for business.
With SEO, there is no magic involved. Results come from a carefully planned strategy, and extensive effort and time. You, the e-commerce entrepreneur, are faced with only one choice if ywish to free your business from pay-per-click traffic: you need to start optimizing your e-commerce store now. What are your odds of being found, if you’re not on the first page of Google? What can you do against Google Instant Results, other than optimizing your website?
Marketing Media is pleased to provide you with 10 simple SEO pieces of advice:
- You cannot rely solely on pay-per-click indefinitely
Pay-per-click is certainly a good way to start driving traffic to your website in the beginning, but it should not be your only marketing tool. It should be part of your strategy, along with organic search engine optimization. With pay-per-click, you depend on keyword cost, and when your daily budget is reached, you vanish from the web for the rest of the day, which causes lost opportunities. The other drawback of pay-per-click alone is that some potential buyers distrust sponsored links and banners; for a buyer, a sponsored link never has the same value as an organic search result. All of the above lead us to conclude that pay-per-click alone is no solution. It should rather be used along with SEO.
- Avoid duplicate content at all cost
Duplicate content (content that appears on more than one page) is the easiest way of filling your website, but it is also the Number One enemy of all search engines. Obviously, when running a web store, the nature of the business consists in having product descriptions and listings that may induce duplicate content, and e-commerce websites tend to be penalized by search engines. Consequently, storeowners and e-commerce strategists need to find ways and strategies to reduce the amount of duplicate content on their website. The first thing that one can do is to use the rel=”canonical” tag , which can help minimize the impact of duplicate content. However, unique content with proper keywords is best.
- Plan a strategy (actually, this should be our first advice)
In our opinion, a carefully planned e-commerce design should be preceded by an industry and audience keyword analysis. Therefore, your e-commerce store could be SEO-optimized from the start. The onsite SEO could be implemented during the e-commerce design and building phase. Unfortunately, most new web store owners neglect this really important facet of the project.You should also have the discipline of adding unique and quality content on a regular and steady basis. This does not only serve SEO purposes but also adds value for your e-commerce clients.
- Manufacturer product descriptions should be avoided Once again, in an attempt to save time and efforts, too many online store owners will simply copy and paste product descriptions from the manufacturer’s corporate website but this is a major mistake to avoid. Search engines don’t appreciate it at all. Take the time to re-write every product description and make sure that your content is unique and SEO friendly. Request an industry/audience keyword analysis from Marketing Media before you even start writing content. You may spend valuable time writing content but with the wrong keywords, you will not get optimized results.
- Optimize product images
Image search is increasingly becoming a way by which Internet shoppers look for products to purchase. Consequently, it becomes really important to add related keywords to the ALT tags of all your store images. Once again, you need to add the right keywords and unless you have previously determined your optimal keywords, you may be wasting your time.
- Unique webpage meta description
Each and every page on your e-commerce store should have its unique Meta Description. It should be thought through and target the ultimate goal of convincing Internet users to click on your link and hence, reach your website.
- Include product reviews
This is another great way of implementing unique content on your store pages. Take advantage of the Review Tab included on most e-commerce software, such as Big Commerce, 3dcart, Shopify, Volusion and Core Commerce, to name a few.
- Product page and optimized navigation
On too many unsuccessful websites, the product page is buried deep within the link structure. Not only does it make complicate things for online shoppers looking for products, but it also affect your product page’s “Page Rank Score” (PageRank is the numeric result (1 – 10 ) of a formula that Google uses to calculate of a page in a website ). A carefully planned website will prevent that from happening and will greatly improve your web store’s performance.
- Inbound Links
You can ask some of your friends, partners and colleagues to create hyperlinks on their website. A great way to start is to ask your suppliers to list you their dealers’ list. It’s free and it’s easy.
- First things first
Don’t try and skip steps in planning your strategy, and you will greatly increase your odds for success. Marketing Media’s Web Development Process for your e-commerce store can improve your results significantly. Contact one of our e-commerce consultants.