If you want to drive organic traffic to your E-commerce site, your SEO strategy has to be strong, multi-pronged, and agile enough to react quickly to the ever-changing landscape of digital marketing.
Competition for high Google rankings is bigger than ever, and it’s not enough to employ one or two SEO methods. Implementing a combination of SEO techniques is crucial if you want to increase the amount of traffic, and the number of sales, your website sees.
Not sure where to start? Read on to learn ten simple but powerful ways to upgrade your SEO strategy and bring your e-commerce site the traffic it deserves.
1. Use The Right Keywords
Keywords are absolutely essential to any SEO strategy, but they have to be carefully researched and masterfully placed to have the desired effect.
The first step is performing thorough keyword research to help you understand how often people search for a particular keyword or phrase; what they’re looking for, or what their intent is, when typing in that keyword; and how much competition there is for the keywords you’re looking to use.
If your research reveals that what you thought was the perfect keyword has too much competition, consider using a long-tail keyword instead. For example, instead of using “shoes”, opt for “high-heeled black pumps” to reduce competition.
Once you’ve selected your keywords, you have to fit them into your content. Whatever you do, do not be tempted to wantonly litter your website with your chosen keywords every sentence. Google will pick up on any keyword stuffing and attempts to trick the algorithm.
Instead, try to weave your keywords into your content in a natural way that mimics human speech. A good rule of thumb is to include any primary keywords in the headline and sub-headline, page title, description and meta description, as well as any image alt text.
2. Sort Out Your Homepage SEO
Do not neglect your homepage. It’s crucially important when it comes to encouraging visitor interaction, as well as for SEO.
Ensure your homepage contains simple, straight-forward information on what goods or services you’re offering, as well as being easy to navigate, engaging, and in keeping with your brand’s overall image and aesthetic. Hold back on anything that could be considered information overload, and instead use this opportunity to highlight any offers or top selling products.
The title tag is also critical when it comes to SEO. Make sure it includes the name of your business and your main keyword, all wrapped up in 50-60 characters. Invest some time in making sure your title tag is written in a way that is likely to entice potential customers, as it will show in search results and could be the difference between someone making a purchase, or scrolling past your site without a second thought.
3. Maximize Site Speed And Efficiency
Google’s algorithm pays a lot of attention to the speed and overall efficiency of your website. A slow website will lead to your page being ranked poorly in Google search results, and anyone who does manage to find your website will be frustrated with slow loading times and potentially click away.
Reducing image file sizes is an easy way to increase site speed. A Content Management System could help ease the burden on your website by hosting images for you. File optimizing programs are also a great way to free up some extra space and increase your site’s speed.
Lazy loading is another great way to bump up your website’s speed. Lazy loading means that videos, images or audio content on a website don’t load until the user scrolls past them, in contrast to loading everything simultaneously.
4. Optimize Content For SEO
Your website’s content has a huge impact on how it ranks in search results, as well as how your brand is perceived by visitors.
In purely SEO terms, pay attention to your category pages and treat them as though they’re all separate homepages, each with their own main keyword that you can target. This will make them easier to find and will boost the likelihood of your website ranking well for a variety of search terms.
When it comes to product descriptions, make sure to include the keywords you’re targeting, but as explained earlier, stay away from keyword stuffing and opt for a more natural tone.
“Try to put yourself in your customers’ shoes when creating descriptions for your products”, advises Barbara Self, marketing writer at Research papers UK. Why would they want to buy your product? What are they looking for? What sets you apart from competitors? How will your product help them? This is your chance to showcase your product’s best features, but keep it brief and to-the-point.
5. Be Aware Of Changes
Anyone who’s spent any time doing SEO is well aware of Google’s proclivity for change. Major updates are made to the algorithm multiple times a year, so make sure you stay informed about SEO best practice and don’t get left behind.
“Google can be secretive about exactly how the algorithm works, so don’t rely on them for your information. Make sure to monitor your website’s performance to glean valuable insights into what’s working, what’s not, and what needs to change,” advises Gigi Jarrett, business blogger at Writinity and Draft Beyond.
6. Don’t Forget Mobile Users
A massive amount of visitors will access your website via a mobile device, so don’t focus all your SEO energies on desktop users.
Google has confirmed that they use a mobile device crawler to crawl websites, meaning that how well your website is optimized for mobile users will have a direct impact on how your website ranks.
For the best results, ensure both versions of your website contain similar content; make sure any videos or images have been optimized for mobile; and make sure that any ads aren’t going to have a disproportionately negative impact on a mobile user’s experience.
7. Make Use Of Links
Backlinks and internal links both have their part to play in a robust SEO strategy.
Backlinks occur when another website links to your content, signalling that your page has quality content and is worth visiting. Simply put, the more backlinks, particularly from authoritative sources, the more likely your website is to rank highly.
Sounds great, right? Unfortunately, the hard work is in securing these backlinks. Of course, writing killer content is one way to secure organic backlinks, but that’s more easily said than done. If you’re not confident in your content’s ability to sell itself, you could offer to be a guest writer for other websites, or, if you’re willing to part with a portion of your profits, you could pay affiliate websites to list products from your site.
Internal linking is much easier to incorporate into your SEO strategy and can have an instant positive impact. By linking to your own pages or products, you can suggest to Google that they should pay attention to this page.
8. Use Structured Data Mark-Up
In simple terms, this mark-up is a type of code that helps Google, and other search engines, to find, organize and rank your content. This means that it’s an incredibly important part of your SEO strategy, and as a bonus it also provides potential customers with a snippet of information about your products without them visiting your website.
If you’re confident in your technical abilities, you can add structured data to your page yourself. However, if you need a bit of extra help, there are a variety of plug-ins that are more than happy to do it for you.
If you’ve ever backed out of an online purchase at the last moment, only to be reeled back in by an advertisement on a completely unrelated website, you’re already familiar with the persuasive power of retargeting.
Retargeting is a fantastic way to recover the interest of visitors who have previously shown that they were attracted to your products. The beauty of retargeting is that you don’t have to waste time or money trying to capture the attention of people who may never be interested in what you’re selling; instead, it picks from a ready-made pool of people who have proven that they’re only a few steps away from making a purchase.
10. Secure Your E-Commerce Store With HTTPS
Naturally, most people are very security-conscious when it comes to make a purchase online. They need to be able to trust that you’ll use and store their data responsibly.
By using HTTPS, as well as offering potential customers some peace of mind, you can improve your website’s ranking. This is a simple, but very effective, way to upgrade your SEO strategy, as confirmed by Google themselves.
If you want to increase organic traffic to your website, upgrading your SEO strategy should be your number one priority. By implementing the simple tips above, your site should be climbing up the search results in no time.