So, you’re all set to open your first online eCommerce store. Everything’s ready and all that’s left to do is to go live with your masterpiece. After the testing times of the site build however, there’s something else important to consider…SEO.
SEO [Search Engine Optimisation] when done properly and as per the guidelines of Google can effectively generate quality traffic and conversions to increase sales and consequently profits. Below are some great SEO tips to apply on your ecommerce website to ensure that when Google Bot goes crawling – he likes what he sees…
Problem - The need for genuine descriptions and specifications about each product. You can rarely fit a targeted keyword into these naturally, if you do its likely to look forced – something which can be a major setback and stop people continuing through to other pages of your site. Even on the homepage of many online ecommerce stores, content remains limited because of products being displayed alongside categories with bold prices and discount promotions.
Solution – Try to create a space to add some relevant content into your homepage or even “about us” page talking about the brand and service which are topics where it could be easier to fit keywords in more naturally. You could also potentially expand on the product category pages by elaborating on descriptions and going into more depth perhaps about the history of the product. Finally, the addition of a news or blog page updated regularly can help not only add content, but attract targeted traffic that finds you from searching different terms and phrases and not just for specific products that you sell.
Solution – It is possible to use SEO friendly URLs while developing your site. Ask your developer to make your URL of your category and product pages clean and tidy so that whenever visitors see your URL, they know they’re in the right place.
3. Broken Links
Problem - It happens…lets start with an analogy; you have a ladder in your tights or a stain on your shirt, you don’t notice for hours then one of your friends kindly points out at the END of the day your harmless little misdemeanor… The same goes for websites; there are millions of pages whereby either accidentally or intentionally some products have been removed or hidden. Google has already indexed these pages in the past though and may not taken them off its index yet allowing these pages to show and visitors to click on them. What they are most likely to see if they do this is “Sorry the page you were trying to check is hidden or removed” which could put people off visiting, potentially losing you custom.
Solution – Give them a diversion route! One of the most common ways is to 404’ that page, let people know that it no longer exists and give them an easy way of finding the right page. A wonderful example of this can be seen from technology mogul Apple where they’ve shown a Mini-Sitemap to visitors of their expired pages: http://www.apple.com/404.
Problem - Hosting an ecommerce website with no product images is akin to going to a clothes shop with no clothes in…you just wouldn’t buy them! Continuing on with the analogy theme… it’d be like watching a movie on a blank screen where we can only listen but not see any characters.
Solution – Add top quality images to your site, ideally 3 to 4 of each product from different angles. These can aid massively with conversions in addition to allowing you to optimize an Alt Tag or two! Don’t forget to add these tags on each and every image with the product’s name to help assist Google Bot when he crawls your site.
5. Meta Tags
Problem - Whether you call them Mobiles, Cell Phones, or Lifelines what they all have in common is the fact they are plurals and if you are working on meta tags for a client they could well ask if it’s possible to rank for both singular and plural terms. The answer is yes but first it’s suggested to look at the search volume for those keywords; for example if “Mobiles” and “Mobile” have different search volumes you might want to target one more heavily than the other. However what if they do both have similar search volumes…
Solution – Think smart – you can add both keywords into your title tags in a unique way and not by stuffing. See here for an example: “Blackberry Mobiles: Buy Blackberry Mobile 9220 at MobileShop.com”. Et Voila! Both the singular and plural versions are now included in the title tag. Meta description tags do not count in ranking but should be made descriptive and enticing to encourage click throughs to your site. As a final tip try to add unique meta tags on each and every product page too – a laborious task but a necessary one.
There are lots more tips I could give you for applying SEO to an eCommerce site but the above are some the most important and actionable – I hope you find them useful!