One of the biggest challenges facing new eCommerce site owners is generating organic traffic. Another one is operating within a strict advertising budget. It’s already easy to see how these two objectives can clash with one another.
However, there is a way the business owner can create a steady flow of organic traffic without having to constantly spend money on paid promotions, and that is through search engine optimization. But too many eCommerce site owners are unaware of what separates good from ineffective SEO and don’t know where to start with their SEO strategy.
In this article, we’re going to give you a few simple SEO tips anyone can implement to improve their eCommerce site’s visibility with search engines.
1. Start with the right platform
If you’re running your site from an eCommerce platform, whether it’s self-hosted or fully hosted, know that it will make a huge difference in how well your site performs with search engines. Not all eCommerce sites are SEO friendly, and some don’t have the features search engines love, such as good performance, mobile-friendliness, good link structure, etc. That’s why the first thing you should do is check eCommerce platform reviews and see how they rank for SEO before you pick one.
A good eCommerce platform should allow you to optimize your navigation menu, page titles, and page URLs, for instance. It should also allow you to create your own meta descriptions as well. While meta descriptions won’t affect your rankings, they will have a direct influence on how many people will actually click through to your page once they see your results.
Other things you should be looking out for are custom image alt tags, canonical URLs, custom H1 headings and title tags, a good blogging platform, and automatic XML sitemaps just to name a few.
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2. Don’t neglect your product descriptions
An eCommerce website is often limited when it comes to the actual content, so make sure you make your descriptions count. Do not make the mistake of copying the manufacturer’s description or scraping descriptions from another online source. Make sure that you write unique, eye-catching descriptions that will catch your visitors’ attention and describe your products while filling your page with organic keywords.
Speaking of keywords, try to stay away from keyword cramming. While your product’s main keyword should appear somewhere in the description, don’t try to game the search engine by repeating it unnecessarily.
“Don’t make the description a vehicle for your keywords; let it flow naturally.” – as beautifully explained by Alex Chapman in one of his recent articles. He is the Founder & SEO Director of SEO Partners.
3. Add keyword and product name in the URL and product page title
You have to make sure that both generic searches (searches for a specific category) and branded searches (search for a product) are covered if you want to optimize your results. And having a product name that is as descriptive as possible will score you extra points with search engines as well.
4. Don’t forget your images
eCommerce websites rely heavily on images and not optimizing your images for image searches is a huge mistake that could cause you tons of organic traffic. Google image searches are much more powerful than many people might think, so make sure that the alt tags on your images are not only descriptive but contain the product’s main keywords as well.
5. Get to blogging
Your blog will be another great way to add fresh content to your website. It’s also a great way to increase conversion rates by building trust with your customers. You could write blogs related to your products, announce product launches, give tips on how to use your products or just general articles on current trends for instance. The more content you publish, the better, so make sure that you keep your blog fresh and filled with relevant content.
6. Get as many reviews as you can
You want to encourage people to leave reviews so they can populate your site with tons of naturally occurring keywords. User-generated content is a great way of keeping your site’s content fresh and will also be a major selling point. As matter of fact, it has been estimated that customer reviews could increase sales by as much as 18%, so make sure that you make it easy for your customers to leave reviews if you want to increase shopper trust.
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All these tips will allow you to improve your site’s performance with search engines, increase organic traffic coming to your site, and eventually convert this traffic into happy, buying customers.
This article is written by Veselina Dzhingarova. She has long experience in internet marketing and SEO. She is passionate about blogging to share her expertise. Veselina is a regular contributor at many online publishers. She is the co-founder of Blogforweb.com and others. You can get in touch with her on LinkedIn.