As the number of people who shop online increases, it is even more important to optimize your e-commerce website. SEO for e-commerce is highly competitive, but there is an opportunity to be creative and connect with customers. Improve your online visibility with these three steps.
Develop Your Product Pages
The product page is the life of e-commerce. The content on this page should appeal to customers to make a purchase. A product page should include photos, pricing, a well-written product description, and customer reviews. When optimizing this page, consider the finer details: brand name, model number, sizes and colors.
After you develop page text and meta data, consider including a product video. High quality visuals encourage new visitors to stay on the page or explore your website. However, do not forfeit relevant information for images, as search engines can only read the code of videos and photos.
One of the most common pitfalls of e-commerce is duplicate content. Avoid using the manufacturer’s product description – which is copied and reproduced on multiple websites – and never repeat identical content on your own website. If you offer product feeds to other websites, limit the data that appears in those feeds or use alternate information. Develop your voice; this is your opportunity to create unique and relevant information for your customers.
Simplify Your Site Navigation
Simple site navigation appeals to visitors and search engines. Your e-commerce website should be organized logically. Arrange individual product pages into general categories that have been optimized for broader keywords.
Build an internal link network within your website. If possible, include product recommendations using a photo, brief description and link to another product page. For a smaller business, just include internal links within the unique product description using a keyword-rich anchor text. Anchor text like “click here” is a missed opportunity for page optimization.
Website URLs should include keywords. Many e-commerce websites use long URLs with product ID numbers, which prevent search engine crawlers from associating the page with a keyphrase. For example, a fictitious business with the URL: http://www.myawesomewebsite.com/productid=1989, should use keywords within the URL to read: http://www.myawesomewebsite.com/coffee-mugs.
Start a Conversation on Social Media
Social media is the new word-of-mouth advertising, and a well-developed product page is social media linkbait. Encourage visitors to leave comments or product reviews on your website, while providing opportunities to share through off-site social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter or Google Plus. Start a contest on your website and build anticipation through social media. Use social media to boost your SEO efforts by creating inbound links and increasing brand awareness.
Expand your target audience through blog writing. A webpage promotes a product; a blog post should tell a story. Share your thoughts on current industry trends and find common interests with your customers. Blogs create quality, natural backlinks to your website that will improve your search engine rankings.
Search engine optimization for an e-commerce website has its own challenges, especially if your business is competing on a national level. Over time, these three strategies can help improve rankings and increase online brand awareness. Be patient. Be creative. Give the customer something they have never seen before.
By Kelsey Dewey