SEO is an ever-evolving beast but one principle remains the same: if you want to have a successful eCommerce business and run a website that people actually visit, then you need to make sure you have a world-class SEO strategy.
In order to make sure that you have the best possible SEO strategy there are a few simple things that you need to get right. Here are some eCommerce specific SEO actions you should tick off to get the most out of your organic revenue…
Recommended reading: Where to Start with SEO
1. Write High Level, Well Optimised Content
Good content has been a staple of high-level SEO strategy for years and it’s with good reason; Google, Bing, Yahoo and the rest of the globe’s search engines love well-optimised content. I have written about this before in this post on the anatomy of an eCommerce website, and having great content on your store makes it easier to build links to eCommerce product pages.
While it takes time to speak the language of SEO in your content, there are a couple of basic things that you can do to make sure you give yourself a good starting point:
- Use Google’s People Also Ask – These are the actual questions that people are asking about. Search for the topics that are relevant to the themes you are exploring in your content and include answers to these core questions. This will increase the chances of your content ranking for the keywords you want it to (and you may even rank in the coveted answer box if you play your cards right)
- Look at what your high ranking competitors are ranking for – If they’re ranking well, it’s generally for a reason. So establish what keywords they’ve used and then build your content out from that
If you are running a startup, check out our post on content marketing for startups as well.
2. Get Your Metadata Right
These things aren’t just about SEO, but about making sure that you’re getting the most from the good work you’ve put into your products and brand. Bad metadata will leave holes in your search strategy.
Your page title is the title of your web page and it’s the most important ranking factor. For an eCommerce business, it’s important that even large and complex sites have unique, descriptive and compelling page titles.
To give you an idea of what your page title and meta descriptions should be like, we’ve looked at a website that has got theirs right – Equestrianista. This is a business that is currently valued at $250,000 USD, which gives you an idea of how important your page title and meta descriptions could be to your own store’s online credibility…
Here’s what Equestrianista’s page title looks like…
50-75 characters are the ideal length. You need to give a clear description of what the page is about, along with fitting in as many relevant keywords as possible. At the same time, you don’t want to veer into ‘spammy’ territory and stuff too many of them into the page title.
Meta descriptions are important pieces of sales copy that have a big impact on your click-through rates. Again, make sure you put time and effort into crafting compelling and unique meta descriptions.
Below you can see Equestrianista’s meta description…
It is recommended that you keep your meta descriptions to a max of 156. The important thing is that your full meta description is shown in Google and that it accurately and persuasively describes the content that features on the web page.
If you want to see how your meta description will look on Google (in order to make sure it isn’t cut off mid-sentence) use this excellent tool from SEO Mofo.
3. Own Your Site’s Faceted Navigation
If you’re unfamiliar with the term faceted navigation let me break it down for you: facets are a feature of category pages and are used to filter your content by a variety of variables, including brand, price, style. As you can imagine, they’re a crucial part of any successful online business, particularly eCommerce stores.
The problem with these facets is that some can lead to your site becoming over-indexed, creating duplicate content. And one thing that search engines hate and will penalise your site for is duplicate content.
In order to make sure you’re not only avoiding the risk of these facets harming your SEO but that you’re using them to enhance your SEO, there are a couple of things you can do:
- Link your facets to search behaviour – Title your categories based on the search behaviour of your users. For instance, if your eCommerce business is vintage cardigans then do some keyword research around this topic and then build your categories around this
- Employ flexible categorisation – Following the above point, your users search behaviour changes constantly. This means that while you shouldn’t change your product categories every 5 minutes, you do need to be fluid. So make sure you update your product categories to keep them in sync with your users’ requirements
4. Employ Amazon as Part of Your Keyword Research
Consult Amazon when you’re doing your keyword research. Why? It’s the world’s largest shopping and eCommerce search engine and is packed full of useful marketing data. Related categories, recommended products, pricing, customer reviews — all of these contain invaluable data for your SEO strategy.
While you’re doing some manual reviews, why not use the Amazon Keyword Tool? This brilliant device gives you the autofill suggestions that Amazon has for the keywords you want to target.
Make sure your SEO agency adds Amazon as a part of your keyword strategy and your SEO strategy will be built on a foundation that’s designed to sell the value of your eCommerce brand to people who want to buy from you.
While the world is ever-changing and the tricks of the SEO trade are forever-evolving, the value of SEO as part of your eCommerce business remains a high as it’s always been. If you want to run a company that makes money, then ensure you’re employing at least these 4 SEO standards.
Kayleigh Alexandra is a content writer for Micro Startups — a site dedicated to giving through growth hacking. Visit the blog for your latest dose of startup, entrepreneur, and charity insights, along with up-to-date articles on SEO best practices. Follow us on Twitter @getmicrostarted.