Online stores need more than visually appealing designs, beautiful images, and intriguing content. They need to be properly optimized so that your target audience finds you via Search. Well-done Search Engine Optimization of your site can lead to a long-tail result that lasts for years.
Below are our top 8 data-driven SEO tips to help drive consistent traffic to your website for the long haul.
1. Site performance
As valuable and attractive as high-quality images and videos are, having too many can slow down your site. A slow site is bad for both the user experience and SEO. To fix this, reduce the size of your images or enable a feature that allows customers to “zoom in” to see larger versions of your products. This will keep your load speeds in check while still giving your users the quality they crave. For every 1 second of added load time to your site, you lose approximately 30% more conversions. Use Pingdom to test your load time and ImageOptim to compress images.
2. Product descriptions
It is vital to include keyword rich descriptions on your individual product pages. In addition to listing the product name and image, include a unique description that will be useful to your customers. Whatever you do a description from any website. This can lead to other websites outranking yours in the SERPs, as well as potential duplicate content penalties from Google.
3. User reviews
Did you know 61% of customers read online reviews before making a purchase decision? Make sure your site enables users to post reviews on each product page. Not only will reviews increase conversions by eliminating any doubts potential customers may have, they will help increase your search rankings. Search engines love seeing original, value-adding content; with an eCommerce site, you have a key opportunity to generate content from your user base.
4. Seasonal categories
Create a new category or subcategory of an existing category to publish your holiday-related content. Include sneak peeks or any promotions you might be having. This is a great place to publish holiday content send visitors to convert, and helps with seasonal searches as well. These also serve as landing pages, which provide sideways entry into your store.
5. Optimize URLs
Every single URL on your eCommerce platform should be unique, relevant to the page, and keyword optimized. If you’re using an automated means of page creation (i.e. WordPress), you might be left with a URL ending in a long series of numbers and letters, which needs to be changed as soon as possible. For instance, if you’re selling a black dress, end your URL with /pleated-black-dress rather than /1894589384ahf840jfd. Doing so makes it easy for users to know what to expect when they click on that URL. If you have an incredibly long URL it can look spammy and be a turn off. Utilize WooRank.com to test your website for search engine viability.
6. Internal link building
This is one of the most underused SEO techniques. By using keyword rich “anchor text,” the words hyperlinked to a webpage, you help shoppers and search engines find your top products and categories. Be sure not to use the same exact anchor text for every internal link. As previously mentioned, search engines do not like duplicate content.
7. Social sharing on product pages
In addition to basic social integration, your product pages should have social-share buttons so users can pass your product information to their family, friends, and followers. This is particularly good for SEO because Google uses social signals as a measure of authority.
8. Mobile optimize!
Google tailors search engine results to favor sites that are optimized for mobile use. So all mobile-friendly sites will have increased rankings. On top of that, if you’re not optimized for mobile, you are missing out on a majority of shoppers. It turns out that 59% of online shopping happens on mobile devices. If your website is not optimized for mobile access, you need to change that immediately.
A strong SEO strategy can yield huge dividends, especially over the long term. Effective search engine techniques and implementation have been proven time over time to produce the highest long term results for traffic. Ensuring your site is search engine optimized helps ensure your eCommerce stores’ long term success.
Stay tuned for upcoming posts on conversion rates and growth hacking for eCommerce, as well as my previous posts on choosing your ecommerce platform, creating an ecommerce content plan, and optimizing your store design.
Article co-written with Priya Thatte of Digital Umami. Digital Umami combines creative strategy, competitive analysis and technical SEO tactics to create the most efficient SEO plan based on your specific needs. To learn more, please visit digitalumami.com.