An ecommerce site enables you to efficiently sell products to your target market. However you must effectively target and attract your target customers to keep your online store afloat. Although this can be done through many different Internet marketing strategies, search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the most targeted and highly effective methods to market your ecommerce site.
One of the most powerful ecommerce SEO practices that you should be doing is link building. Having a high volume of quality external backlinks coming from various sources around the web (such as articles, web directories, press releases, blog comments, blog posts and other relevant websites) makes your site more popular and thus better ranking in the search results. Hence the industry buzzword "link popularity," with respect to SEO link building.
Link building for ecommerce SEO must be done as naturally as possible. That is, after Google unveiled the 'Penguin' update to its search engine algorithm, no longer are paid link programs or expansive blog networks as effective as they used to be. This is because these link building services are designed to create tons of optimized links (or links with exact keyword phrase anchor text), which is very un-natural and will raise a red flag on your site.
Rather, you should be focusing on link building strategies that generate natural link popularity. Sure, there are still ways you can manually build optimized links for SEO, however you will want to do this moderation.
Below we offer 7 tips that will help you create a sustainable link building strategy for ecommerce SEO:
- Have creative category pages: It is important to realize the SEO value of creative, well-optimized category pages. This is because product category pages are often times filled with rich content and relevant internal links (usually pointed to specific products.) Building links to these pages is very powerful SEO. Even more so, focus on making your category pages extremely valuable for consumers. Provide information, offers, deals and specials as clearly as possible. This will compel other users on the web to link to your category pages in an effort to spread the goodness your ecommerce site has to offer.
- Start an External Blog: Creating an external blog (a blog that is on a separate domain from your ecommerce site) will give you optimum flexibility in publishing content and building links. We suggest starting a blog that is highly focused on a certain aspect of your ecommerce store. So if you sell outdoor apparel and equipment, perhaps create a blog all about outdoor gear. Here you can write blog posts that highlight certain products you have to offer. Within the content of your blog posts you can build links back to your ecommerce site.
- Offer contests and special promotions: Contests and promotions are a great way to attract the interests of your target audience. Most effectively paired with social media marketing strategies, contests, sweepstakes, polls, and promos generate buzz and popularity about your ecommerce store. As a result, people will be apt to link to your site to share the fun with all of their friends.
- Take photos and create image galleries: Beautiful pictures are visually stimulating and they make even a passive customer active. Use photos that are large and that have high resolution. It is recommended that photos are professionally taken for the best results. Create mini-galleries on product pages to really capture the allure of customers. Additionally, image galleries are great form of link bait. When you have a robust product page filled with quality images, the potential to attain links back to your site is greatly enhanced.
- Write and publish articles and press releases: When you have something newsworthy going on, such as a new brand of products being offered on your ecommerce site, publish a press release about it. Take advantage of the power of content, for both marketing and link building. It is important that anything you publish is of great quality, value, and relevancy. On many publishing platforms, you are allowed to add links in the content. This is your opportunity to build an optimized link back to your ecommerce site. Just be sure to do this ethically, and use only relevant anchor text that reflects the topic of the article or press release.
- Create product video highlights: Video is becoming huge for search engine optimization, especially for ecommerce SEO. Creating videos that highlight the features of products is a great way to both earn and build links. You can earn links by offering informative videos that people will want to link to. You can also build a link to your ecommerce site or product page in the video's description on YouTube. Develop a YouTube channel for your ecommerce site and start creating videos of some of your highest margin products.
- Offer resources, tools, info and/or freebies: Whether you create product pages with tools and information on sizing and specification, or offer free incentives and add-ons for purchases, the name of the game here incentivize. When you create incentivizing offers, your customers are likely to share the goods by linking to your site. Make your incentives unique and be creative with how you pitch them to your customers. Again, social media is an effective tool to use for strategies like these.
There are tons more link building strategies for ecommerce SEO. One platform we have to mention is Pinterest. Here you can pin your product images to you 'pin board' where other viewers can see them. Not only does this build a link back to your product page, but gives your product additional exposure on the web.
Link building for ecommerce SEO demands creativity and responsibility. Be responsible and ethical in how you link, as well as creative in capturing the attention and interests of your target market.
This article written by Tyler Tafelsky, one of our Ecommerce SEO Specialists here at ClickCentric SEO.
In today's digital marketing age, your ecommerce website needs to be visible on the search engine results to sustain profitable success. Whether through organic search engine optimization (SEO), Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising, or both, the exposure of your ecommerce site is critical for its survival.
Attaining a top search engine ranking is one of the most powerful and cost-efficient sources of Internet traffic. For ecommerce SEO, your product pages are the ideal channels to focus your efforts. Product pages are the direct path for online shoppers to turn into paying customers, because product pages serve as effective landing pages for SEO.
Additionally, search engine users are becoming smarter and use detailed, product-specific search phrases (or long-tail keywords) to find what they are looking for.
Keyword Research is Imperative for Success
In this article, we will cover 5 effective ways in which you enhance the SEO potential of your ecommerce site's product pages. But before we dive into the methodologies, we must underscore the significance of keyword research and targeting. It is very important to conduct research and know precisely the keyword phrases your target market is searching. The Google Keyword Tool is a good place to start. Below are some considerations while conducting keyword research for ecommerce SEO.
- Are searchers referencing the brand and model names?
- Are searchers including specific model or part numbers?
- Are searchers using a combination of the latter elements?
It is also very important to know the motives behind a consumer who is using plural versus singular search terms. In most cases, plural use of keywords will typically imply that the consumer is shopping around and will be purchasing in the near future, whereas singular will often mean the consumer is looking to buy more immediately.
Once you have a good idea of the precise keyword phrase that matches up with the corresponding product page on your ecommerce site, you can begin to optimize specific aspects of the page's content. Let's say we have performed some keyword research for our online store that sells running footwear. The product page we want to optimize is for "men's New Balance shoes", specifically the "730 model." We have determined that our primary keyword target that consumers are searching is "New Balance 730 mens."
It is critical to include the primary keyword target in the page title for SEO. The page title is one of the greatest factors in establishing keyword relevancy of the page, and it shows up the Google search results as the main headline and link. For this reason, it is important to not only include the keyword target, but write it in such a way that searcher will want to click your listing.
A solid page title will lead with the keyword target or mention it as early as possible. In our example above, we can make this happen by writing the title as such "New Balance 730 Men's Shoes." We can also include the words "Buy" or "For Sale" to capture some keyword variations.
The Meta description appears just below the page title in the Google search results, and is an area to capture the interests of consumers. Here you'll want to get creative and motivate your audience to click your listing with some sort of incentive.
It is, however, very important to include the keyword target in the Meta description as well. Effective descriptions will include one or two variations of the keyword target, but keep in mind that most search engine cut the description off at 160 characters, so keep it concise.
Visible Page Copy
There a number of elements you will want to take into consideration for the visible copy of the product page. This copy is commonly the "product description" and will include information about the product. The organization of the content is the SEO difference maker.
Use a H1 tag whenever possible as the header or title of the product description, and always use the same keyword structure you used in the page title, or a close variation. Within the description, mention the keyword at least once, along with any variations that seem appropriate. If possible, use strong tags to make the keyword bold. This will further enhance the SEO value of the product page.
To take the page copy one-step further, implement a tab format for your product pages to bring more content onto the page, while keep it organized and clean to the eye.
Image "Alt" Tags
The "Alt" tag in images refers to "alternative" text, in the instance that a user's browser is incompatible with your website. This is rarely the case, yet the Alt tag is stilled crawled by search engine spiders and is taken into consideration for SEO purposes.
In the page's back-end or HTML code, always write a keyword optimize Alt tag, but keep it respective to what the image represents. For ecommerce product pages, this is pretty simple because the keyword almost always resembles the image. A good Alt tag for our shoe store example would be "New Balance 730 Mens Shoes White/Green"
The last element to optimizing your product page is by use of video. Video is a huge selling point that greatly contributes to more sales conversions. If you have a top selling product, create a video highlight of that product. Strong, well-optimized ecommerce stores will have comprehensive YouTube channels that showcase their top products.
Although this is not our primary focus in this article, a YouTube channel is good food for thought for a long-term ecommerce SEO strategy, for video is becoming highly popular in the search results. When optimizing your videos, be sure to save the video files with respect to your keyword targets. Similar to image Alt tags, this is pretty straight-forward because the product video typically coincides directly with the keyword.
It is also wise to include keyword relevant tags and descriptions while uploading your video. This will maximize the SEO potential of your product pages as well as the conversion potential when users land on your page.
Final Thoughts for Ecommerce SEO
It is also very beneficial for ecommerce sites to encourage reviews. It is best to request reviews after the checkout phase or with a follow-up email. Independent reviews are strong indicators of a credible ecommerce site. In addition, reviews offer free, user-generated content which adds greater SEO value to your product pages, especially when customers make use of keywords in the their review.
Apply these strategies for product page ecommerce SEO, and start seeing your online store in the top search engine listings for the inventory that offers the greatest margins.
This article written by Tyler Tafelsky, one of our Ecommerce SEO Specialists here at ClickCentric SEO.
Here at Click Centric SEO, we're focused on shaping what defines the "best ecommerce SEO company". That query is actually a popular keyword phrase that is searched in Google (most likely from ecommerce stores and other ecommerce SEO companies checking their rankings.) Let us be honest: we're really interested being the best SEO company for ecommerce sites.
In actualization of our core competencies here at Click Centric SEO, we've defined the ideal SEO program for ecommerce sites. It's a cohesive blend of technical SEO, website optimization, backlink building, and social media marketing.
Technical SEO centers on the nuts and bolts of your ecommerce site - HTML coding, scripts, Schema, etc. While there are many approaches to technical SEO for ecommerce sites, there are a few primary areas worth mentioning.
One of which is renaming URLs to be keyword relevant (and 301 redirecting the old URLs to the new). Instead of sloppy URLs like /product-id=321/, it would be more advantageous for SEO to have URLs that read something like vintage-cycling-jerseys (or whatever the keyword targets for each page page.)
Schema is also vital component of technical SEO that's becoming increasingly important, especially for competitive ecommerce SEO landscapes. Schema is dedicated sub-set of HTML markup that is used to define certain pieces of content on a page.
There are various tags that tell search engines what a
page is all about (i.e. Brand, Product, etc.) as well as what specific parts of content are on those pages (i.e. Price, Units in Stock, etc.)
Schema can give your ecommerce SEO program a significant advantage over your competitors. Although Schema has been active for a couple years now, most ecommerce SEO's have yet to leverage Schema. In an effort to be the best one of the best SEO providers in the business, we value Schema and technical SEO a key components to our ecommerce SEO services.
Website optimization is similar to technical SEO in that the central focus is to improve the performance of your site from a technical and usability perspective. Website optimization is best defined as strategic mix of techniques to:
- "optimize" the content of your website to ensure it's unique, keyword relevant, compelling and speaks the voice of your brand
- improve site load speed and how fast your pages render (load speed can actually correlate to better rankings)
- enhance the usability and blueprints to your site's navigation
- integrate a conversion rate optimization (CRO) strategy and intelligent use of call-to-actions (CTA's)
In short, website optimization is the foundation to actualize the fullest potential investing with ecommerce SEO. Without the latter pillars deeply rooted into your website, the other SEO components will have limited potential.
As the powerhouse to any SEO program, links that come from social profiles, blogs, websites, directories, etc. (and direct to your website) are like votes of credibility and popularity. Earning and building links from authoritative and relevant sources can drastically increase your domain's authority. In other words, domain authority and backlinks improve your ecommerce site's potential to rank in Google.)
Additionally, the link anchor text can also impact keyword relevancy. See the example above of a "keyword-optimized backlink" that intentionally use keywords in the anchor text. While some keyword-optimized anchor text is good for ecommerce SEO and improving rankings, it's vital to ensure a natural balance of links - in terms of the source and the anchor text of those links.
A natural looking backlink profile for ecommerce website would include links from various sources (i.e. articles, review sites, blogs, press releases, web directories, etc.) Further, creating a natural backlink profile uses variety of anchor text (i.e. www.DomainName.com, (Brand Name), Click Here, (Product Name), Website, etc.)
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing has profound influence on SEO, and as a result, it's an integral component to us becoming the best ecommerce SEO company. Social signals (shares, likes, tweets, pins, +1's, etc.) are like backlinks in how they function to attribute quality content that may be worthy of increased search engine rankings.
The social media marketing of our SEO company focuses on the following action items.
1. Optimize your brand's social profiles - establishing, claiming, and/or verifying your Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook, and Pinterest is the starting place to organizing your social media presence.
2. Follow influencers - sharing great content ultimately contributes to your popularity and growth. We can help by fully managing or consulting your team with strategies on how to go about connecting with other influential people, brands, and organizations.
3. Establish various content sources - pinpoint several websites and blogs to pick great articles worth sharing. Ideally, the blog on your ecommerce site will the strongest asset for an SEO-driven social media strategy.
4. Create a social media posting schedule - In addition to defining how many posts to do in a week, try to cap your daily posts at 2-3. At minimum, shoot for 2-3 per week on each social platform.
The best ecommerce site SEO company can help your business achieve these objectives by providing done-for-you ecommerce SEO services or consulting programs. At Click Centric SEO, we offer both of these options to improve your social media and ecommerce SEO efforts.
Actualize Your Ecommerce SEO Strategy
If you're interested in help increasing your brand's search engine exposure, then learn more about working with our experts at Click Centric SEO and contact us. We can help you actualize your ecommerce SEO strategy for sustainable rankings that generate results.
Social media is an integral component of SEO and web presence optimization. Not only do some social media platforms have a direct impact on search engine exposure, but social media is essential to develop a cohesive and unified web presence.
Below are three common questions that I get asked regarding social marketing and it's impact on SEO. I will answer each question to the best of my professional knowledge and supported by my research based on the best practice of SEO and web presence optimization.
1. What are the Best Social Media Networks for SEO?
It's important to understand that social media can influence SEO in few different ways. Social media profiles and posts (e.g. Google+ pages, Pin boards, or Tweets) can appear in the organic search results. Although this might not seem like SEO, this content is indeed appearing in Google's results which can benefit a brand's search engine exposure.
From this perspective, almost all social media networks can influence a brand's search engine exposure. Pinterest pin boards, Facebook profile pages, Tweets and Twitter accounts, LinkedIn profiles, Google+ posts and profiles - all of these social media elements can get ranked in the organic search results. This would emphasize the art of web presence optimization.
Conversely, social activity can help promote optimized webpages via links (which is a more common and traditional perspective of how social activity can impact SEO.) For instance, a link from a popular Tweet can help increase the rankings of its destination URL. Similar, a Google+ profile can link to a great article. As a result, the article may obtain better rankings in Google.
With respect to the latter approach, only a few social platforms offer link value for SEO. I touch on this subject in the next question below.
2. Do Links from Social Sites Influence Keyword Rankings?
For most social media platforms, outbound links do not have a high degree of SEO value. An example of this is Facebook. Virtually all links deriving from Facebook are no-follow links and carry little to no weight for SEO. The core purpose of Facebook for you online marketing efforts should emphasize inbound marketing and web presence optimization. That is, marketing on Facebook should focus on building recognition in your brand and steering direct traffic to your content.
However, Google+ and Twitter are two common platforms that can offer SEO link value. Google+ profile links are in fact do-follow and many SEO experts have claimed to have seen increases in keyword ranking after implementing links to their pages from their Google+ profiles.
Additionally, Twitter links (especially when Tweets get re-Tweeted) can offer value for SEO. It's important to keep in mind that these platforms should be more focused on web presence optimization, and not SEO link building. This will only diminish the integrity of your business and brand.
3. What's More Important: Search Optimization or Social Marketing?
Both SEO and social media are drastically changing. In short, these mediums are merging into a more unified effort called web presence optimization. That is to say SEO and social media marketing is a holistic strategy, and neither SEO nor social marketing holds greater value. Rather, both of these mediums should be embraced for the best results.
Just do a little research on Google's Search plus Your World. This is a clear indication that search is coinciding with social. As a result, your brand should focus on a blended campaign that emphasizes web presence optimization, a combination of social engagement and search marketing.