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Ecommerce SEO Services

At ClickCentric SEO, we offer  ecommerce SEO services for all types of online stores. Unlike some companies that offer SEO services for ecommerce sites, we can optimize your ecommerce site for more traffic and greater conversions. In addition to ecommerce SEO, our company specializes in ecommerce web design and development, social media, email marketing, and conversion rate optimization. We develop cohesive ecommerce SEO strategies and service packages that promote more traffic, increased sales, and sustainable customer loyalty. Get a free SEO audit today!

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  • Ecommerce SEO

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Blogs by author "oicadmin"

3 Essential Resources for Conducting Ecommerce SEO Audits

Whether you're unveiling a new ecommerce website or have been trying your hand at ecommerce SEO for some time, a thorough audit can reveal help get you on the right track to success. 

Here at ClickCentric SEO, we conduct ecommerce SEO audits on the reg. Whether for new prospects or existing clients, providing SEO audits is an integral aspect to the service programs that we offer.

In this article, I will share three essential resources that we use to conduct ecommerce SEO audits. These resources are available to anyone and should be well-respect assets in your SEO arsenal.

1. Google Webmaster Tools

Google Webmaster Ttools is one of the best resources for a number of SEO-related insights. Below are a few key places to look when conducting a SEO audit for your ecommerce site. Webmaster Tools SEO Audit

Optimization -> HTML Improvements

Ecommerce sites are often common culprits of duplicate content. Under the HTML Improvements section, check for duplicate and/or missing Page Title and Meta description tags.

Health -> Crawl Errors

Page errors can hinder the crawling and indexing process of your ecommerce site. Take a look at the Crawl Errors section to pinpoint any ailments that might be diminishing the SEO-value and crawl-ability of your pages.

Traffic -> Search Queries

Take a look at the types of queries (keyword phrases) that are generating organic search traffic to your website. Keep in mind that this data is a bit loose and not the most accurate (queries account for phrase matches - which are difficult to define.) Nonetheless, you'll be able to understand which keywords your site is most relevant about.

Traffic -> Links to Your Site

Get an idea of who is linking to your ecommerce site. Backlinks are huge factor for SEO, so the more quality links you can earn, the better SEO potential your ecommerce site will have.

Optimization -> Sitemaps

Under the Sitemaps section, check to see if any XML sitemaps have been submitted. If not, this is a good opportunity to take advantage of. An XML sitemap submission tells Google of the pages on your ecommerce site that are ready to be crawled and indexed. The submission, which is simply a notification to Google, accelerates the process.

2. W3C Markup Validation Service

Ecommerce sites are often very deep domains with hundreds and thousands of pages. This makes it difficult to ensure that no code errors and warnings are present on the website. W3C SEO Audit

The Crawl Errors section of Google Webmaster Tools is sometimes not enough. This when the help of W3C Markup Validation Service can help you pinpoint HTML code errors and warnings present on your ecommerce site.

After you submit your domain at validator.w3.org, the service will tell exactly which lines of code are problematic to your site's health. You can then work with your webmaster see that these errors and warnings get fixed.

3. Pingdom for Site Speed Testing

Parallel to minimizing HTML code errors is ensuring the load speed of your ecommerce website is fast and fluid. A slow loading website can hinder both SEO and user engagement.

Test the speed of your ecommerce site using a free tool like tools.Pingdom.com. If your site takes longer than one second to load, then it probably can be optimized.

There can be a number of reasons for a slow loading website. Often times it's the HTML coding structure of the site that correlates to load speed. So if your using an ancient CMS software platform to run your ecommerce site, then chances are it's inhibiting SEO performance and usability.

Diagnosing a slow ecommerce site is best when done with tech-savvy individual who can troubleshoot why things are slow going. The remedy can range from a simple website optimization tune-up or complete overhaul onto a new CMS platform.

Bonus: Tools for Backlink Portfolio Audits

Assessing a site's backlink portfolio takes ecommerce SEO auditing one step further. The tools needed to conduct a backlink scan of a website (as well as provide data about the sources' anchor text, Google PageRank, etc.) typically require payment to use.

A backlink portfolio audit is essential if your ecommerce site has been penalized by Google Penguin (which targets over-optimized backlinks with too much exact keyword match anchor text.) Two tools that I personally favor are:

  • Open Site Explorer - Created by SEOmoz, Open Site Explorer is web-based tool that offers a wealth of data regarding a website's backlink portfolio. Test it out for free by visiting OpenSiteExplorer.org.
  • SEO Spyglass - SEO Spyglass is an advanced software platform that's apart of the SEO Powersuite by Link Assistant. For search marketers, this tool is ideal for client management and auditing.

 

Tyler Tafelsky PPC EcommerceAbout the Author:
Tyler Tafelsky is the lead SEO analyst at Click Centric SEO. Tyler is well-versed in multiple facets of digital marketing and branding, including organic SEO, PPC advertising, social media and content marketing. Tyler spearheads most of the ecommerce SEO audits at Click Centric SEO. You can k0eep in touch with him by following Tyler on Twitter.

Tips for Using Google Shopping to Supplement Your Ecommerce Marketing Strategy

Ecommerce website owners and marketers are constantly look for new ways to increase product sales and achieve sustainability in their online business. With Google Search continuously evolving, ecommerce marketers must adapt and re-vamp their strategies from time to time. Google Shopping for Ecommerce Marketing

To realize success as well as support other search marketing strategies like SEO and PPC advertising, ecommerce marketers may find Google Shopping to be a powerful avenue to promote products. Google's Shopping results appear for almost any product-related keyword search. This offers this quite the marketing opportunity for ecommerce stores.

The Down-Low on Google Shopping

Do a Google search for any type of product, whether it's a general category (e.g. Men's running shoes) or specific brand, make, or model (e.g. Saucony ProGrid Guide 6).

Google Shopping Results

The Google Shopping listings take a up a significant amount of real estate in the search results. This makes it a popular avenue for Google users who want to browse products they're interested in buying.

The Google Shopping platform helps direct customers to online stores by inviting the ecommerce owners to create ads for their products. Google shows customers the name of the store, picture of the product, and the price.

Customers interested in the products click through the link that opens the store's website to purchase the items. So although Google takes a cut on the sale, the process is rather seamless and easy to implement for ecommerce marketers.

Making the Most of Google Shopping for Ecommerce Marketing

If you're interested in Google Shopping for ecommerce marketing (or want to improve your existing campaign,) below are some tips to help you make the most of this great platform.

Optimize Product Data Feed

A business owner can fine-tune a Google Shopping campaign directly on the platform. Sort out the product database according to the relevant categories or departments. Find the most-searched and less competitive version of each of the categories using keyword tool and replace all instances of the original category name to further boost the effectiveness of the strategy.

For instance, improve the data feed by tagging high-margin items with labels and then bid more aggressively in AdWords. Other than optimizing page titles, descriptions, categories and product images, a business owner can include shipping costs and quality product images. Google is likely to identify a website's worth through its rich-content.

Frequently Update, Analyze and Test Product Feed

Improve Google Shopping search marketing campaigns by providing accurate and updated information. Update the data feed each time there is a change. Other than updating, the feed should be error free. Test data feeds to make it easier to remedy any errors after submission. Use the help center for troubleshooting information. Data feed errors and data quality errors can be identified and fixed before submitting the feed for indexing.

Add an Identifier for Tracking Purposes

Track the traffic reliably with Google Analytics to help in optimizing search marketing strategies. To help differentiate traffic from Google Shopping from other referring URLs and search engines, an ecommerce site owner can add an identifier to the product URLs.

Set up the ecommerce site for the Google Merchant feed to include UTM tags that instruct how to report data. The right string can separate Google Shopping results from Google organic results. Tracking results can provide information that can help in improving a marketing strategy.

Benefits to an Ecommerce Search Marketing Strategy

One of the benefits of listing products on Google Shopping is that Google is the top search engine used by millions of people daily. Opting for the service can create a wider audience reach and consistent traffic. The site can get more traffic because active buyers can search and find a store's items via the Google search engine.

Replacing free shopping placements with paid ads has lowered the number of retailers thus minimizing the competition. Other than being a comparison shopping engine, it also acts as paid search marketing strategy. A store that lists on the platform pays for results. This means a business owner is charged only when someone clicks on the ad and lands on the website.

[Infographic:] On-page SEO for Ecommerce Sites

There's no two ways about it: SEO for ecommerce sites is a challenge.

With (literally) thousands of pages to tend to, it takes a lot of resources to check off all the on-page SEO boxes that Google looks for.

Fortunately, you can get more traffic to your product and category pages by implementing these simple on-page SEO "hacks" courtesy of Backlinko.

On-Page SEO Infographic

While all of these SEO tips apply to ecommerce sites, here are the four strategies that can get you the most traffic in the shortest period of time:

1. Add modifiers to title tags: A common mistake that I see ecommerce sites make is to use short title tags. There's a large percentage of searchers who use long tail keywords, like "best blue widget", "cheap blue widgets", or "brand blue widgets". By adding these modifiers before and after your target keywords you can potentially wrangle in more search traffic.

2. Speed up your page loading speed: A study by Amazon found that they lost 1% in sales for every 100 miliseconds of site speed loading time. If you run an ecommerce site you literally can't afford to have a slow website. One of the fastest ways to boost site speed loading time is to switch over to a better hosting plan. It's usually more expensive, but the ROI is typically positive over the long-term.

3. Post long content: Google loves giving their users pages with lots and lots of content. Unfortunately, most product pages are fairly thin in the content department (mostly due to the sheer number of pages ecommerce sites tend to have). One way to get around this is to identify your top 5-10 pages that you'd like to get more traffic to. Then add more details and information about the product on those pages.

4. Lower your bounce rate: A bounce doesn't just represent a lost sale: it may also mean decreased visibility in Google search. One site way to reduce your bounce rate is to add multiple "related products" sliders. This is a technique Zappos employs on their product pages:

Related Products

This can also boost page views and time on site: two important user-interaction signals for SEO. Stay tuned for more ecommerce SEO best practices.

Sitemaps: Ecommerce Essentials for On-Page SEO

When it comes to SEO, particularly SEO for ecommerce sites, sitemaps are one of the most important elements of a website.

The sitemap is considered by many search marketing experts the second most important page of a website (next to the homepage as number one.) If you think of your website as a book, the sitemap serves as main reference point, or index.

In its very essence, a sitemap contains links to all primary pages of a website. Although not commonly used by typical users for navigation, the sitemap serve as a roadmap for search engine spiders, giving direction to all of the rich, rank-ready content that needs to be crawled and indexed.

Sitemaps for SEO

As a result, sitemaps are absolutely essential for SEO (specifically "on-page SEO"). Most websites only need one sitemap to fit the bill; however, larger ecommerce sites can be an exception.

Because ecommerce sites are deep and often contain thousands of pages, one sitemap can pose some limitations for SEO. In short, one sitemap with thousands of links is a bit much. That is, the value of each link is significantly reduced when spread amongst thousands of counterparts.

Using Segmented Sitemaps for Deep Ecommerce Sites

There are no rules as to how many sitemaps you can have. Deep ecommerce sites with thousands of pages should take full advantage of segmented sitemaps. These are more focal sitemaps that are broken-down based on specific product categories, brands, and other characteristics that make logical sense.

For example, an online electronics store that specializes in hi-def TV's may want to create dedicated sitemaps for each brand it offers. This retailer could create segmented sitemaps for Samsung TV's, Sony TV's, Toshiba TV's, and so on.

Perhaps the ecommerce retailer only offers a few select television products per brand, in addition to many other electronics. In this case, they might simply have one sitemap for TV's, and additional sitemaps dedicated to other product categories, such as PC's, MP3 players, smartphones, etc.

The main idea is be logical about the segmentation process with respect to your ecommerce SEO strategy. If "Samsung TVs" is the keyword you want to rank for (and you have a ton of Samsung televisions in-stock,) then it would make logical sense to build a dedicated sitemap for this brand.

Leveraging XML Sitemaps SEO Empowerment

XML sitemaps are a little bit different. Unlike "HTML sitemaps" (which are visible to website users,) XML sitemaps are a files that are uploaded to your website, but invisible to the common visitor.

These XML files also contain links to your primary pages (and can also be segmented,) however they carry a different purpose for SEO. XML sitemaps are submitted to Google (via your Google Webmaster Tools account) to notify Google spiders of all the pages that you want crawled and indexed.

Because some pages of your site may not be easily discoverable by Google's normal crawling process, regular XML sitemap submissions are good way to ensure that Google is well-aware of what needs to be crawled and indexed. This is particularly important when you add new pages to your website.

To learn more about sitemaps and Google's guidelines on this Google Support page about the topic.

 

Tyler Tafelsky PPC EcommerceAbout the Author:
Tyler Tafelsky is the lead SEO analyst at Click Centric SEO. Tyler is well-versed in multiple facets of Internet marketing, including organic SEO, PPC advertising, social media, and content marketing. Keep in touch with Tyler by following him on Twitter or encircling him Google+.

The 7 Pillars of Technical SEO for Ecommerce Sites

Ecommerce sites are often massive and complex domains containing hundreds and thousands of pages. It's thus important that someone on your SEO or Internet marketing team understands the intricacies of technical SEO for ecommerce sites. Technical SEO Ecommerce

Although technical SEO focuses on the nuts and bolts of a website (typically the elements that are invisible to users), these technical elements can significantly impact a site's performance in countless ways.

In essence, technical SEO addresses the fluidity of crawling and indexing, the quality of user experience (or usability), and the overall SEO-friendliness of the website.

If you're interested in learning more about various aspects of technical SEO, then read on, my friend. Below I educate you on how technical SEO influences ecommerce site performance and SEO potential.

Find & Fix HTML Errors

There are a couple places to pinpoint HTML coding errors on a website. The first is Google Webmaster Tools, where you can look at the "error reports" feature. The second is W3C Markup Validation Service, a free tool that scans and lists all of the HTML errors and warnings that are present on a site.

Google Webmaster Tools only shows errors that are picked-up by Google bots, so this data might pose some limitations. So in addition to the W3C tool, you can also check Yahoo and Bing webmaster tools to pinpoint all potential errors.

The most critical issues that can impact SEO performance are crawl errors, like DNS lookup errors and 404 pages. These can be common on ecommerce sites, so take the time to address any significant HTML errors that arise.

Integrate Sitemaps

There are two main types of sitemaps: HTML sitemaps and XML sitemaps. And using each type of sitemap correctly is critical for SEO success.

HTML Sitemaps

The HTML sitemap is a visible "index" on the website that contains links to almost every page of the site. I say "almost" because in some cases of websites with thousands of pages, many pages are left out. A big mistake I see with large ecommerce sites of the like is that they fail to include key product pages on the HTML sitemap.

Because product pages are the bread and butter to ecommerce SEO, it's important to include these pages on the sitemap (or at least those that you're trying to rank in search.) For very robust sites that face this issue, often times segmented sitemaps are a sound solution.

Additionally, you'll want to link the sitemap on all pages, such as in a site-wide header or footer. The HTML sitemap is your search engine spider food for SEO. Google spiders eat up sitemaps, which aids more efficient crawling, indexing, and ranking of your pages.

XML Sitemaps

The XML sitemap, which is submitted to Google Webmaster Tools, is a list of all the pages on a website that instructs search engine spiders precisely what to index. In short, the XML sitemap helps search engines find all of the pages of a site. XML sitemaps are also very important in monitoring a website's index-levels, or to ensure key pages are being crawled and indexed.

When new pages are added to an ecommerce site, they should also be added to both the HTML and XML sitemap. Additionally, the updated XML sitemap should be re-submitted in Google Webmaster Tools to notify search engines to crawl and index these pages.

Pinpoint Duplicate Title Tags and Meta Descriptions

The uniqueness of each page's title tag and meta description is very important for ecommerce SEO. You can detect duplicate title tags and meta descriptions using Google Webmaster Tools or other crawling tools, such as SEO Powersuite's Website Auditor Tool.

Aside from being unique, title tags and meta descriptions should:

  • be compelling, relevant, and incentivizing
  • contain primary keyword targets
  • be no longer than 70 characters for titles and about 155 characters for meta descriptions (to ensure all appear in the search results without being cut-off)

Utilization of Canonical Tags

In some cases with large ecommerce sites, the same content is on more than one page (or even worse, the same content is duplicated across multiple pages.) SEO-unfriendly scenarios like these call for canonical tags.

A canonical tag tells search engines which page is the preferred URL (or "canonical URL.") This will ensure the correct page is indexed and ranked according to your ecommerce SEO strategy.

For example, if the "money page" (as we like to call it) is www.ClothingStoreBrand.com/outdoor/north-face-jackets, but the same content is present on other URLs (such as www.ClothingStoreBrand.com/mens/north-face-jackets and www.ClothingStoreBrand.com/north-face/coats-jackets), then the rel=canonical tag needs to be applied.

Google itself has stated that it cannot guarantee to follow the canonical URL, so it's wise to completely eliminate any duplicate content found on the website.

Optimize Page URLs

The URLs of your pages should be short. (Shoot for less than 115 characters if possible). URLs should also be static in that there should only be one static URL for each page of the website.

Ecommerce sites are often built on a CMS (content management system) which can adversely impact the best practices of URL naming. For instance, some CMS platforms automatically generate URLs with excessive parameters, such as:

www.website.com/prod=cat=72&type=5&order=c

These cumbersome URL parameters make it difficult for search engine spiders to crawl and index the URL's content and, in some cases, can result in problems with duplicate content.

Similar issues can stem from ecommerce sites that assign session IDs. When users visit a website they are assigned a unique session ID (which is then included in the URL.)

For ecommerce SEO best practices, URLs should be keyword relevant and readable. The goal is to include the primary keyword targets, while ensuring URLs are short and unique from one another. Here's an example of a SEO-friendly URL naming convention:

www.website.com/category/product

Or to offer a real world example:

www.ClothingStoreBrand.com/kids-clothes/girls-pink-t-shirt

Ensure Proper Indexing

Indexing simply refers to URLs or webpages that have been successfully recognized (crawled) and stored (indexed) by search engines. It's important that all optimized pages are indexed in order for them to appear in the search results.

To ensure key pages have been indexed, it's useful to refer to Google Webmaster Tools where you can view the URLs that have been crawled. Uploading an XML sitemap helps to carry out proper indexing of the ecommerce site.

Another option, although a bit less efficient for technical SEO purposes, is to perform a Google search as follows:

site:ecommercewebsite.com

Be sure to have no space between "site:" and the domain. The number of pages that are shown in the results reflects the URLs that Google has crawled and indexed. If there's a big discrepancy between the number of indexed pages and what's included on the sitemap, then further investigation is needed.

Implement or Correct Mishandled Redirects

Particularly for online stores, it's important to check existing redirects as they may be using 302 redirects (which are temporary) instead of 301 redirects (which are permanent.) Unlike 301 permanent redirects, 302 redirects do not pass link value for SEO.

If the site has an abundance of redirects, the technical SEO team should address any mishandled redirects as soon as possible. It's important to avoid removing redirects, as there may be backlinks pointing to a page (which may be providing SEO value.)

There are a few special tools that you can use to determine the nature and type of redirects being used. Here at Click Centric SEO, we use Website Auditor, one of the four awesome programs in Link Assistant's SEO Powersuite.

A couple others worth checking out, and perhaps not quite as expensive, are Screaming Frog and the redirect checker from Ayima (a Google Chrome app.)

 

Tyler Tafelsky PPC EcommerceAbout the Author:
Tyler Tafelsky is the lead SEO analyst at Click Centric SEO. Tyler is well-versed in multiple facets of organic SEO for ecommerce sites, as well as PPC advertising, content marketing, and social media marketing.

Tips to Create a Balanced SEO Link Building Strategy

Relentless use of keyword optimized anchor text no longer works for SEO and link building. Many SEO companies have gotten their clients in trouble because of this.

After Google's major algorithm update in late 2012 (targeting websites with "over-optimized" backlinks [or too keyword rich of anchor text,]) many website have plummeted in the search results

Now more than ever, it's critical to create a balanced link building strategy for your SEO efforts. This more natural approach will ultimately lead to more sustainable keyword rankings. balanced seo link building

But the underlying question is: what exactly makes a balanced SEO link building strategy?

In essence, rather than building links with exact keyword match anchor text, you'll need to take a more creative and natural approach.

Think about what makes a completely organic backlink portfolio. There are many different types of links, such as:

  • blog comment links
  • directory listing links
  • in-copy links from articles and blog posts
  • guest blogger (or "about the author") links at the end of articles/blog posts
  • social profile links
  • footer links
  • blogroll links
  • DoFollow and NoFollow links

5 Different Forms of Anchor Text

In addition to the different types of links, there are also various forms of anchor text.

Below we've grouped the various types of anchor text into five categories (using Click Centric SEO as the example:)

  • Brand Name Links: "If you're looking for trusted ecommerce SEO services from a professional company, learn more about Click Centric SEO by clicking here." Here the anchor text used is the name of the brand or business. You'll want to use brand name links about 30% of the time when building links.
  • Generic Links: "If you're looking for trusted ecommerce SEO services from a professional company, learn more about Click Centric SEO by clicking here." Here the anchor text has no real SEO focus, but it's natural as can be. Focus on using generic links about 10% of the time.
  • Naked Links: "If you're looking for trusted ecommerce SEO services from a professional company, learn more about Click Centric SEO by visiting www.ClickCentricSEO.com." Naked links are simply the URL of the domain or specific page being linked to. Use naked links about 10% of the time.
  • Optimized Links: "If you're looking for trusted ecommerce SEO services from a professional company, learn more about Click Centric SEO by clicking here." Here we're using exact phrase match of the keyword in the anchor text. This is still important for SEO, but only use these links about 25% of the time.
  • Semi-Optimized Links: "If you're looking for trusted ecommerce SEO services from a professional company, learn more about Click Centric SEO by clicking here." Here you can get creative. Use can use longer forms of anchor text that include some keyword targets, or just one word of your full keyword target (such as "SEO" or "ecommerce"). Semi-optimized links should be used about 25% of the time.

Keep mind that the percent distribution I suggest above is only a guideline. Google is continuing to evolve, and one element that's growing in importance is the contextual relevancy of the content that surrounds links (also referred to as "co-occurrence.")

That is, if a in-copy brand name link is surrounded with specific keywords, Google will recognize the surrounding text and find the link relevant to those specific keywords. It's not easy to explain in text, so I suggest checking out this video all about from Rand Fishkin of Moz.

If you do have any questions, or would like me to run a scan of your site's backlink portfolio, hit us up.

 

Tyler Tafelsky PPC EcommerceAbout the Author:
Tyler Tafelsky is the lead SEO analyst at Click Centric SEO. Tyler is well-versed in multiple facets of organic search marketing, particularly link building and content marketing strategy.

Ecommerce SEO Best Practices for Better Rankings & More Conversions

SEO for ecommerce sites is often insanely competitive. With authority domains like Amazon and eBay owning the top spots in Google for any keyword that's product related, outranking them can seem unrealistic. Ecommerce SEO Practice

Well muster-up some courage and confidence, my friend. Because outranking these intimidating authority figures can be done using the best practices of ecommerce SEO.

Below I outline a winning process to help formulate your ecommerce SEO strategy. These best practices will guide your SEO efforts holistically, demanding the support of you entire ecommerce marketing team.

So roll-up your sleeves and open your mind. It's time you learn the best practices of ecommerce SEO for better rankings and more conversions.

Obsess About Usability

The manner in which users interact with your ecommerce site is paramount. Sure, this might not be focal to ecommerce SEO, but what good is your search traffic if visitors aren't taking the steps to convert?

Usability flows with conversion rate optimization (CRO), which should also run parallel to your ecommerce SEO efforts. Some best practices to consider for usability include:

  • Designing and testing call-to-action and sign-up buttons
  • Ensuring the check-out process is fluid (e.g. allowing customers to buy without needing to register)
  • Utilizing breadcrumb navigation links, which not only aids usability, but also SEO
  • Offering a secure and easy-to-manage shopping cart
  • Making sure your site's search functionality is easy and intuitive

Usability is paramount to your ecommerce store's success. These elements should be at the forefront of your concerns to ensure your site's traffic potential is maximized.

Write Your Own Awesome Page Copy

Although it may be legal and convenient, never use manufacturer-generated content for product descriptions or other aspects of your page copy. This will lead to duplicate content and diminish the SEO value of your pages.

Whether you recruit someone creative on your team, or hire a quality SEO copywriter, unique and engaging copy is more important than many think. Shoppers do actually read copy on your site, especially the product descriptions. When page copy speaks truly about a product while resonating with your brand, you can really grab their attention.

Respect Technical SEO

The techical SEO aspects of your ecommerce site are critical. Technical SEO focuses on elements like:

  • Finding and fixing HTML coding errors
  • Creating sitemaps and optimizing internal linking
  • Pinpointing duplicate content, specifically page title tags and meta descriptions
  • Determining where to utilize canonical tags
  • Optimizing URLs that are non-SEO-friendly
  • Ensuring proper crawling and indexing of the ecommerce site
  • Implementing redirects and correcting those that have been mishandled

Respecting technical SEO demands the skills and expertise of a coding guru (or ideally, a "technical SEO expert"). Some SEO specialists center their practice on the strategic and creative side of SEO, whereas others have knack for analytical and technical aspects of ecommerce SEO.

Produce Great Content

Whether product profile videos, educational articles and blog posts, producing great content extends beyond the webpages of your ecommerce site. To maximize ecommerce SEO value in today's social age, you need a hub to publish interesting content, such as a blog or media center page.

Producing and sharing great content plays a two-fold role in your SEO mission:

  • By keeping your ecommerce site fresh with newly published content on a consistent basis, search engine spiders are apt to crawl and index your site more frequently. Additionally, you create content that's keyword relevant (and links to your optimized inside pages) which can bolster your ecommerce SEO efforts.
  • By sharing, promoting, and marketing your content on social media platforms, you site adds a layer of social credibility and authority (via mechanisms like social signals and the volume of social followers). These new social mechanisms have been said to help with SEO and search rankings.

Diversify Your Backlink Portfolio

There's no questions that building links for SEO still works. It's just a matter of how and where you building links. I recently wrote an article called Tips to Create a Balanced SEO Link Building Strategy, and I highly recommend reading it if you need a primer on link building.

For ecommerce sites, link building is entire SEO strategy in itself. Not only do you want to balance the types of links (as well as the anchor text of those links), but you want to link to a variety of your pages (and not just your homepage). For some, this might be a no-brainer, but it's not uncommon to see SEO service providers pointing every backlink to the homepage.

Remember, product pages are your bread and butter. Once you've optimized a product page with alluring (and keyword-friendly) copy and media, sending some backlinks to that page can truly empower its rankings. Based on my experience, product pages can withstand a greater volume of backlinks with exact keyword match anchor text. Of course too much exact keyword match anchor text much can be risky, but I think the true ratio and balance of anchor text (before a red flag is raised to Google about your site being over-optimized) stems primarily from the domain.

Use a wide range of backlink sources to diversify your site's portfolio. Directories are a good place to start, in addition to reaching out and gathering prospects suitable for guest blog posts on product reviews. Offering contests and other forms of link bait is equally, if not more effective. And of course, start getting social!

Be an Educator & a Social Butterfly

Late last year I wrote a post at CPCStrategy.com about how socializing on Google+ can influence your SEO efforts. In the article I describe how the more people that encircle your brand's page on Google+, the more control you'll have over their search results. The concept is based on Google's "Search, plus Your World" which integrates a social element to search.

Although this concept is still emerging and has yet to fully bloom, it should not ignored in your ecommerce SEO strategy. There's also the element of "social signals," which are the Facebook "Likes," Google "+1's," "Pins," "Tweets," and other social attributes that can be given to webpage. Based on several studies on this topic, a high volume of social signals correlates to better search engine rankings. I like to think of it as Google's way of attributing a legitimate, human-based ranking factor to its algorithm.

But the big question is: how do you gain a lot of social signals? Like I mention above, you need to produce great content that truly resonates with your target audience. For ecommerce sites, being an educator is a winning strategy. Some of the most successful and highly ranked ecommerce sites will create videos that educate shoppers about a product, or set of products. Not only does this practice help generate social signals, but the videos themselves can rank atop the search results.

The Takeaway

Imagine this: what's a high margin product that you want to sell a lot of? Start be optimizing the product's page with unique content and optimized images. Next, produce a video, image gallery, blog post (or all three) about that product. Share (or upload) the latter content on YouTube, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Google+, and any other social media sites your brand is active on. And lastly, build a few links to that product page.

Using these ecommerce SEO best practices is a winning strategy, so long as you're mindful during each step of the process. All the while, always focus on improving the usability and technical aspects of your website. In a matter of time, your ecommerce site can evolve into a true online authority figure

 

About the Author

ecommerce SEO specialistTyler Tafelsky offers over five years of experience as an organic SEO specialist. Tyler is highly-engaged in social media, link building, and content strategy. You can learn more by connecting with Tyler on Google+, or following Tyler on Twitter.

Google PPC Advertising: Are You Using 'Modified Broad Match' Bidding?

Are you using modified broad match keyword bidding in your Google PPC advertising campaigns?

Do you even know what modified broad match means?

If "no" is your answer to any of these questions, then get ready to learn this simple yet game-changing keyword bidding technique.

What's Modified Broad Match & Why Use It?

Never in my experience of being introduced to an existing PPC account that needs optimizing have I seen modified broad match keyword bidding in action. For this reason alone, I am compelled to write about it in this here blog post.

Modified broad match is the middle ground between using exact keyword match and broad match.

Exact phrase match can be too restrictive, especially given that a vast number of search engine users are typing highly-descriptive, long-tail keyword queries.

Broad match is typically far too broad and can result in unwanted impressions and clicks. For instance, Google might trigger your PPC ad targeting red wagon for keyword query like 2011 burgundy subaru wagon for sale.

So what is modified broad match bidding?

Simple.

When implementing your keyword bids, you put a "+" symbol directly in front of the words that must be used in a search query to trigger your ad. Take a look at the image.

I bid on the keyword +acu +jacket (a particular type of camouflage military jacket for U.S. Army personnel) using modified broad match. My ad will trigger if someone searches army acu jacket or acu jacket for sale.

Unlike using exact match [acu jacket] which will only trigger my ad when people search acu jacket and only that two word phrase, modified broad match ensures that I capture related long-tail search queries.

However, it's good to have a blend of exact and modified broad match. This will help you capture desired ad exposure while promoting optimal quality scores.

Be Sure to Do Some Negative Keyword Research

Even with modified broad match keyword bidding, you're bound to get some unwanted expsoure. Using the example from above, my ad will appear for keywords like acu jacket regulations or where to sell my acu jacket. For this reason, I will want to conduct some negative keyword research, and add these unwanted variations in the negative keyword list.

There are couple places you can find negative keywords. I describe this process in this insightful article.

Start experimenting with modified broad match with your PPC campaigns. It's a pretty cool bidding strategy that can really help you make the most of your paid search marketing efforts. If you have any questions, let me know in the comments section below, or shoot me an email at tyler(at)clickcentricseo.com.

This blog post was written by Tyler Tafelsky, lead ecommerce SEO and PPC specialist here at Click Centric SEO and founder of Yisoo, a training platform for individuals looking to learn Google Ads. Tyler spearheads PPC advertising campaigns for a number of ecommerce brands and offers over five years of experience in search marketing. To keep in touch, connect with Tyler on Google+.

7 SEO Tips to Deliver Greater Value to Your Website Visitors

Having a successful website that provides a great amount of value isn't as hard as many people think. There are plenty of ways to attract new audiences and hold their attention; it just takes some time and effort. Another big part of having a site that is successful is making sure it is optimized as best as it can be for search engines. Now SEO isn't the easiest thing to do, but once you are ranked high in SERPs, you will see much more traffic and it will have been all worth it. So to help you out, we are going to take a look at 7 tips that will not only increase the overall value of your site, but also help you get ranked higher.

Use a Great Navigation Structure

The spiders that search engines sent to crawl through our sites rely on our overallnavigation to be able to index everything properly, so when there isn't a good navigation system put in place, we risk our pages getting ranked incorrectly. 

Unfortunately, there are millions of sites out there that have pages that aren't connected to their site or may have accidentally placed a broken link, making it impossible for spiders to crawl and index them. We can ensure this doesn't happen to us by creating a great navigation structure and also including a site map. Once your navigation is complete, you should run an audit on your site to ensure that spiders are able to easily access all of your content.

Navigation also helps people find the content they are looking for. It helps to decrease your bounce rates, increase conversion rates, and gives them a much better experience in the end.

Ensure Fast Loading Times

Having a fast website is very important due to the fact that so many people use their phones and other devices to load up websites. This means that their internet connection could be running much slower than the average person on a regular computer. If they start to see that the site is taking way too long to load, you can expect them to just leave and find another site that is more reliable. Search engines are starting to take this seriously as well and have implemented load times in their algorithms, so if your site is slow, you are going to get punished for it. As much as possible, stay away from cheap web hosts and optimize your images to help make your site load faster.

Add Social Media Aspects to Your Site

Don't forget to add social media into your site. You can have your own social media profiles, add social media widgets to your content, or anything else you may want. It's important to have these types of things on your site because social media is such a big aspect of our everyday lives, that people now expect to be able to like and share content directly from your site. The shares and likes that you get are all counted by search engines, so the more interactions you get, the better you will be ranked.

Create a Community

Let people talk to each other! It doesn't matter what type of site you have, you should allow people to comment on your content, have a forum, or allow reviews on products & services. By having these things, you are letting people create their own personal connections to the site, which will help you have steady traffic and more conversions. If people are able to read product reviews from other customers they will see that they have had a good experience, trust your website much more and buy your stuff. If you are just trying to have people subscribe to a blog, allowing people to express themselves will create a much more welcoming atmosphere and will convince them to sign up. Search engines will also look highly on sites that allow these types of interactions because the site is always being updated, and they provide more value and a better experience.

 

Use Plenty of Internal Links to Connect Relevant Content

A great way to keep people on your site and engaged with your content is if you use internal links to help them find other pieces of content they would be interested in. If they know that your site has more content available that they like, then they are more likely to be converted once they gain more trust in your site. If you use relevant anchor texts, implementing an internal link strategy can be quite easy and will help with your bounce rates, overall navigation, and conversion rates.

Implement More Multimedia

Using videos, images, and audio in our sites is a must because of how popular they have become over the last decade. People would much rather interact with a website full of multimedia than just sit there and read an endless amount of text, so give them what they want. Search engines also understand how important multimedia is to a website, so they have started to index them and rank them very high based on their success. So, if you can come up with a great video, you can expect some good results.

Use Call to Action Buttons and Other Techniques to Increase Your Conversion Rates

It's important to always have your ultimate goal in mind when changing your site around. If you have an online business, then you are probably looking for more sales, while a blog would be looking to have people subscribe. Either way, both need to have strategies implemented to help new visitors become converted. You can use call to action buttons, catch people's attention by using contrast effects, or any other technique you feel would work best for your site.

The important part is that you use these techniques to make your site more appealing to your viewers, which will keep them on the site much longer. Since they are interacting more with your site once they start to be converted, you can expect that search engines will start to increase your authority.

How Click Centric SEO Redefines Its Ecommerce SEO Services

There's no doubt that the SEO playing field is drastically evolving. This stems into many facets of SEO, spanning from local SEO to ecommerce SEO.

As a result, here at Click Centric SEO we are mindful of these changes, and we set out to ensure our ecommerce SEO services adapt to the changing standards of organic search.

So how exactly do we redefine our ecommerce SEO services?

In short, our ecommerce SEO programs run parallel to what Google wants in quality, high ranking websites. That is natural authority that derives from the following elements:

  • a quality ecommerce site that offers valuable content, intuitive structure, and rich user engagement.
  • a socially active brand that is present on primary social media networks like Google+, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.
  • a natural backlink portfolio composed of diverse and relevant links from various sources.

While the first element focuses on on-page SEO, web design and development, the latter two elements are primarily off-page focused. And that balance of 1/3 on-page, 2/3 off-page is quite similar to how Google and other search engines value websites and their rankings.

On-Page Ecommerce SEO Services: Laying the Foundation

More than 'keyword optimizing' the content of a website, thorough on-page SEO for ecommerce sites must focus on offering a rich user experience. This includes:

  • presenting a clean, attractive, and well-branded design.
  • providing an intuitive and easy-to-use navigation.
  • showcasing rich content like hi-res product images and videos.
  • scribing unique and awesome page copy that's both keyword relevant and resonates the brand's tone.

In essence, the objective behind the on-page element of an ecommerce SEO campaign is what gives users what they want. So beyond SEO, much of the on-page element centers on CRO (or "Conversion Rate Optimization.") This entails ongoing testing and optimization of the latter components that make up on-page SEO for ecommerce sites.

Off-Page Ecommerce SEO Services: Getting Social

Social media is an up-and-coming element that's growing in importance for SEO. This is particularly the case for ecommerce SEO, because online stores must focus their efforts on branding and establishing a good reputation on the web.

A strong and authoritative reputation is often earned via social media, and such online recognition and social credibility can transcribe to greater performance in Google search. More shares on Facebook, re-tweets on Twitter, pins on Pinterest, and +1's on Google+ - all of these social signals empower a brand's SEO potential.

So when it comes to offering ecommerce SEO services, getting social is a must. Here at Click Centric SEO, we go through a basic checklist to determine if an ecommerce client (or prospect if they're still in the assessment phase of our process) has active accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+. We then assess the strength of their following and how to best leverage their social media presence to benefit SEO.

Off-Page Ecommerce SEO Services: Building Authority

If you know a thing or two about SEO, then you probably understand the importance of backlinks (that is, the links pointing to a website from external sources.) In short, backlinks are the bee's knees to building authority and growing a website's ranking in search.

In an effort to ensure the quality of its results, Google has severely cracked-down on the practices of link building. Now, having a very natural looking backlink portfolio is crucial to minimize risks of over-optimization penalties. In short, a natural backlink portfolio consists of link sources that are highly relevant to the topic or ecommerce brand. Additionally, link diversity is key. In addition to a balanced blend of text-based links that use a different form of anchor text, image links, blogroll links, directory listing links, and social links all ensure that a backlink portfolio appears perfectly natural through the eyes of Google.

At Click Centric SEO, we stay well abreast Google crack-down efforts and algorithm updates, and we tailor our ecommerce SEO services accordingly. We understand that achieving SEO goals (and sustaining them) center on building a strong brand, not just a handful of links. So when you work with us in creating an ecommerce SEO strategy, we mindfully tailor our services to achieve sustainable results for your online store.

Receive a free SEO assessment, and contact us today to learn more.

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Ecommerce SEO Articles

5 Creative SEO Link Building (and Earning) Tips for Ecommerce Sites

For any ecommerce SEO strategy, building and earning links is essential to earn top keyword rankings.

Without an arsenal of blogs and link building resources, it's not easy to generate link popularity for your ecommerce site.

It's time to get your creative juices flowing and start brainstorming ways to naturally earn links back to your website.

Below are five creative link building (and earning) tips to empower your off-page ecommerce SEO strategy.

1. Construct a Creative Content Marketing Strategy

The best way to naturally earn quality links back to your ecommerce site is content marketing. That is, produce, publish, and promote brilliant content that earns the favor of your audience. Content that earns social favor will typically garner a natural influx of links.

Be creative in the content you produce and share. Product profiles and reviews are an ideal form of link bait for ecommerce SEO. And beyond write-ups and blogs post, a short video or insightful graphic can be the most engaging form of content.

Parallel to creating content that's creative and compelling, ensuring that your content gets exposure is equally as important. Social media plays a pivotal role in getting your content in front of the right people.

2. Be as Social as Possible

Having a strong social media presence can help maximize your content marketing and link earning potential.

In short, the more people who engage with your content, the more likely your content will be shared and linked-to.

Three of the most powerful social media platforms for ecommerce SEO are Google+, Facebook, and Twitter. Not only do these platforms facilitate sharing and link earning potential, but the likes, tweets, and +1's (social signals) that are earned can help increase the content's ranking potential.

Social media is a powerful tool that should be used in conjunction with SEO and link building. If your ecommerce brand is fresh on the social scene, start reaching out and connecting with various communities. You can leverage Facebook's ad platform to rack-up more likes to your page, or create an organic social media strategy to help grow your following. Although the gratification will not be instantaneous, the long-term rewards of building social authority can indeed help your overall SEO strategy.

3. Incentivize with Contests & Giveaways

An amazing way for your ecommerce brand to get popular is to put on a contest or sweepstakes giveaway that draws the attention of your target audience. Again social media can help immensely in promoting such offers. And once known to your audience, a contest can help garner links back to your website.

Beyond a link earning context, be sure that participants opt-in to the contest via email, social media platform (by "liking" or "following" your page,) or both. This way you can take advantage of growing your contact list for future ecommerce marketing efforts.

4. Produce Link Bait-able Content

Link bait is purely awesome content that people like, and link to. Similar to constructing a creative content marketing strategy, think of publishing something super inspiring that instills that 'ah ha' moment in your audience.

Some of the most link bait-able forms of content are:

  • Product reviews and feature profiles (especially in the form of video)
  • Infographics that are very relevant (and fun) for your target audience
  • Unbiased, customer-generated reviews on product pages
  • How-to articles and blog posts for self-enhancement
  • Interactive applications and games
  • Coupons, deals, and other creative buying incentives

5. Use Link Anchor Text Creatively

Although link earning is the best way to establish greater off-page authority for SEO, manual link building is still an effective practice. However after Google's Penguin attack on over-optimized anchor text, it's now important to diversify anchor text to appear more natural.

Mix it up and be creative with your link anchor text. Choose descriptive anchor text (over "generic anchor text") for your links, and be empathetic from the perspective of your readers. Of course some degree of keyword relevancy is important for SEO; however, be well-balanced and avoid using exact phrase match anchor text more than 30-40% of the time.

About the Author
Tyler Tafelsky offers over five years of experience in the organic SEO profession. He is an ecommerce SEO specialist here at Click Centric SEO and offers expertise in strategy development, content creation, and consulting programs. You can email him directly at Tyler(at)clickcentricseo.com or Follow him on Twitter.

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Momentous SEO Moves You Can Make in Under 1 Hour | SEOMoz Article Review

In most cases with SEO, it's the big moves that make a difference. And although it's important to commit to a long-term SEO strategy (especially for ecommerce,) small moves help to bolster the grand, long-term effort.

Although the quick and easy SEO methods of the past are obsolete and avoided today, there's still quick moves that you can make to progress your SEO efforts. Kevin Gibbons defines these as "small wins" in a brilliant article published at SEOmoz.com.

Kevin breaks-down a grand list of 96 "small wins" into categories of:

  • Research and Analysis Wins
  • Google+ and Authorship Wins
  • Events and Sponsorship Wins
  • Content Strategy and Planning Wins
  • Relationship Building Wins
  • Content Production Wins
  • Comment Marketing Wins
  • Local Wins
  • Blogger Outreach Wins
  • Penguin and Panda Penalty Review Wins
  • On-Site Optimization Wins
  • Productivity Wins
  • Link Removal Wins
  • Link Reclamation Wins
  • Competitive Analysis Wins
  • Public Relations Wins
  • Technical Wins
  • Analytics and Measurement Wins

With this list, SEO and Internet marketers can really focus on improving their weaknesses. For instance, if you need to freshen-up on the technical end of ecommerce SEO, there's a nice section dedicated to that.

This totally awesome resource at SEOmoz.com is of immense value and should be bookmarked on your browser. For those of you who do ecommerce SEO, it's the "small wins" that make up a majority of our efforts.

This blog post was put together by Tyler Tafelsky, an Internet marketing and SEO specialist here at Click Centric SEO.

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The Best Ecommerce SEO Strategy: Produce Content About "It"

There's countless online marketers and SEO enthusiasts trying to reveal the best ecommerce SEO strategy. Well, my friend, I know what that SEO strategy is. And I will share it with you.

First, you must know precisely what "it" is. From dry SEO perspective, "it" is simply your keyword target. But from an ecommerce perspective, "it" is most likely a product or brand that your online store offers.

"It" is what you want to rank for in the organic search results. To prove your website is worthy of such top rankings, you must produce quality content about "it."

Defining the Best Content to Showcase "It"

That doesn't necessarily mean write one of those keyword-stuffed "doorway" pages that are specifically designed for SEO. We don't want any of that content, and neither do your visitors.

Instead, you have to get creative and determine the best forms of content to showcase "it."

The idea is produce content that offers value, insight, education, and/or enlightenment for your target audience.

In short, you need to create valuable and meaningful content that is socially liked, appreciated, and shared throughout the web.

Yes, this purpose for this content is for real people (and not just the search engines.) Envision the outcome of your brilliant content as something super interesting that goes seriously viral. So long as your content is somewhat optimized for search (withholds some degree of keyword relevancy,) the social authority it earns will make it rank naturally in the search results.

So what are some the best forms of content for your ecommerce SEO (content marketing) strategy?

  • Articles and Blog Posts - Writing insightful articles and blog posts is easily done in house. What's nice is that these forms of text-based content can be on the same website or domain, making it easy for readers to browse around your ecommerce store after taking-in your wonderful post.
  • Videos - Producing videos are a great way to engage your audience. Some of the best videos for an ecommerce SEO strategy are product reviews and highlights. Seek to educate your audience and they'll trust you more as a store to buy from.
  • Images and Graphics - A very easy form of content to produce (especially if you have a graphic designer on hand) are images and graphics. They are also very engaging and can instill all kinds of emotions in your audience. Infographics are also cool, but require a lot more planning.

Why Content Marketing is the Best SEO Strategy for Ecommerce

Proving you know a lot about "it" shapes the level of credibility, trust, and value your audience sees in your ecommerce brand. For ecommerce SEO, producing and sharing content about "it" makes your website more relevant on "it."

If your content is widely accepted and goes socially viral, your potential for search exposure will be much greater for keywords about "it"

This whole ecommerce SEO strategy is purely a content marketing strategy. The fact of the matter is, content marketing can help your ecommerce band in multiple ways.

From brand building and public relations to inbound marketing and SEO, the advantages are vast when you produce and share superb content. The underlying focus is to ensure that your content marketing as a very clear and well-defined purpose.

About the Author

Tyler Tafelsky has over five years of experience as an organic SEO expert. Tyler is highly engaged in social media and content marketing, and advocates these channels as essential components for SEO. You can learn more by connecting with Tyler on Google+, or following Tyler on Twitter.

 

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3-Step Creative Process for Your Ecommerce Content Marketing Strategy

Content marketing on the Web is evolving the practices of SEO and Internet marketing.

As a result, almost any online business or brand can benefit from creating a content marketing strategy, especially for ecommerce.

The objective behind content marketing is to produce (and share) exceptional content (articles, videos, images, graphics, etc.) in an effort to gain the favor a targeted audience or consumer-base.

Great content can inspire, motivate, and instill loyalty, trust, and confidence in consumers. This can be highly advantageous in a competitive online marketplace.

To help get your creative juices flowing, below I share with you my simple, 3-step process of creating an ecommerce content marketing strategy.

1. Have a Clear, Well-Defined Purpose

Although it's important to have a clear purpose for any strategy, this aspect often gets overlooked amongst content creators.

I personally believe this is because some writers over-obsess about keyword relevancy (to aid their SEO efforts,) or they’re simply in a hurry to finish their content as quickly as possible.

The success of a content marketing strategy will almost always hinge on quality. This is achieved when people engage and share brilliant content, thus increasing its popularity and overall value.

Establishing a clear and well-defined purpose with your content is the pivotal planning stage that will set course for its success. To better define the purpose behind your content marketing strategy, ask yourself:

  • who is the primary target audience of my content?
  • what benefit will the audience have by engaging with my content?
  • what action (or reaction) do I wish the audience to take after engaging with my content?

Clear answers to these questions will help you develop a meaningful content marketing strategy that has righteous intentions.

2. Create Insightful Content that Provides Value

In reinforcing my previous point, the success of a content marketing strategy will mostly hinge on quality. Quality content derives from having meaning, value, and insight. In short, what can offer your audience that induces the ever-powerful "ah-ha" reaction.

For ecommerce, this can be a little tricky. Products and consumer goods are sometimes not the most exciting things to talk about. However, put yourself in the perspective of you target customer. Conjure-up your sense of empathy and ask yourself, "what form of content and insight would I find valuable if I was planning to purchase 'product X'?"

Be an Educator

In addition to finding the best deals, online shoppers are typically scouring for content about product specifications, information, reviews and comparisons.

One of the best ways to meet such needs is to be an educator with your content.

By offering accurate information and helping your audience learn about what it is they are looking for, you can position your ecommerce brand as a credible resource.

3. Be Socially Diverse and Share Your Content

Having a diverse social media portfolio is paramount for almost any online brand. From an SEO perspective, content that gains likes, shares, tweets, and +1's (social indicators) is more likely to earn top search rankings. With SEO aside, socially sharing and promoting your content on various platforms will help its visibility. If you're content is really good, it has greater potential to be shared, and ideally, go viral. In essence, social media is a must-have for almost any business model. For ecommerce marketing, social media helps to retain loyalty and credibility in a brand, while aiding content marketing and SEO.

About the Author:

Tyler Tafelsky is a SEO and content marketing specialist here at Click Centric SEO. Tyler offers over five years of experience as a content writer with a focus in organic search marketing. To learn more, you can connect with Tyler on Google+, or follow him on Twitter.

 

 

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Setting Realistic Goals for Your Ecommerce SEO Strategy

In today's evolved search space, product keywords can be insanely competitive. High authority retailers and affiliate sites are practically owning organic search, making it near impossible to earn profitable search exposure.

But don't get too discouraged. Your ecommerce SEO strategy can be a successful one. You need to be mindful (and logical) when selecting keyword targets, and set realistic goals of where you envision your site ranking.

A good SEO practice centers on realizing which keywords are attainable, and which should be avoided. For some really great keyword targets, sometimes it's just not plausible to rank number one. As a result, one must choose wisely and leverage creative means to be found. 

Do Keyword Research to a "T"

Keyword research for ecommerce SEO should be an exhaustive effort. This includes more than solely using the Google AdWords Keyword Tool. Although the AdWords Tool is a good place to gather metrics and insights, you'll want to perform some SERP analysis on you prospective keyword targets.

SERP analysis is simply assessing the competitive nature of the Search Engine Results Pages of your prospective keywords. Here you'll want to look at the top listings in the organic search results to get a feel for how well optimized each listing is. In addition to the more obvious indicators of optimization (e.g. the inclusion of keywords in the page title and meta description,) it helps to know metrics like each listing's Alexa rank, indexed pages, PageRank, and inbound link portfolio.

You can get real crazy doing this SERP analysis, and often times, getting crazy and thorough will only give you a more accurate projection of where your site stands against the competition. A great tool to make this analysis easier is the SEO Quake plug-in. This gives you insights about each listing directly from the SERPs.

You can further narrow down your specific long-tail keyword targets by using Google Suggest Search, or "Autocomplete" as research tool. This will give you an idea of the typical search behaviors of users who search more detailed keywords.

I typically save this stage in the process for the keywords I am pretty certain we'll be targeting. This helps choose the optimal naming convention or structure of the keyword's semantics (e.g. brand name, product model, model number, etc...)

Get on Google+, STAT!

The evolving standards of ecommerce SEO are rooted to socializing on Google+. In a nutshell, the social activity and connections that your brand makes on Google+ can directly influence your connections' search results.

This profound change in the SERPs centers on Google's Search plus Your World, a shift to provide more personalized search results that reflect a user’s social engagements.

As you can see in the image, the listing from Proswimwear.com is actually a Google+ post. Because I am following Proswimwear, and because I searched a very relevant keyword query with respect to their Google+ post ("TYR discount",) Google is feeding me personalize search results based on my social orientation.

The takeaway for an ecommerce company is this: get on Google+ ASAP, and start growing your following. The larger social audience you can earn on Google+, the greater potential you'll have to be seen in their search results (so long as you stay diligent at posting relevant, valuable content.)

About the author

This article written by Tyler Tafelsky, one of our ecommerce SEO specialists here at ClickCentric SEO. Email Tyler at Tyler@clickcentricseo.com or connect with Tyler on Google+.

 

 

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A New Form of Authority That's Leveling the Ecommerce SEO Playing Field

For virtually any product-related keyword search, the Google results are overwhelmed with authoritative competitors. This makes it nearly impossible for small retailers to take-on a successful ecommerce SEO strategy.

The good news for small online retailers is that the rules of ecommerce SEO are changing. In a nutshell, Google+ is helping to level the playing field. How, you might ask?

In essence, the social connections you create on Google+ can directly impact the search results the individuals who have you in their circles. For an ecommerce brand, social authority via Google+ correlates directly to SEO performance.

How Social Authority Influences SEO

The major shifts occurring in the SEO realm stem from Google's Search plus Your World. This is designed to deliver more personalized search results that correspond to users' social connects and activity.

From a big picture perspective, Search plus Your World is a quality control measure to deliver better and more relevant search results, all while reeling-in more people into its social media platform.

Search plus Your World is the basis for which social authority impacts organic SEO and search. The fact of the matter is, building more followers on Google+ can result to better visibility in Google search. Below is an example of how this works.

In one of my Google+ circles I have an online retailer called ProSwimwear. This ecommerce store sells a wide range of gear and apparel for swimming and triathlon. While I was searching Google for "compression clothing" I was shown a Google+ post by ProSwimwear in #6 spot.

Because I have ProSwimwear in my Google+ circles, and because my keyword search was very relevant to ProSwimwear's post, Google displayed their post in my personalized. search results. Also notice how this listing is very pronounced and includes an image rich snippet.

The Takeaway

The online retailers that get on Google+ sooner than their competitors can earn a big advantage for their ecommerce SEO campaign. Because Google+ is still in its early stages of growth, the brands that start establishing a loyal following can earn greater authority for SEO later on.

About the Author:

Tyler Tafelsky is an ecommerce SEO expert at Click Centric SEO. Tyler offers over five years of experience in the organic SEO profession and works with clients on local and national level. You can connect with Tyler on Twitter or Googe Plus.

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3 Benefits of Guest Blogging for Ecommerce SEO

Guest blogging is growing into a very popular and highly powerful resource for ecommerce search engine optimization (SEO). The diligent work behind guest bloggers enables ecommerce brands to expand their online presence and reach new audiences. More importantly for ecommerce SEO, guest blogging allows search engine marketers to diversifying the link portfolio of their websites, while generating link popularity from relevant, high-authority sources.

Guest blogging offers three key benefits ecommerce SEO. These include:

  • the ability to generate link popularity from new, more authoritative blogs
  • opportunities to expand the reach and audience of your great content (benefiting both inbound marketing and online brand building)
  • the potential to create new business relations and create synergy with other web marketers

Generate Authoritative Link Popularity

For most ecommerce SEO marketers who exploit guest blogging, generating popularity is the primary intentions for their work. Inbound links that stem from keyword relevant and authoritative blog articles are a huge factor in gaining top search engine rankings. And the more quality links that you can produce from a number of different blog sites, the more diverse your ecommerce site's link portfolio will appear to Google.

Before sending over a guest post to a blog owner, it is important to agree on the terms for adding links in your content. In most cases, owners of related blogs will not accept articles with links that conflict with the products or services they offer. Most blog owners will also balk on posting content with links that do not make sense, and are purely there for SEO.

Also make sure that when adding links in your guest articles to avoid over-optimizing the link anchor text. It's important to acknowledge the new standards of ecommerce SEO and that Google's Penguin update will penalize your website with too much exact phrase match anchor text. For this reason, you'll want to incorporate a blend of links with varying anchor text (such as your domain URL or phrases like "click here to learn more.".

Expand Your Content's Reach & Audience

One of the greatest benefits of guest blogging is the ability to your best content in front of a new audience of readers. Many blogs have a strong follower-base of loyal readers who look forward to new articles that offer insights and value. If you can land opportunities to write for popular blogs of the like, you can greatly expand the reach of your content, as well as the visibility and awareness of your ecommerce brand.

A powerful technique to maximize the branding impact of your guest blogging efforts is to ensure you include an author bio at the end of the article. This tells interested readers who produced the content and where they can go to connect with the author (whether that's a social media profile or a website.)

Create New Business Relationships

The work that stems from guest blogging demands diligent outreach to blog owners and content managers. Whether you plan to do some guest blogging for your own ecommerce SEO efforts, or on the behalf of your ecommerce clients, reaching out and creating new relationships can provide a wealth of benefits beyond SEO.

Creating new relationships via guest blogging can lead to lasting and meaningful connections. If you offer exceptional content to your hosts, you can position yourself as a trusted guest blogger with a significant degree of expertise and credibility in your industry or profession. Building a strong reputation amongst a valuable community of authors, business professionals, and web marketers can open the doors to a number of amazing possibilities.

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AdWords Ad Extensions Tips for Ecommerce PPC Advertising

The ad extensions feature in Google AdWords is must-utilize for ecommerce PPC advertisers. Not do ad extensions help to enhance the appearance and coverage of an ad, but they are also free to implement.

It's important to understand how use AdWords ad extensions appropriately, especially if you're doing paid search advertising for an ecommerce site. There are five main ad extensions that you can leverage for you PPC campaigns. These include:

  • Location Extensions
  • Product Extensions
  • Call Extensions
  • Sitelinks Extensions
  • Social Extensions

In this article, we are only going to focus on the three most ecommerce-relevant ad extensions. These are product, sitelinks, and social extensions.

Prelude to Using PPC Ad Extensions

First and foremost, it's imperative to understand that ad extensions are implemented on a campaign-wide basis. This is important to keep in mind because PPC campaigns are often times set-up with only a couple campaigns containing a number of vastly different ad groups.

Like ecommerce PPC management as whole, you want to be a specific and targeted as possible. Before implementing any ad extensions (particularly sitelinks or product extensions,) make sure that it will make sense across all ad groups in the campaign. If not, you may need to do some PPC optimization or campaign segmentation.

Tip for Using Product Extensions

Product extensions are one of the most powerful options for ecommerce PPC advertisers. These ad extensions are not to be confused with Google Shopping Listings, which are often seen in the top right of the Google search results.

Product extensions are ideal for more branded keyword-based PPC campaigns (not so much campaigns targeting specific products.) The idea is, when a Google users searches for a certain brand or product category of that brand, you as the PPC advertiser can leverage product extensions to offer them more specific options.

Take advantage of product extensions for popular, top selling items. This can drastically facilitate sales by minimized the conversion funnel. Think of like this: if the user clicks on a product extensions link, they are mostly likely interested in purchasing that exact product.

Tip for Using Sitelinks Extensions

As preached by many experts and Google Ads instuctors, Sitelinks offer endless opportunities to get creative with the presentation of your ads. You can use sitelinks in a similar manner as product extensions by taking Google users to more specific landing pages. However instead of adding sitelinks for products, you can leverage promotions, such as clearance or seasonal sales.

What's great about sitelinks is that they offer tremendously flexibility for ecommerce PPC campaigns. Additionally, sitelinks can help expand your ad's real estate coverage in the paid search listings. It is important ensure that you're bidding enough so that your ads are seen in the top, premium listings (typically top 3 ad spots.) Ads that are not in the premium listings will no be able to show the sitelinks.

Tip for Using Social Extensions

Social extensions are connected to an ecommerce store's Google Plus page. This extensions is very powerful for brands that have a strong Google Plus following. If your ecommerce site doesn't have very many followers, the impact is less powerful.

With social extensions, the ad will simply shows how many people have +1'd the brand's Google Plus page. What's nice about this ad extension is that you can use it make side-column (non-premium) ads standout more in the search results. Social extensions will also give your ecommerce store an added level of credibility by showing how many people have endorsed your business on Google Plus.

By taking advantage of AdWords ad extensions, you can leverage a powerful tool to help maximize your search exposure while increasing the effectiveness and conversion potential of your ecommerce PPC campaigns. It's great feature for web presence optimization and bring about the outcome for you paid search advertising efforts. For more insights, we suggest checking out the blog at YisooTraining.com for loads of tips and information.

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3 Cues That Define Solid Ecommerce SEO Services

In today's global market of SEO professionals, it's not easy pinpointing who to pick for ecommerce SEO services. Many SEO's come across as legit experts and can pitch a sound search program. But the truth of the matter is there are many misleading SEO mischiefs who fail at providing the best practices of ecommerce SEO.

I've been in the organic SEO profession for almost 6 years now. And although that's not a lot of experience compared to some SEO experts, I've learned that this industry is full sleazy scumbags who churn and burn their clients. In some respects, these sketch-meisters have given the organic SEO profession a bad name.

The good news is these unethical SEO service providers are dying breed thanks to the diligence of the Google Webspam team. In short, Google is constantly evolving the practices of ecommerce SEO, and as a result, only the strong service providers are surviving.

So if you're on the hunt for a professional ecommerce SEO company that you can trust, in this article I share with you three cues that define solid ecommerce SEO services. These hints will help you recruit a credible, honest, and capable team of SEO experts to optimize the web presence of you ecommerce site.

Custom Content Creation

One of the best indicators that a search company is offering solid ecommerce SEO services is if they provide custom and quality content creation. As most of us know, content is still the king of organic search marking, however it's the context that's changing.

Although still important, keyword rich webpages (inside pages of the core site navigation) are not as effective in the SEO game as they used to be. It's rather the content that you market and share that holds the most meaning for SEO and inbound marketing. This entails quality blog posts and articles, images and infographics, videos, and other forms of rich media. Content that's highly relevancy and offers value, such as educational and informative product profiles, wins the game for SEO.

Your ecommerce SEO service provider needs to get intimate with your brand and offering, enabling the creation of top-notch content.

Social Media Integration

In accordance to creating superb content is promoting and sharing the content with your audience. This underscores the essence of incorporating social media marketing with your organic SEO and content marketing strategy.

Google's search engine algorithm is continuously changing, and one aspect that's evident is the impact social signals (Likes, +1's, Shares, Tweets, etc.) are having on web ranking.

As a result, incorporating social sharing icons on your content is key to maximize your ecommerce SEO potential, especially for product pages.

Social media integration entails much more than just slapping up some icons and calling it good. Ecommerce social marketing is an exhaustive endeavor in itself, but it pays considerable dividends in retaining customer loyalty, as well as honest credibility in your ecommerce brand.

Because social media is having such a profound influence on Internet marketing, many companies specialize solely in social marketing services. Yet some ecommerce SEO providers incorporate these services in their arsenal as whole - which can help bring unity to various online marketing strategies.

Focused on Conversion-Orientation

What separates sufficient ecommerce SEO companies from awesome SEO providers is their ability to optimize the site for greater conversions. With online stores battling the fierce competition for customers, web traffic from SEO is often times just not enough. A powerful organic SEO strategy will encompass conversion rate optimization, or CRO.

The main focus behind conversion optimization for ecommerce sites is to generate compelling calls-to-action that lead to successful conversion goals. This can be a simple as a more visible "Add to Cart" or a graphic that shows a sales incentive.

Your ecommerce SEO service provider should go above and beyond to ensure that you site is producing sales, not just traffic. Some organic search marketing experts might disagree with me on this one, but I strongly feel this is the cornerstone to providing excellent services and keeping clients happy.

SEO for ecommerce sites is by far one of the most challenging and perplexing areas of search engine marketing. It's very important that you get very familiar with what your prospects are offering so that you invest in quality ecommerce SEO services that yield sustainability results and desirable ROI.

About the author This article was written by Tyler Tafelsky, one of our SEO experts here at ClickCentric SEO. Tyler is highly engaged in all aspects of ecommerce marketing and offers a wealth of knowledge in the SEO profession. You can contact Tyler directly via email at tyler@clickcentricseo.com or Connect with Tyler on Google+

 

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How to Use Google AdWords "Enhanced Sitelinks" to Bolster Paid Search Performance

The sitelinks extension in Google AdWords is a powerful way to help maximize the real estate of your paid search ads. In essence, the sitelinks extension enables paid search advertisers to display links to certain pages within the website.

During the early stages of testing, Google claimed that ads that included sitelinks experienced an average of 30% greater click-through rates. Additionally, for more broad-based keyword targets, sitelinks can also help facilitate conversions by taking users to a more specific landing page (a big bonus for ecommerce advertisers.)

The advantages of using sitelinks continue to grow. Now, Google will display "enhanced sitelinks" on select keyword searches that are very relevant to the advertiser.

Currently, enhanced sitelinks are automatically generated by Google, so they may vary in appearance. Nonetheless, you'll want to take advantage of sitelinks and try testing this Google AdWords ad extension. Below I show you how to do it.

Setting-Up Sitelinks Extension

Upon creating a new campaign, you'll want to enable the checkbox under the section "Ad extensions" that reads, "Sitelinks: Extend my ads with links to sections of my site."

For existing campaigns, click into the "Ad extensions" tab in the main AdWords interface of the campaign. Next, choose to view the Sitelinks extension, and proceed to set-up a "new extension."

Each sitelink that you implement should have a unique landing page, in addition to having one ad to match each sitelink. In order for the sitelinks to work properly, users must omit the "http" when entering URL's.

Depending on how keyword relevant the query is to the site, ads may display two, four, or six sitelinks. Mobile ads will show a maximum of two sitelinks.

Google suggests keeping the text for each sitelink short and concise to maximize the number of links that can be displayed in each ad.

Last Word on Enhanced Sitelinks

Enhanced sitelinks are in their early stages of adoption amongst advertiser. They will only appear in ads that are directly above the organic search results, otherwise known as the premium placements.

Paid search advertisers can increase the likelihood that their enhanced sitelinks will be displayed by improving their Quality Scores and/or increases their max bid. Stay tuned for more insights and strategies on leveraging sitelinks and other ad extensions in Google.

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