Blog items tagged with "seo"
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.
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 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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or Connect with Tyler on Google+
When it comes to on-page SEO for ecommerce sites, optimizing for the right keyword is paramount. Ecommerce sites face an extra degree of difficulty when it comes to product-related keywords. This is primarily because product-related keywords are known to be profitable, and many marketers are investing heavily to be found on those keywords.
As a result of the keyword competitiveness found in various ecommerce markets, smart SEO's are going after more specific, long-tail search terms. So instead of optimizing an online shoe store for 'Saucony running shoes' (which is extremely competitive,) a more precise keyword target that might actually lead to high rankings is "Saucony progrid guide 3 womens running shoe," (assuming the online store carries such shoes.)
How did I come up with that lengthy, seven-word target? By using Google's suggested search feature, or autocomplete.
As you start typing "Saucony progrid guide," Google suggests the Progrid models 3, 4, or 5. After following through with a model number, gender is often the next filter suggested by Google. Based on our shoe store's "inventory," we will know that "Saucony progrid guide 3 womens" is our primary keyword target, with "running shoes" as the secondary long-tail target.
In a competitive keyword category, this keyword research strategy is highly effective to gain insight on the searching behaviors of common Google users.
Use Google Suggested Search for PPC Keyword Research
Using the Google autocomplete feature is also a great way to target keywords for ecommerce PPC advertising. In any ecommerce PPC campaign, typically the more keyword-specific you can get with your ad groups, the better. By utilizing suggested search, advertisers can bid with precision on highly targeted keywords using creative bidding strategies like modified broad match.
Using the above example, we could bid on dedicated ad group for the keyword phrase "+saucony +guide +3 +womens." (Using plus signs in front of keywords is modified broad match - a highly efficient form of bidding.) The only way our ad will trigger is if all of those keywords are used in a search query.
Based on the competition in the image above, we could apply some superb PPC strategies to really stand out from lazy competitors above (except for the one at the bottom.) Spread this bidding strategy across an entire product line, and you have yourself a very powerful AdWords campaign with highly focused ad groups.
Now can you create more relevant ad copy, but your quality scores are typically lower, resulting in lower bid prices. Additionally, you can make better use of Google's Ad Extensions features, which really spruce-up the ad at no additional cost.
This article written by Tyler Tafelsky, one of our Ecommerce SEO Specialists here at ClickCentric SEO. Connect with Tyler on Google+".
The competition in ecommerce search marketing increases with each year. Nearly every corner of online business contains a blend of players with both advertising skills and deep pockets. Below is one example of the dense variety of retailers all trying to increase their visibility on the web.
So a sports retailer sells gear and memorabilia in all the major sports (basketball, baseball, football, hockey, golf, etc.) over the web. How do you market the products and compete with all the other big boys? Any query for every type of sports gear is filled with big-budget national retailers that dominate both paid and organic listings.
PPC advertising is one way to attain high search engine exposure. However, at nearly $1 per click for an exact phrase match like [mens baseball cleats], it’s easy to see how the expenses can add up in PPC advertising. The other main option is to target search engine optimization. The goal with SEO is to earn a top spot on the keyword phrase.
The chances of reaching a top spot are hard to predict because of the amount of strong competition. Not to mention SEO takes a lot of blood, sweat and tears. In the end, what should a retailer decide when exploring the possibilities of ecommerce Internet marketing? Is SEO or PPC the answer?
Long-tail Insights Are the Key
Search engine users are more precise with their keyword phrases than ever these days. The habit of Internet consumers is to search a long-tail keyword phrase reflecting the particular product they’re seeking. Simply put, the phrase will include three or more words specifying a product, such as “louisville slugger genesis” or “louisville slugger genesis baseball bag.”
Knowing the tendencies of long-tail search is critical for ecommerce SEO as well as PPC, particularly with limited budgets and close competition. Google’s Instant feature is an ideal tool to increase your scope on these trends with relation to your ecommerce website’s keyword-targeted-phrases. From the results given by Google Instant, it seems like “louisville slugger genesis wheeled bag” is a long-tail keyword worth targeting.
We can create highly-targeted ads specifically for this equipment bag as a means of ecommerce PPC. By doing so, our ad has a chance to stand out from the rest. The headline of “Louisville Slugger Genesis Wheeled Bag” may pertain to searches more than the average “Louisville Slugger Genesis.” For retailers with a limited advertising budget, testing ecommerce PPC waters with long-tail keyword targeting is a smart move. Bid on keywords using only [exact phrase match] to start.
You can also use modified broad match to capture anything relevant that included any of your specified terms. Bidding on a keyword phrase using the modified broad match might look similar to this +Louisville +Slugger +Genesis. This bidding strategy will only trigger your ads when each of those three words are used in a query.
Using Ecommerce PPC to Test SEO Keywords
Search engine optimization is a lengthy endeavor, so it’s important that the chosen keyword targets produce sales. It’s great if we can accomplish a top keyword ranking, but the real goal is conversions. Without the conversions, the SEO campaign’s a bust.
One of the most effective strategies in ecommerce Internet marketing is to use PPC to test the sales of a variety of potential keywords before optimizing for them with SEO. For huge online retailers with endless products, PPC can be one of the best testing procedures for search engine optimization. Typically if a keyword produces sales in PPC advertising, then it will most likely convert organic SEO traffic. The point here is to highlight the keywords that produce the most sales via PPC and decide which of those keywords should be used for ecommerce SEO.
If a keyword is new and unfamiliar, test it for a while with PPC until the statistics are relevant enough to evaluate its sales and SEO potential. Part of the keyword selection process is taking into consideration how competitive each keyword is and whether or not achieving a top ranking is possible. The organic listings for some keywords are too competitive for ecommerce SEO, no matter how successful a keyword converts from PPC.
Localize Your Campaigns
Some retailers have a local market focus allowing them to set-up ecommerce PPC campaigns targeting specific geographic areas.
This enables marketers to write targeted ads with locally-centered content, like “Product of the Napa Valley” or “Found only in…” These ads will stand out from generic keyword phrasing cluttering up the SERPs. A lot of times, users are searching for products locally. Their queries might include a geo-modifier, such as “sporting goods in Kalamazoo.”
If you own an ecommerce site, but also have a physical location of business, you definitely want to consider developing a local SEO strategy. The process of geo-optimizing your website is simple. Make sure to mention the city or region your store is located in throughout the content of your site. You can include your store address in the footer for starters.
Also include your geographic target in your URLS, Page Titles and Meta Descriptions of your optimized pages will help your website significantly for geographic matching in local searches.
The idea to localize your ecommerce Internet marketing campaign may seem strange when you’re also trying to sell products on a national level. But if you’re also looking for foot traffic then the decision to locally optimize is a no-brainer.
Socialize the Marketing Campaign
Social media plays a part in pretty much every Internet marketing campaign. When it comes to ecommerce Pay Per Click advertising and organic SEO, social media is the ribbon complementing the gift.
Social media is budget-friendly, extremely interactive and always has the potential to go viral for your ecommerce brand. Think about the viewpoint of your target market. Are they using social media platforms? Which ones?
Facebook and Google + are the most frequented due to their popularity. But a social media campaign goes further than just identifying. Building a following and interacting with your followers in specific ways is how you solidify your campaign.
Social media, if done correctly, can really complement all SEO and PPC efforts. The goal is to build a brand while consistently bringing in traffic to your website. Social media platforms may contribute a little to the SEO effort, but for the most part, social media should be approached with an inbound marketing strategy.
How can you lure a potential customer to your ecommerce site?
The End Result
The most successful search marketing campaigns use a mixture of search engine optimization, pay per click advertising and social media marketing. Email marketing can be important too, but that could be covered in a whole other blog post. Study your target market’s interests and slowly assemble your campaign in a way which will relate to them best. Patience is critical as you make your way into PPC and SEO. Internet marketing for an ecommerce brand is relentless. Know your strategies are effective before pouring too much time and money into a campaign.
This article was contributed by Kyle Blasco
For many product-related keyword categories, the ecommerce SEO playing field is fierce with many big budget retailers dominating the SERPs. Although these competitors may be intimidating for your organic SEO efforts, there are usually ways to get around them. Being an educator is one.
Successful SEO for ecommerce sites demands a good understanding of the buying behaviors of online shoppers. A vast majority of online shoppers are better defined as browsers, or info seekers who are still in the pre-purchasing phases of the buying cycle. These individuals are purely seeking information to help aid their decision.
Common pre-purchasing behaviors of online browsers include:
- learning as much as they can about the product before they buy it
- seeking out unbiased reviews of the product
- comparing the features of similar models
This is when being an educator is clutch for ecommerce SEO. Instead of optimizing only product pages, maybe you can optimize a page for reviews? Or perhaps a product 'FAQ' page? Or Video? To help get your creative juices flowing, we provide a couple examples of how being an educator wins for ecommerce SEO.
Superb Use of a Sub-Domain
Just the other day I was doing some research for a new pair of running shoes, particularly for triathlon. I've been noticing a lot of the pro triathlete wearing Newton running shoes, so I decided to learn more about what makes this brand so special. I submitted the search query 'newton triathlon shoes' in Google.
The first thing I noticed was www.TriSports.com dominating the top two search listings. But what really stood out was this listing at the #5 spot: "Genious..,"
I thought to myself as I delved into highly informative write-up (with the subtle "Buy Now" button) all about Newton's new MV model shoe. TriSports created a sub-domain called the TriSports University which profiles certain products with very thorough analyses. In essence, the write-up was a thorough review that touched on many of the specific details that the average shopper wants to know.
It covered how well the shoes perform under certain conditions, all of the minute features and benefits of the shoes, as well as the primary pitfalls of the product. Not only did this write-up help my decision on buying the Newtons (in which I did,) it made me perceive TriSports as a trusted ecommerce store that knows what they're doing.
Owning it with Rich Media Reviews
The organic search listings for product-related queries can be a bit overwhelming, especially for broad searches like "arcteryx jackets reviews." One form of rich media that makes a prominent appearance in the search results is video.
Creating and optimizing review-focused videos is a great way to capture search engine exposure (naturally, without building links.) The search results shown above reflect the keyword query "arcteryx jackets reviews." The listing that really stood out to me was the video.
The creator of the video (www.missionreadyequipment.com) does a good job at explaining some of the features of a couple different Arcteryx brand jackets, however the company fails to provide a good call to action. Nonetheless, their video has earned over 14,000 views and it holds a great ranking for a very popular search.
Additionally, the video is educational and speaks to a very specific target market. The practice of creating review-based videos can be momentous for ecommerce SEO and organic search marketing.
The trick is to optimize videos to maximize there organic SEO potential. In addition to keyword optimizing the video properties, a good way to do this is create a video sitemap on your ecommerce website. In a nutshell, search engine like Google love video sitemaps and they help to get your videos found in the organic search listings.
Blogging All About It
While looking for costume ideas on some 'sailing clothing' sites for sarcastic 'yacht club' party, I came upon a well-optimized ecommerce site called Point Loma Outfitting. I saw that they had a blog, so for sh**ts and giggles I thought I'd take a peek.
I noticed they had a blog post about "Camet sailing clothing" with a video as the many feature of the post. Naturally, my organic SEO instincts directed me to Google where I searched that exact phrase match 'camet sailing clothing'.
Sure enough, Point Loma was sitting pretty at the #2 spot, along with the video they featured in their blog post at #5. I decided to glance at the blog again to test its true effectiveness. After seeing a blog post about the arrival of the new 'SLAM Force 4 Series Foul Weather Gear', I decided to search the phrase 'slam force 4'. It turns out that Point Loma is killing it.
In addition to the company's impressive display of video SEO, they seem to understand the power behind content marketing via blogging. I tip my hat to the organic SEO's of Point Loma. Well done.
Be More Than Just an Ecommerce Site. Be an Institution.
Educating potential customers can instill a high degree of trust and credibility in your ecommerce store. Additionally, offering valuable content can naturally earn link popularity for the benefit of organic SEO. The underlying takeaway to becoming a good educator for ecommerce SEO: be creative in what you offer, and strategic in how you offer it.
This article written by Tyler Tafelsky, one of our Ecommerce SEO Specialists here at ClickCentric SEO.
Virtually all ecommerce sites rely on a blend of online marketing and advertising to capture more customers. Nowadays it's becoming even more challenging, for the competition has become very intense and simply establishing a good ecommerce website will not guarantee its success.
In essence, ecommerce marketers must be creative and strategic to earn an edge over big competitors. There are several strategies that will help to ensure your ecommerce website attracts quality traffic that is more prone to convert.
Below we share three of the most powerful strategies to help optimize your ecommerce marketing efforts
- Offer incentives: Most online shoppers are thrifty in that they often seek the products with the best prices. In short, the average customer will buy from an ecommerce website that has a good deal. It is thus important to employ such marketing efforts creatively without investing a great deal of ad dollars. If you want to offer incentives without breaking your bank, consider leveraging second tier products as promotional pieces. Typically offering incentives and promotions of Incentives not only encourage customers to buy, but they also ensure that your customers return as well as recommend you to others. Email and social media marketing for ecommerce sites is a great way to promote incentives to both new and existing customers, depending on the nature of the campaign.
- 2) Take advantage of social media: Social networking sites, video sharing sites and other social media platforms have taken the Internet by storm. There is immense value in using social media to leverage and manage customer loyalty for increased brand awareness and website promotion. Social media brings you greater conversion potential since you will be getting targeted web traffic for minimal investment. This is mostly because only those individuals who know what you are offering will end up on your website. Social media is also advantageous in that it allows you to get valuable feedback from customers as well as engage and interact with customers on a personal level. The trick is post only valuable, unique content on your Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and/or Pinterest accounts. The content of your social posts should be engaging and interesting, and more times often than not, encourage users to take action. You could make games and contests to get more people to engage with your ecommerce site. You could also attract new customers by offering an irresistible offer or coupon. Be proactive and engaging and this will motivate your fans, followers, and subscribers to spread your brand image through sharing and the likes.
- Optimize marketing for mobile: More and more people are using the Internet on mobile devices. In fact, statistics show that up to 79% of U.S. customers use a smartphone to compare prices, locate retailers, find product information, and make online purchases. There is also a significant number of people who are using other mobile devices like PDAs and tablets for shopping. Take advantage of this by ensuring key pages of your ecommerce websites are mobile-friendly. In some cases a custom mobile application could be the best investment for ecommerce marketing. It is also important to ensure that the checkout process from mobile devices is secure and straightforward. When making a mobile-friendly ecommerce store, ensure that the platform has such exclusive mobile features like mobile store promotions via emails, check-ins, SMS offers, and GPS localization. Mobile website optimization is a critical consideration for ecommerce sites, and it's becoming even more important as mobile becomes even more popular.
The competition in ecommerce marketing is growing to be more intense year by year. Not only is it difficult to pursue ecommerce SEO and other forms of search engine marketing, but simply establishing a web presence and solid customer bases is a challenge in itself. Before you unleash you ecommerce site or web marketing campaign, be sure to have a sound ecommerce strategy in place.
This article written by Tyler Tafelsky, one of our Ecommerce SEO Specialists here at ClickCentric SEO.
Ecommerce sites are conceptually similar in that they all have product categories, subcategories, product pages, shopping carts, and checkout processes. This makes the fundamentals of ecommerce search engine optimization, (SEO) relatively universal for most online stores; however, there are still a number of intricacies that contribute to better rankings.
In this article, we outline some of the most important concepts of SEO for ecommerce sites. Acknowledging these three components of search engine optimization will help you create a more prominent presence in the organic search results.
1. Optimize Product-Level Pages
Product pages are some of the most important page for ecommerce SEO. These are the pages that contain unique, value-driven content that is often optimized for specific (often times long-tail) keyword targets. When optimizing product-level pages for ecommerce SEO:
- always do keyword research to know the exact keyword target/search query per product.
- ensure all page text is crawl-able by search engine spiders.
- make strategic use of headers, strong tags, and other content elements while optimizing product pages.
- mention key product features, specifications, unique selling propositions in the content.
- implement rich media like videos and image galleries.
- infuse user-generated customer reviews on each product page.
- display related products or additional selling pushes, such as 'products that might go good with this product' or ‘customers who bought this, also bought that.’
2. Proper Page Classification
Classifying pages on your ecommerce site is highly important to bolster category pages that have been optimized for ‘short tail’ keyword queries and generic searches. Proper page classification also ensures a more intuitive navigation and browsing experience for users (which also translates to better conversion rates). For effective classification of pages:
- assign and organize product-level pages under tiers for product categories and subcategories.
- organize the each product category into a hierarchy.
- focus on more short-tail keyword optimization when doing category level SEO (such as brands or broad-based categories.)
- List and link all relevant product level pages on each category page.
3. Avoid Duplicate Content
Duplicate content is common problem for ecommerce sites and can negatively impact your SEO efforts. In many cases, particularly with content management system (CMS) software, pages may be generated without acknowledging issues with duplicate content. Whether this be duplicate page titles and meta data, page copy, or complete pages, you'll want to be mindful of many considerations, including:
- avoid duplicate content both on-page and off-page.
- ensure that your have unique category pages (that show no signs of overlapping with other related pages and more importantly, have unique product pages.
- assign source attribution to products by adding parameters to URLs.
- when doing affiliate marketing, have alternate versions of your product information in different feeds. Create different sets of descriptions, titles, and other elements.
- consider having select fields in the different feeds, reserving the full product data set for your website.
- use Google Webmaster Tools, check search engine indexes and do analysis to identify and to eliminate duplicate content. These are three core components of SEO for ecommerce sites that must not go overlooked.
Although there are many other factors that go into the optimization of an ecommerce store, these three are the most essential can make or break your search engine optimization campaign.
In addition to these essentials mentioned above, cohesive ecommerce SEO campaigns will almost always include social media marketing as well as a number of off-page SEO strategies, such as link building, content marketing, and ongoing public relations management.
The idea is build a strong ecommerce brand through a number of channels, with SEO being the base for increased exposure in the search results.
This article written by Tyler Tafelsky, one of our Ecommerce SEO Specialists here at ClickCentric SEO.
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.