Blog items tagged with "strategy"
Here at Click Centric SEO, we're focused on shaping what defines the "best ecommerce SEO company". That query is actually a popular keyword phrase that is searched in Google (most likely from ecommerce stores and other ecommerce SEO companies checking their rankings.) Let us be honest: we're really interested being the best SEO company for ecommerce sites.
In actualization of our core competencies here at Click Centric SEO, we've defined the ideal SEO program for ecommerce sites. It's a cohesive blend of technical SEO, website optimization, backlink building, and social media marketing.
Technical SEO centers on the nuts and bolts of your ecommerce site - HTML coding, scripts, Schema, etc. While there are many approaches to technical SEO for ecommerce sites, there are a few primary areas worth mentioning.
One of which is renaming URLs to be keyword relevant (and 301 redirecting the old URLs to the new). Instead of sloppy URLs like /product-id=321/, it would be more advantageous for SEO to have URLs that read something like vintage-cycling-jerseys (or whatever the keyword targets for each page page.)
Schema is also vital component of technical SEO that's becoming increasingly important, especially for competitive ecommerce SEO landscapes. Schema is dedicated sub-set of HTML markup that is used to define certain pieces of content on a page.
There are various tags that tell search engines what a
page is all about (i.e. Brand, Product, etc.) as well as what specific parts of content are on those pages (i.e. Price, Units in Stock, etc.)
Schema can give your ecommerce SEO program a significant advantage over your competitors. Although Schema has been active for a couple years now, most ecommerce SEO's have yet to leverage Schema. In an effort to be the best one of the best SEO providers in the business, we value Schema and technical SEO a key components to our ecommerce SEO services.
Website optimization is similar to technical SEO in that the central focus is to improve the performance of your site from a technical and usability perspective. Website optimization is best defined as strategic mix of techniques to:
- "optimize" the content of your website to ensure it's unique, keyword relevant, compelling and speaks the voice of your brand
- improve site load speed and how fast your pages render (load speed can actually correlate to better rankings)
- enhance the usability and blueprints to your site's navigation
- integrate a conversion rate optimization (CRO) strategy and intelligent use of call-to-actions (CTA's)
In short, website optimization is the foundation to actualize the fullest potential investing with ecommerce SEO. Without the latter pillars deeply rooted into your website, the other SEO components will have limited potential.
As the powerhouse to any SEO program, links that come from social profiles, blogs, websites, directories, etc. (and direct to your website) are like votes of credibility and popularity. Earning and building links from authoritative and relevant sources can drastically increase your domain's authority. In other words, domain authority and backlinks improve your ecommerce site's potential to rank in Google.)
Additionally, the link anchor text can also impact keyword relevancy. See the example above of a "keyword-optimized backlink" that intentionally use keywords in the anchor text. While some keyword-optimized anchor text is good for ecommerce SEO and improving rankings, it's vital to ensure a natural balance of links - in terms of the source and the anchor text of those links.
A natural looking backlink profile for ecommerce website would include links from various sources (i.e. articles, review sites, blogs, press releases, web directories, etc.) Further, creating a natural backlink profile uses variety of anchor text (i.e. www.DomainName.com, (Brand Name), Click Here, (Product Name), Website, etc.)
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing has profound influence on SEO, and as a result, it's an integral component to us becoming the best ecommerce SEO company. Social signals (shares, likes, tweets, pins, +1's, etc.) are like backlinks in how they function to attribute quality content that may be worthy of increased search engine rankings.
The social media marketing of our SEO company focuses on the following action items.
1. Optimize your brand's social profiles - establishing, claiming, and/or verifying your Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook, and Pinterest is the starting place to organizing your social media presence.
2. Follow influencers - sharing great content ultimately contributes to your popularity and growth. We can help by fully managing or consulting your team with strategies on how to go about connecting with other influential people, brands, and organizations.
3. Establish various content sources - pinpoint several websites and blogs to pick great articles worth sharing. Ideally, the blog on your ecommerce site will the strongest asset for an SEO-driven social media strategy.
4. Create a social media posting schedule - In addition to defining how many posts to do in a week, try to cap your daily posts at 2-3. At minimum, shoot for 2-3 per week on each social platform.
The best ecommerce site SEO company can help your business achieve these objectives by providing done-for-you ecommerce SEO services or consulting programs. At Click Centric SEO, we offer both of these options to improve your social media and ecommerce SEO efforts.
Actualize Your Ecommerce SEO Strategy
If you're interested in help increasing your brand's search engine exposure, then learn more about working with our experts at Click Centric SEO and contact us. We can help you actualize your ecommerce SEO strategy for sustainable rankings that generate results.
With 2016 soon approaching, many ecommerce sites are restructuring their approach to SEO. With SEO strategies and best practices continuously evolving to the new standards of Google's search algorithm, there is no better time to revamp and optimize an ecommerce SEO program.
To help shed light on the vital areas that could use attention, below is a brief 10-step SEO checklist for ecommerce sites entering 2016.
10-Steps to Better SEO for Ecommerce Sites
While you could hire a SEO expert to conduct an ecommerce SEO site audit to address most of these elements, most of the following aspects can be handled with basic knowledge and access to the right tools. They include:
1. Pinpoint HTML Errors
Ecommerce sites are deep and highly technical. Any issues negatively impacting search engine crawling and indexing can plague SEO. Check Google Webmaster Tools to pinpoint any obvious HTML errors. Further, use tools like W3C Markup Validation Service to ensure the ecommerce site is error free.
2. Check for Broken Links
Similar to the latter process of pinpointing HTML, make sure all broken links and 404 errors are corrected. These can hinder SEO and should be fixed with proper redirects.
3. Scan the Site's Backlink Profile
Using tools like A href's, Majestic, or SEO SpyGlass, get a full picture of the backlinks pointing to the ecommerce site. Audit both the sources and anchor text of the links. Spammy links can be disavowed. Further, too much optimized anchor text (keyword-stuffed anchor text) can indicate that any future link building should be done in natural fashion (using anchor text like "domain.com," "click here," or "learn more.")
4. Are You Using Schema Markup?
If you're not using any form of Schema markup (i.e. Product Schema for product pages,) then this is the year to get on board. While Google has yet to admit any correlation of using Schema and seeing better rankings, many ecommerce SEO's claim to experience dramatic improvement in search engine visibility.
5. Enhance Titles & Meta Data
Writing new page titles and meta descriptions for each page might be a bit much for an ecommerce site. But take a look at your top 10-20 pages generating the most organic search traffic and assess the page titles and meta data.
Are your titles keyword-relevant and under 63 characters? Are you meta descriptions creative, compelling, and under 154 characters. Writing great copy for these small yet significant page attributes has been shown to increase click-through rates, as well as uplift rankings.
6. Audit Your Page Copy
Similar to auditing the page titles and meta descriptions (which are visible in Google's search results), read over the copy populating your top pages. Does the copy reflect the voice of your ecommerce brand? Is it accurate, grammatically correct, and unique? Do you have at least 200 or so words on your key money pages?
7. Evaluate Your Ecommerce Site's Footer
Because footers are site-wide, or on all pages of your site, any links in the footer get special search engine attention.
Not all footers are created equal. For this reason, make sure your site's footer is aligned with your ecommerce SEO strategies. For example, having a section labeled "Most Popular Posts" is a great place to link a few of your best, traffic-generated blog posts. Further, you can link to "Top Products," "Video Reviews," and other linkable SEO assets in your footer.
8. Expand Your Sitemaps
Using a sitemap, or many segmented sitemaps, is essential for ecommerce SEO and ensuring proper crawling and indexing of your key money pages. If you current sitemap only contains a few major pages in your site's navigation, then it's time to expand. Because ecommerce sites often have thousands of pages, try developing segmented sitemaps based on various product categories or brands. There are no rules, but do apply a layer of logic and organization to constructing your sitemaps.
9. Assess Your Social Media Status
If you've been slow to embrace social media in 2015, now is the time to establish a presence on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, and LinkedIn (at very least.) These social media platforms can greatly help fuel your ecommerce SEO efforts.
10. Craft a Content Strategy
In addition to being powerful channel for inbound marketing, content marketing is one of the best supplements to ecommerce SEO. First, determine the various types of content that you're capable of creating (i.e. articles, blog posts, video, graphics, etc.) Next, make a list of questions, problems, solutions, and topics that you want to convey in your content. Lastly, create the content and get it published, whether on your ecommerce site, or on another relevant sources (preferably one that gets a lot of traffic.)
Here at Click Centric SEO, we often focus our work on ecommerce SEO and search marketing (PPC advertising, etc) Any yet, when we work with ecommerce clients, we advocate a more cohesive approach that centers on managing an ecommerce brand's complete web presence.
Parallel to the evolution of SEO and Google's algorithmic changes is the needed to embrace a comprehensive strategy that focuses on various aspects of web marketing and online brand building. Web presence management is one of the best ways to define this new approach as it takes into account several key variables which we go into greater detail below.
Embracing Web Presence Management Cohesively
What's different about web presence management compared to other forms of managing and building an online brand is cohesiveness. This approach brings together several aspects of Internet marketing and branding, and each work together in unison to grow a company's online presence.
The questions below reflect the primary components of web presence management. Answering each questions honestly might shed light on where you can improve the optimization and management of your ecommerce brand's web presence. For additional resources for web presence optimization, visit our sister company, WebPresenceGroup.net.
Are You Investing Enough In Social Media?
Investing in social media comes in many forms, such as:
- investing time and energy building a social media presence on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc.
- investing in social media advertising to reach new people to grow your audience
- investing time and energy finding quality content to share
- investing in the interaction and engagement with your audience
The social media presence of your ecommerce brand will ultimately influence its growth in many ways, particularly SEO and domain authority. How?
This is the role having a content strategy will play in web presence management.
Do You Have A Content Strategy In Place?
A content strategy is the glue that holds together your social media and SEO efforts. The creation of kick-ass content that resonates with you target audience provides the tangible means of having something awesome to share on social media.
Not only can this awesome content conjure a lot of likes, shares, tweets, and other social signals (making your content more legit in the eyes of Google,) but any links stemming from your content can be magnified, especially when they direct to key money pages or product pages on the cusp of high rankings.
While there are many ways to embrace content marketing and creating a content strategy, get creative and tap into interesting means that will spark the interests of your target audience. For ecommerce, in-depth articles, product review videos, image-packed and idea-rich blog posts are just a few good places to start.
What Are You Doing To Improve Your Search Engine Presence?
Sure, you've done some SEO on your ecommerce site and made your product pages are keyword relevant. But that's just 20% of the SEO equation.
What are doing off-site to support your SEO objectives (i.e. link outreach, network, blogging, etc.)?
Are you experimenting with PPC advertising to market your money products on search?
Where are most of your links coming from and how can you diversify your site's backlink profile.
Again, web presence management centers on cohesiveness and exploring all avenues to cultivate success. Focusing only on link building, or only on social, will only pose limitations in the growth of your web presence.
Ecommerce SEO is a battle that many retailers fight (often times for years) and lose within time. Achieving sustainable search engine placement and out-ranking the Amazon's and eBay's of the web is incredibly tough. But it's not impossible.
What does it take to be atop these heavy hitters and hold high search rankings for the long-haul? Below we delve into some of the primary pillars that are vital to cultivate a sustainable ecommerce SEO strategy that delivers results for years (not just a few weeks.)
The On-site SEO Basics
There's on-page SEO and there's on-site SEO. Although many in the industry find these terms synonymous, they are actually a slightly different.
You can think of on-site SEO as the all-encompassing effort of ensuring your ecommerce site is properly optimized across all pages (i.e. sitemaps, schema markup, internal linking, etc.) While on-page SEO focuses more on the specific details and intricacies of optimizing a page (i.e. keyword-relevant titles, Meta data, copy, etc.)
To cover the on-site SEO basics, follow our Ultimate SEO Checklist for Ecommerce Sites. Here you find a quick run-down on the basic necessities of on-page and on-site SEO for ecommerce sites.
Growing Social Media Presence
Growing your social media presence should be equally as important as growing your keyword rankings in Google. A strong social media presence on Google+, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and other relevant channels is a powerful asset that can have a profound impact on your store's bottom line.
Not only does social media fuel direct traffic and sales for your ecommerce site, but it also helps to ignite your SEO efforts and content strategy (below). There's also an emerging buzzword called "social authority," and it makes a lot of sense from an SEO perspective.
In short, an ecommerce brand with loads of Facebook page likes, Google +1's, Twitter and Pinterest followers, etc. is attributed with great social authority. And what better mechanism for Google to determine ecommerce sites worthy of higher rankings?
Invest some marketing dollars in social media advertising and build your audience. Naturally growing a social media presence (via a content strategy) is pretty challenging, but not impossible. Your team can accelerate this process by getting new followers on-board to help share and spread awareness of all things awesome about your brand.
Fresh, Audience-Focused Content (On The Reg)
The next primary pillar to a sustainably-performing ecommerce SEO strategy is devise and implement a content strategy (or "content marketing strategy"). There are many possibilities to create audience-focused content, but ultimately, originality (evergreen content) and value are vital aspects to keep top of mind.
Product review videos are always a great approach, as evergreen videos (produced by your ecommerce store) placed on key product pages or rank-worthy money pages brings SEO value to those pages.
Focusing on long-form content is also a great content strategy, particularly if you're selling high-dollar items that require deep customer research and contemplation. Long-form content is comprised of in-depth articles that focus on specific topics, products, and applications.
Get your ecommerce marketing team together and brainstorm some stellar ideas to cultivate a content strategy. Just make sure to create a schedule and keep pushing out brilliant content on the reg (regular, that is ;).
Authoritative, Relevant Backlinks
While your awesome content should hopefully earn the likes of your social media audience (and thus earn some backlinks as a result,) this practice is often much easier said than done. Earning links requires an exceptional content strategy that's executed to perfection.
In most cases, manual link generation is need to produce results. And while we don't always recommend link building, when we do, it's absolutely important to take a very natural approach and build links mindfully using relevant sources and a very balanced anchor text profile.
While the best links are earned naturally via brilliant content that people link to, it can be beneficial to jump-start an ecommerce SEO strategy by manually publishing content on quality sources to direct links back to your site. Although this a consider "gray-hat" SEO, there's really no other option to be a strong contender in a competitive search market. In short, authoritative, relevant backlinks will help to build domain authority all while helping to establish keyword relevancy (two key drivers to sustainable rankings.)
Last but most certainly not least, the nuts and bolts behind the ecommerce site (the HTML backend) needs to be fluid and free of HTML errors and warnings. In essence, a technically fluid website enable search engine spiders to seamlessly crawl and index a site without getting choked up on broken code, flash media, or other roadblocks negatively impacting performance.
A good place to check the technical fluidity of your ecommerce site is the W3C Markup Validator which will highlight HTML errors and warning present throughout your site. Another good place to look as your site's Google Webmaster Tools account. Both of these sources can help you pinpoint problem areas that are hindering the technical performance of your ecommerce site (and thus its ability to rank as hard as possible.)
As provider of ecommerce SEO services, how many times have you heard this:
"One keyword we would really like to rank for is 'Samsung TVs'" (or some other extremely competitive keyword.)
And you're probably thinking "Oh sure. That will only take us about 2 years to see page one of Google."
You know it, and you wish your ecommerce SEO clients did too. Short-tail ecommerce keywords are insanely competitive. So much so that, more often than not, these competitive keywords are not even worth your time and energy.
What your ecommerce SEO strategy needs is solid list of low-competitive long-tail keywords that are actually attainable and will drive your clients profitable traffic. But finding these golden long-tails is not an easy task. You need to drill, and you need to drill deep.
In this article, I will share with you a couple of my favorite resources and go-to techniques to uncovering money-in-the-bank long-tails that generate results and keep clients happy.
Have a Purposeful Direction
Before you actually start doing your long-tail keyword research, you'll need to have a clear idea of the keyword category you're going after. This is done by analyzing the site, its relevancy and authority, and its current rankings on the keyword category of interest.
As a result of this analysis, you can gain a better understanding of which keyword categories are actually attainable. It also helps to get some feedback from your client, so you keep them happy. Between the ecommerce site and the client's primary areas of interest, you can determine a purposeful direction for your research.
In our example, we know that the client is interested in ranking for "Samsung TVs," and after our analysis, we've concluded that site is relevant on (and ranking in the top 50) for "Samsung TVs" and a few related terms.
Seeing Samsung.com and few heavy hitters ranking at the top of page one, I can conclude that it's going to be near impossible to actually rank in the top 3 for "Samsung TVs." Thus, I commence my long-tail keyword research using the following resources.
Play with Google's Suggested Search (or Google "Autocomplete")
One of the best resources for long-tail keyword research is Google's suggested search or "Autocomplete" feature. Here I will start typing in my core keyword, "Samsung TVs", and see what Google offers me.
Because the client has competitive prices and sales on Samsung TVs, I am immediately drawn to the suggested search around "Samsung TVs on sale." So, I go down that road.
Simply by adding the word "on" to "Samsung TVs on" I see a few more potential options from Google's autocomplete. If it was black friday, "Samsung TVs on black friday" would make for a nice press release or article. The keyword that really jumps out is "Samsung TVs on sale this week." This is because the client does, in fact, do a rotating sale per week on a different Samsung TV. Boom.
So, I add this to my list of potential long-tails to target, and later do some competitive analysis around that term (more on this below).
Take a Look at "Searches related to..."
At the bottom of each SERP, Google shows "Searches related to (whatever keyword you searched)." Here you can play with all types of keyword variations and explore new ideas.
Click on any links to show the SERP for the given keyword. You can go down all types of roads that might be aligned with your ecommerce SEO goals.
Poke Around on Google's Keyword Planner Tool
Although many ecommerce SEO's start their keyword research using Google's Keyword Planner Tool, I typically use this tool at the end of my long-tail research. The Keyword Planner Tool will often display an abundance of very competitive keywords that I am simply not interested in. My true purpose for using the tool it see how popular my potential keywords are.
I can see that "Samsung TVs on sale this week" gets 20 searches per month (which is very approximate, and a number that I shouldn't depend on.) However, this is enough information to tell me that the keyword is legit and worth exploring further.
The Keyword Planner Tool can help come up with good ideas for ecommerce SEO; however, I think the tool has greater value for PPC advertising. Nonetheless, check it out and see if it helps aid your research.
Compile Your Findings and Review Your Competitors
Keyword research for ecommerce SEO extends far beyond finding relevant keywords with legitimate search volumes. Like any good approach to keyword research and selection, assessing the competition is important to yield a successful outcome.
After you have a list of potential long-tail keywords, you should take the time to search each phrase one by one to get a lay of the competing sites. If you're dealing with Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart, and other big time retailers that are dominating the top 5, you might want to scratch the keyword.
However, if there's only 1 or 2 big time retailers up top and a few other random sites that don't appear to be specifically optimized for the long-tail, then we might have a good shot.
You can take your competitor review to the next level by performing a backlink scan, analyzing domain-level metrics (indexed pages, PageRank, Alexa Rank, etc,) and assessing the extent of keyword optimization for the URL that's ranking. This might seem a bit heavy, but hey, this research is critical if you want to ensure your SEO energy is invested in the right keywords.
The Last Word
In short, ecommerce SEO is no walk in the park. Big budgets are usually involved in most ecommerce SEO campaigns. And you don't want to spend months and months trying to get in the top 5, only to learn later on that the top ranking sites are incredibly authoritative. Don't be lazy. Do your homework, and rank on, my friend.
About 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.
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.
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
About 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+.
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.
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).
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.
Ecommerce SEO can be a complex undertaking that demands a higher degree of effort and consideration compared to typical websites. In addition to optimizing a robust site (that may contain hundreds and thousands of pages,) ecommerce SEO is typically more keyword competitive as well.
In short, there's just a lot that goes into the SEO process for an online store. Although the best results are attained with a professional ecommerce SEO company, there are a number of on-site SEO tasks that can be handled in-house by a webmaster or tech-savvy marketing team.
In this article we share several SEO processes that are essential for ecommerce sites. Think of all of these processes as your ultimate SEO checklist for your ecommerce store.
Your Ecommerce SEO Checklist
- Define keyword optimization naming convention - This doesn't sound as technical as it may seem. A "keyword optimization naming convention" is simply the semantic structure of words that you use for essential SEO elements (namely the Meta Title.) Because ecommerce sites are often so deep with pages, it's best to write a consistent naming convention for the Title and other parts of a page. A good place to start in developing SEO-friendly naming conventions is with the brand name and then the primary keyword phrase (or product name.) So your naming convention formula might be "[Brand] [Product Name] | [Ecommerce Store Name]" (e.g. "Nike Flex Trainer 2 Shoes | EcommerceShoeStore.com.") You can also apply naming conventions for URLs, Meta Descriptions, and other important content elements with SEO value.
- Always write unique page copy - One of the biggest SEO mishaps that ecommerce stores face is duplicate content. This often stems from using generic product descriptions provided by manufacturers. The problem is that the same product descriptions are found on various other websites (perhaps even competitors'.) As a result of using generic content, the SEO value of your product pages is significantly diminished (if not entirely obsolete.) Instead, take the time to write unique and compelling product descriptions. This might demand the help of an experienced copywriter, but the investment is usually well worth it.
- Keyword optimize media files – Most individuals who know a thing or two about SEO are familiar with keyword optimizing the ALT tag for images. However only few keyword optimize the entire file before uploading it to the website. To do this, name your media files with respect to your keyword targets (which is typically logical for product page image.) Additionally, you can modify the properties of images to be more keyword relevant. Right click the image or media file, select properties, and populate the title, sub-title, tags, description, and comments of the file to reflect your keyword targets. This helps maximize the SEO value of your pages when you go to upload the files.
- Optimize for faster load speeds - Beyond the scope of SEO, optimizing your ecommerce website for fast load speed enhances user experience (which aids in conversions.) Although there is some SEO value to having a quick load times, most value is seen for conversion optimization. Faster load speed is achieved by minimizing the HTML code and optimizing robust media files. By taking the time to strip unnecessary code and reduce the file size of images and video, you can significantly improve your website load speed.
- Start content marketing (if you haven't already) – Content marketing is the glue that holds your social media marketing and SEO efforts together. In a nutshell, you can create informative, inspiring, and enlightening videos, articles/blog posts, or images/graphics, and share the goodness with your social media followers. Awesome content earns social authority and gets linked-to naturally. As a result, you can leverage content marketing to both increase your keyword rankings and grow your social media following.
- Integrate social media icons - There's no question that social media is having a game-changing impact on SEO. Tweets, shares, likes, +1's, pins, and other "social signals" are becoming stronger ranking factors. In essence, social signals tell search engines that humans are digging it, so it's worthy of higher rankings. In addition building a presence on relevant social media sites, integrating social media icons makes it more efficient for visitors to like your content, particularly product pages, the homepage, and blog posts.
- Build a HTML sitemap - The HTML sitemap serves as the index of your ecommerce site, and is considered by many SEO experts as the second most important page of the website (next to the homepage.) Although visitors rarely use the sitemap, it's very important to search engine spiders and SEO in general. The issue with ecommerce websites is that a complete sitemap can sometimes contain thousands of pages. When this is the case, you can create segmented sitemaps that focus on specific product categories. From you primary HTML sitemap, you can link to each segmented sitemap. This is a great solution for SEO and helps to keep your online store in good shape for crawling and indexing.
Although there's a lot more that goes into ecommerce SEO than the processes mentioned above, this is a solid starting place to get the ball rolling. On-page SEO is only a small piece of the puzzle, however by respecting the potential behind content marketing and social media, you'll be well on your way to executing some momentous off-page SEO strategies.
When it comes to ecommerce SEO, product pages are the bee's knees. In addition to SEO and generating valuable search traffic, product pages are primary conversion touch-points that sway visitors to buy now, or to keep browsing.
It's thus important that you respect both SEO and CRO (conversion rate optimization) when optimizing your product pages.
Although the scope of this article is to offer product page SEO tips for your ecommerce website, some insights will touch upon CRO and promoting the conversion value of these pages.
Before Optimizing, Know Your Keyword Targets
When you're doing keyword research, you'll want to understand how your product pages relate to the searching behaviors of your target market.
Product pages represent a specific product. Your target search market is seeking a specific product. For this reason, you should optimize your product pages for very specific long-tail keywords.
Not only are these keywords more achievable in a competitive ecommerce SEO context, but the individual's searching these long-tails are further along in the buying cycle and know exactly what they're looking for.
So when pinpointing your keyword targets for product pages, go deep. That is, avoid broad keywords like "Men's Tri Shorts" and shoot for more specific long-tails like "TYR Competitor 7" Tri Shorts Men's."
Write a Keyword Naming Convention
The keyword naming convention is the order or sequence of terms that make up your complete keyword target. Determining the keyword naming convention is important to ensure the on-page SEO or keyword optimization process is consistent.
Consistency is key when it comes to any form of on-page SEO. For example, let's say we are optimizing a product page for the latter phrase "TYR Competitor 7" Tri Shorts Men's."
If we write this phrase as our Page Title, we'll want to use the exact same sequence of keywords for the Meta Description and header of the page copy (not "Men's Tri Shorts TYR Competitor 7.") Be sure to pinpoint this naming convention for your product pages and keep it consistent for each of the following elements mentioned below.
Optimizing Product Pages for Ecommerce SEO
After you have your keyword naming convention down, the on-page SEO process is fairly simple. Below are the content elements you'll want to optimize for each page (and examples based on our mock keyword target:)
- URL: Be sure to include the most essential terms of the keyword phrase.
- Page Title: Define your page using the exact phrase match of the keyword target (but try to keep titles under 70 characters so all text appears in the search results.)
- TYR Competitor 7" Tri Shorts Men's | [Ecommerce Website]
- Meta Description: Although it is under debate on whether or not keyword inclusion in the Meta description helps with SEO, search terms will be displayed in bold which can help to make your listing more relevant to searchers. Additionally, this description is your sales pitch to compel search users to click your listing.
- Shop for TYR Competitor 7" Tri Shorts in Men's from [Ecommerce Website]. We offer some of the lowest prices on TYR triathlon gear and clothing.
- Page Copy: In the visible copy, try to use the same keyword naming convention in the first header as the Page Title. It also helps to have the keyword mentioned a few times in the supportive copy or product description. Consumer-generated reviews are one of the best way to integrate quality content that offers conversion value (as well as SEO value.)
- Page copywriting tip - don't use product descriptions provided by manufacturers. You want to avoid any risk of duplicate content with other website, so write your own copy and make it unique.
- Media Files: Before uploaded images and videos to your product pages, keyword optimize media files by opening-up the image or video properties. Here you can add keyword references to titles, sub-titles, tags, descriptions, and other fields.
- Bonus -Do this can result in your images showing up in Google Image search for related product keywords.
That, my friends, this the simple process of on-page SEO for ecommerce product pages. Stay tuned for more SEO-focused articles here at Click Centric SEO.
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.