Blogs by author "oicadmin"
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.
Top 5 Ecommerce-friendly Platforms That Offer the Best Web Designs
Design, layout, and overall aesthetics of a website are some of the most important considerations that go into an ecommerce business. There are numerous ecommerce-friendly CMS (content management system) platforms, and some offer better web designs than others.
Whether you support a large-scale retailer or a local store seeking an online presence, finding an ecommerce platform with the ideal web design is key. In this article, we share five ecommerce-friendly CMS platforms with the most creative selection of web designs.
Shopify is a versatile platform that makes it simple to establish both large and small-scale businesses. It's an easy-to-use CMS with a wide variety of modern and clean web designs to choose from. Shopify's designs are cutting-edge, yet simple, and all layouts are intuitive and easy to navigate. Design customization to the might not come easy to basic-end users, however Shopify does provide a dependable and well-supported ecommerce platform.
Shopify is a fully-hosted platform offering complete packages and 24-hour support. Without worrying about these additional website needs, ecommerce entrepreneurs can concentrate on running and growing their online business.
BigCommerce is also a fully-hosted ecommerce platform that is user-friendly for most business owners. BigCommerce comes with over 100 free web design templates to suit various styles and sizes of online stores. The platform is also supported by a network of skilled web designers who are available to create custom made designs for unique needs.
In addition to offering a wealth of design options, BigCommerce is well-known for its simple, yet complete, analytics platform. Online store owners and marketers can see detailed reports based on a number of different performance metrics. This platform also makes it easy to feature special coupon codes and gift certificates.
3. Exponent CMS
Although its not the most popular ecommerce-friendly platform available, Exponent CMS is an open-source, SEO-friendly CMS that showcases a wide variety of attractive web designs. Centered around online stores and deep inventory management, ecommerce merchants can take advantage of a complete platform that's supported by a number of resources.
In addition to its online community, Exponent CMS is supported by web design and development company, OIC Group, Inc. So if you're interested in a custom web design for your ecommerce stores, this team of Peoria web designers can tailor a unique design based on your needs. Additionally, Exponent sites can be hosted via OIC Group, in addition to a number of other web-based services and consulting programs.
4. Square Space
Square Space is emerging as one of the best ecommerce platforms for small-to-medium sized business owners looking for simple yet highly professional web design. Square Space offers beautiful looking web templates that are ideal for creatives (like interior designers and photographers) who want to feature portfolios of their work on the website. Square Space is intuitively programmed for seamless inventory management, allowing online merchants to upload thousands of products, configure sales taxes, and other back-end features of store management.
Since 1999, Volusion has been recognized as one of the pioneers in top ecommerce CMS platforms. Supporting its solid reputation, Volusion offers a huge selection of solid web designs that range from creative and elaborate to modern and contemporary.
Volusion is an affordable platform for small businesses that are starting out. It is a hosted ecommerce solution which comes at a price of $120/month, but that includes the complete package. This enables a standard business owner to comfortably run a medium sized store. Additional features and capabilities also make this ecommerce platform ideal for medium sized stores that might require greater functionality and capacity.
Ecommerce CMS platforms are incredibly popular for all types of online stores. In addition to niche and local businesses, many ecommerce platforms support national big-box retailers. Be sure to choose the platform that offers excellent web design capabilities and the right set of options.
The foundational value of a website is largely determined by the quality and presentation of its content (such as the nature of the copy, media, graphics, and images.)
Ultimately, giving visitors a solid sense of purpose that answers the question "why I am here?" can help position your online brand as a legitimate, trustworthy, and enlightening resource.
Whether via SEO or other inbound marketing strategies, the righteous path to realizing success online is through your content. It's essential to create user-centric content (whether via blogging, crafting landing pages, or designing the homepage) that resonates with your audience on a meaningful level.
Furthermore, awesome content can actually earn your site valuable links. This can play a huge role in driving higher keyword rankings for SEO and keeping your online business thriving.
Below we share a series of tips and techniques you can use to inspire brilliant ideas for your content strategy.
Incubate & Empathize With Your Target Audience
The first step of the planning process is putting yourself in the shoes of your target audience. Learning exactly what your target audience likes, laughs at, and loves, (although difficult sometimes) can generate some of the best ideas for content creation.
A good approach is to chat with your existing clients to get an idea what jives with them. In short, pick their brains on what forms of content will spark their interests and captivate their attention.
Engaging with your target audience is key to learning more about their tastes, perspectives, and preferences. For instance, after publishing a blog post, try ask questions (whether in the blog post [depending on how many readers you anticipate] or in the social media posting when sharing the content.) Not only does this help generate feedback, but it enables you to interact with your audience on a deeper level, thus instilling your brand deeper into their subconscious.
Consistent communication with your clients and prospects also helps to establish long-term relationships and higher levels of trust. If you're regularly seeking the feedback of your clients, it sends signals that you truly care.
Dive Into Research & Read Up
One of the best sources for inspiration are other successful ideas. This can be in the form of research or other articles published throughout the web. Using these resources can help you get generate valuable ideas and facts to share in your own words (or imagery via video or graphics.)
Here's an example: fitness guru Ben Greenfield has created a massive following and a prominent online brand by diving into health-related research studies. He shares topics of interest on his blog and podcasts, which organically grows his audience and cultivates sincere followers whom of which are loyal.
In addition to reading up and researching other related ideas for content creation, finding good studies or articles provide excellent pieces that can simply be shared via social media. Not only does this give you something good and tangible to share with your audience, but by sharing other authors' (or influencer-generated) content, these powerful individuals might befriend, like, follow, or encircle you on their social media accounts. These are meaningful connections that can later be of incredible value for your content strategy.
Stay Current & Up-to-Date
Dovetailing aspects of your content strategy on news and current events is also a solid means to create link bait-able content. Often times, busy marketers don't have the time to visit and explore websites and other sources of news and events. Using an RSS feed, Google Alerts, or Talkwalker are great solutions to be shown content that relates to specific interests you can define.
With these alerts and feeds, you can notified whenever something relevant and important comes up. You can then take timely action to re-purpose these happenings into your own content.
Think Locally. Execute Globally.
Producing content that favors a local audience is highly effective in engaging specific in-market users. However, in order to draw the interests of larger audiences, you need to develop and share content that can be absorbed by people of diverse cultures.
For example, if you operate a website that provides natural health supplements, you can find relevant news of local interest to cover, but also tailor your content to also be relevant on a grander scale. Just a hint of locality in your content can spark a connection regional prospects and customers (but you also want to respect the entire clan.)
Don't Forget to Serve Existing Clients
As much as expanding the client base is the primary goal of most businesses, it's important never ignore existing clients. In fact, it's equally important that your currently clients are happy, loyal, and satisfied with your product or service.
Be creative and come-up with ways to reward your current clients. This can be as simple as a social media shout-out or even deeper by offering incentives or discounts on their investment with your company. The objective is help them feel appreciated, which can lead to repeat purchases and, most importantly, referrals.
As you can see, generating user-centric content should be..... well... user-centric. In other words, deliver value to your website visitors and don't obsesses about the links. If your content is truly awesome and resonates with your audience on a meaningful level, the links will come, naturally.
Finding link opportunities for ecommerce SEO is one of the most essential yet challenging endeavors that search marketers face.
To compete with the big dogs (Amazon, eBay, etc.), you need to generate quality links that will last (and not drift away like the links found in guest blog post.)
In this article, I will share some simple techniques that I learned from Eric Ward for purposeful link outreach.
These highly effective techniques center on Google's advanced search operators to find relevant pages and websites that are worth reaching out to for links. So let's dive right in.
Leverage "inurl:" to find "Links" and "Resources"
Many websites create pages dedicated to relevant and informative links and resources for their visitors. These types of sites can range from directories, infomediaries, and ecommerce sites. When the domain is keyword relevant and authoritative, these "links" and "resources" pages offer incredible SEO value for the sites receiving the link.
Using the inurl: advanced search operator enables you to efficiently find these golden pages in Google.
For example, lets say we're doing SEO for an ecommerce site that sells natural wooden toys for babies and toddlers. Our objective is to find links and resources pages that offer opportunities to reach out and inquire about being included on their list.
Starting with the advanced search wooden toys inurl:resources, Google will render search results consisting of pages that include the word "resources" in the URL and are relevant to "wooden toys."
Now it's time to sift through the results and do some digging on sites we might find potential link opportunities. One notable opportunity is the #5 ranking page for BrianWoodenToys.com. Although the site name and brand looks like a possible competitor, the links on this page are diverse (although still relevant) and the site seems open to link exchanges.
Even though this is probably a reciprocal link opportunity, it will still offer some SEO value when done right. There's a contact email near the bottom of the page, so we'll inquire and see what kind of relationship we can build.
Try "site:" to Pinpoint Powerhouse Domains
In moving forward with this approach of using Google's advanced search operators, keep in mind that some of the search results shown are going to be competing sites. Ideally, you'll want to find .edu's, .org's, and other neutral websites that offer information, not so much products for sale.
Another great search operator is the more popular "site:". With this operator, we can narrow down the search results to specific domain types, like those mentioned above.
For instance, in our next round we try the search natural toys inurl:links site:org". The results shown are all .org's relevant to links for natural toys.
The first listing looks very promising, as the example client site offers Waldorf toys, which is a form of homeschooling and education (mentioned in the Meta description.) Sure enough, upon clicking into this listing, there's section of links dedicated to toys.
We hit golden opportunity with this high authority .org. It looks like we have a great chance at getting inclusion on this page, so we'll definitely inquire.
Start Searching and Start Reaching Out
By now, you should have a general idea on how to leverage these creative link outreach techniques. If you'd like to learn more Google advanced search operators, visit GoogleGuide.com for a nice list.
Do you have additional ideas to share? Please, let me know in the comments section below!
About the Author:
Tyler Tafelsky is an ecommerce SEO analyst at Click Centric SEO. Tyler is well-versed in multiple facets of organic search marketing, particularly link generation, content strategy, and social media marketing.
Optimizing product pages is an integral aspect of ecommerce SEO. But many search marketers are stuck in rut as to which elements of a product page need to be optimized.
Most of us know the basic tags for SEO: page title tag, Meta description tag, etc. So in this article, I highlight 5 HTML tags that you might not be including in your on-page optimization.
Schema Product Markup
If you're new to Schema, then I highly suggest you visit Schema.org and freshen up. Using Schema's structured data markup enables you to better communicate a page's content to search engines. In short, it's a game changer for ecommerce SEO.
There are specific schemas for products. These can not only help your product pages rank harder, but also display rich snippets in Google's search results.
Think of the Rel=Canonical tag as means to tell search engines the most important pages on your site. In some cases, particularly on ecommerce sites with 1000's of pages, duplicate content (or very similar pages) can exist. Often times, this can discount SEO value to the page your really want getting all the love and attention from Google.
Tell Google "this is the page to crawl, index, and rank" and implement the Rel=Canonical tag on your optimized product pages. It's super easy and potentially an SEO game-changer depending on your website.
Image ALT Tag
The image ALT tag is intended to be alternative text for those viewing a page that doesn't render an image. The ALT tag should reflect what the image is, but it's constantly abused by SEO's and keyword stuffers. Just don't leave it blank. Write at least something in for your ALT tags.
The nice thing about product pages is that the images being used are typically very keyword relevant. For this reason, it's legit to use keywords in the image ALT tag for these pages. If you have multiple images, vary your ALT tags with keyword variations. You can take the practice of image optimization even further by using these strategies.
Header 2's, 3's and 4's
Introduce some depth to you product pages by including more elaborate descriptions. Not only are unique, creatively-written product descriptions essential for SEO, but they also sell and can inspire visitors to make a purchase.
When separating ideas and paragraphs, use H2, H3, and H4 tags where appropriate. This is good practice incorporate in all aspects of on-page SEO.
Strong, Italics, Underline Tags
Text styling tags, like the strong (bold), italics, and underline tags, are some of the most under-used HTML tags that can help with both SEO and CRO. Wrapping keywords and phrases in these tags can help to emphasize greater meaning and value in certain words on your product pages. Not only does this practice help signify keywords of value for SEO, but creatively using text styling makes for a better user experience.
About the Author:
Tyler Tafelsky is an ecommerce SEO analyst at Click Centric SEO. In addition cycling and blogging at BetterTriathlete.com, Tyler is well-versed in multiple facets of organic search marketing, particularly link generation, content strategy, and social media marketing.
There's been a lot debate in the search marketing community regarding the impact social signals have on search rankings. Most professionals are under the impression the more tweets, likes, shares, pins, and +1's a page receives, the higher the likelihood the page will rank well in the search results.
Last month at SMX London, John Mueller of Google and Duane Forrester of Bing cleared the smoke with some rather interesting statements. They both denied that asocial signals have a direct impact on their search engine algorithms in determining ranking. However, they didn't offer insight has to how social media is indeed used in search.
Both Mueller and Forrester explained that there's a reason why a large number of people would share, tweet, like, etc. a given page: it's good content that offers value. Although this doesn't necessarily mean that the page will rank highly in search, the large number of social signals does serve a purpose in evaluating the page.
Social Signals Help to Evaluate the Legitimacy of Content
Contextual (or keyword) relevancy and links still hold true to attaining top search rankings.
If an article gets 100 links but no social signals, this can raise a red flag.
However, if an article gets 100 links and 323 likes, 86 shares, 134 +1's, and 432 tweets, the relationship makes sense.
In short, there's a very strong correlation with socially-favored content and the amount of inbound links it gets. Google and Bing can leverage this relationship to spot obvious signs of over-optimized content that offers minimal value to users.
What do you think? Does this shape your SEO practice? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
Ecommerce SEO's are always looking for ways to boost their product page click-through rates (CTR's) from Google SERPs. In this short article, I will show you three of the most powerful ways to do just that using Schema markup.
Depending on whether or not your product pages contain images, videos, ratings, or reviews - some of these elements may not apply. Nonetheless, take a quick gander and see if you can implement product page Schema markup to boost your CTR's, and perhaps, your SEO keyword rankings.
1. Ratings & Reviews
If your ecommerce site features ratings and reviews on your product pages, you can make this information appear in Google search results. You've probably seen these beautiful rich snippets popping on high authority site listings - the little 5 star rating showing just under the URL.
There are a number of ways to trigger this rich snippet on your product pages. For instance, you can manually integrated the code via the AggregateRating microdata at Schema.org/Product, or try other methods like the hReview-aggregate microformat to make ratings and reviews data appear in Google.
2. Images & Videos
Perhaps the most profound product page rich snippet that grabs attention and entices click-through's is for images and videos. Rich snippets for video and images do not render as often as other product page rich snippets (often it's YouTube that owns these gems,) however if your product page SEO is highly specific (make, model, model variation, etc.) and the users search query was also specific, it's definitely achievable and worth while.
In this case, ispot.tv used a Macy's commercial to trigger the video rich snippet in their Google listing - creative, yet borderline ethical. Nonetheless, they masterfully leveraged the Schema.org/VideoObject microdata to make it happen.
For images, use the Schema.org/ImageObject microdata markup. It's essentially the same format as for Videos, and equally as eye-grabbing.
3. Product Name & Price
The product name and price rich snippet is especially powerful if your ecommerce site offers competitive pricing. It also helps to bring in better quality traffic, as shoppers know the price before they click your listing.
In the example below, FarmandFleet.com was able to trigger the price of their 57 piece socket wrench set at $79.99.
This was achieved by leveraging the Schema.org/Offer microdata markup.
As you've probably gathered, implementing product page Schema markup takes some technical capacity. But in most cases of using Schema, the content of your product pages is easier to interpret by Google, and thus generates some impactful search results. If you're using Wordpress to manage your online store, explore some of the Schema-generating plugins available. These can make the process much easier and streamlined.
About the Author:
Tyler Tafelsky is an ecommerce SEO analyst at Click Centric SEO. In addition to blogging at BetterTriathlete.com, Tyler is well-versed in multiple facets of organic search marketing, particularly link generation, content strategy, and social media marketing.
Local SEO is in a different ballpark compared to ecommerce SEO. Sure there are commonalities in handling on-page optimization and link generation, but more times often than not, the core strategy concepts are different.
One highly effective local SEO strategy is to target very niche and selective keywords that are less competitive and easier to rank. Also known as hyper-local SEO, or niche-targeted SEO, this concept goes after the low hanging fruit, while progressively working toward larger keyword targets.
This hyper-targeted approach can easily be applied to an ecommerce site. Because the ecommerce search landscape is often saturated with authoritative competitors, it's vital to pick niche and go after it hard.
Example: Local SEO for Surgeons
Click Centric SEO (which is a branch of the OIC Group, Inc. family) has sister company that focus on local SEO. But more than just local SEO, this company has finely-tuned its SEO practice to provide local SEO for surgeons.
The company is called Optimized Surgeons. As you may predicted, Optimized Surgeons has tailored its off-site SEO resources (link gen sites) to be highly relevant on surgery, particularly breast surgery. Additionally, the team's copywriters freshened-up on their medical jargon to incorporate phrases like "our surgery practice" and "satisfied patient outcomes".
By crafting a niche business model in local SEO for breast surgeons, Optimized Surgeons can get equally targeted with thier own advertising and lead generation. By leveraging Facebook's demographic targeting capabilities, ads can be exposed to numerous professionals with breast surgery credentials.
Putting These Ideas to Work
Putting these ideas in motion will depend on the way in which you approach ecommerce SEO. That is, do you provide ecommerce SEO services, or are you optimizing your own ecommerce site or affiliate site?
Hyper-Targeted SEO for Ecommerce Sites
If your optimizing your own ecommerce site, you need to get super targeted as to what your website is all about. Okay, so you offer shoes. What style of shoes? What brands of shoes? Who wears these shoes? Men? Women? Athletes?
Don't try to optimize your ecommerce site for "men's shoes" because you'll be insanely challenged to realize profitable rankings. Instead, think of a specialty ecommerce store that's optimized for "triathlon running shoes for men" or "women's wide toe box shoes".
Hyper-Targeted SEO for Ecommerce Sites
If you're an ecommerce SEO service provider, than you can apply this hyper-targeted framework to the types of ecommerce stores that you serve. For instance, perhaps you could carve a niche in ecommerce SEO services for footwear retailers. Or maybe men and women's clothing. It might sound a bit ridiculous to narrow the focus of your SEO business in such a way.
But when it comes to providing a quality SEO content marketing, it only makes sense. Not to mention, the growth and expansion of the web is only make generic market segments even more saturated. So adopt some of these hyper-targeted SEO strategies into your ecommerce practice.
The future of online marketing is changing. Diminishing are the days when keyword optimization, link building, and other traditional SEO strategies were all that was required to successfully rank in search engine results. As we enter 2015, SEO will slowly fall by the wayside as savvy Internet marketers use a new term: web presence optimization.
What is Web Presence Optimization?
Web Presence Optimization (or "WPO" as many are starting to call it) is a new online marketing strategy where businesses optimize content across all online platforms they are involved with. This is mainly via business blogs, social media pages, press releases, or the business website itself. Businesses now have to converge all their advertising platforms to improve their online brand visibility.
Why is WPO Approach Important to Business?
The greatest revelation in eCommerce today is that consumers are no longer looking for flashy advertisements but tangible information that can be used to make crucial purchase decisions. Consumers want to be educated about the product beforehand and know what they can gain from it. In other words, consumers want fresh, discoverable and relevant content about any product or service they are interested in.
Web presence optimization takes the focus away from mere advertising and channels it into building concrete and entertaining content that will generate new leads while maintaining old ones. This is not to say SEO is completely being tossed out the window. SEO is still at the core of internet marketing, only that WPO aims at spreading the various strategies of SEO on all search platforms used by internet consumers.
Components to Optimizing a Solid Web Presence
As a business, the first step to successfully initiate web presence optimization is to put more effort in its three key aspects namely content marketing, social media and search engine presence. Search engine presence will still rely heavily on the usual SEO tools to ensure your business remains visible to consumers on Bing, Yahoo! or Google.
Search engine algorithms have grown stricter and require diligent use of SEO techniques and strategies like generating backlinks, content keyword optimization, and SEO mapping to increase organic search listings. If you need your online content or social media campaign ranked highly in SERPS (search result pages) then you will need to pay attention to your search engine presence approach.
Content marketing is the new secret weapon for the business yearning to push through the cut-throat online competition and rich a substantial client base. Consumers are in need of new information every day thus it's the mandate of the business to update their content on blogs, article directories or press releases.
Google will also rank great content high-up on search results boosting your brand visibility. Content marketing accomplishes what advertising could not-educate consumers about the product, get them to like the product and trust it enough to buy it.
Social media is where business happens most today and every ecommerce company is looking for new ways to get users engaged on social media to create leads. Social media offers a ready advertising platform for company products and also an avenue to continue your content marketing strategy to potential clients. Your social media sites will require visibility in search engines. This means you will employ both SEO tools and fresh content marketing skills to get customers to notice your brand.
Web presence optimization is the future of business and all its three aspects-content marketing, social media, search engine presence- integrate together to boost brand visibility for businesses.
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.)