A guide to e-commerce SEO
A solid SEO strategy can take your e-commerce site to the next level, boosting brand visibility and placing you ahead of the competition.
Paying attention to search engine optimisation, or SEO, is vital for any e-commerce site that wants to succeed. It is an essential marketing tool that will help to boost the visibility of your brand and products and place you ahead of the competition – all without paying for digital advertising.
So, we know that SEO is important, but how can you put it into practice on your e-commerce site? We spoke to a digital marketing and SEO Essex agency to find out.
Before you undertake any optimisation activity, you need to do your research. Populating your website with the right ‘keywords’ is a critical element of SEO, and carrying out an analysis of your industry, competitors and customer behaviour will help you to pinpoint the best keywords for your business – there are even online tools out there to assist you with this process. It’s important to get this step right as it will inform the rest of your SEO activities.
On-page optimisation is a key part of SEO – and, unlike link-building for example (more on this later), it’s an element that you have total control over. Optimise your product pages, home page and other static pages by populating the meta-titles, descriptions and headings with unique, tailored, keyword-rich content. If the thought of optimising all the pages on your site seems overwhelming, break it down and start by prioritising those pages which are most important to your business.
Good images are crucial to any e-commerce site, but make yours work harder for you by ensuring they’re optimised for search engines. As Google can’t access images, it relies on alt-text content to know what a picture is about – so it’s important to complete the alt-text field for any image uploaded to your site, making sure to include those all-important keywords.
When it comes to effective SEO, content is king – every new piece of content you publish creates an additional page for search engines to index. As well as writing unique product and category descriptions, supplement your content with relevant, regular blog posts, informative static pages, and engaging audio and image files that can be optimised with your keywords. However, avoid keyword stuffing and ensure that your content is high quality and appealing to visitors.
As well as content, Google also prioritises links, so take the time to develop relationships with bloggers and website owners in order to acquire quality inbound links. This can be tricky and time consuming to do, but it can make a big difference to your position in the rankings. However, be sure to choose your referral sources carefully – having a website that contains lots of links from low quality sites will cause you to be penalised by the major search engines.
It may not be something that you immediately think of, but your loading speed can have a big impact on your search engine rankings. A faster-loading website offers a better user experience, which is ultimately what Google cares about. And it’s also good for business; research shows that 40% of people leave a website that takes longer than 3 seconds to load, so a slow website could lose you potential customers.
SEO can seem daunting to the uninitiated, but if you’re prepared to put in the time and effort, it could help to take your e-commerce site to the next level.