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E-Commerce SEO

The More You Put In, The More You Get Out!

Online Shopping CartWhen you're running an e-commerce website, you're entering yourself in an arena full of competition. You're playing with the big boys now. If you realize that, then you'll also realize that you have to put work into your e-commerce website if you want to keep up. Here are some maybe "eye-opening" tips for you.

Every Little Detail Matters

Being lazy with page titles, meta descriptions and product descriptions is not going to help you. They should all be unique. Put the work in. They should all be written well. You should also consider doing A/B testing with them as well to find out which ones work the best - both for ranking and click throughs.

Here's a great article I found this morning about optimizing for e-commerce:

4 Tactics for Outstanding E-commerce SEO (searchenginewatch.com)

Search engine optimization (SEO) has become ever more complicated. And the complexity is much greater for e-commerce sites, with their multitudes of automatically generated pages, loads of images and intense competition for clicks.

Modern SEO requires at least 16 different tactics, according to specialists from SEO PowerSuite; we'll list them at the end of this article. For now, let's focus on four that are among the most beneficial and often overlooked by retailers of all sizes, with examples of sites that excel...

This article is worth a read. I like the list she gives at the end:

And 12 more

Here are the other 12 techniques that every retailer should use to achieve outstanding SEO for e-commerce:

  • Optimized for local (even for big guys)
  • Proper site structure
  • Applying structured data
  • Ensuring fast loading times
  • Incorporating user-generated content to maintain freshness
  • Applying detailed, keyword-rich product descriptions
  • Using alt text for images
  • Providing social sharing tools on product pages
  • Applying HTTPs security protocol
  • Error-free pages
  • Diverse anchors
  • Robust backlinks

Yes, this is a long list. Start with making sure your e-commerce site is mobile-friendly, for an immediate SEO boost, and then work your way down until you've achieved stellar search engine optimization. It's worth it.

The article shows how you need to optimize meta descriptions better. She compares Amazon with The Home Depot and The Home Depot is doing it way better.

The Mistakes

I think the big mistake people make with their e-commerce sites is that they don't take the time to optimize. They might think that identical or similar descriptions (just changing out a few words) is original content. It's not. It's lazy. Compare that with in-depth information on each, individual product with videos and reviews. There's no comparison.

If you're competing with the big boys, you have to at least do what they're doing and probably more.

Any website today pretty much requires a business owner have a copywriter on staff or at least one that can work part time (we offer this service, of course). You have to always be thinking about improving product content as well as blogging and posting on social media. That's e-commerce today.

I remember a client that called in a few weeks ago. They sold some precious stones or something like that (I'm purposely not being specific). He said their website used to rank well but then it just dropped off. I looked at his website. It was clearly set up once and just left stagnant. The whole website needed an overhaul (to get responsive and up to standards) as well as needing a lot more, original text on each product. The cool thing is that he didn't seem to have much competition and it would take some work to get back on top but not an awful amount. I don't think they had it in them.

Website Architecture

Red Buy ButtonHow a website is set up matters a lot - more than you would think. Often, to set a website up the right way, it needs to be completely remade.

We've seen websites that had remnants of the last 2 versions still on them - and those remnants were still getting traffic - leaving website visitors confused when things didn't work. That's just sloppiness and laziness. They obviously got what they paid for when they had their website remade in the past. Even things like setting up "301 redirects" needs careful attention to detail or there could be a huge drop in traffic and sales.

If you build a website correctly, you'll need less links to it for it to rank high. That is how much architecture matters.

Off-Site SEO

Beyond just being social, it'll take some work to get reviews and articles and links on other websites. This must be managed as well. This might include phone calls and meetings to get your content where it needs to be. Either business owners need to do this or they must hire someone to manage that for them.

Conclusion

The bottom line is, there are a lot of details that go into making a great e-commerce website that ranks well. The best thing to do is have great content but all the other factors (especially being mobile friendly) are important.

When you hire a company to develop or search engine optimize your website, make sure they're taking an in-depth look into all factors that will help make it rank well.

The more attention and time you put into it, the better it will be.

-Tony

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