When you’re running an E-commerce business, establishing an online presence is a must, in order to increase conversion rates. To stay on top of your competitors, you must also reach higher than them on the Google search and there is only one thing that will help you do so – good SEO practice.
In a study about CTR (click-through rate) on the first 15 results on Google revealed that the first link has a CTR rate of over 32%, almost double the rate of the second position. By the 10th position, the CTR rate gets as low as 2.4 %. This means that, in order to succeed, it is not enough to just reach the first page on Google. If you want to significantly increase sales, you must reach the top. The best way to make that happen is to have a strong SEO strategy and optimize your content to be SEO friendly. While there is no guaranteed recipe for success, especially given the fact that Google changes its algorithms so much, there are some guidelines you can follow in order to get your website to the top.
Define Your Audience
The first step in writing good content is knowing who is going to read it. Every website, product or service there is, has a targeted audience. Without a clear idea of who your ideal buyer is, you will not be able to develop a good marketing strategy, including SEO.
There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all when it comes to content creating. No matter how general your content is, it is going to appeal to some more than others. The key is to make the content appeal to the exact audience you want to purchase your products. For example, if you run a business that sells baby products, your target audience will most likely be parents that have a newborn. There is no point in writing content about gardening and home décor, as it will not attract the visitors you need to convert into buyers.
To define your audience, you first need to understand the products and services you offer. What defines them? What benefits do your products and services bring to your audience? Who are the products designed for? If you manage to answer those questions, you will get a clear idea of what your competitive advantages are and how you can use them to attract your audience. If you already run an established business, take advantage of the customer information you already have and start building your content around it. If not, create it with your ideal customer in mind, but be open to expanding your horizons, in order to attract new buyers.
Research and Pick Relevant Keywords
Once you know your audience, the next step is to identify the keywords that are going to direct visitors to your website. In order to do so, you need to do some thorough research and analysis. There are three things that matter when choosing keywords: keyword search volume, cost-per-click, and user intent.
- Keyword search volume: this tells you how interested users are in a certain keyword, by how much they search for it. If the keyword has a high search volume, it means that a particular keyword will get you more active searches.
- CPC: this tells you how competitive your keyword is in the paid advertising space. If your keyword turns out to be extremely competitive, try finding an alternative phrase. Keywords that are longer and more specific tend to be used by customers that already have an intention to buy and are looking for specific things.
- User Intent: this describes what people are looking to find when they search for a specific keyword. For example, if a user types “curtains” in the search bar, you don’t have any idea if that user is looking to buy, DIY or simply just look at photos with curtains, so this may not be a very specific keyword. Instead, try to add a few other words next to it for more specific results.
When choosing keywords, avoid those who appear to be too competitive or too wide-ranged. If the keyword is too general, you will end up with a high number of visitors, but a low conversion rate, as people might not find exactly what they are looking for when they end up on your website. At the same time, if the keywords are too competitive, it will take a long time to rank high in Google’s search, especially when competing with big names in the industry.
Start with the Homepage
The homepage is one of the most important pages of your website, but this does not mean you should make the mistake that many eCommerce businesses make and direct most of your time and energy towards it. In order to optimize your home page, you need to focus on three aspects:
- Title Tag: this represents the clickable title that is going to appear on Google searches. Typically, Google displays around 50 characters of your title as the title tag, so make sure to keep it short and simple. If possible, include the business name in the title tag as well, together with the targeted keyword.
- Meta Description: whenever search results are displayed in Google, they are followed by a short text, so users can get an idea of what they can find on a certain page. Keep the description under 160 characters and include a short description of your website.
- Content: Oftentimes, the homepage is what helps visitors decide if they are interested in your business or not. Try to keep the information displayed here as concise as possible and maybe feature some of your top products as well, to help both Google and your visitors understand what your business is and who it targets.
Focus on the Product Pages
Think of your product pages as the shelves of a brick-and-mortar store. If the shelves are not clean and organized, you won’t look twice before exiting the store and never coming back again. The main disadvantage of eCommerce is that consumers can not touch or try the products, so you need to get their experience as close to reality as possible. Use high-quality product photos from different angles, animations, and even videos, to showcase the products as good as possible.
“When writing the product description, make sure to include information such as material, dimensions, as well as a few phrases about the main characteristics of the product. Include the targeted keywords to help Google find your website faster. This applies to the product name as well. If, for example, your product is a skirt, include that in the name of the product and the page URL, to help with SEO title.” says Melanie Sovann, a writer at Studicus.
Images play a big role in the customer’s purchase decision as well. Think of it this way: would you buy an item from a website that has a small-scale, low-quality presentation image? Probably not. Present your products in a professional manner and it will show in the conversion rates as well. But images are not only good for customers; they can improve search optimization as well. If you want your images to appear in Google searches, make sure the filename contains the main keyword as well. Instead of uploading images named IMG0070.jpg, change the name into something more relevant, such as floral-printed-dress.jpg, for better search results.
Write Original and Fresh Content
If you want to thrive in today’s eCommerce world, simply having an online store is not enough. You need to constantly upload original content which matches your targeted keywords. The best way to do so is by creating a blog section, where you can upload informative articles that target your audience.
For example, if you are running a business that sells gardening products, you can write articles related to plant care, landscaping, back yard décor trends and so on, to keep visitors interested. Focus on writing content that is informative and adds value to your website. To do so, keep the posts simple, yet well-written. This hooks your audience and keeps them coming back to your website.
The content of your blog posts is extremely important, but you need to focus on grammar and formatting as well. Professionals leave no typos and grammar mistakes behind. Fortunately, there are many services that can help you with content writing:
Grammarly: probably the most used tool for proofing, Grammarly highlights grammar mistakes and suggests replacements.
Trust My Paper: if you don’t trust a computer, Trust My Paper has an army of professional writers ready to proof and edit your texts, to make sure you deliver the best content to your readers.
Blog Topic Generator: Out of ideas? Simply type a few keywords and this tool will generate topic ideas for your blog, based on those particular keywords.
Siteliner: afraid you might duplicate someone else’s work unintentionally? Siteliner will tell you how original your content is and what you can do to improve it.
Is Accurate: English is not your main language, but you want to appeal to foreign customers as well? Use a translation service and provide your visitors with high-quality content.
Make Everything Mobile-Friendly
Nowadays, people conduct the majority of their online shopping from their mobile devices, be them phones or tablets, so make sure your website is properly optimized for those devices. This not only improves search results but also provides a better user experience, which keeps customers happily coming back. Also, mobile-friendliness is an important criterion that Google looks for when ranking websites.
Another important aspect is the load speed. In order for the website to be mobile-friendly, you need to decrease the load speed of the page as much as possible. Resize images, avoid unnecessary plugins and make sure not to overload the page with ads.
In order to make your website mobile-friendly, you need to focus on coding the site to work on any type of device, by creating a responsive design. You can do so with the help of a web developer or, if you don’t work with a web developer, you can find and purchase responsive website themes online, which you can customize at our own likes. There are multiple template websites online, which offer a variety of options especially designed for eCommerce.
Take Advantage of SEO Tools
You don’t have to be an SEO expert to understand and optimize your rankings. Sometimes, you just need a good set of eCommerce-designed tools. Fortunately, there are plenty of them online, and some are free to use:
Ubersuggest: a tool that helps you identify the best keywords for your website. Type in a keyword that is related to your services or products and the tool will find information such as related keywords, search volume, and cost-per-click.
ScreamingFrog: this tool identifies broken links, duplicate content, missing meta descriptions and other issues your website might be having. If your website exceeds 500 URL extensions, you may want to choose the premium version, in order to take full advantage of all the features.
Moz Pro: the most acclaimed of them all, Moz provides a wide variety of SEO tools, all divided into various price packages, to suit all your needs. From keyword management to reports and even a Chrome extension, Moz comes in handy for anyone interesting in optimizing search results.
Google Analytics: probably the most used tool for tracking the traffic on your website, providing reports on demographics, how people landed on your website and many more. Plus, the tool is provided by Google and is free to use.
While there are many reasons you should optimize your Ecommerce website and make it SEO-friendly, the main reason still remains the same: to boost conversion rates and increase sales. If done right, SEO can help you increase traffic on your website, which ultimately leads to higher conversion rates and loyal visitors. But in order to do so, you need to invest a bit of time and effort into mastering the best SEO practices and define your strategy. Focus on making the content as helpful to consumers as possible and, most of all, available to them at any time and on any device.