What started as a hobby or passion ended as an online store. Congrats!
You’re excited to get started and imagine your product will just fly off the shelves. Until it doesn’t.
Selling online is even more difficult than selling in a traditional brick and mortar storefront. Why? Because you’re not just competing against the store down the road, but also against stores on every inch of the globe!
But, there is a way to stand out. Want to know how?
SEO or Search Engine Optimization is a collection of strategies and tools used to rank your website higher on search engine rankings. SEO is a multi-layered approach which provides you with the highest chance of success if you want your business to be highly profitable.
So, how can you optimize your ECommerce SEO strategy to convert sales?
Read on to find out how to make your online store pop with our ECommerce SEO tutorial.
Make it Pop: ECommerce SEO Tutorial
To successfully compete for sales on the world wide web, you first have to know how to get noticed. Your product may be top of the line, but if people can find it, then what’s the use? Explore the following tips for igniting your ECommerce SEO so you can start getting noticed and making sales.
1. Know Your Platform
Get familiar with the website you’re selling on. Get to know what features are offered and how to use these features.
Even better, get to know your competition on the platform you’re selling on. Browse similar shops on your platform and as an objective party see what’s working for them and what isn’t. Then do it even better.
Notice their product descriptions, images, and titles. Notice what their reviews say and make a point to avoid any mistakes their customers mention.
2. Be Open-Minded
Sure, you don’t want to be a gimmicky store who sells like a large corporation. That’s understandable, but what you need to understand is that it is possible to sell an item while using SEO strategies and keep your branding intact simultaneously.
SEO strategies may at first feel like a restriction that deters your brand’s authenticity, but you’ll soon discover that it can seamlessly be implemented into your existing brand and image.
Once we open our online stores, it’s easy to become enamored and fully invested in our approach leaving little room to make changes. This happens because consciously or unconsciously we begin to build our brands through the content we post and language we use. But, the brand we feel we are building may be hurting our rankings without even recognizing it.
While it’s great to know all about SEO from the start, this isn’t the case for the majority of online store owners. As a business owner you’ve got a lot to cover and since your store is solely location online, you’ve got a whole other set of skills to implement.
Be patient and open-minded. Almost no SEO strategy will help your store to rank number one overnight, but they will help you to reach new customers.
First and foremost, you need to understand keyword placement in your online store.
When a someone searches on a search engine for a product, they are using keywords the search engine then uses to produce results. But, how do search engine know what results to produce? By crawling websites for keywords, relevancy, and clicks.
Yes, many times on search engines it is a popularity contest. To avoid competing with large corporations, however, try to use keywords that are slightly different than your run-of-the-mill searches such as “women’s scarves.”
For example instead of selecting “women’s scarves” as your keyword/phrase you could use “chunky knitted scarves.”
A great way to discover alternatives for generic keywords is by scrolling down to the bottom of the search results. Notice what other searches the search engine suggests based on searches related to generic keywords. An SEO Specialist can also help you to determine which keywords to use.
For each of your products and navigation pages, you’ll need to research what keywords will be most effective and competitive. The keywords you use will need to be properly placed in the title of your product listing, the meta-description, and in the body of the product description. A meta description is a summary preview of the content of a webpage which appears on a search engine results page.
A well-written meta-description is up to 155 and words. It gets to the point and includes only necessary, engaging information.
When applicable, use the keyword as a tag and product category description. This will also be useful for search engines to recognize your product or website. Another helpful tip is to place keywords as close to the beginning of your copy, meta descriptions, and titles to ensure that search engines pick up on its significance.
When placing keywords on your ECommerce website, it’s important that you don’t overstuff keywords. Keyword stuffing will be viewed by search engines as spammy causing your SEO efforts to be undermined. Place keywords in a natural manner instead of trying to use them every chance you get.
Another way to avoid keyword stuffing is to write in your natural way and then go back and replace the words and phrases that apply to the keyword. This helps you to avoid focusing too heavily on keyword usage from the start so your unique tone will come across effortlessly.
4. Unique Content
Duplicate content on the internet is not appreciated by many website owners. In extreme cases, search engines may even blacklist both the original and duplicate content canceling out the effectiveness of both. This will lead to unhappy campers, galore!
Even if you sell an identical product as a competitor, it’s important to create unique content and descriptions on your webpage. This includes titles, product descriptions, and meta-descriptions. Focus on selling and describing products in your own words.
This isn’t because you will be necessarily penalized for having duplicate content, but because it shows a personal sense of pride for the product you sell.
Although the two products will have the same features, these features can be described in two completely different ways. Features can also be hierarchized in different manners as well.
For example, imagine that two competitors both sell all-natural soap made out of oatmeal, shea butter, and coconut. One of the sellers could choose to focus on the benefits of the shea butter improving skin quality, whereas, the other seller could hone in on the all-natural benefits which result in a healthier environment.
Whatever angle you decide to take when focusing on product features, always keep in mind your target audience. You and your competitor may focus on a slightly different target audience, therefore, choosing to focus on different features.
The most important thing is that you do not copy and paste product descriptions from other web pages. Make your store and content pop and be unique.
If you want your content to be visible on two different websites on the internet makes sure to include a canonical link tag which signifies to search engines which website should be credited for the original content. This way content can appear on multiple web pages without causing search engines to lower the master page’s ranking.
Adding internal and external links as an on-page SEO strategy may seem like a challenge for your online store at first. It certainly requires some creativity, but once you’ve mastered this skill your Ecommerce page will continue to grow as an authority in your field.
Internal links are links that connect to other content on your own website. External links reference websites other than your own website. Ideally, you would like to have one to two internal and external links for every 500 words of content.
However, it’s important to also not include links which aren’t applicable to the content just to meet this demand. Similar to creating authentic content, you also want to create linking which is authentic and relevant as well.
For example, in a product description for a vintage product such as a mason jar, the seller could include an external link to the history of mason jars. For an internal link, the same product description could link internally to a product category which includes other mason jars for sale.
Another example is an online store that sells health supplements. The seller could include an external article outlining the benefits of a supplement to emphasize its efficacy. If the health supplement is aimed at helping a specific condition, the seller could also internally link to other products that help to ease the specific condition.
When linking internally or externally you’ll need to decide on what to use an anchor text. Anchor text includes relevant words which will contain the link. Anchor texts should be 2 to 5 words long.
For example, using the previous example of selling mason jars the seller could use “history of mason jars” as the anchor text. Using the second example, the seller could select “other supplements help this condition” as the anchor text to link internally to other products.
Research ways to add links and how to do so for your specific ECommerce site.
6. The Real World
To increase your SEO, get out in the real world! Interact with potential customers, partners, and other businesses.
Let people know about your business and the products you sell. Attend trade shows, participate in community events, and volunteer. When people see you in person, it creates a sense of trust and connection leading to more sales.
Starting solely on the internet is tough. Starting in your community and focusing on converting people within your area into paying customers helps you to get started. When your community members begin to support your products, knowledge about your online store will spread.
When these folks visit your website, this increases your relevancy to search engines as well!
Consider creating business cards to pass out at in-person events. Your business cards should include the URL to your webpage as well as any social media accounts you have. This will make it very simple for customers to access your website and refer your business to other customers.
7. Social Media
Creating social media accounts allows for a broader audience to reach your products. In essence, social media allows you to bypass search engine rankings by directly reaching potential customers.
Reaching potential customers directly then improves your rankings when they click the links to your page.
If possible, link all of your social media accounts to your ECommerce websites so that you can easily share new products. Include your ECommerce website link on your social media page as well so that potential customers can easily purchase your products and browse your inventory.
You can also include external links to your social media on your ECommerce website where appropriate.
When deciding which social media platforms to use, consider your target audience. Which platforms do they use the most? Would they prefer reading in-depth product reviews and articles on an ECommerce blog or would brief product descriptions with captivating photography catch their attention more?
Direct your focus to one to two social media platforms to market your business. Continuously improve the way you use social media to convert new customers. Consider having free give-away competitions, advertising for a charity, and posting customer reviews as part of your social media marketing strategy.
Feeling More Confident about ECommerce SEO?
When many people start an ECommerce store, they expect their stores to be instantly successful. In most cases, growth takes time. Building trust and confidence in your product, brand, and company is a process.
By knowing how to improve your ECommerce SEO, however, you give your business the greatest chance of being discovered so that you can begin to build quality relationships with your customers. If you provide them with excellent service and a quality product, then it’s likely they will also become loyal customers.
We should always take care to nurture our relationships with loyal customers. Whether these customers are located within our community or solely on the internet, a loyal customer is far easier to keep than converting a new customer. Our loyal customers will also become our most valued marketing allies by referring new customers to our online stores with little to no extra effort on our part.
Want to outsource your ECommerce SEO? Contact us today so that we can help your website to rank higher, get noticed, and increase sales.