Each day hundreds of new eCommerce stores jump into the industry with tons of investment and brilliant new ideas. However, only a few manage to survive and find their way through the competition successfully.
So what are they missing that the others have? The problem is that most of eCommerce entrepreneurs and store owners believe that all it requires is excellent and user-friendly web development, sophisticated web design aesthetics and a large number of product listings to amass a huge sum of web audience. What they underestimate is the importance of visibility and SEO, the central pillars of success in eCommerce.
Is eCommerce SEO different than the usual Search Engine Optimization?
My answer to this question is always “Yes.” Because I’ve been running my digital marketing agency for years, people frequently ask me this question – “Just how eCommerce SEO differs from the usual SEO”? The answer to this question is long, but to give you an idea here: the primary reason is that Google has an entirely different set of quality raters for eCommerce stores. This means you have to strengthen particular areas to achieve superior rankings, including like schema markup, on-page optimization, keyword optimized product pages, branding, and more.
Before you get there, however, here are some minor SEO tricks that you must learn and apply to improve your store’s search engines rankings.
Making content shine
The first thing you must understand is that “content is king.” Visitors tend to stay longer on a website if it provides them with useful and engaging content. Researchers have proved that content helps in achieving search engine rankings provided if it’s helpful for visitors. More content increases a website’s value and provides an opportunity to include more keywords and of course, enhances the user engagement level.
Here are some of the things that can help you with content:
Detailed product description
A great way to add unique content to your eCommerce stores is to add a complete and detailed text description of the product, as this increases the chances of the page being ranked in the top 10 of a search query. Make sure that the content is unique and exceeds the “default” word count for a better impact and always add good, high-quality pictures. Images are considered part of the content as well and will help with overall SEO efforts.
Do not use the exact same product description as provided by the manufacturer
It is something highly discouraged as the search engines will penalize you for this. The reason being that such content is distributed to many online stores, so it creates duplicate content issues and, most importantly, it doesn’t differentiate you from the rest.
Include user-generated product reviews
Product reviews build trust, and around 72% of online shoppers consider product reviews before making any purchase. In addition, reviews add interesting and relevant content to your website for free and keep the product page alive.
Optimize product images
Images are also a part of content, and good, high quality product images increase the chances of visibility and user engagement.
Here are some tips for image selection:
- Optimize your Alt Tags wisely as they add SEO value to the website. Alt tags, if added properly to the images, will help your website achieve a higher ranking by associating the keywords with images. It is also the best way to get your products to show up in Google images.
- Showing multiple angles of the product is a common trend these days and is good for SEO tricks as well. The best way to do this is to add the description to your base alt tag as it helps potential searchers to land on your website. However, users are often impatient, so the images must not take more than three seconds to load.
Optimize product page based on search demands
It is critical to consider demand and search for the right keywords when you write headlines and product descriptions. If you ignore what people are typing into the search engines, you may end up in promoting something nobody is looking for. The search engine optimization is all about relevancy so you must not ignore what buyers are searching.
Add Social Media Buttons
Social media links have a huge impact on search engine rankings.
Marketing consultant Brian Honigman says,
“Today, links are majorly achieved through developing original content that is in turn, shared across social media. Links to your content on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube and other social networks help the search engines understand what websites are credible and should be ranked for what keyword phrases.”
There is a debate on whether social media affects a webpage’s position or not but the fact is that social media profiles are often in the top search results for brand names. Another advantage is that when users share your content on their social media profile, it may get re-shared and re-re shared, so the opportunities for natural links increase.
There is no one-size-fits-all SEO strategy for eCommerce. Instead, it’s more an analysis and interpretation method, where entrepreneurs carefully asses the dynamics of their business and then develop a customized SEO strategy to improve their visibility and search engine presence. However, these minor tricks will help you achieve better visibility and it’s a good idea to incorporate them into your SEO strategy.
**About the Author: Paul Simmons is a professional eCommerce consultant with over nine years of experience. He is currently working for FME Extensions, a company known for its eCommerce website development services.