Marketing and driving
traffic is arguably the most important piece of your eCommerce strategy. If
shoppers don’t know you exist, then it doesn’t matter how good your product is
or how nice your store is. In our next series of posts, we'll discuss a variety of online marketing techniques, starting with organic search.
engine optimization is the foundation of any web store’s eCommerce
strategy. Not only is organic search
free, but it’s also the first thing a web store should address when entering
the eCommerce market. Ranking high on
search engines, especially Google, is of course the goal, and most merchants
believe that they must appear on Page 1 on their main keyword searches if they
want to be successful.
Your Catalog URLs
of the most important SEO strategies is optimizing your URLs. By using relevant, high-value keywords, you
can improve the way each of your web store’s pages is indexed by search
information is essentially your first level of contact with potential customers
that are searching for relevant keywords.
A few years ago, Google officially
that it would no longer use meta keywords for search rankings. That’s because,
in the past, key words were used to manipulate search engine results and,
therefore, lost their ranking value among major search engines.
However, search engines like Google still place
value on meta titles and descriptions. A
meta title is used to give each product page a unique title, which can be seen
at the top bar of a web browser. It is
also used as the title on a search engine results page (SERP). The meta description is a short description
of the page or product. Search engines sometimes
use this description in the little snippet on a SERP. Your title and description are a selling tool
that will either motivate a user to click your link or not, so it is wise to
use a descriptive title and a description that includes relevant words that a
potential customer might search.
With this in mind, be sure to write a meta title
and description for products you add to your online store. Meta keywords should be given the lowest
up a Google Sitemap
A Google sitemap is an index of all the
pages in your site. However, unlike your
store’s built-in sitemap, the Google sitemap is specifically designed as a
roadmap that’s used whenever the Google search bot crawls your site. Setting up a Google sitemap will improve the
way your store is indexed by its search engine, and help it find pages that
might otherwise be overlooked.
relevant content helps raise your search rankings. Write rich, descriptive content on your web
store using relevant keywords. Also go
outside your store and write content about your product or industry on other
websites, including blogs, Facebook and Twitter. If you link the posts and articles back to
your store, they raise your search rankings, which brings us to backlinks.
engines place importance on the number of quality backlinks that point to your
web store from other sites or directories.
But the key here is “quality.”
Quality links include those from respected and high quality web sites
that have content related to your store.
If you link to a page that has nothing to do with your product, Google
may downgrade your store if it thinks you’re spamming. For instance, if you own a clothing store, a
link to your site from a fashion blog could help you, while a link from a web
site about automotive parts could hurt you.
It also helps if the backlink to your site has a quality anchor text as
opposed to something generic like “Click Here.” As one of our merchants said, “Backlinks are like boats on the Internet. Build relationships with people and get them
to link to you."
addition to external links, internal links are also significant. If you
have a paragraph on your web storefront’s home page, use descriptive keywords
and link them to different store categories. When creating them, make
sure that they have relevant keywords in the anchor text.
Internal links help visitors navigate through the
web store, of course. But they also let search engines know each page’s
content within the context of the entire store. If more links point to a
certain page, search engines consider it more important.
Since search engines notice pages that have a
greater number of incoming links, it’s best to create more hyperlinks to the
pages where you want the most traffic. But be careful not to overdo it.
If you write paragraphs that include an enormous number of links to every other
page in your web store, search engines might consider it spam.
can’t read photos, so many merchants concentrate on text in their web
content. But it doesn’t mean you should
shy away from using strong images. Try
to keep things balanced. Many stores get
a lot of traffic from Google image search, so it’s nice to complement text with
flash and photos.
crawlers can't search the text within an image, it’s important that you make
your images findable through image search and optimized for crawlers, while
still providing an optimal page design for your customers. Here’s how:
1. Don’t label photos with a number. Include descriptive alternative text (alt text) with images that
are the main focus of your home page. The text should provide a brief,
but relevant, description of the image.
2. Use keywords in the file name.
3. If you’re going to use anchor text to link to
the image, make sure the text accurately describes the image.
4. Make sure the content surrounding the image is
related to the descriptions you’ve used thus far for the alt text, file name
and anchor text.
5. All of these values should contain short
descriptions and not just a list of keywords. When creating alt text,
file names and anchor text, you should keep visitor readability in mind.
consider using video on your web store.
Videos could show, for instance, how to use your product. If you
link the videos to your branded YouTube channel, it can boost SEO since you now
has incoming and outgoing links connected to major website. As an added bonus, shoppers are more likely
to revisit your store to learn from newly posted videos, and every return visit
could lead to a sale.
up Google Analytics
your SEO plan using Google Analytics, which provides detailed statistics about
your website visitors, as well information about the effectiveness of your