If a consumer searches Google for one of your products, what would they find? Would your online store be at the top of the results? If your site doesn’t appear within the first few pages of search results, you’ll lose the opportunity to earn additional traffic and potential customers. While you may advertise your store through social media or paid advertisements, if your ecommerce site isn’t properly search engine optimized, then you’re missing a big piece of the pie.
By implementing SEO techniques, you help search engines like Google and Bing better crawl and index the content on your site. This means your website and product pages are more likely to show up when users search keywords relevant to your online store. While search engine optimization can be a full-time job, there are eight steps you can take right now to improve your site’s standing and increase its visibility:
- Create unique, user-friendly content on each page. Search engines are placing more value on quality content that results in lower bounce rates, longer time spent on the site, better user experience, and diversity of site traffic. Be sure that you’re using relevant keywords on each page, but write content that’s meant to be read by humans, not just search engines.
- If you have different URLs that lead to the same product page, avoid getting dinged for duplicate content by indicating a canonical (preferred) URL. See more on canonicalization here.
- For each product page, include the product name in the URL, title tags, text, and the titles and alt text for images. Since search engines can only index what they can crawl, try not to leave any element “unreadable” by search engines.
- If you sell a coffee mug in black, red, or green, state the color options on the product page in addition to having color swatches (with alt text), since users might be searching for “coffee mug” or “green coffee mug.” A warning about creating different pages for each variation of a product: this can result in “thin” content that could be penalized by search engines.
- Be smart in the long-tail terms you include in your copy, since these keywords can drive better quality traffic (i.e., consumers closer to making a purchase). Plus, your site is more likely to rank high for detailed keyword phrases like “tan Italian leather loafers” rather than a very popular and general term, like “loafers.”
- Allow your customers to leave feedback, reviews, comments, photos, etc., so you get additional content on each page that could help drive more long-tail traffic. Including reviews on your site also improves the user experience and builds better customer relationships.
- Use rich snippets to display additional information underneath your URL and meta description in search results. Rich snippets provide additional information such as a product’s price, availability, and ratings, which could help users decide to click your link. See more on rich snippets here.
- If you are serious about your SEO efforts and don’t mind spending a little money, you could take advantage of Google products, such as AdWords and Google Shopping, to help boost your web traffic.