September 18, 2017
Even the most popular eCommerce platforms require some work to get them optimized for search.
While most people mistakenly believe that SEO is irrelevant for eCommerce sites, it’s actually becoming more important today because of how many eCommerce sites are springing up on the Web.
You want customers to find you first when searching for your niche, right? So let’s forget about the myths and take a serious look at how to optimize your eCommerce site.
An effective domain name
The domain name that you select for your eCommerce site can greatly affect how your site performs in search engine rankings. Make it one that is brandable and that is easy to pronounce and spell so it can be more successfully shared and associated with your business.
Google has indicated that using domain names that include your exact keywords does not help ranking, this however is heavily disputed. Bing, on the other hand, is less advanced and exact match domain names are still favored in its search results.
What’s more, one study even indicated that your domain name choice can boost (or kill) conversion rates.
Pictures, pictures, pictures!
Every single day millions of Internet users search for images. Some make a habit of using image search more than regular search.
As an eCommerce business owner or manager, your job is to capitalize on this.
When users search for products that you sell, will they see images of those products on Google? Yes, of course they will. But the real questions is this: Will those images be hosted on your site?
Remember that each image on Google is essentially a link. When that image is clicked on, the user will be redirected to the site where the image is hosted. Make sure you’re dominating Google’s image search with your products.
Another aspect to this is ensuring your images are clear, enticing and accurate. Take a bunch of pictures of your products. Make them your own. Take your authentic images and optimize them for Google search.
Add a detailed caption for the image.
Make sure the image caption contains a relevant search term (keyword).
Compare your image to others and ask yourself if you’d click on yours.
Honest Reviews and Testimonials
Reviews and testimonials are gold when it comes to eCommerce sales.
Although there are tons of tools available on eCommerce site builders, ultimately people rely on word of mouth when making a purchasing decision.
Collecting authentic reviews is a daily task. You’ll have to save positive feedback e-mails, external online reviews and official writeups on your products.
But let’s not forget about service testimonials too. This will also influence your clients to buy from you as opposed to other eCommerce sites that sell the same products.
Quick delivery. Simple buying process. Great customer service.
These are all aspects customers are looking for when buying online. Deliver on these and let potential customers know that this is how you operate.
In addition to persuading clients to buy, reviews and testimonials add much needed content to your eCommerce site. This gives you a great head start on Google—especially if your content contains keywords relevant to popular search terms.
A Decent Blog Page
Another way to get content onto your eCommerce site is through blogging.
I urge you to not neglect this part of eCommerce SEO. Blog regularly and consistently about your products and your company.
Use a moderate number of keywords that will help users find you. Include links that lead back to authoritative sites related to your niche.
Inbound Links from Across the Web
Don’t forget to write blogs for other sites too. Guest blogging for affiliate sites will boost your eCommerce SEO significantly.
It’s also helpful to remain as active as possible on the Web in terms of creating awareness for your platform. What do I mean?
Take part in discussions about your products. Spend an hour every day doing some casual browsing and actively comment or engage discussions. Be someone who provides information about products you sell. Establish yourself as an authority and link to your site when a comment has been made somewhere external.
You may not realize it yet, but you need a professional writer to write detailed, enticing descriptions for your products.
This is essential, because Google works predominantly on content—not images. So if you thought your eCommerce site didn’t need a lot of content to get noticed, you’d be wrong.
What should a good product description contain?
• A relevant keyword (search term) that will help users find YOUR product when they Google it.
• A sales phrase that persuades the reader to purchase the product. This phrase should build up the product’s value in their mind.
• One or two benefits to the product features.
• A clear indication of the product’s specifications. This is especially important for technology products that have multiple variable specs.
A Functioning Platform
Your eCommerce platform itself should function well. If it doesn’t you’re going to lose customers.
We must put ourselves in the minds of users to give them what they want. I’ve spent some time doing just that. Here’s what I came up with:
• Customers want a site that works quickly. Lagging sites that take a long time to load will often frustrate clients and urge them to go elsewhere.
• The site must be easy to navigate. Don’t hide essential information. make sure everything is clearly accessible from the landing page or home page.
• Convenience and clarity are extremely important. Your call to action must be visible and easy enough to identify. Users should also be able to make an impulse purchase without too much red tape.
• Sufficient information on every product must be clearly visible. Not only the products themselves but also for the procedures on how to buy the product or share info on that product with friends.
Social Media Friendly
A large portion of your site’s marketing will be done via social media. That’s why it’s so important to have social media icons on your site.
eCommerce sites thrive on images. So Pinterest and/or Instagram are non-negotiables. Add the ability to instantly share images on these two platforms from each image on your site.
Share promotions on Facebook and allow users to do the same. A Facebook and Twitter icon will alert friends of your users that your products are on sale or simply available for purchase.
Social media for eCommerce sites is an important aspect you cannot ignore. So learn about how to optimize your site through these useful platforms.
Rebecca Shipley is a marketing analyst turned writer who loves covering small business marketing, sales, and branding topics. A self-proclaimed ‘data nerd’ Rebecca loves digging in and finding trends that can be used to improve marketing and sales strategies.