Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has benefits beyond belief when it comes to e-commerce. Not only is it a great way to attract new customers, but it also helps to increase traffic to your site, establish brand credibilty, drive conversions, all at little to no cost to you. Need we say more?
While you may not be spending budgeted dollars or putting resources behind the likes of Google Ads or Facebook advertising, marketers need to invest in SEO. If not, organizations run the risk of wasting valuable resources, jeopardizing marketing effectiveness, and conversions if a solid SEO plan is not in play.
Keywords are the stepping stone to SEO best practice. Work with your team to create a list of keywords you want to rank for. Make sure to hit basic keywords, but also think outside the box to cut through content noise.
Thinking of the top 10-20 one or two word (short-tail) keywords for each of your products should be a breeze. However, you will also have a harder time ranking for those. To drive organic search, pair three to four long-tail keywords together that help explain your product in more detail or may answer a question. Both types of keywords are important, but focus on the long-tail keywords as they account for 70% of web searches according to SEO expert, Neil Patel.
Here’s a quick strategy we like to use:
- Brainstorm short and long-tail keywords that relate to the product you are selling
- Put them into a keyword planning tools such as:
- Choose keywords that have high search volumes with a fairly easy to moderate difficulty rating. Test effectiveness and optimize everything.
Content for e-commerce sites may be different from traditional marketing content, but it’s equally as important to have a strategy in place when it comes to SEO. Product Information Management (PIM) solutions help facilitate SEO as it is an essential component of great product information. PIM solutions enable teams to plan, schedule, deploy, and optimize content across channels and streamlines related processes. It all matters when engaging buyers.
Quality content and relevant information are essential for SEO. So, what does quality content actually look like?
User generated reviews – Amazon does this particularly well. With hundreds of thousands of products on their site, Amazon relies heavily on users to showcase their products with written reviews, photos of the particular item they purchased, and a rating system. Because the consumer is writing a review about their purchase, it’s not uncommon for them to (unknowingly) use targeted keywords that ties back to the seller’s SEO strategy.
Product descriptions – It’s more than just copying and pasting a manufacturers description. Consumers are doing more product research today than ever before. They want to know the in’s and out’s of what the product or item has to offer, what benefit it serves them and if it checks all of their wishlist boxes.
Bonus: this is a great way to get in those long-tail keywords we talked about earlier.
Buyers guides – A buyers guide can be as simple as showing the consumer how they could pair that cashmere sweater with a great pair of jeans. Or it can go as deep as Away Travel does with their product videos. Not only does Away utilize reviews, but they also have an incredible product description that talks about customer pain points and how they are solving them. Add in a demonstration video that highlights specific product features and you have great content.
Now that you have mapped out your keywords and tied them into your content strategy, the next step is the technical SEO. Google needs to be able to properly crawl and index your site and with that comes five key practices:
Internal and External Link Building
Generating content on a consistent basis should allow you to link to other educational or promotional pages on your site as you keep the buyer journey moving along. Sharing other related products that pair well with the item the consumer is looking to purchase is a prime example.
On the other hand, external link building is equally as important. Leverage outlets such as Quora, Yelp, Retail Me Not, or even partner with relevant social media Influencers to build brand and site credibility.
Optimizing for mobile is a must-have. With omnichannel playing a huge role in the marketing spectrum today, there is a high probability that your consumer has interacted with your brand via their mobile device.
Alt or IMG tags
Adding alt tags or alt descriptions is an HTML attribute that provides a text alternative for search images. IMG tags define images in an HTML page. Search engines and other robots are unable to to interpret images, so it is important to provide text options that can be read by search engines.
Make sure to add this simple step in to each product image to help build and increase your SEO rankings. These can be a combination of broad and specific terms that relate to each item.
Short, sweet and to the point. Make sure every URL contains the keyword you want to rank for that specific item, product, blog post, or other asset. Keeping it clear and concise will help Google and your audience easily identify what the page is about and rank it accordingly.
Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)
If you want your site to rank high in search engine results pages (SERP), an SSL is a must-have. Having the proper security protocols in place is essential for your site and business to be successful. Most web hosting sites including Shopify can easily enable an SSL certificate for your site for a reasonable fee.
SEO is not something that happens overnight. It takes a lot of time, effort, and research, but in the end, the results will be worthwhile as you see traffic and conversions increase.
To learn more about how to use a PIM solution to make your keywords really drive conversions, download your free eBook Driving Revenue Faster – Why Product Information Matters.