S-E-O. Those three letters that can strike excitement (or depression) in the hearts of online marketers. When it works well and Google rewards your SEO efforts, the traffic and the leads can be astounding.
If you’re an eCommerce store owner, the sales can come rolling in.
There’s no question that investing time, energy and money into a solid SEO campaign is a smart business decision.
Yet as much as SEO tactics can really bring profit to your eCommerce store, they have one big drawback. Success in SEO is a moving target. It’s ever-changing.
Unlike the “set it and forget it” aspect of paid advertising, SEO is very fickle. This is extremely frustrating!
The minute you think you have it figured out and your rankings start to climb, Google updates its algorithm and down you plummet. You have to then start all over again.
It’s just the way Google has worked and will continue to work. To stay relevant and visible on the most popular search engine on the planet, you have to keep on top of it.
So while there are always going to be tweaks you have to continually make to your strategy, there are a few mainstay tactics that should keep you in Google’s good graces. Here are 10 tips to help you makes sure you have your basics covered.
Here is a quick list of them, in no particular order:
#1 Title It Right
Ensuring that your title and description tags are correct is very important to your SEO efforts. Google looks first to these to determine what your site is about. So make sure both your title and description tags include keywords you’d like to rank for.
A side benefit to keeping these correct and clear is the fact that these tags control what is displayed when your website appears on Google’s listings.
See how important that text is? It’s the first impression of your site! So making sure these are both correct won’t just help your SEO, it will also help you get more clicks.
#2 Optimize Your Product Copy
All too often eCommerce store owners bypass another great opportunity to improve their SEO.
They spend money and time taking great photos of their product and they spend a lot of energy figuring out what the best shopping cart experience is for their customers.
But then they stop! They throw a few technical specs on the product page but they don’t really add take time to add detailed product copy! What a waste!
The product copy box is a great, natural place to sneak in some keywords. And it doesn’t have to be a big boring paragraph either. Think bullet lists.
#3 Name (or Rename) That Product
Speaking of wasted opportunities, don’t forget the actual names of your products themselves. It’s fine to be fun and clever with your product names but never do so at the peril of explaining what exactly that product is.
For instance, lets say you sell dog toys. You want to rank for the keyword “dog toys.” So the next time you debut a product, don’t get overly cute and name it something like “The Remote Controlled Mouse” or the “Speedy Fast Track Jack.”
Never rely on the context of your dog toy store to inform your customer about the product. You should always make sure that the product name itself has the term “dog toy” in it.
This can help bolster your SEO for that product…and for your whole site!
So don’t be afraid to go back and even rename a few of your products to better reflect their nature.
You may risk a bit of confusion to existing customers at the outset, but you can easily handle that by mentioning that it’s former name in the product description.
Once again, this is a great place to not just optimize your site for SEO purposes but also to help you to entire your shoppers to buy your products! Win-win! (Sensing a theme?
You should. Google rewards sites that take pains to make clear what the visitor is looking at. On every single level.)
#4 Don’t Forget The Photos
The image name is a great place to tuck in some keywords. I know, I know. It’s a big pain to stop and rename every photo.
But if you take the time to do it, it could be that one extra edge that makes Google rank your site one spot ahead of your competitors!
Plus, if a customer saves that image for later or shares it with a friend, the image name will be better branded and much more compelling than, say, the image name below…’
#5 Think Outside the Purpose
Taking the ‘renaming’ tip a step further, you might want to consider repurposing your products as well, to take advantage of new keywords and revenue streams and keywords. What do I mean?
Say you sell wedding favors. One of your products might be a little personalized bud vase. So you market them as “wedding favor bud vase” or some other combination of those words.
Now think…wouldn’t those personalized, cheap bud vases also make a great corporate gift? Or a superb supply for a professional event planner to stock up on and use in future tablescapes?
Think outside what that product was originally intended to be and remarket it as something else as well. Up to you whether you think you need to set up a different website, or whether you can just add a new category on your existing site.
Either way, by selling one product for 2 different purposes, you can actually double your keyword power!
#6 Make A Video
Google loves video. Google loves giving top rankings to videos that live on YouTube (you know, since they own that too?) You don’t need to spend a ton of money and you don’t need to be Spielberg-talented.
A clear, simple video shot from your phone and then cleanly edited is all you need. Make sure you populate the title with the keywords you want and you’re off to the races.
Don’t be surprised if your new video soon dominates the SERPs for your keyword.
And again – pleasing Google often means pleasing your customer too. Videos are fun to watch and are a fantastically compelling sales tool. You should be posting videos anyway, even without the SEO juice!
#7 Get Those Links
Although Google doesn’t give incoming links the enormous weight they used too (too many folks scamming the system) incoming links are still a factor when Google’s trying to decide whether your site is popular enough to rank.
So make sure that requesting incoming links is a regular part of your marketing strategy.
The easiest way to do this is to identify top bloggers in your industry and send them free samples! When you send them a free sample, follow it up with an email telling them why your customers (their readers) love this product and how they use it.
If you word it in such a way that makes it a no-brainer that their readers will love hearing about this product, the blogger will be much more likely to talk about you and link back to your site!
#8 Finally, let’s talk URLs
Speaking of links, URLs are like signposts. When search engines robots try to crawl through your site, they want to know what they’re looking at.
A URL like www.XYZtoys.com/rubber-dog-toys.html or www.XYZtoys.com/ squeaky-dog-toys.html make their job that much easier. And you want to make it as easy as possible for those little ‘bots.
So check your URL on ALL your pages. If you have any that read “www.XYZtoys.com/4302j432hk.html” , you should fix them. Pronto.
So how are your efforts looking, now that you’ve seen this list? Do you practice all of these tips? Some? None? Share in the comments any SEO bungles or triumphs you’ve had in the past.
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