There’s no doubt that ranking at the top of search engine result pages (SERPs) is a must. However, if you don’t know how to get your e-commerce website to the top, you are losing potential customers to your competitors.
Whether you have just launched your e-commerce store or are looking to improve your existing E-commerce site, in this SEO guide, we share some useful tips and tricks to step up your SEO game.
Begin with Keyword Research
The first step is to carry out keyword research to identify the target keywords you want to rank for. Without keyword research, you are essentially throwing stones in the dark.
Moreover, it’s important to get this step right. If you don’t, you will be targeting keywords that are practically impossible to rank for and/or you may rank for keywords that do not generate much traffic.
When choosing keywords, the most important factor to keep in mind is buyer intent, which means how far along a user is in the purchase journey.
Here are three places to find the right keywords for your online store:
- Competitor websites
- SEO tools such as Ahrefs and Ubersuggest
Get the Site Architecture Right
Once you have a list of keywords you want to target, it’s time to put that information to good use. This begins with your e-commerce website’s architecture.
Site architecture refers to how your website is structured. Essentially, it is about ensuring users can find the information they are looking for easily and quickly, with a view to drive conversions.
A great website structure follows the following rules:
- It is simple and scalable
- Getting from one page to another shouldn’t take any more than three clicks
- Use your keyword research to create extremely relevant page URLs and subdirectories.
Identify Problems that Need Fixing
Now it’s time to audit your website for problems that need attention. Here are some of the most important aspects to look into:
- Site errors – Use Screaming Frog to find website errors. This free tool will crawl your site’s images, links, script, apps and CSS from an SEO perspective. It will then deliver a report of problems including redirects, errors, missing header tags, duplicate pages, etc. Some of the biggest issues you’ll want to fix are:
- Redirecting any 404 pages.
- Updating duplicate content, meta descriptions and meta titles.
- Replacing 302 redirects with 301 redirects.
- Find your website speed – Your website’s load speed is an important SEO factor. If your visitors have to wait too long for your website to load, they are likely to head back to the search results to look for a faster site – in other words, your competitor. Use this tool from Google to find your website’s load speed. Here are some things you can do to improve your load time:
- Minimise HTTP requests
- Improve server response time
- Choose a reliable hosting service
- Enable browser caching
- Enable compression of files
- Reduce image sizes
Although off-page optimisation (link building) is important, so is on-page optimisation. On-page SEO involves all the steps you can take on your own website to improve its rankings in the search engines.
On-page SEO is completely in your control and that gives you a whole lot of power!
It’s time to optimise the pages and blogs on your website for the target keyword. To optimise each page, you must ensure the keyword is present in strategic locations including:
- URLs – URLs should not be user-friendly, meaning they must include real words and not a lot of gibberish and numbers.
- Meta title and description – This is the title and description that shows below your URL in the search engine results. Make sure not to make your meta title and description too spammy by stuffing them with too many keywords. They shouldn’t sound gibberish or have nothing but your keywords. They must read like an ad as the higher your CTR (click-through rate), the higher your ranking in the search engines.
- Page title – This is the title of the page that shows at the top of the browser. Keep it short, real and user-friendly.
- Headers – Headers are an important part of every page. It tells in few words what the page is and the relevancy of your page to a given search query.
- Subheaders – Subheaders are like icing on the cake. They complement your headers. Here, you can add your secondary and related keywords to strengthen the SEO prospects of your page.
- Paragraph copy – This is the body of your page. Be sure to keep the content engaging and user-friendly, providing lots of value. If all the reader sees is a bunch of keywords slapped together, they are unlikely to engage with your content; instead they will head back to the search results and go to another page that offers better value. So when optimising your paragraph copy for your target keywords, don’t forget about offering value to your readers.
- Image file names – The search engines can’t see an image, so they rely on the data in the image such as the image file name and the alt tag to “see” it. Be sure to include your keyword in the image file name so search engines can understand the subject matter of the image.
- Image alt tags – The alt attribute adds strength to your message and helps the search engine spiders better understand your relevancy, whilst imp00roving your website’s accessibility. Every image on your website should have a suitable alt text. Not only for SEO purpose, but also because visually impaired and blind people can’t otherwise decipher what the image is all about.
There are many more strategies and techniques to improve the SEO of your e-commerce site. Follow these essential techniques to get your online store’s SEO off to a good start. Should you need more assistance or a proactive SEO campaign, our SEO specialists would be happy to help.
Contact us today for a free consultation.