Search engine optimization (SEO) plays a key role in any successful website. Without SEO, searchers can have a hard time finding your site. As an e-commerce merchant, you rely on visitors finding your website when they're on the cyber prowl for goods or services. If it isn't already, SEO should be your best friend. Below are five hot tips to help your e-commerce website thrive.
The first thing you need to do when operating an e-commerce website is research what keywords you want to use, and then determine what keywords you need to use. There are a couple of ways you can go about this. The first way is by visiting your direct competitors' websites and seeing what keywords they're using.
The second way is by using analytics tools--a technique you should definitely use. Tools like Google AdWords Traffic Estimator lets you see how many global monthly searches there are for specific keywords or phrases. It even allows you to compare keywords and phrases. For example, if you sell electronics on your e-commerce website, you can compare the keywords headphones, head phones, earphones, and ear phones to see what term gets more searches.
Once you have your list of keywords, use them. Properly. Avoid flooding your pages with keywords--no one likes overkill--and make sure you use them in ways that make sense. By this, I mean don't stick a keyword into a sentence just for the sake of having it on the page. Two great ways to use keywords are to include one or two of the most important ones in your META description attribute as well as in the page's title tag.
One of the biggest challenges you may have running an e-commerce website is that hundreds of others stores and sites are selling the same exact items as you (unless you handcraft the products you're selling, of course). Your products may not be unique, but your content should be. Unique content will attract people and convert your website visitors into customers.
Make sure you're using important keywords in your product descriptions too. While it's great to use keywords in headings and subheadings, you should aim for using each keyword at least three times on the page. Some people even go so far as using each keyword three times within a span of 100 words.
When it comes to websites, search engines frown upon duplicate content. Each page on your e-commerce website should be different from one page to the next. But you know what search engines love? Fresh content! So make sure you're updating your content regularly for even better SEO.
When you're searching for something--anything, really--on the Internet, and you see a URL ending with ID=Product72310Category=922, will you know what's on the page? I sure don’t, and neither will search engines--based on the URL, that is. Now, if you see a URL that ends with ID=HeadphonesCategory=SurroundSound, will you know what's on the page? Absolutely! When writing a URL, make sure it is clear, descriptive, and includes one or two of the most important keywords for the page.
Internal linking, or interlinking, connects two pages on your website. Interlinking is great for SEO value--it tells search engines what links are really important on your site--but it's also great for getting visitors to click through your site. When interlinking, use descriptive anchor texts that will let your visitor know what they'll find on the page they're about to click on. The link should also relate to the page your visitor is currently viewing.
For instance, if your visitor is reading about surround sound headphones, you can write about how great the headphones sound when watching movies. You can write about how, with a portable DVD player, they can have their own movie theater wherever they go and link to your product page for a portable DVD player.
5. Product Reviews
A great tool that your e-commerce website has the upper hand on is product reviews. They create original content for your page, and also help build trust with your online customers. If you're having a hard time generating product reviews from your customers, consider offering incentives. A discount on the next purchase in exchange for a review will also generate a returning customer, and a free sample may entice your customer to buy the actual product after using the sample.
Share Your Hot SEO Tips!
How do you use keywords on your e-commerce website? What are some of your most frequently implemented SEO techniques? How do you get customers to leave product reviews on your site?