What is E-Commerce SEO?
Is your small business focused on e-commerce? To have any chance of competing with the big boys in this industry, you’re going to have to get smart about your SEO strategy. After all, companies like Amazon, Walmart, and Target play in this space, and your small business can’t afford to be dominated by them on every search engine results page.
Don’t worry. Even as a small fry, you have the opportunity to win big in e-commerce by utilizing SEO best practices that will put you on the map.
SEO is a massive topic, and we could fill hundreds of pages talking about all of the things to look out for and do, but the ideas we’ve organized here in this article are the essentials. Centering your SEO strategy on these pillars will be likely to provide the biggest ROI possible as you’re getting started.
What It Is: In SEO, keyword optimization is a widely accepted practice. SEO “keywords” are essentially the terms that people type into Google to find what they’re looking for and “optimization” is the idea of creating pages on your website that show search engines that your site is relevant enough to appear on the first page of search engine result pages (SERPs).
If you’re the owner of a boutique bicycle shop in Minneapolis, you might think that optimizing webpages around term “bike” makes sense. According to Keywords Everywhere, an SEO tool we use here at FeedbackWrench, the term “bike” was searched for on Google 1,500,000 times just this month.
While it would be nice to appear as the first result on this page, you may find after trying for months (or even years) that it’s extremely difficult to make it anywhere close to the first page since other reputable sources are competing for the same term.
Thankfully, for small businesses, there is another way to reach search engines’ first pages. It’s what we call long tail keywords. Essentially, long tail keywords are simply more specific versions of a broader search. “Women’s carbon road bike” is a long tail keyword. While the term “bike” is extremely hard to appear on the first page for, “women’s carbon road bike” is much easier to rank for. 320 people search for it every month, and, unlike those who search “bike” they are likely to be farther along in their searching process and closer to making a purchase.
For every product on your page, you should consider what someone might search to find it and write content that seems fitting as a response to the query. By doing this you’ll find that your shop appears much higher in search results.
What It Is: Backlinks are one of the most important ingredients in search engine optimization. In the most basic sense, backlinks are generated anytime another website links over to your site. Google, Bing, and other search engines see this as a vote of confidence, and as a result of this, they will increase your site’s “trustworthiness” rating, which will help you to appear higher in search results. However, not all backlinks are considered to be equals. Naturally, Google values links from sites it already views as trustworthy more than it values links from spammy sites. In fact, links from spam-ridden sites can do more harm than good.
In addition to this, those looking to rank for SEO also have to know the difference between nofollow and dofollow links. Dofollow links can offer massive SEO benefits when they come from reputable sites. However, nofollow links are much less valuable. These links inform Google that a link is not as significant to their algorithm – even if it comes from a reputable site.To gain backlinks for your e-commerce site, pursue other sites that are relevant to your industry. The boutique bicycle shop that we referred to earlier, for instance, might want to seek out links from sites that focus on outdoor activities, biking, BMX, exercising, etc.
To get links from these sites, there are a number of methods that could be utilized. The most honest methods usually require the backlink seeker to provide some sort of value to another site. In many cases, this requires guest blogging, sharing expert opinions, or giving testimonials. Whatever the case, it should be mentioned that buying backlinks is a useless effort that will simply waste money. Google and other search engines have no respect for this practice and will penalize sites that use corrupt practices like these.
Having a Fast Site
What It Is: Search engines don’t appreciate pages that take too long to load. Websites that are slow have a big risk of being penalized and moved further down into the SERPs. To ensure that your website is running quickly, look first at the images you have on your site. Since images tend to contain lots and lots of data, they have the potential to be the biggest reason for a slow-moving site.
No image on your site should be larger than 1MB. Ideally, your images should be closer to 100KB in order to maintain proper page loading speeds. This is very important when SEO is taken into consideration, but it’s also important to your customers, and that is why search engines care as well.
Providing Valuable Content
What It Is: SEOs (search engine optimization professionals) sometimes overlook the importance of great content. Ultimately, this is the most important factor that will help you in ranking for any search term that you want to appear for.
To write great content, it’s important to consider your end user from start to finish. What are they looking for when they come across your website or page? How can you exceed their expectations and meet their needs?
While great content might not get found without a foundation laid with technical SEO, technical SEO alone will rarely ever succeed in making a page with subpar content rank high in the SERPs. If your page is extremely relevant to the users that find it, you’ll surge upwards through the SERPs and towards the first page.
Constantly evaluate the content that you’re writing and ensure that it’s always meeting a high standard that you set for yourself. If it does, you’ll have no problems with succeeding in your SEO efforts. Just remember, this is the long game. It can take a little while for SEO to work.