E-commerce SEO is utterly important nowadays. Search Engine Optimization (SEO), which objective is to optimize websites so that they appear as high as possible in search results, gives a higher return on investment than paid advertising campaigns (PPC) or social media activities, and yet many online stores do not fully use search engine potential. What a waste of potential!
Online stores very often prefer to rely on paid ads that guarantee that they will appear in search results in response to specific phrases; or on social media that allow you to reach very selected groups of recipients. All these activities are great and properly measurable, but they have one major disadvantage – they require a constant stream of expenses. E-commerce SEO is different. Although it requires constant effort, actually (if we do not use the services of an agency) it does not have to cost a lot. How is this possible?
Apart from the technical aspects of SEO, most of the efforts are focused on building a positive user experience. In short, the idea is that the user gets what they are looking for in a form that will satisfy them.
Of course, the order is determined by algorithms, but – while they were not able to fully “understand” the reading text, today they are very, very close. The increasing effectiveness of Google algorithms, especially after the introduction of the Panda update (it aimed to limit the visibility of low-quality websites, created mainly as a source of backlinks), changed the SEO world forever. SEO users stopped focusing on algorithms to outsmart and artificially inflate the position of their websites because now such practices are not only ineffective but may even end in punishment.
E-commerce SEO – how to ensure the visibility of the e-store on Google?
Google does not reveal all its secrets, and it is known that it takes many factors into account. However, it does not hide that taking care of the content is the most important thing. So how to create them to increase your chances?
How to create content for Google?
The content must be:
- properly arranged,
- replete with relevant key phrases.
In practice, this means that they need to be worked on. Articles that we publish, for example, on a company blog, should respond to users’ queries as fully as possible, i.e. – usually – simply be comprehensive and contain the current dose of knowledge and not mislead users. To quote sources is also a very good practice. Outbound links prove to algorithms that the text is based on authors in a given field.
It is worth placing keywords in the headlines so that the user can quickly find what he is looking for. As for keywords in paragraphs, yes, they should be there, but naturally. It’s not about using all of the leads already. The principle of “write for people” is definitely paramount here.
However, the content is not only text, it is worth expanding it with multimedia and graphics, necessarily described with an appropriate attribute. Most importantly, alt is an alternative description that “hints” to the algorithms what is shown in a given image.
UX counts more and more
In addition to the content, user experience (UX) is no less important. What is the user experience? It’s the overall experience of using the website. It includes both visual impressions, ease of navigation, and substantive evaluation of the content contained therein. By analyzing such factors as the number of visits, the bounce rate, or the time spent on the website, Google can very accurately assess whether the user is satisfied with what is on the website or not.
What technology to bet on?
In addition to the content and UX, the website’s position in the search engine is also influenced by the technology used, because it determines e.g. performance, i.e. website performance. If we use outdated platforms or use too many plugins, the time in which Google displays a given page may be longer than expected, but the overmeasure for mobile users is a few seconds. And especially these users cannot be taken lightly. Already half of all internet traffic takes place on mobile, so mobile-friendly is a key (next to performance). The sites should fit into smaller screens and load as quickly as possible.
What technology to use? Google, at least officially, does not favor any particular. So we can successfully use both open source software (eg WordPress and Woocommerce) or opt for SaaS platforms.
Especially in the first case, however, it is worth using the support of developers who have experience in a specific topic. Open-source software, although it offers a lot of possibilities, requires knowledge that will allow for its optimization, also in terms of the search engine guidelines.Read more about which e-commerce platform to choose.
E-commerce SEO on Google – what to avoid?
Unauthorized practices include all deliberately used methods that are supposed to lead to an artificial and faster overestimation of the position in Google. Among the most popular are:
- publishing automatically generated content, artificially saturated with key phrases;
- using the so-called link farms, or systems whose sole purpose is to “exchange” links;
- the so-called cloaking, i.e. providing search engine robots with content other than users;
- hiding content;
- creating websites containing malware.
In response to these practices, Google may lower the position of the page or even ban it, i.e. completely remove it from the results.
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