What Are Your Five Best SEO Practices for E-Commerce
When it comes to marketing your e-commerce store, search engine optimization (SEO) is going to be your best bet at generating high traffic volume over the long term. However, understanding the value of SEO is only the beginning – implementing an effective strategy can be a bit of a challenge.
Fortunately, though, search engine optimization doesn’t require a lot of technical expertise or know-how. You don’t even have to be creative or a marketing guru to make it work. Today we want to share the five best practices for SEO marketing for e-commerce brands.
Whether you’re just starting or you’ve been online for a while, it’s never too late to build an effective SEO strategy. Here’s how to go about it.
#1 Find the Best Keywords
The fundamental component of SEO is the keyword. Thus, to ensure that all of your hard work pays off, you need to find the best keywords for your brand.
Unfortunately, many business owners try to guess the top keywords. This is a mistake. Instead, you want to find the right ones by looking at search results. If you sell dog food, don’t assume that the best keywords are ones like “dog food,” “food for dogs,” or “dog chow.” Depending on what you’re selling and the market demand, more people may be searching for unique keywords like “organic dog food” or “all-natural food for dogs.”
The best way to find these keywords is through Google. Although the search engine only accounts for just over half of all online traffic, it has the best algorithms and sets the industry standards.
You can simply type in the base keyword (i.e., dog food) into the search bar, and look at the other options that Google provides in the drop-down menu. Another way is to look at hot searches and trends by going to google.com/trends. You will need a Google account to access this data, but you should have one already, particularly for Google Analytics.
Overall, you should list all of the keywords that are as closely related to your products as possible. If you only sell organic dog food, for example, dismiss any keywords that don’t address the organic part.
#2 Optimize Every Page but Focus on the Top Results First
For some e-commerce sites, you may have hundreds of different pages. Product listings and category pages can inflate your sitemap, which can make it seem impossible to optimize them all.
However, if you want to make the most of your SEO marketing strategy, you’ll have to go through and adjust each page individually. Fortunately, you can prioritize them first so that your efforts can pay off faster.
When it comes to prioritizing, focus on the pages that get the most traffic or the most sales. You can find them in Google Analytics, so we highly recommend signing up for an account. Prioritizing your efforts will ensure that you boost sales for your top-selling items before worrying about lower-ranking products.
#3 Make Your URLs Keyword-Specific
All too often, the URL for a product page will look like this:
What information can you or a customer get from that listing? The page could be about anything. Instead, you want to incorporate keywords into the URL so that customers (and search engines) know what’s on the page before it loads.
So, if you sell dog food, a better URL may be this:
Not only will the algorithms find and rank the page better, but if your customers decide to share the link, it’s easier for others to know what to expect before clicking.
#4 Redirect Expired Product URLs
In some cases, you may discontinue a particular product, or it may have been part of a limited-time sale. However, the link to that (now defunct) page may still show up in search results. To avoid letting customers see an error message when they click on it, use a 301 permanent redirect instead.
Broken links and pages that lead to nowhere are going to detract from the user experience, and it can make your site seem less professional and attractive. This is a simple fix that ensures that all of your hard work on search engine optimization doesn’t go to waste.
#5 Create Unique Tags and URLs
Depending on what you sell, you may have a lot of similar items. Perhaps there are subtle variations like color or size options, but each one requires a unique product page. Unfortunately, if you don’t take the time to create a unique tag for these items, search engines won’t be able to separate them in rankings.
For the most part, duplicate content will tank your SEO practices because the search bots won’t know how to differentiate the pages, which will cause them to rank lower. Instead, craft unique keywords for each listing. Doing this may take a lot of time, but once you’re done, you shouldn’t have to do it again.
Bottom Line: Be Thorough
Unlike other marketing tactics, SEO can feel like a chore at times. However, doing your due diligence will pay off big in the end, and it doesn’t require a lot of expertise or creativity to get it done. That being said, if you don’t do it, you could lose out to the competition.
Author: Mike Patel is a digital marketing enthusiast, innovator and President of a leading Digital and E-commerce Development Agency in Dallas, Texas. Mike holds a BS, Computer Science degree from Wayne State University and is a key player in the E-commerce development and digital marketing industry since 2004. The scope of technology in his extensive experience of more than 15 years ranges from Magento, Shopify, BigCommerce SEO (Search Engine Optimization), PPC (Pay Per Click) management, E-commerce SEO, Google Shopping Ads and more.