Search engine optimization (SEO) is a unique marketing technique that can help your site rank better in search engines. The process itself involves optimizing the actual content of a company’s website and external factors such as the quality of the links pointing at the website and its social media presence. SEO is a complicated and time-consuming process – especially for retail businesses since they usually have many pages to maintain. Further complicating the matter is the fact that search engines are continually tweaking their algorithms. That means that you have to stay on the cutting edge of SEO if you want to get good results.
Retail businesses typically have pages dedicated to every product that they sell. They also have complicated search forms that allow visitors to search for products based on various factors. Every product on the site needs to be correctly optimized to ensure they come up during these searches.
That is one of the things that makes optimizing a retail website so challenging. Not only do you have to optimize your site as a whole, but you also have to optimize each product page if you want to connect with potential buyers.
Understanding The Importance Of Getting Listed Well In The Search Results
Although the SEO process can take a lot of time, it is worthwhile. Obtaining one of the top spots in the search engines can provide the following benefits:
- An increase in traffic. Studies have shown that nearly 70% of all clicks on a specific search engine page go to the top five results. That means that if your site isn’t in one of the top positions, it most likely won’t get many clicks from the search engines.
- Instant trust. Search engines do an excellent job of curating content, only delivering high-quality results to their users. As a result, people naturally expect that the top few search listings are high-quality websites. That means that if you can obtain one of these spots, you will instantly have a measure of trust with the people who click through to your site. Appearing in a top position can make your website seem more credible and trustworthy.
- They decreased advertising costs. Getting your site listed well in the search engines can result in a lot of free, highly targeted traffic. When compared to other advertising methods, such as pay-per-click advertising, SEO is far less expensive. Best of all, the visitors who land on your site are usually easy to convert since they are already looking for the products you sell.
The only downside to search engine optimization is that it can take time to see results. It is not an overnight process. Instead, all of the changes that you make cumulatively add up over time, helping your site to rank better and better in the search results. As frustrating as it might be to have to wait for results, it is well worth the effort. The sooner you start, the sooner you can start seeing an increase in traffic.
Remember – regardless of the size of your business, you can succeed online. You don’t need a huge advertising budget or a large retail shop. Instead, all that you need to do is get your business in front of the eyes of the people who are searching for the products that you sell. Here are some tips that you can use to start optimizing your site today.
- Include the right keywords in your content.
Keywords are the words people type into the search engines when searching for a particular product or service. When deciding what keywords to use in your content, think about the types of words people type in. For instance, if you sell dresses, avoid general terms such as “clothing,” opting instead for more specific words such as “red evening gowns” or “blue maxi dresses.” Being more specific will help bring in targeted traffic.
There are also many different keyword tools that you can use to help figure out which keywords and search phrases people are using when searching for the items you carry in your store.
When people are shopping, they tend to use particular keywords. Because of that, you should incorporate specific keywords in your content. These keywords should identify what the product is and other details such as its color, size, and the type of material that it is made from.
- Create a large site.
SEO guru Matthew Woodward suggests adding additional pages to your website may help it rank better since search engines favor larger sites over smaller ones. Retail sites are usually already quite big, simply because they have a separate page for every product.
Along with your product pages, however, you should consider adding additional content such as blog posts, interesting articles, or testimonials from past customers. Product reviews can also be beneficial for helping people find the products that they need. The more time and effort you can put into building a helpful, informative website, the more likely your site will rank well in the search results.
However, the key to this is to focus on creating the highest quality content that you can.
- Leverage your images.
Adding images to your website is a great way to help people better understand what they are buying. Images can also be used to help optimize your site. All that you have to do is add a description to them.
Adding relevant keywords to the name of the image file and the alt tag for every image on your site is a great way to help the search engines better understand what your content is about. This can boost your rankings, allowing your site to appear higher and bringing in more traffic. SEO tool Yoast has some good tips here.
- Make it easy for people to share your content.
Although social media doesn’t directly impact your overall ranking, it never hurts to have your content shared on as many social media platforms as possible. The easier you can make it for people to share your content, the more likely they will do it.
It would be best if you had share buttons displayed prominently on every page of your website. That way, all people have to share your content is to click on one of those buttons. The more times your content gets shared, the more likely you are to connect with potential buyers.
- Make your site mobile-friendly.
A large percentage of people rely on their cell phones when accessing the Internet. More people are using mobile devices to search the Internet than people using desktop or laptop computers. Because of that, you should make sure that your content is mobile-friendly and that it displays correctly on cell phones, tablets, and other mobile devices. Ensure your text is large enough to read easily and that your layout works well on small screens.