The eCommerce space is extremely competitive, no matter what products or services you sell. You want every advantage you can get. That’s where search engine optimization comes in. With just a few small tweaks, you can potentially bring in more traffic and generate more sales. Here are a few pieces of advice in terms of where to start.
If you would, I’d like you to picture two stores. Both sell similar products. Their products are of similar quality and appeal to the same audience.
The first store advertises itself regularly. Signage is posted throughout the mall in which it’s situated, directing customers into its brightly-lit aisles. It’s easy to find, and easier still to navigate.
The second one is tucked away in a side alley. It’s cramped, crowded, and disorganized. Few people even know it exists.
If I were to ask you which of the two stores was likelier to succeed, you’d probably go with option one, right? It seems pretty obvious. If you do nothing to bring in customers and make their shopping experience streamlined and intuitive, you’re going to miss out on business.
That’s as true in eCommerce as in physical retail. A store without any form of search engine optimization is like the second outlet in our example above. Very few people are able to find it, and those that do probably won’t be buying much.
Aside from proper keyword research and optimization, here are a few things you need to do in order to avoid that situation – to make your store more like the first retail outlet than the second one.
High-Quality Product Listings
Your storefront’s product listings are one of your most powerful SEO opportunities. Each one embodies its own call to action, each one is a potential window through which a customer might discover your brand. Optimizing the information for each product is one of the first things you should do.
Yet for some reason, this is a step that too many store owners ignore. Look at any storefront that hasn’t been optimized for ample evidence of that. Low-quality photos. Boring, generic product titles. Descriptions copied directly from manufacturers – when they aren’t completely absent.
You’re going to want to put in the necessary work to make the listing for each product you sell as complete as possible. The idea is that you want anyone browsing them to not only be able to easily find what they’re looking for, but also to be able to know whether or not a product is a fit for them just by viewing the listing. To that end, pay particular attention to the following:
- High-quality photos, each with some variation of the listing’s headline as their filename.
- A description geared towards helping your customers make purchasing decisions.
- A headline that’s as descriptive as possible. Include model numbers, brand names, colors, etc.
Curated User Reviews
Think about the last time you purchased a product online. When you were researching what to buy, where did you look first? If you’re like most consumers, the answer is ‘user reviews.’
Modern consumers trust reviews above all else when making purchasing decisions. They are a valuable tool for driving conversions on your site, and extremely useful from an SEO perspective. Each review on a product page counts as an update for optimization purposes, and each review is unique content for search engine robots to crawl.
Last but certainly not least, let’s talk about navigation. Your website should be simple and streamlined. It should be easy to understand and easy to navigate for both search engine robots and end users.
You can achieve this in a few ways:
- Simple, memorable URLs that are easy to read aloud.
- Contact and address information on every page of your site, if relevant.
- Streamlined, minimalist design with a low resource overhead, designed to be read on mobile devices.
You might be able to succeed in the eCommerce space if you ignore search engine optimization – but only if you’re extremely lucky. You need to tweak your website so it’s both discoverable and navigable. Because otherwise, you’re doing the equivalent of throwing products on the shelf and ignoring all concepts of signage with a physical retail outlet.
About the Author:
Terry Cane is the COO at SEOHost.net, a reliable and supportive SEO hosting partner.