There is no doubt that properly executed SEO carries a positive impact on the web traffic increase, conversion rate and online brand presence. Higher conversion rate results in more business and generally an increase in revenue. While creating a recipe for an SEO strategy, it is essential to factor in the type of the website that will undergo SEO in order to create a feasible SEO strategy. In this blog post, we will focus on the on-page SEO for ecommerce.
Let's get down to business and outline a list of critical web ingredients for our ecommerce SEO recipe.
1. Choose proper ecommerce software platform
Assuming that you are in the planning stages of your ecommerce project, the first question to consider is what software/CMS to use for your online store. There are hundreds of options available online ranging from the open-source programs to extremely expensive products that either charge a flat fee for a license or a monthly/annual fee to keep an online store up and running. If you plan to have a relatively simple online store with a limited number of products, it is wise to use WordPress or Drupal CMS and install an ecommerce plugin. If you are creating a scalable ecommerce site (an example could be www.sorellehome.com, an online store that sells collectible home decor accessories), you may want to consider Magento, Xcart or some other paid software that can bring good ROI.
2. Optimize page loading speed
Page loading speed has become a significant factor in Google Algorithm, so it is critical (from a search engine's and usability perspective) to make sure that your product images and PDP (product description pages) are loading relatively fast (ideally under 5 seconds per page). To improve your page loading speed, you can do one of the following:
a) Implement compression to compress your files before they load in the browser (we published a blog post on how to easily implement gzip compression).
b) Optimize all of your images before uploading them to the web server. Use Adobe Photoshop or some other software to save images specifically for the web and resize them before uploading to your website.
c) Use content delivery networks (CDN) to host your external files (images, scripts, videos, etc) on external domains or create subdomains on your server (something like images.mysite.com) and host all of the images/scripts on there. This way, when a browser loads a page, the page will load much faster if there are multiple channels/domains/subdomains feeding the content to the page (browsers can download 8 simultaneous connections to a domain at a time, so if you have 24 images that need to load, having 3 subdomains hosting 8 images each will triple your page loading speed).
3. Implement comprehensive navigation and effective internal link structure
Implement internal cross linking among your PDPs (product detail pages) using recommended products links. This way you can pass SEO juice from one product to another.
4. Use user-friendly and keyword-rich URLs and proper title tags for your category and product pages
If you are selling a porcelain tea pot, instead of having a product url similar to www.mysite.com/product_id=123, use something similar to www.mysite.com/porcelain-tea-pot.
Use unique and short title tags for your products. Try limiting the title tag to 70 characters.
Name your image files using relevant keywords (e.g. porcelain-tea-pot.jpg). Utilise image description tags (alt tags) to describe your product images.
5. Focus on high quality content and user-generated content
Do not use generic warehouse product names and descriptions. Do some keyword research and make your product names and product descriptions not only be informative to users, but also contain relevant keywords. Give more details than your competitors do for product descriptions.Allow visitors to leave comments, ratings and reviews on the individual product pages. This way you will have user-generated content.
6. Integrate social media sharing tools
Social media links (specifically from Facebook and Twitter) have a tremendous impact (positive correlation) on good rankings in search engines. Add Facebook Like buttons to your product pages, integrate Twitter and Linkedin Share buttons.
7. Start a blog
Add a blog to your ecommerce website and write topic-related, educational articles, publish sales and promotions, provide product reviews and link back to your product pages.
8. Create product RSS feeds
Google Base allows to submit product data files in order to improve user search experience. By utilising this excellent feature (think of it as if it were a rich snippet), you can get very good rankings for your PDPs and high CTR (click through rates). Take advantage of what Google has to offer. If you want your ecommerce site to rank high, think about not what Google can do for you, but what you can do for Google to make user search experience better and your labor will be rewarded.
9. Avoid duplicate content
If you have to repeat similar descriptions for a number of products, use iframes to embed this text content from one single web page. Content duplication can bring a lot of damage to your SEO and website's ranking.
There is much more that can be done in terms of SEO for ecommerce, but 9 tips above should get you started. If you are willing to outsource your SEO, ArtDriver provides both SEO and ecommerce website development services. Get a free quote now!
John oftentimes takes the lead as the Agile Project Manager and SEO expert on selected projects, which allows him to be hands-on with the latest trends.