Today, it’s not enough to clean up 404 errors and make changes to the meta description to win the ecommerce game with SEO. With more and more players entering the scene—from disruptive startups to traditional brands launching their own online stores—entrepreneurs should master the basics and deploy advanced tactics that are in tune with today’s ecommerce trends.
Hence, here are some advanced tips to keep in mind:
1. Evaluate your UX.
Good design for SEO doesn’t end at making sure the images on a website load quickly. The entire design of a website should be checked if improvements can be made. Minor changes, such as changing the position of certain elements and shortening the checkout process, can mean a lot in the long run. This is also where A/B testing comes in.
2. Go local.
It can be argued that this doesn’t make sense when it comes to ecommerce sites that serve an entire country and don’t have a brick-and-mortar store. Yet even for online-only stores, it can help having a local presence. And it’s as simple as claiming the Google+ My Business page for the head office—the address, phone number, and ecommerce store reviews will be displayed as a snippet in the search results.
On top of that, local data from analytics platforms can help fine-tune present or future marketing campaigns. For instance, why stock too many parkas when the bulk of site visitors come from sunny California? Or offer a discount for special state holidays when a customer orders from a specific state.
3. Be a polyglot.
In some countries wherein there is more than one widely-spoken language, having an ecommerce site in different tongues can help. For example, there are now more than Spanish-language speakers in the US than in Spain. With that big potential market out there, it makes sense for an American ecommerce site to have both English and Spanish versions.
4. Make use of structured data.
There’s an entire list of structured data properties that you can utilize so that your products appear as rich snippets on Google search results. For example, the Schema type for Product has the following properties: brand, color, manufacturer, offers, and review.
However, don’t get carried away and stuff product pages with them. There is now a penalty for improper implementation of structured data markup.
5. Automate part of the job, but double-check the results.
Ecommerce sites are notorious for having hundreds or thousands of product pages. This has led many SEOs to automate tasks such as writing meta descriptions. However, before all of these go live, it’s important to check them to avoid duplicates. Better yet, manual improvements to the copy can be made—just use the automated meta description as a base.
6. Focus on branding.
Ranking on Google for the keywords that your products fall under used to be the end-all, be-all of SEO. But in today’s world where competition for key phrases can get very tough, instead of focusing on ranking for a generic term, why not focus on making your ecommerce site known? That way, instead of potential customers googling for a generic product keyword, they go straight to the website by typing the URL in.
These six ideas are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to fully optimizing an ecommerce site. Got any other tips and tricks for this kind of SEO? Share them in the comments!