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SEO for eCommerce in 2021
This article has been updated since it was drafted back in 2014, with the addition to Shopify SEO, Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and content marketing covering your online store and home page. It is important to note that today's tools are more technical, and have more metrics to measure your marketing effectiveness than back 7-8 years ago. The base rules still apply, the tools have just expanded.
Google Search Console: This needs to be connected to your google session's email and have the sitemap XML file entered in the console for the Google bots to crawl your pages and index them. This captures your organic content, your search keywords will be collected, and based on the authority of your site/page will direct search traffic to your online store. This is a must for all online stores to get searched.
Organic Content: Keeping your page and site active with updates in content and keywords that are optimized to your content marketing strategy is important to keep up. Your upkeep is going to tell the google bots of the changes and it will update and refine search results based on them. Keywords get associated with other keywords based on search patterns - these patterns change and updating your content for these changes matters too. Your target audience shifts in their search criteria.
Your online store structured data: In order to keep your marketing campaigns in line with your organic content, your page titles, title tags, meta tags, alt text, product pages, and product descriptions keywords must be aligned and be SEO friendly. Taking a piece of content from a page is not going to get the bots to notice that your website is optimized for that keyword - it is the whole website being taken into account, and where/how often with what correlated keywords it will index and associate to your site for relevance on a search. Social networks and video content are all part of this association, and whereas Shopify Apps might assist in getting your organized, your content marketing strategy is what will drive your brand awareness forward.
So you’ve built a shiny new website. And boy, does it look good. What’s more, its usability is top-notch too, with no 404 errors or issues at the checkout stage.
There’s only one problem – there aren’t enough people visiting your site. Conversion rates may be relatively high, but you’re just not attracting as many potential customers as you think you should. Let’s consider how to bring traffic to your website.
SEO for eCommerce in 2013
Firstly, it’s essential to understand how much search engine optimisation has changed in the last few years. Thanks to advancements in the algorithms that Google uses to view websites, search engines now respond well to websites that are built for customers’ needs, not to manipulate rankings.
Once-effective tactics such as stuffing keywords and unoriginal content are now a huge no-no to Google. Nowadays, there’s one way to really attract quality traffic to your website, and that’s by writing relevant blogs and web pages.
Create the right content
Whatever it is you’re writing, there’s no point trying to get people to your website if they’re not interested in what you’re saying. Consider your target market and the different types of people that your business is relevant to. Once you’ve thought about their individual needs you can go about building content and strategies that reach them on their level.
Blog, blog, blog
Does your e-commerce site have a blog? If not, it needs one. A steady drip of relevant content through a blog is a must if your website is to attract traffic and convert them into customers. Hubspot found in its 2013 State of Inbound Marketing Report that having a frequently-updated blog had a huge effect on both website traffic and on conversions, as these two graphs show.
Not only is it important to have a blog, but it’s essential to update it as frequently as possible – the Hubspot study showed that posting content daily on a blog will generate four times as many leads as those who post weekly or less.
At a very basic level, blogs work because a constant stream of reliable, well-researched pieces make your website seem a trusted authority in your industry and more likely to lead to conversions.
Hubspot acquisitionOn a deeper level, search engines will react well to your site having more pages of relevant content – giving you more avenues to reach potential customers.
Aside from blogs, it’s also possible to position yourself as an industry authority with more detailed, in-depth articles that people will want to read. In this age of social media, there’s no greater advert for your website than creating content that people want to share and retweet with their friends and workmates. Consider writing a series of 1000-2000 word PDFs about a specific topic in your industry that potential customers will read, enjoy and distribute.
Good content is more than an interesting blog. You need to be persuading customers to buy from your site through well-written product and service descriptions. Consider your customer and let them know how your product will give them what you’re looking for.
A fully-detailed, persuasive, well-written description with pictures and helpful videos will not only help your pages to rank well in the search engines and bring in more traffic, it’ll also help your customers to be more informed and improve your conversions. If you’re looking for your website to rank well and draw in more customers, the solution is clear – content is king.
How TheGenieLab can help
We specialise in eCommerce, and work directly with retailers, as well as agencies and software builders who service the industry. If you’d like to talk your project through with us to get an estimate, email email@example.com or jump on the LiveChat!