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5 Tips for optimizing an e-commerce site for SEO

Starting an online store is one of the best business ideas an ambitious entrepreneur can jump into. Capitalizing on the evolution of shopping can be profitable if one knows what to do.

E-commerce entrepreneurs invest a substantial amount of resources to start up their business. They spend countless hours researching products, manufacturers, marketplace, e-commerce websites and all the other aspects of an online store. After painstakingly designing the online store and posting products, why are there no customers?

There is a straightforward answer to this question. Shoppers simply cannot find your online store or even the products posted in various marketplaces. There is an art to listing products, and posting them without SEO in mind is a waste of time and resources.

Master E-commerce SEO

Learning new skills is only natural when entering a new field of business. Building the infrastructure takes a lot of work, now all that’s needed is a little bit of fine-tuning. When the term SEO is thrown around, some business owners would think it is a complicated process to implement.

When they find out what Search Engine Optimization is all about they are pleasantly surprised by its sophisticated simplicity. All one needs to do is adjust the content of the website as well as the product listing itself.

Research and Discover Keywords

Find out what keywords are the most effective to bring more traffic to the website. Figure out what customers type into the search field on Google or the various marketplaces to look for the products you offer. Create a comprehensive list of the best possible keywords.

The best way to do that is to extract the data from the website’s GWT (Google Webmaster Tools) account. Retrieve the keywords that drive the most impression each product on the site.

One can also use Google’s Keyword Planner tool to do more research and discover even more useful keywords. In case there is someone else managing the site then ask the person or webmaster to provide you with the list of keywords used more often on and off the site.

Create original content for the site. Make sure to make the material as SEO friendly as possible. Sites that do not have SEO in mind will get lost in the limbo of the world wide web.

Meta Titles are the clickable words that bring customers to the product listing. Creating an SEO friendly title will help improve the rank of the product listing when a customer searches for the product in Google. The same thing applies to Amazon.

When shoppers search online, only a product listing that has taken SEO into account will show up in the first couple of SERPs. Carefully preparing a product listing to be Amazon SEO friendly, which will give your Amazon listing a boost in product ranking.

The use of header tags to separate different sections of a blog post or sections of a site does more than making the web page more readable. Header tags make the webpage crawl friendly to search engines which also help rank the page for SEO.

Optimize the Structure of the Site

Maintain a site that keeps each section of its many pages SEO friendly. Ensure that each webpage and every header is correctly themed. Use the keywords from your research as headers and in other relevant sections of the site.

Make the site easy to navigate for customers. Optimizing the structure of the site will drastically increase its visibility via search engines and help customers navigate the site faster as well. Customers will be able to find the products they are looking for easily.

Structuring each aspect of the site to be SEO-friendly will also help improve site ranking with search engines. The more those relevant keywords are used on the website, the better it is for the search engine to tag the site as a resource pertinent to those specific set of keywords.

If done correctly, search engines would then list the site among the top results of a search using the relevant keywords to the niche or site.

Internal Linking

Once a website is uploaded to the web then finally goes live, search engines crawl each webpage and every word to index it in their database. Websites that have strong internal linking will rank higher in terms of SEO.

When search engines crawl a site with the purpose of indexing, it looks at the relevance of each link to the overall theme of the website. Proper internal linking will help solidify the entire framework of the site.

Each link should correspond to the keywords used on each webpage. The usage of all too obvious anchor text sometimes puts readers and customers off. It is essential to make the anchor text look as natural as possible.

Sure, ranking for the keywords that are important to the niche is crucial but make sure the anchor text flows naturally with the rest of the post or text. Integrate the site with popular social media platforms to help bring traffic directly from those channels.

Enable customers to easily share the products they see, purchase and review them on the site. The extensive reach of social media can bring new customers from far and wide right to the product page for a quick purchase.

Optimize Product Images

When uploading images of products to the website, do not forget to change the file name of that image to a keyword associated with the product. Rename the images to the most popular keywords, slang or alternative names of the product as well.

Some sellers ignore this vital step and let the product images keep their default names straight from the camera or downloaded image file.

Rename the photos and upload them to make the search engines know that the images on the site are relevant to the keywords used on the site as well as the whole theme of the niche.

Beware of Duplicate Content

Search engines do not look kindly on websites that use duplicate or copied content. Duplicate content such as product descriptions from the seller or manufacturer is somewhat acceptable.

Google knows that this is just the general information about the product and it will not negatively impact the product listing. Put in some effort to create a unique product description for the listings to make the content entirely original.

It will help boost your site’s SEO ranking above the other sites using the duplicate information. If a site is planning to use duplicate content and refer to the original source of the material, the site can then use the 301 redirect method.

301 redirect is a parameter handling tool in Google Webmaster Central. What this does is let the search engine know which of the web pages is the original and links the duplicate to the original thus strengthening the relevance of the pages.

This method allows these pages with the same content to rank better as well. Copied content is content that has been copied and slightly edited from another webpage. This practice can do more harm than good. Avoid doing this because Google is able to detect variations of the same content and this practice will negatively affect the sites SEO standing.

Conclusion:

Optimizing an e-commerce site is a systematic process that needs to be meticulously accomplished. Invest in discovering the most effective keyword or long-tailed keywords relevant to the site.

Create SEO-friendly meta titles and headers which can help direct traffic to the site. Use internal linking to connect to other relevant sites to help boost SEO ranking. Rename product images to keywords associated with the product niche.

Learn how to avoid duplicate content or make it work for the site. Make it a point to create original content as often as possible.

This is a guest post by Nathan Sharpe. He is the entrepreneur behind the business blog Biznas. He knows that you must wear many different hats for your business to be a success and helps others achieve this success by sharing everything he knows on his blog, as well as new lessons he learns along the way!

Browse more in: Ecommerce, Optimize Ecommerce Site
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