The process of making your online store more visible to potential customers is one that requires and should demand a lot of attention and effort. The first step in converting those potential customers into actual customers is getting them to your online store, and one of the most prolific ways this will happen is via search engines. That is why SEO is so critical for your online store and why you should pay attention to the content on your website and keep optimizing it for better SEO results. While these tips are universal, SEO is a complex skill that requires in-depth knowledge. Here are some tips anyone can use to improve the SEO of their online store.
Use Short and Human Readable URLs
Just like humans, search engine crawlers prefer human-readable URLs. This means they should be clean, short, and not full of seemingly random letters and numbers. On many CMS and free ecommerce website platforms, the options on how to set your URLs are available. Strip down those URLs to the bare minimum, and if possible, include only your domain and the title of the page. This way visitors will be able to quickly identify where they are on your site and they’ll be better indexed by web crawlers. Don’t forget to add breadcrumb navigation to your page itself to make navigation easier for your users too.
Add a Blog and Update It Often
A blog has quite a few functions when it comes to your online store. They aim to educate your users, share your ideas, and offer a look into the personality and expertise on your subject, all of which are great value adds for your customers. Their true usefulness to your online store, however, is the function the blog performs in the increase of relevant content, which in turn leads to more keywords and links being added to search engines. Blog posts should be high quality, be relevant to your subject, and the content should be non-time sensitive, so that users will find value from it for a long time after you post it. If your online store doesn’t have a blog, consider adding one.
Each Product Needs Attention
In the same breath, don’t use your blog to highlight products unless they are stable and not likely to change soon. Rather, use your blog for generic informational posts or how-to guides and use each individual product page to highlight the product itself. Use relevant keywords and provide product information that users might search for and include things like product warranty information and each product page. The more detail you can add without going overboard, the more keywords will be indexed by the search engine crawlers.
Make Use of Schema Markup
If you’re on a mission to improve SEO on your online store, it’s important that you understand exactly what schema markup is and how it works, but at its core, it’s code that if you include on your website, search engines will index it, and this will help search results be more relevant to those who see your pages in a web search. Including schema markup on your pages replaces the search engine’s generated summaries with your custom ones. This might mean that you can include things like schedules or specials in the search engine summary that internet users will see before they even visit your online store – and can even entice those users to visit. Schema markup expands on keywords and serves to better help the search engine understand what it is that it is indexing.
Page Load Speed Matters
Just like your human visitors, the time it takes for your online store to load matters. Badly optimized code and images that cause long load times and big page file sizes only serve to slow down the user experience and should be avoided. Make sure all your images are web optimized and any unnecessary scripts and things that might slow down the loading of your page are removed or improved. Search engines use page load speed as one of the factors when indexing your page, and in ranking it, so be aware of this and apply it to your page designs and optimizations. A fast website is just good practice, after all. You can check your website load times and what is causing any delays to page loads using Google’s Page Speed Insights.
Write Original Copy for Your Products
Avoid the easy mistake of copying and pasting product information from manufacturers or advertising literature. While you can include this, remember to write copy for your products that is specific to your online store, region or country so that it makes the indexed text more personal and your users will relate to it more.
The ideas above scratch the surface of the world of Search Engine Optimization and it’s easy to get lost in the complexities of improving your search engine rank. Good practices and a great site go a long way to increasing the chances of converting visitors to sales.