Why should an online retailer care about SEO?
As you know, in many areas trade has already moved very strongly online. According to some studies, almost 90% of us start searching search engines for a product or service. It is therefore abundantly clear that e-commerce must be discoverable through search engines, because that is where people look for products.
Read this post and you know what online search engine optimization is and why you should care about it.
Search for a search for all
Before you can do SEO, you need to find out which search queries are used to find our potential customers’ products. The procedure by which these words can be clarified is known as keyword research.
A well-done keyword research will find a wide variety of keywords – both broad and specific. By creating content targeted at these keywords on the site, you can get people at different stages of the purchase process to find your business and products. Therefore, the keyword research should be a part of the process as soon as the e-commerce setup begins.
In many cases, people start searching for products using some extensive search query, from which it is not yet possible to determine exactly what is ultimately sought. If you want to order shoes online, you may start the purchase process by writing “women’s shoes” on Google .
After viewing the different options, you may not find what you want, or you will start to know what you are actually looking for.
At this point, you will return to Google and put “women’s sneakers” or “running shoes for asphalt” in the search . After the search, you will become even wiser and start to know more about which product you want. After that, you search Google for the best place to buy using the exact name of the product. For example, “women’s Nike free 5.0 jogging shoes” .
If you can find your own online store high on Google with all the different styles of search queries – both extensive and accurate – you will have the opportunity to influence your customer’s purchase decision right from the start of the purchase process.
Remember that if you are not influencing your potential customer’s purchase decision, then so are your competitors.
Online store structure to support key words
Search words are not just for the content. Already when planning an ecommerce (and really all websites) I think you should take into account the keywords that you want your site to be found in search engines.
Based on the keyword research, the site can be designed from the very beginning in such a way that important keywords are used in the best possible way. In practice, the structure and hierarchy of your site, as well as the content you generate for your site, should be based on the keyword research.
In the case of e-commerce, keyword research is used to design and name product categories, and to design category structures..
Online stores are often large-scale sites, so the importance of site structure for search viability and usability is emphasised. The structure should be pyramid-like, but as low as possible. The different sections of the site should be approximately equal. This ensures that the link power is distributed on the site all the way to the important product pages and it also keeps the site clear and easy for the visitor.
When keyword research is considered in the design of the structure, the keywords that receive the most searches should be placed as low as possible in the structure of the site, i.e. as close as possible to the front page.
The deeper you go on the site, the more specific keywords you should use on your site. You want product pages to be found with specific search queries, such as the exact name of the product, while product categories are named in more common search terms.
The image below is an example of what a clothing store used in the example of the opening piece might look like in terms of structure and use of keywords. The entire structure of the (fictional) site is not drawn in it, but the idea is to give an idea of how to use keywords to design the structure.
The keywords on the site would have been mapped using the AdWords keyword designer and the website structure designed based on it, with each important keyword having its own page that ranks high in Google with the page’s keyword.
The main menu and the footer and crumb path are important elements in the internal linking of the site. These elements give search engines tips on what the structure of the site is and what the most important pages are.
The main menu should immediately include the most important product categories.
The bottom bar can be used to enhance internal linking, for example, to the desired important sub-product categories or the most popular brand pages.
Now that the base and structure are in order, we can get to optimize the different pages.
Home page optimization
The front page of your online store is likely to attract the most traffic, so you should try to optimize your homepage so that you get visitors to your site to the point of purchase.
It is a good idea to highlight the most popular product categories, brands, and products on the benefits page. This way, you can quickly find the pages that people are looking for the most. In addition, by linking from the front page to the most important pages, you transport the link power of the front page to them and elevate them in the search results.
Of course, on the front page you should use some relevant keyword or keywords in the title and content. For example, if you sell women’s shoes in your online store, the title on the front page can be “Buy women’s shoes online – Company Ltd”.
Category page optimization
As with other sites, high-quality text content in plays a very large part in SEARCH engine optimization.
Category pages should be named based on terms found to be important based on keyword research. Create 300-500 words of text on category pages to get them high in search engine results.
A large number of products are usually featured on the category page. Show the top products in the category at the top of the page. This is especially important if your online store has a very wide range of products. It can be difficult for the customer to make a decision if there are a large number of similar products. A product that many others have bought and found to be good is much easier to buy.
Product page optimization
The thing that is echoed in every ecommerce guide is, of course, writing individual product descriptions. Let’s raise the issue once again: Write unique, long, selling product descriptions for your products and avoid copying manufacturer’s texts. If your product range is large, start with your best (best-selling, most productive) products.
Target your target audience, speak their language. At the beginning, write about the benefits of the product and try to make the customer feel and think about what it would be like to own the product in question. Also, be sure to use relevant keywords in the text, but under no circumstances do so at the expense of readability.
Appeal to the emotions at the beginning and write down any technical details at the bottom of the page.
Encourage your customers to rate the products they buy. If you get your customers to write reviews on your site, you will increase the amount of text on the page, which helps with search visibility. In addition, positive reviews have a big impact on the page conversions. We want to read other people’s experiences of the product before making a purchase decision.
On the product page, also link to other similar products and products that complement. For example, if the product is a guitar, you can also display guitar strings or suitable carrier bags on the product page.
Blog for e-commerce?
If you have been reading our blog for a long time, you have probably noticed that we often advertise the benefits of blogging. I am even doing it now, because a blog is a sure way to get more traffic to the site, meaning people get to know your business and products.
In the case of e-commerce, a blog can produce product comparisons, in-depth reviews, or something more surprising, fun content that people are excited to share on social media and that could collect links.
Online stores have the same technical basics as any other site. However, in the case of an online store, the wrong technical solutions may do even greater damage than on a static little site. In online stores, the content of a site tends to vary more than on a base business site because products and product quantities can vary. In this case, what seems like a trivial technical thing can take on great proportions as the problem expands with the site.
In other words, make sure that your online store is maintained by someone who also understands search engine optimization.
This blog post was an overview of online search engine optimization. It is also worth remembering that increased traffic alone should not be your goal. The online store must also translate visitors into purchasing customers.
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