To maximize e-commerce website conversions, you need to meet and exceed customer expectations every step of the way, from initial contact to product delivery and beyond. One of the best ways to accomplish this is by ensuring your website’s search engine optimization (SEO) remains up-to-date.
In turn, this allows you to optimize your eCommerce site for target keywords, making it more likely that prospective customers will find your website and consider purchasing from you instead of competitors’ sites. With that in mind, here are three on page SEO factors to consider when optimizing an eCommerce website.
Keywords are words or phrases that potential customers might search when trying to find products like yours. Think about how someone would search for products like yours online—then write content around those terms. Before optimizing any page, it’s a good idea to take some time to research your target audience.
What are they searching for? How many of them will be interested in what you have to offer? The better you understand these factors, the more effectively you’ll be able to optimize each page. Before thinking about which keywords will work best for your site, ask yourself: Who is my customer base? What kinds of searches are they making? Are there common questions or concerns that people have related to my product or service?
Keywords and Phrases
Once you’ve answered these questions, begin brainstorming keywords and phrases that might be relevant. Be sure to also consider misspellings, synonyms and long-tail variations when conducting your keyword search. For example, if you run an organic juice company called Organic Juices R Us then you should include words like organic juice store, organic fruit juices, organic vegetable juices etc. into your keyword search as well. It’s important to remember that not all keyword searches are created equal.
Some may bring in thousands of visitors per month while others may only bring in hundreds. It’s important to identify which keywords will provide you with a significant amount of traffic. So that you can focus on optimizing pages around those terms. When choosing keywords to optimize your website around. Make sure they aren’t overly competitive (i.e., too hard to rank for) and that they aren’t too general (i.e., not enough people search for them).
To help determine how competitive a particular keyword is, check out Google AdWords Keyword Planner Tool. This free tool allows you to see how many people are searching for certain keywords within different regions and industries.
An important component of on-page search engine optimization is internal linking. In general, internal links connect one page to another in your website. If a person clicks on an internal link and likes what they see. They’ll return to that particular page again and again. That’s why search engines reward websites with high quality content. The more people who come back, the higher up you appear in search results.
To encourage visitors to click through from one page to another. It’s crucial that all pages are linked together effectively. If a user finds something interesting but can’t find their way back to it. You might have just lost them forever. If a user doesn’t know where else to look for information about your products or services, then they won’t look any further.
The goal is to create multiple entry points into your site so that when users arrive at one page. They immediately know how to get around. The easiest way to do this is by including navigational elements on each page of your site. Navigation elements include things like navigation bars, breadcrumbs, menus and sidebars. This will help ensure that users always feel like there’s somewhere else they can go next if they don’t find what they need right away.
Use Keywords in Page Content
Keywords, that when put in your page’s title, body content and URL will help determine which pages are visible to search engines. When a user searches for something related to your niche, if you’ve included key phrases in your page content then chances are you’ll rank higher than other similar businesses. For example: If I was selling an organic dog food online store I would include keywords like organic dog food in my titles and descriptions on all of my product pages.
This way when someone is searching for organic dog food or organic pet foods they can find my website because it ranks higher in Google than other similar websites. The more specific your keyword phrase is, such as organic dog food free shipping vs organic dog food, will also make a difference in how high you rank on Google.
The more specific your keyword phrase is, such as organic dog food free shipping vs organic dog food, will also make a difference in how high you rank on Google. You want to be sure not to overdo it with your keyword usage but at the same time don’t under do it either. Be sure to read up on long tail keywords, short tail keywords and mid tail keywords so you know what works best for your business! It’s important to note that there is no exact formula for what keywords to use and where. It really depends on your business and industry.
Just try using common sense when choosing keywords and remember that less is more! Don’t get too carried away with stuffing keywords everywhere. Instead focus on creating great content that makes people want to share it and link back to your site naturally.
To calculate keyword density you need to divide total number of times a keyword appears by total number of words on your web page. A good rule of thumb is to have about 2% – 4% density for each keyword phrase used in your text. So if you were using 3 different keyword phrases in your content (such as organic dog food, natural dog food and dog treats) then you should aim for between 6 – 12 mentions per 1,000 words.
Using percentages instead of actual numbers makes it easier to keep track of whether or not your target percentage has been reached. Use LSI Keywords: LSI keywords are related to your main topic and help describe your content in greater detail. For example, if you’re writing a post about how to build an igloo out of ice blocks, some related LSI keywords could be building igloos, how to build ice blocks, how to build an igloo out of snow blocks. Including LSI keywords helps with relevancy and makes it less likely that search engines will drop your page from their index.
Avoid Duplicate Content: Duplicate content happens when multiple versions of your page exist on different domains or even within one domain. Search engines see duplicate content as spammy and penalize sites that have duplicate content. Make sure you only have one version of each page on your domain and avoid linking to any external sites that contain duplicate content. Linking internally is fine though!
To maximize your on page SEO efforts, you should use between 1 and 3 H1 tags per page. Try using your most important keyword phrase once as an H1 tag. Additional H1 tags can be used to outline or reinforce other concepts or ideas discussed in that page of content. Avoid overusing H1 tags, though; it’s best to keep things simple with one primary focus per page.
In addition to your primary heading tag (H1), try adding a secondary heading tag (H2) for each major subtopic within a page. You may also include additional subheading tags (H3 through H6) if necessary. However, avoid using too many subheadings on a single page—one or two is usually plenty. The number of tags you use will depend largely on how much information is included in any given piece of content. If your main topic could fill an entire book, for example, then more than three H1 tags might be appropriate. On the other hand, if you’re only discussing one small aspect of a larger concept, then just one H1 tag will probably suffice. Regardless of how many headings you decide to include, make sure they are all relevant and useful.
Heading should add value to your content
Each heading should add value to your content by helping readers understand what’s coming next. They shouldn’t simply repeat what was already said in previous sections of text. Also, make sure there aren’t any duplicate words between different headings. These duplicates can confuse search engines and cause them to rank different sections of text differently than they would otherwise.
A good rule of thumb is to use no more than three levels of heading tags (H1, H2, and H3) for every 1,000 words of content. So, if you have a 4,500-word post, you’ll want to limit yourself to four total headings: H1 + H2 + 2 x H3. When deciding which keywords to target with your H1 tags, think about which terms people would likely use when searching for similar content online.
Use Structured Data Markup
Structured data markup is a way of adding descriptive information to your site’s code that can help search engines crawl. Read and better understand what your web page content is about. The next step after optimizing your titles, meta descriptions and ALT tags on each page of your website is to include structured data markup. This helps both Google and Bing identify what your pages are about. So they can display those results in their SERPs.
You don’t have to go crazy with it, but you should make sure you have at least some basic markup on every page of your website. There are a number of free tools available online that will allow you to create rich snippets and microdata for your products.
Some popular ones include Schema Creator, JSON-LD Playground , Schema App and Microdata Generator. When including structured data markup, just be sure to use it correctly. Otherwise, you might end up doing more harm than good.
Title and Meta Description
An important part of optimizing your website is determining what keywords you want to rank for and including them in your title and meta description. These two pieces are often overlooked, but they are incredibly crucial when optimizing a website. Make sure both of these pieces include your most important keywords, as well as at least one call to action (e.g., buy now).
It’s also important that your title is compelling enough that someone will click through to read more about it. But not so compelling that it will show up in search results. Remember: You don’t want people clicking on your page. If they already have all of their information; you only want them clicking. If there’s something new or different from other pages ranking for that keyword.
The same goes for meta descriptions—you need to make your content enticing enough that someone will click through, but not so enticing that you’re drawing too much attention away from other pages ranking for that keyword.
Include a Call to Action
If you want visitors to take an action once they arrive on your site (i.e., visit another page or purchase a product), then make sure you include a clear call to action somewhere within your title and/or meta description.
This can be accomplished by using strong language, such as click here or shop now. Keep it Short and Sweet: Title tags should be between 50-60 characters long and meta descriptions should be between 150-160 characters long. If you go over those character limits, Google will truncate your text and users won’t see all of your content.
Don’t Overstuff Keywords: In order to avoid getting penalized by search engines, you shouldn’t use exact match keywords more than three times per page. Instead, try using long tail keywords which are generally easier to rank for than exact match terms because they aren’t nearly as competitive.
Long tail keywords help drive traffic without being overly specific. Choose Your Top Keyword(s): While it may seem tempting to target every possible keyword with your title and meta description, remember that it’s better to focus on a smaller number of high quality keywords rather than spreading yourself too thin across many low quality ones. To determine which words are worth targeting, do some research into what terms customers typically use when searching for products like yours.
Page Speed and User Experience
This on-page factor is one of Google’s most important ranking signals. Studies show that slower sites tend to lose traffic and, in turn, revenue. But don’t worry—you don’t have to be a genius developer to improve your site speed. Use Google PageSpeed Insights to identify areas of improvement and use Yahoo! YSlow or Pingdom Tools as well. In addition, make sure you’re following best practices when it comes to code quality and security.
You should also consider using cache plugins such as W3 Total Cache or WP Super Cache. These can help load your pages faster by preloading them before users visit them. (WordPress has its own caching feature built in.) Finally, ensure that your website loads quickly on mobile devices. Google recently announced a mobile-friendly update that will affect search rankings.
Keep your development team up-to-date with modern technologies like HTML5 and CSS3, which reduce page weight. Mobile devices tend to be more memory constrained than desktops/laptops, so every byte counts! If you haven’t yet launched your site, there are many things you can do to improve performance during development.
Ensure that all images are optimized and compressed properly
JPEG images are typically smaller than PNG files, but sometimes PNG files compress better. If you need transparency in an image, save it as a PNG file instead of GIF format.
Also remember to optimize video files: The more complex an image is, the larger its file size will be. Videos are particularly troublesome because they contain multiple images stitched together. Consider hosting your content on a Content Delivery Network (CDN) to decrease load times across regions. For example, if someone from New York visits your site while someone from London visits at exactly the same time, both visitors will see identical content delivered from different servers around the world.
This way, visitors won’t have to wait longer for their webpages to load just because they live far away. Most CDNs offer free trials, so test them out and see how they work for you. Make sure you have a fast server: Hosting your site on a slow server means that no matter how efficient your coding is, people will still experience slow load times.
To find out whether your host offers speedy service, run some tests using free tools such as WebPagetest or SpeedCurve. These tools let you test any URL from any location around the globe to get realistic results based on actual user behavior.
Make sure your website has an easy structure to follow. Readers should be able to easily browse through your site’s pages and find exactly what they’re looking for. It may also be helpful to provide an image or product that represents each section of your site. Some people use their website as a shopping cart. Meaning if you don’t have a clear organizational system in place, it can be frustrating and confusing to navigate. And, remember: customers will leave your website quickly if they can’t find what they need! So make sure your website is clean, organized and intuitive to use.
A great way to ensure optimal usability is to ask a few friends or family members to look at your site and offer feedback on how easy it is for them to find specific items on your site. If there are too many clicks required or if they get lost when trying to browse different sections of your website, you might want to rework things.
Ecommerce websites are a bit different from your typical blogs and businesses. In most cases, you’ll be selling products as opposed to informational content or services. Which means having a well-designed ecommerce URL structure is even more important.
You’ll have several different options when it comes to naming your individual product pages. But it’s important to ensure that they’re consistent across your website. For example, if you plan on using category-based URLs for your main navigation (e.g., /shirts). Then make sure each category page includes that same name in its URL (e.g., /shirts/cotton-shirts).
Consistency will help Google better understand what type of content each page contains. Making it easier to determine whether users should see it in search results. Additionally, keep in mind that URLs with lengthy strings of numbers tend to perform poorly in search engines. So don’t be afraid to break up long strings into shorter segments.
Sitemaps are one of those things that many people don’t think about until something goes wrong. At which point they realize how valuable they really can be. A sitemap helps search engines index all of your webpages quickly and efficiently. So it’s essential to include one if you want them to find all of your products in a timely manner.
If you have hundreds or thousands of pages on your website, however, creating a comprehensive sitemap may seem like an impossible task. Fortunately, there are tools available to help with just that. Google Webmaster Tools makes it easy by providing a simple generator right within its interface. It also allows you to check whether or not Google has indexed all of your pages correctly (which is helpful when troubleshooting issues).
The only downside? You need to verify your site before Google will allow you to use its free sitemap tool. However, doing so only takes a minute or two, and once you do. You can upload as many URLs as needed into Google Webmaster Tools (in addition to uploading an XML version of your site map). This way, you won’t have to worry about manually updating your sitemap every time you make a change to your website.
One of your most powerful tools in optimizing your e-commerce website is to use Canonical Tags. This will keep both search engines and users alike from accidentally navigating to a duplicate version of your product page. You can do so by adding rel=canonical tags to your header code. Which tells search engine bots that one version of your product page should be considered as canonical over another. For example, if you have multiple pages for different sizes or colors of a dress, add rel=canonical tags to each individual size/color page pointing back to their parent category page.
Similarly, if you have a blog with many posts about the same topic (like this post). Add canonical tags linking back to the home page where it lists all posts about the same topic. Doing so not only keeps search engines happy, but also makes it easier for them to crawl your site efficiently without confusion. It’s important to note that when using canonical tags. Make sure you don’t link back to the wrong versions of your content. It might seem like just linking back to an index page would cover everything on your website. However, search engines are smart enough to know when you’ve created these links on purpose and may penalize you accordingly.
So choose wisely! It’s also worth noting that many ecommerce platforms—including Shopify, BigCommerce, and Magento. Include built-in canonical tags within their templates. These tags allow you to specify which URL should be as an index for search engines. It may seem like a small detail. But these tags can actually have a big impact on how effectively your website ranks in SERPs.
A Quick Wrap
Search engine optimization is the process of affecting the visibility of a web page in a search engine’s unpaid results—often referred to as natural, organic, or earned results—primarily by means of on-page optimization. It is important that your website’s content be fully optimized so that it appears at the top of searches related to your products and services. There are numerous factors that contribute to how well your site ranks in SERPS (search engine result pages).
These factors include things like keywords, headings and more. By optimizing these areas you will increase the likelihood that visitors find. What they are looking for when they come to your site. It’s also critical that all your links lead back to the home page. Which should have clear navigational aids directing users where to go.
Another key point is updating your blog with fresh content on a regular basis. One aspect of SEO is making sure that your site has been built properly from the ground up.
A number of free tools exist that can help make sure your site doesn’t contain any errors in its code. Such as W3C validation. Check whether there are any errors in your HTML markup. If there is an error, then you’ll know not to upload the site. Because this could cause major problems down the road. You want to ensure that your server settings allow search engines access to crawl through everything on your website without difficulty. That way, Google knows how to index your pages. Once you’re satisfied that all these items are complete, create a sitemap and submit it via Google Webmaster Tools. The last step is analytics – use Google Analytics to measure what people are doing on your website after coming there via search engines. With On-Page SEO Factors complete, you now need Off-Page Optimization Factors!