E-Commerce SEO 101: On-page Optimization Strategies That Work
Whether your website is service based or E-Commerce, Optimization starts with on-page optimization and these are the SEO strategies that work.
Optimizing a website or webpage for higher search rankings typically requires two things: on-page and off-page optimization.
Off-page optimization, as the name suggests, indicates tasks performed “off the website,” which are intended to encourage higher search rankings, whereas on-page optimization refers to tasks performed directly on the website or webpage itself and that’s what I’m going to focus on today.
Each and every page on your website should be given a unique title tag. Search engines display the title tag as the heading for their websites’ search listings. Therefore, you should choose a title tag that’s relevant and keyword-focused. If you include your target keyword in the title tag, you’ll have an easier time ranking for that keyword. Just make sure it’s relevant, because using an irrelevant title tag could backfire by hurting your site’s search rankings.
In addition to a title tag, you should also include a single H1 heading on your webpages. HTML standards supports several “tiers” of headings, including H1, H2, H3, H4, etc. Generally speaking, H1 is the most influential heading in determining a website’s search rankings. You can improve your chances of scoring a top search ranking by adding your target keyword – or a phrase containing your target keyword – in the H1 tag.
Of course, subheadings should be wrapped in the <h2> tags. While less influential than H1 tags, H2 tags are still a vital component of on-page SEO.
Open Content with Keyword
When creating content for your webpage, be sure to include your target keyword in the first 100 words. Why is this important? Well, search engines crawl content to determine what it’s about. If your target keyword isn’t included in the first 100 words, you may have trouble ranking for that keyword.
What URL structure does your website use when creating new pages? By default, some content management systems (CMS) use generic URLs like website.com/xyz=123. Unfortunately, this isn’t the best format if you are trying to obtain a top search ranking. A better approach is to use what’s known as “SEO-friendly permalinks,” with your pages’ URLs reflecting their content. Using the title of your webpage in the URL, for instance, helps search engines (and visitors) understand what the page is about.
Optimizing an e-commerce website to rank high in the search engines is a methodical process.
You must first determine the keywords for which are trying to rank, and then you can focus on optimizing your e-commerce website – both on site and off site – for those keywords.
If you’re struggling to achieve a top search ranking with your e-commerce site, here are some additional time-tested strategies that can help.
Structured Data on Product Pages
One SEO tactic that’s often overlooked by e-commerce site webmasters is the use of structured data on product pages. When browsing the Internet, you may come across some search listings containing additional information about the page’s content, such as reviews, product prices, names of seller, etc. Known as structured data, it’s a great way to enhance your website’s visibility in the search listings.
Use Unique Product Descriptions
If your e-commerce site sells products offered by another company or manufacturer, perhaps that company or manufacturer provides product descriptions. Granted, it’s easier and less time-consuming to use these generic product descriptions, but doing so can backfire with your SEO efforts. You see, other websites may also use these same product descriptions, and Google may block out some of these websites from appearing in its index since they contain the same content. To overcome this hurdle, give each product on your website a unique and relevant description.
Content Marketing: Go Beyond Your Products
There’s no denying the fact that products are the backbone of any e-commerce website. It’s the reason why people visit e-commerce sites, and it’s usually the reason why they return. However, you shouldn’t limit your content marketing efforts strictly to your store’s product. Think outside of the box by identifying similar topics that your target audience would be interested in. You can then create new content pages around these topics, which should increase your chances of scoring a top search ranking for your e-commerce site.
We’ve talked about this before, but it’s worth mentioning again that images should be properly optimized to encourage higher search rankings. Don’t just upload an image to your e-commerce website and call it a day. Rather, use a lossless optimization tool to “shrink” its file size beforehand, after which you can upload it to your website. And once uploaded, go ahead and add a unique alt text description to describe the image and what it’s about.
It’s important to note, however, that off-page SEO is equally as important as on-page SEO. In other words, don’t focus all of your efforts strictly on on-page SEO. This is just the beginning. You must also build links and create stronger recognition for your website if you want to obtain a top search ranking.