What is SEO?
SEO stands for search engine optimization, which produces free organic traffic on search engines such as Yahoo, Google, and Bing. SEO rankings are determined by each search engine’s secret algorithm that weighs things like fresh and original content, relevance, inbound and outbound links, and site architecture to determine where a link ranks for a query.
What is Ecommerce SEO ?
Although Google’s algorithm remains secret, almost a decade of experience in SEO has resulted in a pretty good idea about the important factors. The factors in Google’s algorithm can be divided into three, which are:
There are three factors that can impact your e-commerce website’s ability to rank well and be found in (and selected from) search engine results pages. This is also referred to as “The 3Cs of SEO
PPC or SEO, Which should I use?
I think both do depend on what exactly you want. If you want to place your ecommerce products before before targeted people, people that are really searching for products that you sell on your online store, then you should focus on SEO. But, you got to have lots of patience. SEO requires time to implement and work, but in the long run it will definitely pay off.
If you do not have the patience, then you can go ahead and use PPC. But know that with PPC, CPM or CPA, you will be placing advertising to people who are not searching for your products.
Also you need to bear this in mind:
PPC brings results fast, but you have to pay for each traffic that PPC brings to you all the time. You really have to have a huge sum of amount set aside for this and the amount sum gets bigger as the day goes by.
PPC campaign will pay for itself by bringing in more traffic that converts, or it′s just a means of you sending money down the drain, except you have a Google Ads specialist to help you in your journey through the PPC world.
SEO is different, in terms of investment and effect. First you pay and few months later you start getting dramatic results. Yes, SEO pays for itself thousands of times and its far better in the long run compared to PCC.
Benefits of Ecommerce SEO
Ecommerce SEO has lots of benefits. Search traffic is sustainable traffic. A #1 result in Google, maintained over time, will deliver consistent traffic to your online store day in and day out.
If the term “Tecno mobile phones” gets around 500 searches a day in Google, the #1 result will be clicked on about 40% of the time, meaning that your top ranked post on Tecno mobile would receive about 200 visits today, 200 visits tomorrow, and so on.
Beware that your site staying at the top of Search Engines is not static or better said ‘PERMANENT’ because it can be overtaken by new optimized products post.
E-commerce Site Architecture
The architecture of your online store is critical to enabling customers to find your products online, and you must consider this very well when implementing Ecommerce SEO. It’s also crucial to your development team, who is tasked with creating an optimal system that can communicate with all needed business intelligence tools.
Three of the most important elements of proper architecture for optimized search are:
- Internal Links
Search engines place quite a bit of weight on how your e-commerce website is structured and how intuitively it can be navigated. For instance, they factor in the number of clicks it takes to get to the details page of a given product.
Keyword research is the basis of all e-commerce website. You must have this at the back of your mind .
It starts with explaining what you do in the language your audience uses. Keyword research furthermore helps you to discover what you should be ranking for, or aiming to rank for.
In my view, keyword research has three steps. First, you write down the mission of your business. Next, you make a list of all the keywords you want to be found on. Finally, you create landing pages for all keywords of your products.
After completing your keyword research, you should have a clear overview of the terms people use and the terms you want the product pages on your site to be found on.
How to start Ecommerce SEO Keywords Journey
To start with, make a list of every word or phrase you can think of that people might use to find what your site offers.
Ask anyone you can to give you ideas, you never guess what alternatives your friends and family members can offer. Also know that:
- If you rank your site highly for the wrong keywords, you can end up spending a whole lot of time and effort, only to discover the keyword you have targeted doesn’t receive any traffic. Definitely wasted effort is bad for your business.
- If you haven’t investigated the competitiveness of your keywords and analyzing what your competitors are currently ranking for, you can end up investing lots of time and effort into a particular keyword, only to find it is far too competitive to rank, even on the first page for you. Another wasted effort which is bad for your business.
A Challenge for most people that are involved in SEO, Keyword Research and content writing is knowing searchers intent as well as having a common goal of providing searchers with results that are relevant to their queries.
Therefore, a crucial element to building an online marketing strategy around Keywords, content writing and targeted organic search visibility is understanding your audience and how they think about, discuss, and search for your services, products, and brand.
You also need to understand perfectly that searches are performed with intent – the user wants to find specific information, rather than just land on it by chance; search is also different from “browsing,” or clicking around links on a web page. Because of this specifics, search traffic is generally of higher value to SEO and your product content development than other types of web traffic.
How to go about Ecommerce SEO
You should know that a search prospect example goes like this:
Helen wants to buy a new android phone and makes a query in Google, typing in “buy new android phones in Lagos”.
Now, if she sees your online store at the very top of the Google Search Engine′s results page, this means that you rank first for the keyword “buy new android phones in Lagos”. Most searchers believe the first 3 sites that show up during a search are the most relevant and genuine. Though it is often not the case.
Also, it means that Helen is much more likely to visit your site and buy from it, than from a competitor′s site that has a #4 ranking.
Helen can make queries using one or several words, like, buy cheap android, cheap phones in Lagos or affordable phones in Nigeria.
Terms for query that contain several words are sometimes called key-phrases. So, affordable phones are a two-keyword key-phrase.
So to get a #1 placement or appear on the first page on Search Engines Listings (SERPS), the first and the most important step is to choose the right keywords and key-phrases for which you want to rank for.
What these mean is that you need key-phrases that convert. The narrower the search term you target, the greater part of visitors convert into real customers.
The basic process for keyword research for Your Online Store
At this point, you have to exercise your brains a while. So get ready, it′s time for brainstorming.
To start with, make a list of every word or phrase you can think of that people might use to find what your online store sells.
Ask anyone you can to give you ideas, you never guess what alternatives your friends and family members can offer, assuming you are into android phones and laptop sales and your online store covers only Lagos area. See samples of a list below:
- Laptop price in Lagos
- Jumia laptop
- Buy Laptop in Lagos
- Used laptops on Jumia
- Buy android phone in Lagos
- Cheap android phones in Lagos
Even if you have a list of single words, think of key-phrases. Try to combine the words you have on your list, or add other relevant words that better describe your product.
Again, ask your friends and family members for input about what they would type into Google Search if they want to buy a phone or laptop in Lagos and try to find people that are within your site′s target audience to get an idea of how they would search.
Also, take into consideration variations in terminology as determined by one′s age, profession, what part of the world they are from, and so on. Remember that there are often several ways of saying the same thing.
Now you need to make a list of your top five competitors. For each of these five competitors, I need you to answer the following questions:
- What are their business goals?
- What is their content strategy?
- What is their brand strategy?
- Who is their audience?
- What is their advertising strategy?
- What problems are they facing?
- Are there opportunities for me?
Get a paper and a pen or better still make use of your spreadsheet software, whichever is convenient for you to table your answers.
It’s always very sensible and useful to localize your keywords. For instance, a lady from Lagos won′t just type in “buy android phone” when searching on Google or Bing or Yahoo (I know there are many more search engines, I just prefer mentioning the really known ones).
She will type in “Buy android phones in Lagos” , or even more likely “where can I buy boneless beef in Ikeja Lagos”.
So if you optimize for a localized term, you′ll get more visitors who want to get what you offer exactly where you offer it.
What this means is that if your business location matters to you, what you must do is to, create keyword combinations with local places names.
Once you have a good starting list of 20–40 words, use Keyword tools to refine it and see what people have actually searched for when looking for similar sites. Examples of keyword tools you can use are listed below:
Ecommerce Local SEO
Local SEO for business in Nigeria is as important as the overall On-site SEO of your website because it’s a subset of your overall Search Engine marketing program. It is when any search result is influenced by localization. It goes beyond the result displayed on search engine result page (SERP).
If you ignore Local SEO, then you’re ignoring an area of defined targeted traffic where majority of your customers are searching. Another thing is that if you go at it the wrong way, then you’ll definitely be shooting yourself on your foot and your rankings will have nothing to show.
All you have to do is make sure you have the right plan and understand how to implement Local SEO properly or better still contact an Affordable SEO Marketing Service to do the job for you. I need you to know that Local SEO implementation on your business can change the game positively and you can start seeing amazing results.
If you want to know more on how to implement Local SEO for your online store then you need to read my tutorial titled ” Local SEO -The Ultimate Guide“.
Your Ecommerce Product Image Optimization
Images are especially important to ecommerce websites, as they are one of the main ways for consumers to get a sense of what they are buying. Using images with a variety of angles, action shots, and close-ups on an ecommerce website gives your customers a way to view your products as if they were right in front of them.
But then you need to optimize these images, because if you don’t they can slow down your online store drastically and make customers experience negative. Whats the purpose of visiting an online store that takes eternity to load. I know I won’t. I’ll just hit the back button and visit the next available online store.
When you optimize your product image or any other type of image that you used on your online store, your website will load fast and thereby you get to increase user experience positively.
If you want to learn how to optimize your product images on your online store, then you need to read my post on:
Your Online Store Page Speed
Forget what anyone tells you, Page speed is a critical factor when it comes to Ecommerce SEO and ranking your online store higher on Google’s search engine results, and Google do give preferential treatment to websites that load quickly, but know this, Page Speed on its own doesn’t work.
This simply means the faster your site loads with good content, the lower the bounce rate, the increase in page experience, and you make Google spiders happy.
If your site is fast and you have good product content that increases users experience, you have a better chance of ranking on Google over slow sites especially if those slow sites drive high bounce rates. What’s the need of your site loading fast with poor product content? I think you already know the answer to this.
To increase your online store page loading speed, you need to make use of the following tools:
- Google Page Speed Insights
This tools will tell you your scores and the areas you need to improve on to have a good page speed score. Areas to watch out for include:
- Minify CSS
- Minify HTML
- Leverage browser caching
- Reduce the size of images in a few clicks
- Enhance store pages performance with the code optimization tool
- Minify JS/CSS to make your code clear
- Optimize page rendering
In case you don’t know, visitors to your online store don’t really care what your Google Page Speed Insights score is. They just want to be able to view your product content as quickly as possible and get answers to their questions.
In order words even if your page load fast and it doesn’t contain the necessary information about your products that your visitors want, then they are sure to bounce immediately. I believe this is not what you want.
If you want to learn how to optimize your online store page speed, then you need to read my post on:
Other Ecommerce store SEO Tips
The following are other things you must consider and optimize on your online store
- Product Page Title Tags
- Product Page Description
- Navigation Links /Anchor Text
- Heading Tags (<h1>, <h2>, and <h3>)
- Alt Tags
- 301 Redirects
- 302 Redirects
- Meta Description/ Keyword Phrase
- Optimizing For Secondary Keywords
- Internal link
- Keyword in the first paragraph
If you want to learn how to optimize all these part of your product pages, then you need to read my post on:
SEO Tips – 20 Most important SEO tips for higher rankings (2021)
Now you know how to increase your online store with Ecommerce SEO. Why SEO looks straighforward, there are technicalities involve. I strongly advise you get the help of an SEO Specialist to help optimize your online store
Johnson Omoregie is an SEO specialist/Website Developer/ SEO Copywriter/Content Developer. He eats and sleeps Search Engine Optimization (SEO)/Digital Marketing. And help business generate leads and conversions through Organic Traffic. He is the author of Business Profit Blueprint: Million Dollar Tips To Promote Your Business And Increase Profit.