20 SEO Best Practices That Will Boost Your Ecommerce Sales
Ashley Bryan |
February 22nd 2018
The ecommerce industry in Australia is thriving to say the least. And if you have an ecommerce store, your search engine optimization techniques need to be on point. Without it, you can’t hope to get traffic or generate sizable revenue in the face of intense competition in the Australian ecommerce industry.
In this post, I will share the latest SEO best practices you need to use to amp up your ecommerce sales.
Have a Clear Content Strategy
First things first; have a well-defined content strategy in place. This should give you a clear roadmap on what types of content you will produce for marketing. And more importantly, how frequently you will publish the content.
The more frequent and engaging your posts are, the better your rank will be in SERP. Make a monthly content calendar (both for your blog and social media channels) that outlines blog posts, videos, GIFs, images, and more.
Build Links Consistently
When creating your content calendar, make sure it reflects your link-building strategy as well. The more frequently you build backlinks, the better are your chances for ranking higher on search engines.
Be sure to get fresh links on a regular basis. Fresh content with frequent backlinks is one of the most important search signals that determines your Google SERP position.
Use Unique Product Page Title Tags
A common mistake many ecommerce store owners make is that they fail to use unique product page titles. You will be surprised to know how badly it can affect your rankings in Google.
To use unique title tags, find out what titles and descriptions competitors use, and then tweak it to make your own. Aim for title tags under 70 characters.
Keep Your Category Pages Unique
Never forget: having unique category pages are more important than unique product pages. If you use generic categories, you will undoubtedly put yourself in competition with hundreds of competitors offering the same category.
For example, if you are selling branded watches, having ‘watches’ as a category is too common. But, if you change this to ‘designer watches’ or ‘branded watches’, you avoid unnecessary competition with other ecommerce stores selling watches.
Renew Expired Pages With Permanent 301 Redirect
You may have worked hard optimizing certain pages, but later find that the pages have expired. This may be either due to your web browser not being able to cache it properly or because it had sensitive information.
Now you have lost all that effort you put in, feel as if you have to work on it from scratch. The solution: use a permanent 301 direct.
With this, you can redirect expired pages to new ones. This helps you retain your lost traffic value, domain authority, and page authority.
Implement Rich Snippets For Product Pages
Adding rich snippets is a great way to get traffic to your ecommerce store. It gives a first good impression of what the post is about and what visitors gain out from it.
When writing rich snippets, make sure they’re concise and enticing. If your ecommerce store is powered by WooCommerce, you can choose relevant plugins, such as Rich Contact Wizard and Schema Ninja. Otherwise, you can get your web developer to insert a rich snippet HTML code.
It is important to have self-explanatory roadmaps that help visitors understand the context and layout of your store’s pages. This is where using breadcrumbs comes handy.
Breadcrumbs gives your visitors a clearer picture of the store navigation and help improve the user experience. In addition, breadcrumbs reduces the chances of visitors leaving your store.
Don’t Forget to Optimize Your Blog
Blog is a key aspect of your ecommerce store and can have a serious impact in boosting SERP rankings. Optimizing your blogs with the same keywords used for your store is an excellent tactic to add value to your ecommerce store’s overall ranking.
For best results, use relevant keywords in both each blog’s meta content and heading structure.
Don’t Write The Same Meta Descriptions For Every Webpage
Although meta description are not a key ranking SEO factor anymore, they are important for improving click-through rates.
Thus, always write different meta descriptions for every webpage. As a key tip, always add the relevant keywords at the start of your meta description and give a reason for clicking. This can involve mentioning its top benefits of features.
Include Key Product Categories Accessible From Home Page
You need to remember that the average visitor has a low attention span. If your visitors have to spend time finding products and services, it can push them to visit competitors’ stores.
It is a good practice to have key product categories directly accessible from your ecommerce home page. Doing so can help visitors save time in sifting through multiple category pages.
Beware Of Keyword Cannibalization
Keywords are important, no doubt. But don’t try to rank multiple pages for the same keyword. Doing so can lead Google to penalize you by dropping your SERP rank. A good way to prevent this is a keep a record of what pages use primary keywords, preferably in a spreadsheet document.
Use Canonical Tags to Highlight Duplicate Content
It is easy for ecommerce stores to have duplicate content, for which Google can penalize you. This is where using canonical tags can be of immense help in countering the problems that come with duplicate data.
Canonical tags tell web crawlers to index a master version of a specific URL and treat all other URLs as copies of that version. In this way, no matter how much duplicate content you have, only your master version of a web page will be used for ranking purposes.
Keep track of your competitors’ backlinks. As important it is for you to stand out from competitors, you do need to monitor them to stay ahead in the game.
It can tell you what keywords they are using to rank their stores, as well as the quality and quantity of their backlinks.
You can use a number of popular paid SEO tools to check backlinks of your competitors. Some of these are SEMRush, Moz, and Ahrefs. If you are on a budget, you can get a good gist of their backlinks using search queries on Google.
To track any of your competitors, type: “URL of competitor” -inurl:URL of competitor.
Write Quality Guest Posts
Guest posting may be getting old, but it’s still an excellent (and natural) way of getting backlinks. But don’t approach it if you’re not going to write quality content. Otherwise, it reflects poorly on yourself and your ecommerce store.
Be mindful of two things. First, pitch original and unique content ideas to blogs in your niche. And second, make sure your content is top-notch.
Don’t Forget To Use Infographics
Use infographics as another location for using your keywords and tags. Other than being an engaging way to present key information, the description and the meta content are great locations for adding links and keywords.
Make Use Of Testimonials And Reviews
Testimonials and reviews can go a long way in building trust and confidence with your customers. They serve as a valuable social proof that helps visitors decide the quality of your store and service. Naturally, the higher the ratings and positive reviews, the more visitors will trust your brand and buy from your store.
This is particularly useful for local SEO optimization. Customers searching for ‘ecommerce store in Australia’ will trust your store more if they see multiple 5 star ratings and positive testimonials.
Speed up Your Website
How quickly visitors are able to access pages on your store will impact your sales. This is why you should ensure your website speed is fast enough for a smooth site user experience. Be sure to use PageSpeed Insights Tool to do a speed audit for your site and make the necessary changes for faster loading speed.
Other speed enhancement tips include: using AMP for faster mobile navigation, compressed images, and managed cloud hosting service.
Have Broad Social Media Presence
Having a broad social media presence helps add weight to your SEO efforts. The more visible your store is on social media, the higher your SERP ranking will be on Google.
Plus, social media sites have high domain authority. This means easy backlinks and referrals to your site. So don’t be content with having a Facebook presence alone; grow your presence on Instagram and YouTube as well.
Run Social Media And PPC Ad Campaigns
While online ads are not SEO per se, you can’t hope to raise your SERP ranking without it. The problem comes when ecommerce store owners rely on ads only and then fail to see results.
Instead, they need to use it as one of the many tools at their disposal. So when starting an SEO campaign, be sure to run ads in parallel. Whether you use social media ads, Google Adwords, or both will depend on your budget.
Monitor SEO Best Practices With Google Search Console
Google Search Console is the key to monitoring your SEO activities, as it helps you keep track of your site’s indexation and crawling statistics. For example, it can give you valuable insights on: number of blocked resources, crawling errors, backlink performance, and more.
Implementing the above 20 SEO best practices can help you improve your rankings significantly. This can help you enjoy higher website traffic and conversions that can boost your ecommerce sales.
Guest Author: SUBHAN ALAM
Subhan Alam is a Digital Marketing Manager at Cloudways, a Managed Cloud Hosting Platform. He works on different regions and is passionate about implementing new approaches in Digital Marketing. He likes to stay fit and meditates daily.