Ecommerce SEO – The 10 Commandments
Starting, revamping or taking over an online shop comes with its many challenges – notably those where the turnover of stock, trust or new products come into play. As a specialist ecommerce SEO agency we understand that there is more to a successful online shop than a couple of products and firing email campaigns out one after the other.
We’ve put together our 10 Commandants to abide by to ensure you’ve got the basics of your ecommerce SEO on point, doing this makes it much easier to put together a compelling campaign.
1. Thou Shalt Structure Your Website in a Favourable Manner
Site structure is important to ecommerce SEO success and the platform the website is built on. Magento offers a great structure and is scalable to the size of your business; should your ecommerce SEO pay off, your sales increase and the business grow the platform you use and approach you take to the basics can remain the same.
A decent site structure should also include internal search and clear categories to send users in the right direction and toward conversions.
2. Thou Shalt Secure a Website
Cyber crime for ecommerce websites is a number one priority and excellent security on a website can remove the possibility of falling victim to malware.
Users (quite rightly) expect details to be kept safe and using a secure platform, having additional levels of security in place for buyers and portraying these message to a customer can make all the difference. Ensuring the website is verified on search engines will also ensure you avoid any ‘WOAH! ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO GO THERE?!’ alerts.
3. Thou Shalt Not Ignore the Smaller Screen
Mobile use is increasing everyday and mobile use for ecommerce is becoming more and more regular.
Figures suggest the UK has the highest percentage of people making monthly purchases on their smartphones, with 32%. This compares to 8% in France and 15% in Germany.
If you’re a UK based ecommerce website, one in three of customers could be coming through a mobile phone. SEO ecommerce agencies in London and across the UK will be able to highlight where sales opportunities may be being missed.
4. Thou Shall Enjoy Pictures and Videos
Optimisation across the entire website is essential including on pictures and videos used to promote your products. Shoppers buy with their eyes and these elements are going to huge to getting your product sold, search engines however buy with Alt Tags and optimisation, so letting them know you’ve got a little black dress in an Alt Tag is essential.
Optimise off page for these videos as well, should they be hosted on a platform such as YouTube or Vimeo.
5. Thou Shalt do Internal Linkbuilding – Content
There are plenty of opportunities for internal link building to help users and search bots sweep a website, keep in mind the importance of structure to the website here and don’t bombard pages with links every other word – this isn’t going to drive sales and you might just get hit with a Panda Penalty.
Instead, think about related products and content – such as style guides or blogs – where internal links are naturally placed. Build up a network of these links and regularly review them as products change with trends and seasons.
6. Thou Shalt Plan a Campaign
Ecommerce campaigns should be planned well in advance launch, particularly if there are key terms you want to rank for come a certain point in time – of course this is dependent on your business.
Structure campaigns into organic, paid and amplification marketing techniques and within these have mini campaigns to meet all goals. Different email lists, ad groups and keyword groups should all form part of this focus.
7. Thou Shalt Not Forget the Season to be Jolly
Following on from this, consider when you should begin thinking about the big Christmas or Summer campaigns.
Paid search campaigns can be built as early as July or August to ensure they’re correct and ready to go when you are – following this split the campaign out into weeks or months.
For example, a November campaign could be targeted at researchers for presents, with December at buyers. Late December could then be targeted at panic buyers with emphasis on quick delivery as opposed to just products.
In terms of SEO, building 2016 campaigns in 2015 is logical – the time it takes to reach the top means beginning in August for Christmas is almost a no-go.
8. Thou Shalt Rotate Stock with SEO in Mind
New products drive successful ecommerce forward, if you’ve thought about the internal linking, website structure and categories within the website then new pages should start to rank well initially.
Of course, they can always be given a boost with a paid search and content marketing campaign , which should be planned in advance prior to launch.
9. Thou Shalt Make Others Aware of Their Brand
Get your name out there and push the brand message, what does your website say about you and your products, and why would people buy from you and not a competitor?
Herein lies the basis of brand awareness, this story of the brand needs to be portrayed through strong social and email channels, use an amplification service to promote content and a structure marketing plan in place where pivotal elements of your brand, and the products you wish to sell, are highlighted.
Consider a retargeted paid search campaign as well, the huge amount of impressions can be fantastic for brand awareness.
10. Thou Shalt Acquire Links
Social sharing and awareness will get people to your website but it is also important to rank for your key terms, and acquiring links through reviews and content is essential to longer term success.
Think about the market you’re based in, the top websites to target and what approach you should take to help you reach your goals. Work with an SEO agency where know-how of how to get you featured in the place you want to be is apparent and plan campaigns to ensure product launches are met with rave reviews from around your industry.