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SEO is important. Without optimizing your website for search, it becomes very difficult for potential customers to find it. A huge amount of traffic comes through search engines and, if your website doesn’t rank highly for relevant terms, you’ll miss out on this traffic. If your e-commerce store misses out on traffic, it’s also missing out on sales. Obviously, this is a situation that you’ll want to rectify quickly. But how do you improve the search ranking of your e-commerce site? Here are a few tips to help you out.
In order to optimize your e-commerce website, you’ll need to focus on specific keywords that relate to your store and your products. These are the terms that you want people to type into Google in order to wind up on your site. It’s important to choose keywords that are relevant to your store and have a high search volume, but also those that are not too competitive or too broad. A very broad or an unrelated keyword could lead to a high bounce rate (visitors that click on your site and then click back without visiting any other pages). This doesn’t help your business and could wind up frustrating potential customers when they expect to find one thing on your website and end up finding something else.
One way to optimize your site is to look at what your competitors are doing. You probably already know who some of your major competitors are, so take a look at their sites and see if you can figure out what keywords they may be targeting. It’s also a good idea to look at their website architecture. How do you navigate their sites? How are their products structured? Good navigation and structure aren’t just helpful for visitors, but they also help search engines understand, classify and rank websites.
Also, type the keywords that you’re considering into Google and see which sites come up. Try to come up with ways that you can differentiate yourself and your site from these competitors.
Websites that have dead links, missing pages, duplicate content and other issues will not rank as highly on search engines as sites that do not have these issues. Go through your site and make sure to correct these issues as soon as possible.
In addition, you’ll want to do what you can to improve your website’s speed. Not only does Google factor website loading speed into its rankings, but customers will not wait around for your site to load. If they can’t view your site quickly, they’ll click away and go somewhere else. If a customer can’t load your site in a reasonable time frame, it doesn’t matter where you rank. You won’t get the sale you’re looking for.
While off-page optimization (such as link building) is important and certainly needs to be done, don’t overlook on-page optimization. The way your site is structured and how your content is written and formatted matters when it comes to search engine rankings as well as to user experience.
Make sure that all of your products have accurate, detailed and SEO-friendly descriptions and meta tags. However, don’t spam keywords into descriptions, as this can actually hurt your rankings and confuse potential customers.
It’s also important to make sure that your site URLs are descriptive and keyword-rich whenever possible. A descriptive URL helps rankings more than a URL filled with random words and numbers ever will.
These days, Google is placing more and more emphasis on mobile friendly websites. In fact, for about a year now, Google has been labeling sites that are optimized for mobile as “mobile friendly” on mobile search results. This alone can affect whether or not a mobile user clicks on your website. However, whether or not a website is considered mobile friendly can also have an affect on you search engine ranking.
Currently, more than 50% of Google searches happen on mobile and this percentage is only going to increase. That means you’ll certainly want to ensure that your e-commerce website is viewable and useable on mobile.