Search engine optimization seems simple, but there are many working parts that need to be monitored and adjusted for it to be a successful strategy. This process can be quite involved for e-commerce sites, which must follow best practices while also keeping up with Google’s ever changing search algorithms.
Here is a great list of items to consider when planning your SEO strategy, according to Inc.:
1. Create product descriptions. Each of your products should have a unique description that is not found anywhere else, including on the manufacturer’s website or print material. Copied content will not help your campaign while unique content will give it an extra push.
2. Encourage reviews. Get your users to post product reviews on individual product pages. Amazon is a great example of product page reviews. Google sees reviews as valuable content. Getting reviews is a great way to add content to your website and give insight into your products and how they work, all without spending money.
3. Simple site navigation. This can improve your search engine rankings and user experience. Make product pages easily searchable and intuitive. Your site map should be easy for new users to follow. Ensure that the site design is aesthetically pleasing and sends visitors in the right direction.
4. Reduce image sizes. Your site load times will decrease if you lower the quality of your images. You can also include a “zoom in” feature so users can access a larger image if they are interested.
5. On-page Links. Google will reward you for making users click less. Make it easy for users to get from one page to another. Provide links to relevant pages throughout the site to save users time in navigation and improve your search engine ranking.
6. Mobile Optimization. Make the mobile experience easy and fast by using a responsive site, mobile design or app. It should be just as easy to make transactions from a mobile device as it is from a desktop.
7. Integrate product pages with social sharing. All of your product pages should have social sharing buttons so information about your products can reach a wider audience through the networks of your website visitors. This also boosts SEO by increasing your authority.
8. Update your out-of-stock and discontinued item pages. This may not seem like a good idea, but it creates more pages on your website. It also gives search engines more content to index.
9. Create seasonal categories. Make it easy for users to find Christmas-themed products and suitable items for Halloween. Be sure to use relevant keywords to attract higher search engine rankings.
10. Add a community forum. Give your users a space to share information about products and make recommendations. Start conversations and engage with users by answering questions and responding to complaints in a timely manner. This will increase their loyalty to your brand.
11. Always include pictures and videos. Visual content is important for SEO and easy to include. Give different views of the products you offer, and create videos with a compilation of images and ways to use the product. Tag all images with metadata to increase the chances of your images showing up in a search.
12. Secure your site. Get HTTPS encryption for user security. This makes users more comfortable and boosts search engine rankings.
13. Conduct regular checks for errors. Make sure all of your links take users to the right place. Check external links to make sure they still direct users to a functional page.
14. Make URL titles relevant. Each page URL should be unique, relevant to the page and optimized with keywords. Stay away from URLs that include long combinations of letters and/or numbers.
15. Use great product meta descriptions. Meta descriptions appear under hyperlinks on the search engine ranking page. You want them to be compelling enough to grab the search user’s attention and make them click the link.
16. Optimize internal search. Make it easy for users to search your site and find what they want. Your algorithm should be able to deal with incorrect spellings and predict search text.