This has been written to help small ecommerce business owners understand the importance of SEO and how to increase search rankings. If anything is not understood, please feel free to contact us and we will explain further.
1) CLEAN URL’s – it is such a vital part of ranking well, it helps to tell the Search engines what is likely to be on the page. It is also much easier for a customer who is looking through their browser history what item they liked or wanted to look at again if the urls are self explanatory.
An example of a good url is – https://www.recyclingbins.co.uk/for-school/50-litre-recycling-bin-with-colour-coded-lids.html – This url is nice and clean, obvious what is going to be on the page and categorized.
An example of a bad url is – http://www.lilybluegifts.co.uk/product-full-view/1032 – You can see it does not help to determine what is on the page, it could literally be anything!
Most modern shopping carts recognise the importance of a good url structure. But it is best to check with whoever is developing/developed your website if your urls are not clean.
2) Page Titles – If you go on to any website and look at the tab at the very top of your page you will see there is text, this is called a page title. Nearly every shopping cart with an admin will allow you to edit this on all pages (home page, product pages, category pages, information pages). It is best to use something that is natural whilst recognising that the Search Engines place more emphasis on the keywords at the beginning of the page title.
An example of a good page title is – Web Design Cardiff by the Affordable Experts | Woffer – We have our primary keyword that the page is targeting first “Web Design Cardiff” we also have affordable, experts and Woffer which the search engines would combine with the other keywords to make further keyword possibilities such as “Affordable Web Design” “Web Design Experts” etc.
An example of a bad page title is – web design cardiff, seo cardiff, cardiff web design, cardiff seo, cardiff ecommerce – whilst you could have probably got away with this a couple of years ago, now this is considered quite spammy and manipulative.
3) Meta Description – This is what appears on the search results before you click through to the website, so should be well written and designed to help click through rates. A quick tip is to have a look at what the big companies are doing, look at Argos, John Lewis, Play etc. It is best for this to be natural and informative but the odd drop of a keyword wont hurt.
4) Meta Keywords – not all that important if at all anymore, but even if it only helps .001% i would rather have it than not. Meta keywords are not seen in search results like page titles and meta description – this will be something you can add in the admin section of your website.
5) Content – well researched, well written content is vital. If you do not feel comfortable writing your own descriptions then it is best to pay a good native language speaker. When hiring ask for previous examples of work and get a feel for how they write. What you must also know is an accomplished writer may not be the best candidate to write product descriptions that rank well and convert. You need to decide which style of writing, tone, your target audience etc before choosing the the best fit. You can add content onto all these pages – Homepage, informational pages, A-Z, blogs, product pages, category content (vital as it helps your categories to rank without having hard to find deep links in place).
6) Image alt tag – when you right click on an image and press save as, this is your imate alt tag. The best way to change this is to right click on your image from your desktop and press rename. It is best to name it with the keyword the page is targeting or product name, then simply save it. Go into your ecommerce websites admin and go on to the page you would like the image to appear and re-upload.
7) If you dont have a blog – get one! and use it to target longtail keywords for instance if your website was targeting “Apples” as its primary keyword. A good long tail keyword with reasonable searches worth targeting from your blog could be “how to make an apple crumble” it is important to write for your users and regularly too. Many blog owners get disheartened when the traffic does not come rolling in and give up. If you are not getting traffic, or not getting enough then you have to think why and look at other topics you could write about.
8) Use Google adwords keyword search tool to decide if a keyword is worth targeting and achievable. This links in with the longtail keyword searches above. Type in your primary keyword like “Ladders” and choose something that is between 3-5 words with low competition and between 10-100 exact searches per month. You can then target this search from a blog post as explained above. NOTE – Make sure you tick the box on the left called exacts and that only the exacts box is ticked. You can access the tool from here – Google Adwords Keyword Tool
9) Links – still very important but absolutely crucial they are relevant. Dont buy any link packages, do not pay for loads of directories. Variety in link sources is still very important. You can have on topic directories, guest blog posts, one way links etc but make sure they are in proportion and that you dont have an abundance of one and none of the other. Always go for quality websites that do not look like they give a link to every “Tom, Dick and Harry” and are relevant to your website, or at least complimentary.
10) Advice – The key with everything SEO wise for long term success is to write for your customers so it reads fluently, but to follow the best practices above (with the Search Engines, in particular Google in the back of your mind ;P).