Owning an eCommerce store means you have an asset on your hands that is ready to make you money. But to ensure your online store delivers a profitable business, there are some essential factors you need to consider. There are a great number of other eCommerce stores just like yours, grabbing your potential customers. Making sure your eCommerce website is search engine friendly with these six tips is the most crucial first step to giving your business a fighting chance.
This is not hard to do, but there are some developers who do not take a great deal of pride in their work. Making sure your site is configured properly can help you gain anywhere from 40 – 60% more exposure in search. HTML and CSS configuration is particularly important. Pages that are not tagged properly can seriously harm your page ranking. W3C validated websites perform much better on search engines.
While it is widely believed that the keywords placed in meta tags have little to no impact on search results, the meta title does. Your title is a clear signal to Google as to what your site is all about. Make sure to conduct some competitive analysis and implement your title tags properly. The title tag should not be more than 60 characters. Do not use all caps as this will take up more room, making it more likely that your title will truncate in search results. It also can be seen as spam. Do not use the same title tag on every page of your site. Mix it up by including the page name or topic itself in the title, and place the keywords in a different order. Showing up when someone searches your brand is fairly simple, so try not placing your brand or website name at the beginning of the title. Place that closer to the end.
Meta descriptions are also important, not so much for ranking but for what is being displayed in search results. This description is often pulled right into the result under the title by the search engine. Make sure it sells based on what your target searcher is searching for. If you have a product page for a yoga mat, the description should be about that yoga mat, not a general description of your store. Your eCommerce software should provide you a field in your product utility to insert the meta data for each product. If it does not, you should ask your developer how that can be implemented. For some open source systems like WooCommerce, it’s a simple plugin like Yoast SEO.
Including the product relevant keywords in the product URL is a key factor in optimizing your eCommerce store for search. For example, using the same yoga mat as above, your URL for that product should read something like https://www.mystore.com/products/yoga/yoga-mat. Doing this along with other SEO tactics can result in a 20% lift in organic search traffic per product.
If your site loads slow, it can adversely affect your ranking on major search engines. Make sure your website is developed properly without redundant database connections. Ensure your images are optimized and you should always run some server side caching to ensure media like images and video load quickly on your website. Even if a slow site ranks well on Google, visitors will not have much patience for slow loading pages and will likely buy from a competing website that loads quicker.
Your eCommerce site should offer a great user experience on all devices and screen resolutions. A responsive site means that the screens and layouts of your site “respond” or adapt to the different screen sizes so as to maintain a solid user friendly interface across all devices. Google will actually penalize your site rankings if it not mobile friendly. You can check to see if Google considers your site to be mobile friendly. If it is not, you should contact your developer, or send us a note and we can definitely help you out.
This is the most often overlooked aspect of search engine optimization by both site owners and web developers. Image alt tags are crucial. They offer more topical signals to Google about your site, and they set you up to rank well in image searches. In fact, since this is such an overlooked area, making sure to properly tag your images for search could give you a distinct competitive advantage.
Get expert eCommerce insights sent to your inbox every week.
The Locker Room