May 10th, 2011
Search Engine Optimization
One of the reasons I like ecommerce SEO is that there are numerous opportunities to increase the optimization quality of an online store. Unlike service businesses or online brochure websites which typically only have a few pages, a catalog of products creates a great opportunity to increase the amount of content and provide relevance for the search engines.
Here at Best Rank, we spend a lot of time educating clients about optimization and how they can use it to gain a competitive advantage in their marketplace. Having a specialty in ecommerce, my conversations are often about tips and advice on what online store owners can do to improve their rankings and increase traffic. There are plenty of resources for learning SEO online, but not a lot specific to ecommerce. For those interested in getting their hands dirty, I have created a list of 62 Ecommerce Search Engine Optimization Tips & Ideas. Of course there are tips here that apply to non-ecommerce sites as well, but ecommerce SEO does deserve its own list. The list is in no particular order. If you have some tips or feedback you want to add, please feel free to comment .
1. Do a search in Google using site:www.yourdomain.com. This allows you to see what pages of your website are being indexed and how they look. The results should be keyword rich and have call to action for users to click.
2. Do a site: search in Google for your competitors. While you are looking at your own indexing, look at your competition. Are their search engine results better optimized or better written? Don’t let them win.
3. Use Google’s Keyword Tool to find keywords. If you have an Adwords account you are probably familiar with Google’s Keyword Tool. If not, you can use Google’s External Keyword Tool Be sure set the match type on [exact] so you are looking at the number of searches for that specific keyword.
4. Don’t forget text on your homepage. Graphics are attractive and are great for users. Be sure that there is some html text on the homepage as well. If you have to put it near the footer, fine. Just make sure it is somewhere.
5. Be sure your homepage title uses your 3 most important keywords. I prefer to limit any given page to focus on 3 keywords. Some people like 4 and some people 2. Your homepage optimization is really important to tell the engines what your site is going to focus on.
6. Choose 3 keyword phrases to focus on per category page. I use the similar 3 keyword rule for category pages as well. I will sometimes use only 2 if it is focused. Of course you are then going to make sure these keywords are used in the title, content, etc. but we will get to that later.
7. Be sure the top keyword for the page is first in your Title tag for all category pages. The first word in your title tag is the most important.
8. Be sure to customize the product pages Title.
If your ecommerce software allows dynamic insertion, use it. For example, if you can tell the system to use specific elements of the product in the title, use it. You can use product names, manufacturer, and SKU. They are all valuable. If you don’t have a lot of products and your software allows for custom title writing, be sure to write custom titles.
9. Format the Title For Relevance & Clicks.
This can apply to categories and products. The formatting of a Title I like to use is “Keyword Phrase 1 | Call To Action or Benefit Using Keyword Phrase 2 and 3 if possible”. For example: “Hospital Towels | Wholesale Medical Towels On Sale”
10. Use .html or .htm for page naming. If you are using a CMS system and prefer no extensions such as /keyword/ that is fine too. While using .html may be considered old school, it still works. We all know that everyone claims that search engines treat most pages extensions equally, but my experience has seen differently. It’s still a good practice.
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