Up to 40 percent of e-commerce traffic comes from search engines, Business Insider reports. Look at your business e-commerce site’s referrals, and you may be surprised to see that the number is even higher, depending on how well-known your business is. While keyword optimization throughout a website is a vital component of search engine optimization (SEO), it’s just one part of the SEO puzzle that also relies on elements like content marketing, guest blogging, social media and much more to be successful.
Home business owners should take a holistic approach to SEO, and that includes both onsite SEO (the elements of your e-commerce site) and offsite SEO (how your website is represented on the web). Here’s a primer on the differences between onsite and offsite SEO, plus pro tips to optimize for both for your e-commerce site.
Onsite SEO For E-commerce
Before creating content for your e-commerce website, you should conduct keyword research to find the most-searched terms related to your business and products you’re selling. The Google Keyword Planner is a solid tool to use.
You’ll want to look for general keywords – those consisting of a word or two – and longtail keywords, which are searches containing three words or more. Longtail keywords are more detailed, and they’re important because the specificity of the keywords indicates the searcher is closer to purchase because they know exactly what they want.
Search volume and competition for keywords are also important factors. You want to focus on keywords people are searching for, but the amount of competition may also influence you on how you decide to allocate resources.
Once you’ve chosen keywords, you’ll want to use them in:
- URLs: Use keywords in URLs to convey to visitors quickly what the page is about.
- Title tags and descriptions: This is the content that is created in your content manager, indicating to search engines what the page is about. Keywords should appear early in the title.
- Header tags: These are the H1, H2 and H3 designations that help to break up a page’s content.
- Copy: This includes both copy on your main webpages, as well as blog content and image tags. One-third of all searches on Google are images, which makes properly optimizing your images with keywords important so that they show up in search and provide a link back to your website.
More Pro Tips For Onsite SEO
In addition to keywords, there are many other factors that can benefit or penalize your SEO efforts. To create onsite optimization, follow these guidelines.
- Use internal links. Where relevant, natural and helpful, link to other internal pages from your site. For example, you could link to products in a blog where they fit.
- Make sure your site is mobile-friendly. In October 2016, Google announced its move toward mobile-first indexing, which means it is looking at a mobile version of a site to determine search results. Make sure all your content loads quickly and works on mobile, and that the user experience is engaging so that visitors spend more time on your mobile site.
- Clean up broken links. Those 404 pages are not helping your SEO. Conduct regular site audits to make sure your entire site works.
Overall, the goal is to create the absolute best user experience someone could have on your site. It should work well, have helpful content, and guide the user along a journey that keeps them engaged.
Offsite SEO For Ecommerce
Offsite SEO consists of all the ways your e-commerce website gets noticed outside of your site. When other sites link back to it, search engines view your site as more trustworthy and credible. In addition to optimizing your website for search engines, make it shine in other ways online with these techniques.
- Guest blog. Create content for other reputable websites that relate to your business. You can include a natural and relevant link within the content back to your site, which helps SEO.
- Get press. This includes both through traditional news outlets and through influencer marketing. For example, you could send free products to a blogger to test out and review before they’re released. They would then link back to your site and share your brand with their followers.
- Manage online reviews. Having a presence on product review sites means you get extra links back to your business. Make sure your business is a part of any relevant directories.
- Create shareable content. The content you create on your own site, whether it’s a witty product description or a stellar blog, has the potential to be shared across the web by other content creators. Aim to make every piece of content you create highly valuable so that it’s more likely to be shared. Build strong social media profiles, so that your growing number of followers can help spread your content.
Offsite SEO requires building relationships with other content creators, influencers in your industry, and your own social media followers. If you think of your brand as its own publisher and public relations representative, you can proactively craft a great online reputation that gains you more search results.
Use Both Onsite And Offsite SEO For E-commerce Success
Onsite and offsite SEO should be used together for optimal results. Both are important to nurturing leads and converting those website visitors to sales. Using influential keywords as your guide, you can build out a consistent content strategy that reinforces the value of your brand and products across the web.
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