Rules of Engagement On-Page Search Engine Optimization For Ecommerce Websites
Rule #1 Content is King
Every page on an ecommerce website needs a healthy dose of content – especially category and product pages – to rank well in search engines. More content on a page equals more opportunities to include high traffic keywords that will excite search engine spiders.
NOTE – Generally, the earlier content appears on a page, the more weight it is given by search engine spiders. Content ideas include: Benefits of the product to the consumer (Why should he/she buy this product?) Description of the product including features (What makes this product special?) Product specifications (How does this product meet the consumers needs?) Benefits of purchasing here and now (Why should the consumer purchase at this time and from your company?)
Rule #2 Do your homework
Research the product – optimizing a site begins with knowing what is being sold and key components such as the key terms used by consumers seeking the products and analysis of the target audience itself.
Research your website – utilizing tools such as Google Webmaster Tools and SEM Rush will tell you what terms a website is already ranking well for and what needs improvement. Even with SEO, you need to know where “Point A” is before charting your course to “Point B”.
Research keywords to utilize valuable space for high-traffic search terms. Google keyword tool is an excellent place to begin. Remember to look for synonyms of your main keywords that could yield even more traffic. The keyword suggestion feature of the keyword tool is invaluable for this task.
Rule #3 Be bold – Optimize for short-tail (2 or 3 word) phrases.
QUESTION: If everyone optimizes for long-tail (more than 3 word) phrases, then who is going to rank for the coveted shorter term phrases?
ANSWER: The website that chooses to optimize for high-traffic shorter terms. NOTE: This does not mean to neglect long-tail phrases; it simply means that variety is food for spiders.
Rule #4 Utilize all on-page coding techniques.
Remember, there are 6 heading tags – h1 to h6 – which allows for optimization of up to 6 keywords (1 main term and up to 5 synonyms) on any given page.
NOTE – CSS styling can control the size of the heading tags so that it appears the same size as your other text for continuity. NOTE – The h1 tag is given more weight than the h2 tag so be sure to use it for your most important keyword for that web page.
Rule #5 Continuity Rules – Even behind the scenes.
If a term or phrase appears in your title or meta tags, it needs to be in the content of your webpage.
The title and meta tags are equivalent to a road map for search engine spiders; assume that if you give poor directions, the spider will get lost and lose interest in not only that page but the entire site.
Rule #6 Remember the consumer – It is critical to weave your keywords into content that will hold the attention of the website visitor and convince them to buy.
The entire purpose of having an ecommerce web site is to sell products – it is important to maintain this goal while also optimizing for search engines.
Rule #7 More homework – Using tools (Google Analytics, Google Webmaster Tools, SEM Rush, and others) determine how well what you are doing is working.
Determine search engine ranking positions for key terms.
Determine the amount of increased organic traffic to the site.
Determine the conversion rate of the website
Determine the financial ramifications of your optimization efforts.
Rule #8 Fine tuning – make adjustments to your optimization efforts based on the data gleaned in rule #7.
Where to begin – Rule #1 and work through to rule #8.
Rule #9 Don’t stop there – optimizing for search engines is a never-ending task. Fine-tuning should be done as necessary based on data in rule #8 and events in rule #10.
Rule #10 More homework – Search engine algorithms (rules) do change and it is necessary to stay up to date on these changes so that adjustments in optimization can be made swiftly to maximize opportunities that arise from these changes.
Rule #11 Confused? - Hire a professional. SEO is so critical in ecommerce success that it needs to be of the highest priority and if not understood should be placed in the hands of someone that knows what they are doing.
Rule #12 Consider the author: Successful and consistent ecommerce / SEO professional is considering employment opportunities. Contact: Brenda Coffey email@example.com 828-228-0050