Having a high degree of exposure in the search engine results is critical for the success of any ecommerce website. However, to win that edge over your competitors, you’ll have to take some extra steps to make your website irresistible to both the search engines and your target audience. With the following tips, you’ll be able to combine SEO and conversion rate optimization to supercharge your ecommerce website into first place in Google:
1 – Leverage User-Generated Content
Today’s businesses need to accept that they are no longer in control of their reputations and that user-generated content has become the holy grail of online commerce. By enabling users to leave public reviews on your website, you’ll be able to garner essential insights into your product inventory as well as help build up trust and help guide customers through making informed purchase decisions. Of course, feedback won’t always be positive, but studies have consistently shown that customers are far more likely to make a purchase from a website that features user reviews.
2 – Avoid Duplicate Product Descriptions
Google’s search engine crawlers get confused by duplicate content, and if they are seeing two or more pages on your website with the same content, they’ll only ever index one page. Unfortunately, duplicate content is a common problem in ecommerce, since many companies simply pull product descriptions from the manufacturer’s website or from a product database. If your ecommerce website is of a reasonably manageable size, you should consider writing your own content for your product pages or having a freelancer carry out the work for you. Again, you can also leverage user-generated content to complement the on-page content.
3 – Elevate Product Categories
After your homepage itself, category pages are among the most important on any ecommerce website, and they present a wealth of opportunity for publishing SEO-friendly content. For this reason, you should treat category pages similarly to how you treat your homepage. A category page should be more than just a list of products. It should provide useful information that helps to guide your customers through the decision-making process. Avoid generic copies with automated insertions of category and product names, instead providing a unique, custom-written and SEO-friendly description of the category that also helps your visitors.
4 – Provide an Internal Search Function
Unless your ecommerce store only has a very small inventory, you’ll definitely need an internal search function to make the website easier for both the search engines and your customers to navigate. Although the on-site search function needs to be easy to use, it is also wise to include a few extra features to help people filter their search results and find what they want. If you have a large product inventory, an advanced search function that allows people to filter by product categories and specifications is even more useful. For more basic ecommerce sites, integrating a custom Google search function is often adequate.
5 – Optimize Visual Content
Poorly optimized visual content can present many problems for your website and its visibility in the search results. Important ranking factors include mobile-friendliness and site speed, and visual content has a major influence on both of these. The quality and relevancy of any images and videos on the site will also influence the decision-making process of your customers. Use high-quality images and videos, but have them hosted off-site if they present too much of a strain on your own bandwidth. Also, be sure to optimize your images by including relevant, keyword-rich text in the captions, filenames and alt texts.
Although SEO requires a lot of work and time, there are many reasons for doing it. Ultimately, a website that is more visible to relevant traffic from the search engines leads to higher conversion rates. Your goal should not be to get as many page views as possible, but to draw in the right sort of traffic of the type that is most likely to convert. Quality traffic takes time to attract, and it requires a combination of excellent content, future-proof SEO tactics and social media marketing. Fortunately, the benefits are well worth the effort, particularly once you see your website rank in the top place in the search results.