8 eCommerce SEO Tips for Small Businesses
Get a jump on your competition by starting your search engine optimization with some tips for your eCommerce website.
I talk to a lot of business owners and all are anxious to get their businesses going and selling, to make money. Especially those with eCommerce stores, I get the question "What can I do to start my SEO?".
Small Businesses work with limited budgets, it is not rocket science. These steps are things you, as a business owner can do to help your website succeed and start getting ranked.
This will take a little bit of time, so set aside a morning or afternoon depending on the site and if you have already signed up for some of these services.
eCommerce website vs. Brochure website
eCommerce stores have advantages when it comes to SEO that set them apart from normal websites:
- Inherently more pages to the site
- Can be optimized for more key phrases
- Can be optimized for buyers keywords because of product pages and categories
(Long Tail - see #2)
- Usually auto-update in the eyes of Search Engines so you don't have to worry about updated, as much, the home page and static sub-page content.
just to name a few.
A Little Disclaimer and pre SEO
NOTE: These steps are specifically for AFTER the development of the website on a content management system (CMS) like Wordpress. For the example, I will be using Wordpress but any CMS SHOULD do almost the same thing.
Since your website is complete, now what? Some things you need to ask your developer before you start this process, it will save some headache later and be helpers to your rankings.
- Is my site mobile friendly - Modern themes are built to be mobile friendly but if you have an older site you DEFINITELY need to check. Roughly 65% of search traffic comes from mobile. Or you can test your site yourself at Mobile Friendly test. Mobilegeddon is the reason.
- Are my page titles coded to be a "Heading 1" or "H1"
- Does your site have the "HTML 5 Shiv" - This is a workaround that helps HTML 5 work in Internet Explorer 8 and below.
- Does your site have "Respond.js" installed? - This helps your responsive website's modern styles (CSS3 Media Queries) not get too lost in older browsers, again in Internet Explorer 8 and below.
- Is Yoast SEO Installed on my Wordpress site?
- Is Google Analytics installed - If not have them add the analytics code and have them add you as an admin to the account with full access
- Does my site and my product pages have "Schema" - Usually this is apart of having an SEO company work on your site but something to ask. If your developer says not, find someone to do do this for your site.
Now here are some things you need to sign-up for before you go through the process. Throughout the rest of this article, I will assume all these have been done.
- Create a Google Account
- Install Moz Bar in Chrome
- Sign Up For
- Google My Business
Now here is what you came for.
1. Test your website speed - Over 4 Seconds is to slow
This is your first step because if your site is slow, you need to go back to your developer and see how you can speed things up. On average you have 4 seconds to keep someone on your site. If your site takes more than 4 seconds, the visitor will leave and more than likely never come back. Here is a list of free tools you can use, make sure to test your site on a couple of these because they test from all over the world so this will give you an idea of how your site stands up. Take the average of your times.
2. Do a little Keyword Research
Keyword research is very important but don't get lost with everything that you can use, there are a lot of tools out there so streamline the process and STAY FOCUSED.
- Make a list of all the keywords, even products
Open a text editor or an Excel spreadsheet (I prefer Excel) and map out all your pages and products on your site onto it's own column. Under each page start brainstorming keywords per page you think would be good for that page.
- Take this one web-page / product and:
- Go to Google Adwords and watch this video on Youtube
This will take you through getting to the keyword planner, which will help generate ideas and will give you a list like this.
This will tell you if a keyword or phrase has High, Medium or Low competition.
- In Chrome, go to Google.com and do a search on the page on your site you want to rank, not home page, but http://www.yourdomain.com/category/myproduct (be sure to type in into the search bar not in the top where https://www.google.com is). You will see this gray bar - Moz Bar (below), write down what your numbers are
You are probably saying at this point "What is this?". To break this down, the search engines rank web pages so each web page gets a PA - Page Authority and a DA - Domain Authority. In this bar you see the PA section and the DA section and beside the green and blue bars you will see Links and RD's.
- Now to do a search for the keywords you have for that page, just type the keyword into Google. The list of companies on the first page will appear with the gray bar under like we did in number 2.
- If the top 5-10 competition do not have high numbers or too far off from you then you have a good shot. Just because a domain has higher numbers than you doesn't mean you can't rank above them though. Keep that in mind.
- If you like what you see, write that keyword or phrase down.
- Do this for all your pages
- Longer keyword phrases attract more qualified buyers so the more defined you can get the better, without being to lengthy. These are perfect for product pages and categories.
3. Use SEO Technology... Some are Free
Take advantage of FREE tools. Wordpress has a plugin called Yoast SEO that you asked your developer about earlier. On each page in the dashboard of Wrodpress you will get a section that looks like this:
This is where you will write your focus keyword/phrase that the page will be centered around. This plugin will give you green, yellow and red dots for things that look, good, need to be fixed, etc. Each page is different so again, take it one step at a time.
Make sure your titles are consistent with your keyword. Site title should be between 50-60 Characters
Write a unique description and again keep it between 150-160 Character but Yoast will let you know how many characters you are at.
Set your permalinks accordingly (how your page URL is laid out)
4. Product Content, it's Important
Each of your products should have full page write-ups that completely describes the product in detail and also has some other elements like features, etc. to add to the length of the page.
Add Keywords Sparingly
Add your keywords in sparingly to titles and content, Yoast will tell you if the basics have been done. But one thing to remember, is add synonyms of your keyword/phrases to diversify and cover more ground. Google is smart and can pick up on like words in content.
DON'T OVER DO IT THOUGH
Add to many keywords and you will look spammy. Be sure to write for your readers, not SEO. Quality content will get shared and passed along if the topic is written well and interesting to you target audience.
5. Video is more powerful than words.
One thing on the rising in search engine value is video. If you can do a quick video on your iphone, android or any other smartphone of your product. DO IT. Doesn't have to be long but you can put the video on YouTube and add content to each video on the Youtube Page.
An added step would be to embed that product video that you just uploaded to YouTube and embed that on the product page on your site.
This is a whole other training and I can rant on but you get the picture
6. Get Social
Sign-up for all the social media accounts I listed and more if you want but make sure all information is filled in. Share your products and content with your followers and ask your friends to share your content as well. That way their friends can see your stuff and that is how things go viral.
Social media is a powerfui force and best of all FREE.Make sure all your pages have social share buttons, etc to make it easy for people to share your content.
7. Go Local
MAKE SURE ALL OF YOUR LOCAL INFORMATION IS CONSISTENT AND ACCURATE
One of the biggest mistakes people make are having different addresses or the wrong phone number for your location. Make sure your stuff is right before you submit. Even if you do submit and need to make a change, you can do that too but make changes sooner than later because the search engines pay attention.
If you don't have a specific location for your Business and you deliver good and services or you work from home, you can still have a listing. Google has a checkbox when you fill in your info that asks if you "Service Area Business".
8. Be Patient
SEO can be aggravating if you are an instant gratification type of person. There are times where you can rank for things immediately (usually at the hands of an SEO professional) and other times it may take 1, 2, 3, 6 months, even a year to rank for higher competitive keywords. It is okay to check your keyword list once a week or twice a week to see how you are doing but sometimes letting your site/pages/products get indexed a couple times might be what is needed, before you start changing your work up, etc.
Check your Google Analytics and see how people are interacting with your site and more.
There is a lot more to SEO, way more than this, we didn't even get into backlinking, social bookmarking, social signals, etc.. This was just a surface scratcher for people who don't know about SEO.
These are some quick hitter tips for eCommerce sites and small businesses wanting to start SEO. Really any site can use these tips just disregard when I talk about products.
The Search Engines are all about relevancy and good content, make sure you are doing SEO with people in mind, not solely on the search engines. People are the ones that will be searching for you so talk to customers, clients, potential clients, etc to see how people found you.
Don't be set in your ways when it comes to SEO, the market changes so quickly that you need to be able to change with it and once you start ranking you better believe that your competition will take notice so be prepared.