2022 is looking to be one of the most pivotal years in recent digital marketing history. With the impending launch of the metaverse, more brands looking to implement cryptocurrency and NFTs as a part of their marketing strategy and social commerce is likely to become a stalwart of Ecommerce marketing. With so much looking to change it is important to not get too distracted from the essentials.
SEO is the single most rewarding digital marketing strategy for your business as once it starts offering return – it offers return again and again and again. However, the problem a lot of businesses have when it comes to SEO is that it becomes more difficult the more you refine your SEO strategy.
SEO is essential to maximising your Ecommerce Business so, make your new year’s resolution to refine your SEO strategy with these SEO tips
Give Your Website A Clear Content Hierarchy
Your content hierarchy is essentially how your users are going to navigate through your site and therefore how google is going to crawl and understand your website too. So, when you have a clean content hierarchy, meaning you have categories and then you have sub-categories and then products within that subcategory – everything flows seamlessly from a user standpoint and also from a crawl standpoint. Not only will you see your store getting crawled easier, more often and getting indexed more by google but also users will have an easier time and therefore lead to higher conversion rates.
Content hierarchy has to do with keyword groups. So let’s say you’re selling refrigerators and printers on the same website, sure these both fall under the category of electronics but it’s very unlikely that you are going to rank on page one of google for both of those category pages. You need to make sure that your content hierarchy is in line with your product selection, the keywords you target and the keyword groups you target too.
List Out Of Stock Products
In some ways, it makes sense to remove products from your site. If you owned a brick and mortar store and were out of stock of one item – for obvious reasons you couldn’t display it.
However, from a technical standpoint, removing products from your website can introduce tons of issues. For example not implementing 301 redirects into your site once you remove them and now having tons of 404 pages.
But from an SEO perspective; when Google sees that you have less content, fewer products than your competitors; You aren’t going to list as high in the SEO rankings.
In addition to this, that product you just removed may have been ranking high from an SEO standpoint independent from anything else on your site.
There are a few things to consider when debating whether to remove an out-of-stock product from your site.
Is that product likely to come back in stock? If yes then just don’t touch it. Leave that page be. If it’s an in-demand product you can use it as an opportunity to add emails to a mailing list.
If not, think is there a new model or an alternative to the product that you could have the existing page link out to? and if there is, then implement that functionality in place of removing any pages.
Make Sure Your Plugins Don’t Break Your SEO
This is an issue we have been seeing for years now. There exist certain plugins for Ecommerce sites that allow for search and filter functionality, sounds great. However, the URL structure these plugins create can be a nightmare to deal with.
Put simply these plugins create new URLs based on search queries but often do not allow you to tell Google “do not crawl these pages”. Now you have all of these weird URLs listed on google, which dilute your page rankings for those keywords you were actually trying to rank for.
And this is just one example, we see this across the board. Whether it’s Shopify, Bigcommerce, Magento, WooCommerce etc. Sometimes implementing plugins that improve your website’s functionality, can break your SEO ranking. So, be extra careful to make sure that any plugin or add on does not break or change anything from an SEO standpoint
Make Your Product and Category Descriptions Unique.
Unique descriptions for products and long unique descriptions for category pages. too often do category pages not rank due to lack of content. Product descriptions are far too often the exact same as manufacturer descriptions and category descriptions are non-existent.
So lets say your category page is birthday cards and you have 25 products listed on that page you better have some content in that category page.
Unique descriptions are absolutely necessary for your SEO. If you use the manufacturer description and nothing else – Guess what? There are loads of other sites doing the exact same thing. In that case, Google doesn’t view your site as unique and therefore you won’t be listed above your competitors.
When it comes to category pages, this is where you can broaden the horizons of the Keywords you are ranking for. How do you do this? Well, it comes down to understanding search intent. If someone is searching for a blue iPhone 11 case with a smiley face on it, then sure your product that matches that description is going to rank; it’s a very specific search query. However, if someone were to search fun phone cases, this is the opportunity for your category page to rank. You need a product description sprinkling in some of those terms – fun Phone cases, Phone case gifts etc.
Get Backlinks – Earned Media vs Paid Media
What a lot of businesses don’t realise is that Most product pages; need to have at least 3, 4, 5 legitimate backlinks in order to actually rank on google.
Getting backlinks for your site is a whole topic on its own, so we won’t go into too much detail on that here but, one of the best ways to get backlinks is with guest blog posts and reviews this would be an example of Paid Media.
Guest blog posts can be compared to influencer marketing in that just like how influencers offer advertising through social media, blog posts do the same online but also improve your SEO ranking through the backlinks these blog posts create.
Alternatively, let’s say you feel you’ve just done something quite significant in your industry. Say you just had a successful product launch or something similar, this would be the time to reach out to PR people in the form of Earned Media. Articles can be written in publications within your niche which promote your brand further.
Neither of these should be looked at with only SEO in mind but, recognising that both paid and earned media improves the SEO of your website through backlinks may incentivise you to actively pursue both more.
Understand That User Experience Is SEO
This last one isn’t novel to just Ecommerce stores and in fact, benefits lead generation sites too.
SEO is constantly changing and in recent years SEO has changed a lot. Google is constantly refining and changing its algorithm. The most substantial change over the past few years is that user experience is now the number one factor driving higher SEO rankings: faster site speed, mobile responsiveness; if the makeup of your site is poor then it’s going to be very difficult for you to rank on google organically
This means that web developers need to be involved in your marketing strategy as well as marketers. Because a marketer isn’t going to know what plugins are slowing your site down or what elements of the site aren’t working as they should. Your site is going to fall
To be more specific, if Google sees that Your bounce rate is really high or that users aren’t spending a lot of time on your site, your SEO is going to suffer.