Rather than a Friday round up of sites this week, I’ve collated a few handy search engine optimisation (SEO) tips for you to use on your ecommerce website. Whether you have a multi-channel ecommerce operation or not, SEO is an important factor to help you rank well in search engines such as Google.
1. Create unique content
And I mean unique across all of your channels. You should avoid using manufacturer descriptions for products as this can be seen as duplicate content. If 10 websites were to all sell Product X and all 10 websites used the manufacturer description, the website that first started selling Product X would be indexed by Google first and the other 9 seen as duplicate. The same issue arises if you sell Product X across multiple channels such as your website, eBay and Amazon.
2. Include a sitemap
Help the search engines out where possible. By including a sitemap for your ecommerce site you’ll give search engines the key to all of your pages. Better yet, submit a sitemap to Google Webmaster Tools.
3. Optimise your page content
If you’re looking for a page to rank in search engines you need to pick your keyword or phrase, most likely the product name, then use this to optimise that page’s content for search engines. Include your keywords in headings particularly H1 tags (there should only be one H1 tag on any given page) and H2 tags, as well as throughout the page. But remember, write your content for humans not for search engines – so no keyword stuffing!
4. Don’t forget those title tags
The title tag, or page title, is the line which will appear as the blue link in search engine results and at the top of the web browser. It should be effeciently descriptive of the page’s content as well as being optimised for your keywords.
A few helpful hints;
- The words at the start of your tag have more weight with search engines so try to get your keywords here
- If you want to include your company name pop it at the end
- Keep your title tags to the recommended 70 characters
- As with your content, don’t keyword stuff!
5. Make sure you have user friendly URLs
Your URLs which are the page’s web address should be descriptive rather than programmatical. For example if we go back to selling Product X the optimal URL for this product page would be www.companyname.com/Product-X and not www.companyname.com/page?id=12345. This helps both SEO by using your keywords and is more visually informative for users.
6. Check your navigation and internal linking
This one is a must for both your users and for SEO. Make sure that your site doesn’t have any broken links, and that all of your pages are linked to internally.
7. High quality backlinks
A backlink is when another website links to yours. Link building is an key part of SEO as generally the more backlinks a website has the better it will rank. The important point to remember here however is that these links need to be of high quality to have a positive impact.
High quality links can be regarded as those coming from respected sources, like high ranking websites, websites with related content to your own and within your industry. Writing a blog gives you the opportunity to create link worthy content and can also increase traffic in itself, as well as generating more content pages for your website.
Of course I’m just scratching the surface with these 7 tips, and SEO is an ongoing process. Ideally SEO should be built into your website from day one. Work on your on-page SEO first and then once you’ve optimised your website look at your off-page techniques such as link building and being proactive in industry related forums.
If you’ve got any other tips please do share them in our comments below.