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Monday, August 3, 2015

8 SEO tips for e-commerce entrepreneurs

SEO Tips - clickminded.com

By Michelle Rubio

Search engine optimization or SEO is an important component of any business’ internet marketing strategy. Along with content marketing and web design, SEO is one of the crucial parts of digital marketing success, especially for e-commerce websites.

E-commerce websites depend on SEO for online visibility. Without online visibility from search engine results from Google, Yahoo, or Bing, web traffic could be reduced by as much as 50 to 90 percent. Search engines are a trusted source of website traffic and these are the primary means of visibility on the internet. Without these, e-commerce sites will be compelled to thrive on referral and direct traffic, which only account for a small fraction of an average site's traffic numbers.
Apparently, SEO is the backbone of e-commerce success. Here are some SEO tips to help your e-commerce website effectively attract and convert your target shoppers:

Invest in an organic SEO foundation

It is not unusual to see e-commerce websites experience success after their first launching, only disappear a few months later. This is generally indicative of a faulty foundation. Pay per click (PPC) advertisements are an effective way to generate web traffic and online visibility, but once you stop paying for PPC costs, your online presence disappears. It is best to build an organic SEO foundation, and use PPC to boost your numbers and drive additional traffic.

Perform keyword research

Effective keyword research is vital to a strong SEO foundation. Focus on local and long tail keywords. People are no longer searching with just one or two keyword phrases. Instead, Google queries are now ranging between five to seven words. The rise of mobile search also means that more and more people are looking for information while on the go. Local keywords can help you benefit from this trend. You may also want to invest in further SEO training and certification to better equip you with the skills and techniques to really optimize your e-commerce website.

Avoid duplicate content

Both search engines and online users hate duplicate content. While any website is liable to penalties related to duplicate content, e-commerce websites are predominantly prone to making these mistakes, as product listings and descriptions can sometimes be repeated in several places. The best way to avoid having duplicate content in an e-commerce site is to create original content on every page.

Be 'crawl-able'

The URL structure of your e-commerce website is very important in obtaining higher search engine rankings. When building your website, make sure to work closely with your web designers and properly structure your URLs so that the search engine robots can find, crawl, and recognize your website.

Optimize product images

While it is very important to showcase high quality images on your e-commerce website, displaying great looking images isn’t everything. You also need to optimize your product images so that the search engines are able to find them. Add relevant and appropriate keywords into the ALT tags for each product image.

Reduce page load times

Google places great importance on user experience, and users hate slow websites. If you want to improve your page ranking, make sure that your pages load fast. You can analyze your page load times by using Google’s PageSpeed Tools. You can also learn ways to reduce load times via this site.

Fix broken links

Another thing that both users and Google hate is broken links. If your e-commerce site has any 404 errors, it's best to fix them as soon as possible. Ask your customers to report any broken links they encounter and keep tabs on frequent errors. There are also plugins you can install which will automatically scan for 404 errors and broken links.

Spend time with Google Analytics

Your Google Analytics account is full of valuable metrics that can show you what's going right and what's needs to be changed. Also, Google has special features specifically designed for e-commerce sites, so make sure that your account is properly set up to track e-commerce statistics and metrics.
By taking some time to study these tips and implement them, you are sure to have an optimized e-commerce website that will benefit from all the traffic that search engines will bring forth.

About the author: Michelle Rubio is an experienced SEO copywriter and blogger since 2010. She has been working with various businesses, big and small, in the United States, UK, Canada, and Australia. You can see more of her works and experiences in her LinkedIn profile.

Image license: Citirecruitment, CC BY 2.0