Jesse Hanley is one of the founders of SEO consultants RankingPress.com. He's laser-focused on providing solutions for eCommerce websites, making them easier to use and quicker to find. He's here with a guest post on 15 SEO tips you can start doing immediately to improve traffic and visibility to your B2B eCommerce site.
Are you a hungry business owner who is looking to dominate the market with an automated marketing funnel? Search Engine Optimization is your answer. Over the years, search engine marketing has been a tool that smart B2B businesses have used to become a force to be reckoned with.
Our team has worked with companies who have learned that by building a website which embraces SEO, they've been able to increase inbound leads and sales and block out competitors. SEO is no longer the icing on the cake that many owners once thought it was. It's a strategy that should be baked right into your business model from the start.
SEO is just a combination of good habits, best practices and compound interest that leads to major success down the line. Now, there is a lot to search engine marketing that I can't cover in one single post. But here's a list of my favorite 15 actionable tips you can take to your team or even do yourself today.
1) Include beautifully written, long form copy on every single product page.
Fact: most businesses are lazy. It has become a habit for a lot of eCommerce businesses to just copy and paste product information from competitors or their suppliers' websites. Don't do this. It creates duplicate content issues, won't convert as well and doesn't differentiate you from the rest of the market.
2) Optimize your quality product images.
Quality product images that are optimized correctly will help increase conversion rates and boost rankings. High quality product images will convert users, and optimized product images rank higher in Google Image search. Google will also appreciate the attention to detail on the page.
Bonus points: optimize the name of your image file to include a descriptive product name. Instead of naming your image with a random "HJLADJKH.jpg" use "product-name.jpg".
3) Film product reviews and upload them to YouTube.
Doing this will help increase rankings, improve conversion rates and be a point of difference from your competitors. Google owns YouTube and because of this relationship, it's rewarding people who use its platform. Start filming videos for all your products and in the bio of each one include a link back to your product page. This will also have the hidden benefit of increasing your conversion rate on the actual site. People appreciate seeing or hearing a human over reading blocks of text.
4) Add Facebook, Twitter and Google+ buttons to your website.
This will help to increase rankings and improve trust with your new users. Google takes social links into account in the rankings. We've actually seen sites rank purely on shares with no backlinks. Make sure you include buttons to share for the top three social networks. Encourage your team to also share on all their personal accounts to help give each product a little boost.
5) Include inbound links throughout your site - they matter.
Put together a strategy to ensure that inbound links are constantly being built. While link building is known as something that is really important, few people actually provide strategies on how to do it. For eCommerce businesses that have a physical product, it's mind-blowingly easy. Invest in giving bloggers and other websites your product to review. You'll receive a backlink (which helps improve the authority of your site, and thus, your rankings) and tap into another audience for increased brand reach and recognition. Double win!
6) Optimize your product pages so that Google, Bing & Yahoo can actually understand them.
Optimizing your product pages to be read by Google, Bing & Yahoo is important. If search engines can't understand the pages, what's the point of all the effort that goes into building links, sharing content, writing beautiful content and more? On-site SEO doesn't need to be difficult. Ensure your product name is in an <h1> tag and that all the appropriate meta tags are functioning correctly. If you want bonus points, set up schema markdowns so extra details show in the search engines.
7) Think deeply about who your customers are and what they are searching for.
Then create pages for those searches. By doing so you'll learn a lot about what your customers want and can intuitively start to predict what they'll look for in the future.
8) URL structure & consistency do matter.
Decide on a URL structure and format all your page URLs to follow that format exclusively. Also, ensure that words in the URL actually link to similar content on your pages.
9) Be wary of duplicate content issues.
There are a lot of eCommerce platforms which cause these issues organically - this needs to be stomped out. Use original, unique content throughout your site, and keep an eye out for duplicate content.
10) Track everything you can using an analytics tool like Google Analytics.
Pay attention to unique visitors, how much time they spend on your site and on which pages. Track what time you get the most sales, and on which days. Use Google Analytics to track your site's bounce rate and which pages don't seem to attract much information at all. Paying close attention to these analytics will help you figure out what's working and what's not - and what you can do about it.
11) Do not delete pages.
Ever. Even if they are featuring items that are out of stock. Make it clear to your customers that they won't be able to order that product at the moment, but keep the page itself up and running.
12) Ensure that all pages are linkable within your site.
Use internal links and make sure that all of your pages can be easily linked to. You might be missing out on an opportunity for more visibility if it's hard to link to valuable content.
13) Check that you have no links pointing to competitors.
Surprisingly, this happens a lot. All of your links should keep your customers right where you want them to be - on your site.
14) Ensure that you have your contact details clearly visible on every page.
Clearly post your phone number, address, e-mail, and social media information on every page. You want to make it easy for customers and potential customers to contact you.
15) Stop thinking more pages are better.
Multiple pages can dilute page rank, which adds more effort and makes it harder to navigate your site. More isn't better, more is worse.
After breezing over all the above tips and tricks did you notice any that you could implement today? SEO is more than just being found in Google. It's a way of building websites which encourages loyal customers and automates your marketing. We've seen businesses go from $0/month to $1,000,000/month from search; and we think almost all businesses with a great product can achieve the same.
If you're struggling to wrap your head around the basics of search engine marketing or if you're a seasoned business that's looking to take your search tactics to the next level, then RankingPress.com would love to talk to you. Our expert team has a great understanding of how SEO works on all major eCommerce platforms including WooCommerce, Magento, OpenCart, Shopify, TradeGecko and more.