8 Easy SEO Tactics that Drive eCommerce Traffic

From time to time we have guest posts on the blog. Today’s post is from Dan Cromar at Conversion Giant.

SEO can seem complicated. What’s recommended one day quickly changes the next. And with so many ranking signals, it’s hard to know where to focus your efforts. For short-term “quick win” boosts in traffic to your eCommerce store from Google, use these 8 tips.

Submit Your Site to Google

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While technically Google should eventually find your site by crawling, there is a way to speed up the process by manually submitting your site. This is extremely important if you’ve never done this before, if you’ve recently switched to a secure HTTPS protocol, or if you have changed domain names. Use this link to submit your site if you haven’t already done so.

You’ll also want to submit your sitemap. Using a free tool like XML Sitemaps.com, create an XML sitemap file. Then, create a Google Search Console account (formerly Webmaster tools). After signing in, click Add a Property. You’ll need to verify that you’re the site owner which can be done by linking your Google Analytics account, adding a snippet to the website, and a few other ways. In your dashboard, click Crawl, then Sitemaps. Upload your XML file as soon as possible to start improving your rank, increasing visits, and driving conversions.

Speed Up Your Site

The time it takes for your website to load is imperative to ranking in the top positions on Google. 80% of people admitted that they won’t wait around more than 3 seconds for a page to load. As the shift towards mobile browsing becomes the norm, people have even less time to wait for a site to load. Google has recognized this and thus it’s an important ranking signal.

A slow site also creates a poor experience and could be affecting your sales. This is particularly accurate for businesses with short buying cycles. Say an individual knows they need a certain product. They land on your site to complete a purchase, but your website takes too long so they move onto the next result in the search engine.

Start by identifying your current site load speed using a tool like PageSpeed Insights or Website Grader. If your speed is over three seconds, optimize your site in these areas:

  • Enable HTTP caching: This stores elements like images, CSS, and JavaScript for returning visitors on their hard drive
  • Reduce image sizes: High resolution images have a 300 dpi. Only 72 dpi is necessary for websites
  • Paginate: Split the products on your category page into multiple pages
  • Redirects: Omit any that are unnecessary

Link Building

Getting other websites to link back to yours, or link building, should be an ongoing effort. However, there are easy and quick ways to build links and benefit from an SEO boost. Try these methods:

  • Write an article that’s relevant to a website in your industry’s blog. Pepper in a few links back to your site when it flows with the content and inquire about publishing on their site
  • Use Moz’s Open Site Explorer to identify any directories or resource lists you could add your website to. Start by researching the links your competitors are getting. Just be sure the sites you’re pursuing include a dofollow link!
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Internal Linking

Linking to your own pages is an effective SEO tactic as it tells Google that you’re helping your users navigate to the appropriate content. Use keywords in your anchor text (the visible words that the user sees). Be sure to only link to your own pages where it naturally makes sense–don’t overdo it as Google will recognize this as suspicious behavior.

Get Social

There’s no question that your social media profiles are important to Google. Have you ever searched a company only to find their Facebook or Twitter profile show up first? This is why it’s important to be present on the major social channels and consistently sharing content. While the links to your website won’t count as backlinks, your social media profiles can certainly rank.

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Don’t Stuff Your Title Tags

When it comes to title tags, the best practice used to be to include as many relevant keywords as possible. This is why you still see some search engine results with title tags like “Company XYZ – Digital Cameras, Electronics, Laptops, Printers”. This is particularly common for homepage title tags because it carries the most weight for rank opportunity. While it’s still recommended to keep your page title under 65 characters, Google now prefers sites that put usability over keyword optimization.

Your title tags need to be descriptive of what the user can expect upon clicking. This often means the title tags are much simpler. Instead of including all the keywords you want to rank for, choose the most important term and stick to one per title tag.

 

WAIT! Before you change your title tags, do a search to see if you are ranking for any of your keywords by searching them in Google in an incognito browser. If your site appears within the top 5 organic results, talk to your agency before making any changes.

Use Schema Markup

Schema markups are codes added to your website that help Google better understand what’s on your site by interpreting what the data means, not just what it says. They can be used for products, blogs, directories, reviews, local businesses, and many other applications. Schema markups are powerful for SEO but are extremely underutilized.

Leveraging schema markup won’t require new coding skills–you’ll just need to go to the Structured Data Helper within your Google Search Console account. Set up the type of data and elements you want to markup, create the HTML markup, and add the snippets to your pages using your CMS.

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Add Content to Category Pages

Content has always been an strong SEO ranking signal and it’s only growing in importance. If you take a look at your most visited pages, chances are your product category pages are high up on the table. Rather than merely showcasing your products, what content could you provide to help your customers select an item or make a decision? Add a few paragraphs of relevant copy to your category pages that are rich with relevant keywords. Be sure that only 2-3% of your copy is keywords.

With over 12 billion web searches each month, you need to be doing everything in your power to improve your rank in both the short and long-term. In the end, your SEO efforts should be optimized for usability.

About Dan Cromar:

 Dan Cromar is the SEO Manager of Conversion Giant, an eCommerce digital marketing agency in Los Angeles. Dan works directly with eCommerce and lead-gen advertisers to ensure they stay on top of their SEO game and on top of search engine results pages.

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One Comment

  1. Steve says:

    As always, great information.

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