Ecommerce is part of the future. As you set up your store, you are joining, literally, millions of other companies in the world. However, many of them will fail. They don’t have the resources for a large-scale advertising budget. Even if they had a lot of money to put in their budget, the cost per sale may eat completely into their profits.
Don’t get caught in this vicious cycle. What you need is Search Engine Optimization (or SEO, for short). This will improve your ratings, lower your ad budget, and bring you peace of mind through your many sales. Here are our top SEO tips in 2020 to improve your eCommerce website visibility.
Relevant Internal & External Link Building
Links tell search engines which sites link to you and which sites you link to. You must advertise your site to the owners of major blogs and other advertisers to make sure that there are incoming links (known as “inbound links”) to track.
In addition to this, you need to have two types of links on your site, “internal links” and “external links”.
Internal links are hyperlinked text in a blog post. These connect to a specific product page on your site. You will want to use a lot of properly tagged images (see below) and internal links when writing or hiring out blog posts for your eCommerce site. This is one of the most important SEO tips we could give you.
Your site should not just be a collection of pages tied together under a few product categories. Instead, there should be a lot of internal linking to specific, relevant keywords and the corresponding product pages. This tells the search engine that there is a lot of discussion and interaction around those topics.
External links are hyperlinked text from your site. These connect to another site. For example, if you had a blog post that mentioned a fashion article posted by the New York Times. You would hyperlink the title of that article to the actual New York Times article. Search engines track all outbound links, as well.
Fresh & Updated Website Content
Search engines need to know what your site is about. They periodically crawl your site (after you set this up) to find out if it has been updated. Old, neglected websites are pushed to the back of the Google cue. Freshly updated sites which post daily or even several times a day get first priority.
Make sure that your site stays incredibly up-to-date. Hire out the articles done by your SEO professional or team. They will make sure that your site and content are connected to an appropriate team of writers who know how to write proper SEO blogs to bring in customers. They will also have professional experience in both inbound and outbound links, as well as all of the SEO tips coming up next.
Schedule Search Engines to Crawl Your Site
In the beginning, your site will not have very many visitors. If your SEO team is doing their job, you will begin pulling in both sales and regular customers within the first two months.
However, search engines need to see that your website is regularly updated. You must schedule Google and Bing and other search engines to crawl your website once every two weeks (and then once a week). With all of the fresh, daily content, this will increase your ranking by that view alone. Additionally, search engines won’t crawl your website if you don’t schedule this, here’s how to schedule it.
You must schedule it.
On top of that, you need to keep up with your views, target customers, and resulting sales. Once you receive your ideal number of customers, expand your business enough to accommodate four times as many customers. When you do this, you will have the capacity to have search engines crawl your online store once a week. Now, you can schedule more frequently.
Maintain Fast Site Speed and Proper Structure
Proper URL Structure
We cannot emphasize this enough. For both the sake of search engines and the sake of your customers, you must have a proper structure. Your site must be easy to navigate and understand. The most common part of a website that has improper structure, is the menu/taxonomy. Make sure to get an extra opinion on the organization of your taxonomy.
Having an eCommerce website is different than a Brick-and-mortar store because they can easily display all of their products. With your online shop, especially for larger catalogs, make sure your categories and sub-categories all blend well together. Another note for this SEO Tip in 2020 is to make sure the URL structure of the categories make sense. Treat your taxonomy like a file cabinet; the categories are the drawers and the sub-categories are the folders. In a proper URL structure, these are split by a forward slash.
Fast Site Speed
Big eCommerce websites sometimes have slow load times. This is a huge mistake. It will cost these sites millions of customers over the course of a single year. You must keep the customer experience smooth, comfortable, and flawless. They must feel that they are in a warm, safe shopping experience at all times. They must be so focused on your amazing products and their descriptions that they don’t even notice that your site exists. That is how the big eCommerce sites keep getting massive sales.
Use Original Images
We want to emphasize this SEO Tip for 2020 – to the best of your ability, try to use original images of your products. This is because we are at a point where so many images have been copied and recopied all across the web. If you run a dropshipping store or some type of online store that has several duplicated copies of other websites’ images, you must edit, crop, or manipulate them to add originality. This will help search engines view your photos as something original and unique which works in your favor for rankings.
Tag and Describe All of Your Images
If you do end up using a stock or duplicated image, you should still add an image description for each one. There must be tags that are relevant to both the image and the topic of your eCommerce site. Don’t just label your image “lawnmower” and be done with it. Put tags of the make, model and brand. Search engines must know what the image is about. The better and more specific tags you use, the more directly your eCommerce website will be used by search engines and customers.
Another note on tagging: use canonical tags. These are tags specific to your preferred version of a webpage. Even if you have duplicate copies of a page published, you don’t want your customers accidentally stumbling upon an older, worse version of a current website page. With canonical tags, you tell the search engine that your current page is the best and most updated version of your site page. This will instruct search engines on what to do and which pages to pay attention to.
Precise and Cohesive Copy
You must use relevant keywords throughout your web copy. Your page material, your product listings, and your blog should all have the proper keywords tied to each product and to the site itself. The overall purpose or theme of your site should be stated pretty frequently in all of your web copy- but in a natural way,
Did you know that search engines can tell the difference between an article filled with “keyword stuffing” and a naturally written article?
Google now uses the Rank Brain algorithm, an AI tool that can determine if keywords are actually relevant and whether they are just spam or strategically placed. This algorithm can recognize natural human communication and how to rank content for those attributes. If you visit a site that is low quality, the recommendation from the search engine is valued lower.
Use this keyword tool to find related keywords so that your site doesn’t have too much repetition that it’s “spammy.” With this tool, you can find related keywords and other terms that people are using to search for that item. This will make sure your content is fresh and up-to-date without being too wordy or using the same phrases over and over again.
Long term SEO Maintenance
For our final SEO tip for 2020 we invite you to explore this topic further. Even if you hire out your SEO work to a specialist (and they do an excellent job), you should understand that SEO is a long term project. Moving your eCommerce website to the top-ranked spots in Google is just the first part. Maintaining your online store with updated articles, improved product descriptions, and high-quality unique photos are all tactics that must be done on a regular basis to maintain your ranking.
Remember to always be authentic in your sales techniques. Yes, there is always scarcity marketing, countdown timers, and sales funnels, but there are also ways you can personally and ethically maintain a high-selling online shop. Be sure to use the finest selling copy, story-telling content, and short but clear product descriptions; stay away from appearing like spam. Your shoppers are smart, so with the best of your ability, use human connection to appeal to your customer’s needs.