How is your e-commerce SEO? Are you sure you’re getting your products in front of as many customers as you can? Today’s guest post from Qeedle‘s Michael Deane is chock full of tips to help you get your store higher in the search engine rankings.

-T. W. Seller

By 2021 global e-commerce sales will reach $4.8 trillion.

It’s clearly a huge market which keeps on growing and this trend can have a positive impact on your online store. 

However, it’s not only revenues that grow – the number of e-commerce stores has been mushrooming for quite some time too and that means you’ll have to try hard to cut through the noise and help your visitors find you. 

Optimizing your e-commerce store for search engines can help you boost your rankings and drive high-quality traffic. 

Here are some useful tips that you can use. 

Diversify Your Strategy 

SEO consists of different tactics that work together towards reaching your goal – improved online visibility and more sales, and balancing your approach is very important. 

Many e-commerce websites heavily rely on PPC campaigns as their main SEO efforts. But the problem is that the cost of this tactic constantly goes up, and although it’s effective in generating traffic, the moment you reduce your budget, your SEO rankings will experience a drop.

So, instead of putting your eggs in one basket, diversify your approach and implement various tactics. 

Use Unique Product Descriptions 

Google is very peculiar about duplicate content. 

Its Panda algorithm was developed in order to make sure that only unique, relevant, and high-quality content ranks well and is shown among the top search results. 

In other words, you’ll be penalized if you use “substantive blocks of content” that already exist on another page or URL. 

This can be pretty challenging for an e-commerce store due to the fact that there are numerous similar products that differ only in, say, color. 

Or even worse, your descriptions might end up being the same as your competitors’. 

So, make sure to identify these instances of duplicate content and make them unique by rewriting them, adding relevant keywords, and providing details which will help your customers understand your product, as well as its purpose and benefits better. Needless to say, search engine bots will reward this by boosting your rankings.

As this can be quite a big project, start with your bestsellers first and make sure that every new product page that you create follows this rule. 

Produce High-Quality Content 

Content marketing is a crucial segment of any marketing strategy and it provides SEO with a good foundation. 

According to research, marketers who prioritize blogging are 13 times more likely to obtain a positive ROI and no wonder that an increasing number of e-commerce websites turns to blogging as a vehicle for providing their prospects with valuable content. 

Apart from being relevant to your target audience and helpful in the sense of offering them useful information and advice about the topics of their interest, content needs to be properly optimized in order to find its way to the right people who could benefit from it. 

You can do this by enriching it with well-researched keywords which best describe and sum up a particular piece of content. 

Speed Up Your Website 

As technologies advance, customers’ expectations grow. 

This means that nowadays people are very impatient when it comes to how much they’re willing to wait for a website to load. 

Back in 2008, Amazon found that with every 100 ms of latency cost the company 1% in sales, and this stat perfectly illustrates the importance of speed for online stores. 

It’s best to keep your load times below 3 seconds if you want them to stick around and actually explore your online store. 

Here are a few tips for giving your website speed a boost:

  • Compress your images and use the JPEG format
  • Use a content delivery network to cache the content of your website on different servers in various parts of the world. This will make sure that your website visitors will be delivered content from the server closest to their geographical location.
  • Avoid or minimize redirects. If your website contains a  lot of redirects, its loading times will significantly decrease. 

Leverage Social Media

While you probably know that there’s no direct correlation between social media engagement and rankings, it can’t be denied that Google still picks up some positive signals if a lot of people like, reshare, and interact with your social media posts. 

Besides, by keeping your social media channels live and dynamic, you’re also driving traffic to your website and boosting your brand awareness and visibility. 

What’s even more important than all this is the fact that social media has become a powerful customer support medium, and it allows you to get in touch with your audience, build genuine connections with them, and respond to their questions and potential complaints in a timely manner. 

Optimize Your Meta Tags 

By creating title tags and meta descriptions you’re helping both Google and your visitors quickly understand what every particular page is all about. 

Title tags are clickable elements displayed on the search engine results pages (SERPs). Some of the best optimization practices include incorporating the main keyword and not exceeding more than 60-70 characters. 

Meta descriptions are snippets of text placed below the title in the SERPs and they offer a short summary of a web page. They should be accurate and succinct, as your potential visitors decide whether a particular page is relevant to them based on that description. Don’t forget to add keywords in your meta descriptions too. Although not useful in terms of rankings, meta descriptions have a significant impact on your click-through rate. 

Add Alt Text  

Apart from optimizing your written content, you should also do the same with your visuals. 

By using image alt text, that is descriptions of images on your website, you’re helping Google crawlers understand what’s in every image which is good for your SEO. Besides that, in case that an image fails to load, website visitors will see the text describing it. 

Finally, visually impaired people who use screen-reading tools will also have an opportunity to access your images. 

Given that user experience is something that Google holds in high regard, optimizing your e-commerce website in detail will most certainly score you some brownie points with it and help your rankings. 

Michael Deane is one of the editors of Qeedle, a small business magazine. When not blogging (or working), he can usually be spotted on the track, doing his laps, or with his nose deep in the latest John Grisham.