How to optimize your eCommerce website for search engines?
In this article, we will talk about various, and easy to implement, techniques you can use in your eCommerce SEO campaign to help you improve your site's ranking, and boost sales!
The easy to implement eCommerce SEO techniques
There are various SEO techniques you can easily implement during the design process of your eCommerce website to help you stay atop of your competitors for a long run!
Using videos, blog articles, and editorials might help give your eCommerce site a slight edge over your competition, they won't get you to the top if your pages (including your product pages and images), are not optimized properly using on-page SEO techniques! Check out our 6 steps to a better On-page SEO article!
Find a good home for your eCommerce website
We've seen a lot of small businesses spending a good amount of money to have an eCommerce website designed but when it comes to choosing a web hosting, they focus on the cheap price instead of looking at what type of hardware and features the package they chose comes with. And when their sites takes forever to load, or goes down on a daily basis, they wonder why their site is experiencing problems.
When looking for a web hosting company for your eCommerce site, we recommend that you ask for the following features (you might pay a little bit more but trust me, it is worth it)
- Server setup with SSD drives (solid state drive)- For even more speed and power
- File cached on RAM and not Hard Drive - Again, for speed and power
- Uptime guarantee - No hosting company can guarantee 100% of Uptime, but 99.9% is the normal guarantee you should ask for
- No adult website hosting policy - Avoid hosting companies that allow adult site hosting! Adult sites are bandwidth hogs, thus, they will affect your site's performance
- mod_PageSpeed features - Make sure your hosting company have the mod_PageSpeed installed and enabled to help optimize your site even more
- PCI compliant - Your eCommerce site needs to be PCI compliant to meet safety regulations
- SSL certificate - Ask your hosting company the hosting package includes at least one year of free SSL certificate, and how much it would cost to renew
- CDN - A lot of hosting companies now include FREE CDN with their hosting packages - Ask for it (even though you might not need it)
- Backup - Make sure that the web hosting company offers FREE daily backup and ask how long those backups are kept for (usually 30 days).
- Technical support - Make sure they offer 24/7/365 support via phone, email, or a ticketing system (A response to your ticket should be no more than 24hrs)
- Site builder - Avoid hosting companies that only offers proprietary site builders, and limited access to the cPanel, SSH, and so forth!
Check out our unbiased review of Siteground web hosting - The best hosting company for 2015
Perform Keyword Research first
First and foremost, before starting your on-page SEO for your eCommerce site, you will need to start with keyword research using many available, free and paid, tools to search for a good keyword, or keyword phrase to target! 'Google Keyword Planner' is one of many other available tools you can use for your keyword research!
So if you have a Google Ad Words account, just log in and start using the keyword planner! If you don't already have an account, go ahead and get one now - It's FREE!
Lack of keyword selection for your eCommerce site
Now one thing to remember is, and it's unfortunate, with an eCommerce site, you won't have as much keywords to choose from as you would have for a regular website or a blog, but still, it should not stop you from researching the keywords, or key phrases your would be customers are using, as a query, or queries, to find the product you sale!
Again, the purpose of your keyword research is to try to have an idea of what John might be entering in his favorite search engine search box, to find that "1977 two doors red corvette car toy" he wants to buy, or what Alexis is using, as her search query, to find that "12k diamond engagement ring" she would love her fiance to buy as her engagement present. This is just to have an idea of what terms your would be customers are using to find your product!
Use the Singular and the plural terms for your keywords
When using Google's Keyword Planner to find the keywords you want to target, use both versions, singular and plural of the keyword, ie; "1977 two doors red corvette car toy" and "1977 two doors red corvette car toys", because one might result in a higher search volume than the other! Of course, you would go with the one that has the highest monthly search volume, and preferably with less competition, than the one having low search volume with high competition!
Optimize your product images before uploading
How many times have you clicked on a link, from your favorite search engine, just to click on the 'back button' of your browser because the site was taking forever to load?
You need to make sure that all your images you are going to use on your eCommerce website, are optimized!
You don't know how to do that or you don't have the tools to optimize your images?, no problem! Here is the trick I use (even if I did optimize the image before uploading it to the server):
- Resize your images accordingly first
- Then scan your site using GTmetrix
- And under the RECOMMENDATION, look for and click on the 'Optimize images' link. The link will expand and give you a list of images that need to be optimized, Plus their optimized versions
- Download those optimized images onto your computer (preferably under a different folder called 'optimized images', or 'GTmetrix optimized images'
And you are set! Not quite yet!
Properly name your images for your eCommerce site
Before uploading those optimized images you downloaded from GTmetrix, rename them accordingly to match the keyword you are trying to target (the one you got from your keyword research)
for example, I would name the "1977 two doors red corvette car toys" image as "1977-two-doors-red-corvette-car-toy.jpg"
Use a good Alt tag for your image
Now that you have reduced the file size of the image and properly naming the image file, you need to insert a good descriptive Alt Tag to also help you with optimizing your eCommerce website for users and search engines.
For our car image example, we would use something like "Image of a 1977 two doors red corvette car toy" as the Alt tag
Don't forget to also write a good Title for your product, and a clear description to help your would be customers understand what your product is about, and also to entice them to click on your link, instead of your competitors'
Again, this article is in addition to using videos, blog, editorials and other techniques to help you optimize your eCommerce website!
One thing to remember is to always optimize your eCommerce site for your users first, and search engine second! But both go well hand in hand!
Please let us know what you think about our 'eCommerce SEO - On-page SEO for eCommerce site' article by commenting! Thank you!