SEO may seem straightforward on the surface, but in practice, there are so many elements that need to be monitored daily in order to see positive results. SEO optimization can be particularly challenging for merchants because they have to optimize hundreds (if not thousands) of products across numerous categories.
This makes it a seriously time-consuming process. And with countless merchants competing for shopper attention, it can be even harder to secure the search engine real estate you need to keep visitors coming to your site.
In addition, with frequent algorithm changes and conflicting advice, many merchants are unsure of where to start when it comes to an SEO strategy. But, the benefits of a robust SEO strategy are more than worth the effort when it comes to results. Payflex outlines 8 of the most effective SEO tactics for eCommerce merchants in 2021.
Make Sure Your Product Descriptions Are Unique
Creating unique product descriptions for every product is extremely important. While it might be tempting to use a supplier or manufacturer’s product description, content duplication will hurt your rankings. Google doesn’t want to rank pages with duplicate content. In fact, Google states that: “Google tries hard to index and show pages with distinct information”. Therefore, the best strategy is to create unique and original descriptions for each of your products. Make sure these descriptions reflect your brand voice and provide value to the customer.
Include Product Reviews
User generated content (UGC) has become instrumental in driving purchasing decisions online. Yet, what many merchants don’t realise is it is also essential for SEO success. Search engines like Google treat customer reviews as new and unique website content. This makes UGC instrumental to your SEO rankings. In fact, statistics show that 25% of search results for the world’s top 20 brands are linked to user-generated content.
Therefore, as a merchant, encouraging reviews is a no brainer. You are giving search engines more information to work with, providing your customers with social proof, and improving your rankings. So, if you aren’t already, start encouraging your customers to post reviews today!
Remove Duplicate Content
It is estimated that up to 29% of content on the internet is duplicated. While in most cases, eCommerce merchants won’t even realise the error, intentionally duplicated content can have an adverse impact on your rankings. Should Google find content has been intentionally duplicated to manipulate rankings, “the ranking of the site may suffer, or the site might be removed entirely from the Google index, in which case it will no longer appear in search results.” Actively check your website for duplicate content and avoid simply copying and pasting articles and information from other sources. Rather, strive to provide your audience with fresh, original content that will not only positively influence the customer experience, but significantly improve your SEO ranking.
Use Long-Tail Keywords for SEO
In general, SEO best practice is to target popular keywords with a higher volume of searches. But, incorporating low-volume and low-competition long-tail keywords into your strategy can be key to a successful SEO strategy. In fact, research has found that long-tail keywords can account for as much as 70% of all web searches.
Google has seen an increase in shoppers using more conversational search queries, which allow them to ask more pointed, specific, and personally relevant questions about the products and services they’re interested in. What makes long-tail keywords so important, is that they specifically serve the shopper’s intent. Unlike high-volume, generic keywords, long-tail keywords will help you provide shoppers with the answers and information they value most.
Optimize Your Meta Descriptions
While meta descriptions don’t improve your SEO directly, they can increase your organic click-through rate. SEO optimized meta descriptions will give your site an advantage in search engine results pages (SERPs), providing more opportunity for click-throughs, which means more chances to convert visitors into leads or new customers. As a merchant, take time to think about what your visitors are searching for, and how you can encourage them to click through to your site. For example, how does your site, services, or products solve or address a problem they have?
Use Internal Linking To Create a Deeper Customer Experience
You already know that content is king when it comes to improving your SEO ranking within Google. But, what you may not know is that Google also likes to see depth on a site which is where internal linking comes in. Same as backlinks, internal links can tell Google which pages are more important on your site. They also optimize your site’s architecture, funnel authority, and understand all of the pages on your site. Without internal links, Google will find it difficult to index your site’s page which can in turn, impact your site’s search visibility.
Don’t forget Backlinks!
Acquiring and earning backlinks is a key part of a comprehensive SEO campaign. Backlinks signal a ‘vote of confidence’ to search engines that one website thinks another website is trustworthy, credible, and provides valuable information. Links that come from relevant and high authority websites also provide increased brand awareness, referral traffic, and will directly impact the visibility of a site. Increase your chances of earning more backlinks by creating original content that addresses consumer pain points.
Make your content dynamic for SEO
Dynamic content has become a central ingredient to a successful SEO strategy when compared to static content. This higher-quality content improves the overall user experience with more relevant offers, interactions, and recommendations, which in turn, improves Google organic rankings.
For many eCommerce merchants, marketing is the primary goal and SEO is more of an afterthought. But, this shouldn’t be the case. Instead, merchants need to place significant focus on their SEO strategy to ensure they bring in organic traffic, improve their rankings, as well as optimize the digital experience for their customers. And while the SEO space can seem confusing and difficult to navigate, the above are some basic building blocks that should form part of any robust SEO strategy. Done right, these SEO tactics can have a big impact on your performance.