I bet at some point all of us have asked this question to ourselves or, well, to Google. Is there a winner for this SEO competition? For some yes, for some no.
I am generally not the type of guy who says “You should do x and avoid doing y.” I believe eComm is an adventure and the hero is none other than yourselves. So, at the end of the day, you should choose your own path with your own decisions. Here, I am just going to share my own opinions and you are completely free to approve or disapprove of what I am going to say.
I think that both SEO and paid ads/traffic are great methods. In my opinion, if you are going serious about your business, you should at some point make use of both of these resources. I mean if you can find the right keywords and need a super-quick result, paid ads and even social media paid ads are great. If you are on paid ads and your website has a great SEO infrastructure, well, I cannot think of a better scenario for your eCommerce.
Organic Traffic for the Long Time
However, unless you have a hidden treasure, it is likely that you will not be able to constantly afford paid ads or social media promotions.
If you have a solid backbone such as good SEO, you can always rely on that! Search engine optimization is something organic and in time you can build your website upon it. It is great once you know how to do it with the right keywords, content, on-page SEO strategy, etc. You will rank better, your CTR (click through rating) will increase, and reap the benefits of the highest ROI (return of investment), since according to studies, SEO provides the highest ROI for eCommerce.
In almost any case scenario, when you search for a product on Google, you first see paid ads and then normal websites with good rankings. You want to make sure your business becomes one of them since it is widely known that almost nobody goes past the first page to buy something!
I will try to explain what to do SEOwise for your business in basic steps throughout this post. Don’t worry, I don’t think it is that hard to set it up once you have delved into it! For you to follow easily, I will group some useful SEO strategies that you can in this post. Let’s start!
1.) Keyword Research
This is a must if you want a good SEO on your website because choosing the right keywords will not only help you rank better, it will also help you choose the right keywords when you go Content Marketing. I will talk about Content Marketing later, what I can tell now is that you need to have at least 1000 words of content for each product on your website if you want to rank well. Opening a Blog section on your website is a great way to do that, but you must choose your keywords wisely when you begin to jot down some words on your blog post.
There are loads of apps out there that can help you with your Keyword Research. Just try one of these and get some useful keywords for your business. For instance, if you choose high competition keywords instead of low competition ones, I bet you will never get to the first page on Google. Make sure you choose keywords that are popular (monthly volume), relevant-to-business, low to medium competition, and the ones that help your organic CTR since they are the gold mines you are looking for.
One great tip I admittedly use is searching my competitor’s domain through Keyword Tools and grabbing some of their keywords.
Well, it is OK to do that as long as you do not do exactly what your competitor does since you have to take this type of results with a grain of salt. What I mean is that keyword research is a creative act. Remember that your business at one point or another differs from any other. Your business is your own path, your own adventure!
I suggest that you find your own directions by quote ‘getting inspired by your competitors’ unquote. If you do exactly what they do, then what really is the point?You can also use the Amazon Keyword Tool because I think Amazon is like the Google of products! You just enter a product that you are planning to sell and sha-bam! Works like a charm.
2.) Content Marketing
Content Marketing is very related to choosing your keywords so why not continue with it? Everybody loves a good story, so why not build one for your brand and products?
With the right keywords, you can create your own content by writing blogs on and off your website.According to studies, almost half of all marketers around the world say blogging is their go-to strategy. It passes the 1000 words threshold I’ve mentioned and blogging just does not cost so much time or money. By writing blogs about your brand and products, you are not only telling a story, but you are also establishing the reasoning behind buyer intent. Thanks to your content, you are going to convert your visitors into buyers just because your content will appeal to their mind and emotion. Eventually, they will feel the desire to buy your stuff.
See how everything is intertwined and comes into one single infrastructure? That is achieved by establishing a good Keyword research strategy.
So far we have covered that content marketing helps your traffic and sales. Let me also tell you another advantage of this type of marketing: With content marketing, you will have a lot of things to link (relevant internal linking) on your website, so your website’s domain authority will increase accordingly.
3.) Internal Links
First off, designing your website in a well-organized manner is quite a big deal for your customers to get the best UX/UI experience out there.
Begin with your home page. Connect your category and some product pages with it. Once you make navigation and internal linking easy for your visitors, your domain will receive more authority from the search engine and you will be ranking better!
So by putting your internal links together, you not only provide a nice layout for your customers, but you also rank higher.
As you build your product pages, remember to put some “related products” link, because why not? This strategy has been proven to increase your SEO as you are adding more and more relevant internal links inside your website.
Speaking of these valuable product pages, go for some attractive words like DEAL, CHEAP, BUY, DISCOUNT, 15% OFF. You can increase the buyer intent that way.
4.) Structured Data (Schema Markup)
To receive the best traffic from Google, you’ll need to have a complete and correct schema in your store. The schema is a piece of code+data you add to your store for Google to understand what products you sell. If your schema abides by Google’s rules, Google then will show rich snippets for your products which will bring in more traffic from searches.
Rich Snippets are those fancy snippets that can show up as meta descriptions, star rankings, reviews, recipes, etc. These snippets increase your CTR and SEO since people do like fancy, colorful, and useful information that come with rich snippets, hence people click more on your website.
On the other hand, Google loves rich results. As a rule of thumb, I recommend that you have some schema on your web page. Google uses it for not only semantic search indexing as well. Even if you don’t see any immediate ranking (SEO) benefit, your page will be a better match candidate for more relevant queries.
Recent studies by Search Engine Land describe how Schema can increase your CTR by 30%: https://searchengineland.com/how-to-get-a-30-increase-in-ctr-with-structured-markup-105830
Here’s another helpful Search Engine Land article on Schema:https://searchengineland.com/10-facts-rich-results-seos-know-289078
For all those reasons I have told and more, I think installing a Schema application that you can find on Shopify store might be a really good idea for your business. Although your Shopify theme has some structured data, they fall out of compliance since Google updates itself regularly. You end up with outdated structured data in the end. However, some apps do update themselves so that you have your structured data nice and clean.
5.) Review Apps
As I have mentioned earlier, content is very important. Describing your product is a great way to promote your product and I fully encourage you to do so. It is also nice to have more word counts for you to rank.
However, sometimes you just gotta be sly!
Instead of writing a novel about a product of yours with, say, like 2000-5000 words, just keep your description at somewhere between 1000-1500 words and let reviews take care of the rest of the word count, while at the same time promoting your product through customer testimonials!
By the way, some of the reviews apps on the market are also very well integrated with the structured data apps that I have mentioned above.
6.) Speed your store up!
Another useful advice I can give is to your store up! Research has shown that more than half the US shoppers just don’t care and leave stores without purchasing anything if they are functioning rather slowly.
So you might wanna make sure that your site has the performance to handle the traffic the right way. This is where many Shopify stores tend to fail as well and a simple time delay in your store’s load time will increase your bounce rate and decrease conversion rate. Shopify says it is about a 7% drop in conversion rate for an extra second.They have some more stats in this article: https://www.shopify.com/enterprise/site-performance-page-speed-ecommerce
Speaking of some technical stuff, let’s jump right into SEO audits.
7.) Make your own SEO Audit!
So far, I have shared some general SEO and UX/UI tips with you throughout the Frasca Digital Blog and I think they are great to improve your store. However, if you do not make an audit of your store, they might as well go to waste.
But why are website audits good?
Well, in a nutshell, they basically show you where your store is at. You may have fancy content, nice apps, themes, and all those shenanigans. But remember, *the tools don’t make the man!*Here I think your best friend is none other than Google itself. Have you ever heard of Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Rich Results Test, reindexing, crawling, etc.? If you have not, I recommend that you do since Google is your virtual business partner. At the end of the day, we need their website to showcase our stores.
Below are some real quick tips.
A.) Re-Index/Crawl your store with Google Search Console
Whenever you make some changes such as adding some rich snippets on your website, your changes do not instantly appear on Google search. The search engine uses some spiders called ‘crawlers’ to crawl your website and transfer your new data to its own database so that your changes are shown in the search engine itself.
So what you can easily do is to ask Google to put your pages in a queue to be reindexed. This can take anywhere between a few days to a month or so.
You can use the Google URL Inspection tool: (https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/9012289#request_indexing) to submit individual URLs to the Google index. If you have large numbers of URLs, you should submit a sitemap instead.: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/6065812#sitemap
Generally, crawling helps your website with diagnosing broken links, duplicate content, and missing data.
B.) Use Only One Domain
According to Google, The following URLs are all valid Domain property definitions:
Pro tip: Using HTTPS instead of HTTP helps you with rankings. Why? It is more encrypted and then more secure. Less secure traffics that are without referral value are considered to be direct and they account for dark traffic. You might wanna avoid that by switching to HTTPS.
Alright folks, I tried my be to keep everything simple, interesting, and instructive all at once. I hope these tips prove useful for your stores.
I think ranking on the first page is not always a very easy thing to do. However, with a nice SEO strategy, your store’s ranking can leap up easily and get the place it deserves.
SEO is a very big topic and it has many different fractions in it. It is something that is both analytical and artistic/creative. I do believe that if you strive to be both, there is no reason for your business not to thrive.
Your opinions are most welcome and best of luck with your stores! Need help? Contact Frasca Digital today for any and all help or advice for SEO.