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5 SEO Tips to Improve Your Online Store

Posted by Contributors on March 4, 2018

To put it simply, search engine optimization (SEO) plays a major role in whether or not an ecommerce business will be successful -- as it directly impacts their respective site rankings. Therfore, improving SEO is paramount to increasing organic traffic, and these 5 tips can help:

Focus on user intent

Search engines have gotten exponentially better at accounting for user intent in their algorithms. Nowadays, for keywords to be effective, they have to be in the right context. 

One way to improve in this respect is to focus more on buyer personas. According to this Forbes article, this will help you create relevant content with specific users in mind:  

"What does someone really want when they Google "pizza"? Is it to order a pizza, make a pizza, understand pizza history? That's the puzzle of user intent.... Know where user intent for SEO and user intent for content marketing merge? In user personas. Aka "buyer personas" or "customer profiles". These different types of customers have different needs and priorities. So they need different content."

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With this strategy, it's easier to naturally include keywords in your content. Likewise, users matching those buyer personas should be likely to search those keywords as long as they have interest in your products

Don't abandon old URLs

This is an SEO problem specific to ecommerce websites. If a product is discontinued, don't let its page go to waste. That URL still has value. Instead, consider using it to redirect users to another page on your site -- perhaps to a similar product page or your homepage. High-ranking URLs are hard to come by, so don't let them expire without getting something in return. 

No shortcuts

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When you decide to practice SEO, you agree to play the long game. There are no SEO shortcuts that won't get your site into trouble with search engines. 

This ZDNet article explains why a better strategy is to start building credibility as soon as possible: 

"Businesses are wasting money pursuing SEO as a quick short-cut to attaining first page ranking. Ahrefs discovered that it takes two to three years to attain number one ranking on a keyword. Trust is a relationship that needs to be consistent over time in order to build. There is no shortcut through SEO and it's risky business, IMHO."

It takes a long time to build credibility with users and search engines. But as the old Chinese proverb goes, "The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The second best time is now." Gaining trust through content creation is difficult, but will pay long-term dividends. 

Improve your site navigation

Site navigation is critical for ecommerce sites. Users should be able to browse around without getting lost or running into broken links. 

The best way to improve your site navigation is to bring third-party users in and let them dig deep into your site. Because they're first-time users, they'll be able to say whether your site navigation is intuitive or not. Fix any errors they find so that you improve your user experience for all prospective customers. 

Aggregate customer reviews

Customers reviews have tons of benefits in the context of digital marketing. One is that prospective customers often refer to such reviews before buying products online, so you need a few at minimum to encourage stubborn leads late in the sales funnel. 

Another benefit of customer reviews is that they're just another form of content. You can post them on your website, share them on social media, and include them in marketing emails to build brand awareness

And finally, customer reviews are good for SEO. Search engine bots will crawl through them and they indicate that your business is credible and not a scam. 

Ecommerce businesses have a lot to gain by investing in SEO. The sooner you start, the sooner you'll see its benefits. 

Why Are Customers Passing You By? Download our latest infographic.

The foundation of Onestop Internet's performance marketing strategy for our partners will be our analysis, identification, and targeting of online customer segments. Our ecommerce experts can tailor your offering to the shoppers who are most likely to engage immediately with your brand. We use cutting edge consumer research to build descriptive audience profiles that inform creative design, merchandising and promotions.

Topics: Ecommerce, search trends, SEO, Digital marketing, Strategy, organic traffic

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