Search engine optimization (SEO) is typically one of the most important pieces of the puzzle when it comes to a successful business website. Not only does it increase your web traffic, but it can also increase your storefront foot traffic. However, now that you have an online store, search engine optimization is significantly more important as your rankings on the search engines have a direct impact on your revenue.
Online Store On-Page SEO
On-page search engine optimization is one of two parts for your online store’s SEO campaign. This is also the easier of the two to control and optimize. Here are some simple steps that you can follow to help your on-page SEO:
- Keyword Placement — Make sure that when you update your site with a blog post, or add new products that you utilize the target keyword for that product (or post) within the title. Be deliberate with the selection of words for the title and make every word count
- Product Descriptions — Take the extra few seconds and fill out the product description with keyword rich and quality content. Be sure to make efficient use of each and every word as you (typically) only have 60 words/characters.
- Keyword Font Changes — As an additional idea for keywords, alter the text for the keywords. For example, utilize bold or italicized font for the keywords. You may also use underlined font as search engines find all three font changes easier.
- Fix Broken Links –Implement an efficient software or plugin that recognizes broken links and/or dead pages. When you receive the alert of the broken link make sure you take the time to modify or move it. Search engines do not look too kindly on broken links within a site.
Online Store Off-Page SEO
Even though this is the harder one of the two search engine optimization techniques for your online store, you have the ability to achieve the goals. Well, what are those goals of off-page SEO? To build links pointing to your site from authority pages that relate to your products/services. Here are some steps to follow to implement efficient link building for your online store:
- Start Small — When it comes to authority sites, you will (most likely) not be able to link up to the biggest and best within your first week open. Instead, pick out local authority sites and start by concentrating on getting them to link to your site. Make sure that you write down the sites that you will target, and work up to the larger sites.
- Write Articles for SEO — One of the great ways that you can increase the backlinks to your site is to write articles voluntarily for related sites (non-competing). Within your articles you should organize a backlink within the content. As a guest writer, the sites will appreciate the content and will most likely allow you the backlink.
- Blogs Within Your Store — Create and publish a blog within your site and/or online store. This creates internal links which also help search engine optimization. Another benefit is that your consistently updated blog will drive search engines to index your site more and more frequently. Be predictable with your updates and include keyword anchored text.
- Link Up Social Networks — Even if you don’t understand the entire idea behind social networking platforms, it is very important and a great search engine optimization strategy to post links and site updates (with links) on social networking sites (Twitter and Facebook are two huge examples in today’s society).
- Directory Submission — One of the more popular posts that we published was the Top 50 Places to Submit Your Blog. However, that post can also be utilized for your online store to capitalize on SEO for your online store. Take the couple extra minutes and submit your site to directories.
Top Online Marketing Strategies for Your Online Store
Along with your ongoing online store search engine optimization, it is extremely important that you promote your online presence. Without promoting/marketing your website to your current clients, friends, and family you will be spinning your wheels initially. So, engage your current audience and create content that will have them raving about your online store. Here are some of the top online marketing ideas for your online shopping cart:
- Links in Your Signature — Make sure that you place all of your links in your signature. Well, let me rephrase that a little bit; put your online store’s link in your signature along with the links to your major social networking profile pages.
- Viral Marketing — Forward interesting information, news, photos, jokes, and/or crazy e-mails to your friends and family members. If they like it, they will forward it on to other people and the cycle will continue. Again, though, make sure you put your links in your signature prior to sending out the e-mails.
- Niche Forums — Join, participate, and establish a reputation as a leader of your industry. There are countless online forums for almost every industry out there so provide your expertise and write your content contributions to help your target audience.
- Consistent Usernames — Make sure that your username is consistent across the full spectrum of social networking sites. This allows you to create and maintain your identity as well as build a tremendous reputation throughout the web.
- Utilize YouTube and UStream — Create and publish videos on your products and/or services through YouTube and UStream. This is a great way to provide reviews and previews of your product menu, and to add to that you have the ability to share with the YouTube and Ustream audience as well as embed those videos on your site.
- Online Newsletters — Establish a monthly online newsletter for your audience. Include things like product news, seasonal specials, discount codes, and more. The trick to newsletters is to have the web visitor provide their e-mail and possibly their names so you have the opportunity to prospect them for future purchases.
- Membership Drives — Implement a membership (follower or fan) drive where you provide a free product to the first “x number” of members. This will provide you with their contact information as well as give them a taste of what your company can do.
- Thank You Page — Include a “Thank You” page at the end of the checkout process, and add a discount code for an incentive to come back to your site and buy again. It doesn’t have to be anything significant, but a small savings is better than no savings, right?
- Affiliate Program — Why do all the work yourself when you can get your friends and family involved with the selling. You have the opportunity to provide them with a small incentive for directing traffic to your site. In researching this a bit, the typical percentage for an affiliate program is 5% – 10% of the sale.
This should be enough to at least get your brainstorming started, and possibly start implementing these strategies to help your online store. Remember that there are two separate ways to optimize your online store for search engines (on-page and off-page), and keep in mind that it’s still important for you to utilize online promotional strategies to get the word out as well. With following these processes to improve the optimization of your online store, you should see a vast improvement.
Even though this concludes our online store series, we will be consistently updated our blog with information on e-commerce and online stores. So, stay tuned to IMPACT’s blog and please let us know what you think in the comment section below!