It goes without saying that you cannot sell anything if consumers cannot find you. This is what makes search engine optimization especially important for small and new businesses that run e-commerce stores. Just like advertising outside a bricks and mortar establishment, SEO helps your target consumers know that there is a certain product/service you offer which they want.
While there isn’t an overall strategy that works for every kind of startup business, there are tips that can help every business improve in some way. However, it is important for online ecommerce storeowners to carefully assess their businesses and come up with SEO strategies that will offer the greatest returns.
Below are a few pointers to get you started:
- PPC is not everything
Many entrepreneurs concentrate on paid search and forget to improve their organic rankings. PPC is important for sure, but you should remember that it will only continue to serve your business while you have the money to pour into it. Once you drop your investment, your paid search link disappears. If you have no organic search presence, that makes your site virtually obscure.
In addition, many customers innately dislike paid links, online ads and banners of any sort, therefore a PPC strategy cannot be your only SEO strategy if you really want to succeed.
- Don’t duplicate content
Search engines, especially Google, hate duplicate content. Ecommerce sites are more vulnerable to penalties on duplicate content because there is a lot of repetitive language around product descriptions and product lists. As an entrepreneur, you need to take a long hard look at your site and eliminate all forms of redundancy as much as you can. Where this is impossible, carefully apply the rel=“canonical” tag to protect yourself, but use it cautiously. Have it done by a professional if you don’t know how to use it yourself.
- Internal linking
A common mistake for entrepreneurs with ecommerce sites is hiding their products very deeply in their internal linking structure. This makes it harder for users to find products and it also negatively affects the PageRank score of the site. Ensure that your different product categories are only one link away for a user on your homepage as well as other landing pages you are using for your SEO strategy.
If users have to dig too deep to find a product, they will most likely not close the sale like you hope.