Search engine traffic is often a vital lifeline for the large majority of e-commerce stores on the web, and with algorithms changing all the time it's a forever changing game. I've pulled together six simple steps you can apply to your stores today to improve your search engine optimisation and these tips will potentially last a lifetime.
Step One: Lower your keyword density
Seriously. Look at your sites, read your content out loud. If you've been optimising your content a lot, there is a strong possibility you have over-optimised. Read it out loud, if it sounds unnatural fix it. Getting your keyword density lower on all pages will be beneficial.
Step Two: Don't use rel=connanical because it's easier
I see people use rel=cannonical on all pages because it's a easy fix. Well, IMO it doesn't fix the issue. It's not an instruction in my mind, its a mere guideline. Remove the page if possible, 99% of the time it's possible. I promise you.
Step Three: Build quality product descriptions
I can promise you by improving the quality of your product descriptions you will pick up more long tail traffic, and more importantly you can answer questions your customers have and increase conversion rates. You should be serving your customer at all times.
Step Four: Catch errors & fix them immediately
Lot's of 404s? Fix them for crying out loud. By simply redirecting non-existing pages customers who are landing there will then land in a more optimised area the site, a more relevant one that will retain them and increase the chances of them purchasing.
Step Five: Test the usual bits
Test optimising those titles & meta descriptions, optimise your site for accessibility and usability, resubmit your site maps. Blog, and market yourself in a genuine manner, posting links randomly looks spammy and is spammy.
Step Six: Sit back and wait
Although the internet is a fast moving game, it is still a waiting game with the search engine they may spot your changes but not reward (or punish) for a few days or even a week. Patients as they say is a virtue.
Optimise for your user. Think what they might want, ask them what they would want and need to know. Ask your sales team what questions are asked the most often. This can guide your content strategy and improve the quality of information your store offers your customer.
Furthermore by optimising for your users, such as making the site more accessible for the disabled you will improve the crawlability of your site AND increase conversions! That's what I call a win win situation.
Best SEO = No SEO?
Nearly. Not quite, but nearly. I do believe the SEO game is changing for the better, in a lot of ways it already is irrelevant. You build a quality site your customers adore, you will build links back to your site naturally. You think smart link opportunities that can also drive traffic increase of increase SEO, you will see much higher quality traffic, and convert more, which means making more money and that is why we are in business anyway right?
What do you think? What are your tips and tricks for ranking well within the major search engines?