Give Your Web Store the Added Boost Using a Proper SEO Implementation Strategy
Merchants who are desirous of raising the ranking of their eCommerce store in the search results usually resort to Search Engine Optimization (SEO). This generally construes a set of actions that they take to ensure that their website creates a strong impact by generating higher rankings via a search engine.
In order to raise the rankings of your webstore in the search results, it is necessary to implement SEO effectively as part of a wider SEO strategy. According to reliable statistics, SEO is still a valuable tool in the eCommerce merchant’s arsenal. To enumerate, People still rely on search as a tool to visit a website. Search drives nearly three times more traffic to site than social media. Further, more than 75% of search engine users never scroll past the first page, yet almost 40% of customers come from search (using search engines).
According to Google, having relevant content on your website is what users love, which is also the key to a high ranking in its results pages. However, according to many SEO practitioners, relevant content is just a small portion of the entire SEO content strategy. There are other things which you should undertake to improve SEO rankings for your website. Some of these are mentioned below:
1. The most basic thing that you should undertake is to include important keywords whilst customizing the product names, descriptions and short descriptions for your eCommerce website. Make sure that your products contain the keywords which people generally utilize to conduct their searches for the products they are looking for. This is especially true if you have a large catalog and your tendency is to upload the product names as well as descriptions from your suppliers. You also need to follow this general rule for category names as well as descriptions.
2. Ensure that your website content is informative, well-written, and consists of keyword-rich content. This will be the right starting point to attract customers interested in your products. To enumerate, it is a wise idea to utilize CMS pages in Magento, which are suitable location to display features such as product guides, descriptive videos along with with their content summaries, and even other important information. Hence, it is a wise idea to implement the CMS format for high-value as well as keyword-rich content.
3. Also, utilize blogs to feature high-velocity content. This feature can also improve your rankings considerably. In this manner, you can utilize blogs to display the freshest ideas you have for your company, business, or organization. You can also post comments, topics that are trending on social media sites such as FaceBook and Twitter, and even those which feature in various news media. Besides, you can devise a variety of topics for your blog, which can help you attract high traffic volumes in the short term. You might be aware that Magento by itself does not offer blog as a functionality as a core function, there are several ways that you can incorporate a blog as part of your Magento driven store by using appropriate extensions that are available in the Magento market.
4. One of the best ways to pull content to your website from the search engines is by making the best use of user-generated content. This is a magnet for search engines, so user-generated content such as product reviews that have been written by actual purchasers, are a great way to add valuable information to your website. Thus, such information is useful on both fronts, as both the website as well as the shoppers will benefit in this manner. As an example, you can utilize the built-in review system that comes along with the Magento eCommerce platform or another external service to help solicit reviews for your products, services, customer service level, or any thing that could be of benefit to you.
5. Use the meta data information on your web page to help your website climb the search results. Meta data is the information that is contained in your web page that is not visible to your users. However, the title, which is a part of the meta data, does show up in the browser tab. Meta data is used by the search engines to display results. On the one hand, optimizing your meta-data has only a nominal effect on search engine results. However, on the other, such optimization has a significant potential to improve your click-through rates (CTR), when the search engine displays your results. This meta-title is displayed by most search engine as the link text as well as the description below it. To enumerate further, Meta-titles need to be about 60 characters in length. However, descriptions need to be limited to 155 characters. In the case of Magento, it shows a 255 character limit. However, most search engines have recently decreased the number of characters that can be displayed in the SERPs.
What is characteristic here is that while the meta-data is not visible on your website, it is in the HTML section of the code that the software uses to create the pages. You can view the meta-data on your page without viewing the HTML source on the page. For example, this can be viewed in Google Chrome by installing an extension called META SEO Inspector. This produces a pop-up window that shows your site’s meta data.
6. If you utilize Magento, it provides a field to enter keywords about a particular page. In the earlier days of the Internet, this information was utilized by search engines to determine the rankings of the particular page. However, this field has
been disavowed by most search engines because of its rampant misuse in the past by keyword spammers. Also, utilizing this keyword field is negative strategy because it gives a clue to your competitors about the keywords that you are utilizing to promote your webstore and a chance to imitate your keyword strategy. It is highly recommended if you could remove any text you have as part of this keyword field.
7. It is also recommended to utilize canonical tags, which help you to avoid communicating duplicate content to Google as well as the other search engines. As this could be a major faux pass, and if you use Magento, you need to make sure you have them turned on by utilizing the following navigation.
System > Configuration > Catalog > Search Engine Optimizations.
You therefore need to choose YES next to both Canonical Link Meta Tag selections.
8. Devise a strategy that will help you focus the search engines on the relevant sections of your website. Most eCommerce merchants do not allow Google to crawl and index portions of their websites such as account log in, cart, checkout, and other pages. This actually confuses Google as to what your website is all about. Most eCommerce users utilize a 3-pronged strategy for this. This includes creating a good Robots.txt, submitting an XML site-map, and also using robots meta tags.
With the help of a well-crafted robots.txt file, you can tell search bots that search engines deploy to ignore certain parts of your website. In case you do not have a robots.txt file on your server, this may confuse the search engines, which may cause improper indexing of your website. You can easily check if your website has a robots.txt file or not. By simply adding robots.txt to the end of your URL (www.yourwebsitename.com/robots.txt), you can display the file in your browser. In case you do not have one, you will get a 404 error instead. Finally, submit a sitemap to Google and Bing webmaster tools accounts. With the help of this xml sitemap, you will be able to help the search engines focus on the important pages of your website.
These are the various techniques you can utilize to implement SEO on your website in a proper manner. Recent changes in Google’s search algorithm have made SEO an even more critical aspect for Magento website owners. By cramming more and more code as well as content into web pages, page loading times have become slower, which has in turn affected bounce rates as well as eroded search engine rankings. In turn, Google has publicly announced its intention to punish pages that have longer loading times, it its bid to speed up the Internet.
Hence, as an eCommerce merchant, you need to need to be passionate about SEO. However, it is not mandatory to be an expert at it, since you can always consider reaching out to a certified Magento developer for added assistance.