SEO Best Practices in E-commerce

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You already know that you need to show up on Google to succeed in business. But with so much to learn about SEO, it can be overwhelming. You don’t need to be an expert to get your site ranked. Just follow these SEO best practices to get you on your way.

The Basics of Google Ranking

The way Google ranks pages is based on keyword relevance, relevant backlinks and social media participation. How relevant and popular Google thinks your site is will determine how high it ranks in search results. For example, let’s consider the keyword “fashion apparel.” If you want to rank well for “fashion apparel in New York City,” you will need to include keywords like “women fashion apparel nyc,” “dresses nyc,” and “shirts nyc,” for example. Simply use Google AdWords and the Keyword planner tool to get list of current keywords your e-commerce site can leverage. The more specific your keywords, the easier it will be to differentiate your site from the competition.

There are a few different elements that must be addressed when working to get your site well-ranked in Google:

Keyword density – This refers to how many times a specific keyword appears on your website. It determines how pertinent your website is for a particular keyword. However, please note that Google made an algorithm shift called “Hummingbird” in October 2013 that is better at detecting hacks. It rewards companies that are actively blogging. Simply creating hidden pages with repeated keywords will no longer work; this is what many SEO consulting companies do. These days keyword density must be used by simply sprinkling them within your copy content. For example, if you sell a gothic fashion line, ensure the term “gothic apparel” or “gothic jewelry” is used throughout your site.

Backlinking – This refers to the number of sites linking back to your website. It determines how influential your website is. When people link their website to yours, it shows that the information you provide is of some value to their users. This creates an air of authority for your website. The more websites that link to yours, the more authority you appear to have.

Here is how you work to build backlinks:

  • PR: Reaching out to various news publication and blogs will help you create backlinks.
  • Commenting on blogs: Research the web for interesting articles that relate to your subject matter and write back a response that is pertinent. If you have written a blog post that is related in the past, you can go ahead and link back to your site. This option is extremely time-consuming so I usually don’t recommend it unless you have the time.

Tools For Better SEO

Google Webmaster Tools This free tool helps find and fix vexing SEO problems. Also use Google AdWords and Google Analytics to see what type of organic searches you are getting and which keyword is performing well for you.

Consolidate your URLS – Specify the canonical URL in the HTTP header of the product page for an item on sale. This tells Google it’s a duplicate of another URL, and to rank the unique version of the page, not this one.

So basically your goal to help your ranking is to have as many people talk about you as possible and have the most relevant keywords on your site. Keywords are an important part of SEO but they are also helpful for customer searches. You want to make it easy for customers to see and find your products. Keep keywords simple and make sure to properly tag products with descriptions that can be easily searched.

This is an excerpt from my book The Global Influence. If you want to learn more about SEO and how to turn your e-commerce site into a global brand, grab my book here.

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