As an online business owner, you’ve likely heard the word SEO thrown around in your business circles and online on social platforms like LinkedIn. It sounds important, but what in the world is it actually? And more importantly, how can it help you?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and it means making your site trustworthy and accessible, so that Google will show your site on the first page of its search results. First page of Google = more sales. Period. So, if you want to get more organic traffic to your ecommerce site, SEO can’t be a neglected part of your strategy.
You may be thinking now that it would just be easier to place your products on the Amazon marketplace and sell your products there. Well first, there’s a different form of SEO required to have your items ranked higher for certain items in order to sell your products on Amazon.
Second, although putting your products on an eCommerce marketplace like Amazon and Etsy makes it easier, wouldn’t it be nice if all the profits you were making on your products actually belonged to you?
So if you’re hoping to compete against shopping giants like Amazon, Walmart, and Etsy, who make up a huge chunk of the online sales market, then you need to optimize your pages for search engines like Google.
Here are our top strategies for eCommerce SEO in 2019 if you want to get ahead of the competition in Google rankings.
1. Reduce Page Load Time
You’ve been there yourself. You’re on your phone and the page you’re trying to get to won’t load. You see a hint of a logo in one corner and a hint of some text in the other corner, but nothing is loading. It’s a frustrating feeling, and one that will send potential customers fleeing from your site in a moment’s notice. This affects your site in two ways. First, they hurt the user experience, and if users aren’t happy with your site, they will leave and look at a competitor’s site to get what they need and a faster speed. Second, customers leaving your site lead to higher bounce rates, and Google will use these numbers to decide where you should be placed in the search engine rankings. A high bounce rate means that the user found your site not useful for whatever search led them to your site (in this case they found nothing on your site because the page wouldn’t load) and will therefore decrease your rankings for those search terms.
2. Fix Page Errors
You can find page and site errors on your site in Google Search Console. Broken links and 404 pages are all site errors that can hinder the user’s experience. Be sure to have a custom 404-page error in place to provide guidance for users and resolve any of these issues immediately by redirecting users to the next most relevant page. As an eCommerce owner, you will likely end up with many 404 pages when a product page is deleted after it is out of stock or out of season. Redirect users to the next most relevant product, or to the product category page so they aren’t left with a 404 Error.
3. Customer Reviews
With the ability to compare products on the internet so easily today, customers are more likely to look at other sites to see if a competitor’s product is better. One way to stop customers from leaving is by having customer reviews. If visitors see customers who have used their products are raving about them, it adds credibility to the value of your product, and they have less of a need to compare the product to a competitor. If a customer was 90% sure about buying your product, a customer review could be the 10% to get the visitor to decide to make the jump and buy the product.
4. Mobile Usability
Is your page easily accessible to mobile users? If not, that has to be fixed immediately. As more and more internet users transition to using devices for most of their internet usage, it is essential to optimize your sites pages for mobile usage. Google now uses mobile-first indexing, which means it considers the mobile pages instead of the desktop pages of your site to decide whether to index it or not. One way to check your site’s mobile accessibility is by using a tool called Website Grader to check if your site is Mobile Responsive.
There are many other steps that should be taken to improve the robot and user experience of your site if you would like to rank higher in Google’s search engine, but the above strategies are a great place to start if you want to get ahead of the competition.