As a retailer you are very busy to make your store(s) successful. You’re always trying to maintain the best product supply, perfect stock levels, an optimal design of your store and an attractive webshop where the same products are sold with real time stock levels so you don’t have to disappoint your customers.
How search engine friendly is your webshop? After all, what is the point of having a webshop when no one is able to find it. And what is better than free visitors thanks to search engines such as Google? It will definitely save you a great deal of advertising costs. Of course to be honest, it is not completely free, it costs some time (and on average you have to wait 3 to 6 months for real results.)
But when you invest your time in a good way and you execute your search engine optimization correctly, you are able to ensure a steady flow of free future visitors without a lot of effort. It requires a different, more strategic mindset for your webshop’s design and your content’s layout.
When you invest your time in a good way you can ensure a steady stream of free visitors
Start with a keyword analysis
Your webshop’s search engine optimization starts with researching for which key words it’s best to optimize your webshop, a keyword analysis. An important step to start working towards a specific goal and to save yourself a lot of time.
Start with a list of pages within your webshop you want to optimize for search engines. For a webshop, that will often be the homepage and your category pages and then your subcategories. These pages will undergo less changes than your products’ detail pages, especially when you have a fast changing assortment. So it’s better to optimize those pages and benefit of it. When your products don’t change all that much you can add those subcategory pages too but always optimize from ‘top to bottom’.
Next, you could try to put yourself in your customers’ shoes and put in some key words they would use in search engines. Do you have a list of keywords? Great! Than you go to Google’s keyword planner. Here, it is possible to see how many times a certain keywords has been Googled, how much competition there is for a certain keyword and suggestions for keywords you might not have thought about.
Try to be as specific as possible
General keywords such as ‘shoes’ will have a lot of monthly searches but you’ll see there is a lot of competition and the chance you are offering what they are looking for is relatively small. A keyword ‘shoes for a wedding’ has a lot less searches but is much more specific and so there is less competition. Aside from that, the keyword is closer to the actual purchase so there is an increased buying intention.
Your potential customers are no robots, write texts for people
SEO text writing doesn’t mean that you have to add as many keywords in your sentences as possible, that is not necessary and won’t have a positive effect on your rankings, on the contrary.
You write for your customers, you try to give them enough information and stimulate them to execute a certain action within your webshop. Of course you have to add the chosen keywords in your texts, just don’t overdo it and use related words instead of repeating your keywords.
The first pieces of text that will be read by a search engine: the meta title – and description
This is also the text that will be shown in the search engines and for most webshop’s platforms, you can easily fill it out per page. Think this through and write a short and clear title that contains your keyword, here you let customers know what your page is about. An attractive title can also ensure more clicks than the results above you and Google may reward you with a higher ranking.
In the meta description you can add additional information, use your keyword at the start of your description and try to use related keywords. A call to action is often a good idea to stimulate your visitors to click on your result. It can help to put in the keyword in Google to distinguish yourself from the competition.
You should write a unique title for every page, Google loves data but not double data. Besides, there is a maximum of 68 characters for your title, the number of characters for the description used to be 157 but Google changed it to 68. In exceptional cases, we see results in the search engine with more than 320 characters in the description.
A reason to immediately start rewriting your existing descriptions? No, that is not necessary at all. It looks like Google chooses to combine your description and paragraph that contain the keyword (multiple times), or fully show a paragraph on your webshop. An important development that we are following closely. Subscribe to our newsletter, so you don’t miss out on anything.
Optimize your images too
Did you know you can optimize your webshop’s images. You can ensure that your products will be found better by Google Images and it all starts with the file name. For example, it’s a good idea to follow your webshop’s structure when naming your image files. So they contain the most important keywords in the most structured way.
- Category_subcategory_what is there to see on the image
A good web platform optimizes your images automatically for the optimal dimension. When this is not the case, you have to take your time. You’ll see your webshop getting faster.
Every image has 2 more attributes: a title tag and an alt tag. The title attribute is the text that will be shown when you hoover over an image with your mouse. The alt tag is the text that is being show when the image cannot be showed. The alt tag is important and has the most SEO value. You tell the text that is shown on the image, use your keywords on an easy and describing way.
SEO optimization is not a one time thing but a mindset
Webshop search engine optimization requires time and attention and a certain mindset. To be findable you need to be constantly working. A new brand in your webshop or a new product group? Look at Google’s keyword planner first to select a couple of keywords before you start writing. So it’s mindset you benefit from. When you start seeing results depends on the popularity of the keyword and the competition. Remember, your competition is working hard too.
This article dealt with the ‘on page aspect’ of SEO where the optimization happened within your webshop. In a future article we’ll discuss ‘off page SEO’ where external references (other websites, forums, social media, etc.) ensure that your content will gain more authority in the eyes of the search engines which results in higher rankings.