Ecommerce SEO strategy - What is SEO

steersman-search-engine-optimization.jpg

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the art and science of persuading search engines to recommend your content to users as the best option, without paying a marketing fee for the clicks. The higher you rank, the more traffic search sites will send your way. More importantly, the traffic you attract will be organic, or free!

Because the fundamental goal for all search engines is to get users the most helpful, relevant and credible results to their searches, there are a few things that you’ll need to do to make sure you’re at the top of that list. As Google is hands down the most popular of all the different search engines on both desktop and mobile, I’ll focus on efforts in meeting Google’s requirements for the scope of this article.

On-page SEO

Just as the name implies, on-page SEO refers to all the different aspects on your website that Google looks for that you can control directly. This can be further broken down into two types: technical and content based.

Technical SEO

Technical SEO refers to the website architecture and all the many technical requirements Google looks for to ensure that it can easily crawl, index, and render the various elements of your website.

Steersman’s websites are designed with technical search engine optimization covered. We take care of website speed, mobile friendliness, clean code for easy digestion, site security and schema that’s easy for Google to understand. Our ecommerce websites are fast and easy for crawlers to consume so that our clients can focus on managing the content. We are also diligently making regular improvements to ensure that we are implementing the latest strategies and solutions to keep our websites at the top of every list.

Content SEO

Content SEO refers to the various ways you can optimize the actual content of your website to reach and attract the largest possible target audience. With technical SEO taken care of, as mentioned above, our clients are free to focus on the content of their website, and again Steersman has made it simple to address every possible optimization opportunity.

SEO Keywords

google-seo-keyword-search.JPG SEO keywords are actually more like short phrases your potential clients might search for that you’ll want to identify in advance and incorporate into your site’s content. Whatever questions your clients might have, you want to ensure that your site has exactly the answers they’ll need, and that Google knows it!

You’ll want to do some research before you get started to identify a set of 3-8 keywords for each of your pages so that when you start writing text you’ll have a relevant theme that would be easy for Google to identify and catalog.

Google’s search algorithm

Google uses a wide range of complex algorithms combined with numerous ranking factors to provide their users with the most useful information fast. The algorithms are updated on a regular basis and while most of the changes are small and won’t impact your SEO strategy, some are quite extensive, so it’s important to test and adjust your implementation on a regular basis.

Alt text for images

image alt tags example.jpg Images, videos, and other visual content is incredibly important in gaining your user’s attention when they’re on your page. Long stretches of text can be tiresome and frequently visuals go a long way to help explain complicated concepts. Specifying descriptive information such as alt title tags and assigning meaningful website slugs can help your pages rank better in image searches, which in turn can help attract users to your site.

Keywords in URL slugs

Another great strategy to employ is to make sure that the URL of all pages on your site include the primary keywords relevant to that page. Most of the time the URL will be the same as the main title of the page, but if you’ve decided to shorten the title for aesthetic reasons, it’s still helpful to have the full keyword in the URL as it will show up in Google searches along with the title and the brief description.

Keyword overuse

As with many things, there are great benefits in showing restraint. If your site is so stuffed with keywords for the sole purpose of SEO that actual content suffers, Google will know. Since the search engine’s goal is to find legitimate and relevant answers to user questions, overusing SEO keywords might lead to your site not getting indexed or ranking lower. Choose 3-8 keywords total per article or page and if you’re having a hard time fitting one in or it just doesn’t feel natural, it’s better to leave it out.

Lighthouse performance scoring

lighthouse-perfect-score.JPG Lighthouse is an automated tool that will audit your site for performance, best practices, SEO and accessibility in order to provide you with helpful suggestions on how to improve the quality of your web pages. It’s a good idea to test the various pages of your site using this tool on a regular basis to ensure that you’re staying on top of any fluctuations in what various search algorithms look for.

Off-page SEO

Off-page SEO refers to all the different elements outside of your actual website that affect the site’s search engine result page (SERP) rankings. While you may not think you have much control over what happens outside of your website, that’s actually not true. One great way to improve your off-page SEO is through backlinks. When other reputable sites link back to your content it shows that your content is relevant, trustworthy and an authority on the subject at hand. Whether you’re building a social media presence, collaborating with influencers or media on relevant articles, or even making sure your site is listed in various directories or forums, it all adds up!

Refine and update as needed

Let’s say you spent a great deal of time doing the research, writing up content, and making sure that all of your product pages are perfect. That means you’re done, right? Not really.

SEO content optimization is always an educated guess made to appease a constantly shifting algorithm. Once everything is set, you’ll want to wait a couple of months to give your content a chance and gather some data, and then re-evaluate. Are some of the SEO keywords you selected just not gaining any traction? Is one of your pages ranking for a term you didn’t intend? Is Google now looking for certain things that you perhaps hadn’t initially consider? Now is the time to fine-tune the content.

Just make sure that you’re not making too many changes at a time. If too many key elements are updated, Google might assume the page is brand new and cause the traffic/ranking to drop until the algorithm “rebuilds trust”. Make small adjustments, evaluate the effect, rinse and repeat.

Steersman for great SEO

There are many things you can do to optimize your content for SEO and Steersman offers many ways to make this simple for our clients to accomplish. You can control various metadata elements - including titles, descriptions, website slugs and more - which allows you to incorporate SEO keywords to content, images and slugs intuitively for optimal ranking opportunities. For more information on how Steersman can help you incorporate great SEO practices into all the various elements of your website, take a look at our Steersman Webpage and Product SEO Configurations user guide.