The Basic Guide to Optimizing Your Online Store
Supplying your online store with high-quality and desirable products is only half the battle of building a successful and profitable online business. You need to help potential customers find your online store and the products they want. By applying search engine optimization techniques to your online store, you can increase your
What is SEO and why is it important?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of improving your website's visibility on search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo when people are actively searching for what you have to offer on your online store. This involves two separate sets of skills. We can call them technical SEO and content SEO.
Technical SEO includes fine-tuning your site's performance, security and navigation - part of your visitors' experience. Content SEO it has to do with on-page and off-page keyword optimization – the things that visitors to your website actually see.
Your first step into the world of eCommerce SEO is to identify an initial set of words and phrases you want to rank for in the search engines, called “key words". You will then use this list of keywords in your online store titles, image wildcards, and other prominent areas. Keywords are crucial to SEO because they are the phrases people search for online to find something. When your website naturally shows up as one of the results and someone clicks on it, we call it that organic traffic. To se zgodi naravno, ker iskalnik predlaga vaše spletno mesto kot nekaj koristnega za uporabnika.
In addition to organic traffic, there is also "cost-per-click" advertising, which allows your online store to appear when someone searches for a specific keyword. In this case, every time someone clicks on your ad, you pay a commission. While this is a quick way to rank in the search engines for your desired keywords, organic rankings will be more profitable for your site in the long run.
How much can SEO actually affect the profitability of your online store?
98 percent of people use a search engine every month. It is estimated that Google users perform more than 3.5 billion searches every day. According to research, 39 percent of online purchases are influenced by a relevant search. Most online stores attribute more than 40 percent of their revenue to organic traffic. Plus, many of your competitors won't take the time to learn and use SEO, so this is a way to get ahead and attract more customers. You can do a lot of work yourself to achieve organic rankings. If you want to increase sales on a low budget, SEO is a great option.
How does SEO work?
Search engines use a combination of crawlers, indexes, and algorithms to determine what results to display for each keyword. The process begins with search engines sending bots to discover new and updated content. Whenever bots discover fresh content, they add it to a database called an index. Every time someone performs a keyword search, the search engine will search its index for content that matches that particular query. If someone searches for "spaghetti recipe", they're probably already indexing millions of website pages with content on that topic. The search engine will then curate all the spaghetti content and try to provide the best results for each individual searcher.
This process is known as ranking. When ranking, search engines consider many different factors, including user experience, the reputation of the site, and the site itself (measured in part by the number of other sites that refer to or link to it). With the introduction of Core Web Vitals, Google also focused on website performance. Core Web Vitals measures how users perceive the speed, responsiveness and visual stability of a website. Although there are many different aspects of search engine optimization, we recommend that you pay special attention to the performance of your online store.
Using the right keywords on your website is the foundation of online store optimization. This includes your home page, product pages, category pages, news posts, information page, pricing page, and any other page on your website. Of course, the work does not end here.
An introduction to SEO terms
Let's take a look at some of the most common terms you need to know for SEO.
Keywords: words or phrases that potential website visitors type into search engines. For example, if you sell custom power tools, you'd want to show up when someone searches for that phrase on Google, Bing, or Yahoo.
Alt text: a textual description of images and graphics that helps Google understand them. Screen readers also read alt text aloud to website visitors with visual impairments so they can understand the image.
Page title: the title that appears in search results for each page. Search engines usually display 50-60 characters.
Meta description: a short preview (usually 140-160 characters) that appears under your page title on the search results page.
The page title and meta description (also known as meta tags) are the main tools you have at your disposal to convince a searcher to click on your page. So be sure to include a catchy summary, your keywords, and ideally a call to action for your target audience.
The image below shows how meta tags appear in search results. The page title is the larger blue text and the meta description is the smaller text below it.
Backlinks: When an external website contains links to your online store. Search engines count these backlinks as an endorsement of your store's content, making them a valuable addition to any optimization strategy.
Internal links: Links between two different subpages or products of your online store. Internal linking can help visitors find related content and can thus improve ranking criteria such as session duration. Internal linking also helps search engines better understand how your content is related.
Ranking factors: the criteria Google uses to determine search rankings. Ranking higher in Google depends on the content and keywords on the website itself, the number and quality of backlinks to your website, and technical aspects such as user experience - the speed, security and structure of your pages.
Choosing the best keywords
If you want to be successful in optimizing your online store, the most important thing is to use the right keywords. This means identifying words and phrases that people use when searching for content related to your store. You may already have some keywords in mind, such as your most popular products or brands you stock. You can enter these words in tools such as Semrush’s Keyword Magic or Keyword Overview.
These tools show you the average search volume for each keyword and suggest some alternatives, which can help you pinpoint potentially profitable words and phrases.
When conducting keyword research, it's important to consider search intent when determining your primary target keywords. With an online store, it's better to focus on transactional searches as opposed to informational ones. So to the queries that customers ask when they want to shop. For example, it makes more sense to target the best fast laptops for sale rather than the world's fastest laptop. The first search indicates a desire to make a purchase decision, while the second only indicates a search for specific information.
Additionally, you should avoid using keywords that have very few searches. If no one is interested in a particular keyword, it is unlikely to generate much traffic. However, there are also exceptions for online stores. On product pages, especially for lesser-known products, sometimes using the actual product code will get you the best customers. For example, if you sell a replacement part or a unique tool that is related to very specific products, someone searching for that part can enter the actual code into the Google search bar. If you use this code number on your product page, that buyer will likely find your site at the top of the search rankings.
But in general, we recommend focusing on very specific keywords that have decent search volume. Usually, the more popular a term is, the more competition there is. With this in mind, you will want to assess how difficult it will be to beat the sites that are currently ranking high in Google for those keywords. Tools like SEMrush provide various types of useful data for competitive keyword research.
For most online stores, it makes the most sense to choose keywords that have decent search volume and low competition. But that's easier said than done, so you need to learn how to easily find new keyword ideas.
How to find new keyword ideas
Identifying new target keywords is actually much easier than you might imagine. You've already seen what keyword research tools can do. But that's just one step. Here are other types of keywords and ways to find them:
Whenever you search the web and scroll to the bottom of the search results page, you will see a list of about eight words under the heading "related searches". These are LSI keywords. For example, a search for the keyword "soccer ball" showed LSI keywords such as "liverpool ball", "intersport slovenia", "intersport liverpool" and many other terms. With this list of keywords, Google tells you that many other consumers have searched for these related terms. So you can create new web pages with these keywords and have a high degree of certainty that you can get some traffic to your site.
A long tail keyword refers to a more specific keyword that will generate less search volume but is more valuable because of the specific search intent.
For example, "swimming pools" is a general keyword, and there are various reasons someone might search for that term. But “above ground swimming pool sales” is a more specific keyword. The search intent of the long keyword is clear – this person wants to buy above ground pools. In this case, the search volume will be lower, but its value will be much higher, as it will attract potential customers to your online store. And to be clear, "above ground swimming pools" is already a long keyword. Your keyword research should always include searching for long tail keywords. Sometimes you can find them with some thought.
Whenever you type something into Google's search bar, it auto-populates with a list of keywords that Google thinks you might be searching for. The more you type, the more the list changes and the longer the expressions. For example, if you type "paint," autocomplete suggests terms like "wood stain," "concrete stain," etc. As with LSI keywords, search terms appear because enough other people have entered those keywords. So, Google's algorithm guesses that you might be looking for them too. These are potentially valuable keywords for your online store. Simply type your products into the search bar and see what comes up. You will find some valuable keywords among the autocomplete search terms. You can include these terms in web subpages, news posts, and perhaps product and category pages.
In addition to your products, try to include the problems your products solve. Let's go back to the pool example. Try typing "pool algae" and watch the autocomplete. Results include "brown algae in pool", "black algae in pool" and "algae treatment for the pool". Do you see traffic potential for these keywords? Autocomplete is a great source of long tail keywords and is faster to use than keyword research tools. Plus, it's free.
Product based keywords
As an online store, you sell products. This sets your site apart from blog sites, information sites, government sites, news sites, and many other types of sites. An online store usually has many product pages and each of these pages should contain the primary keyword and other keywords related to that product.
That's why your product pages should have a sufficient amount of text. A few pictures of the product and a title are not enough. Describe the product, write about its features. Write about the problems it solves or how someone feels after using it. Of course, you should also use keywords related to the product in the text. And you will most likely be better off for it
Each web subpage must have a primary keyword. Some pages also focus on some secondary keywords. A primary keyword, sometimes called a focus keyword, is the one you want each page to rank for.
Each subpage must have a different primary keyword. Otherwise, Bing, Yahoo, and Google won't know which page to send people searching for that term to. For this reason, websites should have sufficient subpages. The more subpages you have, the more primary keywords you use. As a result, your website will attract more traffic. Online store optimization works on the same principle.
Where to place keywords and optimize your pages
Once you've determined the keywords you want to rank for in the search engines, you can use them in your online store content. This will bring people to your site who are searching for those keywords. But where on your web pages should you use these keywords? Does it even matter? And how many times should you use your primary keyword? Below are the most common places to use keywords on your online store pages.
SEO page title
The page title is the blue text that appears in search results, but does not appear on your actual web pages. The page title is a ranking factor in Google's search algorithm. This means you want to do everything you can to have your primary keyword in your page title. For long keywords, it is not always possible to use the entire phrase due to character limits. In this case, choose the part of the phrase that you think is most important.
Title on the page (Headline)
Most of the content on your online store's subpage starts with a title. The page title is displayed to visitors on your subpage or post. The typography of the main title should always be H1 size. While this is a great place to include relevant keywords, you should also pay attention to the fact that the title should convince visitors to check out all of the content. It is sometimes difficult to find a balance here. Ideally, you should place your primary keyword in the subpage title. However, it is not wise to prioritize keywords at the expense of creating a catchy title. Using the previous example, “above ground swimming pools for sale” might be a great keyword, but it's not the most inviting title for a subpage.
WordPress automatically generates a URL based on yours permanent connection setting, but you'll want to optimize this link so that the URL reflects the primary keyword and as little else as possible. The simpler the URL, the clearer it will be to Google and others what this website is about. It's not enough to just shorten the page title and turn it into a URL. Focus the URLs on your primary keyword and maybe a few choice keywords that say more about the purpose of the page. You can optimize URLs in the WordPress editor.
Pictures, photos and graphics
With online shopping, customers cannot physically touch your available items. You can compensate for this with a sufficient number of high-resolution product photos. But will Bing, Google and Yahoo “see” your images when they search your site? No. You might have great product photos all over your product pages, but Google has no idea what those images are showing. Unless you specifically tell it what a particular image shows. This is one of the purposes of the Alt text of the image.
Image alt text is another valuable place to add keywords. In addition to boosting your online store's SEO, it also increases the chances that images of your products will appear when potential customers search for images. Most importantly, alt text is descriptive, clear and relatively short.
And don't forget: screen readers use alt text so that potential customers with visual impairments can understand the images on your websites.
For example, you could use the following to describe the image above: “Reflective glass table with a white cup of black coffee on a white plate.”
Subheadings on the page
The next important place to enter keywords is the subheadings of your pages. As for the heading typography size, it can be anything from H2 to H6. Especially for H2 and H3 subheadings, using the main keyword or its variations is occasionally a good SEO strategy for an online store. It is not necessary to use it for every subheading.
You can also place keywords in the text of your pages. As you write, keywords should appear as a natural result of your explanations, product descriptions, product benefits, and other messages. And since the body of the page is where most of the text will be, this is where you can introduce secondary keywords, keyword variations, and other keywords that may be featured more prominently on other pages.
Internal and external links
Let's say you create an internal link to another page somewhere in the text of your page. While this isn't true every time, there's a good chance you're linking to that page in part because of the keyword. Maybe someone finds their way to your “above ground pools” subpage and you start writing on that page about how to keep your pool clean. Including a link to the "pool cleaners" subpage makes sense in this case.
Build a simple website architecture
More than anything else, online store shoppers want a simple shopping experience. They want to find what they're looking for, choose their purchases, pay and move on with their lives. This is compounded by a poorly designed site architecture. How? Because many consumers will come to your site through your home page, news post, or other site. However, if they first land on a specific product page that is not their desired product, they will go to your homepage or main category page and start from there.
Ideally, you want your customers to find any product within three clicks. How is that possible? Here's the structure, starting with the home page:
- Above ground swimming pools (product category)
- Round above-ground swimming pools (product subcategory)
- Round above-ground swimming pool with a diameter of 3 m (product page)
Here is another example. Let's say your online store sells sportswear and equipment. You might have category pages like clothing, sports gear, and leisure gear. Under these categories you have subcategories. Under clothes, you can have children's, men's, women's, shirts, shoes, etc. Sports equipment can be sorted by sport. Then below those pages you have the actual product pages. Someone looking for baseball gloves will click on sporting goods, then baseball, then baseball gloves.
You will need to spend some time designing the ideal structure that suits your e-commerce business. But the bottom line is that you can scale your site with this approach without adding complicated paths and pages that are impossible to find.
Make it easy for the customer to browse and shop on your site and you will increase sales. From an SEO point of view, you will also get more traffic, as robots try to understand your content while crawling your online store. If they can easily figure out how different pages relate to each other using your internal linking, they will be yours
Improve your product and category pages
These pages are closely related to the architecture of your website. Each of these pages needs a title, a URL with a specific keyword for that page, subheadings, product images, product descriptions, explanations, some marketing messages to entice the customer to buy, and most importantly, an easy way to get to the page. As your online store grows, you may start showing paid ads on specific product pages for your best-selling merchandise.
Start an online store blog
By consistently posting useful and valuable content on your website, you can build a library of unique information that shows Google that you are an authority on a particular topic. Google's goal is to provide searchers with results that will be most useful to them. If your website has the largest library of information about cat-themed clothing, Google is more likely to send people to your online store when they perform a related search. A consistent posting schedule also demonstrates that you regularly contribute valuable, unique information to the web.
Blogs offer a great opportunity to attract consumers to your online store who are not looking for anything to buy. Why would you want that? Because every customer doesn't know they are a customer yet. But if your website sells products that solve her problem or address her need, you can be sure that you can find potential customers that way.
Some customers buy a solution to their problem
For example, imagine again an online store that sells leisure equipment. What are some of the problems and frustrations hikers face? Their legs hurt. Their water bottle is leaking. They cannot keep food cold or fresh. Their backpack doesn't fit right. They are eaten alive by mosquitoes. These are all problems, and when a hiker faces them too many times, he will look for solutions. "My water bottle is leaking" is a search term. It shows up in Google's autocomplete feature, which means people are looking for it.
If your online store sells high-quality water bottles, you could write a series of blog posts about leaky bottles. Why do water bottles leak? How to prevent water bottles from leaking. Types of water bottles that do not leak. In every blog post you will include internal links to your product pages for your best
Thus, blogs help in online store sales and are a major part of what is called content marketing. A blog attracts customers who are looking for a solution to a problem rather than simply buying a product. They buy a solution to their problem. Solve their problem and they will buy your solution.
Each blog post can also offer visitors the option to sign up for your email list, allowing you to use email marketing from that point forward. This gives you more time to acquire and convert them into paying customers.
WordPress offers a lot of SEO features, but you can with a tool like it Yoast SEO, gain even more control over on-page optimization. Yoast adds a new section to the WordPress page and post editor. Here you can add your target keyword, which Yoast calls a focus keyword phrase.
You can then change your on-page SEO to target that keyword phrase. Yoast also gives you some recommendations on how you can do this. Yoast also allows you to easily add your page's title (SEO title) and custom meta description (Meta description) and edit the URL of each page, which is called a slug.
This text will appear in search engine results, so it must also appeal to your target audience. Note that the key to an effective meta description is to motivate the user to click through to your site. That's his job. Therefore, you may want to emphasize incentives such as low prices or free shipping in addition to the product's benefits. Yoast SEO also provides a report with suggestions to improve your ranking and shows keyword density.
Keyword density refers to the number of times your focus keyword phrase appears in your text relative to the total number of words. For best results, you'll want to aim for Yoast's recommended keyword density. But remember that some keywords don't work naturally in regular sentences, so reaching this number
How to increase sales in an online store with optimization
If you're ranking poorly in search engine results, then you're almost certainly missing out on sales. By optimizing your online store for Google, you can climb these all-important search engine rankings and increase your revenue. As you can see, SEO is a challenging task. However, it's worth learning how to fine-tune your website at a basic level, as it can drive massive traffic to your website, which will lead to more sales.
For: https://woocommerce.com/ (Laura Nelson: A Beginner’s Guide to Ecommerce SEO)
Creation of online stores at Amaroo
Don't worry, we can also help you optimize your online store. We advise each customer on how to optimize the products they add to the online store. Take a look at our projects and call us for a quote.