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Do you SEO your E-commerce website?

Above is a benchmark for conversion rate of 25 retail categories provided by Marketing Sherpa based on 2,885 marketers.1


51% of search is organic, do you SEO?2

The online marketplace has been growing over the past few years creating a surge in many stores selling the same or similar products, so “Do you SEO”?  With this in mind, SEO (search engine optimization) tactics are needed to stand out among the competition. Understanding and implementing proper techniques will be an integral part of any marketing plan to grow more customers.

Some product category types can share basic SEO techniques, but most require specialized insight to the products being marketed. Many categories are age, gender or location specific to the online shopper creating unique differences between marketing campaigns. The conversion rate can also be affected by the online retailer being niche store or selling multiple products, like an Amazon or a Walmart.

SEO for e-commerce sites like Magento, Shopify and WooCommerce have a few thing in common when it comes to marketing products.

  • It is important to have at least 5 metadata keywords that are relevant in your CMS (content management system) pages. Make sure to also have a detailed description about the page and your business within the CMS.
  • Make sure that the robots.txt file allows robots from the search engines to crawl the products on your site. We have seen in many cases where this can be overlooked and no products get indexed by the search engines.
  • Properly configure the product pages by making sure the URL reflects what is being sold on the page. Using a generic item number or auto number will not help customer find your items within the search engines. Using the name of the product being sold is optimal.
  • A SKU (stock keeping unit) can be used if the customer base traditionally searches by a SKU. An example would be a customer searching for parts to a larger product. A SKU can be useful in finding an exact match to a replacement part or an unidentifiable part that does not have a name. If that replacement part goes by a new or replacement SKU, it is best to use both in your copy for marketing.
  • Provide detailed information about the product including its use, sizes, color options, fit, finish and UL dates. It is also recommended to provide additional warranty information or consumer warnings in the details.
  • Images are a great place to help rank your products within the search engines. Most e-commerce stores do not include this information. Give meaningful file names to your product and supporting images. You will next want to use alt tags and descriptors on all of your product and supporting images. This will help give crawl spiders more information about the product page. Many shoppers will also go directly to Google images to find a picture of what they are looking for.
  • Do not duplicate information on your CMS or product pages. Many eCommerce stores get deranked by Google under the duplicate contact penalty but using a cut and paste method of descriptions on similar items or pulling the description from a competitors site.
  • Use both H3 tags for the product names and H1 tags for the catalog name. This will allow for page spiders to rank the importance of the data on your product pages.
  • Keep your template files clean by not including CSS of JS in your code if possible. Whenever possible, use external files to include them. This includes making sure your theme is fast and that your PHP files are optimized.3

So, do you SEO your e-commerce website?

These were just a few notes to take into consideration when setting up or re-configuring an e-commerce store. Remember that SEO (search engine optimization) is consistently evolving and that it is important to keep up or have a marketer keep up with these changes. We always suggest hiring a team that has experience with both e-commerce and marketing.

Sources:

  1. “E-commerce Research Chart: Industry benchmark conversion rates for 25 retail categories”. http://www.marketingsherpa.com/article/chart/conversion-rates-retail-categories
  2. “Stats and Facts.” http://www.business2community.com/online-marketing/21-spectacular-seo-and-search-marketing-stats-and-facts-01258892#UDbxZwC8uAGF1dAz.97
  3. “9 Magento SEO tips for your e-commerce site”. http://www.demacmedia.com/magento-commerce/magento-seo-tips/

 

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