How to Optimize eCommerce Websites to Improve Rankings
Ecommerce is a competitive market, and companies are on the constant lookout for ways to gain an advantage over their rivals. Many strategies have been tried out in the pursuit of this goal, and over time some of them became codified as standard practices.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is one such practice. SEO can help your eCommerce website climb to the top of relevant search engine results pages (SERPs), helping your business flourish thanks to an influx of traffic.
At its core, SEO is not a single activity, but a collection of optimization methods that target different elements of a website. The idea is to use these methods in conjunction with each other to incrementally improve the rankings of your website.
However, since there are so many SEO methods to choose from, eCommerce outfits sometimes have a hard time deciding which ones to pursue. There is also the question of resources. Ideally, you’d want to use as many optimization methods as possible, but realistically few companies can afford to do this.
So in order to help you find the best way to optimize the rankings of your eCommerce website, we bring you a selection of optimization tactics that are easy to implement while keeping your wallet intact.
1. Ensure Fast Loading Speed
The most straightforward way to implement eCommerce SEO is to look at the technical side of things. And here, your first priority should be to cut down on page loading time. There are countless eCommerce websites all over the web, and if a customer comes across one that takes too long to load, they will bounce somewhere else.
The same goes for search engine crawlers, except here the penalty comes in the form of a lower SERP rank. There are several techniques for ensuring fast loading speed. Switching to dedicated hosting should be your top priority, followed by image compression, and, finally, script minification.
2. Create a User-friendly Design
Keeping your website optimized for speed is just one element of user experience (UX) design, the art of creating websites that are a pleasure to use. Other factors that contribute to UX include usability and aesthetics. Usability refers to the idea that websites should be designed in line with their function. In the case of eCommerce, the function is to get the customer to buy a product.
This means that every action the customer takes after landing on the website should seamlessly transition into the next one, culminating with a press on the checkout button. The best way to ensure your eCommerce site is UX-compliant is to follow the current best practices in web design.
3. Use Chatbots for Customer Service
Another way to pursue UX is through the provision of quality customer service. If your customers feel like they are well taken care of, they will be more inclined to do business with your company. Unfortunately, customer service is a tricky thing to provide, especially for eCommerce websites that have substantial online traffic. The difficulty comes from scaling.
The more customers you have, the more customer service reps you will have to hire, and the cost of doing so can quickly get out of hand. So as an alternative, eCommerce providers have started using AI chatbots for customer service. Chatbots enable you to provide affordable customer service at scale. Over the years they have grown to become quite sophisticated, with newer versions offering features such as dynamic text generation, personalized product recommendations, and CRM integration.
4. Write Quality Product Descriptions
Content is still an integral component of SEO, eCommerce or otherwise. Every website is ultimately based on content, and search engines rely on it to determine your website ranking. There are two main types of content that every eCommerce site has, product descriptions, and blog content (more on that later).
Product descriptions represent the bulk of your content, so you should pay close attention to how it’s written. The first thing you need to do is ensure there is no superfluous fluff in your descriptions, just facts and information. Second, you need to write in a style that your customers understand, so keep overtly technical jargon to a minimum. Finally, pay attention to the way customers phrase their search queries (e.g. where to buy waterproof shoes) and provide an answer within the description to leverage search intent.
5. Publish Blog Content
The other piece of the eCommerce content puzzle is your blog content. In today’s dynamic eCommerce environment, relying on product descriptions alone to boost your ranking is simply not enough. What you need is a stream of relevant, high-quality content that will keep your customers invested in your site even when they are not looking to buy something.
There is no one right way to do eCommerce blog content, but there are a couple of things you should keep in mind to get the best results. First, your content should provide tangible value to the reader. How-to articles, step-by-step guides, infographics, and other forms of informative content are a great way to give customers something valuable up-front. Second, you should make tactical use of relevant keywords throughout your content for better indexing. Finally, you might want to invite guest bloggers to publish content on your site, to give customers a wider variety of articles to choose from.
If you want your eCommerce website to flourish, you have to secure a stable source of organic traffic. Search engines are by far the most effective way to accomplish this, so knowing their ins and outs is crucial for eCommerce SEO optimization. A good place to start would be to start implementing the techniques we have described above, as they will show you how search engines work in practice. Start using them today, and your site will climb to the top of your industry niche.
- How to Optimize eCommerce Websites to Improve Rankings - December 18, 2019