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How to Optimize eCommerce Sites for Search Engines

by: Dana Chen Fischer 

Online sales need online visibility!

If your business relies on an eCommerce site, then you know it's important to appear in the organic search results ahead of your competitors;especially if your competitors are selling the same products online.Having top rankings for an eCommerce website is crucial for long term success in the online marketing world.

On-Page Optimization 

Optimizing an eCommerce site isn't that different than optimizing any other type of web site. To make a page rank well in the organic search results, it needs a good title tag (that includes the keywords you're targeting); and good content on the page that includes the appropriate keywords. 

Here are some more tips for on-page optimization:

  • Think about the words users would type to find your pages, and make sure that your site actually includes those words within it.
  • To achieve good keyword focus, limit yourself to just one or two keywords per content page. You can even create a page for each product in your store so that you can take advantage of long-tail keyword phrases.
  • One reason why product pages on eCommerce sites appear in the search engine indexes and then disappear is because they are duplicating content (which the search engines catch on). Keep content and tags unique.
  • If you're selling products that your competitors are also selling, then your product descriptions need to be unique and different from theirs. Don’t just copy the generic product descriptions of items that are provided by the manufacturer. You’ll risk having your page considered a duplicate page by Google and other search engines.
  • Add links to related products or accessories, or perhaps a testimonial about the product.Adding ‘related products' type of navigation on your product pages will help visitors stay on your site.
  • Product Reviews can increase your visibility and improve your page rankings.This gives the search engines more content to read and also creates a third party endorsement for your product.
  • Online shoppers are using search engines to compare product features and prices, and if your eCommerce site isn’t positioned in the top search engine results, you're missing out on a lot of potential online sales!

Off-Page Optimization

Offsite optimization is all about acquiring quality inbound keyword links. It is best to get links from high ranking websites and web pages, but internal repeating links within your own website also count. Here’s how to improve off-page SEO:

  • Submit articles to various article directories for syndication and curation, making sure your content contains many keyword links back to your other content pages.
  • Go social! Create profiles on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and other social networks to get links from existing customers.
  • Cross-reference related items between individual product pages (include accessories or similar products). This creates healthy internal links.
  • Create and share video content to attract more visitors.
  • Create a blog and be active in forum discussions in the area of your business.
  • Issue press releases and PR briefs about product launches, events and promotional offers regularly.

Just starting out as an online retailer with a few products to sell? Selling thousands of products online for many years now? Either way, make sure your eCommerce site is optimized for the search engines so you are most visible to your potential customers.

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