01 Jul The ultimate paid search and SEO guide for ecommerce
Need some guidance when it comes to paid search and SEO for your online business?
Let’s start from the basic by defining each one of the terms and then later see why it’s so important to optimize both for the success of your ecommerce.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and it’s that process that will make your online store more visible in the search engine results pages. In other words, to make your site appears between the first results when someone is looking for the products you are selling. This will lead to increased traffic to your store and eventually to increased conversions a.k.a. sales!
Another way to increase your site’s traffic is by using paid search. Paid search refers to these kind of advertisements that are triggered by specific keywords and are displayed on search results. The advertiser only gets charged once its ads are being clicked.
Your SEO guide
Install Google Analytics
Before anything, you will need to create a Google Analytics account and install the tracking code in your website. None of your actions -in order to improve your site’s ranking and visibility- will have any impact unless you start measuring and tracking. By using Google Analytics you will be able to view your customer’s habits and your visitor’s journey through your site. It’s essential to measure the effectiveness of your marketing activities. Google Analytics For Ecommerce: A Beginners Guide
- Google Analytics: Google Analytics is a web analytics tool for Google. Provides aggregate traffic information that reaches websites based on audience, acquisition, behavior and conversions carried out on the website
Conduct keyword research and competitor research
You don’t want to bring low quality traffic to your store. this would lead to high bounce rate and will harm your site’s SEO and won’t bring you any conversions eventually. For that reason, it’s essential to make a complete keyword research. Make sure you know what your customers are typing when they are interested in buying what you are selling, and then optimize your site based on these keywords.
After that, you will need to investigate your competitor’s site and keywords. Create a list of the keywords that your competition is using for SEO and make sure you keep it updated. Furthermore, use free tool Mozbar for seeing if your competition has a higher domain (DA) and page (PA) authority than you.
- Keywords: a keyword is the term or set of terms used by users when they search the search engines.
- High quality traffic: high quality traffic means a higher ratio of conversions and sales
Optimize your site
When it comes to SEO for ecommerce type of websites, you will need to focus on 2 things. Optimization of product page and optimization of category page. Make sure you have your headlines, product titles and descriptions optimized. Each one of your products should have its own page designed to bring traffic from search engines. Revise the navigation journey of your site and make sure it’s fully optimized for your visitors. You don’t want them to leave your site frustrated because they found it hard to look for what they needed.
Check how fast does your website load
Did you know that 47% of visitors expect a website to load in less than 2 seconds, and 40% of visitors will leave the website if the loading process takes more than 3 seconds? (Source: Kissmetrics)
Make sure you know how much time does your website take to load and if it needs more than 3 seconds, make sure you focus on reducing this time. You can start by reducing image and file sizes.
- Headlines, H1, H2, H3… The headlines form the semantic backbone of each document and should be used according to their hierarchy. This not only helps the reader, but also the search engines, since they can through the correct use of the headers, understand and process better documents of special complexity.
- Metadescription: the meta description is a meta tag that is located within the <head> </ head> block in the HTML code, and is the short description used to summarize the content of a web page that is displayed under the title in the snippet of the Search results.
- Main Keyword: as its name suggests, it is the key word or keywords of your business. Those that summarize in a phrase what your website is dedicated to.
- Navigation (customer) journey: it is a Design Thinking tool that allows you to capture on a map, each of the stages, interactions, channels and elements through which a customer goes through the entire shopping cycle
- Loading process: a page load begins when a user selects a hyperlink, submits a form, or types a URL in a browser. The request reaches the application for processing. The app finishes processing and sends an HTML response back across the network to the user’s browser.
Is your site mobile-friendly?
Optimize your website’s mobile performance! Are you not convinced? Let the statistics do the talking:
- 79% of smartphone users have made a purchase online using their mobile device in the last 6 months.
- Almost 40% of all eCommerce purchases during the 2018 holiday season were made on a smartphone. (source: OuterBox).
- Make sure your your site is built on a responsive design template.
- Simply put, a website needs to be user-friendly on a smartphone.
This includes mobile design elements such as:
- Readable text without requiring zoom,
- Adequate space for tap targets,
- No horizontal scrolling.
Try to have the most backlinks possible from high-quality sites, as it will help your site’s authority to increase.
Make a research on blogs which are relevant to your product or that their topic interests your target audience. Contact the blog owners, offering some ideas about posts that you write for them and start building your own backlinks!
Your Paid Search guide
Make sure you know your paid search strategy objectives
Most of ecommerce owners set as their objective to increase their conversion rate and maintain a high ROI. You should always consider paid search strategy as an investment and always calculate your ROI instead of only focusing on your spend. This is a very common mistake that a lot of business owners make.
Define your target
In order to make sure you are spending your money well on advertising, you will need to define your target. This is the only way to bring quality traffic to your store, to bring people that are actually interested in what you are selling. So, before anything, make sure to define your customer! How old are they? Where are they living? What are their interests?
Plan well the structure of your ads
You will want to match the expectations of users when they are searching for a specific term and then decide to click your ad. If the user arrives to an irrelevant page, he will leave immediately and this will harm your ads’ quality score. Make sure your text ad matches the search terms and the landing page is well optimized for what the user has been looking for. You want to bring high quality traffic so that you keep your conversion rate high.
Optimize your site and landing page
Bringing qualified traffic to your online store is only half the battle. What happens once they land on your page is the most crucial part. You will want to offer a user-friendly experience to each one of your visitors. Your potential customers will need to find it easy to navigate your site, look for what they want and eventually they will expect an easy checking out process. Also, if in some of your ads you are mentioning a specific product, make sure that the URL of the ad leads the user to this specific product page and not in a general category page. Users won’t always spend time looking for a product and will eventually leave your site without making a purchase.
Use Ad Extensions
Ad Extensions typically increase an ad’s click-through-rate by several percentage points. (Source: Google). They are extensions of your ads where you can include extra information, more links to your site, your business phone number, your customer’s reviews or promotions that you may run at a specific period. It’s a very easy to implement feature and will give more reasons to the user to visit your online store.
For more tips regarding paid search, read “5 things you need to know before paying for online traffic”
As an ecommerce business owner, you cannot neglect either SEO or SEM. You will need to focus very carefully on both for the success of your online business. SEO it’s not an easy or fast process. It needs time and a lot of effort. On the other side, SEM costs money and if not planned well, you might be throwing away your investment. Make sure you follow the above tips and always measure your marketing actions!
And, to finish, Clever ecommerce has created a free guide to teach you more about Google Ads and how to grow your ecommerce.