In the digital marketing world, one of the most important words that comes up often is "optimization."
Today's web publishers selling products or services online must be aware of how to optimize content for search engines and consumers at the same time.
Here are four key reminders for promoting online products and services organically whether you have ecommerce enabled on your site or perhaps even if you are simply trying to push visitors to bottom of the funnel CTAs.
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More than 37% of all traffic to ecommerce sites is delivered by search engines, according to SEMRush. Researching ecommerce keywords is the core concept of all ecommerce SEO campaigns.
Keywords are what define the connection between the audience and the website. Choosing the right keywords for building content on products is an essential building block of any SEO strategy and needs to be given a lot of time to pour over words and phrases and ask yourself, “Would my target buyer use these words?”
Google and Amazon both give data on search popularity. To get high rankings in Google's search results you need to establish yourself as an authority of your product area. But be cautious of what the search vendors auto-recommend for you as keyword suggestions. For example, a recent audit of our own keywords for our Sitefinity web content management system turned up the phrase “free intranet tools.”
I had to ask myself, “Would someone searching for this phrase ever be in a position to buy the enterprise-grade product I am trying to sell?” Probably not.
Spend the time on the keywords and be skeptical of the search vendors’ recommendations for you, and put yourself in your buyers shoes. What would you search for if you had the problem your product/solution solved? It’s tempting to go broad with your keywords to attract as many eyeballs as possible, but I promise you this is not a strategy that will get you conversions and sales.
When things are going right, you should be able to provide unique stories on experiences your customers have had with your product to solve their problems—these are presumably problems your prospects are having too. Try to write down that story and see what key words bubble to the top for you. The key to using ecommerce SEO effectively is to create natural content and provide deep details.
The easiest way to reach your target market through ecommerce SEO is to spend time with your web pages and map appropriate keywords to each page. Spending time with Google Analytics helps you learn where your website audience is coming from. Using data on your most-visited pages, you can then prioritize your pages and begin to map keywords to each page.
Each page should have a head keyword, which is the primary keyword that the content is built on. Part of effective SEO strategy is using proper search intent that matches the intent of web surfers. You can learn a lot about consumer intent by using tools that help you research URLs and keywords. Pay attention to the organic keywords used by your site and your competitors’ sites, and check how well they show up in search results.
The term “long-tail SEO” is defined as a technique of targeting highly specific niche search terms that usually consist of three-plus words and are much easier to rank for due low competition. But the long-tail means that this can take a long time for your words and phrases to rank and build an audience. Be specific and choosey in your long tail keywords but be patient too, these will not be your overnight converters, but you need time to build up credibility and audience.
Developing your own corner of the market with a unique niche should be a top priority. The term "long-tail" in the online marketplace can mean hard-to-find niche items in the physical world are easy-to-find online in a matter of clicks. Using long-tail variations in your keywords is essential, as you need to think of synonyms for important attributes associated with your products.
If you also have a brick-and-mortar operation, you need to include location in the consideration of your keywords. Names of neighborhoods where your customers live are also strong keywords. Choosing unique page titles and using natural meta descriptions will help the page stand out among competing pages.
People looking to make purchases tend to search either by product or category. Use this to your advantage by keeping in mind the words consumers will most likely use to find your site.
Visit any of your competitors’ pages to see how they present product descriptions. Usually you'll see an image with some information and a link to deeper product details. These pages should include the head target keyword, long-tail variations and concise content that flows naturally.
Keep in mind that descriptions need to be as unique as possible so that they are not considered duplicates of Amazon's product descriptions. But provide your own authentic description of what you are offering for sale and how it will help your customers solve a problem they are experiencing.
Winning in Google search rankings partly comes down to technical issues and partly how well you use ecommerce SEO organically. You should conduct an audit of your site to find out which pages need stronger content.
Heat maps can reveal where visitors spend the most time on your site. Find out how well your CTAs influence visitors to take desired actions.
Studying Google Analytics will help you refine your campaigns and narrow down keywords. Your audit should help you clean up your site so that you weed out duplicate pages and update outdated content. Be aware that Google puts a high priority on sites that exhibit expertise, which is why blogging is so popular. Writing about products you know about and pointing out things no one ever talks about are what keep people coming back to blogs.
Consider submitting your business information to as many credible local directories as possible. The more visibility you create for yourself in places where people search, the more leads you can generate. Remember that the fastest way to reach a target market is with price-per-click (PPC) campaigns.
Ecommerce SEO takes a little longer, but is a great way to save money on marketing.
Ecommerce may be your business main source of income, or maybe its your frictionless way of pushing your loss leader while your high-value sales team closes those bigger deals. But either way, your website is your front door for buyers to find you, and SEO is the roadmap to get them there.
For an easy-to-use platform for building your website, ecommerce platform, or home for digital experiences, see a demo of what Sitefinity can do for your business.
As Vice President of Global Demand Generation and Field Marketing, Jen McAdams counts herself fortunate to work with an amazing team of event, digital, social media, channel, business development and campaign contributors spread across three continents. Together, the team does some amazing things to keep the funnels full. While she’s been in marketing for 25 years, she’s always eager to learn what’s new in emerging martech, and sales and marketing strategies. This Brooklyn native now lives in New Hampshire on a pumpkin farm, and her pride at being a Northeastern alum is rivaled only by Dave Pierce.
You can find her on LinkedIn or @jromcadams on Twitter.
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