Setting up an eCommerce website is about more than just listing your products and services online for everyone to see. Sure, the internet is an amazing medium for both gaining and sharing such opportunities, and if you do list your catalog online sales are sure to inevitably trickle it at one point. But wouldn’t it be better if those sales were a steady, never-ending stream instead?
Enter the practice of SEO.
What is SEO, and How Can It Help Me Sell?
SEO, which stands for search engine optimization, is the practice of securing a high-ranking position for a site on a search engine’s results page. This means that your site should, ideally, appear within the first 10 results of the search engine. This will give you an unprecedented amount of visibility and an immense advantage over your competitors – both in terms of authority and reputation.
It’s not an easy task landing on the first page, much less being at the top results, after all. Being there is a testament to your site’s credibility – a credibility which will undoubtedly extend to your products as well. This will lead to more visitors, which will allow you more potential buyers.
So now that you know the value of SEO, you may ask, how should you implement it?
SEO Practices That You Should Employ
Be Mobile Friendly. Stats show that consumer mobile usage is on the rise. In addition, statistics also show that it is not actually a buying platform, but a research one instead. Regardless, users are entitled to a smooth experience no matter the platform. While the previous data shows that it may not be as big of a factor today, consider the fact that an intelligence report from BI forecasts that a whopping 45% of all eCommerce will be made up by mobile users.
While a few seconds shaved off loading time may not seem like much, it can make a huge impact. Take online retail giant Amazon for example. According to past employee Greg Linden, they found that they lost 1% of sales for every millisecond it takes for their site to load. Firefox’s tests echoed similar results – a blog post of theirs, titled “Firefox and Page Load Speed,” revealed that shaving off 2.2 seconds increased their conversions by 15.4%.
Now, some may think having a native app would be a suitable substitute for the mobile experience, but really, it’s not. Unless you’re an established big brand with a loyal following, you’re going to have a hard time getting users to come back to using it every time.
Have Original Content. Some retailers post information that’s straight from the manufacturer. This is a bad practice, as it can incur penalties. Why? Because other sites are highly likely to do the same. Just as plagiarism is frowned upon in real life, duplicate content is unacceptable online as well.
Fulfil the need for original content by creating unique, interesting blog posts. Perhaps use it as a medium to disseminate more information about your products (or services), possibly enticing more to avail of whatever you’re offering. It can also pose as a hub for discussion for potential buyers.
But when creating content, take care not to limit it to words on a page. Integrate other forms of media such as photos or videos, the latter of which can pave the way for you to create a presence on the internet’s second largest search engine – Youtube.
“Take Care” of Your Site. As much as possible, keep your site functional on all fronts. Avoid having things like broken pages or broken links – something a lot of under-maintained eCommerce websites usually have. Instead, maintain your SEO by utilizing 301 redirects.
SEO, while not immediately apparent, will help your site in the long run. You simply can’t pay for the organic visibility it brings, so start executing it on your website today!
Sean Si is the CEO and Founder of SEO Hacker and Qeryz. A start-up, data analysis and urgency junkie who spends his time inspiring young entrepreneurs through talks and seminars. Check out his personal blog where he writes about starting up two companies and life in general.