Search Engine Optimization (or SEO) as it is commonly known should be a part of every organization's marketing strategy. With close to 50% of online purchases starting off with an online search, you need to make sure that your business and products can be easily found online. This is more important for eCommerce businesses who must work even harder to get visibility on search engines such as Google. Even the best eCommerce platforms like Shopify, Bigcommerce or Magento have understood the importance of SEO and included many services and add-ons that can help companies effectively optimize their online stores on the basis on key SEO criteria.
Effective SEO is one factor that can cause your eCommerce site under or outperform competition. So, you need to make sure that the pages of your eCommerce site appear relevant to a search engine for the search terms (aka keywords) that your prospective customers could be using. Some enterprises may not always be aware that their eCommerce platform lacks the necessary features that can make their online store search-engine-friendly.
In this article, we present some of the basic but most important SEO factors that your eCommerce store must have.
Page Title: A page title is the text that shows up in the tab section at the top of the browser. Considered to be one of the most important SEO elements, the title should be effectively optimized. It is necessary that your eCommerce platform lets you modify the titles for any time of page. Some online store providers only let you edit the product page titles but not the ones for categories.
Search Engine Friendly Navigation: Customers and search engines like it when they are able to easily move around your site. Make sure that the navigation structure meets the following SEO criteria:
301 Redirect: Select a platform that allows you set 301 redirects. Many eCommerce sites like to delete pages once products are discontinued or categories changed. With 301 redirect, you can redirect visitors and link juice from the selected page to a new page on your site.
Blog: Google has time and again emphasized the importance of content. According to them, content marketing can be used as an effective strategy to build back links. In such a scenario, a blog becomes an indispensable tool. For your online store, look for a platform like Bigcommerce which supports a feature-rich blog and other things like social sharing and RSS feeds.
Social Sharing Buttons: Are easily identifiable icons that allow site visitors to share your products, blogs or site information on the most popular social networks.
Picking an eCommerce platform is no cake walk. While you may feel tempted to use the cheapest or easiest solution, you may regret your hasty decision later on. Robust platforms such as Bigcommerce offer a number of tools and extensions that can help businesses monitor the SEO aspects of their online store. For instance, the 'Plug In SEO – SEO Store Auditor' or 'SEO Doctor' can help track a store's issues with search engine performance and whether they should be fixed. Not all eCommerce platforms provide such extensive functionality, so make sure you spend enough time in searching for the best eCommerce platform for your business.
Are there any other SEO elements that eCommerce storefronts must implement? Share your suggestions with us through the comments section below.