Understand SEO Better:

Choosing Your SEO Keywords Effectively

Keyword research is an absolutely vital piece of good SEO.  Keywords must be chosen carefully and precisely for maximum effectiveness.

But exactly how can you go about choosing your keywords?

Know Your Place

Trying to compete with big name companies for broad-term keywords is going to be a lost cause; you’ll simply drown under the competition. You really won’t stand a chance. So you want to make sure the keywords you choose are appropriate to your “weight class,” so to speak.

You want to search - ideally - for keywords that have a high search volume, but low competition. And if there’s going to be competition, make sure that you’re not facing off against big names or keywords targeted by heavy hitters, as mentioned above.

Go Long

The first type of keyword you’d want to deal with would be long-tail keywords. These are highly specific but low traffic keywords.

For example, the keyword “E-commerce” is a very broad term, and targeting that specifically would mean drowning amidst bigger, stronger competition. Not to say that there’s anything wrong with using the word “E-commerce” as a keyword, but making it the full target of your keyword research and center of your site would be unwise due to the competition you would face from others. However, the long-tail keyword “E-commerce Web Designer in Cleveland, Ohio” is a much narrower and easier to work with as it eliminates a huge chunk of competition and makes things much more manageable.

Long-tail keywords also have more to offer than simply less competition. They allow you make content better suited for the topic at hand, as well as the ability to gain increased traffic from the fulfilling results of said traffic.  They can also serve as a great starting point for small to medium sized businesses!

choosing SEO keywords e-commerce

Look For Existing Keywords!

Another great tool not to be forgotten is to use keywords that are already driving traffic to your site and work with those. That can give you insight into exactly why people are coming to you so that you, in turn, can craft your site to better suit their needs. You can also look for keywords related to these and drive even more traffic to your site.

Why Is Keyword Research a Vital Part of Your SEO?

One of the most important parts of SEO is keyword research. It can make all the difference in how much organic traffic your site gets.

What is a keyword?

In its simplest form, it’s exactly what it sounds like: a specific word a user will search to find information regarding that topic. Generally, keyword searches are how websites receive organic traffic.

When used efficiently and effectively, keyword research tools can open up all sorts of opportunities to increase brand awareness, benefit from various avenues of online advertising, and boost your website’s rankings.

But it all starts with researching exactly what people are searching and how those searches will lead them to your business’s website.

To figure out the best keywords, we have to consider the following:

  • Are the keywords I’m using relevant to what people are searching for?

  • Will my website provide the answers users were searching for with said keywords?

  • Is this organic traffic going to achieve the desired level of brand awareness and profitability?

If not, the keywords in use aren’t performing at a needed level, in which case it’s time to start choosing new ones.

But it’s not quite as simple as that, We also need to understand what type of keywords we’re working with and how to use them in the best way possible.

When using a single keyword, whoever is conducting the search will be fed an incredibly broad and general stream of results.

A long tail keyword, on the other hand, consists of a phrase or multiple keywords, so the results will be fewer, but much more specific and relevant to the search. This makes it easier for the user to find what they’re looking for while cutting down on competition from other sites that aren’t quite as relevant to the search.

It’s important to strike a balance with long tail keywords: too vague and they won’t be very effective, too specific and they won’t draw much traffic.

long tail keyword research ecommerce Cleveland

Keyword difficulty

The next step in finding the right keywords is determining how difficult it is for a keyword to rank well in search engines.

To do that, we need to consider:

  • How widely searched your keywords are

  • The level of competition

  • The amount of other sites targeting the same keywords

Even if we know which keywords have high search rates and adjust accordingly, it could all be for nothing if we don’t take into account competition. Every factor of determining keywords needs to be fully considered and balanced accordingly.

Once all of the above is squared away and it’s time to put a plan into action, we need to make sure we fully utilize any SEO tools to ensure that we have a clear picture of the market, competition, and any information pertaining to the keywords in play.

Of course, research will still be necessary. But paired with the proper tools, the process will be more simple, efficient, and effective, which will make it that much easier to improve traffic, ranking, and conversion rate.

Best Practices for SEO Content Writing

If you put time and effort into creating a quality website but it doesn’t receive traffic, it’s not going to perform the way you want it to. Period.

That’s not to say top-notch quality isn’t important, it really is. But it can’t succeed alone in providing the best possible user experience your e-commerce business has to offer.

Of course, it’s alway beneficial to bring your content straight to users, for example via social media advertising. But what about drawing in potential customers — making them come to you?

That’s where SEO comes into play.

SEO: The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Chances are, when you develop new content, your priority is going to be to promote it. But what about months or even years down the line, when it’s not new anymore? It most likely won’t receive the same attention to promotion as it used to.

But a search engine isn’t going to forget about that content, and if it’s properly optimized, it can stay profitable long after its promotional period has ended.

While a search engine might be more likely to prioritize newer, fresher content, that doesn’t mean the older stuff will be forgotten.

Good SEO means maintaining good visibility and brand awareness even after you’ve moved on to newer things.

SEO content writing ecommerce Cleveland

Best SEO Practices to Follow For Content Writing

In order to make the most of SEO, it’s crucial to make use of effective strategies that suit your business’s needs.

Here are 5 of the practices that we can use to improve your business:

Keywords

When it comes to SEO, one of the most important things to do is to use short-tail and long-tail target keywords.

It’s especially important to make sure that the keywords used are relevant to your business, and that they’re used naturally so that your page doesn’t become forced and cluttered.

It’s also a great help to prioritize keywords by the amount of traffic they’ll generate, how specific they are (especially to your business), and what level of advantage they could give you over the competition.

Headers

Whether it’s a webpage, blog post, or something else, organization and layout can greatly affect its success.

Specifically with SEO, correctly using H1, H2, and H3 tags can lend a helping hand to search engines and show them what your page is about so that they can properly place and recommend them for searches.

It’s really a two-fold thing, because not only can headers help SEO when you add keywords to them, but they can also present a clearer, more concise layout, which in turn improves user experience.

Links

Another crucial part of a vast majority of SEO strategies is gaining backlinks to your site from external sources, since it can build your site’s reputation and authority.

Internal links can also have great value as well. It can seem a little bit complicated at first, but the overall idea is that it can provide clear navigation through your site, and when done right can also build authority. So when it comes to any kind of new posts or pages on your site, adding links to your previous content can also have major benefits. But that only applies on a necessary basis, overdoing it can lead to a cluttered and confusing website, in other words: the exact opposite of what users — potential customers, no less — want.

Localization

For businesses that operate in more than one country, localizing content can also be a significant part of SEO.

For example, translating your website’s language or simply altering spelling and vocabulary to suit a specific country can make a huge difference in the performance of your site. Even something subtle and seemingly unimportant like color schemes or designs can play an important part, and no factor should be left unconsidered when it comes to localization.

Measuring the results

Finally, measurement is arguably one of the most important strategies to implement.

Specifically regarding SEO, before even beginning any kind of optimization, the first step will be to see how you’re ranking with your targeted keywords. The next step will be to routinely track any changes and improvements in your rankings in order to see which efforts are benefitting your performance the most. However, you can’t expect to see immediate results. Authority, reputation, and traffic aren’t going to improve instantly, they take time, effort, and patience. There are also external factors to consider, in some cases your rankings can be affected by the efforts of others.

Sitemaps are another vital part of e-commerce SEO.  

Sitemaps act as a ‘blueprint’ for your website, showing off the structure and layout of not only your site as a whole, but also each individual webpage.  Sitemaps make it easier for search engines like Google to look through your website and its pages. Since Google ranks not only your whole site but also the individual pages, sitemaps are in a pretty essential position to offer up a boost to your SEO rank.

Aside from the general benefits listed above, sitemaps are especially handy when you have either a fresh site lacking in external links or a site lacking in internal structure or internal linking as well as sites with dynamic pages or even large sites with possibly poorly-linked archived pages.

With all the above pros and no cons, sitemaps really are an extremely beneficial and worthwhile option to consider if you want the best SEO rank you can get for your e-commerce website.

sitemaps SEO ecommerce Cleveland

Sitemap Tips To Keep In Mind

When you go to make your sitemap, make sure you use the proper format and that your sitemap is proofread and error free.  

Google, for instance, requires that your sitemaps adhere to Sitemap Protocol 0.9, meaning that your sitemaps have to use UTF-8 encoding and have this tag at the start: <urlset xmlns=”http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9″>.  Once you’ve double checked the formatting, eliminated any errors, and uploaded your sitemap, you’ll want to let Google know so they can verify it.

on page off page SEO

On-Page or Off-Page SEO

The world of SEO is one that’s constantly changing and improving, therefore websites have different needs in order to fully utilize new opportunities to conduct business.

One of the most important of these needs is making sure your website ranks within the very top search results, specifically across the three biggest search engines (Google, Yahoo, and Bing).

Applying high-quality search engine optimization to your website can determine where you rank in comparison to competitors, and the higher the better. In the case of smaller businesses, Local SEO efforts are extra important.

The best SEO practices are some of the most simple and sensible:

  • Maintaining a good user experience

  • Effectively utilizing keywords

  • Balancing quality and quantity

  • Having good content shareability

  • Making sure your site is mobile-friendly across various platforms

If you want to get more specific, though, consider the benefits of on-page and off-page SEO: on-page SEO is more effective in determining what you rank for, whereas how high you rank generally comes from off-page factors. That’s not to say one is better than the other, however. It depends on your needs as a business.

To really find out those needs and how to meet them, it’s best to go straight to the source: search engines like Google and Bing have SEO user guides to explain exactly how they rank websites.

But it also pays to fully understand exactly what you’re choosing between, in this case on-page vs. off-page SEO.

On-page SEO is all about your site itself: the structure, the content, etc. and how those impact its effectiveness.

On-page SEO examples:

  • Titles, descriptions, and headers

  • Alt and H1 tags

  • Mobile compatibility

  • Quick load times

Off-page SEO is generally about your internet presence in terms of PR, authority, and brand awareness.

Off-page SEO examples:

  • Link building

  • Reviews on 3rd party sites

  • Social media marketing

  • Collaborations with other websites and bloggers

It’s important to keep in mind that again, there’s no solid answer as to which is better, it simply comes down to which better meets your business’s needs.

In most cases, the best option is to efficiently and effectively utilize both to strengthen your e-commerce website and overall improve business.

Schema Markups For SEO

When it comes to the ranking of specific products, schema markups have become a vital part of successful ecommerce SEO.  

While they in and of themselves don’t increase your ranking alone, they make information that consumers are looking for easily accessible and readable, which in turn generates more clicks and traffic.  

With the level of competition on Google, the wisest thing to do is to do what you can to differentiate yourself from your competitors and as soon as you can put out there any info that makes you unique and worthy of your customers’ attention.  

Utilizing a good schema markup in your snippets is a great way to do just that.

Info You’ll Need

For a good schema markup, you’ll want to include data such as:

  • The products aggregated rating

  • Availability

  • Awards

  • Brand

As well as more descriptive attributes like:

  • Category

  • Color

  • An item description

  • Relevant dimensions

  • Item condition  

  • Make and model

  • Manufacturer

  • Serial number

  • Product’s date

These are all important pieces of information that consumers will be looking for.  

schema markups SEO ecommerce

But schema isn’t useful only for products.  It can work great for businesses too! Include your

  • Address

  • Ratings

  • Area served

  • Branch

  • Email

  • Phone number

  • A map to your business

  • A logo

  • Hours of operation

  • A photo of your business  

Once again, these get many important details about your business out in the open early on, grabbing more customers’ interest and leading more traffic directly to you.

Image SEO & Optimization

While textual aspects like keywords and links are a huge part of good SEO and tend to get a lot of focus, there are other important aspects of e-commerce SEO that should not be overlooked and are just as important.  

Optimizing images can play a huge role in good SEO.

images SEO optimization

The Importance of Images

Images enhance the usability and consumer experience of a site.  

Without images, your site would be incredibly bland and unappealing, resulting in extremely low traffic, dissatisfied consumers, and bad sales.  So images are a must-have for a high-quality website with the aim of drawing people. However, images must be tended to properly, or else they may end up working against you!

Here are some things that can be done to maximize the effectiveness of images in your website:

  • Make Sure You Use Relevant Images
    Using images that have nothing to do with the topic at hand won’t benefit anybody. Make sure your images are important to the context and add to the experience! Make sure not to use any images that you don’t have the rights to, as that could get you into trouble.  
    Websites like Pexels or Unsplash have tons of royalty-free images you can use on your own site!

  • Edit The Filename & Alt Text
    While these don’t seem very important and don’t actually seem to add anything for the average visitor, this step is very important for good SEO.  Search engine crawlers look at these and can use the info to judge the relevance of the images and rank you accordingly. Also, if your image fails to load, the alt text can fill in that blank nicely!

  • Find The Right Balance Between Size & Quality
    This one can be a little tricky.  Pagespeed is a huge part of good SEO. If your images are too big or too high a quality, then they’ll slow your website down.  But if the images are too low quality, then your website looks cheap and unappealing.
    The easiest way to achieve that sweet spot is to use a website like TinyJPG to optimize your images; just drag the desired image onto the site, download the new optimized version of the image when its complete, and upload where you like!

  • Choose The Best Format For The Job
    JPEGs are favored by many because of their small file size, but they don’t have as high quality and don’t support transparent backgrounds.  PNGs have a higher quality, support text for images (which is great for SEO) as well as transparent backgrounds. However, their downside comes with a larger file size. GIFs have less of a color range, but have good file sizes as well as support for transparent backgrounds.

  • Have Images In Your Sitemap
    Google already recommends having a sitemap sent to them to make it easier to navigate.  Adding your images to that sitemap or even even creating a seperate one for images, that increases your findability with Google, and makes for great SEO.

  • Host Images On Your Own Site
    While hosting your images on another site may seem like a good idea to save space, if that website crashes, then so do your images. The safer bet is to simply host your images on your own site.

Images are an important part of good SEO not to be overlooked.  Proper optimization can boost your SEO, enhance consumer experience, and help your ecommerce website grow and flourish!

The benefits OF Google My Business

Of all the various tools at your disposal you can use to maximum the success and effectiveness of your ecommerce SEO,

Google My Business is a tool of great value.  

Since good SEO caters mainly to Google, what better option than to use Google to improve your SEO by leaps and bounds? Google My Business offers a ton of features that you can take advantage of, and the best part is: its free!

The benefits of Google My Business really shine through when it comes to Local SEO, but it has a great many benefits for Organic SEO as well.

Google My Business Local SEO

What Is Google My Business?

Google My Business is a handy tool that allows business owners to customize and have a substantially greater amount of control over how their business is listed on Google’s SERPs and various other pages from Google.  

It has a number of features and benefits you can work with, arrange, and customize to your liking in an effort to reach your target audience and maximize the effectiveness of your SEO.

  • Google My Business allows for greater informational consistency. By keeping your information up-to-date here on Google, then that can eliminate a ton of inconsistencies elsewhere, including any third-party services that get their info from what Google says. Using Google My Business also lets you put up as much first-hand information about your business as possible, ensuring your customers get the most accurate info they can.

  • As mentioned briefly above, a lot of third-party apps and services rely on Google for information.  Using Google My Business and keeping your business’ profile up-to-date means more accurate information about your business is available for these services, thus increasing your odds of being featured in other areas of the web and generating further exposure for your ecommerce business!

  • Using Google My Business allows you to upload photos and videos of all your best products and assets early on, allowing consumers to see your best bits first.  These powerful first impressions can generate good traffic and better conversions!

  • Google also offers analytics data to better help you understand the flow of traffic to your site. You can better identify how people are finding you and what they’re seeing versus what they’re not seeing. You can tweak and adjust things accordingly and tailor your campaign to best fit the needs of your customers.

  • Google also gives you the option of being able to create content that will be visible to users searching your business.  Promotions, advertisements, or articles can all act as a sort of ‘free advertising’ that you can tinker with at any point to better appeal to your target base.

  • Google My Business also has a handy feature if your business takes appointments.  It will allow customers to conveniently make bookings online without even leaving the SERPs!

  • In addition to bookings, Google My Business also has the feature of allowing you to view/respond to any reviews left for your business online as soon as you login.  As reviews are a crucial part of successful ecommerce SEO, this is an incredibly convenient and handy feature that Google offers!

Google My Business offers a ton of valuable features to improve your ecommerce business’ listing and maximize your SEO.  While it does require some time and effort to maintain your listing, it’s well worth any time and effort you put into it!

The Effectiveness Of Google Search Console

Along with Google My Business and the ever-important Google Analytics, Google also offers the potent Google Search console.  

Google Search Console acts as an invaluable tool to establish good SEO by allowing you to track a number of items, including keywords, traffic, and mobile responsiveness, just to name a few things. It also lets you submit sitemaps, which can aid Google in navigating your site.

Setup

The setup process for Google Search Console is relatively painless, especially if you already have Google Analytics set up for your website.  

  • Just use the same Google account you’ve used for the rest of your business.

  • After you’ve signed in, add your website as a property by adding it’s html to the required box.  

  • The last step is to verify your ownership.

That’s where having Analytics already set up comes in handy: if you already have the Analytics Tracking Code built into the head of your site’s homepage, then you’ll be in with no problem at all!

One other choice you get to make is choosing whether to use the old or new Search Console.  

While the new one is more visually streamlined, the old one retains a lot of its features and usability.  So while everything will eventually switch over to the new interface permanently, for now the old offers increased functionality.

google search console SEO ecommerce

Features

Google Search Console has a ton of features that can help you analyze your site and build your SEO as effectively as possible.

  • Sitemaps - As mentioned briefly in the beginning, Google Search Console allows you to submit a sitemap to make it easier for the crawlers to do their job and rank your site.

  • Keywords - Google Search Console does a lot in the way of tracking keywords.  It keeps tabs on exactly what keywords bring people to your site, and rank them accordingly for you.  That way, you can track whether or not your SEO structure is working, and adjust your strategy accordingly.

  • Traffic - Google Search Console also keeps track of the traffic flow through your site, including which of your pages are the most popular and see exactly where your visitors are coming from by tracking what pages are linked to you.

  • Local SEO - Google Search Console can also help out with Local SEO by providing you with the geographical locations of some of your visitors.  If certain locations are important for you, then this lets you see the info you need to in order to re-adjust your strategy as needed.

  • Mobile Responsiveness - Not only does Google Search Console check your site’s mobile responsiveness and give you feedback accordingly, it also lets you know what devices your visitors use when they visit your site.  That way, you can make any necessary adjustments to your site’s layout.

  • Diagnose Issues - Google Search Console also does some work in the way of security and fixing your site.  It finds and alerts you to any broken links on your site, keeps taps on your schema markups and lets you know if they’re working right, and also alerts you to any security threats to your site!

All in all, Google Search Console is an incredibly valuable resource for successful ecommerce SEO, and considering the fact that its also free, there’s little-to-no reason why it shouldn’t be added to your SEO toolbox!

Competitor Analysis

Of all the invaluable tools available to aid in structuring your site for successful ecommerce SEO, nothing will offer as competitive an edge as doing some good competitor analysis.  

The world of SEO is competitive by nature, each site (and by extension business) vying for the top rank, constantly changing and upgrading their sites to stay at peak performance and cater to both customers and Google to maximize the effectiveness of their optimization.

Looking at what your competitors are doing and why you rank the way you do vs them can give you great insights as to what you should change or exactly how you can better your site.

competitor analysis SEO ecommerce

Methods

Some of the methods you can use to get that edge can include but are in no way limited to:

  • Keyword Targeting - Figuring out what keywords you’re going to target is kind of like figuring out what weight class you’re going to be fighting in.  This can give you some major insight into not only who you’ll be competing against, but also what you’ll be competing for.

  • On-Page Optimization - Looking at your competitors’ layouts, especially those who rank better than you, can give you some powerful ideas for layouts and ways to optimize your website, and ultimately streamline your site and slingshot your way to a better ranking!

  • Off-Page Optimization - Google puts a lot of stock backlinks when it comes to dishing out a ranking.  If your on-page efforts seem to be having a minimal effect, often times improving your backlink quality can turn the tide.

While the world of SEO can be incredibly competitive, you can use your competition as a mirror to improve upon yourself and build your site’s SEO into a force to be reckoned with!