Unwrapping the Secrets of SEO: How to Optimize Your E-Commerce Site for Sales Gains

Opening an e-commerce store is one of the best ways to sell the products that you love without the overhead or risk that comes with operating a brick-and-mortar store. That’s the good news. The bad? Since the barrier to entry is low, we’re seeing an untold number of e-commerce stores that are opening up online. In this installment of Unwrapping the Secrets of SEO, we’ll detail four ways to optimize content for sales success in spite of the competitive threats. 

Unwrapping the Secrets of SEO

Understanding the SEO Fundamentals

The only way to help your online store stand out from the competition is by boosting your online presence through SEO marketing. In a nutshell, SEO is the process of improving the visibility of your online store to get found by search engines.

In the past, SEO was about gaming the search engines. No longer. Today,  SEO marketing strategies, whether you’re an e-commerce or information site, revolve around the needs of human customers. For e-commerce, it feels great to drive lots of traffic to your site, but if no one purchases your products, your company has wasted a lot of  time and energy.

Let’s take a look at a few proven e-commerce marketing ideas that will improve the User Experience on your site and help you drive more conversions today.

1. Organize By Category & Product Page Structure

One of the most important aspects of e-commerce SEO is how you structure your website. When you implement a structured website architecture, you can see immediate results for your e-commerce store.

Since you offer many individual products, you will need to organize your products by similarities and structure your site around specific themes; you will see better online results compared to keeping a flat website architecture.

Not only does a tight website architecture help search engines crawl and understand your content, but a robust website architecture also helps improve user-friendliness and user experience.

Internal link structure helps Google and your customers understand your different content. Linking category-level navigation to individual products makes it easier for your customers to get an overview of your products and drill down to specific subcategories for contextual relevance.

This may seem like a trivial aspect to optimize your e-commerce SEO marketing strategy, but in reality, you have limited time and resources. As your e-commerce store grows, you will need to focus your attention on aspects of your site that will maximize your revenue. Implementing a structured e-commerce website architecture is one of the best ways to accomplish this goal.

Look at your e-commerce store from the perspective of your human customers. While optimizing the e-commerce for search engines and the right keywords is important, the goal of your e-commerce store is to boost paying conversions with your customers.

2. Work With Seasonal Products

Seasonality is a part of the online marketplace, and if you want to drive relevant traffic to your site, then you need to optimize your store based on user preference around products and the season.

One of the first steps to optimize your e-commerce store around seasonality is to research what products are sold when. Based on your Analytics data, you should prepare your online store at least a quarter in advance, especially for big holidays like Christmas.

Before launching a product on your site, you should build awareness with “Coming Soon” pages and pre-ordering information. You draw attention to products that you think will be popular, or carry a large profit margin, by featuring notifications and ads on your homepage.

This is one of the best ways to increase awareness and build momentum for your product before it is released on your store.

Creating content for seasonal products can be difficult, but if you plan, you will be able to research, optimize, and publish content efficiently to match your customer demands.

Look at seasonal trends with the Searchmetrics Content Experience or other products.  As you optimize content and seek to dominate the market over competitors, you can identify the keywords or other search phrases used by potential customers.

The best items to focus on for seasonal products is to optimize categories and link seasonal products across your product line with breadcrumbs and links in the descriptions and product pages.

As you build content for your Category pages, you will also want to include related keywords in your content. This information is vital in helping customers understand your product. If you’re going to rank for specific terms, you also will awant to integrate similar keywords into your content to ensure you stand out from your competition.

 

Once your seasonal products lose relevance for near-term search, be sure to insert 301 Redirects from those seasonal product pages to the parent page or other similar products that are not dependent on a season. This will keep your information flowing throughout your site, and you will be able to retain the power of seasonal pages until you need them again in the coming year.

3. Personalize Product Page Content

If you are working with limited time and resources, then you need to focus your attention on the products that will provide the highest ROI. To do this, you can approach content optimization by the most popular products based on sales or views.

Since you can’t produce 1,000 words of quality content for a massive site with thousands of products, you should focus your attention on strengthening parent category pages first. You can do this by adding personal content based on what your customers are searching for.

Not only is this approach the most efficient approach for content optimization on a large e-commerce store, but the time and energy that you put into parent category pages will also provide the most SEO power to all of your product pages below the parent category page.

As you build out the product pages for your most popular products, you can consider ways to raise the quality and uniqueness of your products. Look for ways to solve your user’s problems and add interactive content like images, videos or an FAQ section.

 

Traffic Safety Store is an example of a great product page layout that utilizes F.A.Q, educational content, and presents a strong value proposition on its product pages. Even though the company sells traffic safety equipment, the e-commerce store uses a number of great tactics to help drive sales.

Many e-commerce stores create content that is bland and objective. However, the best online stores use material that has a layer of psychology that uses descriptions to play on the emotions and feelings of the audience.

Instead of relying on dull and technical descriptions, your online store should use product descriptions that add life and context by telling a story about how to use the product or how they will feel once they start using your products.

4. Optimize Your Main Navigation Menu

One of the best ways to increase your revenue for the e-commerce store is to optimize your site navigation. The main navigation is the most prominent part of your site because it links to the most critical areas of your site.

If you are like most e-commerce stores, then you have probably already placed the top-performing categories in your main navigation.

You should experiment with the number of categories that you include in the main navigation menu because you can create your site around the type, number and layout of your navigation menu.

You may find that having fewer items on your navigation menu can increase the power and effectiveness of each category that you list. A typical number of categories that many e-commerce stores include in their main navigation menu is 6 to 10 links.

Many e-commerce stores list categories on their main navigation menu by alphabetical order, but you should organize your navigation menu with the most important products at the top of the menu. Many studies have shown that visitors will react to the first categories that they see on your site with the most important or valuable categories first, you could boost your sales with a simple adjustment.

Grow Your E-Commerce Store Today

If you want to grow your e-commerce store and stand out from the crowd then you will need to implement provide SEO marketing and User Experience strategies to get found by search engines and drive more conversions.

You can use the above four e-commerce strategies to engage more qualified traffic and increase sales today!

 

Chris Giarratana is the owner of StrategyBeam, a Digital Media Strategy company in Orlando, FL. He loves working with startups and business owners to help them make more money through content strategy, freelance copywriting, SEO marketing, and PPC management.
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