Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for an online business is a key success factor. With the growing expansion of the Internet, establishing a web presence through a successful online business can really be a profitable venture. However, statistics report that nearly 80 percent of retail websites does not achieve to attract visitors and convert them into regular customers. The main reason is that these websites are not considered “search-engine friendly.” In other words, they fail to implement the proper strategies for getting ranked higher in the search engines results pages (SERPS). They fail in the basic SEO techniques.
The basic strategies for effective e-commerce SEO include the following techniques:
1. Choosing an Accurate Domain Name
Although this seems straightforward, there are website owners that create online stores with irrelevant domain names. However, if you sell keyboards, you have to include the word “keyboard” in your domain name because if you don’t your website won’t appear in the search engines. It’s a simple as that. Your domain name needs to be accurate in order to reflect the products your online store offers, targeting the right audience and conveying the right message.
2. Choosing Appropriate SEO keywords
Generic keywords are particularly ineffective in search engines. Consumers enter specific keywords or keyword phrases in the major search engines when looking for particular products or services. If you want to convey the right message to your target audience, you have to use the appropriate SEO keywords. For instance, if you sell men’s clothes, you have to use keywords such as “men’s apparel”, “men’s fashion”, “men’s clothing” and similar. If you use generic keyword such as sweaters, jeans, shoes, and underwear, your website is highly unlikely to be found in user searches. Instead, if you use “men’s sweaters”, “men’s jeans”, “men’s shoes” etc., your website has more chances to gain higher visibility in the SERPS.
3. Choosing Unique Product Descriptions
Using unique product descriptions and original user generated content will earn you high ranking in major search engines. If you simply copy the original manufacturer’s description, you don’t add value to your product and you certainly don’t add your personal touch that can make you stand out from your competitors. Also, make sure to add links to your product descriptions to enable targeting long-tail keywords.
You should also do the same for the product reviews. If you encourage your visitors to write their original reviews about your products instead of coping reviews from competitive websites to show you have circulation and satisfied customers, your website is more likely to earn higher ranking in the major search engines. It all comes to the originality and high quality of your web content.
4. Building and Exchanging Links
Link building is particularly important for increasing the visibility of a website in the major search engines. You can automatically submit your online store to several directories including Yahoo or the dmoz directory in order to receive links to your website and drive more traffic to it. Moreover, you can exchange links with similar websites, post product features in several forums where potential customers may be interested, write and promote relevant articles about your products and participate in social networking site including Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and the latest Foursquare to increase brand awareness about your online store.
5. Optimizing Your Website
At the end, of the day, to get a high ranking in the major search engines you have to optimize your website. This means:
* choosing your keywords and keywords phrases carefully;
* focusing on on-page optimization so that both visible and invisible content contributes to page description;
* using Meta tags and backlinks;
* optimizing your site’s images using keyword alternate-text tags (ALT tags). Each time a Google image search is performed the traffic to your website can be doubled because of the alt tags used in the product name.
In conclusion, SEO is extremely important for an online business. However, to be effective, it requires high search engine rankings, i.e. high quality web content and niche keywords. This will bring more customers to your website, i.e. more traffic allowing you to build sales momentum and turn your online store into a profitable venture. Therefore, it all comes to the effective implementation of the SEO techniques.