17 September 2020 Luke Goldsworthy

eCommerce Spring Clean: SEO

This week we continue our eCommerce Spring Clean series with a look at how you can improve your website’s search engine optimisation. Put simply, if your website doesn’t rank well in search engines organically it’s going to have a hard time drawing new customers and generating the revenue you need to survive. Below are a few best practices that will help pages from your website appear higher in relevant search results.

Avoid Obvious Terms

Even if your business is selling sports equipment, for example, the term “sports equipment” isn’t going to help customers find your products unless you are one of the industry’s leading players. It is far better to focus on the individual product and category pages where you can utilise more specific and less competitive terms. 

Optimise Meta Titles

It’s common for businesses to rely on templates for setting the meta titles, and with sites having potentially thousands upon thousands of pages, it’s easy to see why. While impractical to create unique detailed titles for each page, you should optimise the tags for your most important pages. The unique descriptions should include the primary keyword and variations where appropriate, relevant action words such as buy or learn, and your unique selling proposition.

Write Unique Descriptions

There is no way around this. If you want to have SEO success, you need unique category page and product page descriptions. Not only is this helpful for your customers; this is how search algorithms understand your pages. It is important not to copy and paste descriptions from manufacturer websites. Search engine algorithms actively penalise duplicated content in search rankings. Your unique descriptions need to be well written, relevant to what customers want to know, and succinct. 

Use SEO-friendly URLs

A page’s URL can quickly provide key information on the category or product they are presenting. Still, too often computer-generated URLs are little more than gibberish referring to product or category codes that mean nothing to either search engines or customers. URLs should present relevant keywords, and be broken up by category and sub-category as appropriate. Compare http://www.liquor.com/cat?=258/product?=2143318/main.html with http://www.liquor.com/wine/penfolds/1998-grange.html

Other tips are to keep URLs to no more than five words, use dashes between words, avoid special characters, and use only lowercase. 

Allow Customer Reviews

In a recent blog, we discussed the importance of embracing reviews for improving conversion rates.  They can also be beneficial for SEO as customers will include what they deem to be important keywords, and these may go beyond the limited terms that you utilised. The more coordinated and specific content that is on a page, the easier it is for search engines and customers to find. 

Create Content

A final method for improving your SEO is by creating engaging, unique content that your customers engage with and that points back to your pages. One strategy used by many retailers is to create a blog, and we recently wrote about that here. Written content should be complemented by images and video content, and shared across social media channels, as part of an overall content marketing strategy. Content marketing can be a cost-effective method for generating leads, growing brand awareness and building trust with your customers. And relevantly to this post, it will improve your website’s search ranking.

If you want a hand with your SEO, The Playhouse Group is offering a free SEO audit for a limited time. For this or any other eCommerce questions, just click below to get in touch with specialist Peter Krideras.

Get in touch with our team and we can talk to you about this or any eCommerce questions you may have.