Search Engine Optimization or SEO can seem pretty intimidating at first but once you understand the basics, you can use those principles to bring more traffic to your store.
What exactly is SEO?
SEO is the practice of making your website more visible to search engines by meeting the standards they set to determine search engine ranking. In other words, it’s all about helping your site rank higher in search results so when someone searches for a product you sell, they find your site before a competitor.
What are some ways to use SEO to get more traffic to your store?
SEO does involve some behind the scenes stuff on your website. The way your site is coded does influence the way search engines “read” your site with their crawlers. Working within the code of your site takes some expertise so we’d recommend working with an SEO expert before changing any coding.
This list covers some SEO basics but we always say, when in doubt, ask an expert. ioVista can help you fully optimize your site so you get more traffic and more conversions. That said, please keep reading for some of the basic ways to use SEO to get more traffic to your store.
1. Figure out your best keywords to target
Keywords are simply the words you think most people use to search for what you sell. You can use free keyword tools like ubersuggest or Google’s Keyword Planner to help come up with a list of keywords to target. You can also look at your competitor’s sites and see what words they use a lot. This is so you know how to compete with them and so you also get a sense of their strategy.
Search engines aren’t people; they’re bots scanning through sites for words to match with the words people search for. You want your site to be rich with keywords most people use in the right places on your site (we’ll cover what those right places are in this article). For example, if you sell furniture and you have “couches” for sale. It might be a good strategy to also use the word “sofa” just as much because people also search for that term. Think of all the ways people refer to the items you sell and try to use those words on your site.
2. Have keyword-rich Meta Titles and Meta Descriptions
Meta Titles and Meta Descriptions are the text that appears in the search results. The Title is the blue link you click, the description is the sentence below it that says what that page is about. Every single page of your site should have a meta title and meta description. This meta content not only tells users what your site has to offer but it also tells search engines what each of your pages is about. Depending on how many products you sell, you could have thousands of pages. So, to start, focus on your most important pages: your homepage, your about page, your main product category pages and so on. Make sure each of these pages has titles and descriptions with targeted keywords.
3. Have H-tags or Titles with keywords for each page
H-tags are titles within your page content. Each page should at least have an H1. H1s are the main titles, h2s, h3s and so on are sub-titles. This is something you can work on as you update your meta content. For every page, you update the meta title and description, make sure you add a title. This might be within your site’s code but you should have access to your page titles. Like the meta content, titles help users, as well as search engines, understand the content on each page of your site. If you want people to find your pages, you need good titles full of words people are searching for.
Google and Bing both offer free tools for websites. These tools include some basic analytics as well as tools you can use to help their search engines crawl your site better. They both offer easy-to-follow guides on getting started and it’s definitely a good idea to get these tools if you don’t have them already. These tools offer you a peek into how Google and Bing are looking at your site. You can get alerts from Google and Bing if they detect a problem with your site, like a high amount of pages that can’t be crawled or if your site speed is slow. You can also use some tools to help Google and Bing read your site better. Both of these free tools are intended to help websites meet Google and Bing’s standards, which will help your site rank higher and get more traffic.
5. Build more links within your site and to your site.
Search Engines crawl through links to navigate through your site. So it’s a good practice to link from one page to another wherever it makes sense. This helps search engines crawl through your site and understand the path between pages.
External links help too. If you find a blog that reviewed a product you sold, ask them for a link to your site. If you work with another company for packaging or another service, ask if they’ll link to your site. You don’t want any old site linking to yours. That could hurt you. But if a bunch of relevant and reputable sites is linking to yours, you could get traffic from those sites. It also shows search engines that other sites value your content which can help you get better rankings.
6. Have great content.
Lastly, anywhere you have words on your site, make them count and when possible, add more. Search engines crawl through the words of your site and match them to searches. So take a look at your product pages – can you add more information? Make sure you have detailed descriptions, reviews, testimonials, specifications and pictures that are tagged. This is one of the most beneficial things you can do for your site. It doesn’t just help search engine optimization, it also helps improve conversions. So it gets more people to your site and it gets those people to click the buy button.
Some of these items can feel a little intimidating. Making changes to your website can be nerve-wracking when you’re unsure of what will happen. SEO is scientific but it does involve some guessing, testing, and checking. If you find something you changed isn’t working, try something else. But if you’re not getting the traffic you want, we absolutely suggest giving us a call. More traffic equals more sales and if you want more traffic, one of the surest ways to get it is through SEO.