Imagine, if you will, that someone opens up a new store in a busy shopping center. It’s a prime location, and they know they sell stuff that everyone’s going to love. In fact, they’re so confident in their store’s success that they don’t even advertise it.
There’s no sign out front, the windows are tinted, and they make no effort at outreach.
Sounds pretty ridiculous, right? Yet you’re pretty much doing the digital equivalent if you have an eCommerce storefront for which you haven’t bothered to do search engine optimization. SEO is critical to success in digital retail – there’s no getting around its importance.
The good news is that it’s not actually all that difficult to learn it, and learn how to use it to your advantage. Here are a few quick things you can do right now to give yourself a leg up. It’s not everything, but it’s enough for a solid foundation.
Use Long-Tail Keywords In Your Product Listings
First, think about what people are looking for. What search queries bring them to your storefront? Use a tool like Google AdWords in conjunction with Google Search Console to examine words and phrases related to your products, as well as the most common phrases that bring people to your front door.
Then, incorporate those keywords into your product names and descriptions. Rather than keyword stuffing, think of how you would describe each product you sell. What makes that product unique, and how can you distinguish it from the competition?
For example, instead of simply listing a product as ‘black sweater,’ you could create a listing like ‘black men’s polyester hoodie.’
Just remember one thing while you’re doing this. Value is more important than keywords. Your listings need to be well-written and accurate with high-quality photos – see to that first, add keywords later.
Optimize For Local Search (Where Relevant)
Chances are pretty high that if you’re a small business, your primary audience is located in a particular region. Take advantage of that. Set up a Google My Business page with complete and accurate information about your business’s name, location, and contact details, and make sure that information is present in some form on every page of your store.
You might even take things a bit further and serve different landing pages to people from different regions – or else offer a store locator if you’ve any physical locations.
Google has made no secret of the fact that a website’s mobile readiness is a ranking factor. Never mind the fact that the vast majority of people who shop online tend to do so on smartphones or tablets. What that means for you should be pretty obvious.
If you don’t optimize your website for mobile users, you’re shooting yourself in the foot. Make sure your site is simple and streamlined, and use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Page Tool to test that your pages and product listings play nice with people on smaller screens. If you’ve the development resources, you might even consider creating a mobile app.
Maintaining a digital storefront without search engine optimization is like having a brick and mortar store with no signage or advertising. You need SEO if you’re going to succeed online, and especially if you’re involved in eCommerce. Fortunately, you now know how to get started – the rest is up to you.