Today we are going to discuss search engine optimisation or SEO and how it can dramatically increase your source of traffic to your website.
One of the most exciting things about the Internet is that it allows anyone to be able to start an online business providing of course that a strong business model is in place.
Of course you will still be competing against many other websites and you will need to offer something very special in order to make sure that visitors stay on your website and are not inclined to hit the back button and to visit the many other websites in your industry until they find what they are looking for.
This is where SEO comes in. In its simplest form SEO is the process of optimising your website so that it appears highly in the search engines for your chosen keywords and phrases.
Just think of how you use a search engine yourself. Do you look for possible solutions after page two, three and beyond or are you like many people and focus on the results that appear on page one and especially the listings that are in the top three positions?
As a site owner therefore it is essential that your website appears on page one and is situated within the top three results. According to many eye tracing studies this is where people focus their attention to and over 90% of all clicks distributed amongst the first top ten results. Number one clearly receives the most clicks. Results on page two onwards receive very few clicks and those on page three and beyond receive zero clicks.
Before you even start an SEO campaign it is very important that you select the right key phrases that people will use to find your business. Selecting the wrong key phrases will simply prevent the right audience from finding you and the impact will be no sales or queries.
So why should you adopt an SEO strategy for your online store?
Well the prime reason is that SEO compared to other forms of advertising is much more cost effective. It would also be very wise to install Google Analytics within your site so as to obtain valuable metrics such as traffic sources and also data on conversions in order to determine your overall return on investment.
Also compared to other forms of marketing such as print advertising and direct mail, SEO can be measured and in the long term it just delivers more for your investment.
So how does SEO work?
The overall process looks at what people search for and how they search as well as what keywords and phrases are being types into the various search engines. Optimising your site means making sure that relevant copy i.e. the text, is relevant to the key phrases that you are looking to optimise for. It is also important that you ideally have a unique page for each of your key phrases, and you are sending traffic, depending on what those key phrases are, to the appropriate page in order to maximise conversions.
For each page that you have, you also need to ensure that you are using your key phrases within the URL and title tags, allowing the search engine spiders to effectively determine what your site is actually all about.
As an ecommerce store owner you will need to ensure that each product has its very own unique page and each will need to be optimised. As well as providing a very clear image of your product you will also need good strong copy not just for keeping the search engines happy but also to persuade your visitors to buy.
Once all the on-page optimisation has been performed it will then be necessary for the off-page optimisation process to begin and this essentially involves obtaining links from other well qualified sites that are relevant to yours.
The big challenge for an ecommerce site when it comes to SEO is that you are not just optimising one page, generally the home page, but every single page. If your site has one hundred product, then you are going to require a home page, other pages detailing company history and of course hundred product pages. That is a lot of optimization.
You will have a keyword list that has hundreds of variations, and the link building is clearly going to take time. But if you do your SEO well and you have a very clear web design structure, then you are certainly going to have a very strong online presence.
Guest Post by:
Sadhiv Mahandru has been developing websites and optimising them for over a decade. Specialising in Search Engine Optimisation Oldham and throughout the UK. You can find more about SEO and web design by visiting my frequently updated blog.