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How to SEO an E-Commerce Site

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SEO an E-Commerce SiteEcommerce websites are especially hard to rank because of several factors that are inherent to these types of sites. They have very little content, duplicate content and a page after page of products. In spite of these challenges it is possible to employ some SEO techniques to increase visibility on Google.

1. User Experience

Massive Google updates have taught us that pages must be written for humans rather than spiders. Sites with poor, duplicate content were severely penalized, teaching us clearly that good content still rules. Your ecommerce site has to be all about improving user experience, reducing bounce rates and getting traffic from diverse sources.

Invite users to submit reviews, comments, videos and photos in order to bulk up content on your site. This will get you a nod of approval from the search engines, but it will also be helpful to other shoppers.

2. Minimize Duplicate Content

Duplicate content is common for ecommerce sites, but you must do all you can to reduce it. Start by submitting your URL to Google, syndicating your content and reporting when your content is being used on another site without your permission. You should also canonicalize your links, an important step in reducing duplicate content and increasing your visibility in the search engines.

3. Apply the 80/20 Rule

Twenty percent of your products will contribute to eighty percent of your sales. With that in mind, promote your popular products on the front page of the site. This is more effective than trying to display all your products on the front page. Link to these product pages from your home page as well.

4. Quality Over Quantity

If you’re depleting your marketing budget on traffic that is not converting, you’re wasting time. Target buying keywords for your niche instead of generic keywords. For instance, “LeapPad 2 review” will convert better than “educational toys for kids”.

To avoid copy that’s similar to your competitors, don’t rely heavily on Google Keyword Tool. Instead check out the analytics of the product page that you plan on promoting. Once you discover the keywords that are driving traffic there, find a way to incorporate them into your copy.

5. Use New Features In Google AdWords

Google Adwords has tons of new features that you should be using to increase your visibility. Mobile targeting, Google Merchant, enhanced site links, retargeting are just some of the features that you should be making use of. Your cost-per-click will be much cheaper if you get in early. Use these features to your advantage and enhance your campaigns.

6. Diversify Your Content

Optimize your images’ title tags and alt tags so you can rank well in Google Image Search. Even the links pointing to your images should be optimized with your keywords. For instance instead of naming your image Serial23456.jpg call it BirthdayGiftBasket.jpg.

Another way to make it into the search engines is via Google News. Publish exciting news about your brand or products, and see what it does for your site’s traffic.

7. Get Social

Make use of Google Places for your brick and mortar stores. One of out every five searches is location based. For instance people in Toronto might search for “Toronto real estate” or other location specific services they need. Make a new listing for every storefront to improve your chances of getting found.

When you list, make sure to include the address, business hours, discounts, photos and any company updates. People go online to search for local businesses. That really shouldn’t come as a surprise, but what are you doing to ensure that you’re the one they find?

What successful strategies have you used to improve your eCommerce site rank in Google?

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