Now that you have invested in fantastic looking website it is not the time to sit back and relax. In fact this is the bane of many aspiring online entrepreneurs who believe a good web design is all that is needed to make things work online. One thing that should be at the top of your mind even during your website development has to be search engine ranking for your target keywords.
The Crucial Role of Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Your ecommerce success is fully dependent on how visible your website is and if you have not invested in this you risk sinking into obscurity. Millions of websites are launched but most of them are never notices because they are not optimized for search engines. While Google, Bing, Yahoo and MSN will do all they can to find your website the larger part of the task remains yours. You must have a clear SEO strategy to help your website rank highly on search engine result pages (SERPs) as this is the best guarantee of being noticed.
As experts in SEO say if you are not doing well on clicks then your sales will also be poor. It doesn’t matter whether you are launching your new website or you have been in the market for longer, SEO is an integral part of your business operations. It is a critical part of your ecommerce website’s marketing strategy if not the most important. Together with web design and content marketing SEO will determine how well your business will fare.
An Edelman Trust Barometer in 2014 rated search engines as the most trusted sources of information for internet users. They rank much higher than social media and other marketing techniques. An Entrepreneur Research shows that companies will use $65 billion in SEO in 2016 but unfortunately much of it will be wasted as these firms don’t have the expertise to get it done.
The online market is growing and more shoppers are finding it easy to shop online. However, the numbers will not work for you if you don’t deploy a solid marketing strategy. Consider that Cyber Monday 2013 saw over $17.5 billion in sales and you start appreciating the reason your website should be highly ranking on SERPs.
Investing in a Viable SEO Strategy
Now that you appreciate the crucial place of search engine optimization it is important to learn how to successfully initiate an SEO campaign that will actually work. Most startups don’t have the basics on SEO and they either get scammed or end up deploying impractical strategies which are counterproductive. To ensure success on your ecommerce platform here are some critical ideas to remember about SEO today:
1. SEO is not a One-off Gamble
Any credible SEO expert you talk to will tell you that this project is ongoing and cannot be expected to achieve magic results instantly. Most startups invest in a temporary foundation which might achieve instant success but this fades away sooner than later. Pay per click (PPC) advertisements is the most cited temporary solutionto help you earn traffic but the moment you stop paying all the impact disappears. With the cost of PPC increasing exponentially this should not be your main focus. Instead talks to your SEO consultant about a long-term organic SEO project. While PPC is obviously important it should not be the main focus of your online marketing campaign.
2. Research is key
Like any strategy that is supposed to promote your business you must be ready to invest in SEO research. This includes keyword research and competitor research. You have to identify keywords that are most viable for your h0omepage and other pages. Your blogs also require appropriate keywords to draw traffic. Luckily, your SEO specialist has the right tools to ensure your keywords bring value for the money. You will also get to know your competition in terms of their keywords and links they are using and the state of their site’s architecture.
3. Go for Fresh Content
A major Achilles Hell for startups is to cut a shortcut and try to post duplicate content. This is one of the worst mistakes you can ever make; everyone from search engine to your visitors hates this. It is a sure way of getting penalized and this is more common for ecommerce websites that have to post multiple descriptions for their products. If such descriptions overlap search engines will penalize your website with lower ranking or even suspension.
4. Sharing is Trending
If you are launching your website today make sure your content is easy to share. An ecommerce website has to be SEO ready and it should have sharing icons to guarantee visitors can instantly share what you have posted. This is especially productive if you are displaying products on your page and you would like more people to know about them.
5. Make your Site User-friendly
Nothing irritates users and search engines as much as broken links and errors that make navigation on a website a nightmare. Today users are lost for choice and they will instantly move on to the competition if your site experiences such errors. Your SEO expert will ensure your site is easily indexed by search engine crawlers and this leads to higher ranking on search engines. To achieve this, your site’s architecture has to be audited for all errors to be identified and remedies.
6. Go Holistic on SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a comprehensive project and it is best carried out by an experienced professional. It involves an intensive process right from the website audit, keyword optimization, site structure evaluation, improving usability, internal linking, responsive web design, social media integration, site maintenance and much more. When all these are done in tandem you are guaranteed of high site ranking which translates to more traffic and better sales conversion.
There are other emerging SEO strategies that your startup website needs including blog content, use of Google Analytics for decision making, local SEO, video content and much more. The point to remember is to always ensure you have a workable SEO strategy in place.
Derek Iwasiuk run’s national digital search engine optimization firm headquarted in Minneapolis. Also spends a lot of his free time educating the minds of thousands of young SEO’s and top agencies on data markup formats and other emerging concerns in IT. You can also follow him on twitter @Diwasiuk