There are many elements that need to be considered while you run an online business, and one of the hardest parts for many shop owners is Search Engine Optimization (SEO). If you want your website ranked higher by Google or any other search engines, pay great attention to fundamental SEO factors while building your online platform. Understanding deeply about SEO functionalities can help you outrank competitors as well as increase business profitability.
To get a general view about SEO, it can be simply understood as a set of strategies, techniques, and tactics to increase the number of traffic visiting a website by improving its ranking in the search engine results page (SERP). By saying that, the main purpose of SEO is to attract as many visitors as possible in order to gain further ability to sell more products.
As mentioned above, in the world of online business, you need to be outstanding to win the game. SEO will help you obtain higher ranking results so that the customers can approach your website more easily than other competitors. Mainly, people will stop at the first results page when they search for information or products they want. Therefore, it would be a huge advantage for your online store if it is listed on the first page.
SEO is also essential to increase brand awareness and build customers trust. An effective SEO strategy can attract both intentional and unintentional customers. Once your website lands at top-ranking placement, more and more visitors will enter your online store for buying or just catching a glimpse of the site. After this stage, your excellent content is a key factor whether to keep the customers to stay with you or not. Moreover, with an ideal high rank, you would likely to gain positive attitudes towards your online brand. Customers may seem to be convinced that your store is a trustful place to purchase the products.
If you have problems with measuring your marketing plan outcomes, then SEO is one of the amazing tools, as well. It can help administrators define how effective the campaign is by showing the number of visitors, clicks or the dwell time, for instance.
When a search engine as Google scans your site, there is a limited number of pages will be indexed. Especially, if you have a large website, it would be problematic because you cannot control what the search engine may scan. However, by using a Robots.txt file, you can tell which pages or areas that should be ignored by Google in order not to let the general public discover them. For example, some users might not finish the purchasing process and stop at certain pages that you want to block from crawlers, Robots.txt files will greatly assist you and also help increase the chance of many other important pages to be indexed. Take note that the noindex robots.txt directive is no longer supported by Google, so you can use other ways to control crawling like the disallow in robots.txt.
An XML sitemap
It is easier for search engine bots to crawl your website if you have a great sitemap to support. An XML sitemap includes URLs of crucial pages that help Google or other search engines find and scan all of them readily, understand your website structure to facilitate better ranking of the site. You should frequently create more contents as well, and remember to set a CMS that can automatically update the sitemap when new content is posted.
Title tags, heading tags, alt texts, meta-descriptions, URLs
These features, perhaps, are the most important things in your SEO strategy that will better the site rank. Particularly, they contain keywords for searching purpose and decide what your website will be displayed on Google. They have a great impact on the rest of your SEO implement process.
For title tags and heading tags, they are visible on a page, so they should be short (no longer than 70 characters or if you choose Magento platform, it allows users to control page titles for more SEO efficiency), relevant and memorable. You should be smart when choosing keywords because it can affect your website ranking. Think of how customers will search when they are looking for products, services or any information that your website can provide. Also, in case customers want to re-find your website, you should familiarize the keywords with the searching phrases so that they could easily stay in visitors’ minds.
Some people may underrate the importance of alt texts, meta-descriptions, and URLs, but they strategically help improve your ranking.
Remember that alt text is a kind of image SEO that offers you an opportunity to include target keywords. If you sophisticatedly write a good alt text which can describe an image with the targeted phrases, it will greatly support in pushing your website to the first results page.
Although meta-description is not a ranking factor, according to Google, but it can affect a page’s CTR (click-through-rate), which means your website may gain more clickthroughs to get a higher rank with a perfect meta-description. It is a short summary of the page for search engines (less than 168 characters) and should contain the targeted keywords.
A pretty and human-readable URL is also important because when a search engine scans the website, it can learn what the page is about. Moreover, it is included in the sitemap in order to be easily found by the search engine.
Backlinks are considered to be one of the most Google ranking factors. The number, authority, and diversity of high-quality links in pages can reflect how worth it is to rank your website high. Your blog, an example of a rich-content place, should appear many links to high-value SEO pages both to improve user experience and increase your SEO plan efficiency.
The loading speed
The amount of time that people stay at your website is critically important, and the low page speed is a factor that may keep the customers away from you. In fact, the loading speed of a site is taken into the ranking algorithm by Google and many other search engines. Therefore, you should definitely pay attention to it. Statistics show that 40% of desktop users will abandon the website if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load, for mobile users, the data is 32%.
The question is, how can you improve the problem? There are several solutions for this such as reducing plugins, optimizing images size, minimizing redirects, etc. Find out what is the most suitable ways to your own case.
With an increase in the number of mobile buyers, SEO features to the mobile version of your website should definitely be taken into account. Customers deserve to experience the same level of greatness or even more when they purchase through their mobile devices. You can create a new site just for mobile with a mobile XML sitemap, canonical tags and your professional programmer team. Also, make sure to improve the loading speed for this version as well because you do not want to lose your potential customers in the long run.
Google Analytics and Google Webmaster tools
It makes it easier for you to set up Google Analytics and Google Webmaster tools which allow you to check indexing status and visibility of your website. This can help you learn what customers search for the most through collecting data, understand their behaviors so that you can adjust your SEO strategy, in particular, or marketing plan, in general, to gain profitability.
Things like canonical URLs or 301 redirects can forward your customers or search engines to the right place in case your business has multiple domains. Or when you change website name but want to maintain the power of inbound links to the original URL on the migrated new domain, 301 redirects will send visitors to the right address.
If it is difficult for you to understand those above redirects, just use a platform with automatic redirects which could help save more time and money.
It depends on what type of products you sell and also your budget that make you decide to invest in what SEO features for your online store. However, it is important to get sound knowledge about these basic elements to help boost your website ranking to attract more customers. You also need a savvy technical team to support and optimize your online business for organic traffic when building and developing the website. Remember to stay up-to-date as well because search engines can change their algorithm any time which may negatively or positively affect your site ranking in no time.
Monica is a professional content writer working for Mageplaza in e-commerce industry especially in Magento platform. In her free time, she loves reading, bikes riding and raising her pets. Monica like to make friends and write daily-life stories as well.
Dana is a technological content writer who is constantly connected with software and technological updates. She writes about everything that inspires her. Other than being a tech enthusiast, she is an outgoing person who loves to explore different cuisines.
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