We know as a Professional SEO Company that there’s no question that search engine optimization is crucial for any startup online store, primarily because the better your website ranks, the more customers will be able to patronize the store and make purchases.
To drive more traffic to your new online store, you’ll have to understand the principles involved in optimizing your website. Here is our Professional SEO Company’s checklist of the most important steps you should take to ensure that a good volume of traffic reaches your new store, to get you off on the right foot.
There are literally endless numbers of extensions and plug-ins now available, and many of these are practical tools that can really help to grow your store. As an example, you can use Yoast SEO, which is one of the most useful plug-ins on the market for search engine optimization. Plug-ins will help you pick a primary keyword for each page, and then will recommend how to best use it on that page. There are other useful plug-ins such as Broken Link Checker, which identifies any links you might have that are broken, and MonsterInsights, which will help you track any increase in site traffic.
Choose an SEO-friendly theme
If you happen to have a WordPress website, you’ll have an advantage over many other online stores because search engines tend to favor WordPress as a content manager. It also comes with many SEO principles built right into its structure, so that you can take advantage of these without really even having to do anything on your own. One thing you can do to reinforce the built-in SEO functionality is to choose a WordPress theme that has a strong SEO influence.
Use Breadcrumbs wherever possible
Breadcrumbs are links situated at the upper part of a product web page, and they help visitors to your site by informing them which page they’re on, and what they have previously reviewed before coming to this page. This will make it much easier for your site visitors to navigate back to any previous category they have browsed. Some of the major search engines (and our Michigan-based Professional SEO Company Aqaba Technologies) also use breadcrumb links and consider them to be valuable components of web pages.
Don’t Use long URLs
It’s a good idea to enable your WordPress permalinks because this will allow you to use more descriptive keywords, rather than any kind of long and confusing product ID as part of your URL. This will also make it much easier for your website visitors to understand your URL easily, and to remember it without any difficulty. It will additionally make it easier for search engines to interpret your URL, so you don’t lose any ranking points for something like this.
Avoid too Similar Content
Search engines do not think highly of duplicate content, and some of them will even go so far as to remove your blog posts or your products from search results if your web pages are too similar to existing content online. There are many tools you can use to check whether your content is similar to other material online. Once you’ve done this, you can either change your content to make it more unique, or you can come up with a plan for bringing duplicate content pages together. One of the easiest things you can do will be to redirect the URLs to the page which has the best ranking, the most internal links, and the most organic traffic. That will allow you to take advantage of the most highly ranked page, and avoid running afoul of the search engines.
Write unique Product Descriptions and Meta Descriptions
Even if your product descriptions tend to be relatively short, it’s still a good idea to make sure they’re well written and that they include the appropriate keywords naturally. Avoid the temptation to simply reproduce the manufacturer’s product description, because this is likely to result in a lower ranking by the search engines. You should do the same for your web page descriptions, because these are always consulted by search engines, and it’s a good way to achieve a more favorable ranking.
Make sure your Website is Easy to Navigate
You should strive to make your website’s navigation as intuitive as possible because visitors to your site probably won’t have much patience if they get confused by your navigation scheme. Your main navigation must be very straightforward, and ideally, it should be placed at the footer of your site rather than on the main navigation bar. That will allow your users to still visit all the main pages of your site, but it will keep the main menu as simple as possible. It will also allow search bots to easily identify and locate all your web pages. By installing intuitive and uncluttered navigation, you’ll probably encourage users to stay on your site longer, and you’ll have a lower bounce rate, which will give you a better ranking.
Include Alt Descriptions on Images
Alt text can be extremely useful when used properly on your site’s images. One good example of this is when images don’t load for whatever reason, and the alt text will still appear to inform users about the image content. Alt text will boost your SEO, and it will also enable website visitors who may depend on a page reader to still have the capability of browsing your website. When you do make use of alt text, you should make a point of keeping your descriptions clear and pointed. It’s a good practice to incorporate keywords into your alt text, as long as they describe your images adequately, and don’t confuse the reader.
Optimize Page Titles
Most online stores feature individual products as well as categories of products on their web pages. Product pages will tend to focus on specific words, while pages setup for categories will be more general in nature, and use broader terms to describe categories. One way of optimizing your product and category pages is by using keywords. Make sure your page titles are easy to read and that they have a natural flow to them. By making descriptive page titles, you’ll make it easier for search engines to understand what a given page is all about, and you’ll also make things clearer for your site visitors.
The main thing we can recommend as a Professional SEO Company to keep in mind is making things easy for your target audience, and that should always be your first priority when incorporating SEO principles on your website.