Saturday, July 9, 2016

Attracting Organic Search Traffic to Your New E-Commerce Site


Google has shown us that visitors coming from a search engine are often almost ready to buy a given service or product. Even better, organic search traffic is free. This is why SEO is so important for your small business no matter whether Google, Yahoo, Bing or Baidu is the preferred search engine in the country or countries you are selling to.

Here is an introduction to get you started.

The goal of SEO is simple. When people search online for products or services of the kind you sell, you want your website to appear on the first result page of the search results. But what questions or search terms do your potential customers use when they are just about to buy? They use search in the same way as you do when you’re looking for something – sometimes you’re researching more generally (e.g. “leather backpack reviews”) and sometimes you’re looking for something specific (e.g. “Kenneth Cole Backpack”). So think about your customers, or better yet ask a few, what kind of questions or search terms they used for researching and what kind of keywords they used when they were ready to buy.

You can also check actual search volumes and patterns via Google’s Keyword Planner.

Which Search Terms Should You Optimize for?

 

The questions and search terms used by your potential customers need to be on your website for them to appear on Google’s search result pages. As an example, if you are selling protein powder, and customers search for “how to grow muscles” just before buying protein powder, include this sentence on your site. The right content is critical for your SEO.

Another important variable for how Google ranks your site for different search terms is the number of links to your website from other popular sites or social media. These so-called “backlinks” should proliferate organically over time if your products, service or content genuinely resonate with customers.

One key challenge for small e-commerce shops or websites is that generic search terms such as “shoes”, “headphones”, “skin lotion”, “games”, “protein powder” etc. are all hogged by the big, long-established sites. These big players already occupy the first three or more pages of search engine results for these very generic terms.

No Quick Fix to Gaining Organic Search Traffic

 

There are hundreds of variables which impact your site’s position on Google. It is highly recommended that you start with some basics, and then develop your SEO over time as your business and level of experience increases.

Here are 10 tips to get you started with SEO:

  1. Ensure you have Google analytics added to your site to see your organic traffic (where people are coming to your site from) and conversion rates (which of these people buy from you)
  2. Use Google’s Keyword Planner to understand existing search volumes and patterns (what keywords people search with and how many other sites rank highly for those keywords)
  3. Make a list of the strategic keywords for your business including the problem, opportunity or challenges your customers might be searching for but with minimal generic search terms (i.e. find the keywords with less competition but which are still relevant to what you’re selling)
  4. Check that your URLs are using these same keywords and that they represent what the page is about
  5. Update the product descriptions and metadata on all your images and pages so that it uses the same keywords and descriptions that people would search for
  6. Add a site map because this will help the search bot (the tool the search engines use to catalog your site) to easily find and make sense of all the content on your site
  7. Link your site to other sites and ask them to link back to yours
  8. Write blogs, information and other content on your site considering the problem, opportunity or challenges your customers might be searching for
  9. If you have an App you will also need to optimize so it appears in search results or the app store
  10. Use a partner. A good SEO partner will help you with all the above and more.
As a final remark, remember search engines are carefully designed to come up with the most relevant results for potential customers’ search. Search engine algorithms are advanced and you should focus on being relevant to your customers rather than trying to ‘outsmart the system’. It all starts by understanding your customers and doing your best to serve them with the information they’re searching for.

This article is originally published here. Just click on the link for additional information. 

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