We’re used to Search Engines returning highly relevant, trustworthy results-pages at the tap of ‘Search’, but it’s your job and ours to ensure your store reaches and stays at the top of page 1.
We’re here to help you create a visually striking store, but you still need to housekeep your store navigation and architecture. Take a look at Webmaster Guidelines, Tools and other help provided by Google, they’re a great way to learn the ins and outs of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).
Feel like breaking away some branches?
- Keep your store easily intuitive to navigate.
- Use logical product categorisation and reflect it in your navigation.
- Don’t crowd the top of a page with images. If you do, shoppers will have to scroll down to read your text (at Kong, we give you a choice of where to place your homepage intro text).
- Don’t place too many links close together (a smartphone SEO requirement).
- Frequently check for broken links. Google Webmaster Tools gives you a delayed report on your broken links, but you can mend them when you like by subscribing to something like Screaming Frog
Oil and Water
Early adopters of eCommerce used to obsess about SEO’s frequent use of Keyword after Keyword. The problem with the Keyword is that it’s often forced into a product description or other sentences, and there it has to lie, like a drop of oil on water. The good news is: you no longer have to drop Keyword oil on sentences so intrusively, because these days, Keyword frequency is far less likely to move you to Search Engine results-page 1. Keywords are alive and kicking though — through the smart use of Key Long-tail Phrases. These can put your store among the ‘Big Five’ on results-page 1.
Key Long-tail Phrases are Short
Key Long-tail Phrases are actually short. They are a Phrase of three to five specific Keywords. An old-school Keyword like ‘Africa’ might accrue 400,000 searches a day, but the Key Long-tail Phrase, ‘gorilla spotting in Africa’ or ‘Congo Africa adventure’ might get less than 100 searches a day. You’ll soon grasp why 100 is better.
The trick is to Optimise your pages for the Key Long-tail Phrases shoppers are most likely to type. Good ‘Key Long-tails’ could raise your Search Engine results-page rankings up to the ‘Big Five.’
Key Long-tail Phrases win because they:
- Lessen competition among Search Engine results: This hauls your store higher up the page rankings — increases the number of visits.
- Improve Search Engine results-page rankings: Search Engines can process and ‘recognise’ natural, intuitive searches. Shoppers can type an intuitive Phrase like ‘I want to go gorilla spotting’ and get great results. So, if your store’s pages are ‘Key Long-tail’ Search Engine Optimised for ‘gorilla spotting in Africa’, it will be hauled higher up results-page 1 than pages Keyword Optimised for ‘Africa’ or ‘gorilla.’
- Give you a higher conversion-rate: While Key Long-tail Phrases are crucial for great SEO; they also give you more conversions. Key Long-tail Phrases might not drive crowds of ‘window shoppers’ to your store, but they’ll bring you more converter shoppers. Instead of luring 30,000 non-converting ‘window shoppers’ with old-school Keywords, good Key Long-tail Phrases might bring you 600 visitors — 300 of whom become buyers.
Since 2004, when Key Long-tail Phrases were ‘discovered’, many marketers and eCommerce stores have knuckled along with old-school Keywords and other SEO fruit. But almost in secret, ‘Key Long-tails’ have been raising rankings to the treetops.
As we explained in ‘Big-up your Product Descriptions’ features are particular points about your products. Benefits are how features will solve your shoppers’ problems. Write less about your products’ features, and more about their benefits — how they will make your shoppers’ lives easier, better and happier. Benefits move shoppers closer to owning your products.
The words you use to describe your products’ features and benefits are staunch allies of SEO. Choose a list of Keywords; even better, Key Long-tail Phrases, that are likely to be typed by shoppers. For example, ‘gorilla spotting in Africa’ and ‘Congo Africa adventure’ are Key Long-tail Phrases that promise benefits. ‘Adventure’ and ‘spotting’ aren’t bad either as benefit Keywords. All can boost your store’s SEO and convert shoppers into buyers.
Converting shoppers into buyers equals your store suffering fewer bounces — having a lower bounce rate. In other words, a lower percentage of shoppers who visit your store site will leave (bounce). Instead, they’ll stay to view other pages, and better still, buy. Lower bounce rates, in turn, do wonders for your SEO.
Beat your way to maximum sales by properly setting your product pages:
- Put your product’s name at the beginning of the <title> tag, and supplement it with other useful information relating to its features, benefits and other attributes. For example, ‘X10 Camera — Easy-to-use, and great for home security’, or ‘Personalised baby footprint plaque — a wonderful gift for newborns.’
- Make your product headlines short and to the point. Don’t stuff them with Keywords like you sometimes see in eBay and Amazon text. Product headlines should be eye-catching and easy to read for shoppers who are scanning lists and product pages.
- Provide a fair amount of info. Remember, your product page is a sales page. If a product conveys emotion, then write how you imagine people will feel when they receive it, and give info about its suitability, its features (careful there!) and benefits.
- Don’t copy ready-supplied content; it’s ‘cheap’ and won’t make Search Engines list you any higher. Leave that kind of thing to your rivals.
- Being quirky is good; it will help your products attract links and social shares, and it’ll big-up your entire store.
- This is quite advanced, but you can work towards using Google Analytics to boost sales, attract more shoppers to your store and improve its smartphone presence. The system allows you to analyse which pages have high bounce-rates. Bounces often point to problems with product descriptions and content, but these can be solved with Google Analytics.
SEO’s Likes and Dislikes
SEO ‘likes’ at least 300 words-per-page of unique and engaging content — the very essence of nicely worded product features and (especially) benefits. So go wild with this kind of writing by providing info for shoppers who've never visited before, and add insight for your regular customers.
Don't put variants of a similar product on separate product pages. In other words, avoid putting almost identical headings and their almost identical product descriptions on separate pages. You'll ‘please’ Search Engines more, and boost your store's SEO, by putting them all on one product page. For example, if you sell a 21st Birthday Cake in different flavours, set up one product page for ‘21st Birthday Cake’, and on this page add your variants, ‘Chocolate’, ‘Lemon’, and ‘Vanilla.'
Big-up your SEO
Enjoy demystifying SEO, and don’t be afraid of it. Remember, at Kong we’re always here to help and advise you. Well chosen Keywords and Key Long-tail Phrases can scale your store up Search Engine results-page 1. This will draw in shoppers who’ll convert into buyers. Big-up your SEO: it will keep your eCommerce store — your easyCommerce business — thriving, and your carts full.