Search Engine Optimization (SEO) plays a huge role in how a website ranks on search engines and how well existing and potential customers can find your webstore and its products. There are three types of SEO categories that companies need to focus on: technical, on-page and external. Each one of these types has multiple steps and related suggestions for creating an optimized website. If you follow the steps in this checklist you’ll be on your way to improved SEO, better search rankings and more traffic to your site.
Structure Your Content
Since content is the main communication between a brand and a customer, it is crucial to create valuable content whether it is copy, videos, graphics or call to actions that are concise, memorable and impactful. On average, consumers leave a page within ten seconds unless the website includes a clear value proposition. Your content needs to focus on value by understanding who your customer is, where they are coming from and what their interests are. Valuable content isn’t the only aspect your brand should focus on. Google analyzes all content on your website whether it is copy, images and videos. If structured correctly, search engines can easily understand your site content. For effective on-page SEO, you need to keep your site content skim-friendly by using headlines, subheadings, graphics and images. Users should be able to find the information they are looking for fast and efficiently.
Use and Strategically Place Keywords
Keywords play a huge rule for your on-page SEO. These keywords help your existing and potential customers find your site and your products organically on search engines. Don’t just go placing random keywords all over your content pages. It’s important to do keyword research on your targeted audience. While doing this research, keep in mind their demographics, geological location and what their interests are. There are many keyword search extensions and tools that can narrow down your search like Spyfu, Google Analytics and SEMRush. (If you’re lacking the resources or know-how to do this sort of research we recommend working with a marketing agency.) Once you know your keywords, you can begin to strategically place them throughout your webstore.
Using your main keyword in your titles on blogs, product pages, landing pages and homepages is a must. It is one of the first places your customer will find your site, page or even product. You will want to place your top keyword in front of your title. While working on the title of your page, you will also want to add title tag modifiers. Title tag modifiers are words or phrases that help your page rank for loads of long-tail keywords.
First 150 Words
Search engines like Google heavily focus on the first 150 words of your web page. The first 150 words need to include your main keyword at least once. You can also include a few of your other minor keywords. However, remember to not overuse your main or minor keywords in the first 150 words or the rest of your piece. If you’re attempting to shoehorn your keyword(s) as much as possible into the body of your content it will be obvious to your readers (and to the search engines) and make the content less readable. Distribute them sparselessly throughout the page and site.
H1, H2 and H3 Tags
Heading tags are the tags you use to size your title and subheadings. This allows your readers or shoppers to know the layout of the web page or article. While using heading tags, you will want to keep them as organized as possible and use relevant keywords. Even though these tags don’t make a huge contribution to your search engine rankings, every element helps.
Include a Meta Description
Meta descriptions describe or summarize the contents on your page for search engine ranking benefits. Here’s an example of what a meta description looks like from Fawn Shoppe, a brand that InteractOne worked with:
You want your meta description to be helpful to your customers by using your keywords to help build the context of your content. Each page on your webstore must have a unique meta description that ranges from 50 to 300 words.
Use Synonyms and LSI Keywords
While doing your keyword research, you will have one main keyword and multiple minor keywords. Instead of oversaturating your main keyword, you are going to want to use synonyms of that keyword or latent semantic indexing (LSI) keywords. LSI keywords are terms related to the main keyword that help search engines like Google to more deeply understand your webstore’s content. There are many extensions that your company can use to find the proper LSI keywords to use like LSIGraph. For ranking purposes, you will want to use your main keyword a couple of times and then add synonyms throughout the content. For better help on finding synonyms or LSI keywords that work best for your eCommerce, work with a knowledgeable marketing firm who knows the ins and outs of SEO marketing.
Optimize All Images to Include Alt Attributes
Any webstore’s images play a role in on-page search engine optimization. Since your website will prominently feature images, it is important to optimize all the site’s images to include alt attributes. Alt attributes help search engines identify the content on a web page. It is also the perfect opportunity to include your keywords. Optimizing your company’s images doesn’t just end with the image itself but also includes the image’s file name. When you are saving an image, name it with words and keywords that describe the image. Alt texts and file names further explain to search engines what it is and what your website is about.
Customize Your URLs
The first element of your webstore is the URL. It is that address that customers access your website from. Even though search engines can index non-customized URLs, customizing your URL is the perfect opportunity to include keywords and context of what the page is about. Including keywords in your URL can improve your organic click-through-rate (CTR). As you already know, organic CTR is the percentage of users that click on the search results. The CTR also influences a brand’s ranking on search engines. Also, keep in mind that recent studies show that URLs that are short rank the best on search engines. These shorter URLs are normally rich in keywords that help search engines evaluate what it is about.
Include External and Internal Links
To help gain a higher ranking on Google and other search engines, your brand needs to build a trusted site. You can build a trust-worthy webstore by linking trusted, well-referenced websites to your company’s site. These outbound well-referenced website links are known as external links. External links can display on blogs, social media, about pages, frequently asked questions pages and more. Search engine optimization experts recommend linking five to eight authoritative sources on your blogs. To drive more traffic to different pages on your webstore, your site must include internal links as well. Internal links are links that take a user to other pages on your website. You can use internal links (also known as cross-links) on blogs, social media and other pages throughout your site. If you are posting on a blog, SEO experts recommend linking two to five different pages on your site. It is also important to use keyword-rich anchor text when you use external and internal links.
For a successful on-page SEO strategy, you must implement each of these tactics. Each one of these steps, when working in tandem, will create a stronger, more desirable site in the eyes of search engines. Each one of these elements on their own won’t necessarily increase your webstore’s ranking; however, marrying all the aspects will create a business that will organically increase traffic. You have to figure out the best SEO tactics alone. Contact us today to learn how we can help increase your traffic through search engine optimization.