E-commerce is soon becoming the backbone of a business. Statistics show that in 2017 alone, US eCommerce websites are said to have netted a total of $452 billion in revenue. With growth comes the need to be on the forefront in trading. And the best way to get your site noticed by potential buyers is to give them a good Google ranking.
The fitting option for making your site SEO friendly is to deploy various tactics to increase the stream of organic traffic to your website. There are many different ways to do this. We have come up with the best few tactics with step by step explanations covering everything you need to rank your website better.
1. Crawling and Indexing – How to make Google Find and Read Your Website
Crawling and indexing are important in your page getting ranked on Google. The index is google’s directory of searches. When you key in your key/search words, it pulls up what it thinks are the relevant pages closely in line with the search. Therefore, you need an indexable and crawlable website to rank better.
Google assigns a crawl budget for each site, and if it gets difficult to crawl a site, it will leave without giving you a second chance. These are the major stumbling blocks that prevent Google from crawling your website:
- 404 and soft 404 errors
- DNS Errors
- Slow loading
- Robots.txt blocking
The first step is to check if your site is already indexed using Google search or Google Search Console. If your pages are already indexed, you could go ahead with the rest of the checklist. If not, you need to get your site indexed through Google Search Console for better ranking.
Things that prevent Google from indexing your website:
- Meta content related to “no index”.
- Robots.txt blocking URLs
- Google penalty
2. Keywords and Topical Clusters
With the advent of RankBrain, Google leans heavily on keywords, split tests and customer behavior to decide the ranking order of any page. This means that these parameters are to be kept in mind while structuring or restructuring your website. Make use of Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) keywords (words and phrases that are closely tied to your main keyword) which will help to rank products better in search results.
This is the easiest part of your checklist and could be accomplished with these tools for listing your keywords as per volume:
- Google keyword planner (Free)
- SEMrush (paid)
- Ahrefs (paid)
Other tools help you compile and list all your keywords in order without duplicates. The best example for one such online tool is Text Mechanic.
Subsequent to the listing, cluster similar keywords into a more manageable form by employing a popular online tool, eg: Keyword Grouper. Clustering will help you sort the keywords into groups. The next step is to cluster the keywords into similar topics.
At the end of this process, you would be left with a group of clusters containing keywords, synonyms, and alternative phrases.
3. User Intent and Site Structure
Deciding what goes where and what exactly a user is looking for in your site is a bit of a tricky game to get. Keywords only show you what the users are searching for in Google. They do not show you exactly what the user wants. Google sifts through your keywords and decides where exactly your page has to rank in searches.
Based on the clusters, Google ranks the main phrases used and check for the top 3 results for similar user intents.
Google checks for the below details:
- What keywords do they target?
- Are they an exact match or do they serve a broad keyword range?
- Does the URL come from the root domain or is it silo’d / in a sub-page?
- What form is the page? Information, transactional, mixed, list, category, guide, video?
Hence, your job would be to aggregate the data pertaining to each cluster and determine the type, target and form of the page you are going to create.
There is no set structure for websites. Making of a site structure which aptly reflects a site’s business ideas and searches optimization is paramount. You need to note down three crucial points while creating an ideal site for your business:
- Determine if yours is a general or niche store
- Categorize keywords into master topics and sub-topics
- Map out a URL structure that fits into this box and also fits the user intent research.
You should also craft and list the keywords to avoid keyword cannibalization.
4. On Page Optimization
On Page optimization optimizes your website for clusters and helps you gain Google 1 ranking without a Google Panda Penalty.
On Page – Categories :
Based on your product, you need to plan on the grouping of categories. E.g., Product list, navigational page to subcategories, etc. and maintain the site to be category optimized based on customer search. All the info required needs to be included in the menu to render the customer hassle-free access with less than two clicks.
You need to optimize the following fields for maximum results:
- Title Tag
- Description Tag
- Product Page Content
- Internal Links
On Page – Product Pages :
Most of the time, product pages are loaded with too much junk info and will not rank well in Google searches. You need to concentrate on the below aspects of your site to get better ranking:
- Page Title
- Meta Description
In June 2011, Schema.org was founded by major search engines like Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and Yandex as a collaborative, community activity to create, maintain, and promote Schema for structured data on the Internet, on web pages, in email messages, and beyond. Ever since its advent, Schema.org’s shared collection of Schema have helped webmasters and developers in creating optimized websites with structured data containing rich snippets.
You need to make sure your CMS has the correct Schema.org markup within the page which can either be an Offer or Product markup. Popular platforms like WooCommerce and Magento have free Schema plugins that make their clients’ lives much easier by automatically performing the markups. (Refer to Schema.org or https://developers.google.com/search/docs/guides/intro-structured-data for more info on this)
5. Usability and Conversions
You can use Google Analytics to keep an eye on your user matrix and keep it optimized. Identify the problem pages across devices by making use of the custom report option in Google analytics and fix the issues as and when they crop up. You need to ensure that the user matrix you follow has:
- A bounce rate of under 40%
- Multiple pages per session
- High time on site
- Page scroll depth
Conversion Tracking and Optimization
The next on your checklist would be to monitor key conversion optimization checks. You need this to ensure that you are not losing out on any conversions. The areas you need to concentrate on are:
- Information on the delivery of purchases
- Detailed info on the product
- Multiple payment options during check out
- Quicker form filling with auto address fill and ticks
- Switch to HTTPS to secure websites and payments with SSL certification
- Using trust signals like ratings, reviews, and logos
- Contact and support info to be displayed prominently
- Meticulous tracking of e-commerce conversions
- Keeping your blog posts in the main domain
6. Link Analysis & Acquisition
You need to keep in mind two salient points while analyzing links:
- Identify toxic links or potential spam penalties – set up link research tools like Link Detox Checker or SEMRush to identify potential spam links that point towards your site and disavow them on priority.
- Get Quick wins from competitors – Do a periodic search of your competitor websites for possible links that you might have missed and make arrangements to acquire or purchase those links pro-actively.