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  • Actionable Guide to SEO Best Practices for Ecommerce Websites

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    According to a research conducted by Optify, websites that are number one on major search engine rankings, often receive an average click-through rate (CTR) of 36.4%.It is closely followed by websites ranked number two with an average CTR of 12.5% and third with a CTR of 9.5%.


    What these statistics basically show is the importance of search engine rankings as well as the impact of being ranked in the top three positions.


    There are many other studies that support these findings too.


    As a matter of fact, it is actually quite important for a website to be ranked well on search engine results, in order to stand ahead of their competitors.


    Another study conducted by Gabe Donnini at Marketing Land last year, supporting the findings of Optify also found that the share impressions that a website ranked number one received were almost double that received by websites ranked number two.


    Now what does this show?


    It shows that the number one position on search results is a highly sought after and effective ranking that websites strive for these days. Business enterprises with eCommerce websites need to understand this fact and do whatever they can to achieve good rankings.


    As an ecommerce business owner, you must be wondering what you can do to rank well.
    The answer is SEO.


    Yes, you need to take full advantage of SEO tactics and optimize your website according to SEO specifications. You also need to take care of a few other things related to SEO that could literally boost your rankings and double your sales!


    Here’s what you can do.


    Plenty of research –


    This is the first step of almost any strategy whether it is a purchasing strategy or a marketing strategy. You need to do enough research and get to know your market. In case of online marketing for ecommerce, you need to conduct a keywords research as well as a competitor research for SEO purposes.


    • Keyword research


    You need to find out suitable and relevant keywords for your home page as well as your product pages. You also need to check the search volume for the keywords and use them appropriately on your website. It is always better not to use broad terms for keywords though, such as, “tea” or “coffee” as these words may have a high level of competition. As a result, it may lead to an increase in your bounce rate and a low level of conversions, because people may leave without finding what they are looking for. Another important thing to keep in mind is to not try and rank several pages for the same keyword as this may lead to keyword cannibalization. "See Here" for more info. 


    • Competitor research


    When you are doing competitor research in terms of SEO, you need to find out what keywords your competitors are using as part of their SEO practices. You can also check and see where their Domain Authority (DA) and Page Authorities (PA) stand. You have several SEO tools that you can make use of for this purpose, such as Moz.
    Another thing you can do is to try and find where your competitors are getting their inbound links from mostly, so that you can try for links as well. You can do it through blogger outreach and press outreach programs.

    And the last thing you can check for is the make and basic architecture of your competitors’ websites. A slight change in your website could do the trick, so it is best to seek inspiration from competitors.


    Product issues –


    Since ecommerce websites are constantly updated for new products, deleting old products or altering the availability status of other products, there are a number of issues that can arise in terms of SEO.


    • SEO for new products


    New product pages need to be linked from the home page as well as the category pages, so that it is easier for search engines to crawl and index them faster. Along with that build a good information architecture for your new product as well as an optimized website architecture so that it will be easier for you to create internal links.


    • Out-of-stock items


    If a certain item that went out-of-stock is likely to be back in stock soon, then it is better to leave the pages up as they are. Do not hide or add products or attempt to redirect buyers to other pages.

    On the other hand, you can also offer alternatives like other colours of the same product or similar versions of the product till it comes back.

    Additionally, try giving your customers an exact date when they can expect the product they are looking for. It will make them trust you more.


    • Expired or obsolete products


    In case of expired products, most companies make the big mistake of deleting the relevant pages and leaving it at that. This is not good from an SEO perspective as it can reduce SEO value. Besides it will only give an error message for those users who had bookmarked the page.


    Instead, what you can do is link to the page of the newer version of the product from the expired page, so that you don’t lose the ranking of the page. You can also link to the categories page for your visitors so that they can look for other alternatives.


    In case you have absolutely no close alternatives for the expired product, you can delete the product page with a 410 status code, which informs the search engine that the product has been deleted permanently.


    Apart from all these pointers, make sure that your eCommerce website has great usability as it is very important to keep your customers happy. Great user experiences leads to more visits and in turn more conversions. For that you need to basically focus on keeping it simple and having as less steps as possible at checkout. A seamless checkout process also makes you look good and trustworthy. It helps from an SEO perspective as well.


    Another important point not to forget is to HTTPS encryption to your website. With SSL Certificate, you are basically adding an additional layer of security to your website. It gives your website a green address bar and a padlock icon. And this gives your customers one more reason to trust you. Be sure to use high-end SSL certificates like Symantec SSL Certificates as they come with a lot of security features and benefits. Symantec certificates come with Norton Secure Seal that assures customers and visitors that the website is secured with strong encryption. All Symantec certificates come with latest SHA-2 algorithm to protect sensitive information against threats, data sniffing.


    Keep these points in your mind while planning new SEO strategies and you are sure to succeed.

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