Mastering SEO and running your business perfectly is a lot to ask of yourself, but these three most overlooked SEO basics will make sure you don’t miss anything. If you’re more of a video person, take a look at our e-Commerce webinar for Making SEO Strides in the Time of COVID-19.
Creating effective content that’s been optimized with keyword research is a big part of best SEO practices. Before you start writing, your first step is to put together keyword research based on the pages you’ll be making content for.
Start on your bestselling category pages, and write descriptions for them that give Google’s algorithms an idea of what that page offers. This is where your keyword research really comes into play. The optimized content on your category pages should have keywords for products offered on that page while not being so broad a term as to end up on every category page with any overlap.
How do you balance this? When you write copy, make sure you have a strategy and your sitemap in mind. Let’s say you sell hats, for example, and you have these three categories: men’s, women’s and unisex hats. You don’t want to target the keywords “men’s hats” or “women’s hats” on the unisex hats category page, since you have two other categories that you want to rank for those terms. But “hats for men and women” would be just fine.
Without a doubt, the worst thing you could do is force keywords into your copy. No one wants to read the sentence, “Buy women’s red hats online at the Hat Store, where there’s a wide selection of red women’s hats and red hats for women.” It’s obvious to Google and the browser that this sentence was built around keywords when the goal should have been to include keywords organically to provide valuable information to a shopper.
You first have to attract people to your website in order for them to consume your content. That starts with having SEO-friendly metadata, which includes the meta title and meta description that show up for your webpages in the search engine results page (SERP). Continuing with our hypothetical online hat store, the category page for women’s red hats should clearly show its purpose prominently in the meta title. All details and motivating call-to-action (CTA) information should go in the meta description.
For example, if you have free shipping on all orders, that should go in your meta description — not your title. The title “Hats for Sale – Free Shipping!” is more likely to be glossed over by someone looking for red women’s hats than “Women’s Red Hats for Sale – Hat Store”. The first title gives the impression of a massive bin of mixed up hats that will need to be rifled through for what the browser is looking for, but the second title conveys a sense of order and structure for someone who knows what they want and is ready to purchase. And that’s what that women’s red hats category page is for! Having metadata that reflects what your webpages are about also signals to Google that this page is a good one for that query, boosting your SERP rank.
The step here that’s very easy to forget is to make sure the URL reflects what the page is for too. For the women’s red hats category page, the URL “hatstore.com/rwh” is a short acronym, but it’s not very straightforward. Simple URLs aren’t enough if they’re not relevant or compelling. In this example, “hatstore.com/women/red-hats” keeps your website’s organization clear to Google’s algorithm and to a person searching for a new hat.
Even when people are lounging at home, they’d generally rather be on their phone or tablet than on their laptop or desktop. So, if your website isn’t responsive or optimized for mobile viewing, you’re missing out. Especially if mobile-first indexing is news to you, because this launched in July 2019 and means that Google is mainly using the content on the mobile version of your website to determine SERP rank across the board. Check if your website is up to par with the mobile-friendly website test from Google. With that taken care of, there are other steps you can take for an optimized mobile website:
Keep in mind, these basic SEO basics are just the beginning of what you could see for your website’s performance. If you want to discover all the potential growth that’s out there for your business, a free eCommerce analysis will show you precisely what it will take to boost revenue and profit based on your goals and website data.
In an era dominated by mobile devices, optimizing your website for them is everything. With this mobile SEO guide, we’ll cover our best practices for optimizing mobile websites and a summary of this field itself. First, let’s clarify why mobile optimization is necessary and what aspects of web design go into making mobile responsive websites.
When it comes to ranking in Google, mobile optimization is especially important for your website because in 2018, Google moved to mobile-first indexing. This means that when Google crawls your website, it will always crawl the mobile version before the desktop version. If your webpages are not optimized or worse, not mobile-friendly, this could have a negative effect on your overall ranking in the SERP (search engine results page). Visit our blog to learn more about the mobile-first update from Google.
According to a study on Statista, about 52% of all internet traffic is now coming from smart phones. As the amount of traffic coming from mobile users is ever-growing, it’s important that web designers are taking this into account when creating mobile websites. In order to keep a user on your website, it’s not just important but necessary to have a mobile-friendly experience.
Responsive web design is a method of web development that allows web pages to render to fit on a variety of screen sizes and devices. This is done using CSS to determine which sections should be rendered where.
Mobile-first web design is a web development method that follows in the footsteps of Google, meaning the website design considers the mobile functionality first. For this method, web developers start designing for the smallest screen first and then work their way up to larger screens like tablets and desktops. When it comes to website design, this is your best bet as it will make for a seamless website experience.
But what if it’s too late to create a website using mobile-first design? That’s when mobile optimization comes in! Use the helpful tips below as a checklist to improve your overall user experience and mobile friendliness.
Page speed can be the main factor in determining whether a user stays on your website. If a page takes too long to load, users are more likely to leave the page without interacting with your website at all. A study by Section determined that longer load times have a direct correlation with higher bounce rates. There are a few common fixes that Google recommends:
When it comes to the navigation on your mobile website, it’s important to include the essentials. Search bars, cart buttons and hamburger buttons have become second nature to users and are expected to be easily accessible. We recommend placing these items on your top navigation so that users can browse your website with ease.
Text that appears to be short on desktop can be long and bothersome when viewed on mobile. To counter this, it’s recommended to only show the most important information and headlines to mobile users so that other aspects of the website are not pushed far below the fold. If needed, you can add a Read More button and collapse text. Google will not penalize users on mobile for this and will still crawl the full text.
When websites are designed responsively, images that look great on desktop can look too big or too small on mobile. This can have a negative impact on user experience if people have to pinch or zoom out on images to interact with your website. Avoid this by inspecting your website for any of these instances and correct any image sizing issues you find.
Not to repeat ourselves, but overlays and pop-ups that are small on desktop could be difficult for mobile users to navigate around. Prevent this by limiting use of overlays and pop-ups on mobile, as these can appear bigger and can even lead users away from your main website. If you need an overlay or pop-up on mobile, be sure to put a large exit button on the top right so users can easily close out of it.
Make sure that touch elements are spaced properly and large enough to click on easily. Touch elements that are too small or too close together can make it difficult for users to interact with your website effectively and of course, this means they’ll leave for a more user-friendly website.
Avoid using content that can’t be played on the mobile version of your website. For example, most mobile phones don’t support Flash Player and having elements that include this can take a toll on user experience.
The moral of the story? Optimizing for mobile can have a great impact on your website from a ranking standpoint and user standpoint. Following our tips above and keeping your user experience in mind will help you to have a successful and rewarding website. If you’re incorporating this into your holistic SEO marketing strategy, request our free e-commerce analysis and learn the fastest way to grow your business online.
Makenzie Pelletier is an SEO Coordinator at EXCLUSIVE with a love for data and marketing. She graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a major in Communication and a minor in Film Studies. In her free time, you can find her editing videos, taking pictures of nature or watching movies.