Guest blog by John Hawthorne
This is excerpted from Need More Ecommerce Traffic? Follow These Steps
https://www.floship.com/ecommerce-traffic-steps/. For more in-depth information read the entire article.
Whether your eCommerce site is B2B or B2C, you still want to increase traffic. Here are some simple rules to achieve your goal.
Unfortunately, owning an ecommerce store is not like the movie Field of Dreams. Just because you built it doesn’t mean they’ll come. In fact, unless you take very specific actions, they almost certainly won’t come.
But don’t worry. These actions aren’t necessarily complicated. They do take some time to implement, but they’re proven methods for improving your overall organic search engine traffic.
Craft your category page keywords
Category pages are more important than individual product pages. It’s better to compete for broad keywords like “laser printers” than individual product lines and models. This means putting your keyword in the image ALT, the H1 tag, the page description, the page title, and scattered appropriately throughout the page.
Give each product page a unique title tag
The title tag is the clickable headline that shows up in searches. It’s easy to end up with duplicate title tags if you carry a large amount of products or have multiple product pages. To attract search engines, you need to give each product page a unique title tag. You may have to use key phrases instead of specific keywords to avoid repeating keywords.
Optimize for mobile
Google is beginning to rank sites that are mobile friendly ahead of desktop-only sites because more searches occur on mobile devices. This means if your desktop site is optimized with keywords, title tags, page speed, etc., but your mobile site isn’t, both sites will be penalized.
Avoid cannibalizing keywords
Cannibalizing keywords is when multiple pages are attempting to rank for the same keyword, which ultimately forces the search engine which page is more important. In the end, this can minimize your ability to rank for your most important keywords.
To avoid this, you need to utilize two separate practices. First, be sure to use a distinct keyword or key phrase for each page. Your most important pages should have your most important keywords. Don’t even write a blog post that has the same keyword or you hurt your overall rankings.
Second, keep a list of which keywords each page is trying to rank for. A spreadsheet works well for this. When implementing new pages or optimizing existing ones, consult the list to be sure you’re not creating a duplicate.
Use internal linking appropriately
Search engines look more favorably on pages that link internally to other pages within the site.
There are a few tactics you can implement that can boost your overall ranking. First, point multiple links back to the page you want to rank highest. Search engines will evaluate the number of links to a page to determine its importance, and more links equals more importance.
Second, link specific “anchor text” that you want to rank for. In other words, if you want to rank for the words “blue suede shoes,” put your link within those words.
One note of caution however. If you use internal linking too much, search engines can think you’re attempting to do something suspicious. Don’t go overkill on it.
Getting organic search traffic isn’t easy. You can’t simply create an ecommerce store and expect people to start showing up. Like any business, you have to work for exposure.
But if you know what you’re doing, you can make your site more search engine friendly. As you slowly optimize your site, you’ll begin to see more organic traffic. Don’t expect this to happen overnight. Typically, search engines take weeks or even months to update their indexes.
But you should expect growth, and with more growth comes more sales.