As a webshop owner, it can be easier said than done to keep your head above water in the seemingly endless ocean of competitors.
However, there is no need to panic – the lifeboat is closer than you think. Your webshop can easily get out of its anonymous hiding place from the darkest corners of the internet. And the means to the goal? SEO – or search engine optimization, as is its full name.
SEO is the shortcut for traffic to your webshop – and thus to orders and sales.
But how do search engine optimize your webshop to be found by your target audience? You can do a bit more cleverly in this post where I open up the digital toolbox and give you 3 of the SEO tools we use in my business, the digital agency Webamp.
1) Good, unique texts on your product and category pages
Google’s algorithm loves good content! Therefore, the search engine looks for pages of exhaustive and well-written information to delegate rankings in the search results. Content is king in the battle for good rankings on Google.
For the same reason, it is alpha and omega that there are catchy and informative texts on your webshop – and preferably on all your product and category texts.
Good texts help to tell Google what your webshop sells. And a short text of 2-3 sentences is not enough. Google needs more info to understand what your pages are about. Therefore, write at least 300 words – and preferably more.
If you have trouble finding something to write about, you can always give good advice on your products. You know your assortment better than anyone. And Google loves informative and user-friendly information – and so do your customers.
Also, remember to mention the word your pages should be found by. If you sell dresses, there should of course also be “dresses” in the text. Otherwise, Google doesn’t stand a chance to figure out what you’re selling.
Finally, it is imperative that your texts are original. Google hates duplicate content (i.e., stolen text) and penalizes it for poor rankings. So do not copy your competitors’ texts.
2) Create visibility in the search results
It’s one thing to have your webshop found in the search results. It’s another thing for it to get clicks – and thus visitors. Google users do not necessarily click on a search result just because it is in the top 10 on Google. It should also be clear from the search result that the user can find what he wants by clicking.
Therefore, you should never fail to provide your category and product pages with compelling and descriptive SEO titles and meta descriptions. This is an important componant in your 3 SEO-tools.
The SEO title is the short, blue text of the search result that tells your customers what to expect by visiting the site. The meta description is the elaborate text under the SEO title. A descriptive SEO title is an absolute MUST if your webshop is to be found by Google and your customers.
For example, let’s say you have a category page with dresses on your webshop. On this page, it should be clear from the SEO title that you are selling dresses. In other words, the SEO title should include your keyword. It tells Google (and not least your customers) what the page is about.
The meta description does not affect your rankings on Google in the same way. But it can affect whether your webshop gets clicked or not! Therefore, it must elaborate on what the user can expect by clicking.
For example, if you sell dresses, your meta description might tell you that you have a large selection of dresses in many sizes, colors and designs. That way, your potential customers know that they can find dresses for every taste of your webshop – and that gives clicks.
Bonus tool: Strengthen your visual expression with structured data
In addition to these 3 SEO tools, if you want to take it a step further and really stand out in the search results (and not be too shy of nerding out), you can experiment with structured data.
In short, structured data is an HTML code in the source code of your webshop, which provides in-depth information about your webshop – for example, inventory, prices and customer reviews.
In other words, structured data can help increase the visibility of your webshop in search results. But it requires a bit of technical understanding to implement.
Struktureret data kan med andre ord være med til at øge din webshops synlighed i søgeresultataterne. Men det kræver en smule teknisk forståelse at implementere.
3) Avoid 404 errors with redirects
As a webshop owner, you are most likely changing your assortment from time to time. This means that you sometimes delete a product page.
It leaves a “dead” page on your webshop – or a 404 page, as it is called in professional language. And that scares both your customers and Google FAR away from your webshop and directly into the arms of your competitor.
It is a little like inviting guests into your home and bringing them into a room without furniture. Guests will hardly feel welcome, being led into an empty and sterile room – just as your customers will not feel welcome on a 404 page.
404 pages also mean that any links to that page will lose their value. Because links to your product pages also contribute to the pages in the search results – but this does not apply to links to dead pages.
So now comes the question you’ve been waiting for: How do you avoid the dreaded 404 errors?
The answer? Redirects!
A redirect is a re-routing from a dead page to an existing page. So, you tell your web server that users should be redirected to another product page when they click a link to a dead page.
Redirects is a bit like guiding your guests from an empty and un-inviting room to a cozy, warm living room with soft furnishings, snacks and drinks. It increases the likelihood of them feeling welcomed and stick around.
We're just getting started - the toolbox is REALLY big
In this post I mentioned 3 important SEO tools (plus a bonus tool) that can make your webshop visible on Google. However, I have only just scratched the surface – the toolbox is almost inexhaustible. Therefore, I highly recommend you read more on SEO if you want your webshop to rank highly in the search results.
Don’t you have a webshop already? And would you like 7 good reason to invest in one? Then go to Webamps post “Derfor skal du have en webshop” (Danish only).
About Nicolai Vittrup, guestblogger;
Nicolai owns and runs the digital marketing agency webamp.dk