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SEO and E-commerce: 5 traffic boosting tips that actually work

By Content Partner 26 Oct, 2018
Essential

How to boost traffic to your website in the short term, and keep your SEO high going forward.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a vital and ongoing consideration for any website owner. It doesn’t matter if your website is a personal passion project, is supporting a physical business, or is serving as an e-commerce business, you need to maintain a decent SEO score if you’re to have any hope of making it in the big leagues. The good news is that there are a number of things you can do on your own initiative that will generate organic traffic to your website, while simultaneously bringing your SEO score up.

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If you are still relatively new to the world of SEO, the following tips are also useful for developing a keener understanding of how SEO works. A lot of newcomers make the mistake of thinking that improving SEO requires hiring the services of a professional and expensive digital marketing firm. While these businesses can certainly help you, there’s a lot that you can do for yourself.

1. Provide a compelling product or service

No matter what industry or sector your e-commerce business is operating in, you are going to be facing some stiff competition. Some areas are more saturated than others, but no matter if you’re competing with 5 or 5,000 other e-commerce businesses, the same techniques can help you to set your business on a more profitable course.

Using Google Trends to focus your service

You can utilize Google Trends to see how many people are searching for particular search terms, and, more importantly, the geographical distribution of those searchers. This information can prove invaluable in devising a sales strategy. If you aren’t sure how to make your business stand out and offer something different, look for slight variations on the main search term that users are looking for.

For example, if your e-commerce business sells smartphone cases, and you notice that lots of users in your area are searching for “smartphone cases that hold cards”, this tells you that by putting cases with space to hold bank cards at the forefront of your website, you will be able to generate more traffic. Setting up a page on your store dedicated to these cases will also make it easier to rank.

2. Focus on your target audience

Trying to accomplish too many things at once always ends in disaster, no matter how astute you are when it comes to business. If sales and traffic to your website are disappointing, it is tempting to begin chasing down new leads. However, it is much more effective to focus your efforts and resources on your core audience.

Identifying your target audience is a key part of formulating an effective business strategy, so ideally you should have decided on your core audience before you opened your doors. However, if you are still unsure who it is that comprises your key demographic, now is the time to define them!

Focusing on improving your sales and traffic from a more focused demographic is much easier, if for no reason other than you only need to appeal to a smaller selection of people. Trying to improve your standing amongst wildly different demographics will mean employing wildly different techniques simultaneously.

3. Form partnerships with other websites

SEO doesn’t have to be a zero-sum game, it is possible for you and other websites who operate in the same space to work together for your mutual benefit. The simplest way of doing this is to provide backlinks to one another.

The number of backlinks your website has from other reputable websites, and those who have better SEO rankings, are one of the key metrics in determining your SEO score. In many cases, organizing mutual backlinking won’t even cost you a penny.

4. Regularly update your content

If you are struggling to convince other websites to join you in this, consider adding a blog to your website. A blog can improve an e-commerce store in a number of ways:

  • It gives users a reason to visit your site when they aren’t buying anything. This improves your overall traffic statistics and SEO score.
  • It provides other websites with more reasons to give you backlinks. Other websites are more likely to link to content posted on your blog than they are to individual product pages.
  • It gives you an additional marketing platform and a way of differentiating your e-commerce store from all your competitors.

Most importantly, a blog allows you to make your e-commerce store much more personal. Without a blog page, the only updates to your store will be relevant for selling products. Even if these new products are exciting and draw in new traffic, this will only be temporary.

With a blog, you can regularly post updates that will connect with your audience in a much more meaningful way. This will provide you with increased traffic in the short term, but will also increase the chances of receiving backlinks, and encouraging users to become regular visitors instead of just customers.

5. Keep on top of things behind the scenes

Many people forget that SEO is in part determined by how well their website performs. Websites that are slow to load will be penalized in the SEO score they are given. Similarly, websites receive a bump to their SEO score for having a valid SSL certificate.

You, therefore, need to make sure that you have a maintenance schedule, and that you are able to stick to it. Make sure that any images you use in your e-commerce store are tagged with keywords, named, and have a description and caption in their meta tags.

Some e-commerce platforms, such as Magento SEO, offer users a number of tools to help improve their SEO score. If your platform provider offers you detailed statistics about how your website is used, these can also prove invaluable in formulating an SEO strategy going forward.

Staying on top of your SEO should always be a priority for any website or e-commerce business. Fortunately, this is much easier than many people realize. By following the advice outlined above, and making sure that you remain mindful of your SEO when undertaking any improvements of alterations to your store, you will soon find SEO becomes second nature.

By Content Partner

This article is contributed by a Smart Insights Content Partner. To find out how you can become a regular contributor and share your knowledge and experience with our readers, please see our Content Partnership options.

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