Everyone strives for the same thing online. That coveted spot atop the search engine results page (SERP). And why not? That type of visibility could give you unimaginable sales and prestige.
Think about it...
“In 2022, a study by firstpage.com shows that the first page listed on Google's search results gets close to 40% of the clicks.”
Thanks for checking out my article. Over the next few minutes, I'm going to share some actionable things that you can do to optimize your website to get you the attention you deserve.
Here's what we'll cover:
Organic vs paid traffic
Benefits of ranking high in the SERP
Optimize your product pages
Optimize your site structure
Target the right keywords
A fast website matters
Get on link building
Think - mobile first
Update your NAP listings
Organic vs Paid Traffic
When you search for something on a search engine like Google, there are generally two ways to show up on the first page of the results. You can either pay to have a webpage show up instantly using ads, or you can climb the search results organically over a longer period of time. In the latter case, only the best webpages about a particular topic will earn a placement on the first page.
I'm not trying to convince you to choose one or the other either. In fact many companies do both simultaneously, especially those starting out. The ads provide instant visibility and sales, while your webpages have time to build up authority and rank higher in the search results over time.
Benefits of Ranking High on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) for an E-Commerce Website
Doesn't cost you each time someone clicks
Attracts highly relevant prospects
See How We Can Drive A TON of Traffic to Your Website
Search Optimization - expand your traffic by uncovering your website's hidden potential.
Content Marketing - we create engaging, shareable content that resonates. Let our diverse team help build your organic traffic.
Paid Ads - get highly measurable, instant results with pay-per-click advertising.
If you're not already on the top page of the SERP for your ideal search terms, or nowhere near for that matter - don't worry about it. The search results aren't fixed and there are things that you can do right now to help search engines like Google take notice.
Let's get started.
Get Your E-Commerce Site to Rank Online in 7 Actionable Steps
1. Optimize Your Store's Product Pages
Your product pages are the most important pages on your e-commerce website. These pages need to be sharp and appealing to your target market.
Consider the following aspects of your store's product pages:
Is your product page visually appealing?
Are you using keywords in your page titles and page descriptions?
Does it convey a clear understanding of your product, its features and its benefits?
Does it have a clear call to action (CTA)?
Do you provide social proof by showing reviews and testimonials?
2. Optimize your Site Structure
Your website structure is critically important. A well thought out site structure will make it easy for search engines to scan your webpages and add them to the index. It will also help users navigate your product lines in logical way, which will provide a better user experience and lead to more sales.
Here's an example of a good site structure for an e-commerce website:
3. Target the Right Keywords
Keywords are what browsers like Google use to match your content with relevant searches. Using the right keywords can bring you a steady stream of in-market customers. Folks that are looking to buy your products.
Because there's a lot of competition for keywords, you'll want to use long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords are more like phrases rather than single words, and as a result, they're more defined and specific.
As an example, let's say you sell shoes. The word "shoes" on its own would be considered a short or "head" keyword. Whereas, "black shoes with yellow stripes" would be a more defined, long-tail keyword. People that use long-tail keywords have done some research and tend to be in a better position to buy.
Keyword research isn't difficult, but you'll need access to an online tool to do it. The Google Ads platform offers users access to a keyword planner. Here's what you want to look for:
Long-tail keywords with higher monthly search volume
Long-tail keywords that have lower competition
Long-tail keywords that you feel will be profitable
The last bullet might require a refresher on understanding a user's search intent.
4. A Fast Website Matters
Several years ago, Google made site speed a significant ranking factor. Hands down, faster loading websites give users a better experience. It also makes your website accessible to more people, including those with a slow internet connection.
A market research study by Deloitte called Milliseconds Make Millions
makes a solid business case for optimizing for speed. Everything from time spent on page, to conversion rates are impacted by the speed of a website.
Google gives users access to PageSpeed Insights, a free tool that will scan your webpages, and give you a speed score. Give it a try.
Here are some things you can do to speed up your website:
If you're using one of the popular storefronts like Shopify, make sure your theme is up to date.
Optimize and compress your images for fast online viewing
Use video sparingly and optimize if you do
Run fewer apps and plugins
Have your developer minify some of the code
Create and submit a sitemap.
Evaluate your web host and switch if needed
5. Get on Link Building
Link building is everyone's least favourite search optimization task, but it's so valuable and necessary if you want to climb the SERP. Links from other websites back to yours tell search engines that you're website is a valuable source for good information. Every link back to your article increases it's stock in the search engine's eyes.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Search online for relevant industry blogs and publications and offer to write guest posts.
Write a company press releases and publish them on an online newswire or other content distribution network. There are both free and paid options.
Make use of internal links that connect your own content. When you do, search engines will learn which of your content is related and it'll give a boost to the pages that are linked to most.
Post to social media sites and link back to your website
Join groups, forums and other online communities on social media and share links back to your website.
6. Think - Mobile First
In July 2019, Google began to use the content from the mobile version of a website for indexing and ranking. Prior to that, the desktop version of the website was used to evaluate how relevant a page was to a user's search.
Basically, Google was saying that they'd be giving special attention to websites optimized for mobile. And it makes sense now that the majority of Google's users are searching from a mobile device.
It doesn't stop there either. The customer experience is also a contributing factor on mobile. Special consideration should be given to things like:
Make sure your font size readable
Include enough spacing between the words and lines so things like hyperlinks can be clicked with ease
Make sure your content is the same on mobile and desktop
Confirm your mobile and desktop sites have the same structured data
Optimize images to load fast when bandwidth is lacking
Used the same meta data on mobile and desktop
Test your website's responsiveness on different devices
7. Update Your NAP Listings
NAP stands for name, address and phone number. Search engines like Google use your NAP listings across the web to determine, among other things, if your business is legitimate. If you include these citations on directory type websites, you'll build a good profile of your company online. You'll also enjoy a free backlink for the sites that allow you to include it.
Remember to keep a spreadsheet of all the websites that you include your NAP listing to. You'll have to create a free account on each of these websites. The key is to have your name, address and phone number listed the exact same way on each one. The spreadsheet will come in handy if you need to update your NAP listings in the future.
Start building your NAP listings by adding a free company profile to these websites: