You have created your online store. You followed our advice to promote your site and generate your first e-commerce sale. At this point, you’ve validated your concept, and you’re looking to take it to the next level: generating a steady stream of sales every month.
As an online store owner, your growth will largely depend on SEO. It is by taking advantage of the advantages of SEO for customer acquisition that you will be able to build an online store that can withstand the changes in e-commerce and that will continue to be profitable for years to come. come.
SEO Optimization For New e-merchants
The acronym SEO is derived from the term Search Engine Optimization in English. In French, we talk about optimization for search engines. The term SEO is also used in the same sense. SEO is basically used to communicate with search engines like Google and Bing. A site that is properly optimized for SEO can be easily crawled by search engines. More importantly, it is SEO that allows search engines, smart machines, to figure out what a given site is all about.
In other words, SEO is the language of search algorithms. To communicate with Google and Bing, your website must “speak” SEO. This is why, as an e-merchant, you must continually follow the factors that Google considers to show organic search results.
But the factors that impact SEO are very numerous and sometimes unclear, you may feel overwhelmed by taking an interest in the question. Worse yet, some SEO initiatives, like building a good backlink profile, can take weeks of sustained effort – but the results aren’t always there.
This is why we present to you in this article SEO optimization initiatives that you can implement today to boost your organic ranking.
SEO Tips: Understand SEO Challenges First
SEO is a concept that is often cringing because of its complexity. But if it is causing so much controversy in the e-commerce arena, it is because it brings closer to the dream of any e-merchant: an online store powered by a free source of traffic qualified from search engines.
But SEO is evolving at an alarming rate and even the savviest e-merchants can feel overwhelmed by the constant updates from search engines.
Evolution Of SEO
While it was still possible a few years ago to play tricks on search algorithms, the noose has tightened considerably around manipulative SEO techniques. The main SEO techniques that seem to stand the test of time are those that unfold naturally, since they are not based on repetitive patterns that can be automated through software.
Experience must be accumulated in the field through an experimental approach. The main knowledge relating to the field of SEO is usually developed by self-taught people who know the subject inside and out and who dare to create sites to test new techniques in the long term, documenting the process and the results, of course.
An SEO strategy that allows you to achieve concrete results can therefore be seen as a major competitive advantage.
SEO: A Golden Source Of Customer Acquisition To Tame
As there are not a thousand and one ways to generate traffic to an e-commerce store, and the sources of the online lead acquisition remain limited, it is important for any e-merchant to devote time and efforts to implement an effective SEO strategy.
In their entrepreneurial journey, e-merchants quickly understand that it is necessary to find profitable sources of customer acquisition to continue to make their online sales activity profitable.
But the choices available to them are not many. They can be classified into two main categories:
- Paid customer acquisition initiatives
- “Free” customer acquisition initiatives
Paid Customer Acquisition Initiatives
In short, it is about paid online advertising and promotional initiatives that cannot be deployed without spending money.
Paid advertising generally refers to pay per click or PPC advertising. Paid ads that accurately calculate return on investment are shown on search engine results pages and on certain social networks like Facebook. Ads can be personalized, and advanced targeting options reach a highly qualified audience.
Paid advertising is very useful for testing concepts and getting results immediately. The speed of implementation therefore makes it possible to assess the viability of ideas and concepts in record time. But to propel an online sales activity with PPC advertising, you need to have a considerable budget to bet on promising keywords and test different sales funnels until you design a conversion funnel that generates a return on your investment. less 3 to 4 times greater than the advertising budget initially spent. PPC campaigns must also constantly be optimized, which requires a lot of expertise.
As for other paid promotional initiatives, those that stand out for their effectiveness involve collaboration with influencers.
“Free” Customer Acquisition Initiatives
Regarding “free” customer acquisition initiatives, we will focus primarily on SEO for the purposes of this article. But in general, all of these initiatives are centred around content marketing, which cannot be effective if SEO optimization is not there.
Note: When talking about a “free” customer acquisition source, it’s important to keep in mind that nothing is ever “totally” free. While some initiatives can be implemented without spending a cent (or almost), they require a good deal of investment in terms of time and personal involvement.
So let’s talk about SEO and discuss the optimizations that can allow you to boost your SEO intelligently.
SEO Optimization: 5 Practical SEO Tips To Get More Traffic
According to a recent study conducted by SEMrush on the organic ranking factors that most impact position in search results, three ranking factors were found to be particularly important:
- On-site time
- Pages per session
- The bounce rate
These 3 factors come respectively in second, third, and fourth position in the list of the 17 most powerful organic SEO factors – the first position being occupied by the “direct visits” which are counted when the visitor directly types the URL. of a site in the browser bar without going through the Google search page.
Based on the results of this study which looked at the analysis of 600,000 keywords and the top 100 organic search results returned for each of them, we present practical optimizations that can boost your organic rankings. . These optimizations can be implemented through the SEO tips presented below.
1. Increase On-Site Time
On-site time refers to the average time a visitor spends exploring your website. When the time-on-site is high, Google considers that your site offers relevant information to Internet users. Here are two tactics to increase on-site time while improving the user experience:
Install a feature to suggest results in the search bar [SEO tip number 1]
One effective way to increase the time spent on your site is to set up a suggest results feature in your search bar. When visitors want to search for a particular article on your site, they don’t always know the exact terms to use.
If results suggestions start showing up in real-time as the visitor types in their query, it’s very likely that the visitor will spend more time exploring the different products you offer.
This tactic offers another major advantage. Your visitor sees all kinds of relevant product suggestions that might be of interest to them in addition to the item they were initially looking for. In other words, it’s a subtle cross-sell tactic that works in an automated, 24/7 fashion. Prospects might end up buying more, which could increase your average cart. Best of all, visitors spend more time on your site, you meet their expectations, and Google rewards you in return by improving your organic rankings.
To further optimize this initiative, try setting up a feature that also displays a thumbnail next to the suggested products. Thumbnails visually represent suggested products and can therefore increase click-through rates.
Embed non-YouTube videos in your content [SEO tip number 2]
When it comes to getting visitors to spend more time on your site by always providing more value, nothing can beat visual content. The video format in particular can effectively capture the attention of visitors.
However, embedding YouTube videos created by other users into your pages is not the way to get results.
Try to create unique videos hosted on video platforms known to be more professional, like Wistia, and showcase them through eye-catching video cover images.
For example, you could start by experimenting with this approach: provide a video version of a small part of your content that is worth visually representing. Here are some ideas for more inspiration:
- If you sell clothes, think about lookbooks in video format.
- If you sell dietary supplements, create a 2-minute video that explains the benefits of the highlighted dietary supplement.
- If you sell smartphone accessories, create a high-definition video that shows your product against a white background or close-up, from all angles, to maximize its appeal.
DSLR cameras today are sold at a very affordable price. They allow video footage to be filmed in HD, and any self-respecting e-merchant must master high-definition video shooting to have greater leeway in e-commerce marketing.
2. Increase Pages Per Session
The Pages per session indicator refers to the average number of pages viewed by an Internet user who visits your e-commerce site. This indicator informs Google of the relevance and quality of the content and information you provide to Internet users. It’s by increasing the pages per session that you’ll have a chance to effectively compete with a ton of competitors who are also looking to generate free traffic.
With that in mind, here are some SEO tips that you could quickly implement to increase pages per session:
Optimize your internal networking [SEO tip number 3]
Internal linking refers to the organization of internal links in your website. To show that your content as a whole is relevant, you should try to point links between the pages of your site whenever the opportunity to redirect the user to a complimentary resource presents itself.
For example, if a visitor consults a product page that features “organic beeswax shampoo”, it would be wise to strategically insert a few links into the page that redirect to additional product pages. , like the page of a “beeswax-based shower gel”, or that of a “beeswax-based moisturizer”. You could also add a section that displays clickable thumbnails of related products displayed as suggestions.
These links will encourage visitors to view multiple pages each time they visit your e-commerce site, as long as the relevance is there. You can see from the example shared above that the example suggestions all repeat the phrase “beeswax-based”. Try to use the keyword differentiator as an anchor by repeating it in hyperlinks on the same product page to increase the relevance of your suggestions.
Create a blog [SEO tip number 4]
To encourage visitors to spend more time on your site, you could start a blog. Your blog should be interesting, and it should naturally be closely related to the niche you serve.
Above all else, the content you publish should deliver value to visitors. Your content could add value in a number of ways, including:
- Help prospects resolve their pain points
- Present tutorials and how-to guides
- Entertain visitors in one way or another
- Share interesting statistics and studies related to your niche
For example, if you run a dietary supplement e-commerce site, you could blog about studies that demonstrate the clinically proven benefits of the supplements you sell. You could increase the perceived value of your offers by supporting each product page with an article or guide. It is this kind of initiative that will allow you to effectively differentiate yourself and position yourself as an expert in your niche.
3. Decrease The Bounce Rate
Bounce rate refers to the percentage of visitors who leave your site after visiting only one page: the page they originally landed on. A high bounce rate shows that your site is irrelevant. When a visitor leaves your site prematurely, Google considers the content and information provided to be poor.
Here is the main SEO tip you should focus on to decrease your e-commerce site’s bounce rate and improve your SEO:
Include your keywords in the first part of your page title [SEO tip number 5]
We will assume that your page is relevant. If you are selling an unbreakable smartphone case, the page you are going to create will obviously feature a very resistant case. But, the words you use in your content can create confusion and frustrate visitors.
Today, online shoppers scan the product page they land on by analyzing the page title and captions at a glance. With this in mind, you should always include the exact keywords that you are targeting through your page in the title tags of your content (H1, H2, etc.).
Most importantly, try to place the keywords in the first part of the main page title.
Continuing with our previous example, if you are selling an unbreakable shell and you are effectively targeting the keyword “unbreakable shell”, here are some H1 titles to consider:
- Unbreakable smartphone case: 3 cases for less than 20 €
- Your unbreakable ultra-resistant rubber shell delivered within 1 working day
And here are some titles that should be avoided:
- Ultra-durable smartphone case: the strongest models
- Smartphone protection: the best-selling models
Obviously, you will have to perform tests to find out which variants prove to be the most effective and not rely entirely on guesswork.
Evaluate The Results Of Your SEO Efforts
Implementing these SEO tips is not enough. Not only should you track the results of your SEO efforts, but also re-test when the desired goal is not reached.
Monitoring Of SEO Performance Indicators
For the purposes of this article, your 3 SEO performance indicators will of course be Time on-site, Pages per Session, and Bounce rate.
You will be able to monitor these indicators using an analytical tool like Google Analytics. The tool is free and very powerful. You will need to install Google Analytics on your website if you haven’t already done so, and you will also need to enable e-commerce tracking through the tool’s interface.
Note: To be able to create a Google Analytics account, you must already have a Google account (this is the case if you have a Gmail address).
The reports presented on Google Analytics will allow you to evaluate the 3 SEO performance indicators discussed in this article, and more importantly, to compare them from week to week to know if your SEO optimizations are useful.
Ideally, after implementing the SEO tips presented above, you should see:
- An increase in Time on site compared to the initial values.
- An increase in Pages per session compared to the initial values.
- A decrease in the Bounce Rate from the initial values.
In order not to get tangled up in your brushes, you should organize your data in a spreadsheet, an Excel sheet for example. You should write down the initial pre-optimization values on this sheet, then create columns that will accommodate the values collected each week after the optimization.
For a better visibility, you could of course create from this data a graph that details the evolution of the trend for each performance indicator over 1 or 2 months, for example.
If you don’t see any improvement after implementing these SEO tips, don’t give up. These referencing tips are part of an experimental approach. You will need to experiment with different variations of the SEO tips we have presented to you until you find the optimizations that allow you to get the best results. For example :
- Experiment with different colours for the hyperlinks.
- Test out different sizes of thumbnails for the suggested products.
- Change the position of the “Blog” navigation tab.
- Experiment with different places to embed videos in your content.
- Experiment with different video cover images.
- And so on.
Implement These SEO Tips Today
At this point, with the SEO tips we’ve provided, you should be able to start optimizing your SEO today without feeling intimidated.
You could even hire an experienced freelancer on Upwork who can take care of the technical aspects and assist you with your initiatives until you become familiar with the different processes.
Implement these tips, follow the results, experiment with variations, then repeat the same process to refine it. The SEO optimization process should never stop and it should be part of a long term SEO strategy.