Search engine optimization (SEO) is the cornerstone of ecommerce. If you’re an online seller, you can’t grow your base of loyal customers if you’re stuck on page 6 in search results. A lot of studies already revealed the importance of SEO and here are a few stats to prove it:
- As much as 93% of all traffic comes from a search engine.
- 75% of users never scroll past the first page of search results.
- More than 60% of marketers say improving SEO and growing organic presence is their top inbound marketing priority.
- The first position on Google’s organic search results has a 32% clickthrough rate.
Bearing all these figures in mind, it is not the issue of whether you should create a good SEO strategy for your website but rather how to do it most productively. Here are basic SEO principles to increase website traffic in the long run.
If SEO is an anchor of online business, keywords are the main element of SEO. Every page on your website should follow a carefully-designed keyword strategy in order to make more impact on Google’s search engine algorithms.
That’s why you need a specific keyword for each page. Here are the most common ways to find keywords for your topics:
- Brainstorming: The first step is to write down all keywords you can think of on your own.
- Keyword Planner: Google developed Keyword Planner to help webmasters reach the target audience.
- Google searches: You can also search for business-related pages and see Google’s suggestions as you type in the question.
- Q&A websites: Sites like Quora receive thousands of questions every day. Check it out to see frequently asked questions and create pages that answer exactly the same inquiries.
Title tags are the second element of SEO that you need to take into consideration because search engine algorithms analyze your headlines to detect the subject and position it among similar posts. Keywords play a major role in that respect.
Each title should contain a keyword near the beginning, allowing Google to recognize the relevance of your content. Besides that, you can include the brand name in a title because that makes it easier for potential readers to realize who is hiding behind the post.
Headlines should also be compelling, which means they ought to inspire user interest. A good title acts as a call to action – it invites people to engage with your content. If you are not sure about the title efficiency, check out online tools such as CoSchedule Headline Analyzer. This app creates a headline score and analyzes the overall structure, grammar, and readability of your title.
Although meta keywords don’t make an influence in the SEO world anymore, other features like meta descriptions still represent a powerful optimization contributor. An average user looks at two things prior to opening a webpage – headlines and meta descriptions.
The latter is always displayed below webpage title in Google search results. Search engines highlight keywords in the meta description, thus making it a genuine CTA booster – it encourages people to click the link and check out your content.
Publish High-Quality Content
You could learn and apply every single SEO trick in the world, but it won’t help you gain traffic unless you publish high-quality content on your website. You just have to create relevant posts, explain niche-related phenomena, and solve users’ problems.
This is why blog posts are getting longer – it takes more words to write a good analysis and cover themes from every angle. According to the research, the ideal blog post length is now around 1,600 words. However, the plain text can only get you so far.
Exploit multimedia content to make your content more attractive for an average user. For instance, product reviews generate by far the best results for online retailers. This type of video content allows users to learn more about your products or services, encouraging them to complete the purchase upon watching.
A regular SEO audit is mandatory if you want to maintain the same level of website productivity in the long run. Every once in a while you need to examine the entire website and find weak spots that slow you down. It’s a set of various procedures:
- Check each page for meta titles and descriptions.
- Check keyword optimization for each post.
- Analyze the URL structure of your articles.
- Check ALT tags on images.
- Conduct a test of mobile-friendliness to see it your website is properly optimized for smartphone usage.
All these steps will help you to figure out the SEO value of the website. It will also highlight flaws and shortcomings, so you can improve content or add the missing elements to increase the SEO potential.
SEO is by far the most important strategy in online business. It encompasses an entire set of principles that make your website more visible and attractive for Google searchers. Implementing these 5 basic SEO principles will help you increase your website traffic, improving the odds of generating more sales.
Note: this post was originally published in 2018 and has been updated.
Mary Whitman is a freelance writer in Adelaide, Australia with Assignment Geek Service