SEO is an important online marketing tool for your website. The more the content on your website is in line with Google keywords, the higher the ranking of your online shop. Increasing your ranking will result in more traffic. The ‘searchers’ who find your website are surfing the web with a specific goal in mind: they are more inclined to buy something and spend money than visitors who find your website on social media or by clicking on an advertisement.
SEO can be time consuming and is an ongoing process. Therefore, it is important to be patient; you will see better results in the long term with the tips listed below.
1. Keyword analysis
It is important to create pages with unique content and a large number of popular keywords. You should know, therefore, which keywords are relevant for your potential customers. Think carefully about your target audience and the products you are selling. Consider which keywords you want Google-users to include in their search in order to find your website. Think about it from your customer’s perspective and ask yourself how your product can benefit your customer.
You can use the Google Keyword Planner (https://adwords.google.com/KeywordPlanner) and Google Trends (https://www.google.com/trends/) to help you determine which keywords are relevant. The search option on your website can also provide useful insights. When optimizing keywords, also consider synonyms, singular and plural forms, and various word combinations. Checking out the keywords of the competition can also be useful.
Next, make list of keywords in the order of importance/relevance (no more than 100). Consider which keywords should be on which page. This way, you ensure that the pages of your website are not competing with each other. Do you already have a high ranking and are you listed on the first page of search results in Google? Make sure that Google-users are led to the correct page of your website.
2. SEO skills
When you have established your keywords, the next step is to implement them in the content of your web pages. To ensure the best results, there are a few things to consider while processing your keywords. Include the relevant keyword for the correct page in the following:
- 1. The page URL
- 2. The page titel (max. 65 characters)
- 3. Meta-description (140-160 characters)
- 4. Header 1 en Header 2
- 5. The first paragraph
- 6. The ‘Alt text’ accompanying the pictures on the page
It is important that at least the title and the description of each individual page are unique. The MOZtoolbar (https://moz.com/tools/seo-toolbar) is a useful tool for checking the current status of a page (or a competitor’s page). The MOZtoolbar can be installed in Chrome or Firefox as an extention. A single click will tell you which keywords are being used.
3. Great for your Google Ranking
Domain Authority (DA) is an important indicator to see how relevant your website is according to Google. The higher your Domain Authority, the higher your website is valued by Google. Google will consider you an authority which, in turn, will result in a higher ranking. The DA is compiled based on a combination of content, de structure of your website, your presence on social media, your brand, and the number of times third parties refer to your website.
Besides SEO there are a number of contributing factors regarding your Google Ranking. Update the content on your website regularly, work on link-building and use social share buttons in order to score as high as possible.
Update content: updating content regularly is an indicator for your DA. The more new content you post, the better.
Linkbuilding: ask other (high ranking) websites to link to your online shop. Embed deep links on your website to link to other pages. Also pay close attention to the link’s anchor text.
Social share buttons: content such as blogs, newsfeeds, special deals, campaigns, infographics, and videos become more relevant when a social share button is included. This way your visitors can share information quickly and spread it across the internet.
4. Keep updating your SEO!
SEO is an ongoing process and is never ‘done’. Stay informed by tracking the latest developments relevant to your online shop en update pages and keywords regularly. Google Analytics helps you keep track of pages with a relatively low score. Pay close attention to ranking, average time spent on pages, the bounce rate, conversion, etc. Improve pages by using new keywords and writing relevant content. Or move content to, for example, a subdomain or archive. SEO is constantly evolving, so make sure to check Google updates frequently.
5. Handy ‘must-knows’
- Google constantly alters its algorithm in order to optimize search results based on keywords. Ensuring your website is user-friendly is crucial; carefully consider the navigational structure, menu structure, internal search results, etc.
- Use a dash (-) instead of the underscore (_) in the URL en make sure the URL is user-friendly (i.e. short and legible).
- Use 301-redirects when page URLs change. 301 means a page’s content has been permanently moved to another location. Use 302-redirects for a temporary redirect, e.g. if a product on your website is temporarily out of stock.
- Make sure your website can be viewed on all (handheld) devices by incorporating a responsive design. This does wonders for your Google mobile ranking. A responsive design does not impact desktop results.
- Try to create unique content for every page. If you do use the same content on two different pages (for whatever reason), the so-called canonical tag may be of use. The canonical tag tells Google which content should be read.
- Ensure a quick page load time on desktops and handheld devices.
- HTTP v. HTTPS; Google prefers HTTPS websites due to security.
- Decrease the number of 404s (e.g. by removing pages). Many of the ‘must-knows’ listed above can be checked via the Google Search Console.