SEO: Search Engine Optimization. We’ve all heard this term. All online business owners (and let’s face it, anyone with a business should have an online presence, otherwise known as a web footprint) have a general idea of what SEO is. The question is, how do we do it effectively? And for virtual retailers, this question is (or should be!) always at the forefront.
Let’s start at the beginning. What do we think of when we think SEO? Google! Bing! Essentially, SEO is being found on search engine pages without paying for those results.
The most important thing you need to know about SEO (and possibly the least appreciated) is that it’s not about the search engines. It’s about your customers. Or more specifically, it’s about your customers having a great experience finding what they need on your site.
So how do we do this?
Building a well structured site is a key element to providing your users with a successful experience. Make sure your site has a clear navigation path from the general home page, narrowing down to the specific product pages your customers are looking for. This well designed layout will reflect in the XML Site Map you should be submitting to search engines to help them navigate your site. Again, the best XML site map isn’t designed for the search engines; it’s designed for ease of navigation for your customers!
Content! Content! Content!
If you haven’t heard it yet, you haven’t been listening. Gone are the days of keyword stuffing, just to trigger search bots (and if you never did this, bravo!) We all know that Google is constantly releasing algorithm changes like Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird, so it may seem daunting to keep up. Google’s goal is to enhance the quality of search results for customers by requiring retailers to improve their sites with high quality, unique, and authentic content. Better content –> more accurate and better results –> happy customers. That’s it. So write naturally, write clearly, and write the answers to your customer’s (spoken or unspoken) questions.
These are the bare-bones, basic elements needed in order to build a healthy SEO strategy. Next time we will delve into more sophisticated elements like duplicate content (don’t!) and link building (do!).
Submitted by Yonat