Optimizing your ecommerce site for better rankings should be a top priority for any growth-focused business owner.
Being on the first page is no longer enough to generate enough traffic, CTR, and sales, for 2016 and 2017, the main goal should be to rank 1 and I will tell you why.
In 2011, a research conducted by Optify and published by Search Engine Watch showed that “websites ranked number one received an average click-through rate (CTR) of 36.4 percent; number two had a CTR of 12.5 percent; and number three had a CTR of 9.5 percent.”
This report illustrates vividly the value of holding the number 1 spot in search results.
In the article below, I will be sharing five proven SEO strategies for retailers to rank their ecommerce sites in 2017.
1) Use LSIs
Among the best practices for SEO in 2016 and 2017 is the use of Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) keywords. LSI’s keywords are phrases or words closely related to the main keyword or phrase of your page or content.
Adding these keywords to your web pages will improve your SEO for a variety of search terms. Bear in mind, visitors will always use different or a combination of terms in search engines but optimizing your web page with LSI’s allows you to rank easily for closely related keywords.
For example, when optimizing a coupon website for keywords, LSI’s such as promotion codes, discount codes, discounts and deals can be sprinkled over the content in your coupon offers or category description.
Finally, there won’t be a need for LSI’s on a squeeze page with no content but for product description and large e-commerce stores like Amazon, LSI’s will surely get on the good side of search engines.
2) Write Long Descriptions For Products and Pages (1000+) and Sprinkle Keyword 3 – 5x
According to SERP data from SEMRush, longer content tends to rank best in Google. This is because search engines (Google) wants visitors to understand the value on your page, more content on your web pages allows search engines to crawl and provide value to web users.
I understand it is impossible to write up to or more than 1000 words for every page on your e-commerce site (don’t sweat it) simply write in-depth 100 words for products or category pages.
After writing your in-depth descriptions, include your main keyword at least 3 times in your descriptions. Doing this, give signals to search engines as to what the page is about.
For example, if your web page is about “Winter Skips” then you need to include that exact phrase at least 3 times in the fully written description.
Avoid poorly written or duplicate product descriptions (many retailers are guilty of this crime), hyperlink properly to internal pages or related items.
3) Use Neuromarketing Hacks To Maximize Page CTR
There is no point stressing out the need to include your main keyword in your page’s title tag. But do you know adding a prefix before your main keyword can actually skyrocket your CTR from search results?
Prefixes or Click Magnets such as “Cheap”, “Buy” and “30% Off” can increase your CTR and help you show up for long tail search queries. It is advisable to use prefixes for every product page as visitors punch in more precise queries such as “cheap winter skips” or “Nordstrom deals”.
Bear in mind, Google presumably uses organic CTR as a ranking signal according to Paul Haahr, well if they don’t, more click-throughs = more sales so you don’t lose in any way.
For example, almost every page with title tags on ChameleonJohn contains click magnets such as “30% off”, “Free Shipping” or “Up to 60% off” which generate more clicks (since we all like discounts).
For optimal results, include creative (and appropriate) click magnets into your title tags and descriptions tags and put longer phrases in description tags since you have more room for words to gain more clicks and sales.
4) Use Date Modifiers For Coupons
For businesses in the coupon industry, best practice will be to include date modifiers (2016, 2017) on each coupon page to show visitors that the coupons are fresh. For example, Kohl’s coupon page shows the last updated date including an expiry date for each coupon offer.
This allows search engines to crawl in-depth, provide comprehensive search results and rich snippets for visitors.
5) Implement Product Review Schema by Displaying Rich Snippets in Google
Rich snippets were first launched in 2009, they offer a way of adding more information to a search listing which could be in form of a star rating of a review or price of an item.
Webmasters can markup web pages with Schema.org making ecommerce sites eligible for displaying rich snippets in search results. Using structured data markup allows search engines to crawl and display page content comprehensively even though Google does not guarantee rich snippets for every website.
For clarification purposes, rich snippets do not affect site rankings but the use allows for comprehensive search listings for visitors, an increased CTR and indirect SEO benefits such as easily indexable web pages and detailed metadata.
Laurynas Skupas is the co-founder and CEO of ChameleonJohn