On the surface, search engine optimization may just seem like packing as many buzzwords into your content as possible. This common misconception often leads to websites which seem to be catered towards Google’s scraper bots rather than clients with “keyword-stuffed” content.
The truth is that buzzword-packing leads to a website which is disliked by both readers and search engine algorithms. Some of the most overlooked aspects of SEO are often the most important for successful website maintenance.
Know your target
Just as with any publication, knowing your audience is critical. This is especially important for SEO. If your website provides information on various kinds of athletic shoes, you should target the content towards someone looking for shoes to buy, not someone who already knows what shoes they want to buy.
Similarly, if you are running a page which sells these shoes, you should try to target your content towards searches like “buy Nike Revolution 5” rather than searches like “best running shoes.” Keeping your website specific will not only attract relevant clicks, but will actually increase its SEO rating and its position within search results.
Title Tags & Metadata
A page’s Title Tag, the ‘headline’ which is seen on a search engine, and its Metadata, the description under that headline, are the most vital content locations for SEO. Since these are what users will first see, search engines consider them highly when scoring pages.
Make sure that these areas contain concise, descriptive content. It is important to include a couple keywords in these areas, but it is critical to avoid keyword stuffing. Not only will this reduce the search engine’s rating of your site, but it will drastically reduce your clickthrough rate because of hard-to-understand language.
URLs are at the heart of a website and are considered such when determining SEO. Having descriptive URL paths gives a search engine a much better idea of what a page does. If you have an online storefront, consider having it be accessible through “…/shop” rather than through something like “…/c/main”.
Descriptive URLs extend to content as well. Rather than having a link’s text be generic, such as “more,” it should be descriptive of what the link leads to. It is vital to not have any dead links – links which lead to nonexistent webpages – as they drastically hurt SEO.
Rarely considered for SEO is webpage loading time. Making your site responsive and fast-loading gives a generous boost when compared to slower competitors. Reducing unnecessary scripts and CSS are easy ways to reduce loading times. Using high-compression-ratio formats such as JPEG reduces loading times, though be careful to avoid compression artifacts on text.
SEO is a vast and complicated topic. Monitoring and implementing the best SEO tactics requires experience and a deep knowledge of consistent best-practices. Hiring an SEO expert is the most efficient way to fully optimize your site long-term for high quality results and turning interested visitors into prospective customers.
Call Aptimized today for a free consultation of your e-commerce strategy.