Working on eCommerce SEO is the most toughest part for any SEO Consultant. We have to contentiously monitor the user behavior to make them buy our products. Though this is very much possible with some advance Analytics and Web Psychology, its not mandatory that every SEO expert should understand them in detail. Recently I started working with one my eCommerce SEO client, who is into the online business from past 5 years. Though his product was the best in the market, he still couldn’t able to reach out the targeted audience from past 2 years. The site was designed in Prestashop, which I feel is the most complex until I got into it.
Previously the client burned his hands with a bad SEO company, who spammed their website with over 30,000 spam directory links. These strategies were working fine till 2011, until Google decided to take them down with Penguin updates. The good thing the client did was to change the previous domain name with .US extension, and monitor the backlinks after outsourcing it to a new SEO company. This particular client is very educated when it comes to SEO, so he knows where to invest his money. All he had in his mind was to reach 1 Million Dollars by the end of February 2014.
Without much delay, I immediately agreed upon the project, and signed a contract to achieve the same. I didn’t involve my professional SEO team into the project, as I was pretty confident to handle the project individually. The whole process started from website auditing, where I started to pull every possible information. After a day’s gap, I made my SEO strategy to earn good keyword positions in Google and Bing search engines.
The Industry Research is the first thing you need to plan before planning your SEO strategy. You should know where to start your strategy, right from keywords to reverse engineering. Ahrefs is the first SEO tool I check before planning my SEO strategy. This tool can be used in different ways, where majority of my concern goes to competitor analysis itself. Once I have my list of competitors, I directly jump into the keyword research via Long Tail Pro, Google Keyword Planner and Uber Suggest.
The first thing you need to remember in Keyword Research is the client’s requirement. Let the client be a layman when mentioning the keywords. But what you have to grab out of the requirements is just a basic idea on the subject. Once you have a basic idea about the subject, start writing your own keyword ideas on a piece of paper. This step is very crucial in your keyword research, else you will waste a lot of time in digging the keywords all day.
Now check the keywords with some long tail searches like “Where Can I Buy Water Purification System Online”. Though “Water Purification System” is the main seed keyword, you can still optimize your keywords for other relevant keywords. Also you have to do your research and learning about (LSI) Latent Semantic Indexing, which I’m not gonna explain in this article. The world is moving fast with LSI based SEO strategies nowadays. So are you prepared? If not then start your homework right away.
On-page optimization is the key factor for any website success. Though nowadays majority of the websites concentrate on off-page optimization, it’s still your responsibility to take care of On-page optimization first. Check out whether every page has a proper Meta Title and Description. You can ignore the Meta Keywords tags, as Google doesn’t give them much importance these days. Even the URL structure plays a prominent role in on-page optimization, which is explained in detail under the site architecture section.
Make sure all your pages are accessible by bots. Sometimes by mistake we block the important pages on robots.txt file. This mistake could be costly if its a eCommerce website. Few products were having duplicate content on multiple pages, which made the previous SEO company to deindex them. This is okay, as I already had better pages to perform well in Google.
Understanding Site Architecture:
Every product page link in the website should speak out a possible meaning, so that the search engines understand what your webpage is all about. After going through the site architecture in detail, I understood that the previous web development company didn’t do it professional. Remember that your SEO expert should always sit back with your development team while designing the website. We all know Magento is little cooperative with SEO, whereas Prestashop and Opencart are still struggling to mark there position in the Industry. This present site was built in Prestashop, so you can imagine the amount of work I had to deal with.
So the first thing I did was to change the complete architecture of the website. Though the URL links will get a 404 if I edit them, I had to take a chance to set them right. I immediately changed the URL structure with relevant keywords and phrases, so that it can rank well in Google. The website has over 26 products, out of which 13 were the most profitable products till date. I first didn’t edit these 13 product pages on the website, but just took a week to come up with a better strategy.
You might have frequently heard about Content Marketing term in 2013. Yes! This is the future SEO in all aspects! A website which has the best content will be treated as King in search engines. I made my client to invest good money in professional content writing, who charge $1/word. This content is absolutely needed, as the previous content on the page was stuffed with irrelevant and spam keywords.
When writing the SEO content, always make sure to use long tail keywords with decent searches. I asked my content writer to focus the primary keywords on Product Titles, First paragraph of product description, Headings and where ever possible with under 1% keyword density.
The UX of the website should be awesome, so that the user loves to spend much time on the page. We changed the template to a simple responsive design, which focused on a stunning layout and rich user interface. Since the website was made for eCommerce buyers, we always made sure to show them relevant products under each product. This improved the bounce rate, and thus the time spent on the website.
Also each product has sharing options, where the user can easily spread the word on social networks. This was very valuable to the eCommerce website, as people tend to buy what their friends and relatives already bought.
Let me not get much into Localization, as this article might never end. I made sure the website is getting its local traffic via Google, Bing and Other directories, which was very much needed. You have to make sure to submit the site in right local directories, as the chance of spamming your domain is extremely high. Understanding the citations is crucial in Local SEO, as they tend to change the game in long run. We also integrated Local SEO with Google Places and Google Plus business pages, which changed the whole game.
We received tons of traffic from Yelp, Yahoo Local, Yellow Book, Yellow Pages, City Search and Local.com. This traffic was very much needed, as Google doesn’t seem to be impressed with our PPC budgets.
Link Building? You gotta kidding me! A big no in the first one month, but still we tried to write a guest article in a PR 4 blog. Sadly the content we wrote was not quite appealing to the readers on the blog. We didn’t acquire a lot of keyword positions in this month, but yes a lot of local traffic from good directories, Google and social media.
Conversions & Email Marketing:
Though you get enough traffic to your website, you should always know how to convert your customers. I first wanted to collect the email ID’s on the website itself, but later planned to make our official blog itself. After writing some awesome content in the blog, people started to subscribe to the website immediately. Though we don’t want to spam their emails right away, we still love to send them a weekly newsletter on what’s happening.
You can easily convert your traffic into customers, but be prepared to do your solid homework. There is still a lot to learn about Prestashop eCommerce SEO, and I believe I keep updating you guys on how to deal with them.
At the end of the day, all your focus should be on improving the Page Authority and Domain Authority of a website. Building keyword rankings on Google will not work any more! I hope this article helped you to understand the way you should deal with your SEO clients and eCommerce optimization. Waiting for your comments!