9 SEO advice for your web shop
In this blog post we give you 9 advice that can get your web shop to attract more free, organic traffic in Google by doing SEO. We have invited Nikolaj Mogensen to our blog. Nikolaj started his own web shop in 2008 and has been working with SEO on some of the largest Danish webshops since 2012. Today he is the head of the digital marketing agency Quisma, which does digital marketing , includingSEO.
1. Create a search keyword analysis of your industry
The first advice is about investigating what your customers are actually ask for in Google. This is done by using a seach keyword analysis, where you collect data about keywords and competition on keywords.
You have to find the articulation that your customers have about your products, so you know which pages on your web shop you should have and optimize.
Use Excel to structure your analysis. You can collect data about what you customers search for from the tool Keyword Planner from Google. Besides that, there are a range of tools, such as keyword.io and answerthepublic.com.
I have created a free Danish e-book, where I guide you through
making a keyword analysis , which has already been downloaded and used by more than 2000 people.
2. Build an information architechture that reflects the demand
When you have finished your keyword analysis you know which brands, products, colors, etc. your customers are looking for. You will need this to build your information architechture – that is the structure or sitemap of your webshop.
For example, if your customers are mostly looking for brands, you have to make it possible for them to find category pages with brands. If they are looking for colors, you should make it possible to find pages with colors. It is important that what your customers are looking for can be cound on static pages, which can be indexed. That is, not filtering, which cannot be indexed.
The same applies to the product types. You should ensure that your information architechture is sufficiently deep to cover the demand. However, it is a balance, as the structure can also be too deep, so refer to your data. If there are only 100 searches for a keyword, it probably wont pay off to create another level in your structure, but instead target this keyword using a product page.
3. Make it possible to create good content on your category pages
It has to be possible to great amazing category pages, where your not only show the products, but also guide the user to choosing products with tips and tricks. You can either have content before or after the products.
If you have the content before, it often becomes a long way to scroll before you get to the products, and the page loses its user friendliness. Here I will reccomend you use a read more function, which can expand in a way that allows Google to correctly read the content.
The soultion I typically reccomend is to have the content at the bottom of the page, where it does not affect the user experience negatively. Here you could create a link at the top, which guides visitors who need more information to the bottom.
On your category pages it is important that it is possible to create content besides what is known as a wall of text. You could insert columns, icons, lists, and images, so you have the option to make your category page texts interesting and usable instead of just a wall of text.
4. Create value-adding 1000+ word content on your 20 most important category pages
Way too often I see web shops that does not write good text, or does not get any text written at all. Therefore, I reccomend you prioritize your 20 most important category pages and create some helpful and good articles for them, that guides the user to purchase the product.
It does not matter if some of the advice are reuccurring, as you should see your category pages as landing pages. But make sure all the content is unique is is not recycled, that way you avoid challenges with duplicate content.
5. Create a blog and hit searches earlier in the shopping experience
The challenge with creating pages and content that use all the keywords, as a web shop, is that users in some markets search earlier in the shopping experience. That is for help and guidance for specific issues or inspiration for something your product can remedy.
You will have a hard time targeting these searches with your category or product pages, this is where a blog can be a powerful tool. With your keyword analysis you can figure out which problems and questions your customers ask Google about. Therefore, you can develop your blog posts and articles to answer potential customers’ questions. These articles will generate trafic to your web shop as they will rank because of the content.
Note that visitors to your blog will not convert as well, therefore you can suitable work with supplementary channels, such as e-mail marketing and automation to get them matured through the shopping experience and retargeting with banners and social media, again to mature them.
6. Create linkable content in the form of releases, and use it
One of the biggest challenges I meet when webshops do SEO, is that there is no linkable content. Linkable content is content that it is worth linking to for other websites, such as news sites, bloggers, and niche sites.
If you work with SEO on your web shop, you should also work with link building. And unless you do not mind the risk of buying links, you have to go out and attract links more naturally. Therefore, your web shop should create one or more linkable pieces of content, which are so good they attract attention. This could be calculators, and release and visualisation of data, or top lists.
You should use this linkable content to reach out to the websites you want to get links from. It is important to note that no links show up on their own, you have to try and activate your linkable pieces of content.
7. Implement Schema.org on category pages and product pages
When you have a web shop, you need to make sure you tell Google what the different elements on your website is. I reccomend you use Schema.org to do this – Schema.org is a markup language understood by Google.
When you have schema.org on your web shop Google will start showing more things in the search results about the page. This expands the space you have, thus increasing the number of potential customers who click on your result.
You especially need to implement it on your product pages, so you can have stock level, price, and reviews into the index.
You can also try working with your category pages, e.g. by accumulating reviews on the page and export this to the index, or crearing a price range on the page which can be exported as well.
8. Ensure correct indexing without duplicate content
Technically you have to ensure your webshop does not create duplicate content. I oftens see webshop systems create this elements such as filtering and pagination of category pages.
These should not be indexed, but rather controlled by technical SEO codes such as canonicals and rel=next etc. You should have you developer or SEO consultant look at this, but you can spot the symptoms by doing a site:ditwebsite.dk search in Google and compare the number of indexed pages with the number of pages you actually have. If this does not match aproximately, you could have challenges with duplicate content.
9. Ensure your web shop loads quickly
As Google becomes more and more focused on user experience and mobile devices, they have also made it more important how quickly a website loads. Therefore, you should ensure that your web shop loads quickly, which not only ensures a good user experience, but also takes up some space in Google’s algorithm thus giving you better placements.
You can test your loading time with the tool Google Pagespeed Insights, where Google in a simple way rates your website. If you want more detailed tests about your load time, you should use webpagetest.org.
If your website scores poorly in the above mentioned tests, there can be many issues. Missing caching, images that are too large, a questionable server, or too many elements on the shop. Generally I would go to the developer or web agency and ask if they can do the easiest things. At some point the value of optimizing load times will be less than the expenses, and you should stop. You have to judge when this is on your own, taking your webshop and its size into consideration.