Thu. Nov 14th, 2019
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How to Optimise Ecommerce Websites to Improve Rankings

Starting an ecommerce website is easy, but turning it into a success is another matter entirely.

There are many ecommerce websites out there, so online shoppers can get away with being picky. And if you want them to become your patrons, you have to find a way to entice them. There are different ways to go about doing this.

You can keep your prices low, and hope you will attract enough customers that way. You can offer stellar customer service in an effort to keep customers engaged long-term. Or you can boost your organic search engine reach to create a stream of qualified leads.

All of these approaches are valid, and you should use all of them if possible. But even if you can’t afford to lower your prices, or hire additional customer services reps, you can still make your business grow by optimising your website.

If this is your first foray into the world of ecommerce, or if you need a reminder on how to optimise an ecommerce website, you’ve come to the right place. Here are 7 website optimisation tactics for keeping your ecommerce website on top of relevant search engine results pages.

1. Target the Right Keywords

Search intent is the name of the game in ecommerce SEO. When a potential customer makes a search for a product or service, they’re doing so because they want to buy. What they don’t want is to read a random article that just so happens to contain a keyword.

So in order to have a shot at attracting customers through organic reach, your website content has to match user search intent. In practical terms, this means that you should favour actionable, long-tail keywords over generic, non-descriptive ones.

2. Optimise Loading Speed

In terms of technical SEO, page loading speed is one of the key factors search engines take into consideration. Pages that take more than 5 seconds to load are likely to irritate users, netting you a penalty with search engines in the process.

There are many things you can do to speed up your website. For starters, you should keep your HTML, CSS, and JavaScript code minified. Next, you should compress all your images. Finally, you should switch to a dedicated server for hosting.

3. Simplify Site Structure

Another thing you can do to make search engines happy is simplifying your website structure. To understand why, you need to know a bit about how search engine crawlers operate. The job of a crawler is to index every page on your site, and they do this by following internal links.

If you have pages that are inaccessible, the crawler will not take them into consideration. To avoid this from happening, keep your link structure simple, and make sure that all your pages are accessible.

4. Provide Meta-descriptions

Ecommerce SEO is mainly about providing a satisfactory user experience. If visitors like your website, search engines will like it too. But you can also appeal to search engines directly by using meta-descriptions. A meta-description is a piece of text that describes your user-focused content in more detail.

Search engine crawlers will ‘read’ meta-descriptions to gain additional insight into the purpose of your site. Use meta-descriptions to provide information such as when the site was originally made, who made it, and what its purpose is.

5. Use Chatbots for Customer Service

The one disadvantage there is about online storefronts is the fact that there are no shop attendants around to help customers with their issues. If potential customers get stuck while browsing your products, they will have little choice other than going to another website, which is an outcome you want to avoid.

One way to solve this problem is to use a chatbot for customer service. A chatbot can help visitors navigate the site, as well as provide product suggestions, and other pertinent information. They also cost next-to-nothing to set up, and require little maintenance.

6. Streamline Site Design

There is some debate about the role aesthetics play in website design. Some claim that functionality is more important than looks, while others argue that good design is what keeps customers engaged. We believe that while aesthetics are not as important as functionality, having a good visual theme will improve your website user experience. The key here is to combine functionality and aesthetics by streamlining your website design.

Choose a visual theme that will give your products centre stage, while keeping the user interface uncluttered.

7. Conduct Regular A/B Tests

The final piece of the optimisation puzzle is regular testing. It is rare to get everything right on your first try in ecommerce web design. Your main font might not scale well on mobile devices, your CTA copy might be a bit unclear, your checkout process might have one step too many, to name a few instances.

The only way to ensure that your website is fully optimised is to conduct regular A/B testing. This will help you find the best possible version for each website element over time.

Keeping Your Rank High

There is no single, fool-proof method to make your ecommerce website rank high. Instead, there is a variety of tactics, each of which will contribute in a small way. So the main challenge about ecommerce website optimisation is finding the right combination of tactics.

Take the tactics we have described as a starting point, see how they work, and then look for others if necessary. This is the only way to keep your rank high in the long-run.

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