5 Tips for E-Commerce Businesses, from Square’s SEO Expert

5 Tips for E-Commerce Businesses, from Square’s SEO Expert
You need SEO to get potential customers to your online store.
by Square Aug 16, 2017 — 3 min read
5 Tips for E-Commerce Businesses, from Square’s SEO Expert

It’s important to invest time and resources in SEO. But be aware, SEO isn’t necessarily something you can implement overnight. Results aren’t immediate. To make things more difficult, SEO is a constantly changing practice.

We know you’re busy, and you don’t have time to catch up on everything. So Chris Yee, Square’s SEO lead, shared his top tips for using SEO to move the needle for your e-commerce business.

1. Standardize all foundational elements.

SEO for e-commerce is all about growth and scalability. Automating a few things allows you to grow exponentially while managing your site. Try standardizing the following:

2. Keep up with keywords.

Every successful e-commerce SEO strategy starts with keyword research. Insights derived from your keyword research (or semantic research or even search intent analysis) should be your north star, dictating everything that goes on with your site.

With insights, prospective customers are essentially telling you what they want, their pain points, what they want to purchase, how they want it, and more. Insights can drive the category pages you create, the customer language you use, what technical specs you include in your product pages, what facets to include (or exclude), and how to structure your site navigation.

Chris breaks keyword research and insights into four primary steps:

Product pages are where customers decide if they want to check out or not. Make use of that real estate by incorporating the appropriate content to help your customers make that decision. This content not only helps with conversions but also taps into the long tail of search where you’re addressing hyper-specific search intent (for example, “blue jeans with holes and dolphins on them”).

Case in point: Amazon ranks well for millions of products because it started out with descriptive content on the page but began incorporating technical specs, FAQs, and customer reviews.

4. Don’t fret about your search ranking.

Focus instead on qualified traffic from organic search. There are too many factors to account for nowadays (location, device type, browser type, browser history, which data center you’re hitting) to get a “true” SEO ranking.

Rankings should be used as a measure of opportunity and how you stack up against your competitors. Track keyword rankings for overall site diagnostics and to understand visibility trends, but don’t worry about them. After all, you can’t take keyword rankings to the bank.

Instead, focus on your customers and work on improving their site experience. You can have a site fully optimized for SEO, with blindingly fast page speed, but if your site doesn’t function well, then everything you do will fall flat. As Chris says, “You can’t put lipstick on a pig.”

5. Change up your toolkit.

There are many SEO tools out there, but they’ll never be a substitute for you and your ability to get into the mind of the customer with insights. SEO trends and tactics are constantly evolving, and what worked last year may not be as effective today.

To stay up to date, Chris checks Search Engine Land and follows SEO experts on Twitter to see what they’re sharing about industry news. Here are a few he recommends:

Most of all, don’t forget that you need to continue to test and iterate on what you know about your users. Because at the end of the day, what’s good for the user is good for search engines.

The Bottom Line is brought to you by a global team of collaborators who believe that anyone should be able to participate and thrive in the economy.


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