Search engine optimization (SEO) has been one of the key factors driving modern-day business success. However, many businesses still find themselves struggling to figure out a way to properly optimize their websites and have them fully comply with various SEO rules.
Simply put, no matter how beautiful your retail website is, if you don’t make it search engine-friendly, you can’t really expect to reach the exposure you’re hoping to get.
Luckily, optimizing retail websites for search engines is really not that difficult. There are, however, some key aspects you will need to pay attention to in order to ensure that everything is set in place.
That being said, here are some of the best tips on SEO practices that will help you ensure that your retail website is optimized for both Google and users.
- Make sure your page speed is optimized
Even though page loading time is a very important ranking factor, many businesses simply tend to overlook it for whatever reason.
But considering that about 70% of online shoppers use their mobile devices to make a purchase, it becomes quite clear that this is the first aspect of your website that will require your attention.
Luckily, there are numerous tools on the market that can not only help you improve your website loading speed but also monitor it constantly to ensure the best performance.
There are some additional ways you can use to improve the loading speed of your retail website, which include:
- Reduce the number of redirects and remove any broken or dead links
- Maximize browser caching to improve page loading speed
- Compress files, images and other visuals
- Make sure your server response time is excellent
- Make use of a content distribution network (CDN) to ensure faster delivery of your content
- Take care of your URLs and use slugs wisely
When it comes to URLs, you should really pay attention to your URL slugs. A URL slug is the part of the URL after the last backslash. If not done correctly, these can oftentimes look quite clunky.
Luckily, you can easily make smart use of your URL slugs and use them to improve your SEO efforts. For instance, by optimizing your slugs to contain keywords you wish to rank for, you’ll signal Google that your content should be included on the SERPs.
On top of that, you will also offer your audience a better understanding of what they can expect to see once they land on your page.
If you think about it, URL slugs that contain actual words and phrases offer more value to both users and search engines than slugs that contain a random sequence of numbers, letters and symbols.
- Nail your product and category descriptions
When running an online retail business, your product and category descriptions are some of the main things that help you make sales.
So, aside from making sure that your products are nicely presented on your website, you also want to make sure you categorize them properly. You can easily achieve this by reaching out to a professional website design agency to take care of that part for you. If you are doubting which one agency is best for you, look at more info.
But your work won’t end there. Instead, you will also need to make sure you write detailed and unique product and category descriptions. But in order to nail this, you need to know who your audience is and how each product could potentially benefit them.
The better you optimize your product and category pages, the easier it will be for your visitors to find exactly what they are looking for.
On top of that, this will also significantly improve your SEO efforts since the search engines are nowadays more focused on providing value rather than simply ranking keywords stuffed together on product pages alone.
- Optimize for mobile
As mentioned earlier, about 70% of online shoppers make their purchases via their mobile devices. Knowing that, it becomes clear that no online retail business should or can afford to neglect this crowd.
And even though it may seem like the majority of modern online retail businesses are well optimized for mobile, the reality is quite different.
Since mobile optimization is a relatively new concept, many businesses make the mistake of simply creating duplicate versions of their websites specifically designed with mobile in mind. However, even though this is the easier route to take, it does negatively affect their SEO efforts.
So, instead of falling into the same trap, and rather than simply duplicating your content, try to implement a more mobile-friendly and responsive design to your retail website.
Even though this will require more work and it may even require some downtime, it will be well worth it in the end.
[ Image: Pexels.com ]
- Test your site’s performance
Last but not least is site testing. This may come as a surprise, but sometimes the best way to improve your SEO efforts is to look back.
Retrace your previous steps and make sure that all the changes you’ve implemented so far are performing as they should. It won’t make much sense to make a change to your retail website if it’s going to negatively affect your site’s performance.
Additionally, try to update and refresh every piece of content you’ve made in the past to contain relevant and up-to-date information.
Moreover, make sure you implement analytics software to your website, so that you can easily measure and track all the traffic that’s happening on your site. That way, you’ll be able to notice easily if any aspect of your website is lacking and needs further improvement.
And finally, make sure you account for customers’ internal search of your products, as this can sometimes be even more important than optimizing for SEO. So, make sure you optimize your internal search for:
- Common keyword synonyms
- Misspellings of your keywords
- Other factors that may be taking away from the quality of your visitors’ search results
- Final thoughts
Improving your SEO efforts and optimizing your retail website for search engines will help you increase your organic traffic and attract new customers. And since no business can thrive without customers, it’s quite clear why being able to do this is crucial for any business’ success.
On top of that, boosting your online visibility and expanding your audience will result in more sales and an overall improved bottom line which is something every business is trying to reach.
Sophie Douglas is a digital marketing specialist and a journalist based in Columbus, state of Ohio.
Her characters are passionate, innovative, and ambitious.
Before becoming a writer for DigitalStrategyOne, she was writing short stories, screenplays, and directing short films.