What you need to know about eCommerce SEO for brands in 2019: The ultimate checklist

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Search Engine Optimization (SEO) was never easy to begin with.

But it gets more complicated as time goes by. Every algorithm update, changing tech trends, and the over-crowded online market where every retailer or eCommerce company is fighting for the coveted highest rank, make it increasingly difficult to master the game.

You really cannot ignore eCommerceSEO or wait for a long time to get the desired traction. So, what does it take to get noticed, rank better for your category keywords and drive customers to your business?

To answer this, you have to understand that the SEO techniques of past may not work anymore, and what really will work in 2019:

1. Is your approach Mobile-First?

Google rolled out Mobile-first indexing in 2018. This means that Google will largely use the mobile version of your content for indexing and ranking.  Googlebot now primarily crawls and indexes pages with the smartphone agent and displays the URL that is more relevant for the user(be it desktop or mobile) in their results.

Yet, there is no need to panic. Mobile-first indexing still uses a single index for both desktop and mobile.

What this does mean however,  is that your SEO strategy should always put mobile-first and you should focus on making your website more accessible on mobile. Ensure that your website’s page loading times are great on mobile and provide a seamless user experience.

2. Create better URLs

URLS are your way of communicating with the search engines. When you create clean, descriptive URLS, it benefits both the search engine BOTS and users.

For example, for instance /blue-printed-button-front-mini-dress-forest/ works better than a mass of jumbled letters in the URL.

Minimize or avoid  parameterized or dynamic URLs as they are less friendly and not descriptive.

A unique, static and descriptive URL is friendly, not just for search engines but also general users to read and understand.

One other tip to note is to keep them as short as possible but retain the description. The longer the URL, them more difficult it is for the spiders to crawl and make sense of what the page or product is about.

3. Use Markup to enhance rich snippets and knowledge graphs

In addition to URLs, your page titles and meta descriptions must also include your brand’s keywords and be unique for each page.

Both the title and the meta description will be displayed on Google’s SERP. You should provide search engines with as much product detail as you can – right on the search page.

For example, Knowledge Graph is a visual info-box  displayed by Google to provide the introduction, data and relevance of an entity to a search.  You can use Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool to check if your pages use Scheme.org markup formatting accurately.

Rich snippets will help you outshine similar results because they showcase additional information that typically results don’t. For example, images or star-based reviews. The addition of these ‘rich’ details provide more insight to shoppers and will enhance your click through rate.

4. Customer reviews

Search Engines regard customer reviews and recommendations just like new website content and engagement. All of which add to the credibility of your online store and may influence your ranking. Not to mention, they can help potential customers make up their mind about your business.

5. Content is still king

Ecommerce websites may not realize this b the quality of their content, the production descriptions, the keywords, the taglines and headers all add to the factors that help you rank better.

Include your brand’s keywords inside the actual content on your pages and if possible in the various subheadings(H1, H2, H3 etc.)

Think of each page of your website as an opportunity to include your keywords in a relevant and meaningful way that adds to your overall SEO game.

Product descriptions are another area that can separate you from the competition. Focus on the customer’s search intent and create better descriptions. This will also help you to include keywords that rank better.

“BUT… don’t stuff your pages with keywords. Google defines keyword stuffing as reusing or repeating the same set of words or phrases in a way that sounds unnatural.”

6. Product page optimization

Focus on the page load speeds for individual categories and products. Do they take too long to load?

Product pages are not only important for conversion but also an important source of traffic. Optimized product pages will help your domain rank better, enhance click-through-rates and reduce the bounce rates.

Here are some ways in which you can improve your product pages:

  • Keyword rich product description
  • Optimized images with appropriate alt tags
  • Customer reviews and ratings
  • Title tag modifiers

Last but not the least, amplify your content and promote it on via other channels s social media networks, email newsletters and blogs. Use Technical SEO best practices and conduct an audit from the technical standpoint so that you leverage the full potential of SEO for your eCommerce business.