SEO: February 2007 Archives
1. Keyword and Competitive Analysis.
Spend some time performing searches. Make a list of keywords and keyword phrases that you believe a person is likely use to find the exact products and services you sell. Performing searches using your list will lead you to your competitors’ sites. Analyze their sites and try to determine what they are doing to get good placement.
2. Never Try to Trick the Search Engines.
Long-term, high placement in the major search engines requires correct and thorough optimization techniques. Hidden text, doorway pages, and link farms don’t work and could result in blacklisting your domain. In fact, so many webmasters began spamming meta tags with inappropriate keywords that search engines have greatly de-emphasized the importance of meta tags on search. Even so, it’s a good idea to add meta tags with relevant keywords using ProStores built-in features.
3. Product Names and Descriptions.
Probably the most important optimization criterion is the existence of highly targeted, pertinent, keyword-rich text on your store pages. Your product names and descriptions must contain relevant keywords for each specific product in your catalog. Name your products and write your short and long descriptions so they are effective for selling to visitors and optimizing for search engines.
Based on your product and category names and descriptions, ProStores will automatically populate your store meta tags with this information—an essential step in optimizing your store for natural search.
4. Category Names and Descriptions.
Text-based category names in your navigation that include keywords and links to a list of relevant products that also contain keywords in the product names and short descriptions is highly desirable for search engines. Optimize for broader keyword phrases by choosing descriptive category names and using ProStores category descriptions.
5. All Dynamic and No Dead Ends.
There is no need to create static pages for your ProStores store and insert them among your dynamically created ProStores pages. Doing this can actually be detrimental. The major search engines’ robots are very effective at digging deep into even the largest product catalogs.
You should, however, make use of ProStores’ built-in customer service pages—and your home page welcome text—to provide content about your products and what makes your store unique. Not only does this help keep your customers interested, the relevant keywords on these pages help improve your ranking: quality, useful content is essential!
6. Keep it Fresh.
The major search engines recognize fresh and timely content and will reward you with improved results. Continue to work on improving your product descriptions, welcome text and other information pages using timely content that references holidays or popular current events.
Use ProStores’ featured product and category functionality on your ProStores home page and change the products and categories regularly.
7. Measure Your Effectiveness.
The best measurement is not simply an increase in traffic to your store, but an increase in converting those additional visitors to buyers. Track your changes and updates to see what’s working and what isn’t. Use the built-in Urchin Site Analyzer reporting tools, included with ProStores Business tier and above and look into adding conversion tracking with Google Analytics or other third party web analytics tool.
In wrapping up, optimizing your store for the major search engines is complex work, but it is not black magic. Invest time into researching the best practices for site optimization and implement what you learn as you go. It may, and likely will, take months to thoroughly optimize your store and for the search engines to completely index your catalog. But if you do it right, the payoff is achieving your sales goals.