• Creating Good Content for your Online Store Nov 16, 2017
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    Only up to a few years ago, not many of us shopped online. Today, the online market volume is growing by several billion euros annually. This year, forecasts predict that online trading will account for more than 11 percent of total retail sales. The competition in online retailing will increase, and the more players will be pushing their way onto the market. Only those who use and are thinking about the right SEO strategy will be successful.


    Amazon shows many online shop owners in the truest sense of the word, how to do it right. The company owns between 15-30 percent of the European e-commerce market, and the trend is growing rapidly. The following SEO measures for shop operators show you how, as a shop operator, can gain a good foothold in today’s ever competitive online market.


    1. BE ORIGINAL – CREATE UNIQUE PRODUCT DESCRIPTIONS

    One mistake made by many shop owners is the use of identical product descriptions from competitors. Often, some if not most online shop owners simply copy the manufacturer's product texts. Search engines and especially Google, whose market share in the UK is 85 percent, prefer unique content in its search results. If a product description is missing completely, the corresponding products will most likely not be indexed and therefore will not appear in a Google search.


    2. KEEP YOUR CUSTOMER IN MIND – ASK; WHAT DOES THE CUSTOMER WANT?


    Many shop operators do not give much thought to what their customer want. This means that the customer has to be addressed specifically in the product description. The best way to do this is to create a questionnaire with the most important questions. Conversations with friends and relatives can also help to understand what might be important for the customer and help give you an idea of what may work for your product description.

    Let's use a simple example of selling motorcycle helmets. You should ask yourself the following questions:


    · Why should customers buy my motorcycle helmets?

    · What do customers already know about motorcycle helmets?

    · What safety standards must motorcycle helmets have?

    · Where are the helmets produced?



    Indeed there are many more questions you could ask and the more you ask, the deeper your understanding will be of your customer. In any case, you should know the needs of your target group and keep them in mind at all times. Also, you should provide if possible additional useful information to your customers. For example, tips on how to get your motorcycle ready for the new season, or which route you should experience with your motorbike. Individual products can be optimally linked to these advice topics, which can then be found in your shop


    3. ALLOWING PRODUCT APPROVALS

    According to studies, more than 70 percent of shoppers only make a purchase decision when they have looked at reviews from other customers. Therefore, it is important to allow customer reviews for your products as it will give both your customers and you an insight into the performance of your shop and where it can be improved. Also, their product pages are continually growing due to unique content, which they do not even have to take care of themselves. The site is constantly being updated, which in turn leads to beneficial ranking factors in search engines.


    4. TAILOR RICH SNIPPETS

    Rich snippets are semantic extensions for search engine crawlers, which are partially displayed in search results. With comparatively little effort, you can improve your ranking factors through the structured optimisation of your website. With the help of snippets, you attract attention in search results and thus increase the number of clicks on your site. Using the above example of motorcycle helmets, a Rich Snippet for a product could contain the following information:


    · configuration

    · brand

    · colour

    · size

    · availability

    · price



    5. CREATE SEO CONTENT FOR PRODUCT CATEGORIES


    In addition to a unique product description, the use of frequently used search terms (keywords) is essential for search engine optimisation. Even the most detailed and unique product text will not rank well if the search engine does not recognise what this page is all about. Therefore, both the title, text and captions have to be provided with so-called keywords, which are often entered by search engines and refer to the respective product.


    6. AVOID KEYWORD STUFFED CONTENT


    The art of good search engine optimisation is to find the right balance between creating good content with a sufficient number of keywords that will be recognised by Google to rank well but not to be considered as spam. In the past, crude phrases such as "buying a good motorcycle helmet offer safety" were often used. The idea of this was to use the keyword combination "buy motorcycle helmet" without ever integrating into a well thought out text. Nowadays, practices like this are less and less common as they result in penalisations from the search engines.


    7. STRATEGIC PLACEMENT OF CATEGORY TEXTS

    It is not only the product texts that play a central role in SEO Basics. The category texts are also to be optimised specifically for the search volume and placed on the page. In general, Google rates content at the top of a page as more relevant. However, you should still avoid placing complete category texts above the products.

    This, in turn, would have a negative effect on their conversion optimisation, because the products would then lack valuable space in the customer's first viewing space as they "enter" the site. Again, the right balance needs to be found between important texts and other content.



    8. IMPROVE SERVER SPEED AND PAGE LOAD TIME

    On the Internet, there is hardly anything more annoying for the customer than waiting for a page to be set up. The latter may leave the page being annoyed and changes to the competition in the search results. Short loading times are therefore just as important as keyword optimised pages. Many advertising companies that offer shop systems do not have the problem on the screen. Most of the time, professional SEO agencies first point out the problem. Fast loading times are essential for both search engine ranking and usability.

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    (screenshot of Google PageSpeed Tool)

    9. CONSTRUCTION OF INTERNAL LINKING

    Internal linking is used in search engine optimisation to distribute the "power" of links better and to strengthen subpages that receive fewer backlinks. In online shops, the internal linking can already begin on the start page to address deeper structures of the online shop. Also, internal links allow users to click through the structure of the online shop. This, in turn, increases the user's time spent in the online shop. For example, the following subpages can be linked optimally:


    · Related Products

    · accessories

    · Products of the same manufacturer



    10. OPTIMISE PRODUCT IMAGES



    An online shop lives from product images. These should not only be attractively designed and available in high quality. Search engine optimisation also plays a decisive role for images. On the one hand, images should be optimized for the Internet to shorten loading times. On the other hand, images must be appropriately labelled so that they can also be "read" by search engines. If there are several product images, the photos can also be numbered.


    However, Google will increasingly be able to evaluate image content without having to resort to the image designation. The search algorithm can already recognize fonts, objects and colours. For the time being, however, naming the images should be an integral part of the optimization process.


    11. AVOID ERRORS WHEN CHANGING YOUR ASSORTMENT


    If an assortment change occurs, new product pages must be created. In order not to lose well-placed pages due to deletion, the URLs of the deleted product pages should be forwarded to the new product pages by means of a so-called 301 redirect. So the rankings are preserved because Google now knows that instead of the old page for this search result the new page should be displayed.
    Sanjeev Nanda likes this.
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