Digital Shopping Carts and Search Engine Optimization
One of the many marketing techniques available to online business owners is search engine optimization (SEO). Did you know you could use this method to improve the ranking of your digital shopping cart?
At this point, I’m going to assume you know the value of investing in ecommerce software and have selected an online shopping cart that works best for you. This article is going to focus on ways you can use SEO techniques to improve the search engine rankings of your product listings.
Most shopping carts help you organize your products by category. The category name is then often used within the URL to your product landing page. This gives you an opportunity to include keywords in your URL – a valuable SEO technique. So select your category names wisely … make sure they include keywords you want to rank well for.
Again, use keywords in the name of your product, especially in your shopping cart’s description. Since this bit of text will show up on the product landing page, it will be “spidered” by the search engines and help that page rank well.
Know How Your Clients Search
Key word research can help find out what key words potential clients are actually using to find products like yours. Your first instinct may not be correct, so do the research and follow its results when naming categories and products.
Some digital shopping cart systems allow you to specify meta tags. Be sure to use this opportunity to include keyword phrases that will help your online store rank well for your target market.
If your virtual shopping cart allows you to add images (and most do) and include alternative (alt) attributions, be sure to include a description of the product that includes your primary keyword for that product. Search engines often use alt tags to help them rank webpages. But be careful not to stuff the alt tag with keywords. Alt tags are used by screen readers for the sight impaired and you’ll push away these potential customers. Not to mention, most search engines frown on all forms of keyword stuffing, so this could backfire.
As with any other type of website, off-page SEO can be a great help to getting your store to rank well in the search engines. Practice techniques such as blog commenting and article marketing to grow one-way back links to your online store. You can even approach other website owners to see if they’ll include a link to your site using anchor text. (Having an affiliate program can really help with this method.)
Once you’ve got your system down for doing all these SEO techniques, you can always outsource some of the work. But I recommend that you do the work first … that way you’ll be better able to evaluate the work of someone else.