eCommerce SEO: Overview and First Steps

With this Posirank blog post, we are beginning our next extended series – on what, for many, has become the Holy Grail of SEO — SEO for eCommerce sites (which we’ll abbreviate to ecomm in this series).

Ecomm SEO is a pretty large subject to tackle – it has many facets and it does present some difficulties in implementation, especially for sites that are already up-and-running, and especially for already-existing sites that are large. For large sites, if you find out you have major issues it can be a royal PITA to make all the necessary changes. “Much better you will be,” said Yoda the SEO master, “if you can master ecomm SEO principles before your site is developed.”

An Overview of Where We Are Going (eComm SEO Topics to be Covered)

Before diving into any specific detail, let’s get oriented and get an overview of what we hope to deal with. Here are the topics we will be covering:

Before You Begin – Target Audience Research

The Importance of Online Reputation As A Ranking Factor – Guarding It

From Passer-By to Devoted Customer – The Path to Customer Purchase

Key Marketing Metrics for Your eComm Site

Technical Site Issues of Supreme Importance for eComm Sites

On-Site Issues and eComm Sites

Getting The Checkout Process Right

Developing Product Pages With Optimized Content

Selling Digital Products

Selling on Amazon

Using eComm Platforms

Selling During the Holidays

Getting Visible: Facebook, Amazon, Pinterest

Other Online Advertising

Managing Your Reputation Offsite

How Blogging Can Help You Boost Your eComm Sales

As you can see, there is a lot here to cover! So, strap yourself into your office chair, and let’s get to our first subject —

You Don’t Have an eComm Site Yet But You Still Have Customers (Huh?)

Ok, you don’t have your ecommerce website set up yet, so of course, you don’t have any direct customers who are currently doing business with you. But customers DO exist – if they did not, then your ecomm site would ultimately fail. It’s just that right now they are doing business somewhere else, some other site or business is where they are going.

And understanding as much as you can about those “future” customers is a big key to making your ecommerce enterprise successful.

“But I Already Know My Target Market!”

Please note: the job is not done when you’ve identified your target market. You need to know all about your audience. Specifically, a knowledge of what sites they are visiting and using right now.

You’ve got to dig in and detail all the pertinent characteristics of your target audience. With that done, you have to begin to query some of these people to find out:

  • Where are they present on social channels?
  • What are they searching for? (KW research comes in to play here)
  • What do they think are their favorite websites for your market? What sites are they going to, to buy the stuff that you will also be selling?
  • Research those competitors: What KW targets are they ranking for?
  • Your key competitors will be sites that rank well for a number of different searches and they are ranking consistently for them. MAKE NOTE OF THEM.
  • Now, what OTHER sites does your target audience visit? Why not ask them? What media or news sites – video sharing sites – forums – hangouts.

Once you know these sites, later on, they can be sites where you could place paid ads. Try reaching out to those webmasters to initiate relationships and to build up your network of contacts. Running ads (later) on those ancillary sites will make your site visible to them.

Establishing yourself as an expert or up-and-comer on these ancillary sites could make it easier to trust you when you open up your ecomm site later on. Knowing you, and knowing your rep, they will be much more likely to stop by and look you over. Don’t wait until your ecomm site is up and running, establish your reputation in your niche product area now.

Reputation Management and eComm SEO

The other key area to get a fix on, in the beginning, is the whole area of reputation management – achieving a good reputation for your online business and keeping it clean. That topic deserves a blog post all of its own, so we’ll deal with that in the next installment. So stay tuned!

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