10 Do's and Don'ts For SEO Online Store Success

By Team AmeriCommerce Tuesday, June 3, 2014

So we've blogged in the past about how important SEO is for your store, but are the search engines still giving you a headache?

Check out these top 10 do's and don'ts to get you on the right track to bring success to your store....

1. Do create unique content

If you sell a lot of stuff that's pretty similar then it's likely that your product info and features will be the same. The problem is, Google really doesn't like duplicated content and will rank you lower if you have it. The key is to not copy and paste the same description over and over – you need to find a way to write unique content for each page.

SEO Checklist:

  • Get a professional to create unique content for your site
  • Make sure your content is something that people will want to read
  • Regularly check to make sure your content is unique

2. DO take advantage of social media

Social media is a powerful tool that should not be underestimated. It has transformed many businesses and it will certainly help with your rankings. The more people follow you, the more content you can post and the more traffic you'll bring - meaning you'll turn into a high-quality online store! Remember not to over-sell to your followers, be someone who is interesting and provides entertaining posts, along with offers and exclusives.

SEO Checklist:

  • Post useful content on your social media
  • Be fun and interesting enough to follow
  • Don't over-sell too much

3. DO allow for product reviews

Allowing your customers to leave reviews can definitely help bring more traffic to your store. As you need to have unique content, this is kinda a free way for you to get exactly that, without having to pay for it! It can also help entice other people to click the buy button. If you're worried about negative reviews then you can always set up a way to monitor it.

SEO Checklist:

  • Let your customers create product reviews on your page
  • Monitor to make sure you aren’t getting negative reviews
  • Get your customers to give you a star rating

4. DO add title tags and meta descriptions

So meta descriptions and title tags on every page are really important to help with SEO. It's essentially a description placed on each page so that Google knows what it's all about. As mentioned above, it's really important to keep it unique, but you should also think about adding the specific product into your title and meta description to help it become better optimized.

SEO Checklist:

  • Add the product to your title tag and keep the title tag to 30 characters
  • Keep your meta description between 150-160 characters
  • Make sure description and title tag is unique to each page

5. DO use a site map

So as the name implies, a site map is the map of your online store. They are especially helpful because they offer better navigation and visibility by search engines. Also, it means that if you make a change to your site, a search engine will find out quicker. The thing is, you need to create two site maps – one for humans using the HTML format – and one for Google using XML format. On this occasion however, Google won't penalize you for having duplicated content in the form of a site map!

SEO Checklist:

  • Create two site maps – one in HTML and one in XML format
  • Keep it updated with changes
  • Notify Google about your site map using Google Webmaster Tools

6. DON'T overstuff with keywords

Yes you need to add keywords, but you need to be careful not to overstuff your copy with keywords. They don't make it easy do they?! The secret to doing this is to not think about writing content with Google in mind – instead think about your customer. What are they searching for? What do they want to read on your page? Keep it natural and the keywords will flow from that.

SEO Checklist:

  • Do your keyword research carefully and consider your customer
  • Add relevant keywords to your images, URL, meta descriptions and titles
  • Keep your copy natural

7. DON'T link back to your store too much

Google has started to cut down on link-building – content that is stuffed full of links back to your store. Creating external blog posts is a great way to bring exposure to your site, but you need to make sure you don't over-kill it with links back to your site. Instead link to high-quality websites that are relevant to your post and you'll find that your content will be better received.

SEO Checklist:

  • Don't put too many links back to your site
  • Do link to high-quality websites instead
  • Create external content with just your name and logo to bring exposure

8. DON'T copy your competitors

So your competitor may be doing better than you and they may be higher ranked on Google. But should you go and copy all of their meta tags and keywords for your online store? No, you definitely shouldn't! There's no harm in checking out the competition, but copying their keywords will only rank you lower. You need to make sure keywords and tags are unique. Take a look at Adwords to discover high searched terms with low competition.

SEO Checklist:

  • Make sure you don't copy your competitors keywords and tags
  • Sign up for an AdWords account and make use of their keyword tool
  • Use a keyword that is highly searched, but offers low-medium competition

9. DON'T hide your products from your homepage

When it comes to the link structure of your website, you need to make sure your products aren't too far away from your homepage. Not only will it be hard for customers to come and find out what you are selling, but it will have an impact on your PageRank score. Your products are your most important thing, so make sure they are just a few clicks away.

SEO Checklist:

  • Organize your link structure for effective navigation
  • Put your products no more than 3 clicks away
  • Check your PageRank score for your products

10. DON'T solely rely on Pay Per Click

Pay Per Click or PPC as it's more commonly known, does have its benefits and can bring people to your store. But relying on PPC alone is not cost-effective and if you stop using it then your online store will completely vanish! Plus, there are many people out there that won't click on those ads, merely for trust reasons, so it's best not to put all of your eggs in one basket.

SEO Checklist:

  • Don't rely on just PPC
  • Put your efforts into organic searches
  • Monitor your costs and web traffic to see how much you benefit from PPC.

Do you have more?

So that's our 10 SEO do's and don't, but if we've missed any then make sure you let us know in the comments below! Did you enjoy this post? Make sure you follow us for plenty more on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

Oh and did we mention, we've got a bunch of SEO tools that can help your store soar to success!

About the Author

Team AmeriCommerce

AmeriCommerce is an ecommerce software platform serving over 5,000 merchants since 2005. Whether you need one online store or multiple stores, AmeriCommerce has the tools to help you Sell Stuff! By staying passionate about selling stuff online and fostering a loving and deep partnership with our customers, AmeriCommerce is the ecommerce software that simply cares more. Learn more about AmeriCommerce at www.AmeriCommerce.com

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Comments
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3
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David Adams
August 19, 2014 11:11 AM
I know someone who actually did the keyword stuffing stuff and it ruined their site. I also am one to check out competitors and try to match their keywords, I will not be doing that again. Thanks for the tips. I will follow them for sure.
richardmf
May 12, 2015 3:24 PM
Great article, The google algo is getting ever more clever. Avoid duplicate content, any keyword density and also minimize outbound affiliate links to avoid being hit!
jadegraham
December 19, 2016 4:58 AM
This article gives the light in which we can observe the reality. This is very nice one and gives indepth information. Thanks for this nice article. ranker media

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