Let’s find out what is the difference between on page and off page SEO.
eCommerce sites changed the way people settle on their buying choices. Before purchasing online or in a shopping mall, people search the internet to look for a wise find. Customer’s decision to buy is gauged by pricing and product reviews.
As an online business owner, by now you are done planning your marketing strategy. You should be on the executing stage. Today, one must plan for the upcoming Black Friday and Cyber Monday then for Christmas and New Year. Not only that you prepare your products, also maximize your SEO efforts during these times. Don’t be left behind.
Don’t get left behind, it’s not too early or too late to prepare and execute. In an interview with Cyrus Shepard by thirty bees, we got some insights that you may use for your eCommerce site.
How much time does a new eCommerce site should focus on on page and off page SEO?
On Page SEO
This is the process of optimizing your website to rank and earn traffic.
Off Page SEO
This is the process to improve the position of a website in SERP.
Your first priority is On Page so the search engine can understand your content, then proceed to Off Page SEO. Cyrus thinks that about 80% of effort should go to on page and Off Page SEO. He said that one should fix their engagement, site architecture and other SEO problems before thinking about external marketing.
If you are a small eCommerce site owner, how will you rank against bigger players?
Cyrus gave tips on how merchants can compete with Amazon or eBay. Here they are:
- Product videos – Create a presentation video. Have a person show how to use the product and product description to increase engagement and sales.
- Text descriptions – Do not write the product description for the sake of describing it. Instead, write in a way that you are talking to your target audience, and focusing on their pain points.
- Photography – Invest in high definition photos. If budget permitted, have a professional photographer take pictures of your products. Don’t use so much stock photos. Have your photos enticing to your customers’ eyes.
- Reviews – Let your customers become your brand ambassadors. Offer a discount or an added value when they give a product review.
Adding to these four tips by Cyrus is you must have an excellent customer service. Use being a small player to your advantage. Give exemplary customer service. Talk to people on social media, phone, email and send out thank you cards. Make sure your customers will feel special. Set up chat support. Give personalized service. Provide help to customers in whatever they need. Have fast resolution to their concerns so they can feel valued.
Does an e-commerce site need a blog?
For Cyrus, it is a complete waste of time to create a blog for your eCommerce site with the least effort. Though there is an exemption if you create content that is of value and worthy of sharing, by all means, write a blog.
This has been a debate ever since. Blogs drive traffic to your website so it is good to have this section for SEO purposes. Some store owners start a blog and do not maintain it. Others don’t start at all. Why would you create a blog when your focus should be on creating sales?
If you think a catchy headline, product description, and high-quality pictures are the only way to get that sale, consider making a blog.
Here are some reasons why:
- It helps your site rank in search engines
Blogging sends a signal to search engines that your website is up to date. Google will reward you with good rankings if you are consistent on creating contents.
- It makes you an authority on your niche.
As Cyrus said, don’t blog if you will only exert minimal effort. When creating a blog, make sure that it offers a solution to a problem. Let us say you are selling beauty products, write about how to choose the right makeup for your skin tone. Always address the problem then offer a solution.
- It will create an online community.
When your blog is something that is of value to your customers, they will take part in the comments section. First, it will be a casual conversation that will turn to a loyal following for your website.
Does site speed matters for an e-commerce site’s SEO strategy?
Cyrus emphasized that site speed is always on your top priority to work on. Poor shopping cart software, plugins and the likes can slow down your eCommerce site. Though it is not a ranking factor for him, it is a consideration. With all the websites he worked on there is a connection between conversions and site speed.
Adding to Cyrus’ point, site speed is for your customers. It is not for your website alone, it is also for your customers’ experience. We cannot deny the fact that search engines love fast loading websites. Search engine’s goals are to serve their users well so they will come back when the need to search arise again.
Suggestions on link building strategy for a new e-commerce site.
For Cyrus, the owner should start addressing goals that are easy to achieve. First things to focus on are industry directories, trade shows, sponsorship, trade organizations and local listing distribution. For him, using Moz Local will have your headquarters distributed. It all boils down to PR. This is where most online stores fail.
Link building plays an important role in SEO. Safe to say that about 50% is their contribution to your SEO’s success. For an eCommerce site, this factor is very hard to control. It needs patience, hard work, and proper strategy.
Cyrus’ opinion on using Google AMP for e-commerce sites
He said that for now, e-commerce sites don’t get extra visibility for using AMP. Speed is its primary benefit, and you can do it in other easy ways. Since Google is pulling more AMP pages into its mouth, online store owners must keep their eyes on it.
What do you need to know about AMP?
AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages. It is a project backed by Google. This is the counterpart to Facebook’s Instant Articles. Google will be using AMP to provide content on a mobile phone without you clicking through to a website to view the content.
AMP will help you improve your site speed while using mobile browsers. It is a user experience that will get you on top of the ranks. For your site to take full advantage of AMP, you have to make certain adjustments and then work on its limitations.
Does social media have an impact on a site’s rankings?
Cyrus’ answer to this is “yes, but it’s complicated.” Use all the channels that you can to maximize traffic to your site. There is no need to go overboard with your social media spending. Be Smart.
Matt Cutts, the previous leader of Google’s web spam group, cleared this issue on this video.
Social media is changing and evolving very fast but it has an effect on SEO. It is worthy to learn how to use it in a strategic way. If done right, they will help you grow your brand and revenue for any websites.
Social media presence is important for every e-commerce sites. With the growth of Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook, social media is a platform which cannot be ignored.
Are you for using JSON + LD in an SEO strategy? Would you recommend it?
Before we discuss Cyrus’ answer, let us define the meaning of these terms.
JSON-LD is an embed code standard that is SEO friendly. It works with all kinds of media content on your website. With this code, your videos, images, and music will have a chance to get better index.
For Cyrus, he marks up everything. If there is a time constraint, he will use the easiest way to search for his product on Google. Then check on competitors that have won for the SERP. After comparing, you have to be sure you have the same type of markup.
After building your e-commerce website, there is another task that you have to focus on. It is in using your e-commerce website generate sales and revenues. This is tougher than creating a website. What makes it more difficult to do is the fact that thousands of e-commerce sites are launched every day. This is a very competitive industry. One must know how to convert your potential customers.
With the help of these strategies, SEO is one way to reach your goal if done right.