How to SEO your e-commerce website

Why is SEO so complex? Well, everyone is guessing, more or less. Anyone that claims to be an SEO expert should hopefully work for Google, or at least be a well-educated wordsmith and people’s person with a knack for technology. He or she should also keep up with all the trends, as SEO is ever-changing. Being up to date with algorithm updates and best practices is also part of the package. Are you still with me?

Fact is, Google is not at all interested in helping you rank better unless you pay them per click. They only care about delivering the best possible page for the search words a person has typed into their system, and they do that in many different ways. Let’s explore this!

How do search engines, like Google work?

Quite simply, a search engine is tasked with finding you the best result for your search. The more you feed a search engine, the better the result. Google is super smart, and looks at many factors:

  • Your location - where you’re located makes a big difference, especially if you’re looking for an Indian restaurant in Waipu.
  • What else you’ve searched for, and websites you’ve previously clicked on - Google uses these indications to help fine-tune what you might be looking for. If you clicked the wrong page three times and hit the back button, Google will use that to fine-tune the results it shows in the future.
  • The keywords you’ve used - “indian restaurant” when you’re located in Waipu will most likely provide you with Indian restaurants in Waipu. It doesn’t matter if you use capitals or not. If Google cannot work out where you’re located, the location defaults to one of two (in New Zealand). Where it thinks you live, or Auckland (where most IP addresses are registered to ISP’s).

Can you manipulate the search results?

Yes, you can in a way. If you create good content that is relevant and helpful to the people searching for things that are related to your business - Google will reward you with a better ranking, which means more traffic to your website. If you write about products you don’t actually sell, Google will quickly work out your bait-and-switch as soon enough; people will hit the back button too often and that tells Google the result it sent wasn’t a good one.

Tell me then, how do I rank better?

It is simple - write relevant, useful content that has the right keywords and key phrases - always! Or if you struggle with that, hire an experienced content creator to do it for you.

What should I avoid?

You should never create content that is too far from your core business. If you’re not selling yellow sports cars, do not publish content about them on your digital platforms.

Don’t stuff pages full of poor keywords, or be repetitive. Google loves unique, easy-to-read content. In the old days, you could play the search algorithms with lots of relevant keywords but guess what, that no longer works. You are likely to get penalised for it.

Also hugely important. Don’t plagiarise! Copy/pasting from another website is never the way to go. Google does not like duplicate content, and often ranks content on more authoritative websites higher (although there are cases when this goes wrong).

Help, I don’t know where to start!

Our team can run an SEO audit on your e-commerce website and point out the key areas that you need to pay attention to. This is a hands-on report. We don’t throw your site into an automated engine – although there are plenty around - just search for them. Most people prefer a real person to explain to them where they can improve. They usually ask us to help them with it because they’re busy running their business, and understand that SEO is a complex but hugely important job.

To be successful with SEO, you have to know what works best and avoid using outdated methods. We work with some amazing and highly experienced content creators and copywriters who can rightly call themselves SEO experts. You’ll soon find out that it is worth the investment. Just get in touch if you’d like to find out more on how to get your search engine optimisation up to speed. You’re always welcome at Bravesight for a coffee and a chat.

~ Arron Edwards, Bravesight CEO

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