How to Improve Position in Google Search Results

What is SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, which is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.

The key term above is quality. You can send all the traffic in the world to a site, but if it isn’t quality it isn’t worth much. Meaning that you if you create content unrelated to what you do or sell that ranks well and brings in traffic, it’s not worth a whole lot because the audience you’re bringing in isn’t going to do anything with it.

SEO isn’t a one and done task. It is a continuous blend of science and strategy that takes time. There are numerous tasks that need to be performed that range from standard to advanced such as:

  • Standard Services
    • Keyword research and rankings
    • Page-level SEO analysis
    • SEO Element Optimization (Page Titles, Headers, etc.)
    • Content optimization analysis
    • And more
  • Advanced Services
    • Site crawls & analysis
    • Search intent-based analysis
    • Universal search rankings: Featured Snippets, Knowledge Panels, Review, Local Packs
    • And more

In our recent session, presented at the Hawksearch Forum, we discussed how you can Boost Your SEO with on-Site Search

What is new in SEO?

SEO is always changing as Google is constantly updating their algorithm to serve up the best results. The new hot trend in SEO is EAT or Expertize, Authority & Trustworthiness.

  • Expertise – is the content written by someone very knowledgeable on the subject?
    • How to attain - thorough research and execution.
  • Authoritativeness – how are you proving the content was created by an expert?
    • How to attain - authorship, reviews, bio, sources.
  • Trustworthiness – how is the site showing users they can have confidence in the content?
    • How to attain – SSL certificate, structured content, clean site structure.

This may not be a tangible direct ranking factor, but this is the thought process for success. When creating content or developing an SEO strategy always think of how the site, page or product will help the end user. This thought process will force quality. If you cannot achieve these three points, your site will lack the quality Google is looking for.

What is Ecommerce SEO?

Ecommerce SEO follows the same principals mentioned above, but there are some key areas that sites need to focus on. It usually means dealing with larger complex sites so XML sitemaps will be your SEO best friend. XML Sitemap best practices include:

  • All Sites Should Have One!!
  • 200 Status Code, Self Referencing Canonical Links (indexable URLs only)
  • No Crawl Errors!
  • Submit Through Google Search Console

You should also follow these same practices for a frontend crawl in addition to:

  • Limit Crawl Errors (Redirects & Broken Links)
  • Make Sure All Links Are Accessible
  • Try and Match It With The XML Sitemap through a ScreamingFrog crawl (Image Below)
  • Monitor Crawl Errors In Google Search Console

Ecommerce SEO Checklist

  • XML Sitemap
    • 200 status code, self canonicalized URLs that you want to rank.
    • Submit to Google Search Console. Monitor and fix any issues.
    • Product Pages, Sale Pages, Priority Pages.
    • How to check? ScreamingFrog, Google Search Console, DeepCrawl
  • Frontend Crawl
    • Limit crawl errors – dead pages, internal redirects.
    • Internal link priority pages to signal importance to the search engines.
    • How to check? ScreamingFrog, Google Search Console, DeepCrawl
  • Keyword Research
    • Ensure you are using keywords customers are searching.
    • Use them in all SEO Elements – Page Titles, Meta Descriptions, Headers, Internal Links.
  • Content
    • Ecommerce sites still need this.
    • Thorough, well thought-out content that has keyword research and intent in mind.
    • Product Descriptions, Images with Alt Text, Reviews, etc.

What is New in Ecommerce SEO?

Recently Google has updated the UI of the search engine result pages (Image Below) to heavily favor paid ads and Google owned properties (Map Packs, Organic Shopping Ads, etc.). It is a tough battle to fight, but the goal is still to rank in the first position. It is unlikely Google will ever revert this type of layout so it is important to adjust your strategy for this layout.

With Google constantly making updates that can drastically change SEO success and plans we strongly recommend an Omni-Channel approach that includes Paid, Organic, Email & Social. All channels of digital marketing should be pushing the site in the same direction. The Rule of 7 stats that ‘A prospective buyer will need to hear or see the marketing message at least 7 times before they buy it from you.’ It would be pretty difficult to get your site or product in front of someone 7 times with only one channel. Focusing on all areas of digital marketing will make this much easier. If you live by one digital marketing channel, you can die by one digital marketing channel.