Most eCommerce companies simply think of SEO as a general term, failing to understand the different levels of web optimization. Basic SEO revolves around site architecture, content development, link building, and factors that make a website searchable to its target audience.
Advanced SEO involves the intricacies of algorithms and the science behind search engines, then combining this knowledge with methodologies. You’re not simply looking at the surface level of search—you’re testing different techniques, looking at different marketing dimensions, and implementing complex site optimization to touch the business of the website.
Most agencies would say, “I know enough about search, why would I need Advanced SEO?” The answer is simple: higher intelligence gathering to align with the business.
In Basic SEO, the focus is mostly on getting found and attracting traffic. Advanced SEO covers more ground for flexible decision-making and a streamlined approach based on the business goals of your client. It centers on usability logic and progressive search methodologies, such as additional metrics for competition analysis and site structuring.
It takes years of experience to get to that level of Advanced SEO. We know what to do to help you handle your eCommerce clients when it comes to this aspect of search.
How will your clients gain traction if your goals are not clear? It’s a matter of knowing the direction of every SEO service campaign you handle.
It’s typical for eCommerce businesses to want to rank on the SERPs with the right keywords. In Advanced SEO, you have to be more discerning with the metrics for your goals.
For example, if your client is launching a new eCommerce site, your basic SEO goal is to build links to make that site visible and to drive traffic. In Advanced SEO, your goal should go beyond keyword ranking and the number of traffic that goes into the site; you need to tie your search goal with the overall goals of the business.
Think of the touchpoints—everything surrounding the business that can affect it. If your goal is to triple the sales of your client’s store by the next few months, which aspects of the eCommerce business do you have to look into? What does your client want to achieve? What are the specific needs of the business?
You need to have a deeper understanding of your client’s business value proposition to set the right goals. This, in turn, will set your campaigns in motion.
Competition monitoring plays a big role in how you can tie your goals to your SEO strategy. If you want to beat the competition, you have to know what makes them tick.
Basic SEO usually starts with analyzing the site’s on-page and off-page elements to focus on areas for improvement. Advanced SEO, on the other hand, is about using the technical site structure advantage of your eCommerce clients against competitors. The main question in this aspect is, “How do you surpass the competition with site characteristics?” A good starting point is identifying the site elements and comparing it with what the competitors have. Look at what the competition is doing on-page and off-page – website aesthetics, products featured, page content, social media presence, business messaging, and website usability (experience).
On-page and Off-page Optimization
eCommerce SEO success begins with the website. The more attractive your website’s SEO is to search engines, the more likely it is to rank and have a strong online presence.
In terms of on-page optimization, you have to be particular with the following:
✓ Site structure — How do you structure an eCommerce website for easier creation of product pages?
✓ Internal links — Do you have anchor text diversity? Does the site feature related links to products?
✓ Site usability — Is it easy for visitors to find what they need on the site? Are the necessary icons (Checkout, Shopping Cart, etc.) visible? Does the site have navigation for all of the main sections?
✓ Web copy — Does the site have duplicate content? Does it feature unique descriptions for every product?
✓ Product reviews — What do visitors say about the eCommerce company? What products receive the highest number of positive feedback?
✓ Meta tags (title and description) — Does the site have unique Meta title and description for every page?
✓ Page speed — How long does it take for the site to load on different devices?
✓ SSL — Does the website have an SSL encryption? How do you prevent the HTTPS encryption from slowing down the site?
✓ 404s — Does the site have expired content? Does the page contain information that visitors may still use?
✓ 301s — What pages should have a redirect? Is it better to leave the page as is?
✓ Robots directive per page — When is it appropriate to use the ‘noindex’, ‘nofollow’, or ‘follow meta robots’ tag?
When it comes to off-page optimization, it’s a matter of developing an effective backlink profile that will help you build relations with your client’s market base.
In Basic SEO, what digital marketers usually do involves submitting to directory listings, paying PR sites, and writing on guest post sites. Most eCommerce sites would do with sponsorship links, which could stop working sooner or later.
For an advanced take on link building, one of the things you have to look into is the eCommerce site’s anchor link distribution. Tools like Siteoscope and Majestic can provide you an analysis of your anchor text distribution, so you can avoid over- and under-utilizing links. You also have to look into the following:
• Unique domains
• Recently acquired links
• Link quality
It is also important to analyze the backlink profile of your competitors. Where does your client’s competitor sites get their links? Do they have links that are relevant to the business of your eCommerce client? This will help you find linking opportunities and set the parameters that satisfy the niche of your client. If you’re building links as part of a client’s Shopify SEO strategy, you’ll need to determine which websites are best to link back to.
The overall objective of Advanced on-page and off-page optimization is to ensure your client’s site is search metric compliant. The recommended methodologies should drive the site’s ranking equity to get to the top search positions.
A Comprehensive Strategy
The big question you have to address with your clients: Why do you want to rank in search engines? The answer to this will determine the overall site optimization requirements for your strategy. You can trace this to the initial goals you’ve set for the campaign.
Use KPIs to monitor the progress of your strategy; this makes it easier to determine the touchpoints that can bring results (increased sales, higher conversions, more transactions, etc.).
The bottom line is to help your eCommerce clients increase their sales and be more visible online. SEO is an essential ingredient that needs thorough preparation for successful digital marketing. It would take an expert to implement all the variables in Advanced SEO and get the desired improvements for ecommerce websites.
Need help in providing Advanced SEO solutions? Call our toll-free number at 1-800-250-6106 or schedule a product walkthrough with our Project Managers and see how we can jumpstart your strategies.