The holiday season is coming up and consumers are already on the lookout for the perfect gifts. This is a critical time for retailers and brands to maximize sales and further business growth. One effective marketing approach is using search engine optimization, commonly known as SEO, to improve the webpage visibility of your products or services. Using SEO approaches will help your eCommerce store appear higher on search results when customers are searching online.
Let’s dig in on four SEO tactics your eCommerce store can use to improve its search ranking for the holiday season:
1. Include alternative tags on all products images
Alternative text or “alt attribute” is textual description of an image (e.g. “red candles on a white coffee table”). The purpose of alternative text is to enhance web accessibility; visually impaired web users that use screen readers will be read an alt attribute to better understand webpage images. Alternative text is also displayed in place of an image if an image file can’t be loaded.
In addition to its usage for web accessibility, alternative text is used for search engine crawlers to gain textual understanding of an image and to discern which images should be displayed in search engine results. If an image is embedded on a webpage, search engine crawlers use alternative text to gain further understanding of the webpage that the image is on, increasing the chance that the webpage will be displayed in search results for relevant queries. For example, if an image’s alternative text is “deluxe gift basket”, the search engine will register that this webpage is related to deluxe gift baskets, thus increasing the chances that it will show up in related search queries.
2. Write clear, descriptive and keyword-rich product descriptions
A search engine such as Google uses keywords from website content to gain textual understanding of a webpage. Google uses this understanding to determine how the webpage will be displayed in results. For example, if a product page that features a specific brand of headphones includes the brand name, product name, and product features such as wireless bluetooth connectivity or build-in dual microphones, Google will register that the webpage describes both the specific brand of headphones and its features. Google will then display the webpage in search queries that match keywords included on the product page, such as “build-in dual microphones” or “wireless bluetooth connectivity”. Hence, it’s imperative for you to write clear, detailed, keyword-rich product descriptions to ensure that your product pages appear on search results for pertinent search terms.
3. Improve your website speed
A website’s pagespeed is one of the most critical SEO elements. A website’s pagespeed affects a website’s user-experience (UX), an important factor that Google takes into consideration when ranking a website. Here’s a list of strategies you can use to optimize a website’s pagespeed:
- Compress CSS and HTML files
- Leverage browser caching
- Use dedicated website hosting
- Compress image sizes
- Reduce the number of redirects
- Embed YouTube videos instead of adding videos directly on a website (self-hosted videos)
4. Build internal links to your product pages
An internal link is a link from one webpage on your website to another webpage on your website. Building internal links is an effective SEO technique because Google uses that text (commonly known as anchor text) that’s hyperlinked, to gain textual understanding of the webpage that is being linked to. For example, if an anchor text is “best holiday gifts for mom” and the text is linked to Webpage A, Google will understand that Webpage A is related to ““best holiday gifts for mom” and display the webpage on search results for search terms related to “best holiday gifts for mom”.
To systematically build internal links and optimize your eCommerce store for the holidays, you can write blog posts with the intention to build internal links to your product pages. For example, you can write a series of blog posts on “holiday gifts for mom” and include links to a dedicated landing page that feature holiday gifts for mom. This technique will help the product or catalogue page improve its search ranking.
The holiday season is just around the corner. It is vital for retailers to take this opportunity to ramp up their digital marketing, gain more online traffic, and increase their sales. By using SEO tactics such as the four mentioned above, you can increase your website’s search ranking and ensure that you stay visible and top of mind when customers are searching for the perfect gift.
Written by Ray Wang