Steps You Can Take for Higher SEO Rankings

For many eCommerce business owners, SEO seems like a complicated endeavor. You are told to be patient with the results. You are told that it takes extensive research. You are told about the importance of search engine optimization and the things you should update for better optimization.

As complicated as it seems, SEO is not a hopeless endeavor. It’s quite the opposite in fact. You know that you want to improve your SEO rankings, but just need the guidance to take the best practices to get you there.

There are five things that you can do, or find a digital marketing agency to complete, that will help you be set up for SEO success. Check out these steps with us here at Genius eCommerce. This is who we are and what we do.

Coding – One of the most important parts of SEO rankings is the behind the scenes work that coding does. Having a good code to your website does not achieve rankings alone, but if your code is not in order, it can prevent you from reaching the success you want even if everything on the surface is being done well. Technical SEO is an aspect that you simply cannot overlook.

Content – Your content still rules overall. After all, Google reads words first and foremost and looks for the ways it is relevant to search terms. For better Google rankings, you want to have a content marketing plan that focuses on specific keywords and carries some meaning. Relevant and meaningful content helps to boost your domain authority and quality content connects with people who will be reading.

Link Building – A piece of advice you hear a lot when college students are preparing for graduation is to make connections and start networking. Essentially, that is what link building is to your SEO efforts. Building links is making new connections and increasing your domain authority.

Social Shares – Social media has no direct effect on your SEO, but it does go hand in hand with building domain authority and backlinks. Creating connections helps increase your relevance and authority as a leader in your industry. The more shares you can get by promoting your content on social media, the more people will see it organically. This, in turn, helps build up your brand and give it a recognition, which can help you get more clicks from results in search engines because of recognition. Because people may already know the brand from social media, your bounce rate could go down with people visiting having an idea of what to expect from you. That can only improve your conversion rate, establishing that trust in people.

Keyword Ranking – A key part of SEO is choosing keywords that can help improve your overall rankings. The problem is that far too often, SEO clients choose to keep it basic and target words that are broadly searched. With so much competition for the top spots for these keywords, you can easily get lost in the shuffle. That’s why the best way to start your campaign is to do extensive research on keywords where there is an opportunity to achieve the top ranking spots. Using keywords that are more specific to your goals can help you get to the places you want to rank.

With SEO, there are no guarantees or shortcuts to achieving success. It does take patience and research to get the results. With that in mind, having the right team to guide you along the way with the research and strategy can put you on the right track. Taking these steps may not be the easiest thing to do, but it is the most effective in the long run, and that is ultimately what will allow you to achieve the success you desire.

How To Write SEO Friendly Content for eCommerce

You’ve heard the saying that content is king and it really is true. Content marketing has a number of benefits that include building a brand, increasing sales, and generating new leads, and it continues to be an effective method for not only connecting with readers and turning them into customers but also in building authority with search engines.

Content marketing is a fit for every type of business, but there are certain tactics you should take when writing SEO content for eCommerce. Today, we will review some tips for writing SEO friendly content.

Set Goals – Before you even begin to start writing content, you need to set some goals for yourself and your business. What are you trying to accomplish with your content marketing? You may be more focused on establishing your brand or demonstrating why people should buy your products. You may be targeting a new audience. Maybe you are writing for the purpose of gaining better rankings on search engines. Whatever the reason may be, establish it early and use it as motivation when creating content.

Know Your Audience – As you prepare for writing, you want to identify the audience you are writing for so you can produce content that is specifically for them. You can ask yourself a variety of questions about your audience and determine certain things like the age demographic, the type of work they do, what their interests are, what their needs are and why they may want to buy your product. All of these things can help you determine who you are writing for so you can specifically target your audience.

Content Types – Content comes in all forms and you don’t have to be married to one in particular. You may write a few blog posts or articles that are informative. Videos or infographics can be used for a more visual approach, or you may choose to record an audio podcast for people to listen to. All of these types of content help distribute your content marketing across a variety of platforms so that people can connect with you in different ways.

Quality Writing – Content marketing is not just as simple as writing content. You have to make your content, your articles, videos, podcasts and anything else you produce informative and provide value to the customer. Your content should help answer the customer’s questions and solve their problems. The writing should flow naturally and include the keyword you choose to target in a natural way as well. You do not want to stuff your content with the keyword too many times or force the keyword into your content. You also want to check for any grammar or spelling errors and should keep your writing clean and polished.

Share Content – Once your content is published, it should be shared with any followers you have on social media and any other places where you post regularly. Making an announcement of new content attracts readers and bring back loyal followers. It will also help you get on a schedule as you post new content in the future.

Track Your Progress – As you produce content, check your progress. See what kind of results it has on traffic on your website. See what type of content brings the most visitors. Compare these results to your goals set before you started your content marketing campaign and track what connects with your visitors and what isn’t working and adjust your campaign accordingly.

At Genius eCommerce, SEO and content marketing is who we are and what we do. We help you get the tips you need to achieve success in your SEO campaign. Continue reading the Genius eCommerce blog for more.

eCommerce Migration and Your SEO Campaign

Sometimes you need to migrate your eCommerce business to a new platform. If you need your website to feature functionality your current eCommerce platform doesn’t offer or you’re overpaying for features your business doesn’t need, it might be time to consider a migration

One important consideration to make when you migrate your business is how it will impact the efficacy of your SEO campaign. SEO campaigns can last for months to years and often involve an extensive network of links. Moving your platform means all of that work and link equity might be placed in jeopardy.

Protect your Links

If your migration is going to affect your URL structure, you will need to implement 301 redirects to your old links. Without doing this, your SEO backlinks from offsite content will no longer direct to your website and Google will no longer associate your business with them. This can quickly drop your Google search rankings.

For internal links, be sure to physically actually change them rather than using more redirects. Too many redirects will slow your website down and negatively impact the user experience.

A new platform will also mean new SEO options. Making sure your SEO data is compatible with your new platform is crucial. If you know that search engines will analyze your new pages differently, you will have to adjust your strategy to match.

Use a Sandbox

Sandboxes exist for a reason. Before you implement your migration, test the new website and make sure all your links work properly. Generate a migration checklist and ensure all your concerns have been addressed before you pull the trigger. By testing your links before you move, you can make sure that your migration doesn’t affect the SEO equity you have spent months building.

A sandbox is also the perfect place to test your new website’s functionality. Making sure your website maintains all its features will ensure that the work you’ve put into your SEO pays off in high visit durations instead of bounces.

Check and Double Check Everything

If you want to avoid significant content errors, it’s important to index your website. A thorough analysis will help find any broken links or duplicate content before you migrate your data. Migrating is the perfect time to take care of these problems so they don’t follow you to the new site. Too many broken links can negatively impact user experience and Google’s opinion of your site.

You will also want to check your analytics before you implement your migration. Knowing factors such as average traffic rates and keyword rankings will be crucial once you migrate. Comparing your pre and post-migration analytics will be the basis for determining any adjustments your SEO strategy might need.

You will likely notice at least some drop off during migration. This is completely normal and is no reason to panic. You are migrating for a reason that will help your business, and your traffic will increase as long as you continue to execute an effective SEO campaign.

At Genius eCommerce, our goal is to keep vendors up to date on the latest in eCommerce. Check our blog to find more information about SEO strategies and tips to help your business succeed.

The Google Site Diversity Update and Your SEO Campaign

Google’s latest update aims to change how their algorithm arranges its search engine results. When people search Google for a term like “women’s shirts,” you would naturally expect them to be met with a slew of results from eCommerce giants like Amazon and Walmart. With the expansive scope of products that these companies offer, it comes as no surprise that users will be directed to at least a few pages from each of these major brands.

This is because Google’s algorithm deals with structured data. Their algorithm is incredibly skilled when it comes to finding the best results for search queries based on the data it has gleaned. Despite this, the algorithm does not always consider the idea of user experience.

When users turn to a search engine to find a product, they aren’t looking for the major brands they already know. Users want variety, and Google has listened. To increase the number of options presented to its users, Google has updated its algorithm to increase diversity in its results.

The biggest impact this update will have is that now, unless they are extremely relevant to the particular search, Google will limit websites to only having two links in their top results. This means that now there is going to be more real estate available on Google’s coveted first page for smaller businesses.

This update is still new and will require further refinement. You may still see the same website occupying multiple positions and Google is working hard to determine when this is appropriate. For example, Amazon deserves more than two links on the first page if the user is searching for information about the company itself, but will only be given two links in relation to a query about a general product.

So how will this affect your business?

More room on the board means it will be easier for smaller brands to achieve these top result rankings. This means that your SEO campaign just became that much more valuable. In light of this news, it’s time to revisit your SEO strategy to make sure your site is a strong contender for these new openings.

This update could also mean that your business will start appearing on the front page, especially if you have been climbing the rankings recently. The vacuum this update has produced means that competing companies will be gunning for these spots as well, so be sure to continue building links and focusing on your keywords if you want to keep your new rankings and the resulting increase in traffic to your website.

Though Google has yet to announce exactly what criteria can result in a business being featured more than twice in the top results, more information on this point might affect future SEO strategies.

 

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Measuring SEO Success: The Metrics You Should Know

Achieving SEO success takes time and patience. One way to stay on track in your approach to SEO and stay the course with your strategy is to know that it’s working, even if on the smallest level.

How can you measure your SEO success? There are so many different performance metrics you can track, so you should know which ones you need to focus on and understand so you can accurately track your progress. Today, we will look at the metrics you should know.

At Genius eCommerce, this is who we are and what we do. We aim to be a guide for you through your eCommerce SEO efforts, informing you of trends, tips, and tricks to achieving SEO success.

Organic Traffic – A strong indicator of SEO success is in organic traffic. If your SEO campaign is working well, you should be seeing more organic traffic and conversions. If you don’t see much of an increase or very little early on, don’t let that discourage you. SEO takes some time to go to work and the early metrics can give you some insight on what is working. For example, if organic traffic is increasing and conversions are not, you may need to look at the keywords you are using and see if there is a better fit for your business. If your organic search traffic isn’t increasing but conversions are, you have likely improved the quality of traffic reaching your website.

Conversions from Organic Traffic – Conversions are the real measure of success in eCommerce. In Google Analytics, you can see the revenue, transaction, and eCommerce conversion rate under the eCommerce tab. These are the numbers that show how your business is doing. Compare these results to the results you got before starting SEO to get an idea of how your SEO campaign is working. SEO is designed to bring more visitors to your website, but conversions are the number that really matters.

Bounce Rate – Are you getting clicks to your website and then having people leave right away? This is what the bounce rate measures, the number of people who reach your website and then leave almost immediately for whatever reason. If your bounce rate is dropping, it can mean two things, that you are getting more relevant traffic to your website or that visitors are spending more time browsing the website and looking at multiple pages. Usually, a decreased bounce rate can come with an increase in conversions.

Time on Site – In a similar way to bounce rate, the amount of time people are spending on your website is an indicator that more relevant traffic is finding its way to you. The longer people stay on your website, the more likely they are to make a purchase. If the average time on site is increasing, it means more visitors are finding a way to stay engaged and active on your website.

Rankings – When you finalize a list of keywords, the goal is to improve your rankings. The higher your rankings are, the better the campaign is performing. It can be easier to start by targeting tail keywords, keywords that have more than one or two words so that you are targeting things that are more specific and have a lesser search volume. These keywords tend to be best because they are more specific and cater to the visitor who knows what they are looking for and wants to be directed to that right away. There is a better chance that these keywords give you more qualified traffic. While rankings are an indicator of SEO success, it is not everything to SEO. You don’t want to get so caught up in the rankings that you start to try to produce content specifically to improve rankings and not offer anything relevant to the customer or show your authority or expertise in your industry.

Now that you know the areas you should be familiar with when it comes to analyzing your SEO success, it’s time to get out there and start to improve your eCommerce business with an SEO campaign. At Genius eCommerce, you can get the best tips, tricks, and trends to stay updated on the best practices of SEO throughout your campaign. This is who we are and what we do.

Continue to read the Genius eCommerce blog and check back for more updates.

Best Practices for Effective Multilingual SEO

Optimizing for search engines is already a difficult task that requires a lot of patience. You have to carefully choose your keywords and implement a content strategy that helps you build trust with the customer, create authority and boost your rankings. Doing this for multilingual businesses can be even more of a challenge.

If you have a business that offers products internationally or specifically want to target consumers in foreign countries, you need to cater to them. In fact, 90 percent of searches are done in the native language of the user, showing you how important it is to reach this target audience.

When making an effort for better multilingual SEO, even the smallest things can make an impact. That’s what we will focus on today at Genius eCommerce, the best practices for successfully building multilingual SEO.

Optimize for UTF-8 Characters – Foreign languages can often feature characters that are not part of the English language and may not mean much to you but mean quite a bit to someone else in their own language. Make sure that your website can support these characters. If the website is not able to support these characters and the characters become corrupted, it can prevent your website from being crawled properly. Also make sure that your title tags, image alt tags, and keywords match the target language and are translated properly with the accepted characters.

Choose the Right Keywords – You probably already have a list of target keywords in English and you may think that it’s easy to just translate them to multiple languages and put them to work. It’s not that simple. Translations can have different meanings or may not be the terms most likely to be used in another language. People are going to search for terms that are familiar to them and their language. It’s also important to conduct this translation for everything on your website, not just keywords.

Get to Know the Search Engines – Google may be your search engine of choice, but in other countries, there are other search engines that may take precedence that you need to be optimized for as well. In Canada, Bing is a popular choice. Some countries, like Korea, even use their own search engine called Naver. You can get new customers by targeting specifically to Google, but you could be missing out on your full potential if you don’t explore the search engines your international customers are using.

Have a Focused Strategy – There are some differences to multilingual SEO and trying to optimize your website for a different language. One thing that stays the same is the importance of having quality content. You should always consider where your SEO strategy is going and how you can keep up with the evolution of search engines.

URL Structure – Have you ever visited a website that looks like this: www.domain.com/en/about? The “en” in the middle of that indicates the language and that there may be other translations available. Each translation of your website should have its own domain for that country or a subdomain or subdirectory with the language and country information. Any keywords that are in the URL structure should also be translated properly.

Hreflang – Hreflang tags are part of the coding of a website and another way to inform search engines of the language a website is using, helping to increase the ranking for different languages that you are targeting.

The goal of SEO is to generate traffic and to make sure that the traffic you are generating is the right traffic for you and your business. If you have a business where you sell a product that can have an international benefit and generate interest around the world, you want to make sure your website is optimized for those countries that bring more to you in return.

Through all of your SEO efforts to make your multilingual website, remember to get help from a translator or a language service so you can be certain about the translations.

Keep reading Genius eCommerce for more updates and trends in the eCommerce world and how you can be prepared to take your SEO to new levels. This is who we are and what we do, and we want to help you with tips like these to build a campaign that delivers results.

Google Algorithm Update: Ranking Shifts from Core Update

On March 12, Google launched an algorithm update that was called to March 2019 Core Update.

An algorithm update is nothing substantial for Google. They make daily updates to their algorithm, sometimes multiple times per day. The results of this algorithm update have been different for users.

The average ranking of a number of websites has shifted during the update. Many users saw either a dramatic increase or decrease in average search ranking for pages at the time of this update.

Google confirmed the update on March 12 and noted that updates to the algorithm are normal and daily, mainly for minor improvements. Broad updates to the core algorithm, like the one on March 12, can lead to more dramatic shifts in ranking for pages. There is no “fix” for this, Google says, and content owners should not make drastic changes in an attempt to fix things that may not be an issue at all.

Through it all, Google puts the focus on rewarding quality content and emphasized that in a thread on Twitter. The algorithms reward good content, so even if the update had an adverse effect on rankings, it does not mean that the content was the reason and that the key focus on content marketing and SEO should remain to produce content that draws an audience and resonates with search engines.

Google also offered guidelines on how their search algorithm works and ways users can experience good results, even with the update. Here are a few of the key areas that matter to Google.

The User

Changes made to Google’s algorithm are not for the websites being listed but for the user. After all, the user is the one who is looking for something using a search engine. The goal for Google is to provide useful results that are relevant to the user searching. Therefore, all search updates and algorithm updates are run through search testing thoroughly before launching.

Engineers at Google do search experiments constantly to see what ideas can be rolled out into a live atmosphere so that Google is providing the most accurate and relevant results. Tests are even run in a live setting at times to confirm that they are ready for launch.

Site Owners

Getting listed on Google is all about being found. That’s what they do, after all. They help publishers and businesses get discovered online. This is why Google also offers tools and advice on how to rank on search engines. There are a number of support documents and videos that can help educate you on Google’s algorithms and ranking. Expert advice is available from both employees and experts outside of Google for assistance.

There are also tools that can indicate troubleshooting or performance and on-site errors for your website with advice on how to fix them so you can build a search-friendly website that performs well and ranks well. It also helps make sure that your website is safe since Google wants to promote websites that are safe and useful to its users.

Access

Google believes in providing open and free information to users and focuses on making that information available. Google’s search results are reflective of the content and opinions that are published on the web, not reflective of their beliefs or opinions.

The goal is to provide information that relates to a search, and sometimes that may include results that match closely with the language used in the search that is biased, has negative practices or may be offensive. These results are not always foolproof either, which is why updates are constantly made to try to get it right and prevent poor results that lack quality or are irrelevant to your search.

While Google made a significant update that resulted in many rankings shifts, it does not mean that you have to change the way you try to rank. Continuing to produce quality content that follows SEO practices is still the way to go.

How Search Engine Rankings Work

One of the most important questions people ask when it comes to SEO is how they can get their pages to rank higher on search engines. Ranking certainly means a lot to your results. After all, the more eyes you are in front of, the more likely you are to generate attention and traffic.

The question is…how do you get there? How do search engines work to help you?

At Genius eCommerce, we are SEO experts and are always keeping up with the latest in eCommerce SEO to keep you informed on what tactics work and which ones you should avoid. Today, we will look at the ways that search engines rank your webpages and the process of getting a page to rank.

Before you can get into how search engines rank pages, you should know why pages are ranked. Obviously, the main reason why pages are ranked is to achieve related results for the person doing the searching.

For example, when you do a search for RV accessories and parts, the following displays:

search engine ranking results

The related results from the search include paid results, the boxes in the right-hand column that show top products, and the map to show nearby locations where you can get these parts and accessories. The organic traffic also appears lower on the page.

search engine ranking results

Search engines, like Google, Bing, and Yahoo are tools that help people find the things they are looking for, essentially a curator of sorts that brings relevant links to the forefront. If a bunch of random options displayed, they would stop using that search engine.

Now the question is, how do search engines get those results to the top so that you see only what is relevant on the first page of results?

It takes 5 steps to rank a page.

Step One

Classify the incoming search query. Classification provides search engines with the basic information that it needs to go through the remaining four steps. This can be classified as questions, local results, and other labels.

Step Two

Assign context. Search engines take all relevant information into account as results are being generated. For example, if you search for a weather update, you don’t have to list a specific location for a search engine to produce the local weather report. It takes the environmental and historical factors into consideration such as location, time, the device being used, whether your current query is related to previous queries and much more.

Step Three

Weighting. Search engines can apply weights for certain combinations where freshness matters. By “freshness” we mean the date with which a result was published or still relevant.

An example of where weightings take precedence in searches can be found in broad topics where authority holds the keys. If you searched a major historical event like Independence Day, you would probably get a few links to history websites and Wikipedia because of the authority they carry. However, if freshness were applied, you might get some more recent stories in the news or links to recent videos that were created about the event.

Step Four

Layout. If you have recently gone to Google or any other major search engine, you have seen this before. You type a search query in and as the results load, the layout changes. Some results produce listings for videos or images. Others produce related search terms and topics.

Search engines can determine which formats of results can apply to a specific query so that you get comprehensive results in the different categories of search engines, not just website listings.

Step Five

The final step is the ranking itself. This is where the search engines take all factors, put the query through its algorithm and analyze the data to get the best search results. It’s taking everything from the first four steps and running it through its process.

Getting your website ranked is actually fairly easy. However, it is understanding what a search engine does and the factors that can help you boost your keyword rankings that goes a long way. If you have a core understanding for search engines and how they work, you have a greater appreciation for the elements that go into rankings and a better understanding of what needs to be done on your end to achieve success.

Be sure to continue reading Genius eCommerce for more tips, trends, and news on eCommerce SEO. This is who we are and what we do, keeping you informed on the SEO landscape and the elements that make for an effective SEO campaign. Continue reading the Genius eCommerce blog for more.