Search engine optimization is art of priming your website to make sure that it is performing at its best in search engine results. It is about making sure that the traffic that you need is coming to your site. The vast majority of online stores rely on people searching for generic keywords and labels rather than specific terms like a domain name, so this really does determine whether your site will be a success or a failure.
So what can you do to ensure that your site is meeting your business needs.
Chose your Keywords
Look at Google AdWords Keyword tool, play around entering terms that are reflective of what your online store is selling. If you are an online Irish gift store, then search on that, you are going to come across phrases such as “online Irish shop, Irish gifts, creative Irish gifts”. Pick 25 keywords that have reasonable traffic and that reflect what you do. These are your Tier 1 words. Pick 25 keywords that are less popular but are still reflective of your site. These will be your Tier 2 keywords. Then pick 25 phrases of 3 to 4 words that are for similar terms, this is Tier 3. An example of one of these could be “Irish St. Patricks Day gifts”. These are long tail keywords. The Tier 1 words are the main focus, they are the ones that will have specific content built around them. These are the keywords that you anchor link with. Tier 2 words and Tier 3 will be scattered amongst the content and articles on the site.
Ensure that the keyword density, the no of times that the keywords above in the text is at about 3-5%. Anything more than that and search engines will feel you content is stuffed with keywords. Anything less and they will not pick up on the words that you want to focus on. If you have an article of 300 words then between 9 and 15 should be of your key words. A sprinkling of the Tier1 and Tier 2 words should be included as well.
Google loves backlinks. It views them as a vote of confidence in a site. It is one of the most important factors in promoting your site online. It is more than just getting click thru traffic. It is about driving your site higher in search engine results. As always in SEO, there are some important points to note. Google likes to see links from relevant pages. If you are promoting an Irish gift shop, then they are going to value a link from a page about Irish gifts as more relevant. It is also important that you use a diverse selection of your Tier one keywords when deciding on what words to anchor. If Google sees that you are using “Creative Irish Gifts” in every post then it is quickly going to see that these are not organic links and may well disregard or penalize you for that.
Image Alt Tags.
Every article on an eCommerce gift shop should have a t least one photo in it. Make sure that the Title of the Photo, the alternative text and the caption all reflect the keywords that you are targeting. So if it was a photo of an Aran jumper, you could use Unique Irish gift for all three. It is a great way of working in keywords in to content but in a subtle way. It is also an important way of highlighting the main thrust of a page.
You do not have to be an expert to work on this but you do have to be willing to put in the work. Once you do that the results will come about.