When starting your design for your shop you will need all the right ingredients from the beginning!
Sadly, lots of Web stores and online businesses build their website in the way that they just start and half way see the need to go back a few steps because they forgot something. They neglect to involve SEO professionals early in the design process, and then expect to hire an SEO specialist to wave a magic wand over it and make the site rank well on Google.
It doesn’t work that way.
You should aim to build your website right the first time. I see so lots of sites underperform their potential or get a wrong start because they ignored the importance of SEO during the planning phase. It leads to frustration, wasted time and inflated budgets.
SEO can’t be overlooked also in your design
If you wish to maximize sales and revenue from your Web shop or e-commerce website, you must understand that SEO is of critical importance. Smart e-commerce players get SEO consultants involved early. They realize that high organic search rankings cannot be achieved with SEO tactics applied late in the web development process.
Even before you have finalized your information architecture, website structure and design, content organization and content publishing strategy, you must start thinking about how SEO will be integrated into each of these steps.
Why is this so important? Your site design (or re-design) can have a dra
matic impact on your search engine visibility, and therefore on your website traffic and sales.
Some business owners, after enjoying good search engine rankings for a prolonged period of time, start thinking about it as a permanent feature that will continue forever. That can be a dangerous attitude.
Remember, you don’t own your rankings on Google or other search engines. You must constantly defend what you already have (rankings, traffic, sales, customers, conversion rates, everything). Google owes you nothing!
It doesn’t matter that you’re the biggest company in your market, or that you dominate offline market share. When it comes to the Web, everyone starts off equal… and effective SEO is one thing that can set you ahead of the pack.
SEO strengthens your team
Many inexperienced entreprenuers think an SEO consultant only does keyword research and suggests ways to rank pages on those search terms. But the function of an expert is much greater than that when it comes to e-commerce SEO.
Your SEO consultant will help improve the user experience in ways that go far beyond just keywords and ranking strategies. A good SEO expert will be a valuable asset who reinforces your team of information architects, web developers, user interface designers, website designers, and content marketers.
Yes, it all begins with keyword research and analysis. But while an average SEO manual might help you find keywords with high search volumes, a true expert will use the data to help you understand your customers on a deeper, more personal level.
You’ll have the ability to find out:
- which problems your clients find most troublesome
- what solutions they are looking for
- when and where they expect to get offered these alternatives
- how you need to communicate with them
- … and a lot more.
Once you have established a clear picture of user intention, it becomes easy to modify your website and product offerings to match your customers’ needs optimally. Your conversion rates will improve, profit will skyrocket, and customers will be delighted by what they find on your online shop.
SEO will boost the performance of other elements of your Web presence and your marketing efforts. The synergy will strengthen your team and grow your business much faster.
Here’s what SEO will do for your web shop and your design
- Keyword research and analysis, in combination with other analytics and data, can help you forecast sales, profits and ROI.
- You’ll know what to prioritize and execute first, what to focus on next, and which other things to put lower down the list (or even avoid completely).
- It will ensure that you build your website right the first time, without making costly mistakes that take time and resources to fix.
- You’ll build a website that’s future-proof, taking into account trends and shifts that will become relevant and important only a few months or years later.
- Instead of starting over from scratch every budget year, or whenever you re-design your site, you’ll be able to build upon existing strengths so that your web shop grows more powerful with each iteration.
To make this happen, however, SEO must be involved early — long before your website is launched! Your SEO practitioner should be involved in decisions such as which e-commerce platform you use, what your website structure looks like, how your website is designed and coded, and how your content is produced.
Isn’t SEO included in the platform?
A typical misconception arises due to self-styled “SEO-friendly” platforms and content management systems (CMS). You should be aware that SEO is not incorporated in any e-commerce platform when it is delivered.
Generally, all “SEO friendly” suggests is that the platform or CMS can make it easy for someone with SEO knowledge to execute required SEO elements like optimized page titles, custom meta descriptions, approved tags, 301 redirects, image alt tags, optimized URL slugs, web analytics tags, etc
Don’t count on a vendor to throw in “readymade SEO” that works out of the box. SEO is a discipline in its own right. It is skilleded work that requires understanding of how search engines crawl and parse web pages. Typically, a custom approach is needed, one that’s unique to your particular needs, goals and situations.
E-commerce SEO specially has in fact some unique twists and tweaks that only an SEO specialist with years of hands-on experience in the field can implement correctly.
What’s the key takeaway story from this article? Get SEO right– the very first time. The way to do this is by including an SEO consultant early in the process and planning the various elements of your Web shop. That’s the way to e-commerce success.