E-commerce is growing rapidly. It’s already reached $1 trillion in sales and it’s growing by double-digits each year.
Yet SEO continues to confuse and frustrate e-commerce businesses. Google seems to change their rules every day and it’s so expansive even marketing professionals find it difficult to keep up.
Many e-commerce businesses also feel that effective SEO also has to be expensive. The good news is that it doesn’t. Affordable SEO is not only possible, it’s usually fairly easy to implement into both small and large e-commerce companies.
Here are 10 affordable SEO tips and tools that won’t take up too much time or break the bank.
1. Provide Good Content
This is the easiest and most affordable SEO tip possible. Good content is what makes people visit, stay, and buy from an e-commerce site. It doesn’t matter if it’s a pest control business or Amazon, it’s all about the content.
But it’s not enough to write content that will be picked up by search engines. It’s the consumers who do the buying. Listed products should have content that easily explains everything the consumer needs to know about the product.
The content needs to set the e-commerce site apart from their competitors while setting themselves up as an authority on the products and services sold on their site.
Good content is about building trust with the consumer. Without trust, no one will buy anything.
It’s also not a good idea to rely too heavily on written content. It will bore consumers and they’ll quickly lose interest. The site has to look good, too.
Easy and affordable ways to provide engaging content are videos and photos. Adding them can easily attract three times as many visitors as a site featuring only written content will.
2. Utilize Internal and External Links
Both internal and external links are a must for anyone looking to implement affordable SEO tactics into their e-commerce site. Best of all, they’re free.
Internal links are when a site links to a page already existing within their site. It helps them to build trust and it also helps set them up as an authority in whatever field they’re in.
Internal links are also a great way to promote pages that might otherwise not get too much traffic. They’re especially useful for blogs as they help provide more information to the reader to help bring home a point.
External links are similar except that they link to an outside source. It’s important to pick the right sources for external links. If a site promoting pest control services near Kernersville NC links to a site riddled with malware or a competitor’s site, their external links will do a lot more harm than good.
External links should be used to help provide further information to promote that site as an authority figure and promote trust. If that same pest control services near Kernersville NC site writes a blog about pests that carry disease and then provides an external link to the CDC, they’re providing valuable information from a trusted authority.
But external links can provide a bit more than just trust. Often, it works to bring in more traffic to both sites.
3. Remove Bad and Broken Links
Affordable SEO tactics won’t work with all links, though because not all links are the same. Bad and broken links work against an e-commerce company, especially where Google is concerned.
Sometimes e-commerce businesses change their URL or simply go out of business. When that happens, it becomes a broken link and the visitor will only see a 404 rather than the original website.
Google penalizes for broken links so it’s worth it to periodically check all external links to ensure all of them are still in good working order. Doing so once or twice a year should be often enough to keep everything running smoothly.
Bad links are external sites that are spammy. Bad links are also penalized by search engines.
The problem is that sometimes bad links are hard to spot. So before linking to any old site, do some research.
4. Social Media is an Affordable SEO Option
There are many affordable SEO options with social media. The trick is figuring out which sites work best to gain the right type of consumer.
Facebook is a fantastic option for many reasons. It’s the most popular social media site with 2 billion users who actively log into Facebook each month.
It’s also really easy to narrow down and find the exact consumers who are actually looking for the products and services an e-commerce site is selling. Consumers can be found by age, geographic location, education, and even interests.
Best of all, their ad campaigns are easy to use and extremely affordable. E-commerce sites can spend as little as $1 per day in their advertising campaigns.
But social media isn’t all about Facebook. There are plenty of other sites that can help an e-commerce business find and attract their perfect customer.
If done correctly, not a lot of time needs to be spent on social media. Social media has the option for auto posting. All that’s required is to create and update posts and then schedule them to be sent out at a specific time.
5. Tag all Photos
Using photos is another affordable SEO tactic. They can be used in blogs, on the e-commerce site itself, and on social media platforms.
But if the photos aren’t tagged properly, then a lot of that effort will go to waste. They should also be posted with relevant keywords and descriptions.
6. Perform an SEO Audit
Over time, SEO rules change. What was once a positive can now be considered a negative.
There are plenty of free SEO tools. Most of them are fairly easy for even SEO neophytes to perform themselves.
One way is to register the site with Google Webmaster Tools. Once that’s done, access to search queries, links to the site, and even crawl errors are available.
Google analytics can also provide a ton of free information about the consumers visiting the site, like how long they visit the site for, which pages are visited, and which device was used to visit that site.
Perform a Screaming Frog Crawl on the site. E-commerce sites can use this to identify URL issues, meta descriptions, headings, duplicate pages and more. The data provided will be valuable for analyzing and auditing purposes.
7. Never Use #’s in URLs
While at one point characters were allowed in URLs, it’s not a smart move to make anyone. First off, a URL should be easily read by consumers. The more difficult it is to remember a URL, the less likely someone is to come back for a visit.
They’re also unsightly and makes a URL unnecessarily longer than it needs to be. But the most important reason to remove the # from a URL is that Googlebot doesn’t support it.
8. Make the Site as Speedy as Possible
No one has any patience these days, especially when it comes to visiting websites. Most people have the tolerance to wait a couple seconds and will then go find another site to buy their wares.
In fact, as little as half a second will make a 10% difference in sales. This is affordable SEO that no site can afford to ignore.
There’s too much at stake.
But it’s not just about consumers having no patience, a slow site also makes visitors lose trust and confidence in a site. Make sure those loading times are as quick as possible.
9. Use the Right Keywords
Many people believe that keywords are costly, but they’re just as much a part of affordable SEO as anything else on this list. All it takes is a little time to do the right kind of research.
The right keywords work wonders with search engines and can vastly improve their ranking. That can happen in a short amount of time when done correctly.
But it’s also about attracting the right customers. This means avoiding “unicorn” words like “pest control” because most consumers won’t type that into their search engine.
Instead, it’s about using keywords and phrases that consumers will actually be searching for. It’s also about finding keywords that the competition isn’t using to death so that an e-commerce company can set themselves apart from everyone else.
10. Be Consistent
Affordable SEO is useless without consistency. This means performing audits every six months to a year.
It means writing new content at least every few weeks to keep consumers coming back for more. That also includes creating new videos and uploading new and interesting photos each month.
SEO changes quickly and any e-commerce site unwilling to keep up-to-date with these changes will be left in the dust. They’ll then have to rely much more on paid AdWords and PPC in order to keep themselves in the forefront of their customer’s minds.
Keep doing research and learning about the latest SEO tactics to keep up with the competition.
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