Pat Ahern, Partner at Intergrowth:
1. Audit search rankings of your top competitors using an SEO tool like Ahrefs or SEMRush. Read the articles that generate the most organic traffic for your competitors and write a version of the page that is 10-20% better than your competitor.
2. Inlink optimization: review your existing search rankings. Look for keywords that you rank in positions 11-20 of search engines for that have a high purchase intent. Sort those priorities based on highest search volume. These are the keywords that are failing to generate any sales for your business, but show the most promise to increase your sales in the near future. Identify the page that ranks best for each keyword and include a link to that page on other pages of your website using the keyword you identified as the anchor text.
Mike Belasco, CEO & Founder of Inflow
To get the most benefits from your SEO efforts before BFCM, we recommend the following three tactics. They can be done in as simple (or as detailed) a manner as befits your team’s time, bandwidth, and expertise.
First, conduct an internal linking audit. Make sure that your website content is linking to high-priority product and category pages, and that your “link juice” (link equity) is distributed for maximum efficiency across your site. Don’t forget to look for orphan pages (those with no links) and any pages with an outsized number of internal links, too.
Second, make a plan for discontinued or out-of-stock products. While your inventory may be full to the brim now, think about what you’ll do if popular products sell out. Don’t make the mistake of deleting or redirecting out-of-stock product pages; consider offering backorder or pre-order options on those pages, instead. You can also link to similar or related products to improve the chances of still making a sale when a shopper lands on that out-of-stock page.
Finally, confirm that you’re properly deindexing your internal search result URLs. You’ll have lots of customers searching your site this holiday season, generating potentially thousands of unique search URLs. If you don’t preventatively deindex them, they can lead to index bloat — which will keep your most important pages from being crawled by Google. Use the meta robots.txt tag or the disallow line to block search engines from crawling these pages as they’re created.
When in doubt, consult with your SEO specialist to determine the highest-priority projects for your site before Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Jason Ciment, CEO at Get Visible
Google's latest heathy content update simply reflects the need for original, quality content. The two things to focus on are both content related: write buyer guides comparing products; and create "how to" guides showing your product in use.
If you can include video and written content together this is key. To the extent you can bring in statistical and authoritative reference points (like footnotes in a legal brief) this adds another dimension to the quality of your content because now it's not just you saying things, but it's endorsed.
Don't forget to use a ranking tool to determine on a keyword phrase basis if the content should be 500, 1,000, or 2,000 words - based on what Google is ranking for the keyword phrase you are targeting.
Sam Wright, Founder of Blink SEO:
The single most important factor in getting a business to rank well is to have content that is relevant to what people are searching for. This might sound simple but businesses get it wrong all the time.
eCommerce is all about categories, for example. We know that around 60% of organic revenue is generated by category pages - this is something we have tested across around more than 500k URLs across our clients, and it's a pattern we see for paid traffic too.
The quickest way to grow sales from SEO is to group products into new categories and subcategories. The important thing though is to match this up with what people are actually searching for.
The Body Shop (https://www.thebodyshop.com/) does this particularly well - it has a "Shop by my needs" feature that opens up a whole range of categorisation. This includes things like "Shop by hair concern", which has "Damage prone hair" and "Oily prone hair" as subcategories. These kinds of pages typically perform well in search.
We know that this approach works - usually we see revenue increase anywhere between 20-200% when implemented properly. The problem is that platforms like Magento and Shopify don't handle the organisation of lots of categories well straight out of the box. This is where SEO gets more technical. We've had to build our own solutions to get round this, but the results are more than worth it.
Davide Rizzi, Head of SEO at Booster Box:
SEO for e-commerce includes several activities that aim to improve its search engine rankings and therefore bring more organic traffic to the pages that really matter.Some of those activities are:
In-depth market analysis
Before starting to optimize your e-commerce website you should pay attention to the SERP landscape (what Google provides in the first few organic results). You might get nice surprises in terms of the type of result you will get (from featured snippets to images and blue links). This analysis can bring a competitive advantage over your competitors and will shed light on the type of optimization you need to put into action.
Create content (category and product) only when it matters
Depending on the category/product page that you want to optimize, you might need to add some content sections in order to boost your rankings. This will depend (I know, “depend” is the most abused word in the SEO world) on the industry you are in, the page type, and the search intent behind the KWs that you want to rank for.Considering all the variables aforementioned, you might want to create relevant and useful content that can help your users to make informed decisions. Content is also a great way to enhance your internal linking strategy.
Meta titles and descriptions
Yes, we have all been there and it might sound a little basic. The reality is that meta titles and descriptions do still significantly impact your CTR and when you are competing in the first few positions, a well-written title or description can make the difference (and drive you more clicks). In the e-commerce world, try to add the year of the collection you are selling or add some CTAs as “last few in stocks”, “free delivery”, “free return”. Basically, think of anything that can make your customers feel more comfortable in exploring your brand.
This tech SEO bit is essential especially when it comes to large e-commerce sites. Make sure your navigation is straightforward for both users and bots. Also, try to smartly interlink related categories together and make sure that your top cat/product pages are well interlinked between each other.
Create newsworthy digital PR campaigns around your products/brand that can be of interest to your target audience.