As an eCommerce Executive is fair to say I spend quite a fair bit of my time tweaking product and category pages to improve conversion rates. But what does that mean and what does it involve?
Some would say that means trying to please Google, others would say that means trying to come up with sneaky marketing techniques to convince clients to buy things they don’t need… but I like to put it differently – to me that means ensuring that when one needs something that The Workplace Depot happens to sell, The Workplace Depot naturally ranks for that search term on the very first positions, making the customer happy because they didn’t have to dig deeper. So how can this be achieved? By understanding and correctly implementing on page SEO.
What is On Page SEO?
According to Moz, On Page SEO represents the practice of optimising individual web pages in order to rank higher and earn more relevant traffic in search engines. However, while the definition clearly states individual web pages, it is important to ensure your entire website is SEO optimised if you want to get the best results. On Page SEO factors are almost entirely under the publisher’s control. Search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo often publish guidelines encouraging website owners to perform SEO. On page SEO helps search engines improve search results so that people get the most relevant results. This article does not aim to list all the on page SEO factors. Bear in mind that Google has over 200 on page signals. This article is aimed at those new to SEO who want to focus on the main picture, and get more quality traffic to their website.
Now let’s pretend I have a new online cake shop. My cake shop serves a wide variety of cakes: wedding cakes, birthday cakes, pies, muffins and macaroons. I will use the wedding cakes as an example to explain the most important SEO factors that would impact the page rank for the search term “wedding cakes”.
To begin with, the different types of cakes will need to have a dedicated category page (in this case Wedding Cakes) that would represent the path to my different types of cakes. Then, each individual product page (Strawberry and Blueberry Wedding Cake, White Chocolate Mousse Wedding Cake etc) within the category page, will need to address On Page SEO Factors in order to get targeted traffic.
On Page SEO Factors
It is important to understand that no single SEO factor will guarantee success. SEO factors work in combination.
Content is very, VERY important. It needs to be unique and specific to each individual product – in this case, the types of wedding cakes, while providing accurate product information. Also, needs to be build around a keyword, but be careful not to use your keyword too many times either. Google doesn’t like that – it looks spammy if it does.
#2: Title Tag
This factor offers 65 characters to play with. The title tag should include the keyword and vital info about the product. Try not to make it look spammy as they are the second most important thing after content.
Needs to include the keyword, be descriptive and short. This would be an example of a good URL: http://cakeshop.co.uk/wedding-cakes/strawberry-and-blueberry-wedding-cake/
#4: Image Alt Text
Imagery is always important, especially when selling wedding cakes! Provide good quality product images and don’t forget about the Image Alt Text. Use your keyword for this.
#5: Meta Description
The optimal length for search engines is roughly 155 characters. The meta description should employ the keywords and create a unique and relevant description that a search would want to click.
#6: Heading Tags (H1, H2)
Although Heading Tags are not as important as they used to be once, they still play a fairly important role in Google’s algorithms. Make sure your H1 and H2 contain keywords and generally provide useful information to the visitor. Heading tags also can help to better organise content.
How to Make a Great SEO Page
An optimised product page would ideally cover all the On Page SEO Factors mentioned above and as a rule of thumb, should be hyper relevant to a specific topic. Internal links to relevant and great content always help. So does a well structured, simple and quick website. Following all these rules, would make a website be found on Google and as a result… get those cakes selling.
Although on Page SEO has a huge impact on how websites rank, I’m afraid it’s not the only key to great success. Off page SEO also has a perhaps even bigger impact than On Page SEO.
An effective development and execution of an off page SEO campaign is one of the most powerful marketing tools available. On page SEO can maximise results and over time increase ROI. However, although On Page SEO has a vital role in bringing in more traffic, it needs to be backed up by Off Page SEO, but more about that in different article.