The ins-and-outs of SEO for Retail business owners. Learn if, why, when and how to do SEO for your business.
We’ve previously discussed the importance of having an attractive website for your retail business- whether or not you actually sell products on your site. As we’ve mentioned, and you probably already know, an extremely high percentage of consumers search the web before they buy products in local stores. That’s great news as long as they're able to find your site and your products as opposed to your competitor’s.
So how do you make sure people come to your website from online searches? It’s called Search Engine Optimization or SEO.
What is SEO?
Put simply, SEO is the practice of enhancing your website so it shows up more prevalently in search results. The more optimized your site is for search engines, the higher it will show up on results pages when someone searches for your store or products in Google or Bing.
Traditional elements of SEO include using relevant keywords, links and properly structuring your website. The basics of SEO are pretty straight forward and can be found in this SEO guide. There are also plenty of articles and blog posts on the web explaining SEO and how it works.
How do I do SEO?
The proper implementation of SEO requires a good amount of technical skills and current knowledge of the different search engine algorithm updates. Google, for example, changes its search algorithm between 500-600 times a year. Therefore, if SEO is a fairly new concept to you, it makes sense to work with a professional.
When looking for an SEO person, speak to your colleagues and ask connections on LinkedIn. There are plenty of worthwhile SEO experts out there so finding one shouldn't be too hard.
Before you hire someone for SEO though, make sure you get recommendations and a clear idea as to goals and expectations.
A great way to keep the price down is by getting multiple bids from SEO experts through a site like EZBZ. With EZBZ, you’ll be able to find the right person for your needs, hassle free!
If you built your site using a website building platform like Shopify or Wix, check out what resources and tools they offer for SEO. Shopify discusses SEO in their online marketing section and Wix has an article about building your site with SEO in mind.
What SEO practices can I do on my own?
There are quite a few important steps you can take to improve your site’s SEO right from your home or office- without involving a professional at all. They include:
Unique product descriptions: When posting products to your site, write a unique description about each one. Make sure you don’t just copy the product details from some manufacturer’s website. A major element of SEO is unique content and you can certainly take advantage of that when labeling your products.
Name your images: Similarly, before you upload product images to your site, save the image file under a name related to your product. So for example, if you sell different soaps, you could name an image file “lavender bath soap”. These images can actually show up in search results like in Google Images.
Google+, YouTube and social media pages: Your social media pages can actually have a lot of SEO value, as we mentioned when we discussed social media for retail business.
Your Google+ local page, which you can set up here (https://www.google.com/+/business) by choosing the “Local business or place” option, will greatly benfit your SEO efforts. It will not only show up in Google search results but will put your business on Google Maps! Make sure you add as much detail as possible when filling out your profile, including your address, local phone number, and photos.
Your YouTube channel and videos will bring you a lot of SEO points too! When setting up your channel, keep in mind that the name of your channel, video titles and video descriptions are all important for SEO purposes. Therefore, make sure they’re directly related to your business.
Beyond Google+ and YouTube, it’s a good idea to make sure all the information on your other social media profiles is correct. Review the “About” sections and see what additional information you can add. Whenever prompted, add in your website and store location address. Place links on your website too that can direct people to your social media profiles. It’s an especially good idea to have a Google +1 button on your website. The more active your site, the better it looks for SEO.
Have questions about SEO? We’d love to hear them! Send them directly to email@example.com and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible. You can also contact us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn where we are always listening!