SEO Made Simple: 10 Tactics to Increase Your Visibility
Now, we want to help you take the first few very important steps to make sure your website is visible on search engines and is ranking where it should be.
1. Create your XML Sitemap
This is a very simple process, but also very important. If you recall from the last article an XML Sitemap is your way to communicate with search engine crawlers about the pages you want them to crawl on your website, as well as indicate how often your site is updated. This is how you do it:
- Visit https://www.xml-sitemaps.com/ and simply input your websites url, how often you make changes to it. Leave the priority as none since this is your root sitemap
- Once it is generated, upload it to domain root of your website. This means you should upload it to your first folder, so that if people were to access it, they would visit https://yourwebsite.com/sitemap.xml
- Once you have done that, go to your Google Webmasters Account and add it there. This will ensure that your sitemap is crawled by Google’s bots.
2. Do Keyword Research
Since you’ve just created your shop you obviously have certain terms that make your brand unique.
To make sure this distinctiveness is reflected on search engines, there are a few online tools you can use to create keyword combinations, see trends, and get search volume.
- Google Trends is a great way to know what people are searching for, both in your locality and around the globe. Use it to estimate how many people are talking about topics related to your brand and even broader searches about the market you are working in.
- Keyword.io is an awesome if a little primitive way to find the long tail keywords we discussed in the previous article. It suggests a large list of keywords based on Google’s auto-suggestion feature and is a cool free tool.
- Google AdWords Keyword Planner Tool is a fantastic tool that estimates the search volume of certain terms, gives you new keyword suggestions and tells you how competitive certain keywords are.
- When you’re ready, you can begin to explore more complex paid tools, such as Moz or Hubspot that will be useful as your site grows.
3. Create a robots.txt file
We discussed the function of this file in our last piece, now we’ll teach you how to write one!
- Simply upload a .txt file named robots in your root directory. You can then customize it to allow/disallow bots from crawling particular pages or even whole directories of your website.
- To write one that allows robots to crawl every single webpage, simply upload the file with the following text
- You can do a whole range of other things with a robots.txt file, check out some examples here.
4. Run a free SEO audit
The last post explained the importance of HTML elements like alt tags, title tags and header tags.
A free SEO audit is a great way to ensure you implemented all of them correctly!
- I would suggest Seoptimer’s free audit service for this. It will break down your webpage element by element, telling you where you are going right and what you can improve.
- If you feel the suggested changes are valid and easy enough to make, this could be a great way to not only improve your website’s SEO, but learn about what SEO crawlers search for so you can further familiarize yourself with the subject!
If you do that, you’re splitting links, which isn’t part of a good link building strategy!
6. Check your server headers
This is a fairly simple process that ensures that your website redirects are permanent (301) and not temporary (302 or 307).
Having the wrong redirect could potentially cause none of the links to your website to reflect on your SEO ranking because it is considered a temporary redirect.
To check for this follow these steps:
- Visit SEObooks Free Server Header Checker and input your URL
- If you receive one of two messages: 301 Moved Permanently or 200 OK you are good to go
- If you receive any other response you should check to see if your URLs are properly and consistently set up throughout your site and you have the correct redirects set up in your .htaccess
7. Avoid Keyword Stuffing
Simply jamming your website with keywords will not help your SEO rankings.
In fact, Google and other search engines may think it is spam and hit you with an SEO penalty! Moz recommends using your keyword a maximum of 15 words per page.
While this is not a hard and fast rule, you should more or less try and abide by it because search engines value natural language rather than content stuffed with keywords.
8. Diversify your anchor text
While you can’t necessarily control externally linked anchor text, you can control the anchor text you have with your internal links:
- Avoid generic anchor text, such as “click here” and instead use it to describe the content around it. According to Moz, this means “linking internally with a mix of partial match keyword and related phrases”.
- When creating links for your website on a blog post, substitute links like Click Here for Dropshipping Marketplace – Modalyst
9. Make Sure your URLs are Static
You want to make sure the URLs of your web pages are short and relevant to the content on the page.
This not only improves your SEO, but it looks better and it makes it easier for people to find your content when they are searching for it.
10. Structure your rich content appropriately
If you recall what rich content was from our last blog post you will want to make sure you make use of it whenever appropriate on your webpages.
As more and more social media websites and websites with multimedia content become important, integrating them appropriately within your website can help immensely not only with your SEO but with your website’s structure and design.
- Use good title images for your content
- Embed Youtube Videos, Twitter Cards and Facebook Cards whenever possible on your website
- Add your own video content and much more
There’s no particular rule that states the exact type of rich content you should use on your website, therefore you should make this decision based on what you feel would appeal the most to your users.
If you have a store where you feel visual content should be maximized, include small videos throughout your pages.
If social media is important to you, make sure you include several easy ways for people to share your pages, as well as integrating the several embed features offered by the biggest social media websites today.
SEO Made Simple: Conclusion
As you can see, these steps are extremely simple to execute and require no development experience.
They can, however, make a big difference with respect to search results and can really help you get ahead in the very competitive E-Commerce Market.
We hope this article helps you on your journey to mastering SEO for eCommerce, once you have a website set up, Modalyst can help you find a number of unique products available for dropshipping or many eager retailers ready to dropship your products!