When it comes to launching an online enterprise (or the online arm of your business operations), there are several steps to take to achieve success. From hiring an experienced web design team to build an attractive and responsive website, to setting up social media accounts, to figuring out the best ways to advertise in the online arena, there is no shortage of work to do to build you business’s online presence. E-commerce websites also need to utilize search engine optimization (SEO) appropriately in order to increase visibility, traffic, and sales.
Unfortunately, most business owners don’t have the time to learn the ins and outs of SEO, especially with constantly changing algorithms to contend with. Although hiring SEO specialists can be expensive, it can also be an effective means of accomplishing your online goals. If you’re going to hire professionals to create a modern, responsive website and handle your online advertising, why wouldn’t you pay for experts to manage your SEO as well?
Still, there are a few things every business owner should know before contracting with an SEO service, especially if you want to avoid common and costly mistakes. Here are some of the most common mistakes e-commerce websites make when it comes to SEO efforts.
Lack of Clear Objectives
When you found a company to develop your web design, you probably had pretty clear ideas about what you wanted and what you hoped to accomplish. If you found a reputable and reliable company, you likely worked with experts who helped you to refine your ideas into a modern, cohesive, and responsive website.
While most people have plenty of experience with web design, at least from a consumer perspective, you probably have relatively little understanding of SEO and how it functions. You may therefore be unclear about what you can hope to accomplish or how to get it done.
To some extent, SEO specialists can give you options for what to accomplish through search optimization and how to go about achieving your goals. However, you need to have some idea of what your objectives are going in so that you are capable of making informed decisions on behalf of your e-commerce website.
Under or Over-spending
It’s hard to know how much to spend on SEO, but a good place to start is by reviewing your budget. This is not to say that you want to spend all of the money you can on SEO, but you definitely don’t want to spend more than your budget reasonably allows.
How can you tell if you’re spending too much or too little? A good SEO service will work with the budget you have available. They will also advise you on what you could accomplish for more or less, offering you options that help you prioritize your goals and see success through SEO efforts.
Spending too little will not produce the results you desire while spending too much could cut into your profit. To an extent, the “right” amount to spend will vary from company to company.
Inadequate Use of Tags, Titles, and Descriptions
Keywords play an important role in how search engines index your website and how you are found by search users. This means you can’t miss an opportunity to imbue your content with keywords that are both visible and hidden. This is especially true since keyword stuffing in visible content is a major no-no these days.
Luckily, hidden meta data, including titles, tags, and descriptions for content, can give you an opportunity to better promote your web pages.
Failure to Localize
Whether you have brick-and-mortar locations or your company is solely an online operation, targeting local demographics could help you to get found by specific consumer groups seeking your products or services. This is especially important if you have real-world stores you’re trying to promote.
Lack of Social Media Presence
It’s not enough to pay for stellar web design to act as the hub of your online operations and then create social media accounts to support your e-commerce site. A lot goes into making social media work for you and all of these elements work hand-in-hand with your SEO strategy.
You should not only use social media for outreach, promotion, and advertising, but also to connect with online stores. For example, using programs like Shopify can allow you to sell through Facebook.
With the right components in place you can make the most of your SEO efforts and see significant returns through your e-commerce website as a result. You just have to continue learning and avoid common mistakes.