By Agosh Baranwal on 4/21/20 2:52 AM

    Optimize your store for the search engines

    What is Search Engine Optimization?

    Quite simply, SEO is the umbrella term for all the methods you can use to ensure the visibility of your website and its content on search engine results pages (SERPs).

    The methods vary from technical practices you can achieve behind the scenes on your website (we tend to refer to this as ‘on-page SEO’) to all the promotional ’off-page’ approaches you can use to raise your site’s visibility (link-building, social media marketing).

    Search engine optimization is something you need to work on consistently. Therefore, make sure to periodically create new content on your site to keep it alive. First, consider what keywords people might be typing in to end up with you. Then, use these words when you write your content for your website. But remember, it's important that you write for your customers and not for the search engines.

    Here we’ll take a look at the basic things you need to know in regards to search engine optimization, a discipline that everyone in your organisation should at least be aware of, if not have a decent technical understanding.

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    Get started with SEO

    You should first make some basic settings in the store to enter the title of the home page as well as a general description.  

    What is "META Title"?

    A "meta title" (also called "title tag") is an element that is at the top of all pages and defines the page title. It is used by browsers by displaying the title in the browser tab and search engines displaying the title at the search result.

    Go to Settings -> Domains and SEO. 

    The top two blocks, "Article pages" and "Article group pages" are for choosing how titles are to be presented. Some want the name of the store in the title and others do not, so there are several ways to choose here. 

    In the "Home" block we will enter the name of the store and a "META description". 

    Title tag

    Enter the name of the store and a little more descriptive text about your store. If we take Textalk as an example, we have chosen to state our title tag like this: "Textalk, experts on e-commerce solutions and publishing tools". A brief descriptive title. 

    META Description

    Enter a brief descriptive text about the store and what you are selling and which target groups / areas you are targeting. Not only should you enter lots of different words, but it should be a brief description of your business. This text is displayed below the search result in the search engines and should inform what you are expected to get if you click on the search link.

    This text is then used as the default text on all pages of the store. If desired, you can enter a different text on each article, article group and own pages if desired. You do this under the tab "Search engine optimization" in the department you are in and edit the store in. 

    Why is there no field for META Keywords

    The major search engines no longer use this field but instead they analyze every page and read the title, file name, headings and text content and then they create automatic keywords based on the entire page content. It is therefore very important that you have good and relevant titles, headings and article descriptions in order to rank high. 

    Article Name

    The article name is very important and you should think about how to name your products. It is also the article name that is set as "title" automatically.

    For example, if you sell clothes and dresses, the word "dresses" is difficult to compete with. Use words that you know people can think of. "Dress" is far too broad.

    If you are going to sell a red vintage dress from the 50's, post it as article name:

    Red Dior vintage dress from the 50's size 38

    Or if you sell water bottles made of non-toxic plastic. Do not rename the item to "water bottle". Write what kind of bottle it is:

    Eva Solo water bottle 0.5 l BPA-free plastic

    Use relevant keywords in any text you type on the page. Of course, you should not spam and write incoherent sentences. Google is not stupid - and it is probably Google you want to appear on.

    Headings (H1, H2, H3, etc.)

    The main heading on one page is called H1. An H1 is usually high up on the page and you should only have one H1 per page. If you have several subheadings, you specify them as H2, H3, etc.

    The heading may be a sentence describing the content of the page. Use relevant keywords. Are you looking to be the cheapest? Maybe you can get the word "cheap" in a good way in the heading. Do you sell homemade clogs? Write it in the heading. And of course also in the article description.

    Don't skimp on information. Especially not if you sell something that you know you are alone about. And even if you are not alone in it - why should you buy from yourself? Is it because you are the cheapest? Best? Most unique? Tell.

    On article pages and category pages, the H1 heading is specified automatically and it is the article name and the article group name as the way for best results. You cannot change the H1s on the article pages, but on the article group pages you can activate "custom appearance" and thus enter your own H1 if you wish.

    On the home page and own pages you need to enter an H1 heading yourself. 

    Create an H1 heading on the home page

    Go to Appearance -> Themes -> select the active theme, edit -> Content -> Home. 

    Add a new block, "Custom HTML".

    Here we enter a heading, for example "Welcome to Textalk Webshop".

    Then select the text and in the toolbar above the text box there is a list at the top left called "Paragraph". In that list we select "Heading 1". Then the heading will be an H1.

    Create an H1 heading on your own pages

    Go to "My Pages" -> Create a new page.

    Add a new display window, "Any text / image".

    Here we enter a heading, for example "About Textalk Webshop".

    Then select the text and in the toolbar above the text box there is a list on the left called "Body text". In that list we select "Heading 1". Then the heading will be an H1.

    Storytelling

    Everyone has a history. Please tell us why you chose to start your shop (and use relevant keywords that you know you can search to find you). 

    It is common to look for an About Us page to find out more about the history behind the store. Unless you have a well-known brand, an About Us page where you tell us a little about yourself and your business is a must. It shows that you are serious and create confidence. If you only show products you don't say much about yourself. 

    You may be selling something that is handmade and completely unique. Tell us why you are passionate about this and share your story. Perhaps this is what makes someone choose you instead of a competitor.

    Here are some things to keep in mind when writing an About Us page:

    • Who am I / who are we?
    • Why should I choose my store over another?
    • What am I doing?
    • When did I start?
    • How do I go about?

    Best Practices

    Know about social media sites

    Sites built around user interaction and sharing have made it easier to match interested groups of people up with relevant content.

    Avoid:

    • Attempting to promote each new, small piece of content you create; go for big, interesting items.
    • Involving your site in schemes where your content is artificially promoted to the top of these services.

    Reach out to those in your site's related community

    Chances are, there are a number of sites that cover topic areas similar to yours. Opening up communication with these sites is usually beneficial. Hot topics in your niche or community could spark additional ideas for content or building a good community resource.

    Avoid:

    • Spamming link requests out to all sites related to your topic area.
    • Purchasing links from another site with the aim of getting PageRank.
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    Headings: Marketing, How to start, Tips