Instantcart offers a very powerful SEO features allowing you to increase your chances of being found in Search Engines such as Google and Yahoo. Appearing at the top of a search engine is never guaranteed, and it will take time and effort to tailor your website so it appears as high as possible in the search results for specific terms.
Google reads your website like a human being, checking for spelling, grammar and keyword relevance. It checks to see if your site has similar content to another website, looks at who is linking to your site, and who you link to.
When it comes to SEO, there are some simple rules than can mean the difference between SEO success and SEO suicide.
Instantcart’s Top 10 SEO Dos and Don’ts
1. Don’t stuff your website with keywords
Write website copy as a human readable text, with keywords that are relevant to the page. Over using keywords will have a negative effect on your page rank in Google. There is no specific rule as to what is deemed too many keywords on a page but 2-5% is considered safe by most per word.
An example of bad keyword use:- “Are you looking for cheap jogging pants? If you’re looking for cheap jogging pants, look no further. Our cheap jogging pants website is the best place to order your cheap jogging pants. Feel free to check out our selection of cheap jogging pants from our cheap jogging pants selection below”.
A more acceptable demonstration of keyword use “Looking for cheap jogging pants? Check out our selection of jogging pants below, where you will find one of the best ranges of pants on the planet!
2. Keep your page title short and don’t repeat keywords
Something new we have spotted is keep your page title short and sweet, as well as relevant to the page content, and don’t repeat keywords. We have found that using a keyword only once in a title is enough!
An example of some recent optimisation to a client’s webpage pushed one of the category pages to No.1 on Google for the term “amd barebones” and a number of variations, such as “amd barebones pc”, “amd barebones pcs” and “barebones amd”
The original title was too long, and repeated keywords more than once. We tested the effect of shortening the title and reducing the keyword use to one, and we were surprised to see the webpage jump from page 2 to no.1 on page 1.
You can see an example of the result below for “Overclock.co.uk”
The new title reads “AMD Barebones PCs: Build your own Computer System with Overclock”
This title triggers variations such as: “amd barebones”, “amd barebones computer”, “amd barebones PCs” and “amd barebones system”.
3. Don’t optimise your site too Quickly
Try not to change things around on your website too quickly – make small subtle changes on a long term basis, this includes adding new content and getting new back links. Make your SEO progression look organic, rather than automated.
Google doesn’t like a huge rise in back links from other sites too quickly, it likes to see a more natural rise in other relevant websites linking to your website. A rapid rise in back links demonstrates that a site has been submitted to a directory listing service or some other automated process of gaining back links.
Remember to get good quality relevant back links. A great example is a popular ezine or blogging site writing a unique article about your product or service, and then linking to that product on your website.
4. Focus on a few keywords at a time
When using targeted keywords on your site, research what keywords people use in search engines to find products and services that you offer. Use this information to then tailor your site accordingly, including Page Title, page headings, meta tags, and content. Remember not to overdo it, and make sure the keywords you are targeting are relevant.
Many SEO firms guarantee to offer you a page one listing for keywords, however they’ll pick uncompetitive long tail keywords which very few people are using to find products and services that you offer – so be careful! Long tail keywords are search phrases that use multiple keywords, for example “very cheap super cars” rather than “cheap supercars”.
5. Make sure the products you are selling are competitive
This is a big one, even if people find your site, if the price is uncompetitive, you won’t convert your search engine referrals. A small number of clients blame Instantcart for low sales volumes when in fact their product is uncompetitive – don’t fall into this trap. It’s easy to become emotionally attached to a product and sometimes not see the bigger picture as to why it’s not selling.
6. Make sure your customers actually WANT your product
Some products just don’t sell, and usually there’s an underlying reason. If it’s not price, image or description, it’s either because not enough people are looking for what you sell, or not enough people are educated about the brand you’re selling them. If a customer is pre-sold on the idea that they want a specific product you sell, they’ll most likely buy it if the price and service is right and they’ve found their way to your site.
Your product is the most important part of your store, remember if you’re struggling to sell, make sure the product is right and the price is right. You’d be surprised how much of a difference stocking the right product makes to your sales figures, it can be the difference between success and failure.
A good example of this is a recent case study regarding the sale of sock supports, socks that help people with specific sports injuries recover more quickly.
The brand that was sold was deemed to be more superior to alternatives currently for sale online, however the problem was that very few people had heard of the brand in question. The pricing for this brand’s product range was 4 times more on average compared to alternatives found on the high street and online. This meant that most people were unaware as to why these sock supports were so expensive as they were unfamiliar with the brand and its benefits. This resulted in customers clicking off the site and going elsewhere in search of a cheaper sock.
The only way the sale of these far more expensive sock supports would work is if customers were pre-sold and knew that the product was far superior to its rivals.
The rule here is to make sure the items you’re selling are well marketed before people hit your site. If not, you’ll need to look at some external marketing, that’s marketing that is separate to your website such as magazine coverage, TV adverts, flyers and online articles, essentially pre-selling people on the idea that your product is for them.
7. Don’t create door way pages, or blogs that purely link to your site
Some website owners create separate micro sites with the aim of pushing visitors to their main site. This is commonly a bad idea, and these types of sites are classed as doorway sites. Remember, focus on your main site, and forget about creating micro sites if their sole intention is to re-direct traffic. Google will penalise a site if it detects this type of practice.
8. Avoid Duplicate Content
Avoid duplicating content taken from other websites, and avoid duplicating pages within your site. Make sure you have only 1 copy of each page. Its common practice to copy the description of a product from a manufacturers website, but if possible, try to re-write it so its unique – you’ll avoid being dropped down the rankings by Google if you keep everything unique.
9. Keep meta tags and meta descriptions short
Another common mistake is to overuse keywords in meta description and meta tags. Try to use no more than 10 keywords in your meta tags, and keep the meta description short and descriptive, as well as making sure everything is relevant.
Don’t repeat your meta data over and over for each page.
10. Don’t use too many top level categories
Its good idea to not over do the top level category tree, as this creates more links on your page. Google likes pages that aren’t stuffed with links, and prefers it if pages have less than 200 hyper links on one page.