aheadWorks: Magento extensions and themes

Search Engine Optimization is the process of improving website to increase its visibility in search engines. It’s often used as an Internet marketing strategy, and, moreover, SEO has become the strongest Internet marketing tool ever.

The fact that it is very topical at the moment, let’s talk about simple but sufficiently effective ways of improving your online store. More traffic doesn’t mean more purchases but it’s definitely a big step towards it.

According to the latest research of a global search engines market share, Google is still a confident leader with 87,6% of market. That’s why it makes sense to orient the optimization for Google search. Bellow you will find some advices on how to make you online store ranking better than it is, how to pick correct keywords, work with links, and which Google sources you can use to check the data of your store and control the changes.

Search engine market share 2012

Make Your Pages Ranking Well

  • Adopt each web page for a unique relevant keyword
  • Make sure you have at least 200-250 words per page
  • Remember, title tag is the most important element on the page. A title tag tells both users and search engines what the topic of a particular page is. Ideally, you should create a unique title for each page on your site.

Title tag

  • Pay special attention to Home page, as it is the most important page
  • Don’t forget about heading tags (H1, H2)
  • Use contextual links
  • Text links are much better than graphic links
  • Alt tags for images are also helpful
  • Meta tags don’t improve rankings
  • Meta description can influence what’s displayed in the search results, as it gives Google and other search engines a summary of what the page is about

Meta tag

Improve Your Keyword List

The selection of keywords for you web site is what you definitely should start with. Search engines use them when searching results for a particular request. Keywords can make or break your search engine ranking. Optimize the number of keywords per page, as overusing can cause your site to be banned for spamming.

Check the popularity of keyword searches using special tools for that:

  • Google Keyword Tool – you can type in any word, phrase or website name. After that, you will get a list of keyword ideas and data showing how often words are searched and their ad bid competition.

Google Keywords Tool

  • Google Trends – this service shows how frequently your topics have appeared in Google News stories and in which geographic regions people have searched for them most.

Google Trends

  • It is also important to check the competition of keywords in the search engines. One of the most famous ways is to calculate Keyword Effectiveness Indicator(KEI) score: KEI= (volume of searches per month*)^2/(total number of competitors**)

    For example, let’s compare the keywords we’ve decided to work with.

    magento extensions = 6,600^2 / 775,000 = 56.206
    magento extension = 8,100^2 / 333,000 = 197,027

    The higher the KEI score, the more attractive the keyword is to target (assuming it’s relevant to your business). That means the “magento extension” phrase is better for using as a keyword. It still has a large number of searchers but at the same time a smaller number of competitors.

    *To obtain the number of competing web pages, go to Google.com and search your keyword phrase with quotation marks
    ** According to the data of Google Keyword Tool

Increase the PageRank with Links

PageRank – Google algorithm for measuring a page’s importance; other search engines have similar measures. PageRank scores from 0 to 10.

  • Inbound links play a key role in determining rankings
  • Quantity is not the solution for link popularity, it’s more about quality, importance of the page and its relevance
  • Keep in mind: each web page has its own PageRank score
  • Check your PR with Google Webmaster Central or/and Google Toolbar
  • Do your best to offer link-worthy content. Keep it fresh and interesting
  • Provide an RSS feed
  • Use social media

RSS and Social buttons

  • Try to get good keywords in the hyperlink text
  • Use footer and site-wide links that are leading to the internal pages on your website. Probably, they are cannot be your primary SEO strategy, as they don’t have much value for Google, but make sure the content of site-wide and footer links is relevant.

Footer links for SEO

  • Sites with higher PageRank get crawled earlier, faster, and deeper by Googlebot
  • Participate in the blogosphere. With help of blog, you can make deep links to your ecommerce site.

Rethink the Structure of Internal Links

  • While thinking about inbound links, don’t forget about internal links, as they are matter too
  • The PageRank of your home page gets distributed to your deep pages by virtue of your internal linking structure
  • Links are very important for search engines, so spread them wisely within your site. Pay attention to:
      • site hierarchy
      • guided navigation
      • site map
      • breadcrumb navigation

    Breadcrumb navigation for SEO

Tag cloud for SEO

Influence the Click Decision

  • You can get a synergistic effect of being at the top of the natural results & paid results. Some companies prefer to use paid Internet marketing methods, as the results are more immediate. But the truth is that any good Internet marketing plan should use both paid and organic tools.

Organic and Paid search results

  • Grab user’s attention with a trustworthy call-to-action proposition in your descriptions
  • Don’t forget that your title tag is critical
  • Search results are tailored to the user, so you may be the number one for some results but not to others

Keep Abreast of Your Online Store

Check the data relating to your SEO activities.

  • Number of pages indexed
  • Google PageRank
  • Link popularity
  • Alexa
  • Positions in the search results for important keywords

The secret of SEO success is that there is no secret. The best advice is to keep it simple and think about your visitors. Good luck!