SEO Is More Important Than Ever; Do It Right!
As eCommerce grows, it becomes more and more imperative to keep on top of search engine optimization for your brand (or brands.) With the turning of the calendar year, it’s a good time to review practical SEO tactics that can help ensure your sites are getting the attention they deserve. SEO is a skillset that is never entirely concrete, with the algorithms that dictate search results constantly evolving and being optimized themselves. As a result, ensuring your websites are optimized correctly involves a commitment to the proper maintenance of your SEO policies and practices.
Building good SEO practices involves a combination of approaches which should be balanced in order to ensure you are getting the best returns on your SEO-related investments. If you are too hands-off, you risk falling behind the competition, but allocating too many resources to SEO management means having to make sacrifices in other vital areas of your business. What can businesses do to ensure they have the SEO edge in the coming years? This 1Digital blog will help you solidify a few best practices you can employ immediately to improve your SEO structures.
One of the best ways to ensure you’re getting the best ROI you can on your websites’ SEO is to implement long-term, effective practices that are not affected by the continual changes that search engines undergo. Such practices tend to appear more like “metapractices,” or strategies that guide how you adapt the technical portions of your SEO approach.
The first example of the longer-term techniques you can implement is the active choice to maintain an SEO expert. Whether you choose to have a single devoted specialist or an agency, SEO needs to be a priority without draining resources from other departments. Ensuring your product descriptions, blog content, video content, and social media all are optimized to bring traffic to your page is a serious commitment, more so if the one tasked with it is not a specialist.
Additionally, while the exact needs of content creation might change from year to year (or quicker,) the general need for fresh, genuine content will never change. The companies behind modern search engines are incentivized heavily to ensure their engines are bringing users quality, relevant, and, most importantly, real content. Locating this kind of content is the basis of search companies’ business models. Because of this simple fact, ensuring that your content is backed by a commitment to relevance and quality will always give you an edge, no matter how the algorithms behind SEO change.
Another evergreen technique is prioritizing engagement. Ensuring your company is active goes beyond posting regular content; you have to ensure that you are making connections with those who follow your content. Posting a blog alone may bring some interested readers, but cultivating a following that is passionate and feels invested in your brand is where the real value lies. To achieve this kind of following, you must commit to active, organic engagement with commenters, those who share your content with others, and reviewers. Not only does good engagement build brand loyalty, trust, and a sense of respect for your followers, it improves your search engine standings as well.
Practical SEO Tactics for the Current Year
Implementing long-term strategies is the foundation of good SEO practice for your company, but you cannot neglect the tactics that are currently effective for improving website SEO. Going into 2018, search engines seem to be all about the details, which means you have to get out the magnifying glass and start truly honing your sites and your content.
The SEO manager for eCommerce platform Volusion, Julianne Coyne, recently documented a number of “resolutions” that companies can make for 2018 to improve their websites’ performances. Of these resolutions, we found #2 particularly interesting. Coyne urges Volusion’s users to make their site easy for “spiders” to crawl, which, to anyone unfamiliar with SEO, might sound like a terrible idea. In truth, though, a spider is a decades-old technology that search engines use to find relevant results.
According to Coyne, making your site spider-friendly in 2018 comes down to building good sitemaps and placing your sitemap in an easy-to-locate location, preferably in your website’s robots.txt file. The robots.txt file is another tool that has existed for years in various iterations. It is essentially a miniature instruction manual that guides spiders and other web crawlers how to navigate a particular website. With a proper sitemap, you can actually help spiders determine which of your pages will be most relevant to certain users.
In addition to these two particularly technical tactics, another strategy you can implement is to ensure your company keeps educated on the changing landscape of popular search engines, each of which has their own ways of optimizing searches. 2017 saw the collapse of Yahoo! and the continued rise of Bing, with Bing now regularly being compared to Google search in regard to results and efficacy. The big changes 2018 promises seem to be centered around smaller search engines, such as those employed and customized by websites like Facebook and YouTube.
YouTube, being a subsidiary of Google, utilizes Google’s search engine but has very different algorithms for determining relevant content. If video content is extremely relevant to your brand, keeping your SEO team focused on mastering YouTube’s individual quirks is likely to prove very valuable, especially considering the current turbulence on YouTube as a platform.
As time goes on, search engines are becoming more and more intelligent. The promise of smarter algorithms and even the potential of AI guided search engines in the near future means that companies across all industries need to embrace the reality of a rapidly changing future in regard to SEO.
With the ever-increasing competition in eCommerce, consider working with an agency that has years of experience with SEO, including maintaining efficacy as search engines evolve rapidly. 1Digital Agency’s SEO experts have devoted their careers to helping eCommerce companies implement practical SEO tactics that ensure results and give an edge over the competition.
- Natalie Nako
- January 10, 2018