On-Page SEO: How to increase your rankings

Climbing the Google SERPs requires retailers to sink a considerable amount of effort into their SEO strategies, implementing technical, off-page and on-page optimization tactics.

While many focus on off-site activities such as guest blogging and link building, their efforts will largely be in vain if they haven’t spent the time optimizing their site for organic rankings through on-page SEO.

Given that on-page SEO should be a priority for eCommerce retailers, today, we will explore how to improve Google rankings through on-page optimization tactics.

Create High-Quality Content

Content is the backbone of SEO.

If merchants want to drive traffic to their website, boost its rankings and have visitors return time and again, creating great content is a necessity.

Create High-Quality Content

Given that the quality of the content has a substantial impact on ranking signals such as clicks, bounce rates, dwell times and other important factors, generating content that speaks to the user’s intent, is well-optimized in keyword usage and provides substantial value to audiences is critical to SERP success.

One excellent strategy for helping to guide the content creation process is the skyscraper technique. Through this approach, sellers will find the most popular content in their niche for a given topic and aim to craft something even better.

While this may not be the easiest task, it is surely one that can help retail sites increase their rankings.

Include LSI Keywords

Latent semantic indexing (LSI) is the process that search engines utilize to identify keywords and phrases that are related to the main keyword searched.

Put in plain terms, LSI keywords are synonyms and words related to the target keyword. For instance, when writing about social media strategies, some LSI keywords would include Facebook, Shoppable posts and the like.

Including LSI keywords in one’s content is an important on-page optimization tactic as Google is becoming increasingly sophisticated in its ability to understand natural language with updates like BERT.

While these types of words are likely to naturally find their way into a merchant’s content as they talk about a given subject, sellers can take things a step further and pinpoint specific LSI keywords they would like to optimize content for with tools like LSIGraph.

Optimize Title Tags

Title tags, which live in the head section of each webpage, are another important on-page element to optimize. This tag provides Google with context as to what the page is about and the type of content it contains.

Moreover, this is what will ultimately become the blue linked page title in Google’s SERPs, thereby informing potential visitors about the page as well.

To ensure that title tags are optimized properly, retailers should include their target keyword as close to the beginning as possible and keep the tag to 60 characters or less.

Additionally, it is critical that sellers create unique title tags for each page.

Create Informative Meta Descriptions

Meta descriptions are the blurb that lives below the title tag in the Google SERPs. While these are an important optimization point, they are often left neglected.

Part of the reason that these are frequently left unoptimized is that meta descriptions don’t have a direct impact on SEO. That said, they do have an indirect impact in that meta descriptions help to inform searchers about a page’s content and entice clicks. The more clicks a page generates, the better its SEO performance is likely to be and the higher it will rank in the SERPs.

Therefore, sellers should craft unique, compelling, informative meta descriptions for each of their pages, aiming to drive clicks. Be sure to include a call-to-action and to keep the description to 160 characters or less.

Create Click-Worthy Headlines

Writing powerful headlines is a fundamental element to performing well in the SERPs. After all, if a headline is dull, uninspired or even misleading, it will likely generate few clicks and could produce a high bounce rate.

While it can be challenging to continually produce keyword-optimized headlines that grab a searcher’s attention and get them to click-through, it is necessary if sellers want to stand out in the SERPs.

Thankfully, there are a variety of tools that retailers can utilize to help them in this area, such as Sumo’s Kickass Headline Generator.

Properly Employ Header Tags

Header tags (H1-H6) are an HTML element used to break a page into sections and distinguish the headings and subheadings of a page from the rest of the content.

While headers aren’t one of those make-or-break on-page optimization features, they are still important for SEO performance as they help to better inform search engines about the content, while also providing a better user experience.

After all, no one wants to read a wall of text.

Moreover, header tags are an excellent place for retailers to include secondary and LSI keywords.

Don’t Neglect E-A-T

E-A-T, which stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness, is a measure which Google uses to assess webpages, websites and content creators.

The three factors included in E-A-T are what every page needs to be considered high-quality in Google’s eyes. If merchants want to rank well, taking E-A-T into consideration is a necessity.

To properly optimize a site for E-A-T, merchants can:

  • Include author names and bios on blogs and articles
  • Eliminate or alter low E-A-T content
  • Ensure the website is secure
  • Build a positive reputation around the brand

Optimize Images

Images are a fundamental component of eCommerce websites. However, much of the time, the visuals on a site are left unoptimized.

Of course, it is necessary to include relevant information in fields like the alt text. But, for eCommerce sites in particular, one of the most common SEO-impacting issues is file size and format.

Given that massive images can make a site sluggish and increase load times, it is vital that retailers resize or compress their images to ensure that they don’t harm the site’s speed.

Fix Broken Links

Even if a seller has links to high-authority websites, pages still move and links become broken over time. Those broken links can have a negative impact on a site’s SEO performance and user experience.

Talk about a double whammy.

Thankfully, merchants can easily find broken links on their site utilizing a tool like Dead Link Checker. Retailers can use this tool to check specific pages or their entire site.

When sellers find broken links on their site, they should immediately remedy this by swapping the link out for a high-authority, relevant source.

Moreover, if site owners want, they can also use this tool to find broken links on other industry sites and attempt to get those destinations to link to one of the merchant’s pages. However, that is a topic for another day.

Build a Strong Internal Linking Strategy

Outbound links aren’t the only ones that matter on eCommerce websites. Internal links are just as critical for on-page optimization and SEO performance.

Not only does internal linking help Google to better understand a website and its page hierarchy, but it also helps to keep visitors on a site longer, checking out different pages, reading various pieces of content and the like. When a user remains on a website for an extended period of time, this sends signals to Google that the site is valuable and should potentially be promoted in the SERPs.

Additionally, by linking together important pages such as authoritative blogs, products pages, optimized category pages and similar destinations, retailers can effectively spread link juice of high-ranking pages to other places in the site.

However, in order to get the most out of a site’s linking strategy and ensure that link juice flows through the site in the most beneficial way, it is advisable to partner with an eCommerce SEO agency that can help ensure the site’s internal linking strategy is advantageously structured.

Ensure the Site Is Mobile-Friendly

Mobile-friendliness is another critical on-site optimization element, given that mobile traffic and conversions continue to grow year over year. In fact, roughly 60 percent of all Google searches come from mobile devices.

Ensure the Site Is Mobile-Friendly

Moreover, since Google has implemented its mobile-first index, it is imperative that retailers ensure that their site is mobile-friendly and responsive to not impede the user experience.

A great place to start is by taking Google’s mobile-friendly test and resolving any issues that are detected.

Final Thoughts

On-page SEO requires more work than merely using the right keywords in the right places. It is necessary to craft amazing content and optimize fields like title tags, meta descriptions, headers and other important elements.

By paying attention to all of a site’s on-page features, retailers can cultivate a great user experience and ensure that their site is optimized to outperform the competition in the Google SERPs. If your company is ready to advance its search performance and generate the SEO outcomes that have eluded it thus far, reach out to Visiture for a free consultation and website audit. We can help your brand determine the exact strategies necessary to scale to new heights through increased visibility, organic traffic and online sales.

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Title: On-Page SEO Tactics for Better Rankings

Description: There is a lot that goes into reaching page one of Google. Click here for a list of on-page SEO tactics that will help retailers reach the top of the SERPs.

Tina Johnson helped bring The Marketing Folks from a-weekly newsletter to a full-fledged news site by creating a new website and branding. She continues to assist in keeping the site responsive and well organized for the readers. As a contributor to The Marketing Folks, Tara mainly covers industry new.