Monday, January 12, 2009

E-commerce and SEO

A good article from PANDIA

Getting more traffic to your Web store is always at the very top of any store manager's New Year "To Do" list. And especially at a time when wallets are looking pretty empty, organic search engine placements become more of a must have than ever before.

Literally truck loads of stuff has been written and said on the topic, but some of my favorite contributors to the discussion have always been the people at PANDIA. They've always had a way to focus on what really matters and tell the story straight.

Really easy organic SEO is one of the best articles I've seen on the matter of achieving good search engine rankings. Once again: it tells the story straight:

  • Good rankings are a lot of work (so start now)
  • The work is mostly made of producing good, valuable content
  • Don't worry about anything else. The rest - really - doesn't matter much at all

We've got work to do

I could not agree more. There's no secret recipe, my friends, and I'm sure you know that to be the case, by now. Sure, your e-commerce software should output well designed pages, but that is the case with most, good quality e-commerce engines today. So what else can you do? How does this PANDIA article mean for your storefront, in practical terms?

  • Content pages: your catalog must go beyond products and categories. Write content, good content. You're an expert at what you do: make sure to let your store visitors know.
  • Attach a WIKI to your store (typically free software) and find a way to get your user community involved in writing content collaboratively (e.g. tips, tricks, "how to's", etc. on whatever it is you're selling). Be the first one to contribute regularly.
  • Participate actively in your own forums (add a forum if you don't have it) and link from the forum to the WIKI for more in-depth articles (forum = discussions; wiki = in-depth coverage of a topic)
  • Enable product reviews in your e-commerce software, and link from the product pages to the forum and wiki pages on the same products, when applicable (it might simply be a matter of adding links to your product descriptions, as a start: you can always get fancier later).

New Year's resolution

Dedicate a portion of your day (start with half an hour), every day, to creating (or managing the creation of) quality content for your Web store. Every day. Start today.

The people at PANDIA would probably agree that this is what their suggestions ultimately come down to.

I wish you all the best in this new year!