Just having an online store does not guarantee a lot of traffic, let alone sales. To build a group of loyal recipients, you should invest in internet marketing activities, including positioning, from the very beginning. Let’s check how to take care of SEO already at the stage of building an online store.
Why is it worth taking care of SEO during the construction phase and before launching the store?
SEO may seem like an optional, and even unnecessary expense at the stage of building a store. In practice, however, thanks to SEO, you can promote your store and build visibility in organic search results. Why is it worth investing in positioning already at the stage of building an online store? Because:
– the sooner you start, the faster you will build visibility and traffic,
– you will outrun the competition that will invest in SEO only after launching the store,
– probably most of the stores operating on the same market invest in SEO,
– at the stage of building the store, you will adapt it to the positioning requirements, which will facilitate activities in the future,
– you will start building the image of an expert faster.
How to facilitate positioning before launching an online store?
Before you launch an online store, you can perform several activities that will facilitate positioning already at the initial stage of running the store.
1. Choose an e-commerce platform adapted to SEO
Choosing an e-commerce platform may have an impact on introducing changes to the website regarding positioning. Some e-commerce platforms allow for self-editing even by beginners, and some of them require editing the website code. It requires the help of an IT specialist or an IT specialist. The Woocommerce plugin and the PrestaShop e-commerce platform are best suited for independent positioning. Check how much does an online store created on PrestaShop cost. They offer many built-in and easy-to-implement functions that make positioning easier.
2. Make sure you implement the SSL certificate
Although the SSL certificate does not have a large impact on website positioning, it cares for the security of customer data, which is necessary when making transactions and sending sensitive data (e.g. access data to bank accounts). For an online store, all you need is a free SSL certificate, which will allow your customers to browse the website and make transactions without any problems.
3. Verify that the page is not excluded from indexing
At the stage of building and implementing the store, the site may be excluded from indexing by the developer. All this so that Google robots do not visit and index a website that is constantly changing. However, after completing the deployment, you must add the page to the Google index. If you do not do it yourself or an IT specialist does it, your website will not be able to be displayed in organic search results, which will prevent positioning.
4. Create and configure a Google Analytics account
Google Analytics is a free tool from Google that allows you to track traffic and measure online sales for your e-commerce site. To start using it, you need to create an account. If you have more than one site, create a separate account for each of them. The account creation functions can be found in the adminstration section. The next steps include:
– Providing an account name and sharing data to grant access to the account to authorized persons.
– Property creation – select the time zone and currency in which the data will be presented, add the website URL and create a Google Analytics 4 property from Universal Analytics or only Universal Analytics.
– Set up data collection by adding a global site tag to the <head> section of the HTML of every page in your store. The global site code starts with <! – Global site tag (gtag.js) – Google Analytics → and ends with </script>.
5. Configure Google Search Console, create a sitemap and submit it to the tool
The Google Search Console tool will also be useful to track the effectiveness of positioning. Then you need to complete the account verification process, grant permissions. It is also worth adding a sitemap in XML format to Google Search Console. It can be created:
– using plugins (eg Yoast SEO for Woocommerce).
– using the Screaming Frog tool,
– using DeepCrawl or xml-sitemap.com.
Free versions of the tools limit the ability to generate a site map to a certain number of URLs. If the site has more of them, you must purchase the paid version. You can add a sitemap in Google Search Console under “Sitemaps”.
6. Create a business card on Google
If your online store will also have a stationary point of sale or collection of orders, create a Google My Business business card for the store. It will enable positioning in Google maps and reaching customers looking for local services.
7. Get to know the users’ expectations
Before you even start an online store, consider if users are looking for the products you want to sell. For this purpose, you can use the Google Trends tool. After entering a specific topic, you will get the graph it shows interest in a given topic in particular months or years. If users are not interested in the products, it is likely that opening an online store does not make sense and you have to look for another idea.
8. Do your keyword research
Have you already chosen the industry in which your e-commerce will operate and do you know that it is popular in the Google search engine? Great, but that’s not all! You can get to know your users’ interests better. To do this, conduct a keyword research. You can use the free Google Keyword Planner Google Ads tool. There you will find keywords related to the phrase you enter, as well as keywords for which companies from a given industry rank. After selecting them, divide them into specific categories and assign them to subpages on the e-commerce site:
– Match the general phrases to the home page, e.g. a dress shop.
– General phrases, but still more detailed, include in the positioning of pages of product categories, e.g. mini, midi, maxi dresses, cocktail dresses, etc.
– Assign product phrases containing the name or model of a specific product to product pages, e.g. dress + brand + model + size.
First of all, look for the phrases long tail – with a long tail. These are phrases composed of several words that accurately reflect the intentions of users, facilitate wide positioning and give a good chance of conversion. A large number of long tail phrases in the top10 can generate much more traffic than a few single phrases in the first position. Examples of long tail phrases include:
– women’s shoes + brand + model + size + color,
– black tea with forest fruit + producer,
– children’s ski pants size 128 + brand + model.
9. Create original content
Based on keywords, create attractive content for your online store that:
– they are useful for users and take into account their needs,
– contain keywords,
– contain technical data important in certain industries (e.g. construction, etc.),
– are properly optimized (they contain bolts, bullets, internal links, headers).
10. Take care of your blog implementation
Why is it worth creating a blog at the stage of preparing and opening e-commerce? Because a blog in an online store allows you to:
– build visibility and traffic for many long tail phrases – tutorial, educational,
– promote specific products through internal linking,
– build an image of an expert in the industry,
– sales support.
11. Set up social media channels
Even before launching an online store, it is worth setting up social media accounts. This way you will get the first links and the first fans and followers who may become customers of your store in the future. On Instagram or Facebook, you can inform your customers about the opening of the store and promote the first products, and in the future, organize contests and disseminate information about the brand.
12. Add your store in business catalogs
To build an image in the eyes of Google robots, you need links to your store. You can start acquiring them right after launching the store. All you have to do is add your store on the pages with catalogs of companies along with a link to the page and a description.
13. Look for opportunities to acquire incoming links in the future
Already at the stage of building the store, you can think about its positioning. SEO is based on inbound links from valuable sources. If you want to find out where the stores in your industry get their links from, use the Ahrefs tool. After entering the URL of a subpage or the entire website, you will receive a list of domains and subpages that link to the given URL. This way, you will find inspiration for subsequent activities in the field of link profile building.
14. Optimize your url’s in your online store
Even before launching your store, you should optimize your URLs. What does it mean? The URL should reflect the content of the page. In online shop:
– select the category name as the URL of the product page,
– select the product name as the URL of the product page (add any additional information, product features, such as color, size, etc.),
– as the URl address of the blog entry, select the short title of the blog that reflects its content and contains key phrases,
15. Create title and description for all subpages
Title and description are meta data that is found in the page code and displayed in organic search results. For each of the subpages in the online store, you should create an original title and description. It is worth doing it at the stage of building the store.
– The title will be of great importance for positioning and should include a keyword phrase and a call to action.
– Description is a brief description of the page intended to encourage the user to click on the link.
16. Add Schema markers
Schema tags are website code elements that allow you to display additional information about your store, products, etc. in organic search results. This information can contribute to an increase in CTR and traffic to your online store. With Schema markers, organic results can display:
– product information, such as: price, photo, rating (number of stars), manufacturer, brand, etc.,
– subpage links on an e-commerce site,
– additional information about the company (headquarters, telephone, etc.).
17. Build a structure of internal links
Internal links make navigation easier for both Google crawlers and users. To improve indexing and keep users longer on your site, build a clear structure of internal links. How To Make It An Ecommerce Store?
– Link from your blog to the specific products you describe.
– Link from product pages to the pages of the product category in which the product is located.
– Link to related product categories on category pages.
– Link to related and similar products on product cards.
Take care of User Experience
The user experience in contact with the website may also affect the success of an online store in positioning and sales. To correct them:
– 18. Create a website adapted to mobile devices – you can invest in a responsive website or a separate mobile website.
– 20. Build a friendly menu that will be easy and intuitive to use – the names in the menu should reflect the structure of the store (names of product categories).
– 21. Optimize the images by supplementing the alternative description (add keywords and information relevant to users to it).
If you invest in positioning from the beginning and implement an online store adapted to SEO activities, you will probably achieve the intended results faster and build visibility in organic search results. You’ll also outperform the competition that later invested in SEO or gave it up altogether.