When you’re running a small to mid-sized business, you likely don’t have a ton of extra money lying around to spend on ads and PPC. One of the best ways forward is to learn how to capitalize and optimize for organic search traffic.
Here, we’ll show you some of the steps to doing that, starting with fixing your content and going all the way to understanding and manipulating keyword usage. Let’s get started.
First up: Fix your content
Odds are you’re running a blog, or you have pages that compose the structure of your ecommerce website. Some of it is probably not pulling its weight. There’s a good piece of writing advice in here: kill your darlings.
The darlings in this case are any content that’s failing to help you achieve your marketing objectives. Every piece of content on your website needs to push to one of three things: building organic traffic, converting to stated goals, or getting referrals from other sites. If you have useless content lying around, it might not just be taking up space — it might also be hurting you by competing with other pages on your site. In the world of ecommerce organic traffic, there’s no time for vanity posts or projects.
Search engines are like snakes, they crawl. Meaning that they read the content on your website, and are designed to have a limited budget for doing so. If you’ve got tons of content that is irrelevant or leading in the wrong direction (away from ecommerce sales, for instance), Google might be using up its limited crawl budget on the wrong content. So get in there and take out the stuff that’s irrelevant, especially if it’s performing poorly.
Cleaning up old or useless content is one of the best ways to position yourself better in the search engine results pages (SERPs), especially when optimizing for organic search, and it doesn’t take a bunch of extra time and work.
Optimize for CTR
Click-through rate, or CTR, is a measurement of how many searchers see your page in the SERPs and actually click on it. While getting high up in the SERPs is huge for many businesses, if you’re getting passed over by customers for a competitor, that’s a problem, and it’s getting in the way of your drive to organic traffic.
Optimizing to get a higher CTR results in better outcomes across the board. You have more people on your site, and Google ranks sites with a better CTR higher.
One of the best ways to do this is to identify which sites meet at a bizarre-sounding intersection: pages that have high conversion rates but low CTR. What this information tells you is that when customers are actually on this page, they’re buying what you’re selling. All you need to do is tweak those pages and make them more enticing to someone who comes across them on the SERPs.
Look at your titles and meta descriptions. They’re one of the most important and influential factors in determining CTR. These fields should match the search query as much as possible while also adding a call-to-action or benefit for the person to click through to. Maybe it’s an offer or a compelling description of your products. But, you know for sure that any pages that have that intersection of low CTR and high performance are ones that just need a facelift, and they’ll likely start performing better.
Build your blog
If you’re not running a blog already, now is a great time to start. Blogging is still one of the best ways to increase the number of keywords that your site is ranking for. Blog posts not only look good to Google’s algorithm, but they also provide additional value and conversion opportunities for your customers. You can show off as an expert in your field, as well as putting your products front and center in a number of different contexts and content opportunities.
However, there is a caveat — your blog can’t just be about anything. It needs to fulfill a need. Usually, that need is for better understanding or more information. You don’t just want to make blogs that showcase or advertise your products. You want visitors to your blog to feel as if they gained something from spending time reading a post you wrote.
Meet that need, and your organic traffic will surge!
Understand and use your keywords
Google is where everyone goes when they need information, and really, when it comes to getting your name out there and boosting organic traffic, Google is the gatekeeper with all the keys.
In the metaphor, keywords are what tell Google to send searchers to your content. You need to make sure that pages and blog posts on your site are optimized for specific queries and the keywords that compose those queries.
Stacking your pages with keywords that are relevant and on-topic will over time enhance your pages in the eyes of Google. Thinking about each page topic, and the keywords and queries that someone might make when looking for information is a great place to start. There are also tools out there to help you discover and explore different keywords.
Search engines aren’t looking for exactness, they’re looking for a range of terms that might be relevant to the searcher, and these ranges are always getting more specific. Google wants to answer a question as thoroughly and completely as possible, so you’ll continue to use them in the future.
This is just the basics. If you want to get into more advanced organic search optimization, you need to start thinking about focus keywords. To improve organic traffic to your site, almost every page should have a focus keyword. What are focus keywords? Well, here’s an article to help out with that.
While it can be difficult to build an organic presence, especially in the hyper-competitive world of ecommerce, it’s not impossible. With the right combination of strategy, know-how, and hard work, you can start moving your store up in the search rankings. Get going!
Thomas Wells is a Content Marketing Lead at Selz, an ecommerce platform for businesses of all sizes. You can learn more about ecommerce, as well as how to get started with your own ecommerce business at selz.com.