Many think that SEO for B2B eCommerce is merely the icing on the cake. Sorry to ruin this for you, but unfortunately it is not. SEO is a discipline covering multiple on-going activities and it should be one of the key ingredients behind your wider digital strategy.
There are many factors behind basic ‘SEO’ and even more work that needs to go into getting the first position that everyone is racing for. However, trying to fulfil all of these can be confusing, time-consuming and isn’t an efficient way to build a successful digital presence. Therefore, we have prepared a list of SEO tips for B2B eCommerce that are easily actionable and will bring you results.
1. Outline who your customer is
Once you know who they are – become them. Not literally, but figuratively. What would you search for if you were them? What search terms would you be using? Make a list, and when it is complete begin building pages with content that answer those specific search inquiries. This is a good way to learn a lot about your customers and it will help in the future when predicting the type of content they expect to see.
2. More is not better
Naturally, when speaking of SEO for B2B eCommerce, you would think that more keyword-rich content pages equals more chances to rank high. It’s a popular opinion which is actually incorrect. Multiple pages can dilute page rank and, as a rule, quantity is usually the enemy of quality. If Google spots you creating multiple pages with average at best content that’s loaded with keywords, you can be landed with a penalty for keyword stuffing. Therefore, more isn’t necessarily better.
Having multiple pages targeting the same keywords will also result in something called ‘keyword cannibalisation’. This is when pages begin competing with each other. Instead, you should be creating fewer pages and put all of your energy and best writing efforts into making them relevant, informative and useful for your customers.
3. Do not delete pages
Just don’t. This will lead to many technical issues as deleting a page is a process much more complex than a few clicks. A page that has not been fully removed will disrupt the performance of the entire website and will cause damage to the overall SEO. Remember, even if you and visitors can no longer see the page it doesn’t mean search engines can’t – because they do, and they will rank you down for the page not working as intended.
If possible, instead of deleting a page, update it. For example, if the page features a product that is currently out of stock, simply update it with information that it will be back in stock shortly and add links to pages of products that are similar to the one that’s unavailable.
4. Duplicate Content
To make it short and sweet we will just say the following: do not post the same things on multiple pages nor copy content from competitors. No two pages should be identical, ever. Each page must be original, so make sure to use unique content throughout the website. It is a very common issue on eCommerce platforms, B2C and B2B alike. Stay alert at all times, spot the duplicates and eliminate them. And by eliminating, we mean replace the content – do not delete the page as stated in point 3 above.
5. URL structure
It may seem minor, unimportant and strange – who really cares about the URL structure? Hint: Google does. In order to please Google you need to create a structure you will stick to, then format all your page URLs to follow said structure religiously. Look through the wording of the URL too – do the words used actually link to similar content on your pages? Remember, consistency and relevance are the cornerstones of SEO – and they lay in details you wouldn’t normally consider important.
6. Internal linking
While this has no direct effect on how Google views your page, internal linking will help the users to navigate through your website easier. This will be reflected in reduced Bounce Rate and longer Session Duration – and these two metrics DO contribute towards ranking. Place hyperlinks to other relevant pages of your website within the content – the results will blow your mind. Look through the existing content: chances are you can incorporate hyperlinks there so do it right now.
The widely known term ‘backlinks’ stand for another website linking back to yours. Here’s the catch: they must also be authoritative and trusted by Google, otherwise it may cause harm to your reputation. How to obtain backlinks? If you’re an eCommerce business with a physical product, you can invest in giving bloggers and other websites your product to review. Not only will you get a testimonial and a backlink, but will also be exposed to a new audience. Alternatively seek for backlinks from sources that linked back to your competitors, events you’ve taken part in, partnerships and basically anything online that’s related to you.
8. Make yourself approachable
Most businesses will simply create a ‘contact us’ page and tick the box as done. However, this may lead to your visitors quickly losing interest (navigating the site more than needed? No thanks). Post your phone number, email, social media handles and e-mail on every page. Traditionally this will be in the footer, but there is no rule regarding the correct positioning of contact details. As long as they’re visible and clear on every page – you’re doing it right.
9. Optimise the product pages
Let’s be honest: most businesses are lazy and don’t pay much attention to the actual product pages. Google, unfortunately, does. When strategising SEO for B2B eCommerce business, it is crucial to take product pages into consideration. It ranges from beautifully written and keyword-filled copy to <h1> tags and meta tags. At the end of the day, these pages rank as well and contribute towards the overall position of your business. You wouldn’t want them to take away all the results you’ve achieved through SEO efforts, would you?
10. Optimise the images
An often-overlooked task that is actually very easy and super effective. If optimised correctly, images can play a massive role in increasing conversion rates. Google does not see images the way humans do, and therefore you need to explain it via meta description: this will make your image appear on Google Image search for a relevant inquiry.
10.5. Bonus Tip on Images
Optimise the name of the image file with a keyword. For example, instead of having your product image titled something random like “57686.jpg” rename it to “product-name.jpg”.
SEO takes a lot of time and effort. It is a continuous process and an ever-evolving scene, therefore it must be kept in mind from the start. It must not be abandoned after the first initiative (such as following our tips) either. Overall, SEO is more than just ensuring visibility on Google. It is a way to promote your product, reach a wider audience, create a loyal customer base and automate your marketing.