Increase Organic Retail Traffic with These 5 SEO Optimizations

TJ Welsh is a guest contributor to Dsco’s blog. Currently, he’s the VP of Marketing at Stryde, an ecommerce digital marketing agency. He has over 12 years of digital marketing experience and has worked with numerous enterprise level businesses to generate more revenue through online SEO strategy and execution. He writes for Forbes, Shopify and numerous other industry publications. You can follow TJ on LinkedIn.

 

Site optimizations

In my previous two posts I discussed the importance of SEO for generate organic traffic to your enterprise retail site as well as three SEO tips for winning online. In this final post I will discuss important optimizations for your site that will increase SEO traffic.

Enterprise organizations have information on a large range of locations, products, services, and support resources that need to be optimized on their site. With hundreds to thousands of web pages to optimize for, this can be extremely time consuming and costly. That’s why it’s crucial to find a balance of automation versus manual site optimizations. 

Manual vs. Automated SEO

Depending on the complexity of the system being used, manual SEO could take a lot of time and resources to implement the most basic changes to each page such as title, meta description, and content container elements. Automated SEO optimizations, meanwhile, involves the use of software to implement the desired strategies, which means that it’s faster but more limited as to what it can do. 

Here is general list of elements that can be performed manually vs automated:

Manual SEO Elements: 
  • Core Landing Pages
    • Category
    • Subcategory 
  • Core Landing Page Elements (i.e. – Title tags, meta description tags, Header tags and Content) 
  • Meta Robots Tags for Core Pages (i.e. – Noindex/Index/Nofollow/Follow Tags)
  • Content Container for Product Pages 
  • Core landing page URL structure 
  • 301 Redirects
Automated SEO Elements: 
  1. Product Pages Elements: 
    1. Title tags
    2. Meta description tags 
    3. Header tags 
    4. Alt Image text and image title text 
    5. Image sizing and compression
  2. XML Sitemap Creation 
  3. Canonical tags elements: 
    1. Product pages 
    2. Faceted navigation pages
    3. Blog tags/category tags 
  4. Breadcrumbs generation 
  5. Related product links 
  6. Schema markup
    1. Pricing 
    2. Product inventory level – i.e. – In or out of stock 
    3. Product name 
    4. Product description 
    5. Product rating and star rating  
  7. Meta Robots Tags for Filter navigation pages (i.e. – Noindex/Index/Nofollow/Follow Tags)
  8. Product page redirects ( – i.e. – based on whether the product will be restocked)    

Consider striking a balance between these two processes so that your enterprise site will have more web pages optimized, and high valued pages can receive professional attention to yield stronger SEO results.

 

Technical SEO and site enhancements

There are numerous tools that can be used to find performance issues on a site, allowing you to start working with developers and build a plan to clean things up. Tools such as DeepCrawl, Botify and ScreamingFrog are useful for crawling massive amounts of pages on a site to understand how a search engine is able to find issues like broken links and code issues. 

If you need a quick way to understand a site’s performance, you can use Google Chrome inspect tools to generate a performance report. Open up Chrome > Right Click on the website and select Inspect. Once the window is open select Lighthouse to generate a performance report. 


Once you generate a report you will see things like performance, accessibility, SEO, etc. This is a great starting point for uncovering some basic issues.

 

Depending on the platform the site is built on, certain elements are either quick to fix or take a lot of time and resources to find a good fix for. It’s critical that the dev team and SEO team work closely once issues are identified so that everyone knows how much dev time is or will be required to fix an issue and more importantly, what the financial impact will be if time and resources are allocated toward cleaning things up. 

Here is a quick list of things to dig into to make sure your SEO is not negatively impacted:   

 

Page Speed

With Google switching to a mobile first ranking system and Google’s announcement that page speed will play a role in how they rank for user experience, it’s crucial all pages are fully optimized for a quick load speed.  

Here are some site enhancements to consider adopting to increase your page speed:

  1. Minify JavaScript, HTML, and CSS: Have a developer optimize your code by removing code comments, unnecessary formatting, and unused code. Google recommends using tools such as  CSSNano and UglifyJS to help with this.
  2. Reduce Redirects: Every time you have a page redirect to another page, you add additional time waiting for the HTTP request cycle to complete. Ensure your redirects have the least path of resistance to improve user experience.
  3. Browser Caching: Browsers will collect information so that when a visitor comes back to your site, they will not have to reload the entire webpage. Using a tool that will allow you to set an expiration date for your cache will be most useful for your site as you make changes.

 

Crawl Budget

Crawl budget refers to the number of pages a search engine will crawl and index within a specific time frame. Enterprise businesses must define the proper crawl rate for their website to ensure the most popular pages are crawled and indexed most effectively. 

Crawl-related issues can limit a search engine’s ability to monitor and index the most critical content before the crawl budget reaches capacity. 

 

XML SiteMap

An XML sitemap indicates to Google where information can be found on your website, and helps search bots to find the information you want ranked accordingly. 

Effective sitemaps take the following into consideration:

  • Format your sitemap in an XML document
  • Follow XML sitemap protocol 
  • Properly update your sitemap to include all pages on your website
  • Properly submit your sitemap to your Google Search Console

 

Conclusion 

When done strategically, your enterprise SEO can increase brand awareness, drive consistent revenue, and dominate your presence in the industry without paying for a click every time someone visits the site.

Brands that fail to properly invest in and develop an enterprise SEO strategy run the risk of losing critical real estate in search engine result pages, which can lead to significant drops in revenue. 

As an enterprise, your site already has strong brand awareness. Maintain your industry dominance through effective SEO optimization and consistent monitoring

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