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Whether you’re selling makeup, tires, ostrich feathers, combat boots or ebooks online, attracting attention to your ecommerce site is one of the most important factors in your success. However, anyone who’s ever given it a serious go knows this can be a full-time job all on its own. While optimizing your site for search engines plays a significant role in this endeavor, it can also be expensive. The good news is it doesn’t have to be when you consider bootstrapping SEO on a budget.
Attract Local Business First
A Google My Business page will stand you in good stead. First things first, do what you need to do to own your page and have unlimited access to it. Go over your listing to ensure all of the information is accurate and fill in any data that might be missing. In addition to accuracy and completeness, you want the page to be as descriptive as possible. Sprinkle relevant keywords throughout it—being careful not to oversaturate your copy with them.
Keep Your Content Fresh
Web crawlers get excited when they find fresh content. OK, so that’s a bit of an exaggeration—after all, they’re computers, so they can’t get “excited” per se. However, they do rank sites more highly when there’s new content every time they come back around. In fact, the more often they find new content, the more often they come looking for it. Keeping your site brimming with new news is a great way to rank highly. Thus, it’s time to get good at blogging if your product line changes infrequently—or find someone with whom to work who is good at blogging.
Leverage Long Tail Keywords
If your business is selling books online, consider the nature of your core titles and develop a list of general competitive keywords and long tail keywords pertinent to them. When it comes to your SEO marketing spend, you’ll get farther with long tail keywords given a modest budget. If, for example, your specialty is marriage and family ebooks, come up with a list of phrases relevant to your products that shoppers might be searching. In other words, rather than trying to rank for “psychology books,” get as specific as possible about your books—keeping in mind the way your target customer might conduct a search.
Maintain a Human Touch
In your zeal to incorporate keywords, be careful to avoid making your content read as if it was written by a bot. Users consider this an act of indifference and your site’s credibility will suffer. A wooden writing style will negatively impact the metrics regarding your bounce rate, traffic sources and the time spent on your pages. Plus, it’s just flat boring to read. Machines capable of mimicking the human writing style have yet to be perfected. Don’t shortcut this one; get a flesh and blood writer.
Pay Attention to the Details
Meta descriptions, alt tags, accurate captions for images and the like are crucial to achieving higher search engine rankings. Further, you’ll want to focus a significant amount of energy on earning inbound links. The more other sites link to yours, the more you’ll look like a useful resource. And, the whole point of using a search engine in the first place is to find a useful resource—right? Inbound links endow your site with an aura of relevance search engines love.
These four tips will be very useful when you’re tasked with bootstrapping SEO on a tight budget. They’ll help improve your search engine rankings and drive more business to your ecommerce site.