SEO Best Practices for eCommerce

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SEO is a constant changing process. Search engine updates keep the SEO community on its toes, and have caused the industry to reshape itself a lot over the past few years, even months.While SEO is an evolving industry / practice, certain best practices have held true and will continue to do so for many years.This presentation will provide a summary of long-term value SEO tactics that can be shared / evangelized throughout the organization for long-term growth of SEO for your brand.http://www.pmdigital.com/our_services/search_engine_optimization/

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  • 1.SEO for eCommerce Best PracticesPresented by Richard Chavez, PM Digital

2. OverviewSEO is a constant changing process that has caused the industry toreshape itself. While SEO is an evolving industry / practice, certain bestpractices have held true and will continue to do so for many years. About PM Digital Why SEO is so important for eCommerce Best Practices Technical Keyword Strategy Local SEO Competitive Analysis Analytics Cross-Channel Integration Case Study Key Takeaways2 3. About PM Digital Digital Agency servicing clients in retail,financial services, non-profit, CPG and more Primary service offerings: SEO, SEM, EmailMarketing, Social Media and Creative Clients include The North Face, Ulla Popken,dELiAs, Steve Madden and many more 20 clients in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Based in New York with offices inMinneapolis, Columbia, SC and Scottsdale,AZ 3 4. Why SEO is so important for eCommerce Natural Search is most commonly used resource to navigate websites, 61% of website traffic Forrester1 Paid Search In March 2012 search drove 26%(SEM) of all traffic to retail sites2 Natural search is an earned media that can provide low-cost, long-term returns over timeNatural Natural search is a larger barrier Search (SEO) to entry for competitors 41. How Consumers Find Websites in 2011, Forrester2. March 2012 Hitwise Clickstream (upstream, sites driving traffic to Shopping Sites) 5. SEO Best Practices Three-Step ContinuumCrawlWalkRun Create entry paths for Conduct keyword Create connection search engines toresearch to points from other on- access product and understand howtopic relevant sites to category content consumers search foryours Site analysis to identifyyour products/services Monitor competition and solve technical Apply researched Analyze performance obstacleskeywords to the major Make refinements as This is the first critical page elements necessary step for a successful(titles, page copy, etc.) Integrate with other SEO programensuring the sitesmarketing channelscontent reflects theconsumer voice Constant evolvingprocess5 6. TechnicalCrawlWalkRun Create entry Conduct keyword Create connectionpaths for searchresearch to points from otherengines to access understand howon-topic relevantproduct and consumers sites to yours (linkcategory contentsearch for your acquisition) First critical step of SEO success! Site analysis toproducts/services Monitoridentify and solve Apply researchedcompetitiontechnical keywords to the Analyzeobstacles major pageperformance Search engines cannot access This is the first elements Make refinementscritical step for a (titles, page as necessarysuccessful SEOcopy, etc.) Integrate withprogram ensuring the sitescontent reflectsother marketingsites/content/keywords if technical barriersthe consumervoicechannels Constant evolvingprocessexist Search engine bots only read content andfollow links, they cant click or enter content Content cannot be viral unless its visible! 6 7. Most Critical Technical Obstacles Duplicate Content: two or more webpages containing the same content ondifferent URLs Primary Causes: Session IDs Mirrored Sites Repetitive Meta Data and Titles Mobile Sites Products merchandised in multiple categories (main category, new arrivals, sale, etc.)7 8. Most Critical Technical Obstacles Products merchandised in multiple categories (main category, new arrivals, sale, etc.)Eye Care (Category) http://www.h2oplus.com/categ ory/skin+care/eye+care.doSensitive Skin (Sub Anti-Aging (Sub Category) Dark Circles (Sub Category) Category)http://www.h2oplus.com/categ http://www.h2oplus.com/categhttp://www.h2oplus.com/categ ory/skin+care/anti-aging.do ory/skin+care/dark+circles.do ory/skin+care/sensitive+skin.d oSea Results Eye Defense Fortifying Serum (Product) http://www.h2oplus.com/prod uct/sea+results+eye+defense+fortifying+serum.do8Source: PM Digital search ranking report (1-10 = page 1, 11-20 = page 2, 21-30 = page 3, beyond page 3 =0) 9. Most Critical Technical Obstacles Flash: search engines have difficulty capturingcontent within the Flash movie Most smartphones and tablets do not render Flash Site Migrations: search equity gained from legacysite (rankings, links, traffic, revenue) can be lost Search Equity Migration Strategy: Redirect old URLs to new Develop for Visibility (incorporate Viewed as Googlebottechnical SEO best practices into sitebuild Integrate keyword strategy intotaxonomy Start early! 9 10. Keyword Strategy CrawlWalk Run Create entry Conduct Createpaths for keyword connection Gain an understanding of the consumer vernacularsearch enginesresearch to points fromto access understand howother on-topicproduct and consumers relevant sites tocategorysearch for your yours (linkcontent products/servic acquisition)around core products and the needs they support to Site analysis toidentify andsolve technicales Applyresearched Monitorcompetition Analyzeunderstand the consumers journey and the searchobstacles keywords to the performance This is the first major page Makecritical step for elementsrefinements asa successful(titles, page necessary General InterestSEO program copy, etc.) Integrate withterms they use when shopping online (brand speakensuring thesites contentreflects theconsumer voiceother marketingchannels ConstantInvestigation evolvingvs. consumer speak)alprocess The outcome is a view of the consumer decision Narrowiprocess / sales funnel. The data can be used to alignng Conversithe keyword data to taxonomy, URL structure, onnavigation and product naming (e.g. denim vs.Search Demand1jeans) 60,000 40,000 The end results goal is brand awareness at each 20,0000stage of the sales funnel (think ProgressiveJeans DenimInsurance)1. Estimated monthly search demand, exact-match, local, Google 10 11. SEO % ofSEO Visibility SEO % Clicks SEO % of Rev.Keyword StrategyPg 1 (1-3)91%Orders 93% 93% Recommended Actions: Pg 1 (4-10)Pg 2 7.83% 0.22%6.50%0.17%6.59%0.13% Apply researched keywords to titles, Beyond Pg 20.95%0.33% 0.28% meta data, body copy, linksSource: PM Digital SEO Performance Study by Keyword Ranking Monitor and continue to improve Keyword Share of Voice1150 rankings 100 500 Rankings matter! Optimize for your brand Maintain ownership of your brand2over retail partners, eBay and more Create content based on search demand (FAQs, education articles, comparison tools, etc.) Modify SEO tactics/strategy as needed111. Keyword Share of Voice (highest amount of first-page rankings on Google, Yahoo and Bing)2. Downstream Websites (organic clicks, 12-wks), Hitwise, sites receiving highest amount of SEO traffic 12. Linking StrategyCrawlWalk Run Create entry Conduct Create paths for keyword connection Search engines consider links from other search enginesresearch to points from to access understand howother on-topic product and consumers relevant sites to categorysearch for your yours (link content products/servic acquisition)relevant sites as votes of trust for the site in Site analysis to identify and es Apply Monitor competition solve technical researched Analyzequestion obstacles This is the first critical step for keywords to the major page elements performance Make refinements as Creating new connection points from on-topic a successful(titles, page necessary SEO program copy, etc.) Integrate with ensuring the other marketing sites content channels reflects therelevant sites to your site will not only create new consumer voice Constant evolving processrelevant entry points for search engines but helpintroduce the brand to new customers The most important element to consider whenobtaining links is Quality over Quantity Think about the placement of your brand in termsof link partners. If the site supports/complimentsyour brand then it may be a good placement (i.e.a fashion blog for a womens retailer)12 13. Linking Strategy Recommended Actions for Linking: Secure links from business partners (betransparent as to why), avoid Home Depotsrecent linking mistake Develop relationships with influential bloggersin your industry (fashion, health, etc.) offer toshare content for them to publish (this takestime) Optimize social profiles and videos and link toyour site (Facebook, Twitter, Google+,YouTube, Flickr, Pinterest) Local sites (Yelp, Urbanspoon, IYPs,Local.com, BBB) Top rated directories Never pay for links or offer discounts for links13 14. Local Search CrawlWalk Run Create entry Conduct Createpaths for keyword connectionsearch enginesresearch to points fromto access understand howother on-topic To succeed, marketers need to craft a product andcategorycontentconsumerssearch for yourproducts/servicrelevant sites toyours (linkacquisition) Site analysis toes Monitor comprehensive local search advertising identify andsolve technicalobstacles Applyresearchedkeywords to thecompetition Analyzeperformance strategy to reach consumers who hop, for This is the firstcritical step fora successfulmajor pageelements(titles, page Makerefinements asnecessarySEO program copy, etc.) Integrate with example, from MapQuest to Internet yellowensuring thesites contentreflects theother marketingchannels Constantconsumer voice pages (IYP) and then to their favorite searchevolvingprocess engine. ~Forrester Research While primary KPIs/goals may be for online conversion, several consumers search online and purchase offline (~63%)1 Local store options do appear frequently in broader searches 141. Importance of Search in Influencing Offline Buying, comScore 15. Local Search Recommended Actions: Create pages for each physical store,link internally and optimize for thefollowing: Local searches by state and city(target geo-specific keywords [brandand non-brand]) Submit store listings to Google,Yahoo and Bing Places withindividual store URLs Benefits: More real estate in search result pages More brand ownership/corp. content Directs users to store page vs. home 15 16. Competitive AnalysisPageBrandComp 1 MODERATComp 2 Comp 3 VERYOptimization STRONGWEAK ESTRONG The competitive landscape is always shifting.Visibility MODERATE VERYSTRONG WEAKMODERATE Reviewing competitors strengths and Technical MODERAT MODERATE STRONGSTRONG weaknesses relative to our own will help create a E roadmap to grow natural search share of voiceTraffic MODERATE VERYSTRONG VERY WEAKSTRONG Primary metrics to measure:Link VERY STRONG STRONGMODERATE Keyword Rankings (individual keywords andAnalysisSTRONG Average share of voice) ScoreMODERATE STRONGMODERAT ESTRONG Natural Search Traffic2 Top Keyword Rankings1150100 500161. Keyword Ranking Share of Voice (highest amount of first-page rankings on Google, Yahoo and Bing)2. Downstream Websites (organic clicks, 12-wks), Hitwise, sites receiving highest amount of SEO traffic 17. 1 Competitive Analysis Recommended Actions Leverage third-party sources to identify linkingopportunities, keyword strategies, contentstrategy, etc. Review competitor and dealer partner sites foroptimization tactics2 Page titles Meta data3 On-page copy1. Website Search Share (Shopping, Health & Beauty), organic clicks, 12-wks, Hitwise, sites receiving highest amount of SEO traffic172. Search Terms driving natural search traffic to Sephora, organic clicks, 12-wks, Hitwise3. Top Backlinks Report (sites linking to Sephora.com), Majestic SEO 18. Analytics CrawlWalk Run Create entry Conduct Createpaths for keyword connection Like any digital marketing channel, SEO online performancesearch enginesto accessproduct andresearch tounderstand howconsumerspoints fromother on-topicrelevant sites tocategorysearch for your yours (linkis 100% measurablecontent Site analysis toidentify andproducts/services Applyacquisition) Monitorcompetition Demonstrating tangible success is critical to grow thesolve technicalobstacles This is the firstresearchedkeywords to themajor page Analyzeperformance Makecritical step for elementsrefinements aschannel, gain enterprise support and integrate with other a successfulSEO program(titles, pagecopy, etc.)ensuring thenecessary Integrate withother marketingsites contentmarketing channelsreflects theconsumer voicechannels Constantevolving Most analytics software programs (Google Analytics,processCoremetrics, Omniture) track SEO performance very wellbased on traffic, orders, conversion rates, revenue sitewide,by URL and keyword Third-party SEO tools (SEO Clarity, SyCara, BrightEdge,SEOMoz, Majestic SEO) also provide valuable insights formore advanced SEO measurement (brand vs. non-brand, linkanalysis, % of SEO contribution and more) 18 19. Analytics Recommended Core KPIs for SEO Measurement: Sitewide Traffic, Orders/Conversions, Revenue Brand vs. Non-Brand % of SEO to total traffic % of SEO to total revenue % of SEO to total conversions Average Order Value Growth in inbound links By Keyword Rankings across Google, Yahoo, Bing Top driving keywords (brand/non-brand) Traffic and Revenue Keyword Share of Voice1 Natural Search Traffic Share of Voice2 Create monthly dashboard to share throughout the org.191. Available via SEO Clarity, Sycara, BrightEdge, Conductor2. Available via Hitwise, comScore, Compete and others 20. Cross-Channel IntegrationCrawl CreateWalk Conduct Run Createentry keyword connectiopaths for researchn pointssearchtofrom otherengines toon-topicrelevant In March 2012 search drove 26% of all traffic to SEO % SEO % of SEO % ofSEM % SEM % of SEM % ofSEO Visibility Clicks OrdersRev.Clicks OrdersRev.retail sites, Social media drove 6% of all traffic toretail sites1Page 1 (1-3) 91%93% 93%58% 73%73% Several brand campaigns no matter the channelPage 1 (4-10) 7.83%6.50% 6.59% 10.08% 9.91%9.91%can create significant buzz / search demand. Page 20.22%0.17% 0.13%3.56% 2.03%2.03%Digital Marketing (SEO, SEM, Social) are great Beyond Page 2 0.95%0.33% 0.28% 28.68% 14.90% 14.90%mechanisms to support that demand Source: PM Digital SEO / SEM Performance Study by Keyword Ranking While part of the same channel, paid and naturalsearch have unique strategies, tactics and KPIsSearch Demand Growth: Easy Button2 Social media, PR also have significant influenceson SEO201. Clickstream (sites visited before), Shopping, Hitwise, March 20122. Search demand growth trend, Google Insights, Jan 2010 Jan 2012 21. Cross-Channel Integration Recommended Actions: SEO / SEM data sharing SEO / SEM Blended Reporting (Quarterly) Optimize press releases (links, release elements, images, etc.) Optimize social profiles for core brand message and top non-brandkeywords and link to site (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest) Upload and optimize videos (YouTube, Vimeo) Upload product images to Flickr and Pinterest Leverage customer reviews (on your site [Power Reviews, BazaarVoice]) Encourage customer reviews on their experience with your brand(Bizrate, Epinions, etc.) data is integrated in search results Leverage search / keyword data to inform marketing strategy for otherchannels, product naming, etc. Optimize for core messaging of marketing campaigns (top-downapproach) 21 2...