How to Optimize Your Ecommerce Value Proposition
By Tom Wintaugh
Core B2B SEO principles to help your site rank on search engines while delivering an A+ shopping experience.
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In the competitive world of B2B ecommerce, it's essential to harness the power of SEO to increase site traffic, improve search engine rankings, and provide a seamless shopping experience for your customers. By leveraging the right B2B SEO tools, you can maximize your online presence and achieve significant business growth. In this blog, we'll explore several ways to improve your SEO results, with practical tips for optimizing your ecommerce website for search engines and shoppers.
Keywords are the most practical SEO tool in your arsenal because they help you understand exactly what your customer is looking for. Taking a thoughtful approach to your keyword strategy means putting yourself in your customers’ shoes, and imagining how they approach the buying process. This is a crucial practice for B2B sellers, as B2B buying habits are typically methodical, efficiency-driven, and specific to unique industries and products. Read the ultimate guide to SEO here. Start by researching keywords your target audience is very specifically using to find businesses and products like yours.
When you’ve found keywords you wish to rank for, look for ways to integrate them into your site's content, meta tags, and URLs. It’s never a good idea to “stuff” keywords indiscriminately. Instead, use keywords you want to rank for as jumping off points for content which naturally discusses them. A strong keyword strategy satisfies search algorithms while simultaneously offering the most relevant experience possible for users browsing the web for your products.
It’s important to make your site easy to use, understand, and navigate through. Search engines are measuring for these things in addition to the frequency of keyword use. Focusing on the following structural, organizational, and readability SEO elements can improve search rankings, and help you provide a well-organized website for your shoppers.
Meta tags: Create compelling meta titles and descriptions that incorporate your target keywords. These tags may appear in search results, so think of them as a keyword-laden preview of your content which customers might see.
Header tags: Use H1 tags (H1) and subheadings (H2, H3) to structure your content and include relevant keywords. These tags (and their associated pre-defined visual styles) are a great way to build well-structured content that is easy to follow and skim. Use them liberally.
URL structure: Craft clean, descriptive URLs that include your target keywords. The page URL should be simple, and easy to remember or link to.
Image optimization: Make sure your site isn’t loading images that exceed 100kb, as these can significantly slow page load speeds. Many sites use beautiful images which are too large to load quickly, leading to slow page loading times which will be penalized by search engines. This best practice is also critical for conversion rate optimization, which you can read about here.
Internal linking: Build a strong internal link structure to help search engines crawl and index your site more effectively.
Site UX for B2B sites used to be an afterthought. In the early days of wholesale ecommerce, sites tended to look and feel more utilitarian, with dry user experiences. You can read about what shoppers look for a B2B storefront here. Modern B2B buyers now expect all the bells and whistles of high end ecommerce, and so do major search engines. Sites with faster, more user-friendly experiences are not only essential for retaining customers but also for boosting your search engine rankings. Improve your site's UX by:
Publishing informative, valuable content that engagingly explains your solution to your audience is the heart of great ecommerce. To create a tailwind which gets your keywords ranked, you need to produce a steady stream of excellent content. Many merchants use their site blogs to develop SEO campaigns, but you can really think of all of the copy and content on your site as part of this effort. In this sense, B2B SEO tools also include category and product names, promotional banners, technical FAQs, even the fine print of your business’ policies.
So, not only should you regularly update your blog with insightful articles, case studies, and industry news, but also pay attention to other areas of your site where content and messaging are able to provide relevance and search power.
Backlinks from authoritative sites signal to search engines that your website is trustworthy and relevant. This can happen organically, or, you can proactively reach out to industry content producers and businesses to invite backlinks. In either case, you will need to have content which others will want to link to, within their own content. Writing quality, use of imagery, and a high traffic track record can all be reasons your content will score backlinks. Read this classic guide to understanding principles of link-building here.
Regularly track and analyze your site's SEO performance using enterprise SEO tools like SEMrush, Moz, or other keyword tracking software. These services can show you SERP (Search Engine Results Page) positions for individual keywords, stats for blogs or specific web pages, and a matrix of competitors’ rankings. By following all of this data, you can adapt your SEO strategy continually, identify areas for improvement, and make data-driven decisions.
By strategically investing time and resources into your SEO efforts, you can maximize your business results and outpace your competition. Remember, the key to success is understanding that the qualities of great SEO are also the qualities of a great customer experience. By making your site relevant to buyer searches, loaded with good content, and fast and easy to navigate, you are serving your B2B customers well at the same time that you are meeting SEO best practices. With this customer-focused approach to SEO, you will be well on your way to creating strong search rankings and the great ecommerce experiences that drive long-term business success.