SEO Rules for Ecommerce Content Marketing

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SEO Rules for Ecommerce ContentMarketingContent marketing and search engineoptimization are interdependent. Whenplanned and executed properly, contentcan greatly improve your natural searchperformance. Follow these 10 rules tosuccessfully blend SEO needs with contentcreation.Research What Customers Care About :Marketers are quick to embrace marketresearch to discover their customers needs.SEO keyword research provides anotherfast and free method of amassing contentideas that real people really care about.Seek to answer the questions people askthe search engines as well as the big topicsthat drive a large amount of demand. Dontforget to interview your customer supportpersonnel for ideas, as well. They are onthe front lines answering questions thatoftentimes mirror the information thatsearchers are looking for. In addition toproviding a wealth of content ideas,ranking well on these topics can helpreduce call center loads.Choose Content Types Wisely :Dont default to writing only articles.Certainly long-form article content is goodfor SEO, when written about a topic thatsearchers seek in large numbers and whenwritten using the language that real peopleuse when they search. However,sometimes addressing frequently askedquestions or publishing a step-by-stepguide or video (with transcript) willconvey the topic most clearly and be mostlikely to rank well. The best content typedepends on what will benefit yourshoppers most, as well as what will rankwell.However, sometimes addressingfrequently-asked questions or publishing astep-by-step guide or video will conveythe topic most clearlyHow do you determine which content typeis the best? Try Googling it. Search for thephrases you want to rank well for and payspecial attention to the types of contentthat rank well already.Include Descriptive Text :Search engines evolve their capabilitiescontinually, but they still need descriptivetext to help them understand the contentand context of video and images. Alwaysinclude transcripts for videos and describethe images and infographics that containkey points you need to make. Even if thecontent is understandable to shoppersvisually, search engines need thatdescriptive text. Without it, search engineswont understand the relevance of thecontent and wont be able to rank it, andthat means no traffic and sales fromnatural search.Remember What You Need to Sell :Stick with content ideas that coincide withthe products and services you offer. If thatsounds like an obvious point, youll besurprised how frequently its ignored.Searchers are interested in an endlessnumber of products, information, andconcepts. Google reported that 15 percentof the search queries it receives each dayare queries that theyve never seen before.But only a fraction of those are relevant toyour business. Be selective. You wont winnatural search traffic or drive sales or leadsif you try to generate content outside ofthe information related to your productbase. If you sell nuts and bolts, its highlyunlikely that even the most passionatecontent about baseball will drive trafficand sales for your site.Write for Your Audience, NotManagement :Unless your audience uses the same wordsthat you do in your business, ditch thejargon and create content using plain,descriptive language. Better yet, refer tothat keyword research you did earlier indeciding what to create content about. Itwill also tell you how shoppers think andspeak about those products and services.Dont Forget to Sell, Gently :Ecommerce merchants presumably wantto sell. We want shoppers to land on oursite when they search and be enticed bythe great content we create. But sometimesits the content that ranks instead of theecommerce category and product pages.That means that your content also needs tosell.You dont have to be obvious and pushyabout selling. Information seekers can bescared off by heavy-handed promotions.But once youve demonstrated how to usesomething or how to care for something,visitors may be open to purchasing theproducts required to do so. Theres noharm in a gentle call to action, such as alink in the text to a related category or to apicture and link of a product described.Remember that the goal is to attractsearchers, among other shoppers, andsearchers may be new to your brand andproduct assortment. Helping them findtheir way easily to a very relevant productafter providing useful, non-pushy contentmakes sense for both of you.Link Content and Ecommerce :Linking provides pathways for shoppers toaccess and digest content, and also forsearch engines to understand the contextand relative importance of various areas ofthe site. Use your header and footernavigation to link to content andinformation so that shoppers, searchengines, and searchers can all get wherethey need to go for products andinformation.Dont be stingy about linking fromecommerce pages to relevantinformational content. If the contentyoure creating is truly relevant and useful,like guides on how to buy or how to use aproduct, that content should help salesinstead of detracting. If youre concernedthat content might distract shoppers, testthe impact.Linking provides pathways for shoppers toaccess content, and also for searchengines to understand the contextHost Content on Your Site :If you want to rank for something, put thecontent on your own site the same sitefrom which you sell your products not amicrosite. Microsite content wont benefityour natural search performance. Yes,youll link from that microsite back to yourecommerce site, but it doesnt add value asan external link from a different sitebecause the search engines can usuallydetect that its a self-owned site. Inaddition, youll lose the benefit of theinterlinking opportunities that come withhosting the content on your ecommercesite.Consider Syndicating Content :Sometimes content on your own site wontattract the right audience. You need toseek eyeballs where theyre already at. Inthis case, syndicating content i.e.,offering content to other sites for their use can outweigh the need to host contenton your own site. To maintain SEO benefitfrom content youre syndicating out toother sites, host it on your own site andcontractually require that the hosting sitesuse canonical tags to refer to your sitescontent as the definitive source. Thisensures that you retain the SEO benefit ofcreating the content, while also removingany duplicate content concerns.Be Wary of Publishing SyndicatedContent :If you dont have the resources to createcontent in-house, publishing content fromanother source might seem like anattractive solution. For SEO, however, it isnot.When you host another sites contenton your own site, youre helping someoneelse rank. If theyre smart, theyll require acanonical tag that refers any ownershipand authority that the content mightgenerate back to their own site. Even ifthey dont require the canonical tag, whenthe same content is posted in multiplelocations, as duplicate content it losesvalue for SEO in all of those locations.*************