SEO Tips for B2B eCommerce Sites
Not All B2B eCommerce Sites Are Created Equally - So just how do you rank on the Search Engine Results Page? Not having proper SEO in place on your website is the equivalent of writing a best selling novel and never publishing it.
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is the process of, for certain targeted keywords, getting your website indexed and ranked highly in the Search Engine Results Page (SERP).
In simple terms, SEO is the steps taken on your website to help the site be found on Google (and other search engines if you should so choose!) for the search terms relevant to your business.
Everyone wants their website to be found on Google and there are two ways of doing that.
The first way is to pay Google by doing Adwords which are PPC (Pay Per Click). This will have you appear in the ‘Ad’ space at the top of the SERP.
The second way is to rank ‘organically’. This means to appear in the main non-paid part of the SERP. Organic search traffic is highly qualified and performs better than most other digital sources such as social, email and PPC. So getting your house in order in terms of SEO is definitely a good idea!
Not having proper SEO in place on your website is the equivalent of writing a best selling novel and never publishing it. You can have a fantastic eCommerce website with beautiful design and great functionality, but if nobody can find it when they do a relevant search on Google - well what would be the point exactly?
SEO is often ignored in favour of sexier digital marketing solutions with an instant result. But the main benefit of investing some time in SEO is that it is free and users tend to trust organic results over PPC.
It may seem like a daunting task when you start to read up on how to optimise your website, but it doesn’t have to be that difficult. There are lots of articles and how to’s on SEO and tips to help you rank better, but they all have one thing in common - taking up lots of your time.
If you have a B2B eCommerce site, particularly if you are in the wholesale distribution sector, you will most likely have a huge range of different products and related information.
That means you are unlikely to have the time (and, let’s be honest, the inclination!) to go in and give each of your several hundred individual product pages the correct title tags etc. (the type of so called ‘tips’ you will find on other blogs) and I don’t blame you!
I’m not denying this would help your organic ranking in the long run, but it might help send your stress levels through the roof, or whatever poor soul you assign this task to, in the process!
Unless it was done for you already that is?
WebShop is the award winning cloud based eCommerce product from Aphix Software, that not only offers real-time integration with your ERP system (Sage 200, Sap Business One & Intact to mention a few) that is miles ahead of the competitors’ offerings, but also boasts a range of built in SEO features that really will boost your ranking on the SERP.
And best thing of all, your stress levels will remain intact as we do the work for you.
On top of that, the Aphix platform indexes and tags all your products and related pages to ensure they are search engine friendly, which will do even more to save you from the aforementioned time-consuming headache!
Here’s just a flavour of the built in SEO functionality that Aphix Software offer as standard with their WebShop and will implement automatically for you making sure you have the best head start in terms of SEO!
Geo targeting refers to the practice of delivering different content to a website user based on their geographic location.
Let’s say for example you have customers in different countries, and they have different product availability, languages and pricing structures. You don’t want Google to rank the wrong results, for the wrong region.
You certainly don’t want Google to think you have duplicated content (which would have a serious negative impact on your SEO) because you have created multiple sites/pages with similar content for different regions etc.
All of this can result in poor ranking on the SERP, confusion for customers if being directed to the wrong content … and ultimately, loss of revenue.
This is where geo targeting comes in. As you can imagine this can be a complicated set up. The WebShop product from Aphix Software uses geo targeting to ensure your customers end up in the right place with the right content relative to their search terms and location.
That’s one more tick in the box for your SEO and one less headache for you. Our own WebShop customer FS Cables uses different websites for the UK-only www.fscables.com and another for global customers www.fsglobal.com.
The Geo targeting put in place makes sure the relevant site is indexed on the SERP according to the user’s location and search query, and all without impacting their SEO for duplicating content.
Rich Snippets / Structured Data
Ecommerce sites need to take advantage of every option to entice searchers to click on their page instead of a competitor’s when a potential customer is searching on Google.
Rich snippets or structured data enable sites to embellish their search results with add-ons, which draw the searcher’s eye as well as offering additional information. And ultimately helping you to also take up more space and really stand out on the page, so you really have the best chance to get that click.
WebShop provides this structured data to Google to give context to what a page actually contains.
We provide structured data to Google pertaining to the often 1000’s of products on a website. Specifically around the price and stock levels of the product. This clearly shows Google that this specific data relates to an actual product so that it may show it in the search results in a unique way, like the sample of our WebShop customer below.
When Hansel left a trail of breadcrumbs so Gretel and he could find their way home in the woods, he really was on to something. In the digital world breadcrumbs are an important part of any good website and another way that providing structured data aids your SEO.
These little navigational aids not only help people visualise where they are on your site, but also help Google determine how your site is structured. A breadcrumb is a small text path. Every part of that path is clickable, all the way to the homepage.
Breadcrumbs also appear in Google, instead of confusing URLs (see screenshot below). If you add the correct form of structured data to your site, search engines can pick up this data and show your breadcrumbs in the search results.
That’s why it makes a lot of sense to add these helpful little pointers when constructing your eCommerce site. Or in the case of WebShop, have them automatically added for you!
Making sure your company details, location and contact information is listed correctly for Google to find is very important and another form of structured data we provide to Google.
This is particularly important if you sell locally. If you are based in Cork for example and want locally based customers to find your business when they do a search rather than a competitor, having this right is vital.
The WebShop eCommerce product will ensure this is in place, so those geographically in your location will see your company on the SERP above a competitor in another location.
A Bit More Wow - Featured Content
Google has a specially reserved feature for content it believes to be the best of the best. Featured content is where Google will take a rich snippet of information from your site and display it directly on the SERP.
Our underlying SEO tools, the structured data we provide to Google, along with the great content on our customers’ eCommerce sites, is so compelling that Google has selected certain WebShops to rank prominently with this feature.
Ok so perhaps your existing eCommerce website already ranks quite well on Google, but it’s lacking in terms of functionality as a B2B eCommerce site and it doesn't even know what an ERP is let alone integrate with the system that literally runs your business. But hey you’ve probably put a lot of work into the SEO and don’t want to lose it?
That’s where redirects come in. You can get all the amazing functionality of a WebShop, without losing all of the SEO ranking you have built up. We will redirect ranking URLs to the relevant URLs on your new site to maintain your current SEO and, with all this other SEO functionality built in, most likely enhance it.
Want to Outrank the Rest?
Having all these SEO features in place is a great foundation to build upon and not all eCommerce solutions will provide these capabilities - let alone implement them for you.
But of course there are always other ways to enhance the organic reach of your site and to build upon it.
You can perform an SEO audit of your website on free tools like www.screamingfrog.co.uk which will help identify any other areas you might need to improve upon.
A simple and the most achievable tip to help with SEO and to improve the user experience on your website overall is to make sure your website is updated regularly with fresh relevant content, including keeping the site updated with new products, and frankly if you are selling online - this is a no brainer anyway!
Publishing regular blogs is another great way of creating frequent unique content on your website.
Doing keyword research using free tools like the Google Keyword Planner is a great way to figure out exactly what people are typing into the search box to find you.
You can then build those keywords into the content on the website using your CMS (Content Management System).
The CMS platform for WebShop is very user friendly and makes tasks like adding new products, pages or SEO tags very straightforward. Or we can help you with that too!
In fact we have a Bulk Import Tool so even if you’ve got tens of thousands of products we make it super easy to manage and update all of them.
There are endless ways you can enhance the organic ranking of your website. Google are constantly changing the goalposts in terms of SEO too
As part of the regular updates included with our products, we're constantly updating the tools and underlying technology to keep ahead of the curve.
With WebShop from Aphix Software, you will certainly have more than a fighting chance when it comes to SEO, and will have a really solid foundation to build upon. When it comes to SEO we are here to make sure you certainly won’t be left below the fold!