Content and SEO: How to write search engine optimised texts for your shop

by Kristof Maletzke, 20.09.16

When writing texts for your online shop – like product descriptions or FAQ pages for instance – you should always have some SEO rules in mind to improve your rankings. In this article, we show you which factors you should consider.

The content of your shop allows you to create a good picture of what you are selling and it provides customers with all the information they need to make their buying decision.

Content is also very relevant for your marketing, because it influences your rankings on search engines. The crawlers of Google & Co. pay special attention to the texts of online shops and other websites. Content is analysed and then search engine algorithms decide on how high a web page should be ranked for a given keyword. In its indexing algorithm, Google also takes into account the bounce rate and the time spent on each page. Unlike link building, optimising the content of your shop is part of onpage SEO.

1. Usage of keywords

This might be the most important tip for content SEO: Crawlers from Google, Bing and other search engines are scanning your shop for keywords, so you should use the most important search terms in your content. Make a list of the most important ones for the page you are currently writing and mention them.

Since years there is an ongoing debate on how often keywords should be used in the text. In the past, the keyword density was often referred to as the best practice: Just count the number of words and how often the keyword is used in it. If you have a text with 100 words and the keyword is mentioned in it twice, the text has a keyword density of two percent. Often website owners used to think “The more, the better” in terms of keywords and used them too abundantly. This can have dire consequences: Search engines might consider this as “keyword stuffing” and your page could even get a penalty because of this.

Checking the keyword density might have worked in the past, but since search engines and their ranking algorithms became much more sophisticated in recent years, many website owners who want to get a better Google ranking are using a formula called TF*IDF. With this, you can get a better insight on the use of search terms on the page. For more information, read the article What is TF*IDF and how can it be used as a new approach for content optimisation?

Content for SEO

Think about which keywords your customers would use on Google

2. Always have the reader in mind

Some merchants are trying too hard when optimising their content for SEO. They forget whom they are actually writing for: their visitors. So instead of only having the search engine crawlers in mind while writing your copy, you should think of your visitors in the first place. They are the ones who will be reading your content and who will end up buying in your shop.

3. Keep your content readable

Readability is key if you want your visitors to read longer texts. A 1,000 words text block without any paragraphs is very hard to read. Make use of paragraphs, headlines and subheadlines and think about adding an image now and then. You will find more information on formatting below.

4. The right kind of information at the right time

Get into the mind-set of the reader who is visiting your shop and deliver exactly what you think he wants in this case. For every subpage, this mind-set could be different: On your page about delivery for instance it is clear that your visitor is looking for information about this topic and is interested in answers to his questions.

5. Finding the perfect tone for your copy

Probably you already have a very good understanding of your customers and what makes them tick. Do they tend to be younger or older? Men or women? Tech-savvy or new to the Internet? All these things are important when finding the right tone for your content and let you decide if you should for instance strive for a very young and hip style of writing or a more conservative one.

6. Avoid duplicate content

To stand out from your competitors it is a good idea to make your shop “one of a kind”. Being unique is also important for your texts: To convince your customers and to rank highly on search engines, you should always use unique content that is not available anywhere else on the web. Avoid this duplicate content, because it can be frowned upon by Google.

7. Deliver background information on the topic of your shop

If you are running an online shop on a special subject, you will most likely have a vast knowledge on this matter. Share this with your customers! By doing that, you position yourself as an expert, provide your customers with valuable information and create useful content that is interesting for Google & Co.

Formatting content for SEO

The WYSIWYG editor of your shop makes it easy to create headings

8. Formatting and tags

When you write a text for the web, there are some technical rules to follow regarding the HTML layout of your content. It is preferable in particular to use titles and headings. Bulleted lists and bold parts are useful in terms of readability.

You can use the WYSIWYG editor of your shop to format content. If you are using headlines, please note that they should always be used hierarchically and there should only be one “Heading 1”, also known as the H1 headline. On product pages the Heading 1 is already taken – it’s the name of the product.

To show you a good hierarchy of a page, let us look at this example:

  • Types of clothing (Heading 1)
    • Shirts (Heading 2)
      • T-shirts (Heading 3)
      • Dress shirts (Heading 3)
    • Dresses (Heading 2)
      • Wedding dresses (Heading 3)
      • Evening dresses (Heading 3)

9. Internal links

By using internal links, you can keep your visitors in your shop for a longer time, strengthen the internal link structure and perhaps rank higher on search engines. A good way to improve the internal linking in your shop is using its cross-selling features. For more information on cross-selling, read our article Cross-selling: Your road to increased sales.

10. Keep posting content

Google and other search engines like new content. That is why you should have new texts occasionally. Try regularly creating new content pages with additional information on the subject of your shop, or open a blog.

Are you interested in more information on SEO? Then read our articles The 6 key elements of a good SEO strategy and SEO for your online shop: The title tag.

About the author

was Communications Manager at ePages.

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