Chapter 4: Search engine optimization for your online store Ads to content ratio – Some webmasters claim that too many ads on a low content page may be harmful for your search engines results ranking. In my opinion, there should be no ads on an online store, since they can send away your potential buyers to some other websites and you may end up with fewer sales. These were some of the most important on-page search engine ranking factors. Some of the webmasters argue that many of the on-page ranking factors are not relevant any more for getting high rankings in the search engines, and website owners should focus more on the off-page SEO. While this may be true to some extent, doing on-page SEO does not hurt your rankings, so it is still advisable to do it, since your online store will only benefit from it. As a common saying in the webmasters world: On-page SEO is to show the search engine that your page is relevant (for some keywords), while the off-page SEO is to show that the website/webpage is popular. As an advice, we recommend not to optimize the web pages for multiple keywords, but rather to optimize them for fewer keywords, preferably for those that have less competition, and to use only unique content on pages. Now that we have analyzed the on-page ranking factors and know how to optimize our online store internally, it is time to move to the next step and see how to optimize our online store using off-page SEO, which compared to the on-page SEO, has a much more weight and value for the search engine rankings.
Off-Page Search Engine Optimization Off-page SEO is the combination of techniques and methods used outside of your online store, in order to help it and its web pages to get higher rankings in the search engines. Off-page SEO includes optimization of factors that are not located on your online store. These factors include: Number of authority backlinks – Authority backlinks are links from websites and web pages with relevant content and high rankings in the search engines. If you want to get high rankings in the search engines, then having many authority backlinks is a must. These links sometimes are also called “quality backlinks”. Anchor text of the backlink – This is a very important ranking factor for the particular keyword you try to rank. Try to use different keywords as your anchor text since having the same keyword on many backlink anchor text may be penalized by the search engines, so it is good to diversify a little bit. As an anchor text, try to use the keywords that you have used when doing on-page optimization. This will give the best results. Keyword density and relevance – Backlinks from relevant pages, with an average (2-4%) keyword density, are the best if you want to have high rankings in the search engines. It is also good for the keyword to be in the title of the page linking to you. On the other hand, if the keyword density of the webpage you get a backlink is very high, then the search engines may penalize that webpage and reduce its authority and trustiness, so you will end up having a low quality backlink from a low quality page, which is not desirably. Backlink diversity – It is best to have links from lots of different domains since having links only from few domains may look suspicious to the search engines and they could lower your rankings. Having backlinks from many different domains shows the search engine that your online store and its 21
Practical guide how to start and run an online store and ecommerce business.