I often get asked by retailers: “How do I show up higher in the free part of Google?”
Showing up higher in Google’s organic search results can seem unobtainable to many retailers. When seeking help, they are often met with a dizzying array of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) terms, HTML code and language that’s completely unrelated to their field of expertise – selling goods to consumers. I have to admit, I’ve seen first-hand the impact a “good” SEO company can have on a retailer’s business. However, if you are unable to find, or don’t have the budget for reputable SEO firm, know that there are things you can do on your own to improve your search engine ranking.
The SEO juggernaut can be simplified into two primary influences. Understanding these two important concepts can greatly improve your search engine positioning: (1) Content is King and (2) Get Other Websites to Link to Yours.
Content is King
I love analogies, so let me try a couple to see if it helps take some of the mystery out of the SEO process. Let’s start with “Content is King”. One of the primary ways that Google finds you is through the content on your website. Think back to your childhood when you used to go to the library to find a book – before the days of computers. What did you do? You went to the card catalog (drawers of index cards with information regarding every book in the library) and then rifled through the endless cards to find your book – the good old Dewey Decimal System for those old enough to remember it. This is very similar to how Google works. Every word on your website is like another card in Google’s catalog, the more cards you have, the more likely someone is going to be able to find you!
Get Other Websites to Link to Yours
The second important influential factor I mentioned is getting websites to link to yours. Why is it important? Think back to high school when a homecoming king and queen were crowned. How did the student body pick their royal court? They voted for them! This is very similar to how Google works when someone links to your website; it is a vote of confidence in you, your website and store. The more people “voting”, or linking to you, the more popular you become and the more likely you will be king.
So how do you get people to link you? If you sell products from various vendors and designers, call and ask them to link to your website. What link to give them is important, so listen closely. Hopefully, you have a page in your website where consumers can shop for a specific brand. This is the website address you want to give your vendor. This allows shoppers to go directly to the vendor’s specific page in your site from your vendor’s site. Google will pick up on this and reward you for it. You can also fancy up these pages by including the logo and a short description of the brand right there on the shopping page. Vendors usually appreciate this little extra touch and this information is quite helpful for SEO. You need to repeat this process for every brand on your website and then really press your vendors to link to you.
So what can you do if you are your own brand or your vendors won’t link to your website? This is where a blog is immensely helpful. Write about your brands, products, trends, philosophy, etc. in your blog. If you write about things you know and are passionate about, people will link to you and your articles because they will find them interesting. Again, the more people who link to you, the higher you’ll show up on search engines. As an added bonus, all of this great content will push you higher in the SEO process as well.
So, while the SEO process can be daunting at first, I let my retailers know that it really isn’t as hard as it may seem. If you remember to focus on your content and get as many companies or people to link to you, you’ll find yourself rising in the Google Search Engines faster than you can imagine.