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Improving the search engine rank of an e-commerce website is tough. And it doesn’t help when you’re unsure of your current strategy. Is sourcing website content from someone else’s store even ethical? How about paying a publication to mention your store’s URL in their magazine? Below, we’ll walk you through the steps required to improve your brand positioning and rank higher than others competing for the same items.

The best part? All of these recommendations are ethical and risk-free to implement. You won’t be receiving messages from Google saying your website is penalized, or email messages from an angry store owner bashing you for stealing his/her site content.

Let’s dive in:

  1. Optimize Product Descriptions

Great product descriptions can help your product pages rank well in search engines for relevant searches. The ideal product description highlights the advantages of owning the product, not just explain its features. Hence, don’t just copy and paste a supplier/dropshipping company’s product description. Instead, write a custom one that is interesting to read and allows the customer to imagine what it’d be like to use the product in real life. Additionally, use SEO practices to find the relevant keywords to use in your product descriptions.

What is SEO? Short for search engine optimization, SEO is the strategy used to increase the visibility of a website in search engines. Keywords play an essential role in SEO campaigns as they tell search engines what phrases a site wants to rank for. For e-commerce, long-tail keywords comprise the majority of total search volume. Long-tail keywords are longer phrases that audiences will search for, such as “brown color iPhone 4”. These are much more descriptive than short-tail keywords (iPhone 4, for instance) and therefore improve your chances of appearing in search engines as part of a result for related queries.

  1.  Use “Alt Tags” for Images

If you aim to gain organic search visits, then traditional text content isn’t the only available option at your disposal. Visual content through images can produce a different route for potential visitors. Despite the opportunity, many e-commerce websites fail to optimize product images properly. When a store owner uploads an image, search engines don’t know what it entails. Because of this, it is crucial to inform search engines about what is inside the image by using ALT tags.

An ALT tag is a description that’s connected to a product listing. That way, if someone searches a relevant visual on Google using relevant keywords, your site will appear. Alt tag can also include the main keyword, along with the description of what the image is about. You’ll come across the ALT tag option in Squarespace, WordPress, Shopify and many other content management systems.

  1. Consider Brand Mentions

Mentions are used by search engines to figure out how much the community values your e-commerce store. It’s an off-site optimization strategy that relies on igniting word-out-mouth campaigns and establishing your site’s credibility.

To get others to mention your store, search out to influencers and subject matter experts for interviews to generate both content and links. If you are already cited in places but haven’t received a link, use mention.com to find the sites, and then send an email requesting them to link to your website in the mention.

Over to You

Now that you understand the basics of how you can improve your search engine rank using SEO, image optimization and mentions, you can start making changes to dethrone your competitors in search results.