Google is the tool most frequently used by internet users to find a product or service. It is vital for online stores to be listed on that search engine. Here are some tips.
A large majority of internet users search Google rather than entering a website address in a browser. Statistics show that if an internet user does not find what they are looking for on the first page of results, they prefer to use other keywords rather than look on the second page. To be visible, an online store therefore needs to come up on the first page.
Referencing has become a strategic activity for e-commerce websites, known as Search Engine Marketing (SEM). There are two techniques for optimizing a company’s positioning on search engines:
- Natural referencing (Search Engine Optimization – SEO);
- Paid-for referencing (Search Engine Advertising – SEA).
These techniques complement each other.
Search Engine Optimization for e-commerce
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) aims to improve a website’s position in a search engine by taking advantage of how it works. In principle, this means anticipating the keywords customers will use and repeating them in the text on the online store’s website.
SEO requires specific skills and has become one of the new web activities.
Large companies allocate significant budgets to it, employing SEO consultants or creating full-time positions.
A few basic principles should be mentioned however:
- A series of specific keywords (e.g. “summer fashion” and “sunglasses”) needs to be allocated to a website to describe its content. How are these words chosen? Google AdWords offers a tool to view the frequency of searches for a keyword and the number of pages of results of a Google search. This involves choosing a keyword entered by internet users but for which few pages (and therefore little competition) exist on the internet.
- These keywords must be repeated in all the text “read” by Google algorithms to reference the website. In the website’s HTML code, this mostly means page title, meta description and title sections (headlines h1, h2, h3), as well as the main text, file names and images and link names, for which the keywords must match the target page.
- In its search results, Google displays the page title and meta description sections. Those texts therefore need to be optimized for Google. The page title section should comprise between 50 and 60 characters and the meta description between 50 and 160.
Search Engine Advertising for e-commerce
Search Engine Advertising (SEA) means a paid-for referencing service. This involves buying keywords to ensure a good position in a search engine’s results. Keywords are sold by auction. Costs may be high depending on popularity. SEA requires extensive knowledge of the keywords used by internet users. This can be the name of a product, a brand, etc. For many advertisers, purchasing keywords is a significant expense.