This article focuses on how to use search results to inform your SEO and build traffic and sales on your Lambda Store website.
- Search Engine Optimization Overview
- Search Content Intent
- Meta Data Overview
- Search Terms Overview
Introduction to Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization (SEO) can help expand your company's visibility in organic search results. It helps websites rank higher in search engine result pages, can drive more visitors to the site, and can increase your conversion rate.
Search engines are optimized to provide users with the most relevant answers or information for their search queries. Every time a search engine is used, their algorithms often rank the most authoritative or popular webpages first.
To the deliver the right information to users, search engines analyze two factors:
Relevancy between the search query and the content on a webpage: Search engines assess it by various factors, such as topics or keywords.
Authority: Search engines often gauge a website's authority based on its popularity on the internet. Google assumes that the more popular a page or resource is, the more valuable its content is to readers.
Visibility describes how prominent a particular domain is in search engine results. With high visibility, a domain is prominent in search engine result pages. Lower search visibility occurs when a domain is not visible for many relevant search queries.
For your website to rank, three things must occur:
1. A search engine needs to find your webpages on the internet.
2. It must scan them to understand their topics and identify their keywords.
3. It needs to add them to its index, which is a database of all the content it has found on the web. This way, its algorithm can consider displaying your website for relevant queries.
Website Navigation and Links: Search engines crawl through webpages quickly, and use links to find other content to analyze. However, they cannot 'see' images. Thus, it is important to use keywords throughout your webpages to ensure that search engines can easily analyze your content.
Simple URL Structure: Search engines dislike reading lengthy strings of words with complex structures. Thus, it is important to keep your URLs are short as possible. Set your URLs up to include little beyond the main keywords of a webpage.
Page Speed: Search engines use a webpage's load time as an indicator of its quality. A webpage's load time can be affected by many factors, such as image size and moving graphics. To help test your website's load time and to receive suggestions on how to improve it, you can use Google's Page Speed Tools.
Dead Links or Broken Redirects: A dead link sends a visitor to a nonexistent page, and a broken redirect points the user to a nonexistent source. Both provide a poor user experience, and can prevent search engines from indexing your content. Thus, it is important to ensure that your webpages are kept up to date.
Sitemap: A sitemap is a simple file that lists all URLs on your site. Search engines use it to identify which pages to analyze and index. It is important to have an up-to-date sitemap for your website and to submit it to search engines like Google.
Duplicate Content: Search engines can become confused by pages containing identical or similar content, and can find it nearly impossible to determine which content they should display in their search results. For that reason, search engines consider duplicate content as a negative factor, and can penalize a website by not displaying any of its pages. Thus, it is important to ensure that you minimize duplicate content on your website, or even consider consolidating two similar pages into one.
Search Content Intent
When optimizing your pages for search engines, it is important to consider how a customer's search intent can affect which keywords should be used. A customer's search intent is their ultimate purpose when searching for content online. For example, when looking for a course, a customer's search intent can determine if they are searching for course or LMS suggestions, a ranking of different courses under the same category, or for a course to purchase. There are four kinds of search intent:
1. Informational intent: When users are searching for information regarding a specific topic.
2. Navigational intent: When users are looking to navigate to a specific website.
3. Transactional intent: When users are looking into buying a specific product online.
4. Commercial investigation: When users are researching for a product that they would like to buy in the future.
When taking into consideration search intent, you can use intent-specific keywords to boost your chances of being seen by users that match your target market. This can include keywords that indicate the kind of intent you would like to attract.
Do some research into your audience's search intent to better understand the kinds of keywords you should be including. When doing research:
- Create a list of relevant topics based on your business goals, and then fill these buckets with keywords.
- Use a keyword planner to cut down your keyword list.
- See how competitors are ranking for keywords, and consider also using 'lightly-used' keywords.
Your Lambda Store website is filled with places where you can enter keyword-rich meta data to improve how search engines index your site. While setting up your store, you might want to consider entering preliminary meta data. Over time, you can fine-tune your meta data to target the purchasing patterns and preferences of your customers.
Editing Search Engine Optimization
1. On the Lambda Store admin panel, click Catalog > Products to access the Products page.
2. Create a new product through clicking Add Product, or find your desired product on the grid and click Edit in the Action column.
3. Scroll down and expand the Search Engine Optimization section.
Meta Title: The meta title appears in the title bar and tab of your browser and search result listings. The meta title should be unique to the page, and should not be too long.
Meta Keywords: Meta keywords are high-value keywords that act as tags for your webpages. Although some search engines ignore meta keywords, others continue to use them. A good way of implementing keywords is to incorporate high-value keywords into the meta title and meta description.
Meta Description: Meta descriptions provide a brief overview of the page for search result listings. Ideally, a meta description should be between 150-160 characters in length, although the field will accept up to 255 characters.
When editing your meta data, here are some tips to consider:
- Include your target keyword in the the meta titles, keywords, and description.
- Create compelling, shareable titles.
- Add your main keyword early on in the content.
- When creating your meta description, avoid duplicate descriptions, quotes, and non-alpha characters.
- Mix head keywords and long-tail keywords.
You can gain an understanding of what your customers are looking for by examining the search terms they use to find products in your store. If enough people look for a product that you do not carry, then perhaps it is time to add it to your catalog. You can also redirect them to appropriate products in your catalog.
Synonyms: One way to improve the effectiveness of catalog search is to include different terms that people may use to describe the same item. You can capture a broader range of search terms by entering textbook, course book, and practice book as synonyms, and directing customers to the same landing page.
Misspelled Words: Use search terms to capture common misspellings and redirect them to the appropriate page. For example, if you sell 'webinar(s),' people can misspell the word as 'webnar.' You can enter each misspelled word as a search term, and make them synonyms for 'webinar.' Even though the word is misspelled, the search will be directed to the page for 'webinar.'
Add Search Terms
As you learn new words that people use to search for products in your catalog, you can add them to your search terms list to direct people to the most closely matching products in your catalog.
1. On the Lambda Admin panel sidebar, go to Marketing > Search Terms to access the Search Terms page.
2. Click Add New Search Terms.
3. In the Search Query field, enter the word or phrase that you want to add as a new search term.
4. In the Store field, if applicable, choose an appropriate Store view.
5. The Number of Results refers to the number of results of this search term.
6. The Number of Uses refers to the number of times the search term was used in the store.
7. If you would like to redirect the search results to another page in your website, or to a different website, enter the full URL of the target page in the Redirect URL field.
8. If you want this term to be available for use as a suggestion whenever a search returns no results, set Display in Suggested Terms to Yes. Otherwise, set it to No.
9. Once complete, click Save Search.