There are many benefits to selling on your own website including saving on marketplace fees, and having less competition to contend with. However, there are drawbacks as well, one of them being if you sell on your own website you won’t have the same number of buyers viewing your items as you do when you sell on eBay or other popular marketplaces.

What are the ways by which you can increase traffic to your website? Let us explore some of the best ways that can get traffic to your store from Google with search engine optimization.

Search engine optimization, or SEO, is all about getting your website ranking better in search engines such as Google. When you rank well, it means that users will be able to find your website when they search for the products you sell.

Let’s take a look at an example. Let’s say we want to search for “baby t shirt”. When you try this, Google will generate different types of search results. On the right  if you notice there are Google Ads results – these are paid advertisements that the website owner has created and pay to have display here.

What you get on the left without the “Ad” label are the “organic” search results. You don’t have to pay to have your listings here, and in fact, they tend to get more clicks than the paid ads, so it’s better to rank here anyway.

Getting ranked on the first page of Google takes time; it can take as little as four weeks, or it can a lot longer than that. There are no magic bullets for getting good Google rankings, so beware of services that claim that they can get you fast rankings – there are some techniques that can get you ranking fast, but because those techniques are not approved by Google, your rankings won’t last long and Google might even de-index you which will make it very difficult for anyone to find you.

So how do you rank your website and get good results, without getting on the bad side of Google?

Well there are essentially two things that you can do:

1. On-page optimization which is when you edit contents to your website. By this you are telling Google what your website is all about, so that they know when to show it when users search for your products.

2. Secondly, you need to do off-page optimization. Off-page optimization is mostly about showing search engines how trustworthy your website is. Google prefers websites that are high quality and trustworthy. Search engines measure trustworthiness and quality in a couple of ways, but they primarily look at how many other websites link to yours. This is called backlinking and each backlink is like a vote or a referral and when another website votes for or refers to yours, it tells Google that your website is a good one and therefore it will rank better in search results.

You might be sitting there wondering how you do on and off page optimization. Here are some quick tips. 

1. Write content-rich product descriptions.

One of the ways that Google and other search engines determine which sites to rank is through the text content on the site. Therefore, it is crucial that your product descriptions contain keywords that your buyers will search for when they search for items you stock.

Try to write descriptions that are at least 250 words long and remember to include the keywords that closely relate to the product, but remember not to stuff your description with too many keywords. Doing so could tell Google that your content is not genuine. It’s also an eye-sore for buyers!

2. Write a killer meta description

Your meta description is the text that displays in search results.

Here’s a good example of a meta description. This company, Inch Blue, ranks on the first page of Google for the keywords “baby shoes”. Their meta description contains these keywords but, more importantly, it provides information to the person searching which encourages them to click-through and visit the web store.

How to alter your meta description depends on how your store was built or which store builder you use but, if you know HTML code, the meta description appears in the header code of your website.

If you sell on SaleHoo Stores, adding your meta description is easy; just type it directly into the meta description field under your Homepage section in your administration panel.

3. Keep your content fresh

To achieve good search engine rankings, you should also focus on keeping your content fresh.

Google and other search engines love when you update your site with fresh, new content. When you update your content, Google knows that your website is a ‘live’ one, not just a static website that is never updated, which improves your rankings.

There are a number of ways that you can easily update your web content to keep it fresh. One is by blogging.

Writing blog posts not only helps with your Google rankings, but additionally, when you write about the products that you sell, you show off your passion for the products which inspires customers to hit the “Add to Cart” button!

Most products or product lines are relativity easy to blog about. If you sell handbags, you can write about the latest season’s color and style trends or about an outrageously expensive new designer bag that your audience would adore, but never be able to purchase themselves!

If you sell gardening equipment, you can write blog posts about gardening tips or keep a photo blog of the world’s most beautiful gardens.

Your blog posts do not need to be long or sophisticated. Web readers will engage better with a shorter, snappier and more personal blog post than a dry, boring post.

Above all else, aim to give valuable, informative or entertaining content to readers.

4. Take action to create backlinks and make your store search-engine friendly

When it comes to getting backlinks from other websites, one way is to post of forums or discussion boards that are related to your products. For example, using the baby clothing example again, if you were selling baby related items, you could join a discussion board for new moms and offer helpful and useful advice to the moms there. Then in your forum signature, you could include a link to your website.

You could do this across a number of discussion boards or forums. Just remember to always provide valuable advice to moms, as it’s never appreciated if you simply “spam” the forum in order to get a backlink!

If you have any questions about SEO, get in touch with us via the SaleHoo Community forum.

Do you want to open your very own online store? Open a SaleHoo Store today! It’s the fastest, easiest way to get your very own store. Get a free 30 day trial and test drive SaleHoo Stores for yourself.