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Feb 15, 2012

On-Page SEO For eCommerce Websites

On page eCommerce SEO should actually begin behind the scenes, in the HTML source code itself. It is a fairly quick and easy process to achieve maximum optimisation, which serves to help users find your website as well as provide information vital to search engines. Each page of a website should be optimised individually to achieve maximum benefit. The following is listed in order of importance:

Title Tag

The title tag is always placed inside the <head/> section of your website and should not be the name of your business. See it more as an opportunity to improve PageRank and make it keyword orientated. The optimum length of a title is 68 characters (including spaces) which is the number that is displayed in the search engine results pages (SERPs).

Metadata

The <meta/> tags, one for "keywords" and one for "description, are also placed in the <head> section. The first is a prime opportunity for listing long tail keywords which you think users may search for you by, the second is a description of your business in a nutshell. Metadata is used by browsers for display purposes as well as search engines.

Headings

Shown in HTML as <h1>, <h2> and so on, with h1 being the most important and always used for the page title. The others are used for sub-headings in order of importance but this rarely goes beyond <h3>. Many people believe that headings are purely a design feature of a website but they are actually an integral part of telling search engines about the page content and its importance.

Bold and Strong

The </b> and <strong/> tags are used to emphasize particular words for the user's benefit. Where possible the emphasized words will be important keywords as well, but it is important not to sacrifice user experience and well-written text to include them. Contrary to popular belief, there is no optimum keyword density.

Images

Every image displayed on your website should have its own Alt Tag which accurately describes the content of the image itself.

E.g. img src ="image.jpg" alt="description of image"

Doing this serves two purposes, firstly, it provides search engine spiders with additional information about your website and, secondly, it enables accessibility to users whose browsers are unable to render images.

Hyperlinks

Hyperlinks are the lifeblood of the Internet and enable easy movement from page to page on a website or sometimes to another website altogether. They are an essential part of search engine optimisation as the quantity and quality of links to a given website are very relevant to search engines.

Hyperlinks enable your website to link to others containing relevant content, with anchor text containing your keywords.

So there we have it, a few very simple additions and tweaks can make a great deal of difference to the results your website is able to achieve in the rankings. Probably the hardest part of the whole process will be determining which keywords are the best ones for you to use.

Do bear in mind though, that nothing is carved in stone and as things can change very rapidly where the Internet is concerned, you should always be ready to make changes yourself to keep pace.

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