If you’re trying to look for the best smartphone, the cheapest vacuum cleaner, or the nearest dentist in your new town, you’re probably heading to a place along with 3.5 billion other people to answer your queries- Google.
Yep, like most people you’re probably spending a lot of time on search bars more than you could ever think.
Like most people, you probably wouldn’t spend too much time digging deep into the search results.
So if your merch store isn’t showing up in the first few pages of search queries, you know you should probably level up your Search Engine Optimization Game.
What is Search Engine Optimization?
Search Engine Optimization, otherwise known as SEO is a word that baffles a lot of online users and sellers.
However, it has significant benefits and impacts on your sales that exceed its superficial complexities.
SEO is optimizing your content, or in your case, your merch listings, descriptions, and ecommerce website to rank highly on search bars.
By doing this, you drive more organic traffic into your store or your website.
A well-optimized listing allows you to rank highly not only on search engines like Google, but also on your own Print on Demand Platform.
Why is Organic Traffic Important?
Organic traffic means unpaid users who intentionally click to your website by reason of scoring high on search engines, and not through paid ads.
Organic traffic is very important is because it comes from a highly targeted audience.
This means that users coming into your page from organic traffic actually has a specific intent that matches your niche and product offers.
This means that the number of your organic traffic is more likely to convert into leads and sales.
On the other hand, paid traffic may gain you visitors only because you have paid for your place up into those search results.
If you’ve noticed sites that have the word “AD” in them, those are pages that pay for their high ranks on search results page.
However, they do not convert as much as compared to organic traffic.
More often than not, people do not find exactly what they are looking for in paid ads.
Therefore, it’s worth putting extra time and energy towards understanding how SEO strategy works for your marketplace in order to increase your ranks online, and therefore increase your odds of being selected by buyers for their purchasing options.
Now that you know what SEO is and how it works to boost sales for your Merch Store, take a look at these few tips on how to strategize your Merch Store optimization:
Optimize your Keywords
The first step in your SEO campaign is to optimize your keywords.
In order to do this, you need to do keyword research.
Keyword research involves looking for the right keywords to put on your pages so that you can have a high ranking for search engine results.
There are many ways and approaches to look for the right keywords.
To start with, you need to have a good understanding of your buyer’s intent.
For instance, if your niche is selling fitness shirts, try to think of what your buyer persona looks like.
What does he or she want in a fitness shirt? What is the trend in fitness shirts today?
You can look into niche forums such as Reddit and Quora to identify buyer needs and questions that are related to your niche.
You can also look through social media to look for possible nuances that are related to the products that you sell.
Another factors to consider in selecting keywords is their relevance, search volume, as well as their ranking difficulty.
Therefore the next step is to identify the exact keywords that you need to use for your Merch store and Merch Website.
What keywords should I look for?
It’s important to integrate a good mix of body and long tails keywords:
Body Keywords are phrases that consist of 2-3 words that score high on search volume.
They are more useful as compared to single keywords since they’re more specific.
On the other hand, Long tail keywords are longer phrases that consist of 4 or more words that are more specific than body keywords.
A good mix of these two can allow your content to score high on search engines.
Where can I Look for Keywords?
For starters, try looking for keywords in Google or Amazon search bars.
Try entering a body keyword such as “Sports shirt” or “Home décor”, for example and you will see a volume of related searches popping up below the search bar.
Here, you find words that most people search related to the body keyword that you have keyed in. That is a simple way of looking for Keywords.
Looking for keywords through forum sites and social media is also a more intentional way to look for them, but they can be time-consuming.
There are loads of free and paid keyword tools that you can search online.
These make it easier for you to look for body and long-tail keywords that are appropriate for your niche.
You can also spy on your competitors to find the keywords that they use for their Merch store, blog, or social media site.
You can use a keyword page analyzing tool such as Keywords Everywhere, a google plugin that allows you to analyze the keywords for a specific page.
Integrate your Keywords to your Merch Store
Starting with your merch store, integrate your generated keywords to your product listings, titles, and descriptions.
Place them strategically.
Remember that the more specific your keywords are, the better.
However, remember not to stuff your keywords into a single phrase.
Make sure it is easy to read and properly describes the design and features for your specific audience.
For instance, if you have the following keywords: Father’s Day gift ideas, Men’s Tshirt, Best Father’s day gift, try to make it easy to read and strategic for your ideal audience:
“Are you looking for the best Father’s day gift idea? This high-quality Men’s Tshirt can be a memorable way to express your love and gratitude to Fathers and Fathers-at-heart this coming dads’ day.”
This is just one way to do it.
It’s also important to note that if you’re dealing with many product pages, do not put multiple pages on your site that rank for the same keywords because they will be competing against each other in the search engine results.
Increase Online Avenues that Link to your Merch Store
One way to rank high in search engines is to increase your online presence beyond just your main merch website/store.
According to a study, a strong presence on social networks can help you score high in search rankings.
Putting your brand on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest builds brand awareness and increases your visibility.
A great way to utilize your social media accounts is to share your links to social media.
This way, it creates inbound links and attracts leads that are more likely to buy from you and spend more time on your sites.
You will find people on social media who are intentionally interested in your products.
You can also work on it the other way around by ensuring that your product pages have options that can be shared on social media.
Adding blogs to your website is also a great way to stay relevant in Google.
Google has always prioritized websites that post fresh content.
This helps them to know that you are actually active and should be noticed by users.
When you publish posts frequently using the right keywords, you can reach potential leads for your merch store by way of educating them through your blogs, or by giving them tips, listicles, and stories.
By giving your ideal audience fresh stories from time to time, you can also increase your brand reliability and credibility while leading people towards your eCommerce website.
Not to mention, when your sites are useful, users can spend more time on your site, which also increases your search rankings.
Blogging is a great place to use long-tail keywords.
Since long-tail keywords are too specific, you may not be able to utilize them on your product pages.
Thus, you can use them in your blogs instead.
Note: Use different sets of keywords for your Blogs.
Avoid using the same keywords for your product pages and blogs to avoid them competing against each other.
Improve your Page’s Usability
As mentioned a while ago, Google prioritizes sites where people spend more time in.
This is actually referred to as “dwell time”.
The logic behind this is that the more time people spend on your page, the more likely your page is actually useful and relevant.
Thus, Google uses this as a ranking signal to prioritize you among others who have low dwelling times.
Thus, to rank high, focus on improving your page’s user experience.
To start with, you can refer to these questions:
- Is my page easy to navigate?
- Is my page user friendly?
- Are my product descriptions, listings, blogs and titles well-written, easy to understand, and engaging?
- Do I have high-quality and appealing photos and videos?
By making sure your users have the best experience in your product pages, you increase their time on your sites.
As a result, you kind of earn Google’s “Trust” and allows you to rank high on search engines.
Optimize your Pages for Mobile
Unless you’re working through a desktop or laptop the whole day, you’re probably doing your food delivery order using your mobile.
According to statistics, 80% of users use their mobile devices to search since 2019.
You know what this data means.
Google now gives a higher ranking to websites that are mobile-friendly.
This means that not only will people prefer and spend more time on viewing page sites that are easy to read and navigate using their mobile device, but Google will also put you first on the search engine results.
If your page isn’t optimized for mobile, you may have the following consequences:
- You will be penalized by Google
- You will miss out on ranking high on the search engine results page
- You will have short dwell time
- You will have low bounce rates
Thus, it is important to prioritize fixing your product page or your e-commerce website to make it optimized for mobile.
According to statistics, half of mobile users may leave a website if it takes more than three seconds to load.
Does that mean mobile users are impatient? It may also mean that other pages have more optimized websites than you do.
If your websites load slowly, you may lose more user visitors over time. Thus, it is important to fix your page speed.
Here are some ways to do it:
- Enable Compression
- Reduce Redirects
- Improve Server Response Time
- Leverage Browser
- Optimize Images
Another way to ensure a seamless mobile experience is to make sure to avoid broken links for your site.
This is highly detrimental for you because Google can register you as an old and abandoned site.
Furthermore, users will also remember this experience which will result in a bad impression on your brand name.
Having a page that says “404 Error” is not a great way to greet a visitor.
Thus, one way to avoid this is to check your pages and links periodically.
If your page contains numerous errors, this means that search engines cannot look into your page.
You do not have to be a tech geek to be able to avoid these errors.
There are many existing apps and tools that check and assess your website for any broken links.
Whether you’re new to SEO, or an old player in the game, it’s undeniable that integrating best SEO practices is essential for your Merch Store.
Being in eCommerce means your website or store visitors are highly dependent on the search engine’s algorithms.
Thus, following these tips and strategies can boost your organic visitors, and hopefully, convert them into buyers.
Want to ask us more about SEO for your print-on-demand store? Follow us on Twitter and learn more tips and tricks from us there!