Ecommerce SEO Kenya 🥇 How To Drive Organic Traffic in 2019 [In-Depth Guide]
An ultimate guide on driving more organic traffic to your ecommerce website in Kenya.
Table of Contents
Part I: Website architecture
Step 1: mapping keywords to pages
Step 2: incorporating keywords into the pages
Part II: A technical SEO checklist for eCommerce
The most popular choice: a responsive website
Implementing separate desktop and mobile websites
Use a Content Delivery Network
The anatomy of the hreﬂang attribute
Preferred amount of products per page
Having products in multiple categories.
Part III: Building authority, relevancy, and trust.
E-commerce SEO Kenya
– An Ultimate Guide To Drive Organic Traffic –
The eCommerce world has become a cutthroat arena for businesses. Most niches are overcrowded. Lots of eCommerce businesses ﬂounder and throw in the towel, and yet new business are constantly popping up.
In many industries PPC isn’t financially feasible anymore, so eCommerce business strongly rely on SEO instead. Everyone wants to reach #1 in Google rankings and will do whatever it takes to get there.
When you slip up, not only does it undo progress that it took weeks or even months to achieve, but while you’re scrambling to recover, your competitor is gaining profits that they’ll use against you. You cannot afford that.
This SEO for ecommerce Kenya e-book describes in layman’s terms what you need to do to get your SEO in order and outpace your competition in Kenya. Whether you’re starting up a new eCommerce business or steering one that’s up and running, the advice here will help you increase your ecommerce SEO success in Kenya.
It’s also platform agnostic, so whether you’re on Magento, WooCommerce, Shopify, or some other platform, the best practices explained in this e-book will always apply.
What’s the best part? You can get started by yourself, or together with your team. This eCommerce SEO Kenya e-book is made up of three parts that describe:
How to choose the right website architecture
A technical SEO checklist
How to build authority, relevancy, and trust
Get all three pillars right, and you’ll achieve SEO success. Ready? But first make sure you know about all the ecommerce seo mistakes you should avoid because those might interfere in your ecommerce success in long term.
Let’s dig in!
Part I – Website architecture
A website architecture describes what pages a website contains, how they relate to one another, and what keywords should be incorporated where.
This part is structured as follows:
Finding keywords that work for your business.
Including keywords in your website.
What pages you need, what content they’ll show, and how they fit together.
Before we get into website structure and the technical side of things, we first need to establish what keywords your target audience is using when searching for the products you offer.
Figuring out which keywords are actually used by your audience, and which ones are the most appealing to incorporate into your website, is called keyword research. These keywords fuel your entire SEO strategy, so it’s essential that this is done right.
In short, keyword research comes down to researching which keywords:
Are relevant for your target audience
Are actually searched for
Are realistic to rank for
Carry business value
We recommend that you build your keyword list via these steps and questions:
What keywords might your target audience use to find you?
Analyze current SEO visibility
What keywords are you already found for?
Analyze desired SEO visibility
What are the keywords that you are not yet found for, but you want to be found for?
Retrieve properties for these keywords and merge lists
How often do people seek these terms? How intense is the competition?
Expand the list further with long-tail keywords
What long-tail keywords can you add using the current list of keywords?
See this extensive guide to keyword research. Use its step-by-step instructions to build the list of keywords you want to target.
Again, and we can’t say this enough: the keyword list fuels every aspect of SEO.
You’ve got a list of appealing keywords that you want to rank for, so now what? In order to rank for these keywords, you need to have pages where you can incorporate them.
Once you’ve got those, first you need to map the keywords to pages, and second you need to define how to incorporate the keywords. You incorporate them into pages by including them in important HTML elements, body content, and links.
All this results in something we call the keyword strategy.
Step 1: mapping keywords to pages
Let’s take the keyword examples used in the Keyword Research article:
Example of a Keyword Research spreadsheet.
Create a new spreadsheet tab with the following columns:
Now we start the mapping process. Fill in the columns “URL” and “Keyword #1” and “Keyword #2”.
Soon you’ll see your website structure taking shape. And you’ll also see gaps in your keyword research list. For instance: you included the keyword “smart tv samsung”, but forgot to include the generic keyword “smart tv”.
Add it to your keyword research list, and then fill it into your keyword strategy spreadsheet. If you see that people are searching for combinations of one brand’s television types and sizes, they’re probably searching for similar keywords with the other brands too.
Step 2: incorporating keywords into the pages
To incorporate keywords into pages, include them in important HTML elements, the body content, and links.
HTML elements important for SEO
The most important HTML elements for technical SEO are:
Add columns for these HTML elements and define their contents in the spreadsheet.
Pro tip: use templates to generate the contents of the title, meta description, and headings. Make sure you can manually overwrite the generated contents. Good templates will get you 90% of the way, but the remaining 10% often needs manual adjustments.
On eCommerce websites, body content is often placed above and/or below the products. Body content gives search engines context: a better idea of what a page is about, as well as a clear signal that the page is unique and needs to be considered for indexing.
Without this context, search engines have trouble understanding what pages are relevant for what keywords.
Here’s an example of body content on A mazon’s Plasma TV page:
Amazon deliberately chose to place the body content below the products because they didn’t want that content to push the product images down the page.
They wanted the best of both worlds: to give their visitors the opportunity to dive into their products right away (good user experience) and offer search engines a clear context for this page (good SEO).
Add body content to all of the pages you want to rank for in search engines.
Be pragmatic and apply the 8 0/20 rule. Start by adding body content to your most important pages. Often these are the homepage, category pages, subcategory pages and your top product pages.
These high-impact pages will fuel 80% of your SEO progress. Now continue with the rest of the pages. Even though there’s more of them, they will only contribute to about 20% of your SEO progress.
Links play a vital role in SEO. Because navigational elements such as the main menu, footer menu, and breadcrumbs include links, these play a vital role too.
You’ll define these based on the next section, “Information Architecture”. What you need to keep in mind for now is:
Incorporate keywords into the link texts of the links in the Try to incorporate the exact keywords, but again don’t force them in. Choose readability over SEO.
Focus your navigation so it guides users to important, relevant Link from your homepage to the category pages. And from your category pages to your subcategory pages. Are some of the category pages related? Then link them to one another.
Optimizing your product images for search engines is a no-brainer for eCommerce websites. If done well, image optimization can drive solid traffic that converts.
Search engines evaluate the relevance of images for a given query based on image properties and the properties of the page an image is on, such as the important HTML elements, body content, and links.
Information Architecture is the art and science of designing a structure for presenting your website’s content. In a nutshell, it’s about defining what content will be presented and how it will be made accessible.
Information Architecture is essentially where User Experience meets Search Engine Optimization, and both visitors and search engines will benefit from a well-crafted design.
Common Information Architecture deliverables include:
Sitemaps, providing a visual representation of the sections and pages on your website and their hierarchy
Wireframes and mock-ups, providing a schematic blueprint with the layout of individual page templates, and
Content Inventories, commonly maintained in spreadsheets, for tracking the key pieces of information for the essential pages of the website (the purpose of the page, the title, a short description, its relation to other pages, )
While your situation may not call for all these deliverables in full fidelity, it is always important to think about the essentials.
The information architecture is the foundation of your eCommerce website, so you need to make sure it’s solid and allows for future expansion. The last thing you want is to paint yourself into a corner.
Keep these aspects in mind during your planning, and you have 90% of the best practices covered.
In your Keyword Strategy you’ve already thought about the role of your navigation from an SEO point of view. Now let’s fill in the blanks by looking at it from a user point of view.
Describe all of the pages you want to include in your navigation and add hierarchy to them.
When doing so, make sure to:
Keep related pages together (“siloing”)
Choose page labels that include important keywords and that make sense from a user’s point of view
Define the content for each of the following navigation types:
Define the different page templates you need. These needs may be based on specific product categories, or you may want to include specific landing pages. From an SEO perspective, every eCommerce website has these high-priority templates:
Regular text page
For each page, make a list of the following information:
Applicable page template
Relevant keywords (see Keyword Strategy)
Page title (see Keyword Strategy)
Meta description (see Keyword Strategy)
Headings (see Keyword Strategy)
Special links, such as product upselling or cross-selling
Link relations (for instance link rel=”canonical”, rel=”prev” and
Indexability guidelines: yes/no
For eCommerce websites in Kenya with a lot of products it doesn’t make sense to define the properties above for each individual product category and product page.
The goal here is to get you thinking deeply about the whole process, and along the way it’s likely you’ll come up with a template that applies to a lot of product categories and pages.
We recommend defining the properties above for at least your most important product category pages. When it comes to product pages, it’s a good idea to at least define them once per product category.
Choose your product names wisely. Ideally they are the same as or at least very similar to the queries users would use to find your products.
Part II – Technical SEO Checklist for eCommerce
Here you’ll be reading about the technical constraints your eCommerce platform has to abide by in order to achieve ecommerce SEO success in kenya.
All of these constraints help search engines easily find and understand your content as well as how it fits together.
SEO friendly URLs are URLs that work well for both visitors and search engines. URLs in general describe the location of a document or page for visitors and search engines. Well chosen URLs are vital to good SEO performance.
Let’s look at an example of a good and a bad URL: An example of a good URL:
An example of a bad URL:
A good URLs is short and communicates what people can expect on a page. When you’re defining URLs, be sure to:
Keep them as short as possible, yet readable
Include one or two important keywords
Separate words using hyphens
Avoid parameters as much as possible
Keep URLs consistent
An XML sitemap
An XML sitemap is a file consisting of all of the pages you want search engines to crawl and index. The file is structured using the XML standard, hence the name
It’s strongly recommended to implement an XML sitemap, especially on larger websites (500+ pages). It enables search engines to find your pages quickly and efficiently, speeding up the entire crawling and indexing process.
A website can have one or more XML sitemaps. In case your website has more, it’s recommended to use an XML sitemap index. This index contains all your XML sitemaps.
Whenever possible stick to the default location and filename for your XML sitemap (/sitemap.xml) and XML sitemap index (/sitemap_index.xml). This makes it the easiest for search engines to find them. To help them even more, reference your XML sitemap (index) from your robots.txt file.
Search engines are rewarding websites that provide great user experience more and more, and mobile-friendliness plays an important part in that.
In late-2015, the number of mobile searches on Google surpassed the number of desktop searches. And that number has continued to grow ever since.
Mobile-friendliness isn’t just important from an SEO point of view – if you want to
have a successful eCommerce website, appealing to mobile users is crucial.
The two most common ways to accommodate mobile visitors is through:
A responsive This means the website automatically adjusts to accommodate the user’s device.
A website dedicated and fully optimized to mobile Because it’s costly to maintain two websites, this approach is only worth it in cases where the majority of your traffic is from mobile users, and a responsive design would limit your ability to provide adequate service.
Regardless of how you cater to mobile users, it’s a good idea to run your website through Google’s m obile-friendly testing tool just to be sure everything is set up correctly.
The most popular choice: a responsive website
From an SEO standpoint, having a responsive website is usually your best option to serve mobile users. That way, each page only has one URL to promote.
You don’t have to worry about consolidating link and relevancy signals across the desktop and mobile versions of your pages, as you would with a separate desktop and mobile version.
Implementing separate desktop and mobile websites
If you do choose to go with two separate, dedicated websites, you want to make the relationship between the two clear, so that search engines point various devices’ users to the website dedicated to them.
On top of that, you don’t want any duplicate content issues, considering that both websites show the same information. To facilitate this, search engines use the rel=”alternate” media=”x” attribute. For simplicity let’s call it the mobile attribute from here on out.
The mobile attribute is part of the <link> tag and lets you define an alternative version of your page.
Don’t confuse the mobile attribute with the hreflang attribute, which is used for translated versions of your page.
Let’s look at an example that demonstrates how the mobile attribute works. Say your desktop website is running on https://website.com and your mobile website is running on https://m.website.com.
Use the mobile attribute to communicate a mobile version of a page.
On the desktop page
In the HTML of a desktop page, define the mobile version of that page:
This means that the mobile website should be served when the width of the user’s device is less than 640 pixels.
In the HTML of a mobile page, define the desktop version of that page:
Having the canonical URL there prevents duplicate content.
Google also supports the the mobile attribute through XML sitemaps.
Mobile SEO: the rel=”alternate” mobile attribute
Google’s guide on having separate URLs for mobile
Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)
While we’re talking about mobile-friendliness, it’s important that we mention Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) as well. The vision behind the AMP project is to deliver a better user experience to mobile users through a mobile-first approach and fast-loading pages.
AMP aims to provide a better user experience to mobile users.
Offer users consistent content and functionality across platforms
Be sure to offer desktop and mobile users the same content and functionality. Google has announced that they’ll switch to a “mobile-first index” somewhere in 2018, meaning that your mobile website will be leading in the Google algorithm insteadof the desktop one.
For responsive or dedicated mobile websites that reduce how much content they’re showing their mobile users, this is bad news.
Google isn’t ready to switch to the mobile-first index just yet, but you want to get ready for when they do –and sooner rather than later.
What is AMP and how to use it?
Historically, eCommerce websites have used HTTPS for pages in the checkout process. On top of that, several years ago Google started pushing us all to adopt HTTPS site- wide.
But serving your entire website through HTTPS plays a minor role in Google’s algorithm, so while it may help a little, it’s not going to provide a significant competitive edge for SEO in Kenya.
A more important reason to adopt HTTPS is its improved security. To hammer this point home, all Google Chrome versions released after January 2017 show a warning in the address bar when websites containing form fields aren’t served over a secure connection.
This may scare off potential customers, so here’s another reason for you to have your eCommerce website running on HTTPS.
Studies have shown that fast-loading pages decrease bounce rates and raise conversion rates. In fact, Amazon found that their revenue increased by 1% for every 100ms decrease in load time.
On top of that page speed plays a role in the Google algorithm (although small), so having fast-loading pages is important enough to take into account.
Optimizing for page speed can be a bit of a technical endeavor, and there are hundreds of tiny things you can tweak to squeeze every millisecond out of your pages. But in practice, focusing on the following three best practices will usually get you 90% of the way there.
Use a Content Delivery Network
Traditionally a single webhost was responsible for hosting your website all by itself. This webhost was located somewhere on our planet, and whenever somebody visited your website from the other side of the globe, their connection had quite some ground to cover.
Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) have changed this. Instead of hosting your website in a single place, they distribute your content all around the world, and when somebody visits your website they connect to the endpoint (called an “edge”) that is closest to their location, so your website loads faster.
Furthermore CDNs are optimized to serve content fast by caching your pages. By serving a static copy of your pages, they significantly lower the subsequent load time.
What’s more, CDNs usually handle large traffic volumes much better than single webhosts do. This means that where a severe traffic peak may cause your single- hosted website to slow down or simply crash from overload, CDNs happily keep serving your content at these profitable moments.
Nowadays CDNs are both affordable and relatively easy to implement, so there’s hardly a reason not to use them.
Optimize your assets
These assets are needed to make sure your website looks and behaves as
it should, but if you don’t manage them properly, they can also hurt your page load times.
To keep your assets from slowing down your website, you need to optimize them:
Make sure the images you serve are optimized for the device that’s used to visit your It doesn’t make sense to serve a four-megapixel image to a mobile visitor.
Minify and compress your JS and CSS to optimize their size, further reducing load
Load your assets at the right A good example of this are the product photos on your category pages: you don’t need to load them immediately, slowing down the rendering of your pages.
Instead, load and display them once the rest of the page has been loaded, a technique called “lazy loading”. You can do the same with parts of your CSS and JS files: only immediately load what you absolutely need to display the page in the browser, then load the rest.
Use browser caching
Most pages on your website will rely on a shared set of assets, such as CSS stylesheets, JS code, and common images such as your website’s logo.
The problem is that browsers happily re-request any asset they encounter, meaning that when a visitor navigates from one page to another their browser reloads the logo, the CSS stylesheets, and the JS code. Such a waste!
To prevent this, your webserver can send a signal to the browser to keep a cached copy of the assets and re-use them in the future.
This is done by sending a cache header together with the asset, instructing the browser to re-use the asset until a certain expiry time.
The way to set this up differs from platform to platform, so make sure to ask your developer how to implement this on your specific website.
Structured data refers to applying markup to your pages so search engines understand it better. See it as describing your pages in a language search engines understand.
Google, for their part, is the king of understanding and using structured data.
Typically, describing your content is done through schema.org. Schema.org supports avariety of schemas, the most interesting ones for eCommerce websites being:
Product: to describe products
Reviews: to describe reviews
Corporate Contacts: to describe your organization
Breadcrumbs: to signal that you use breadcrumbs
Sitelinks Searchbox: to signal that you want to show a searchbox in Google’s results driven by your own website’s search engine
Price range shown:
Google’s documentation on structured data
If you have a multilingual eCommerce website, you need to make sure search engines know which part of the website to serve to which users. For Google and Yandex you can do this using the rel=”alternate” hreflang attribute.
For simplicity we’ll just call the rel=”alternate” hreflang attribute the hreflang attribute from here on out.
The hreflang attribute is part of the <link> tag and lets you define a translated version of your page. Make sure not to confuse the hreflang attribute with the rel=”alternate” media attribute, which is used to signal a mobile version of your pages.
The hreflang attribute supports both language targeting and a combination of languages and regions.
The hreﬂang attribute can be defined using:
HTML link elements in the <head>-section
An XML sitemap
If you’re unable to implement the hreflang attribute, you can define your targeting preferences using G oogle Search Console and B ing Webmaster Tools.
If you are able to set up hreﬂang, be sure your preferences in Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools don’t conﬂict.
The anatomy of the hreﬂang attribute
The hreflang attribute consists of two parts:
audience targeting: the definition of the language or a combination of language and geographical location
What URL to show to your target audience
When defining the hreﬂang attribute, you reference each translated version of the page using the hreflang attribute.
You can define a fallback page if no page is available for the audience you’re targeting. This is done using the x-default value.
Let’s look at an example:
The hreﬂang attribute signals translated versions of a page.
Here’s a more advanced example with targeting for a combination of languages and geographic locations.
Let’s say your website is available in German and you’re targeting Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Let’s also assume your German version of the website targeting Germany will be served as your fallback.
Make sure your hreﬂang definitions are bidirectional, meaning each reference should go both ways.
For instance, when https:// example.de/ references https://www.example.de/au/, https:// www.example.de/at/ needs to reference https://www.example.de/ back.
Avoid conﬂicting Conﬂicting targeting could arise when you make mistakes in the references between pages. For instance, when https://www.example.de/ targets the German language using hreflang=”de-DE” and https://www.example.de/at/ references https://www.example.de/ for the English language using hreflang=”en”, there’s a conﬂict.
Define language and region combinations Always double check if the combination is correct, and that you used them in the right order (language-region).
Always set the hreflang=”x-default”
Make sure to use the canonical URL together with the hreflang Together they clearly communicate to search engines the relationships within your website.
Only include URLs in the hreflang attribute that have a self-referencing canonical URL.
Use absolute URLs when defining the hreflang Absolute URLs are less prone to misinterpretation by search engines than relative URLs.
Pro tip: multilingual websites aren’t just about content—the goal here is to provide a complete localized user experience, including cultural references and currencies.
Google’s guide on using hreﬂang
Duplicate content is content that adds little to no value for your visitor. Duplicate content comes in many forms:
Pages that have no body content
Pages that have little body content, say 50 words or less
Pages that have identical content
Pages that have nearly identical content
Having duplicate content is confusing for search engines.
If pages aren’t significantly different from one another, search engines may choose to rank these pages poorly or even ignore them completely. You’ll end up competing with your own pages.
Having a lot of duplicate content is also a signal to search engines that your site isn’t in good shape, and it may limit your SEO success.
Preferred number of products per page
Having products in multiple categories
Fortunately, there are good countermeasures for duplicate content at your disposal.
Product filters enable you to drill down to a subset of products. From a user’s perspective this is great: define search criteria and quickly navigate to a desired product. Quick and easy.
eCommerce websites save filter criteria in the URL, making it easy to go back to a filter or share it with others. And this is where duplicate content comes in: you can generate a virtually unlimited number of different URLs with all of the filter criteria.
Unless you tell them not to, search engines will crawl these pages. You don’t want these pages showing up in the search results, but search engines could nonetheless end up spending their valuable crawling time on them.
For each domain, search engines have a so-called crawl budget – this is the amount of attention they can give your website. Ideally, you want them to be spending it on pages that you actually want to show up in the search engine result page.
We often see URLs like www.example.com/product-category/?filter=…
You can take away the confusion by making sure search engines never reach those filtered URLs – add a Disallow directive to your robots.txt file:
Faceted navigation enables you to drill down to a subset of the products in a category.
Take for instance the product category “Televisions”. Facets of this category may be subcategories like “LCD Televisions” and “Plasma Televisions”.
Faceted navigation best (and 5 of the worst) practices
Product categories with a lot of products are often paginated. For example a total of 300 products may be divided over 10 separate pages.
These pages are all very similar, the only difference being the products shown. For search engines this is basically the same content, only reshufﬂed. Search engines consider this thin content.
Thin content only confuses search engines, and so they often disregard it. To avoid this, you want to let search engines know that these 10 paginated pages are in fact a sequence of pages, related to one another.
Page 1 only has a next page. These are the relations that need to be defined in the source:
Page 2 has a link to the previous page, and to the next page:
Page 3 only has a link to the previous page, because it’s the last one in the sequence.
Local SEO Kenya 2019 – Tips & Checklist For Small Business
Preferred amount of products per page
Many eCommerce websites let users choose how many products are displayed on each page. Often you’ll see something like this:
Based on what a visitor chooses, the website generates three new URLs:
So now there are three other versions of the original page
This is considered duplicate content, and so it can cause problems. Search engines will find all four of the pages and be confused about which page to serve.
Sorting is a popular feature on product category pages. For example, it can let a user see your highest-rated sneakers first. Your users will appreciate it, but if implemented poorly, it can lead to confused search engines.
www.example.com/product-category/ – regular overview of products
www.example.com/product-category/?sort=priceHigh – overview of products sorted by price, from high to low.
www.example.com/product-category/?sort=priceLow – overview of products sorted by price, from low to high.
These three URLs show the same products, just in a different order. This leads to duplicate content and should therefore be dealt with appropriately.
Products such as clothing are often available in multiple sizes and colors. One shoe model may have 32 variants (8 sizes x 4 colours each). We call these product variant pages.
Often these product variant pages don’t contain enough unique body content and only the photos are different, so for search engines these products are very similar.
This means yet more duplicate content.
example.com/category/product/ – main product page
example.com/category/product/variant-s/ – product in size S
example.com/category/product/variant-m/ – product in size M
example.com/category/product/variant-l/ – product in size L
Use the canonical URL to communicate the URL version search engines should index.
Having products in multiple categories
In eCommerce, it’s also quite common to have products that fall under multiple categories.
Take car batteries, for example. Your batteries are categorized based on voltage and amperage, as well as on what car models they work in. You can easily find yourself offering one specific battery through five different paths, meaning that for many such
eCommerce websites, each battery would have five URLs as well. The result? You guessed it – more duplicate content.
So for a product that’s available in five categories you might have the following URLs:
com/audi/battery/ – product with primary product category URL.
com/volkswagen/battery/ – product in different product category
com/voltage/12v/battery/ – product in voltage product category
com/amperage/8ah/battery/ – product in amperage product category
Considering that search engines have billions of pages to crawl, it makes sense that they need to prioritize. Combine that with the fact that the resources and capabilities of hosting platforms differ a lot per website, and together these two factors comprise your overall crawl budget.
Crawl budget is basically the amount of a search engine’s attention that your website deserves and can handle. Each website has an assigned crawl budget, and you need to spend this crawl budget wisely.
You want search engines to focus on pages you want to rank with. When your crawl budget is exhausted, search engines will stop crawling and return at a later stage.
Blowing your crawl budget on pages that search engines can’t index, or on pages you don’t want search engines to index, can drastically hinder your ecommerce SEO strategy.
Let’s say you have 30,000 pages that are accessible to search engines. On top of that, there are an additional 1,000 pages that deliver a 404 message and another 9,000 pages redirecting to other pages.
This leaves us with a grand total of 40,000 pages that search engines can find. On top of that, of those 40,000 pages, only 5,000 of them are indexable for search engines.
So what’s wrong with this picture? Only 12.5% (5,000/40,000) of your pages should show up in search engines. Theoretically, search engines could focus 87.5% of their attention on pages that you don’t want them to find in the first place. This is a lot of wasted crawl budget.
Part III – Building authority, relevancy and trust
The last part of this eCommerce SEO e-book is about how to do link building for eCommerce websites in Kenya.
Links play a vital role in SEO: the general
consensus is that they contribute by more than 50% to your SEO success. In the Part I: Website
architecture we cover the role of internal links. These are links within a website. When we’re
talking about link building we mean links from other websites, also called external links.
Link building is the part of SEO that most eCommerce websites struggle with the most, because it’s something they can’t fully control. And yet it doesn’t have to be hard! Like all aspects of SEO, it really just requires a good strategy and hard work.
Link building is the process of getting other websites to link to yours. All links are counted as votes for your websites, passing on authority, relevancy, and trust.
Authority plays a major role in SEO. There are three types of authority:
Domain Authority: takes into account all the links to a domain
Page Authority: only takes into account links to the page in question
Link Authority: is about the authority a link passes on from page A to page B
The higher the authority the better. For instance, receiving a link from a website like CNN.com is every SEOs dream.
A relevant link is a link to a page from a topically related page. For example, if you’re selling televisions, it’s great if you get a link from a blog post about the best televisions to watch Netﬂix on.
The relevancy of links inﬂuences the topic relevancy of your website, so relevant links play an important role in SEO.
Trust is how strongly search engines trust your domain. The most trust, the better. Trust is earned through age, by sticking to Google’s guidelines, and by getting links from trustworthy websites.
A good example of a trustworthy website is a newspaper site.
When you keep building trustworthy links in an ethical way, that has a great side effect: you’re aiming to serve your visitors well. Trust will follow naturally.
Building the right links
Links pass on authority, relevancy, and trust. Now what else should you be on the lookout for?
These are the other link properties that matter:
Link origin and link target
When we’re talking about link origin, we mean the page a link is placed on. Say you’re linking from your homepage to your “About us” page – then the link origin is the homepage. The link target is the “About us” page.
Ideally, the link origin and link target share the same topic. Having links to the homepage is great, because you can funnel the homepage’s authority through to other pages in your website.
If you want to rank with other pages than your homepage in competitive niches, having links to these pages is essential. Links to pages other than the homepage are called “deeplinks”.
The anchor text is the clickable part of the link, usually u nderlined and blue.
Ideally, the anchor text contains keywords you want your website to rank for. We call this “exact match anchor text”. Don’t overdo this though; having too many links with exact match anchor text may give off a signal to search engines that you’re trying to game the system and may result in a penalty.
It’s important the anchor text varies and looks natural.
The nofollow attribute is used to indicate that a link was paid for or that you don’t want to be associated with the websites you’re linking to.
The nofollow attribute was necessary because black-hat SEOs were spamming blogs with comments that included links, and it was paying off.
When a link has the nofollow attribute, only part of its link authority is passed to the link target. It’s normal for websites to have links with the nofollow attribute, so don’t obsess about it.
Besides, links carrying the nofollow attribute aren’t worthless.
Wikipedia links are nofollowed, but they still carry relevancy, trust, and some link authority.
A natural link profile
All of the links to your website together comprise what’s called the “link profile’ of your website. This is basically your website’s fingerprint when it comes to links.
It’s important your link profile is “natural”, and doesn’t stand out in a negative way.
But what’s natural and what’s not? That depends on the industry you’re in. In some industries it’s normal to have lots of links with exact match anchor text.
Before stepping up your link building game, it’s important to get a feel for what your competitive landscape looks like. That defines what you can and cannot do.
Analyze the link profiles of your top 10 competitors to get a feel for what’s considered “normal” in your industry.
Recommended Reading –
🥇 55 Best SEO Tools in Kenya 2019 [Absolutely Free]
🥇 SEO Glossary: ABC Of SEO Terms & Definitions 2019 [Infographic]
To get you started, here’s a list of 20 Practical & Expert SEO Link Building Tactics in 2019 that you can apply right away.
You’ve researched important keywords and incorporated them into your website so search engines will understand your pages. You’ve used the technical SEO checklist to make sure your eCommerce platform is in top shape and search engines can easily find your pages.
You’ve already written some new content pages and started building links to them.
So what comes next? Something very nice! You’ll see the results of your initial effort to implement your SEO strategy. If you’ve done things right, you’ll see keyword rankings for your website go up.
However 99% of the time you won’t yet be satisfied. And you’ll see that if you leave SEO unattended, your rankings will go down again.
You’ll realize that by implementing your ecommerce SEO strategy, you’ve only just begun your SEO adventures.
ecommerce SEO is continuous in nature. It needs your constant attention. But what does that really mean? Well, your ecommerce SEO process can be split up into:
Managing change: check whether your content and the technical foundation of your website are still in good And whether there are new developments you can benefit from, or threats you need to avert.
Improving: improve your existing
Expanding: write new content and grow your authority, trust, and relevancy by building
Managing change is hard because you can’t keep track of every page on your website all the time. That’s why it’s essential to automatically monitor your pages for changes and issues.
Only then you can rest assured that when something happens, you’ll know about it and be able to take action. Dimehub is a great asset here: put us to work, and we’ll continuously check your website for improvements and changes.
DIMEHUB, the best ecommerce marketing agency in Kenya, provides best ecommerce SEO consultation services from experienced professionals.
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