eCommerce Tips

Websites thrive on search engine rankings. High rankings ensure that your website thrives on a steady stream of traffic, new visitors and unique hits. Low rankings are the equivalent of website limbo; your website languishes in the corners of the Internet

Optimizing your website for better search engine rankings is a combination of many different processes and one that takes time.


Asset Handling and Coding

Some best practices for optimizing your website for search engines happen where you cannot see them. These aspects are up to your web design and development team and are often the result of good coding and an intimate understanding of what makes search algorithms tick. In many cases this is hidden in your website's code and how your website handles assets like images. For example, CSS or Cascading Style Sheets are a favorite for Web 2.0 ecommerce site designs because search engines tag them as easier to "read".  Badly handled or written code can backfire on websites because search engines will "refuse" to put them on the Search Engine Results Page. 

This can mean, among other things, reducing the DNS lookup (the amount of time the domain name handling system takes to resolve your unique IP address when a search engine look it up), compressing assets like images or content, using alternate servers to host content and optimizing cache requests. All of these optimization factors result in a speedier website that search engines can "read" and judge faster. This means they return faster results for your website too. Your server and hosting choices can also matter, as some servers are flagged as originators of spam, or blacklisted on certain search engines.

The importance of good web design and code is never more pronounced than it is for this aspect of getting better rankings. Although it is really a delicate combination of different processes, your website's design and functionality play a huge role in search engine's recognizing your site.


Great Search Engine Optimization

One of the key aspects of web ranking is search engine optimization. Many professional web design teams work with their in-house content and SEO experts or outsource to SEO companies to maximize keyword density and other factors that result in high search results.

But SEO is not just about seeding your website with keywords your customers will most likely look for and anticipating their search terms. It is also about creating great content that "sticks" and keeps the customer busy once he or she gets to your website. Great SEO is the result of great content and it is not restricted to great articles or text. Your web design's SEO will also encompass images, captions and even your programming.


Natural Link Building

Search engine algorithms do not just focus on keyword density or how well your website matches up to the customer's search terms. It also measures the integrity of your website and how connected it is to the rest of the Internet.

Links, in search engine terms, confirm the validity of a site and can help decide how much traffic it receives in the future. A "good" website often has many QUALITY links leading to and from its pages. Bad sites do not -- they are orphaned from the rest of the Web and are often dismissed by search engines when it comes to returning natural results. Bad sites can have many links of dubious quality that only serve to harm their chance of ranking well and generating targeted traffic.

This does not mean you have to create 500 links for your website to be considered a valid result. Link farming is not a tool nor technique that is endresed by any search engine - so don't do it! Modern search engines recognize this and compute accordingly. Naturally deriving votes of confidence from your peers by way of writing QUALITY CONTENT will attract links from websites with similar content, blogs with similar themes or other legitimate related websites.

The three techniques mentioned above are tried and true ways to get better search engine results when you launch your ecommerce website. Think of it as the 3 C's: Code, Content and Connections. You need great code, excellent content and connections to be found for search engines to find you, regardless of what algorithm they use.

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