How to promote a virtual store online

Almost every retail business owner will tell you how hard it is to get and retain customers over time, and in this respect, online competition is often even tougher: sometimes you are not only competing in a small store in the north that makes nationwide deliveries at market-breaking prices but also in international giants.

All this puts the person who builds a virtual store in a position where he must learn how the online market works and the organic SEO process in particular. While the general principles are not much different from the promotion of other sites, there are quite a few specific points of e-commerce sites that are important to emphasize. In addition, in terms of image, there are still quite a few things that can be done to make Israeli sites more attractive. So before you choose an SEO company or a freelancer, it would not hurt to familiarize yourself with the principles of online store promotion.

Badges, internal headlines and their importance to click percentage
According to Google itself, while the title tag is important for the site’s position in the results, the description tag does not directly affect the rankings. Even so, you can probably understand why a more appealing description will increase the click-through rates on your Google pages.

But what if you need to create tags for hundreds if not thousands of pages in a site? In this case you can create a fixed template according to the features of each product so that the text does not look like just text from a catalog. For example, if you sell TVs, you can already indicate in the Google description that the installation is free, that the warranty is the manufacturer’s warranty, etc. It is also a way to make the purchase more attractive for the surfers in the country when they feel that they are spoken to in Hebrew and there are those who will support them in case of a problem with the product.

Internal headlines
Apart from the two above tags which are tags that do not appear within the site, there are also internal headings from H1 to H6 that correspond to headings in software like Word and are intended to separate paragraphs on different topics or paragraph by paragraph. Is that the title H1 should be only one.

Here, too, it is better to write not only the name of the generic product, but also details such as the name of the manufacturer or special technology that the product uses. However, the inner title should not be longer than a line and a half and a maximum of two and preferably because it will not be exactly the same as the outer title tag.

Textual content and where exactly to place it
Although an e-commerce site is ultimately a site with a more visual than textual emphasis, Google still learns about each page primarily by its textual content.

In a virtual store it becomes a big site for two reasons:

  1. The description of many products is still taken from catalogs used by many other sites, and Google may rank low sites that do not have enough unique content.
  2. In many cases the text itself is pushed down under the gallery or its font is small, which is another point that Google refers to.

There is no single way to deal with this challenge, but there are definitely a few things you can try:

Write a unique description or personal recommendation for each product – try to think about why you would like to buy the product and how it serves the customer. In addition, if there is a very popular product or one that you use yourself at home or on display in the physical store, write a personal recommendation about it. Even if you already have products on the site, do so for all the new and most important products you have already added.

If you have no idea what to list, check Google for what people are looking for on the specific family of products or even on the overall category of the product.

  1. Arrange the page differently – on responsive sites you do not necessarily have to be marginal and today most computer screens (and also of tablets and mini-tablets) are wide. Therefore, in practice you have more space to write the product description.
  2. Add external content pages – this can be a new promotions page (which will also be distributed by email) or a buying guide on the blog. These pages link to other pages on the site and thus strengthen them. These are also pages that are easier to link to from the outside through articles on other sites and bring traffic from social networks.
  3. Give surfers their place – Surfers can also contribute to your content through personal recommendations. Create a link to a simple form that will be sent by email after you have received confirmation that the item has been received, so that it will be easy for the customer to write a review of the product. You can also create a general recommendations page about the site itself, then it’s even easier…

Pictures
Images and galleries mainly contribute to conversion rates, but they are also important for Google when you add tags that describe them in a few words. These tags are called ALT tags, and Google may display the images that carry them in the general search or image search (which there are quite a few who use it).

You do not necessarily have to tag the different versions of every product on the site, but it is advisable to tag at least one product in each series or category that will be the main product you want to display on Google.

Another thing: try to shrink the images as much as possible in terms of physical dimensions and in terms of file weight. There are tools that can do this in bulk (for a fee) and reduce some files even by more than 50%. This may be critical on mobile.

Mobile optimization
This may be the section that everyone is familiar with, but it is much more difficult to execute in practice. The reason is that a sales site is a relatively complex site with a lot of pages and relatively heavy elements like images and galleries. When you move such a site to mobile, the site becomes even heavier because the mobile browser reads sites in a slightly different way.

Here, too, there are a number of solutions. The first solution is to create a responsive website that loads only the parts that are critical to mobile and loads the smallest versions of each image. Another solution is to create a unique mobile site with its own address. The second solution may be faster to implement, but it is important to create it under a dynamic address, so for Google it is always the same address. Special formats like AMP may fit into parts like certain blogs and pages, but are relatively limited in terms of complex interactions (pay pages, etc.).