If you are starting an eCommerce business you might be wondering what SEO strategy you should prioritise to increase your ranking as soon as possible. 

Should you focus on on-page SEO or seek backlinks right away?

Well, the short answer is: Always begin with on-page optimisation.

But for the longer, more in-depth answer; you should continue reading.

Start With On-Page SEO

We know backlinks are very important and part of the ranking algorithm. However, you must have optimised content on the website so the search engines know what to rank your website for. If your on-page content is not optimised and you focus on backlinks then search engines will rank you for the wrong keywords and you won’t reach your target audience.

Here is a quick checklist of the things you should concentrate on for on-page optimisation before you devote time to link development.

1. Keyword Research and Website Themes

If you haven’t already, spend some time researching relevant keywords. SEMrush is a great software to help you identify low-competition keywords. Have specific keywords as well as more broad keywords, keeping in consideration the relevance to your business and target audience. Don’t forget about keyword mapping: It’s important to assign keywords to each page on your site to avoid content duplication and keyword cannibalisation.

Once you have completed your keyword research and mapping then it is time to begin optimising your on-page SEO.

SEMRUSH keyword research

SEMrush keyword magic tool

2. Optimise Your Pages

When you are optimising your pages remember that your aim of on-page SEO is to let search engines know what you want to rank for. While the meta description itself has a very little role in ranking it will tell Google what your page is about. Using software like All-in-one SEO (AIO SEO) can help simplify this process and improve your page’s optimisation score. It will remind you about H1 titles, alt text and all the other factors that affect on-page optimisation score. Alternatively, if you don’t wish to use software like AIO SEO, be sure to read the Complete Guide To On-Page SEO.

Hot tip: To find out if the search engine is already recognising your pages for pertinent queries, use Google Search Console.

You may view the inquiries for each page in Google Search Console’s Performance Report. When optimising the relevant page, pay attention to any of these inquiries that seem like promising keywords. You could add the keyword to the page title and/or H1 tag (s).

3. Add Visual Content

Using images, videos, and infographics do more than making your page visually interesting to visitors; it gives you opportunities to boost your ranking. If you don’t have many images yourself you can check out Pexels, Unsplash and FreePik. These three great websites have thousands of free stock images you can use to add visual content to your website. If you don’t use photos, you’re losing out on traffic and sales because more than 35% of consumers use Google’s visual search tool when they shop online. Additionally, photos provide you with the chance to include alt text, which is essential for outranking your competitor’s websites in search engine results.

Make sure to optimise your images for your website to avoid affecting the page load speed. Additionally, make your images shareable to provide an opportunity for back linking. After all, the more organic backlinks you can gather the more time you will have on your hands.

pexels image of website content

Visual content on website

Monitor and Adjust

One final note: After you have optimised your pages, always be on the lookout for opportunities to improve. Continue to analyse Google Search Console and SEMrush. Your competitors will try to out-rank you by optimising their pages, so you must do the same to stay on top.

Pro tip: Make monthly analyses and adjustments as needed. Google likes regularly updated pages. If Google knows your site is active it will rank you well.

SEO is not a one off activity, it needs to be continuous. The amount you invest in it though is an individual choice. You can find out more about this in our recent article on tips to boost SEO for small businesses.

If you find you don’t have time for search engine optimisation but need to invest in it then maybe it is time you look outside your organisation for support. Gerald and Rose thrives in helping small and medium-sized businesses through digital marketing services so you can focus on doing what you do best, running your business. Be sure to contact us or call us at 02 7906 8410 to arrange a free consultation.