You know you need to rank well to be a successful online store. You’ve heard the term, search engine optimization (SEO), but did you know that there’s a difference between “search engine friendly” and SEO? SEO for ecommerce is especially important, but it is only one way to rank at the top of the search engine results. Being search engine friendly is also an important method for maintaining a strong digital marketing foundation.

SEO vs. Search Engine Friendly

SEO is something you do – you conduct and improve SEO for your site through things like link building, producing content, increasing domain authority, and so on. This can take time, which is something that, as a stakeholder in your business, is a very limited resource. Making your ecommerce site search engine friendly is different from SEO.

“Search Engine Friendly First”

In responsive web design, there’s a phrase commonly used: “Mobile first.” This means designing a website with “mobile first” in mind – building the website to meet the needs and requirements for mobile users first, rather than creating the site for desktop browsing and adapting that for mobile devices after-the-fact. Google even launched a mobile friendly algorithm update that favors websites that are “mobile friendly.” For this update, using responsive design isn’t enough. Google has specific criteria that sites must meet in order to be mobile friendly. SEO and search engine friendliness are similar to this.

For digital marketing, it’s important to build your website with a “search engine friendly first” type mentality. Meaning create content, design the user experience, and manage your website with being search engine friendly from the beginning. Creating your website to be search engine friendly from the get-go will save time, increase the likelihood of ranking faster, and make your life easier. It’s also much easier and faster to work with a site that was built with a strong foundation than it is to try to salvage a site that doesn’t follow best practices for ranking.

Ranking & Search Engine Friendliness

How users interact with your website can affect your ranking on Google. To be search engine friendly, it’s important to create your ecommerce site in a way that is easy for users to use, navigate, has distinct calls to action, and presents clear, concise information that can be consumed in a matter of seconds (people will spend under 10 seconds determining if your site is contains the info they need or not).

Think of it this way: Google’s goal is to be the #1 search engine. To achieve this, it must provide the most relevant, useful results and fulfill the user’s search query. If someone using Google does a search, clicks on a website, and then immediately leaves that site (this is called a “bounce”), Google can assume that the website was not what the user was looking for and rank the site lower. So metrics like click through rate, time on site, and bounce rate do matter.

How to Build a Search Engine Friendly Website

So what are some things to keep in mind when making your ecommerce site search engine friendly? Check out this list of the top areas to address when building a search engine friendly online store – click the links for more detailed info on each of these aspects:

These are all key things to consider when building your search engine friendly ecommerce website. Ready to tackle SEO? Read up on some of the SEO basics for ecommerce store owners.

If you need a helping hand with making your online store search engine friendly, call Raleigh’s expert SEO digital marketing team at TheeDesign at 919-341-8901 or contact us online.