Many of your clients may think that merely having a website is enough to grow a flourishing online business. But you’ve been in the game long enough to know that Search Engine Optimization is an essential tool that needs to be factored in when planning and creating a website. Sure, building an online presence is easy when you use Wix (can I get an Amen?!), but a true pro will devote time and effort to create a game plan that will be the foundation for long-term growth. When you deal with the web on a daily basis, you know how crucial it is to develop an SEO strategy for your clients (even if they may not be aware themselves).
That being said, your clients and their sites may come in all shapes and sizes. And in the online world, employing a ‘one size fits all’ technique simply won’t work. Of course, the usual recommendations such as mobile optimization, working on your on-page and technical SEO will apply to each and every website. But taking those general elements aside, each website has different conversion goals and KPIs. So whether your client has an online store, a physical shop or an online portfolio, the SEO approach won’t be the same. In this article, we’ve categorized the main three optimization strategies you could run into when dealing with a client’s business, and detailed the SEO nuances for each one of them.
Goal: To drive traffic in order to increase online sales.
Who is it for: Clients that intend to sell items online through their online store.
The major differences:
It’s a known fact that the way visitors interact with a website has the power to impact its ranking. Imagine the path a person goes through to go from searching the web to buying online. Let’s say someone googles a certain product, for example ‘geometric golden ring.’ They get to the first page of results, enter a site and don’t click back (low bounce rate). They spend some time browsing through products and clicking through to more pages (time of page increases). They finally select an item, add it to their cart and make their purchase (pages per session increases + conversion goal accomplished). For each stage a searcher goes, positive signals are being ‘sent’ to the search engine. This is exactly why it’s so crucial that an online store is built to convert. This means that the path to the shopping cart and final ‘Thank You for Purchasing’ display screen should be an intuitive, logical and fun experience for the visitor.
It’s only natural that an eCommerce website has more than several pages. Which is a good thing. Simply by having more pages on your website, the opportunities to rank for one of those increases. More specifically, for an online store, each product can be seen as a different page, with its own dedicated SEO title and URL. The same goes for your category pages. In addition, you can think of different ways of slicing up your category products by product item, or by collection, to be able to increase the amount of pages.
Let’s face it. A product page isn’t exactly the place to go full-blown Ulysses in terms of content length. However, we do know how much search engines love text. Aside from having more material to crawl, it helps them understand context better so that they can efficiently pull up pages for a relevant search. This is why it’s important to go into detail about a store’s products. Don’t forget to add detailed descriptions for products and include key information, size guides, raw materials used, etc.
Key points for optimization:
Obviously a good SEO strategy starts with a thorough keyword research. Get your customer to give you a thorough list of their inventory, and search for the optimal keywords for the different products and categories. Once you have your keywords, map them out for each page on a simple excel sheet. For each page you want to target one main keyword, and use additional semantically related words within the content. This can appear in the textual content of the homepage, category page or product page as well as the SEO description.
Even before looking up a product online, the first thing someone interested in making a purchase tends to do, is to check the product reviews. This is why it’s a great idea to add them right onto the product page. In addition to increasing credibility for a business and its products, you’re providing another source of unique textual content for Google’s bots to feast their eyes upon.
Provide essential markup
Adding certain markups to an eCommerce website can help search engines understand the context of your pages (i.e. an online store versus a blog). In addition, it can help search engines display a richer snippet for product pages in search results. There are different types of schema markups, and most of them don’t even involve using Velo by Wix to implement. For Wix Stores, the markup is automatically added from the get-go. So nothing to worry about here.
Goal: To drive visitors in order to increase foot traffic or bookings.
Who is it for: Clients with a physical store or service provider in a specific location.
The major differences:
Location, location, location
Well, we had to bring it up: the location of the business plays a key part in the optimization process. When looking for a company or store in a specific location - a place to grab a bite, repair a bike or get a haircut - potential visitors (and customers) will turn first to trusty Google to find answers. And seeing as search engines are increasingly tailoring results based on the location of a searcher, it goes without saying that geo-targeted content will get a better position in the results. Not only will signing up to Google My Business come in handy here, but adding a business’ location to metadata and site content will also play a role in whether a searcher is able to find that Mom and Pop store ‘near me’.
Using external sites to get your site seen
Weirdly enough, a lot of local SEO tactics actually happen on other sites, rather than the actual website that is trying to get traffic. Online directories and social media channels will especially act as a spider web of links that direct to one main hub. All of these separate entities form one online identity for a business.
Publicizing your NAP
As opposed to an online store, for a local SEO project, there are certain pieces of information that simply cannot be omitted from the site you’re building. The most popular ones are: Name, Address and Phone number (NAP). While this may seem obvious to you, the key here is for these crucial deets to be consistent through all online portals your client has signed up to. Other information that can be especially useful to search engines and visitors can consist of: opening hours, Google map section of the website and, of course, directions to the physical place.
Key points for optimization:
One of the most known best practices for local SEO is adding the physical location of your clients’ businesses onto the different pages. This helps search engines associate a business’s activity with a geographical location. The homepage is the main focus, but you don’t need to stop there. You can add a business’s location to the metadata (SEO titles and descriptions). Just see how this site used an optimal format for SEO titles in their service page, gallery pages, contact page and more.
Online directories are your friends
Google My Business is a great place to start. But it doesn’t end there. Check out some free places to promote your site and online directories where you can create profiles and start building your online presence web. Don’t forget to keep all of your information consistent when signing up.
List your clients’ services
As we’ve mentioned, the more pages the merrier. When planning out a website there are many opportunities that can be seized with the addition of more pages and features. Nowadays, shoppers expect to get all the information possible before actually leaving the house and going to a nearby shop. Therefor, it’s wise to create pages for all of the products, and dedicated service pages that give detailed information about the offering. To take a service provider biz to the next level, the Wix Booking app makes it really easy for customers to book services straight from a website. This way, the client will get that conversion, before the foot traffic even comes in.
Portfolio website SEO
Goal: To drive traffic in order to increase enquiries.
Who is it for: Clients with small businesses, graphic designers, freelancers, etc. Yes, this one actually applies to your freelance website too.
The major differences:
Limited number of pages to work with
If you think about it, this style of website is meant to read like an online business card. But by now you know that’s not enough content to get found online. Here, the challenge will be to find a creative way to build unique pages for your portfolio website.
Prominent placement of the ‘Contact’ button
Since the main goal of this website is not as straightforward as making a purchase, or booking a service online, the path to conversion requires a bit more effort from the visitor’s perspective. In this regard, you want to make it as easy as possible for a person to get in touch. This would mean adding a contact button on multiple locations on the site (without overwhelming the visitor). Places such as the homepage are evident, but one can go even further and add a button to an ‘About me’ page, or even portfolio pages.
Key points for optimization:
Increase your page count
So how does one add more pages to a site? By creating more fresh content of course. As a freelancer, customers will mainly be interested in your past body of work. Therefore, you can start by adding a general page to present all of your past work, and several pages that will give a more in-depth explanation about each of your projects. Remember that your metadata needs to be unique for each page. As working with a freelancer is mainly about the interaction and service provided, visitors may also be looking to see client testimonials. These can appear in the forms of snippets on your Homepage or ‘About’ page, but you can also create a full-fledged testimonial page. And the last, but definitely not to be disregarded, component is adding a blog to a portfolio website. We’re not saying you should start writing articles for all of your clients, but you can suggest that they start a blog of their own as it can totally boost a portfolio site’s SEO.
Invest in the ‘Contact’ page
The ‘Contact’ page for a portfolio website is what we like to call ‘The Money Maker.’ This is where a visitor will land if they are interested in your services, so you want to make sure that this page is perfectly optimized. This not only means that it contains such crucial information as your phone number, social media links and physical address, but that it also includes a beautiful and intuitive contact form. Stunning, but definitely not boring. This place is great for adding a personal touch so that visitors can get a sense of the freelancer’s personality. This is exactly the type of relationship clients are looking for.