To start your Dropshipping business and develop it successfully, you need to learn SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and what impact it has. The purpose of SEO in Dropshipping is quite different from the brick-and-mortar stores that promote their websites or online stores that keep their own inventory. This guide will be useful both for beginners and those, who already have some experience with promoting their store but wants to improve its effectiveness. The guide encompasses various aspects of SEO, from attracting organic traffic to improving sales.
While exploring various aspects of SEO for eCommerce website, it is important to keep in mind, that this field has its specific challenges. For example, the recommendations can change quickly, as Google constantly updates its algorithms, which the search engine uses to rank content. This means, that to do SEO effectively, you need to stay on top and know the current state of the algorithm, to arrange content and keywords accordingly.
First, we discuss the basic SEO concepts and then concentrate on recommendations, which will help your store to achieve success.
SEO for Beginners
Before going deep, we need to talk about the basics of SEO. The acronym itself means Search Engine Optimization. It describes ways to make your website appear higher in a search engine, so more organic traffic will be directed to it. This means users find your website not via paid advertising, but through their own search. Making your website more visible in the search engine increases your sales even if you have a limited marketing budget and helps you to engage different dropshipping traffic sources. While the amount of dropshipping stores rises, you need to pay enough attention to SEO to attract more customers and win the competition.
SEO includes several interrelated practices, each of them having its own goal. One of the most important is using carefully selected keywords. But adding keywords to your content is not the only thing you need to do. Ideally, SEO demands finding a balance between keyword usage and other factors, including the structure of the website, content quality, and originality, and usage of social proof. You should also be able to quickly identify and correct site errors, which can lower the website in the ranking of the search engine.
First, you need to get familiar with the basic concepts of SEO. So, let’s begin our beginner SEO guide by familiarizing ourselves with these concepts.
How the search engine will rank your page, depends on several factors. Firstly, the more content you have on each page, the easier it will be for the engine to rank it. This makes 350-500 words on a relevant topic an optimal word count. Do not just fill your pages with generic text: they need to be focused on particular topics. Then enhance your texts with the necessary keywords and internal links.
At the same time, the text should remain natural, so it can be easily read by any person. While creating the text with search engine algorithms in mind, do not forget about your human readers. We do not recommend using expandable fields or other similar elements, that hide part of the text from the reader. Begin each text with a short and focused introduction, which will show the reader, that they need to read this. Pay attention to the page layout. For example, if you create product descriptions, be sure the description is situated under each product and has a quality illustration.
Here are five questions, that will help you to improve your content:
- Who will read this?
- What type of text is it?
- When will the text be used?
- How should your customer use it?
- Why will the text be useful for your customers?
- Moreover, use the texts on your website to highlight your competitive advantage.
Using H1 Tags for SEO in Dropshipping
H1 tag for the webpage is like a title for the book. Search engines use it to show the visitor, what your page will be about. For product pages, it is reasonable to use the product name in combination with such words as “Top”, “Best” or “Buy”. At the same time, beware of overusing keywords, as Google may penalize websites that use too much of them, counting them as spam.
Here is an example of a good H1 tag:
And here is a much worse one:
<h1>Our Gentlemanly Black Ties Are On Sale. Buy Black Ties Now From Your Black Ties Store</h1>
Another important element of SEO dropshipping is title tags. People see them in link descriptions when they open the search results. The title tags should answer two characteristics: less than 55 characters long and relevant to your topic and keywords. They should be formulated in a way, which will make customers want to click on them.
If a user adds your page to bookmarks in their browser, the title tag will be shown in the bookmark name by default. And if you hover a cursor on a “backward” button in the top left corner of your browser, you will see the title tag of the previous page. In a similar way, title tags are shown in browser history. This means, that in any case, you need to put some effort into making title tags as user-friendly, descriptive, and clear, as you can.
One more part of SEO optimization is working with link keywords. For the beginner, it can be difficult to find a balance, as the newbies tend to overstuff their content with keywords and internal links. As a result, the text starts to sound unnatural, and the risk to be penalized by the algorithm increases. To avoid this, it is necessary to understand, how to use various elements of SEO in a balanced way.
You should also note, that SEO is oriented on the long-term effects. This means, that it cannot be learned in one day, and the result cannot be gotten in a moment too. There is a long way, that requires commitment and continuous learning to support the high positions of your website in the ranking.
The information about the basics of SEO, that you will find in the article, will help you to build a solid base for attracting organic traffic to your website. You will also need constant practice to use the acquired knowledge efficiently.
Below the title tag, there is one more important element – the meta description of the search results. It should contain text between 120 and 155 characters and be relevant for potential visitors. This fragment of text should give information, why it will be beneficial for the user to click the link and follow through to the website.
If you use SEO for dropshipping, you should create meta description tags, that will make users click through. Add some product information, mention discount, low price, additional benefits, etc. To get a better idea of what the meta description should look like, Google for pages of your competitors and read the descriptions of top-ranked pages. Then invent your own texts, that will outrank them!
It is impossible to imagine successful SEO without internal links. These are links that point to other pages of your website. Do not mistake them for external links. The latter ones point to other places on the internet, and you do not need this: your visitor should stay on your website. Often internal links are accompanied by the “do follow” HTML tag. It tells search engine crawlers to follow through linked pages and explore them as well, so their ranking power is increased. Moreover, internal links are useful for customers, as they give them an opportunity to explore more pages on your site.
In the context of SEO for dropshipping, internal links show search engines, which pages will be ranked for certain keywords. Moreover, they make the ranking more effective.
On the other hand, if there are too many internal links on the page, the authority of each link decreases. For two links, each will have the authority of 50%, and for 4 links – just 25% for each. In addition, links that are placed higher have more authority as well.
As you see, internal links will help you to increase the ranking potential of your website and make it more convenient for the visitor. But do not overuse them to avoid low authority links.
Backlinks in SEO
Backlinking plays a vital role in doing SEO for dropshipping. It helps to drive traffic to your site. Backlinks are links, that point to your site, directing potential buyers there. But be careful: if you buy backlinks on non-relevant resources, search engine algorithms are often penalizing such websites.
- There are different types of backlinks, depending on how they are used. Here are some examples:
- No follow. They do not pass authority to your website, and search engine crawlers do not follow them.
- Do follow. They pass authority to your website, which makes them good for your ranking.
- Unnatural. Links within sponsored websites and posts, where ranking does not occur naturally.
- Natural. Links, that are generated from your name, brand name, or their combination.
- If your backlinks are overusing keywords or are unnatural, that may cause penalties. Put quality above quantity to avoid this risk.
External Links in SEO
External links can be used in SEO for dropshipping similarly to previously described link types. External links take visitors to other sites. As an owner of a dropshipping business, you can use external links in your blog posts, for example, to give readers some references. Read Google instructions on the difference between follow vs. no follow links to decide, which is better for your case. Use external links, only if they add some value to your readers. Ensure, that the page you are linking to has valuable information and is not some temporary website.
It is not recommended to place external links on the shopping page or product pages, as it can distract your visitors making them live your store without making a purchase.
Canonical links in SEO
The links of this type are used to point search engines to the pages that should be indexed. For example, if you have a website of 5 pages with the same images or even products, you can use canonical links to point, out which of these pages should be indexed for search results. In this case, you do not want all 5 identical pages to be indexed, as it will cause issues with duplicate content.
Sitemap and More Dropshipping SEO Tricks
It is vitally important to know, how to develop an optimized sitemap for your site. In a nutshell, a sitemap is a listing of all the webpages, that should be recognized by the search engine, from categories to single product pages. There are various ways of creating a sitemap, for example, using XML feeds. Ensure, that no 301 or 404 redirect pages have slipped into your sitemap.
The Role of Pagination for SEO
If you need to represent a series of web pages on your website, you may need to use pagination. For example, take a typical product category page. If there are many products represented on it, you will have to split them into several pages. Canonical links can come in handy here. Note, that, Google now allows the use of rel prev and rel next in paginated series to guide it through a series of pages without sanctioning the website.
Schema SEO Guidelines
Schema is a document compiled by all the major search engines together. There are a lot of useful examples there, that shows, how to make search engines recognize your page, and what code to use in which case.
By using Schema markup, you help search engines to better understand the specifics of your website. Moreover, it shows, what users will find on a particular page. Many dropshippers still overlook using Schema, so you can use it to get an advantage over them and make your website more visible.
To effectively use SEO for dropshipping, you need to learn about data feeds. You must know, how to handle all the data that you get from your suppliers, such as product descriptions and photos. Avoid simply copying and pasting, as duplicating content leads to penalties. Recreate content instead and use original texts where possible.
Ideas and Tips
Now, when you know all the basic concepts, you can delve deeper and learn about some tips and tricks, that make SEO for dropshipping more effective and help you to apply this knowledge in practice.
Avoid duplicating content
If you rely on data feeds from your supplier entirely, this leads to duplicating content, and search engines do not like it. Moreover, if other dropshippers work with the same supplier and the same datafeed, your content will not differ from theirs. To avoid this, put more effort into creating original content, such as product descriptions. Use the concepts described above to achieve better SEO. This way, even if your shop uses the same data feed, as many others, it will gain a competitive advantage.
Power of Images
Enrich your product descriptions with quality illustrations. Create your own photos if possible. Original photos help you to stand out and differ from other merchants on the market. If you decide to take pictures from datafeed, at least rename them and add descriptions to them. Add image size (small, medium, or large) to the image name, so the search engine will show the right one.
Do Not Forget Alt Tags
An alt tag is a textual description of the image content. Many search engines use it to determine, what the image is about. Moreover, using alt tags makes your website more accessible. Here is an example of an alt tag: <img src=”image_url” alt=”insert_alt_tag_here”>.
Optimizing Image Titles
Do not forget about SEO optimization, while you are working with image titles. They should not be the same text, as an alt tag and image name. As usual, do not overuse keywords to avoid penalties from search engine algorithms.
Pay Attention to Product Descriptions
Here is another reminder to avoid duplicating content. If you do dropshipping, you get product information from your suppliers, but this does not mean, that you do not need to create an original description. Spend some effort to make them unique, and this will give you a significant competitive advantage. Carefully revise the descriptions to ensure, that they do not contain mistakes, give clear and full information about the product and directly point to the advantages of the product.
Regarding product specs, try to find a way to represent them uniquely as well. For example, rewrite the descriptions of product features, place them in a different order or change some wording.
Develop Your Knowledge
The market is the algorithms are continuously changing, and you need to keep up with these updates. To improve your understanding of using SEO, as well as other aspects of dropshipping, you can use one of the multiple online courses. Choose one, depending on what platform you plan to use. For example, there are platform-specific courses dedicated to oberlo SEO, or more general study programs, such as udemy dropshipping.
Do Not Do This
There are talks about many tips and tricks, that allegedly make your site grow in the ranking faster. But often this is wrong advice because they will get your site penalized. If it happened, you may need several years to return to the initial place in the ranking. Do not use the method listed below, known as black hat dropshipping, if you do not want your Dropshipping store to lose the position in the search ranking:
- Do not use tools to automatically post links to your website in various online communities.
- Do not use “do follow” links in the sponsored posts.
- Do not use link farms and link exchanges.
- Do not post comments consisting entirely of dropshipping keywords.
As you see, using SEO in dropshipping marketing strategy is not easy, but it is not rocket science. The information relayed above will help a beginner to successfully promote their website and grow their SEO skills. Be patient, and soon you will see the traffic on your website grow.
However, your SEO starts when you start building your site. An easily navigable dropshipping store with a clear structure tends to pick up SEO activities more than irresponsive sites. With Ali2Woo, you can create an unmatched dropshipping store that gives you room to exhaust your site’s full SEO potential.