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E-commerce and the SEO Checklist

E-commerce web hosting is the modern day equivalent of building a better mousetrap. A well-run, well-maintained, secure e-commerce web presence is part of the key to a company’s success. The other part of the equation is attracting customers to your site.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a proven, effective tool to help build that mousetrap. SEO tools make your site more visible to the various search engines used by customers to look for products like yours. The SEO Checklist will increase the power of your Toronto e-commerce website. The following list borrows from just part of the much larger SEO Checklist.

• Keywords – These are words that appear in the content of your site. Brainstorm a list of words that you would search if looking for your product. Use the keywords often in the text of your site, but do not obviously overuse them, or the search engine will ignore them as spam.

• Research – Though not a tool in and of itself, research will tell you if you are on the correct path. Once you determine your keywords, run a search for each word or phrase to see if the content of the pages generated matches the content of your page. If not, try new keywords until you are confident that consumers searching
for your product will find your Toronto e-commerce website.

• Code to Text Ratio – Search engines calculate the percentage of text that appears on a page in order to determine whether or not that page is relevant to the requested search. A higher text ratio places a page higher in rank. Search engines prefer text to images, and prefer HTML to other formats.

• Titles – Title each page descriptively as this title will appear as the link when the search engine returns its results to the consumer. Keep your title interesting, keep it to the point of your site, and keep it brief – no more than five to eight words.

Do not use words such as “Title” or “Introduction” or “Main Page” as titles. SUCH WORDS ARE THE PLAGUE! Title each document on the site appropriately so that they will be searchable by keywords pertaining to the content of the site.

• Document Properties (Meta Tags) – Most programs automatically complete some of the information listed in the document’s properties. Manual completion of the fields results in greater document searchability. Fields may include subject matter, category, and keyphrases specific to your business and Toronto. While some search engines now ignore keyword meta tags, many use the description meta tag to elaborate on the title.

• Image Tags – Use “ALT IMAGE” tags to specify an alternate text for an image. This tag will be read as text (increasing your code to text ratio), and should contain your keywords.

• Linking – Link the pages within your site using keywords and phrases. Such links will increase the natural usage of the keywords on your site, and generate more interest in your site.

• Site Maps – Site maps were originally used to enable customers to navigate a site with ease. Now they also increase the crawl-ability of the website. The site map should be simple, in text format, use keywords, and link to every page within the site.

• Frames – This tool is actually a “don’t”. Do not use frames on your site if you can help it. The search engine may see the frame only and ignore any of the text contained within the frame.

While no list can completely guarantee a perfect mousetrap, using these simple SEO tips will increase a site’s ranking, generate interest, and guide customers to their end goal of buying your product. The most important tool of all, though, is “repeat”. Constantly test and re-test the site and don’t be afraid to make changes as needed to keep up with consumer trends and increased technology.

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