SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation and covers:
- How do I get my website up to the top of the search engine results?
- What will be displayed as part of my search result listing?
The Automated Parts
Your website has a lot of SEO built into it including:
- Well Built HTML:
- Your content is laid out using HTML markup so that the title of the page uses a <h1> tag - and sub-titles use h2, h3, etc - which lets the search engines know that these are important key words for each page.
- Your graphic design is held in a separate css file called a stylesheet which separates the content of the page from it's design.
- Your graphic design is fully responsive which means that the same page is returned to mobile devices as desktop devices even though they look different - which search engines like.
- Your urls have the category titles and product titles in them.
- Your images have alt text for when you hover over them to tell the search engines what the image relates to.
- Robots.txt - A robots.txt file is a text file that stops web crawler software from crawling certain pages of your site. We automatically generate a /robots.txt file which is available at this extension once the site goes live. To change the content in this file, just send your robots.txt file to the Help Desk.
- Site Map - A sitemap contains a list of all pages of your website and provides Google and other search engines with information about the organisation of your site. Search engine web crawlers such as Googlebot can read this file and as a result they can crawl through your site more effectively. The static sitemap is html based and can be helpful to users when it comes to navigating the site. This is automatically generated and is available at this url:
- SiteMap.xml - An XML sitemap provides the search engines with all the pages that they can crawl. This is automatically generated and updates in real time and is available at this url:
- Canonical Tags - There are canonical tags on all pages telling the search engines to re-point any urls to the current url in case they have a different spelling - e.g. if a link is pointing to the a product title with an old product title in it, it will be told to re-point to the new product title.
- Breadcrumbs - On every page, there is a breadcrumb which is claimed to be good for SEO.
- Title and Meta Description Tags - The title and the meta description tags are automatically generated for each page so that the product displays better in search listings. More about the algorithm used and the options for changing it are detailed in a separate article called "SEO - How my website looks in search results".
What does an SEO agency do?
There are mixed feelings about SEO agencies - some clients feel that they did not get a return from their investment from using an SEO agency - and agencies are limited to what they can do through the eCommerce platform. However, it is worth trying out an agency for a short period and then deciding whether they are worth continuing with or instead keeping SEO in-house. By using an agency for even a short period, you will learn how they think, the reports they use and the tasks that they do each day to make your website easier for search engines to find and rank.
Note also that SEO agencies need to work within the functionality provided by the platform (covered under "The Automated Parts" above and "The Manual Parts" below).
Just do what you do and do it well
One recommendation for SEO is for you just to do what you do in your space - and do it well - and the search engines will naturally rank you higher automatically. For example, write blogs that you think are important (and people will naturally come and read them out of interest) and don't write blogs just for the goal of getting ranked higher in search engines (as search engines have algorithms to work out if you are just flooding the internet with unnecessary content).
The Manual Parts
As well as the automated tools above, the following features are available to you:
- Blogs - You can create your own blog - see the article "Blogs - How to set up your own Blog using WordPress".
- 301 Redirects on Old urls - You can map old urls to new urls - see the article "SEO - Setting up 301 Redirects".