How to SEO Your Ecommerce Store Without Getting Penalized

The SEO industry has been ablaze with Google’s latest updates—Panda, Penguin, over-optimization—it’s been a whirlwind of change and most sites are experiencing the effects.

Did you escape unscathed? If so, you are lucky, but you are not out of the woods just yet. Google will continue to actively update its algorithm to weed out “questionable SEO tactics” and provide the highest quality content to its searchers.

So the bigger question is, “How do you SEO your website going forward?”

There isn’t one formula that will keep you out of Google jail. In fact, even webmasters who “follow” the rules are being de-indexed.

But there are some practices that can tip the scales in your favor. SEO is still alive and well, even though it has been under fire in recent months.

Here are some SEO techniques that will stand the test of time:

Videos

However you can please your customers, do it! We all know the value of content, but we forget that content entails more than just writing. It also involves webcasts, videos, podcasts, infographics and other methods of communication.

Product videos are the newest trend in Ecommerce. Not only does Google love them, but customers value them as well. These product videos give you another chance to rank and because many webmasters aren’t currently using them, you have an opportunity to “get in on the ground floor” and outrank other stores.

Blogging

Google has released many versions of the Freshness update. Basically, this update rewards fresh or new content, which is why blogging is touted as one of the most effective SEO strategies. Blogging allows Ecommerce owners to publish unique posts on a schedule and give Google tons of great content to rank.

Guest blogging is also another great SEO strategy because it helps to build links. Find related industry blogs and write a blog post with your link attached. Before contacting the blog owner, research the site for blog submission guidelines and be sure to follow them. Your content must be unique and valuable to the blog’s audience or it will not be approved, especially if the blog is highly competitive.

User generated content is another great strategy to increase the content on your website. Encourage reviews on your products and in email messages following purchases. Google loves reviews especially since they are coming from your customers.

Social Media

Social signals are a significant part of the Google algorithm. Facebook and Google + posts, and tweets are ranking in search engines regularly. If customers “like” your products and share and +1 your products, content, etc., Google will take more of a liking to you.

Make sure to add social buttons to your products and blog posts and give customers every opportunity to share the wealth on their social profiles. If you use Zen Cart, add social buttons to your site easily with our Social Networking modules.

Remember to always think in terms of value when implementing any new SEO strategy. If at any time you wonder if Google will approve of what you are doing, most likely, you are at risk of over optimizing your site. It’s not worth it. Stick to the strategies you know are effective and rinse and repeat.

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