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The Official Oracle Commerce Cloud Blog

The Fundamentals of SEO

SEO is one of those things that makes a lot of people in the
ecommerce business cringe. They’ve heard the term plenty and can throw it
around in meetings, but don’t know what it actually is because it’s
intimidating.

SEO is the science, better yet, the “art” of making the
content on your site align with what search engines believe people are
searching for. The essence of SEO is following a certain set of practices that
help search engines to determine that, “yes”, your site IS what people using
search engines want to find.

“Relevancy” is, Well,
Relevant

You have already been in the shoes of the users you are
trying to connect the content of your site to; sitting at a computer trying
different strings of search terms to find what you are looking for. Search
engines are now starting to employ artificial intelligence to deliver semantic
based search results that try to determine what users are actually looking for
when they type in vague search terms. Knowing what your consumers type in to
find businesses like yours that sell similar products, and the intent they have
for what they are typing in is exactly what this is all about.

Once you have a good handle on what consumers are thinking
when they are trying to find your products and what word(s) they use to
describe you and your products, in the context they use them in, the better
advantages you will have. As much as possible and where it makes sense, these
are the exact strings of words you should be using to describe your products on
your own site, and individually, these are the “keywords” you should be using.

The optimal approach is to use these relevant keywords in
all the places that describe your product:

  • In the URL for the page of that product
  • In the product title
  • In the product description
  • In the meta tags for that product page,
    which are specific pieces of information that help search engines know what
    this page is about

 This is more of the science part.

Content is King

Don’t be afraid to have rich descriptions of your products
(where it makes sense). As long as the content you are writing is relevant,
clear, and isn’t overwhelming to actual visitors. Search engines actually do
care that content is clear and valuable to users.

Create additional content pages that describe your company,
your philosophy, and what makes you stand apart from your competitors. Use
those “keywords” we talked about before for describing how your company meets
the values that your consumers are literally searching for.

This is more of the art part.

Cheaters Never Win

Forbidden SEO practices like “link spamming” and “keyword
stuffing” may give you a temporary boost, but search engines have become
extremely intelligent in the past 10 years and the odds of getting caught are
very high.

Avoid getting in to agreements with other sites to put their
link on your site if they put yours on theirs (link spamming). Don’t add a link
to your site on other sites that just are farms for links. Don’t force in
content and keywords (keyword stuffing) that make no sense and aren’t useful
for users, especially keywords that have nothing to do with the content of your
site.

If you do get caught you will go to SEO jail, which means
most search engines will penalize you and actually push you rankings down, WAY
down.

“Google It”

A long time ago Google was one of several companies
competing in the search engine space, but like Band-Aid and Jell-O, has become
synonymous with searching. “Google” is now a perfectly acceptable verb for the
act of performing a search engine search. In North America Google owns almost
70% of the search market on desktops and some figures point to around 90%
market share on mobile devices. Globally, there are very strong competitors in
certain Asian markets, but Google’s share of the global market still hovers
around 65-70%.

Google offers a ton of great information on optimizing your
site for search as well as information on what not to do:

https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/35769?hl=en&ref_topic=6002025

The moral of this story is don’t be afraid of SEO, it’s not
so bad.

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