Getting more traffic is top of mind for any business owner, so the thought of mastering ecommerce SEO has probably crossed your mind once or twice. One good way to know what’s coming in the world of SEO is to keep your eyes peeled to industry news sites and specifically Google’s own blog. Though you can simply just add a tracking code to your web pages for website analytics tools to start measuring your web stats, Google Analytics (and products similar to it) have website plugins and add-ons that tremendously expand the reporting capabilities. To fully make the most of local SEO, you need to ensure that all of your content is pointing to your target areas.

You'll usually find you naturally optimize for important keywords

The type of content you use on a page also matters for indexing. For example, images are indexed differently from text. It is customary to ensure that meaningful images are assigned descriptive “ALT=” text and helpful captions. Image galleries can be challenging, especially when the image owners (often artists or photographers) are reluctant to publish high quality images or visible text on a page. Your site navigation should be present and easily identifiable. Visitors should be able to navigate your site with ease, and ideally, be able to get to any page on your site with no more than 3 clicks. This provides a quick and easy user experience and ensures visitors don’t have to spend an eternity trying to find what they’re looking for. You can make sure you have chosen the right SEO phrase to win in two steps. First, think about what you would search for to find that content. We use search every day, but sometimes don’t pull on our own experience when writing for SEO. Even if the phrase sounds a little too detailed or random, remember that it came from a real human (you) — so it’s probably winnable. Second, test your phrases in the Keyword Planner of Google AdWords to see how competitive they are to win. Once you find the perfect phrase that straddles those two steps, you have a winner. Websites that continuously pour their heart and soul into all facets of SEO will perform better than competitor websites that do not.

Overlapping and redundant articles

Duplicate content can appear on a website for different reasons. Sometimes the same content is accessible and indexed under different URLs. This makes it difficult for search engines to determine the best search result among the different URLs. The result is “cannibalization” in the rankings. The website cannot appear in top rankings since Google is unable to choose the best version. Ensure links to your website aren’t trying to manipulate rankings by using keyword-heavy phrases in anchor text. For sites “with just a few things to mark up,” Google also offers a tool within Search Console that allows a site owner to quickly click-and-drag to apply structured data. One of the basic tools of the trade for an SEO practitioner is the search engines themselves. They provide a rich array of commands that can be used to perform advanced research, diagnosis, and competitive analysis.

Anchor text links from a variety of different domains correlate with higher rankings in Google

When you link out to related domains, it not only helps the search engines to understand your niche, but also helps to increase the trust and quality of your site which plays a vital role in your blog’s SEO. As you gather intel on your website’s audience, the competition and commonly used keywords, it’s up to you to make informed decisions to determine which SEO strategies make sense for your business. Staying relevant is crucial to ensuring your website visitors are happy with what they find on your site — but don’t let staying relevant keep you from taking keyword risks and trying something the competition isn’t doing. Unlike traditional AB testing where metrics become available immediately, with an SEO change you need to wait before you can even begin your analysis. Google needs time to index the change. Then you need to accumulate at least 2 weeks of data. We asked an SEO Specialist, Gaz Hall, for his thoughts on the matter: "It’s vital to double-check spelling and grammar with a thorough spell-check AND proof-read from a fresh pair of eyes. Google will probably spot multiple glaring mistakes, but more importantly if you’re making multiple typos then visitors will trust your content less."

Don’t fall into the trap of writing for Google or any other search engine

You can find valuable data using Google Search Console (formerly called Webmaster Tools). ​This free service from Google gives website owners a wealth of information about their own sites (especially with Google Analytics set up, too). Study your niche (a.k.a. know your target audience!) and write specifically for the purpose of helping them. Think of new ideas to expand your content, or even to invest in evergreen content, and make sure you think like a reader, rather than a search engine. The proliferation of smartphones and tablets mean more and more consumers will be viewing your website on the much smaller screen of a mobile device. For a good user experience, make sure your website is mobile responsive, rendering correctly on a desktop, laptop, tablet and smartphone.