The holidays are rapidly approaching, providing many print-on-demand sellers with their most lucrative season of the year. To make the most of this important period, it’s critical that sellers do everything within their power to distinguish themselves from the competition, both by enhancing their online visibility and by drawing as much traffic as possible to their Etsy or Shopify store.
One of the most important ways to address these goals is via an investment in search engine optimization, or SEO. In this post, we’ll consider a few of our most important tips for optimizing your print on demand store’s visibility.
SEO Tips for Print on Demand Sellers
Start with an audit.
Before you start making improvements to your SEO, it’s helpful to get a clear sense of where you stand. This helps you ensure that whatever improvements you make are carefully targeted.
Some steps to audit your SEO include:
- Check your site’s performance; does the site load pretty quickly, across all browser and device types?
- Does your internal search bar provide relevant, accurate URLs or product pages?
- Do you have plenty of good, compelling, and original content on each page of your e-commerce site?
- What about backlinks and citations from other websites? Have you engaged in building relationships and obtaining links?
Spend some time assessing these and similar categories as you try to size up your current SEO effectiveness.
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Create a bank of keywords.
Keywords are an essential part of SEO. Basically, you want to find keywords that correspond to the words or phrases consumers might use when seeking information that could lead them to your products. Keywords also help to categorize your content, both within Google and with the internal Etsy or Shopify search engines.
As you contemplate keywords, there are several specific types to consider. Examples include:
- Product-focused keywords (e.g., hoodie, tote bag, beach wear).
- Transactional keywords (e.g., buy hoodies, order tote bags).
- Long tail or descriptive keywords (e.g., best hoodies for fall, affordable canvas tote bag).
- Subcategory keywords (corresponding to the main product categories you offer, like home decor or apparel).
There are plenty of places you can turn to for insight into the kinds of keywords you should be focusing on, including Google AutoComplete or your current website analytics. Also just browsing your own content can be a helpful way to think in terms of product descriptions and categories.
Investigate competitor websites.
As you seek opportunities to enhance your own SEO, it may be helpful to spend some time sizing up the competition.
Browsing competitor websites can provide you with plenty if ideas, including:
- Some keywords you might want to try.
- Content ideas, whether that’s product descriptions or blog posts.
- Ideas for improving your site layout, user experience, or calls to action.
It’s important to note that everything you do on your site should be original; plagiarizing content will actually diminish your SEO. But you can certainly use competitor sites for more general inspiration.
Improve the architecture of your site.
When we talk about site architecture, we’re talking about the hierarchical structure you use to categorize pages. A good website architecture makes it easy and intuitive for users to find the content they’re looking for. Also, site architecture impacts the way in which search engines crawl and index your content, so there’s a direct SEO implication.
The best site architectures are simple and carefully organized. Ideally, a user should not have to click on more than three links to get to any particular product page. Take some time to analyze your architecture and streamline/reorganize as needed.
Overhaul your URLs.
One of the core assets of effective SEO is website URLs that are descriptive and specific.
Often, when you create a new website, different pages are automatically populated with random URLS. For example, you might have a URL that looks like gooten.com/products/1654AGH.
That’s not helpful to the user experience nor to the search engines. It’s far better to go back to your keyword bank to optimize each URL, coming up with something more like this: gooten/com/products/hoodies/gray-fleece-print-on-demand-hoodie.
Just be sure that whatever keywords you use accurately reflect the product being described.
Improve your meta data.
Along the same lines, you’ll want to include keywords and rich, relevant descriptions throughout your meta data.
Meta data includes both your meta title and your meta description. These are important fields for data entry, as they are used by the search engines to classify your content. And they provide search engine users with an idea as to the type of content they’re about to click on.
Don’t overlook these important areas for optimization.
Optimize each page.
There’s much you can do to optimize your on-site SEO efforts, ensuring that each page is positioned to enhance your visibility and to generate traffic. Some general guidelines for on-site SEO include:
- Ensure unique content on each page, including text that accurately and comprehensively answers potential search queries.
- Provide clear calls to action throughout the site.
- Use headings, subheadings, and bullet points to make each page easy to scan and to digest.
- Use target keywords throughout your content, including headings and subheadings, but try not to force them; everything should feel natural to read, not stiff or robotic.
Add internal links.
One final SEO tip for our print on demand partners: Add internal links throughout your site. This is a powerful way to boost your SEO, and there are a number of ways to do it. For example:
- Provide a “customers also bought” section on each product page.
- Make sure blog posts link to relevant product pages, and vice versa.
Get Ready for Print on Demand’s Peak Season
The bottom line for print on demand sellers: The busiest shopping season of the year is fast approaching, but there’s still plenty of time to get your website ready. Follow these tips for SEO success and reach out to Gooten to discuss further opportunities to enhance your print on demand store.
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Connect with Gooten
Do you run an Etsy shop? Are you looking for a reliable print-on-demand provider? Contact us today to get the ball rolling.