by Kyrill Poelmans | Feb 19, 2016
Just like the window is the calling card of a store, the homepage is the calling card of your Prestashop. Many people will eventually end up on that page when they land on your site. Whether they are sent there directly or get there after a few clicks, the homepage of your web shop determines the impression people get from you. But that’s not the only reason why the window of your web shop is important. Some people in the SEO world believe that optimising your online shop window can increase your visibility in Google. In this article we share with you what the general thoughts are about optimising your website for search engines and what tips you can use for your Prestashop.
Optimize your homepage for you prestashop
If you optimise all content on your website for Google, then it’s not a bad idea to do the same for your homepage. Why would you make all content on your Prestashop search engine friendly, but skip the most important page of your website? It’s the homepage that gets the most appreciation from Google. With this in mind, there are calls to also make your homepage SEO friendly. In general, your homepage contains your company name, but why not also include your most important keyword on the most important page of your website, that is the question. Won’t a photo shop also put much more than just its company name on the front window? It is often clear in one glance that cameras are being sold here. So why would you only mention the name of your business on the welcome page of your Prestashop, if it may not immediately reveal what you are selling?
Because of that reason, people often also decorate the front page of their website as a storefront. A collection of images should – for anyone who does not know – make it clear that Foka is a camera shop. But Google can’t really “read” and interpret images. In short, they do nothing for how well you are found on Google. They make your website look good for visitors, but they don’t bring new visitors to your site. Therefore it is important to accompany your photos with content. The advice of Prestashop in this regard is to, for example, create some kind of shop window which contains the products that you want to be found for in Google. If this is, for example, Nikon cameras, you will get a stronger position in Google if you include this in your front page. By doing this, you give extra power to your most important keyword. You become more relevant than competitors who also want to score with Nikon cameras, but haven’t mentioned the word on their front page. Because you mention it on your front page, Google can see that it’s important.
Continuity in your homepage
However, Prestashop warns that you should not change your front page too often. If you knock over the contents of your front page every time, then Google does not know what is important. If one week you highlight Nikon cameras and the next week Canon cameras, Google will not know what is important to you. You have to have some continuity in your homepage. So if you have an ever changing window, make sure that there are other elements on the front page of your website that do not change (so much). Prestashop recommends that you change the content on your main page no more than three to four times a year. According to Prestashop, optimising your front page is the ideal way to serve the needs of your visitors as well as the needs of Google. However, there are also calls that optimising the front page of your Prestashop is as useful as optimising your contact page. Some argue that it makes no sense to invest time in a piece of content on your front page that meets all the SEO writing rules, yet they also indicate that it wouldn’t do any harm. You can always try, with a little help from Textmetrics, to optimise the content on your front page.
Even the critics of optimising your front page say that there are indeed some SEO rules that also apply to your homepage. Because Google looks at your entire site to determine how relevant you are to be shown in search results, it is important that your website in general meets the SEO guidelines. For example, your front page should be fast, should be free from errors and should be a pleasant experience for your visitor. In short: the opinions on how far you should go with optimising the homepage of your website for search engines vary. One – like Prestashop – strongly supports it, while the other says that it has limited effect. However, it can’t hurt to apply certain SEO rules also on your homepage, because Google looks at your website as a whole. In addition, your front page is the most important page in Google, which means that you can give extra weight to important keyword pages this way. If your competitors don’t do this, then you can definitely stand out. So, make your homepage your best online storefront and try to keep both client and Google satisfied.
Would you like to know more, also read our othert articles about SEO for Prestashop, the importance of writing for SEO and linkbuilding.
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by Kyrill Poelmans | Feb 15, 2016
When did you last buy something online? Can you still remember how you ended up at that web shop? Via Google? Did you read an article somewhere about the online store? Did you see a picture of a blogger with a product that made you think: I must have that? Was it the experience of a friend that made you decide to buy something? Or have you bought items at that web shop before so that you know you can always buy product X with them? While optimising the content on your Prestashop is very important to reach potential customers, you should also ensure that you’re being talked about. If not a single piece of content on your Prestashop meets the SEO rules, it can still rank high in Google. Simply because other sites talk about your product. Google takes this into account when valuating your site. Searching for your potential customers through so-called link building does not only have a direct effect, because readers of an article click through to your site, but also an indirect effect because eventually you’ll rank better in Google. In this article you can read more about link building for your Prestashop.
During previous episodes of this series it has already become clear that appearing on the first page of Google results has a big impact. Besides the fact that it is important to keep adding good articles to your Prestashop, it is also important to invest time in link building. Link building is the process of increasing the number of mentions of your Prestashop by websites other than your own site. It is important that not only your name is mentioned, but also the possibility to click through to your Prestashop when clicking on your name. The classic form of link building is that you ask another site to mention your website and that you do the same vice versa. You can often see a little section somewhere called “sites that I like” with a list of websites. This technique is now somewhat outdated. Google gets smarter and can identify such tricks. The search engine appreciates quality articles. Initially, that may sound difficult, because how do you get other sites to write about your products? But ultimately this will benefit you in two ways. Not only will you rank higher in Google’s search results because the search engine can see that other sites are linking to you, but you also have the chance that the reader of such article becomes interested in your product after reading the article and ends up buying something. That is a much more reasonable chance than being tucked away somewhere in a list of “sites that I like.” With high-quality articles on external sites, you are working to increase your potential customer base in two places at once.
External links are therefore the best way to grow your Prestashop in Google. But where to find websites that want to write about you? You could start to find bloggers in your industry. They would perhaps be interested to test your product and write about it. In addition, it can be effective to send out a press release every now and then to various websites that write about your industry. That may also result in a referral to your Prestashop. There are so-called press lists. These are lists of journalists who have signed up to receive press releases (within a certain industry). This way you can reach out to a very large network of journalists at once so that you don’t have to search for e-mail addresses of journalists, websites or other channels. There are also several sites where you can publish your press release yourself. In this case you’re not dependant on any journalist, and you can put your text online yourself (including references to your Prestashop).
In addition to finding external websites willing to write about your Prestashop, it can also be effective to add social sharing buttons to your site. For example, if you have invested time in interesting articles, your readers may also want to share your information with their friends. They could obviously do so by copying the link from your website, but why not make it easier for them? This will not only benefit your potential customers, but also yourself. This way, your current customers can immediately bring you to the attention of new customers. By sharing your web shop, you are immediately being brought to the attention of a group of people who may have the same interests as your current customers. As you appear in their timelines on Facebook or Twitter, they are being invited to also have a look at your web shop. This is ultimately more effective than an advertisement because they will value the opinion of their friends. This way it could happen that someone, who had never thought of buying a selfie stick, may just change his mind after his friend shared your article about the ideal selfie.
The main trick is to be creative. For example, you could decide to interview bloggers in your industry. Big chance that they will eventually share that interview with their followers. Another way is to write guest articles on other web sites. Present yourself as an expert, write a nice article and in return you’ll often get a referral to your own Prestashop. You can also Google for the name of your web shop. There may already be websites that mention you, but without a clickable link. You can then ask if they might be willing to change this mention to a clickable link. Introduce a discount for a specific target audience. For example, if you hand out student or senior discounts, then chances are that a website with that specific target audience will pick this up and include you in the list of discounts. You could also inform such a website yourself about your (temporary) student special.
If you have optimised the articles on your website according to the rules of SEO, then link building is the next step. Make sure you give Google enough content to find and help the search engine to find you. Would you like to know more, also read read the first article about SEO for Prestashop and our second article on the importance of writing for SEO.
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by Kyrill Poelmans | Feb 12, 2016
One of the simplest and perhaps most important rules of SEO for Prestashop is that “if you want to be found by Google, you also have to give Google something to find.” Maybe you love a website with not too much content and just a bunch of photos, but Google does not get too excited by that. When you think about it, it actually makes perfect sense, because how will you be found based on “buy wake-up light” if your website does not have any articles about that topic? If you only have a Prestashop full of different models of wake-up lights, then it becomes a lot harder to appear at the top of the search results. You will therefore need to ensure that your website is a combination of pictures and content. In this article you will read everything about SEO writing for Prestashop. We will tell you how you can get to a list of good keywords, how a content plan can help you, and how you can make sure that your content complies with all the rules of Google.
Finding the right keywords
If you want to write SEO for your Prestashop, you need to start with determining which words and phrases are interesting for you. We call this keywords. Those are the words that people search for and that you want them to come to your website for. When you take the time to do this, you can probably already make a nice list. If you have a Prestashop selling leather bags, then it’s obvious that you immediately think of terms such as “leather bag”, but it can also be interesting to think a bit further. Perhaps people that are looking for “gifts for Father’s Day” could also be interested in your product. Just like people who search for “trouble getting up” or “morning sickness” are possibly interested in purchasing a wake-up light. That may sound like a small detour which it probably is, but, crazy enough, a detour online can sometimes be more effective than going straight to your goal. When you have a lot of competition online, it is more difficult to be found based on terms like “leather bag”, “buy wake-up light” or “web shop clothes.” Competition on such terms can be so fierce, that the result of your SEO writing for Prestashop is zero. But with a little detour, you can still achieve a profit.
But how do you discover these “out of the box” keywords. You can start by using Google yourself. When you type a search term into Google, you generally get a number of suggestions for alternative or additional terms. For example, “buy bag” is supplemented with “bag buy online”, “buy men’s bag” and “buy bag online cheap”. You can write these keywords down right away. Reading a number of articles related to your Prestashop product can also provide the necessary inspiration. You might just discover a synonym for your product. So it may just be that your target audience uses a different word than you had thought. A tool that can also give you a good insight into potential keywords is Google AdWords. If you give Google AdWords some of your keywords, it will come up with suggestions. You then discover a handful of keywords that you hadn’t yet thought of.
However, it is easier to make use of Textmetrics. This tool includes all the tools you can find online for writing an SEO article for Prestashop. The only difference is that you only have to log into one tool and you don’t need to have several websites open at the same time. For example, Textmetrics gives advice on the keyword that you want to use. You get some suggestions for other keywords and you also get to see how often each search term is searched for and how strong the competition is. The English word combination “leather bag” for instance is being searched for 2,900 times per month. In addition, you can see that the competition for this keyword is as high as it gets. That does not mean you can’t write an article on this subject, but the likelihood that you are going to be found is small. This while the search volume for “Christmas” is much higher (18,100 search requests per month) and the competition much lower. That means it is possibly much more interesting to go for this topic and to get people excited about purchasing a leather bag through the topic Christmas. You could think of a list of potential Christmas gifts with a leather bag being one of them.
Writing about a theme such as Christmas is something that fits in a content calendar. A content calendar tells you which articles you want to publish on certain dates. For example, you may decide that there are specific days in the year that you want to target with your products. If you have a web shop with everything you need for your dog, it’s a missed opportunity if you don’t publish an article around World Animal Day. The content calendar is also a way to decide what the most important article on your site is. The other articles on your site all support this one article. So they point to that one page with a link. That is one of the most important rules of SEO for Prestashop you should not forget. Google determines what your main page is based on the number of internal and external links that go to a page. If you have one page that is optimised to push visitors towards buying your product, it is therefore wise to make that page important in your content plan. You then determine that “buy bag” is your main article and that articles such as “buy leather bag”, “buy bag cheap”, “buy bag online” and “buy backpack” should all eventually have a link to that page. Ultimately you write one article about each keyword. Don’t use multiple keywords in one article and don’t write more articles around the same keyword, because Google then gets confused.
SEO for Prestashop
By creating a list of keywords and a content plan, you are not quite there yet. Google likes some articles better than others. That means that one article will more easily be found than the other article. This is because Google has a number of rules for writing an article. These rules change every now and then. So it can be quite complicated to keep track of that. When you log into Textmetrics – something that is free – you don’t just get an analysis of the keywords that you’ve found yourself, but you also get free writing assistance. This tells you, when writing your article, what you still need to improve on and how good your article is at that moment. On the right side of the screen you’ll see a score that indicates how well your article is optimised for Google. In addition, Textmetrics always keeps track of which rules have been changed by Google. This means that you can always write an article according to the latest rules of Google. In addition, you can check your old articles every now and then to see if they still meet the latest rules.
An important aspect when writing the articles for your Prestashop, is the content that describes your products. Never use the literal text of the manufacturer. These texts are also copied and pasted by numerous other web shops, therefore Google doesn’t see it as unique content and will not show it. By doing the descriptions of products yourself, you can make sure that your product descriptions are unique and you will not be penalised for duplicate content. This obviously applies to all content on your site. News, blog posts and other articles on your site must be unique. When Google discovers that they are already somewhere else, they will no longer be shown.
Textmetrics will help you with SEO writing for Prestashop. From keyword to content calendar to final article. It replaces all online tools and brings them together in one place. Something that will save you time when working on SEO optimisation of your Prestashop. Would you like to know more, also read read the first article about SEO for Prestashop.
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