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SEO: the basics of referencing

  • SEO Expert
  • SEO performance
  • Sitemap Xml pro:
  • SEO Internal Linking:

What is SEO?

There is a difference between referencing and positioning:

  • Referencing means having your website show up in search engines, which will not necessarily be the case by default.
  • Positioning consists of optimizing your website so that it shows up in the first pages of search results when a web user enters a keyword.

There are two kinds of referencing: natural referencing and paid positioning.
Natural referencing is the use of techniques to be referenced and well positioned in searches, whereas paid referencing or buying keywords is a question of budget to be well placed in search engine results, for instance with Google Adwords, which is the most popular search-engine keyword purchasing system.

How can I make sure I'm well positioned in search engines?

Google has always aimed to be the search engine that best meets Internet users' expectations when searching.

PrestaShop has two tools to make it easier for you to put 100% SEO product pages on line:

  • SEO Expert automatically generates customized content for all the important fields of your store:
    • Meta title tag: this tag corresponds to the product's title that will appear at the top of each page and on all search engines. The words in it and their order are indispensable.
    • Meta description tag: this field contains the description of each page, which will show up in all search engines. This will guide Internet users and encourage them to click on your website.
    • Meta keyword tag: frequently used by search engines like Yahoo and Bing, these keywords are taken into account to give results that are relevant to the search.
  • SEO performance automatically deletes IDs from URLs that PrestaShop creates by default on your product, category and CMS. It creates shorter and more dynamic definitive redirects for your new URLs to optimize your site's referencing.

Two more tools to help you improve your positioning:

  • Sitemap Xml pro: This easy-to- use module creates a sitemap that you can configure as you like. A sitemap is necessary for all search engines (Google, Yandex, Mail, Yahoo, Bing and Rambler) to optimize the indexing of your site.
  • SEO Internal Linking: This module creates internal linkages. Internal linkage consists of creating links between the pages of your store by using keywords on which you want to have the best positioning on Google.

SEO: Optimize my content

  • How do I get quality content?
  • Local SEO: if your target could come and see you!

How do I get quality content?

Keywords are defined according to your business sector and products.
Quality content for Google is based on the relevance of the content displayed on your pages:

  • the "title" must correspond to the content of the page
  • URL rewriting must contain relevant keywords
  • pictures must contain "alt" tags with text that pertains to your content This will enable the Google robot to analyze your page more efficiently... and therefore to position you more effectively! The "image alt tag" developed by PrestaShop will guide you through this step.

To choose your keywords, put yourself in the consumer's shoes: What will they first of all search for to find this product? Which keywords will they enter in Google? Always make sure you can answer the questions of your potential customers, and even anticipate them.
Keywords are essential, but Google today goes even further, and looks for enhanced content.
This can for instance be obtained with videos, which have a higher click right (CTR) than text content. Remember to download the YouTube module developed by PrestaShop, a fast and easy way to add videos to your product specifications.

All of these "good" points can improve your chances to be better positioned on a keyword compared to your competitor who did not do the same.

Local SEO: if your target could come and see you!

For physical stores, Google My Business is an excellent idea.

The aim is to increase the visibility of companies that receive customers on their premises. A big challenge for e-sellers.

Google My Business results will have a prominent place on the search result page, with organic links lower down on the page.
The results will depend on the actual place where the search is done, meaning that Google adapts the results according to geographic position.

New trends worth noting

  • HTTPS: to be or not to be? That is no longer the question in 2017...
  • Mobile First: think mobile!
  • Answer Box... How do I adapt to it?

HTTPS: to be or not to be? That is no longer the question in 2017...

Google has been announcing since September 2016 that all websites that are not HTTP-secure will have to do something about it, since browsers, in particular Chrome and Firefox, will display a warning in the line of: "This website is not secure" together with a red warning triangle.
The warning in itself will not impact the SEO, it will just be a warning. However, people who are not in the business and who therefore do not know exactly what it means, might panic when they see it and avoid your website in order not to take unnecessary risks.

Mobile First: think mobile!

In 2017, having a Responsive Design site (that adjusts to tablets and cell phones) is no longer enough. Google wants websites that are really designed for mobile use – with content dedicated to mobiles and segmented for the browser tool. So in addition to your "old-style" responsiveness, you will have to think "mobile", and not just in appearance!

Answer Box... How do I adapt to it?

Google's Answer Box is a direct answer that is visible on the Google search result page in answer to a question asked by the Internet user. A small box at the top of the Google page, displayed in position 0, generally answering a question like "why", "how" or "what is...", which is 30% of the searches that pertain to Google's Answer Box, according to OnCrawl.

Featured Snippets that show up in the Google Answer Box are optimized extracts from a web page that Google puts in its special answer box to give Internet users an extract from an external website that best matches their question.

Featured Snippets format:

  • Paragraphs with 63% answers. A few lines from the website placed in position 0, usually with a definition. The aim is to give a fast answer to the Internet user's question.
  • Dotted/numbered lists with 19% answers. Most of the time Google answers questions by showing a few steps to follow in order to get an answer to a question. A bit like an online tutorial.
  • Tables/columns with 16% answers. Here Google compares two (or more) items, using columns in a table or graphics for layout.

Summary:

  1. Write a good-quality article of at least 2,000 words.
  2. Use a rich semantic field with synonyms and different ways of saying something.
  3. Use the interrogatory form: ask questions in the article.
  4. Structure your article, and write according to a coherent, optimized document plan.
  5. Use key expressions in hot zones (URL, alt attribute, title, strong).
  6. Position the page in the top 5 using the main key expression.
  7. Structure your page with microdata and HTML 5 tags.
  8. Work on awareness of the article and user commitment.