A friend of mine built an online store several months back and didn’t take SEO into consideration for even a second. He, being an avid online shopper, instead spent his time tweaking the “user friendliness” of his store so that the shopping experience was seamless and fast.
Today, without trying and without paying, he ranks higher than the competition for many key terms and his conversion rate is very very high. Using Clicky stats he determined that his drop off rate through the checkout process is extremely low and his cart abandonment is near nil.
He didn’t even build one backlink. It’s probably just the in-built “pinging” that set the ball in motion. Nothing was even shared to social sites before the traffic rolled in.
He ranks well for country based keywords (Canada) but still gets some traffic for the U.S. as well. He didn’t add his site, or sitemap (don’t think he has one) to Google Webmaster Tools either. Therefore he did not set his preferred geographic location. Google just figured it all out.
Start With a Great Product and it Will Sell Itself
I can’t disclose his niche because I don’t have his permission but I will tell you a few things about his products. First off, it’s the type of product where “buying keywords” don’t even require the word “buy” in front of them. There is really no “research phase” as people already know what the product is.
It’s a sub-niche (accessories) of a major niche (pets). He works with a drop shipper who just bills him at the end of each month for products shipped, so he gets paid FIRST direct into his PayPal account. His markup is 100% but of course he loses a little in PayPal fees. He currently also has to manually enter orders as no API is setup. This “business” is really geared towards offline stores so an API never made sense. He is the first “online only” store and was actually initially advised to not waste his time. The supplier is eating their words now I’m sure as they see the sales pour in.
Use the Right Tools and SEO is Built In
His store is built with WordPress and WooCommerce with a WooTheme. Enough said right? It’s pretty near perfect for SEO in many ways.
Being a product site, WooCommerce included many of the “behind the scenes” codes as well. It implements the majority of the Schema.org microdata by default, even making it validate for Pinterest Rich Pins out of the box. There is no default support for Open Graphs or OEmbed however, which are other ways to control the data used in content shares on social sites and search engines.
OK, that’s it for now. Stay tuned as I provide a deeper look into the site and how he set everything up keeping the customer’s experience as his top priority. “Clean layout” and “seamless experience” are phrases he uses ad nauseum. Find out how he brings that to fruition and how all the other stuff just falls in place on its own.