Running a retail store means wearing many different hats.

You have to know how to manage your employees, handle and track inventory, and work with different kinds of customers. Not to mention giving up all your weekends and holidays to take advantage of the retail rush times.

But, how are you supposed to maintain good sales all year, when it’s not shopping season?

Retail SEO can help.

This online tool is the missing piece your brick and mortar strategy is missing. If your shop is all-digital already, the need to use SEO can’t be stressed enough.

Here are eight benefits retail SEO strategies can give you this year.

1. Get the Picture

Your store is all about your products, no matter if you’re selling fashion or home goods.

Make sure you’re giving every item the chance to make a good first impression. Invest in a photographer that can take the right professional photos with online retail in mind.

This isn’t the same as editorial work or packaging for shrink sleeve labels.

No, the best pictures for retail SEO are clean-cut and straightforward. They are sharp, high-quality images. The product is usually front and center against a neutral backdrop.

Sometimes, you can add a mix of models wearing your clothes or shots of people using the technology you sell.

Don’t rely on this approach without some images of the picture in the spotlight, though.

2. Optimize Your Product Copy

Once you have all the images you want to upload to your retail site, you have to make them easier for search bots to find.

The best way to do this is with keyword-focused product copy.

Write descriptions of your items with industry terms and phrases in mind.

A professional SEO team can help you figure out which are the best words to use.

They go beyond the short, generic keywords like “fashion” or “garden tools” to find what users search the most. Such in-depth research leads you to the best long-tail keywords to use.

Long-tail keywords are specific. They make you more relevant to users who are looking to narrow down their search. Plus, these terms don’t have as much online competition as shorter statements do.

3. Edit Title Tags and Meta Descriptions

Speaking of using keywords to help users find you, don’t forget to use them beyond your product page.

Do a search for your retail website to see what the results come up as.

If the titles and their descriptions don’t have keywords in their copy, you’re missing an opportunity.

This is extra room to show search bots you are a good match for a user’s search. Such efforts also show the people on the other end of the screen that you have what they’re looking for.

4. Guide Your Customers

As technical as keyword research and optimizing can get, the main point is to help users help themselves. The right copy leads them to what they’re looking for with ease.

But, guiding your customers doesn’t stop there.

Use link building throughout your website to make navigation as seamless as possible.

This helps users find products related to what they’re looking for – which could end up in a bigger sale at checkout. It also encourages them to get to know you.

Links can guide someone from a product page to a contact or opt-in form. They are a way to introduce your “About Us” page or company initiatives, too.

If you have special sales or partnerships, link building is the extra exposure these topics need.

5. Use Social Media to Your Advantage

Users will often want to connect with you outside of your website.

Spread your retail SEO efforts to the world of social media. Use the same keyword approach mentioned above to write your captions and hashtags.

The message goes beyond writing, though.

Think of your brand values and personality and make these elements shine. Create posts that are consistent with each other, yet unique to your industry.

Don’t forget to manage everything once it’s posted!

Responding to likes, shares, and comments helps build engagement levels and brand loyalty. These turn into sales over time.

6. Start a Blog

Another way for consumers to get to know you is through a blog.

Blogging has many retail SEO benefits.

It’s a place where you can continue to plant keywords for search bots to find. It’s also an extra landing page you can link to, or use to link back to products.

No matter the SEO tools you incorporate, your blog is fresh content. It keeps you relevant in the search world as well as in the eyes of consumers.

This new material makes great content to share on social media or include in your email blasts.

7. Check Your Site Speed

Adding a blog might seem like another site detail to manage, but this is a good thing. It keeps you involved with your website on a regular basis to make sure everything is up to standard.

One crucial detail to check is how long it takes your site to load.

Site speed matters to Google and to users.

When you take too long, your ranking performance can suffer.

Then, once a user does find and click on you, a low loading time will likely end up in a page bounce. This means the user exited your product page (or other landing destination) before they even saw the whole thing.

Keep yourself from losing customers and fix your pages to load in two seconds or less.

8. Do Everything with Mobile in Mind

Whatever retail SEO strategy you choose to tackle first, make sure your site as a whole is mobile-friendly.

Why does this matter?

Because more than half of all online users will not recommend a business if its site has a poor mobile setup.

To ensure this doesn’t happen to you, use a responsive web design.

Responsive websites automatically adjust to different screen sizes. They ensure your pages load properly on a desktop, tablet, and smartphone.

Boost Your Retail SEO Efforts

With the right SEO tools, 2018 can be the year your sales go through the roof.

By the way, you don’t have to create a retail SEO strategy alone!

Contact us today to discover all the digital marketing options available for your retail business.