The Roadmap to SERP Dominance

by Jeremy Tang
PROGRAMMATIC SEO SEO

This article presents a novel strategy for achieving top rankings in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), with a focus on enhancing the user experience, improving page speed, and ensuring content relevance. It delves into how a scalable SEO approach, when effectively applied, can start delivering significant results within a six-week timeframe. The discussion aims to provide insights into optimizing websites for better search engine performance while also considering the evolving nature of SEO best practices

Table Of Contents:

A New Challenge for Ecommerce Stores

Here’s some news: Google has removed traditional pagination in its search results, introducing continuous scrolling for its users. While this presents an opportunity for low-ranking ecommerce websites to stand out, it also means that the competition for top rankings intensifies, putting increased pressure on businesses like yours.

The first step in competing? Understanding the fundamentals of how a website ranks on search results. At Area Ten, we’ve helped hundreds of local and global businesses establish authority, win trust, scale, and rank. Read along as we share expert insights and strategies that have propelled our clients to the forefront of their industries.

How Do You Rank in Google's Search Results?

Envision SEO as a grand-scale question-and-answer game. You have to identify the questions your potential customers are inputting into search engines. Then, with this insight, you need to meticulously craft precise answers. The more queries your ecommerce site can address, the higher your website climbs in search rankings.

However, Google’s ranking process isn’t arbitrary. It employs over 200 factors in its algorithm to determine the placement of web pages in search results. 

What’s more, these Google algorithms are ever-evolving, including substantial, broad changes known as core updates. Even while reading this article, there could be smaller algorithm updates happening in their systems. 

So, how do you win this game? The key lies in adhering to these ranking signals. 

But with so many articles online saying, “This is what you should do to rank,” you may come across outdated practices that may harm your SEO rankings instead. Let’s quickly debunk these to set you on the right foot for ranking your ecommerce store.

Debunking Common Myths

Myth #1: Backlinks are Effective in Ranking Your Ecommerce Website

Google’s PageRank algorithm was a pioneering concept in ranking for search results, which judged a page’s importance based on incoming links. 

Many believed that a higher number of links directly translated to better rankings. But in reality, backlinks aren’t actually effective. 

There are now AI-based alternatives that can deliver results faster and at a much larger scale. This means ecommerce websites need to shift the focus to more critical onsite variables, such as content quality, relevance, and uniqueness. 

Myth #2: Head Term targeting is the Key to Driving SEO Performance

Common SEO ranking strategies focus on head terms—those high-competition keywords with substantial search volumes. Indeed, they can generate significant traffic, but the effort and resources required to rank for them often outweigh the benefits. 

Moreover, Google has developed sophisticated language models that do more than just match keywords. These models correct spelling errors and leverage a comprehensive synonym system, enabling Google to find relevant content even if it doesn’t contain the exact search terms used by the user. 

For example, BERT helps Google understand the nuances of word combinations, while RankBrain assists in relating words to broader concepts.

This shift has opened up new opportunities to rank in SERPs beyond just head terms. Long tail search terms—specific, often multi-word queries with lower search volumes—are gaining importance. Long tail keywords typically reflect a stronger buyer intent, leading to higher rankings and conversion rates. They allow businesses to target niche search traffic with less competition, offering quicker and more accessible SEO results. 

And now that you have a clear understanding of achieving domain authority and targeting keywords with more potential, what factors should you consider when aiming to rank on top of the search results page?

Six Essential Ranking Factors for Website Owners

Content Relevance

Google’s guide to ranking results shows that their algorithms are finely tuned to sift through the vast ocean of online information, zeroing in on content that aligns with user queries. 

The primary indicator of relevance is the presence of keywords that mirror the user’s search query. However, Google’s scrutiny goes beyond mere keyword matching. Its algorithms are adept at discerning whether your content comprehensively addresses a topic. This underscores the significance of creating content that adheres to Google’s guidelines for E-E-A-T or experience, expertise, authority, and trust. 

Google’s helpful content system also plays a pivotal role in distinguishing valuable content from the chaff. This system is designed to reward content that provides a fulfilling user experience while penalizing content that falls short of user expectations.

Content Uniqueness

Search engines, particularly Google, strive to present users with a diverse array of results. Google’s algorithms work diligently to filter out duplicate content to reduce redundancy for users.

Duplicate content can lead to significant challenges, especially for ecommerce websites. For instance, when Google encounters multiple similar or identical product pages, it attempts to determine the primary version to crawl and rank. However, when you fail to set a preferred page, it can result in the dilution of ranking signals, as they get split across various URLs.

This can also make it hard for web crawlers to find information, which, in turn, consumes more time and resources that could have been allocated to discovering, indexing, and ranking other unique content on your site. 

Content Freshness

Content freshness is another vital component in the SEO puzzle, especially for trending topics or evolving information. Google’s algorithms are equipped with “query deserves freshness” systems, designed to prioritize up-to-date content. Fresh content signals to Google that your site is not just a repository of information, but a dynamic resource that keeps pace with the changing world. 

Internal Links

Internal linking is a critical yet often overlooked component of SEO. Internal links help signal to search engines like Google the structure and importance of your content which positively affects rankings. 

Think of your website as an intricate library. Internal links serve as the catalog system, guiding the search engine bots through your content, and helping them to index and understand the importance and hierarchy of your pages.

It also allows for the distribution of page authority throughout your site. Pages with naturally higher authority, due to external links or their inherent importance, can share this authority with other pages through internal linking. 

Legal Adherence

Google’s algorithms are designed to demote content from sites that receive a high volume of valid legal complaints, such as copyright removal requests, defamation, and, for ecommerce websites, counterfeit goods issues. This is intended to prevent users from encountering infringing or otherwise problematic content, favoring original and legally compliant material instead.

This means that content that complies with legal and ethical guidelines is more likely to be favored by Google, enhancing its visibility in search results.

User Experience

Your user’s page experience is a critical factor that Google’s systems meticulously evaluate. When other factors like keyword relevance are relatively equal among competing sites, those offering a more accessible and user-friendly experience tend to perform better in search rankings.

Page loading speed is a crucial component here. Fast-loading pages enhance the user experience, reducing bounce rates and increasing the likelihood of user engagement. Google’s Core Web Vitals are instrumental in assessing these factors, providing key metrics on a website’s health and usability.

Additionally, the security of your website plays a vital role. Implementing HTTPS is essential to protect user data and build trust with your audience. 

Another element to consider is the design and layout of your web pages. Excessive ads or intrusive interstitials that detract from the main content can negatively impact the user experience and therefore dilute rankings. 

Finally, with Google’s mobile-first indexing approach, ensuring that your content displays well on mobile devices is a necessity. Mobile optimization ensures that every aspect of your site, from text to images and buttons, is tailored for the best possible experience on a mobile device.

If you’re thinking “This is a lot. Can an ecommerce website really meet all these ranking factors for each of the hundreds of product pages they have?”

Area Ten’s Approach to Accelerating Ecommerce Ranking

The challenge of SEO is not just about ranking today but maintaining and enhancing that rank in the future. 

Ecommerce websites face unique challenges and opportunities in terms of ranking that demand a more specialized approach than conventional SEO strategies. But one of the most significant challenges in ranking for ecommerce websites is scaling content for potentially hundreds or thousands of unique product and category pages.

So, how do we address this at Area Ten?

Remember the potential of long tail keywords? Our Full Body SEO approach ensures that you’re tapping into these terms, targeting the 90% of search opportunities your competitors are not ranking for.

Now, if you’re wondering, “Wouldn’t it be that expensive and time-consuming to do?” Not with programmatic SEO

But unlike generic programmatic SEO approaches, our proprietary technology, CMAX™, ensures that you’re on the right track in ranking your pages by doing the following:

  • generating tens of thousands of unique, relevant content pieces;
  • generating content that complies with any industry or legal standards; and
  • smartly interlinking content for better search engine rankings and user experience.

But what sets CMAX apart is its dynamic nature. 

It continuously monitors and adapts to changes in search engine algorithms, ensuring ongoing content relevance and optimization. If an algorithm shift happens or there’s been an adjustment to current ranking factors and signals, CMAX can redistribute resources and adjust link structures if certain pages underperform, creating a self-improving, robust solution.

Moreover, our programmatic SEO solution is CMS agnostic, meaning it can integrate seamlessly with any content management system. By incorporating a distinct Div ID and our JavaScript code into your store, we ensure seamless integration of the content. This approach guarantees minimal impact on your store’s performance and preserves the original design and layout.

Case Studies

Revitalizing an Australian Eyewear Ecommerce Brand

In Australia, where eyewear is not just a fashion statement but a necessity, one of our clients, a prominent ecommerce eyewear brand, faced a significant challenge. Despite having a range of popular products, they noticed a recent decline in their search rankings and overall online visibility. They sought an organic SEO agency and turned to us for a solution.

Our initial step was conducting a comprehensive SEO audit, which revealed a crucial gap in their content strategy. The client’s focus had been on relevant product descriptions, but they lacked the additional content their competitors offered, making them achieve better visibility in search results

Leveraging our Full Body SEO approach, we transformed their content strategy not only to integrate new, compelling content for each of their product pages but to also target their market more effectively. With both head and long tail keywords on hand, CMAX then generated thousands of unique, brand-compliant content for each product page.

Within just two and a half months, the client saw a 22.3% increase in organic traffic and a 19.7% boost in organic revenue, revitalizing their online presence and sales.

Transforming a Sewing Machine Ecommerce Site in the UK

Our second case study involves a Singapore-based ecommerce seller specializing in sewing machines. After launching several new product models, they were puzzled by the lack of expected rankings, traffic, and engagement compared to their previous products.

Our analysis revealed two primary issues: decreased site performance due to the addition of hundreds of products and a lack of mobile optimization. We promptly addressed these issues, optimizing their page speed and ensuring mobile-friendliness across the site.

Simultaneously, we overhauled their content strategy with our programmatic SEO approach. Utilizing CMAX, we created thousands of brand-aligned, legal-compliant content pieces for each new product. This approach had minimal to no impact on site speed and maintained the overall aesthetic and functionality of their website.

In just six weeks, the client experienced a 25.2% increase in organic traffic and a significant 26.8% rise in organic revenue.

Here’s a perspective from their digital marketing lead:

“Post-launch of our latest sewing machines, our traffic wasn’t hitting the mark, and Google Ads costs were just mounting up. Jeremy onboarded us, and we found out that our site performance, mobile optimization, and content were off pace. 

Area Ten’s team jumped in, fine-tuned our website, and supercharged our content strategy. What’s even better is how quickly we’ve seen improvements in rankings and sales for our new offerings. Really, they propelled us to a new level.”

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can I check if my ecommerce website is ranking?

Platforms like Semrush offer insights into website rankings and traffic statistics, providing a comprehensive view of your site’s performance. Additionally, Google Analytics is an invaluable resource, allowing you to track website traffic, understand user behavior, and derive insights for optimization.

For a deeper analysis, seeking SEO advice from experts can be beneficial. Experts can set up precise tracking measures and interpret the data to provide a clearer understanding of your website’s ranking and areas for improvement.

Is ranking enough to measure my success in ecommerce?

While ranking is a vital metric in SEO, it’s not the sole indicator of success, especially in ecommerce. The ultimate goal in ecommerce extends beyond ranking to encompass sales, conversion rates, and ROI. Key metrics like cart abandonment rate and average order value are also crucial in understanding the effectiveness of your online store and identifying areas for enhancement.

How soon can I see improvements in my ecommerce store’s rankings?

At Area Ten, we are committed to delivering results within just six weeks. We focus on high-impact opportunities and implementing a strategic, prioritized approach. Our expertise allows us to concentrate on the areas that will most immediately affect your bottom line, ensuring quick and effective improvements in your store’s rankings.

What You’ve Learned: Key Takeaways from the Article

Achieving SERP dominance for ecommerce stores requires a nuanced understanding of the evolving landscape of SEO. Here are the key takeaways you should remember:

  • Content Relevance is King: Google’s algorithms prioritize content that aligns with user queries and demonstrates E-E-A-T.
  • The Shift from Backlinks to Onsite Variables: Backlinks are ineffective, and the focus should be on creating high-quality, relevant, and unique content.
  • Long Tail Keywords as Untapped Opportunities: Embracing long tail keywords can open new doors for targeting specific, conversion-ready audiences.
  • Content Uniqueness and Freshness are Crucial: Unique and regularly updated content is essential for maintaining a competitive edge in SERPs.
  • Optimizing User Experience: Factors like mobile-friendliness, page speed, and secure navigation significantly influence your website’s SERP ranking.

Actionable Advice

To translate these insights into increased rankings, consider the following actionable steps:

  • Focus on Creating Value-Driven Content: Shift your strategy from keyword stuffing to providing valuable, informative content that resonates with your audience.
  • Leverage Long Tail Keywords: Research and incorporate long tail keywords into your content strategy to capture niche markets.
  • Regularly Update Your Content: Keep your content fresh and up-to-date to stay relevant and authoritative.
  • Enhance Internal Linking Structure: Implement a strategic internal linking system to distribute page authority and improve rankings.
  • Ensure Legal Compliance: Regularly review your content for legal adherence to avoid penalties and maintain trust.
  • Optimize for Mobile and Page Speed: Regularly test and optimize your website’s mobile-friendliness and loading speed.
  • Consult with SEO Experts: Consider partnering with an SEO expert. They are skilled in staying current with changes in ranking factors and provide valuable insights and strategies that go beyond just ranking, focusing on overall performance and effectiveness in the ever-evolving SEO landscape.

The Future of SERP Supremacy

It’s evident that the landscape of SEO is continually evolving. Gone are the days when traditional factors like backlinks dominated the scene. Today, the focus has shifted towards more dynamic elements such as user experience, page speed, and content relevance that align with the modern demands of search engines and users alike.

Remember, SEO is a marathon, not a sprint. It requires patience, persistence, and a willingness to adapt to new trends and technologies. Stay informed, stay agile, and most importantly, always keep your audience’s needs at the forefront of your strategy.

In this changing ecommerce SEO landscape, we stand as your ally at Area Ten, ready to guide you through every twist and turn. Our approach as an ecommerce SEO agency transcends traditional methods, blending innovative strategies with our proprietary technology, CMAX. We focus on delivering bigger SEO results, faster, ensuring your business starts seeing results in just six weeks, not months.

Our current ecommerce client base generates over $1.1 billion in combined annual online revenue, and our experience has helped us fine-tune our approach and implement successful campaigns in all continents except Antarctica.

With Area Ten, you’re not just choosing a digital marketing agency but a path to holistic, transformative growth. Our holistic approach, encompassing everything from programmatic SEO to paid media management and even live chat, ensures your business’s digital presence is not just visible but dominant.

You’ve always known your business has more potential. It’s time to unlock it.

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