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  • Top Tech Trends to Watch in March 2018

    Monday, March 5, 2018 by
    March 2018 Tech News

    2018 March Tech News You Need To Know

    Each new month inevitably brings all new tech news and trends. For busy business owners that can’t stay on top of it all alone, we’ve once again created a monthly roundup of tech stories to have on your radar this month. best WordPress hosting

    Tech Platforms Ban Nazis

    Now and then, we see tech companies taking a political stand. This month, two notable instances of it involve companies kicking Nazis off their platform. YouTube banned two channels run by a neo-nazi group after media scrutiny and outrage over the hate speech expressed on the channels. And chat platform Discord shut down several neo-nazi servers as well. While taking a stand against nazis isn’t the boldest of moves, in YouTube’s case it still took outside media and users drawing attention to the channel for them to take that step.  

    New Releases from Mobile World Congress

    Tech companies used the Mobile World Congress last month to announce new device models and feature updates. The new devices demonstrated a real trend toward increasing screen size without adding to the phone size by reducing the bezels (the part of the phone around the screen) and a growing tendency to drop headphone jacks from phone designs, suggesting tech companies think Bluetooth headphones are dominant enough in the market to replace any need for plug-in headphones.  

    Parkland Survivors Use Social Media to Seek Change

    One of the biggest stories of February was the mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida. Sadly, mass shootings and even school shootings are common enough that this one could have been another case where it gets mentioned on the news for a day or two before the country moves on to other stories. But because the survivors of this one are social media savvy teens, they’ve turned their experience into a movement to demand gun control.  They’ve successfully commanded the attention of the media and politicians (and are way better with a social media burn than any of the politicians that try to go toe to toe with them), showing in the process how social media skills can be used to really make a difference.

    Dropbox Files for IPO

    The cloud storage and file syncing company that’s used by millions filed for IPO with plans to go public in the coming month with hopes of raising $500 million. With more than 11 million paying customers, the company has been gaining in popularity over the past few years, although still on the whole losing money in that time. Nonetheless, a strong brand and recent growth should work in the company’s favor once it hits the market.  

    Spotify IPO Launches

    The other big tech IPO making news this month is the popular streaming music service Spotify. The company filed on the last day of February and experts predict the company is worth $23 billion. In spite of having over 70 million customers though, the company struggles to be profitable due to the high cost of royalty fees for the music they provide.  

    Google Assistant Adding Functionality

    While smart assistants are popular, there are still some real limitations on how well they work and what they can do. Google is hard at work trying to add to the uses people can turn to their Google Assistant for though. Just this last month, they announced adding a routines feature, which lets people create custom commands that tie multiple types of requests together. So you could say “OK Google, morning routine” and have the music and lighting of your choice come on together, for instance. They have also added location-based reminders, so you can tell your smart assistant to remind you to get gas on your way to work and have your phone give you an alert once it senses you’ve left the house. And they’re teaching the assistant new languages, expecting it to support over 30 languages by the end of the year.  

    SXSW Interactive

    With March upon us, that means loads of people in the tech world are about to head to Austin for SXSW Interactive. From March 9 through 13, experts from around the world will give presentations on topics ranging from how AI will transform fashion to the emotional life of autonomous cars. For anyone wanting to hear about both quirky and serious ideas on the forefront of tech and culture, the conference is a must.  

    Google Launches New AR Functionality

    google lensIn addition to the work they’re doing with their smart assistant, Google is also working to provide AR features to a range of compatible phones. Google Lens will make it possible for people to point their phone at something and learn about it – whether landmarks, plants, or art. In addition, their ARCore augmented reality platform lets people see an overlay of AR stickers on the world in front of them through their phone. AR has been getting a lot of traction in the tech world lately and these moves by Google take us one step further in a direction we can expect to see them and other tech companies continue down.  

    Snap Has a Rocky Month

    Snapchat is one of the biggest social media platforms out there, but they hit some snags in the past few weeks. For one, they released a new design and instead of hearing great feedback on the hard work they presumably put into those changes, they got a petition signed by over a million people asking them to change it back. Yikes. To make matters worse, a negative Tweet from Kylie Jenner basically saying the platform is over may have contributed to a $1.3 billion drop in the company’s value on the stock market. That’s a lot of bad PR in a short amount of time. The company clearly has its work out for them if they want to win back some of the popularity they just lost.   March is looking to be a big month in tech and we can only imagine what to expect from April. Check back next month for a new update on tech news and trends to be aware of.
  • 10 Tech Stories To Keep An Eye On This February

    Sunday, February 4, 2018 by
    february 2018 tech news stories

    The Top Tech News of February 2018

    A new month means a new batch of tech news. For professionals who know that changes in the tech world influence your business, but have trouble staying on top of it all on your own, we bring you our monthly roundup of tech news to keep an eye on this month. best dedicated server hosting

    1. Tech Giants Tackle Online Security

    With news of Metdown and Spectre bugs that cause serious vulnerabilities in computer systems, we’re once again all reminded how difficult it is to protect our sensitive data online. A number of businesses are scrambling to create patches that will protect their users from the bugs, and tech businesses are continuing in their ongoing efforts to increase online security proactively, as well as in response to each new bug and hack. Google has launched Chronicle, a company devoted to finding hackers fast using machine learning, and Apple has created a Privacy icon to help customers tell the difference between legitimate requests for their login information and phishing attempts.  

    2. AR a Top Trend at CES

    Every year, CES gives tech companies a chance to show off what they’re working on and shows the rest of us what trends to expect in the year to come. vuzix bladeThis year, a lot of the main tech trends and product categories you expect to see were still well covered – autonomous cars, smart home tech, AI – but one of the significant trends on display was the growing efforts to create products in the AR space. There’s the Vuzix Blade (pictured right), which is like a better-looking take on Google Glass. There’s the MonoHD from DigiLens, which uses AR tech to improve motorcycle safety. And Realmax shared their prototype of AR goggles. It looks like things are heating up in the AR world and this is a trend people can expect to see more of in the coming year.  

    3. Facebook Makes New Updates to Feed

    Facebook recently announced plans to make some changes to how stories and updates show up in people’s feeds. Recent changes include prioritizing posts from friends and family over those from brands or media companies, giving greater priority to publishers that are considered trustworthy by a wide range of users, and giving extra weight to local news stories. The goal is to improve users’ experience on the platform, but not everyone’s happy about the change. Brands are concerned about losing reach on the platform (and not for the first time) and investors are leery as well – the company’s stock value dropped soon after the changes were announced. Whether everyday users see the updates as an improvement is still up in the air, but will likely have the biggest influence on whether or not Facebook continues on this route.

    4. Google Chrome Takes On Autoplay

    Pretty much everyone that spends time online is familiar with a particularly obnoxious and common experience: opening a link only to be bombarded with noise from an autoplay video on the website. We all hate it, yet websites keep doing it. Well, Chrome is here to help. The browser now provides users the option to permanently mute any site you choose. If you still use auto-play video on your own website (and what are you thinking?  That’s a surefire way to increase bounce rates!), this change makes them that much less effective. Follow Chrome’s lead and give the people what they want by taking those autoplay videos down.  

    5. Twitter Releases Information about Russian Bots

    One of the biggest tech stories of the past year has been the way the Russian government used social media platforms and search engines to influence the U.S. election. Both Twitter and Facebook have been asked by politicians to take a more active role in identifying and weeding out the Russian bots and fake news that gets shared on their platforms. This past month, Twitter contacted over a million users to let them know they’d interacted with Russian propaganda on the platform. And the total number of people exposed to Russian propaganda may well be higher. Knowing about the propaganda after the fact doesn’t change the influence it had at the time, but maybe now that tech companies are more aware of the problem, they’ll be better at recognizing and doing something about propaganda moving forward.  

    6. Amazon Opens Autonomous Grocery Store

    If the main thing you hated about going shopping was having to wait in line to check out, then Amazon’s new Amazon Go store solves that problem for you. amazon go store The first location just opened in Seattle and anyone who shops there need only scan the Amazon Go app on their phone on the way in, select the items they want, and walk out with them. The company uses sensors and cameras to monitor what items people choose and make sure they’re charged accordingly. Whether or not the autonomous grocery store concept will really take off remains to be seen – and whether or not the technology will successfully make sure people are charged the right amount without issues is a big part of how this all plays out. But if it does, this is one more way for Amazon to disrupt a familiar business model and one that might both change how people shop and leave some people left behind out of work.  

    7. Developer Week Is Coming

    From February 3-7, thousands of developers will gather in San Francisco for Developer Week. The conference provides opportunities for networking, showcases speakers from a number of tech giants, and includes a hackathon (with cash prizes). For anyone wanting to learn more about some of the most important technologies in the tech world today, this is an event worth checking out.  

    8. States Pass Their Own Net Neutrality Laws

    The repeal of net neutrality late last year was a very controversial move that left a lot of citizens offended and riled up. Plenty of politicians agreed with the outrage and some of them are taking steps to pass laws upholding net neutrality rules at the state level. Six states have already gotten a net neutrality law on the books and several more have one in the works. For something as popular as net neutrality, it just makes sense for state and local representatives to get involved and work for what their constituents want.  

    9. YouTube Makes Monetizing Video A Lot Harder

    Making money on YouTube has never been easy, but it’s been a possibility within reach for any content creator that could gain a niche following. Now many of them are finding their ability to make any money on the platform at all cut off. YouTube has just changed the rules around who’s able to make money from the site. Anyone that has less than 1,000 subscribers or has been viewed less than 4,000 hours in the last year will no longer qualify for monetization. Many YouTubers are livid, voicing their anger at the decision on various platforms, in some cases while pleading with their fans to press that “subscribe” button or spend some more time watching to help them make the cutoff. For marketers, this is one more reminder not to build too much of your brand on a platform you don’t own – you never know when a change they make will ruin your ability to stay afloat there.  

    10. Mobile World Congress

    The Mobile World Congress, the largest conference in the mobile industry, meets this month in Barcelona from February 26 to March 1. With over 100,000 attendees, it’s the place to be for anyone working in the mobile industry. We can expect to see new mobile products and features launched and hear about important news and trends in the world of mobile as news starts to come out of the conference.   Like every month, February is sure to include tech news none of us could anticipate. Check back next month to see what new stories to follow as we move into March.
  • 7 Heartfelt Valentine’s Day Content Ideas Your Website Visitors Will Love

    Wednesday, January 31, 2018 by
    Valentine's Day Content Ideas for Blogs and Websites

    Valentine's Day Content Ideas for Blogs and Websites

    You may feel like you’re still recovering from the biggest shopping holiday of the year, but it’s already time to prepare for the next one. With Valentine’s Day coming up, your marketing team should switch back into full gear to capture some of the $18.9 billion people usually spend on the romantic holiday. One part of your marketing plan for Valentine’s Day should include creating seasonal content that helps your audience navigate the holiday successfully this year. Valentine’s Day can come with a lot of pressure for some people. Why not use your content to ease some of that stress and equip your customers with tips and ideas to make the holiday fun? Here are a few Valentine's Day content ideas to consider for your blog or website. Creating a blog

    1. Gift Guides

    This is an obvious and useful place to start. A lot of people struggle to figure out what to buy for a loved one for Valentine’s Day. A gift guide does the double work of helping you promote relevant products to your audience and helping them make a decision on what to buy. Keep in mind that Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be all about flowers and chocolates. If your business sells something that isn’t conventionally associated with Valentine’s Day, it may still be exactly the right gift for someone a customer loves. And your gift guide doesn’t have to be focused on romantic couples either. Many people will buy Valentine’s Day gifts for friends, coworkers, maybe even their pets. Don’t feel stuck focusing on the obvious when creating a gift guide, anything that could make a good gift for anyone is fair game here. ecommerce content idea for Valentine's Day gift guide

    2. Advice Videos

    Valentine’s Day isn’t just about shopping and gifts (although that’s a big part of it for some people). It also involves figuring out how to create memorable moments and meaningful celebrations. For some people, that can feel challenging. Help them out by creating video content designed to answer questions they have and give them ideas for how to get Valentine’s Day right this year. Blue Apron hosted a video Q&A last year on Facebook Live about good wines to consider for Valentine’s Day. They provided information on how to pick the right wines that pair well with common Valentine’s Day foods like chocolate, and answered questions that viewers asked in the comments. valentine's day facebook live For anyone trying to create a perfect dinner and worried about how to pick the right wine, Blue Apron provided the answer (and included some recommendations from their own wine club).  

    3. Recipes

    Food is going to be a big part of Valentine’s Day for many people that celebrate. Some people will eat out for the big day, but others will want to try out special recipes that are a little fancier or more ambitious than usual. If your brand sells any type of food or ingredient that can be used in a great Valentine’s Day recipe, then this is a great type of content to make use of this Valentine’s Day. Pillsbury goes all out for Valentine’s Day recipe content with suggestions for sweet recipes, savory recipes, recipes for different times of day, and tips on how to make the food you cook look the part for Valentine’s Day.
    valentine's day content idea recipe hubvalentine's day recipe ideas
    Make sure you provide clear instructions and take great pictures that show off how good your recipes will look. And use schema markup to make your recipe content more attention grabbing in the search results.  

    4. Creative Date Ideas

    Dinner and flowers are obvious. Some people are happy enough with the old standards, but some will want to find ways to make the night special in more creative and interesting ways. If you can help inspire an idea outside of the ordinary, your audience may be grateful for it. Barnes and Noble does a great job with this idea with their post on the Best Valentine’s Day Dates for Book Nerds. It includes ideas like re-creating your favorite romantic scenes or going on a literary scavenger hunt. valentine's day blog post ideas Think about what your audience loves and use that information to come up with activities that can inspire an unconventional Valentine’s Day celebration.  

    5. Video Stories

    Great content often involves telling a good story and video can be a great format for it. For Valentine’s Day, you can use video tell any number of types of stories. You could create a comical take on someone falling in love with your products. You could tell a story of the way your products help bring people together. Or you could find customers with a compelling love story and feature their tale in a marketing video. Sweethearts candy went the latter route by telling the story of Jack and George, a couple that was finally able to get married in 2016 after 55 years together. The video includes them picking out candy messages for each other from a box of Sweethearts: “me and you” and “soulmates.” It’s touching. It’s a sweet story for Valentine’s Day, and it ties the video back to the product in a way that feels natural. video content ideas for brands on valentine's day

    6. Love List

    Valentine’s Day is all about celebrating love. In the spirit of celebrating love, you can create content around things you love about your customers, or that highlights things they love. Round up a list of your 10-best selling products or the products with the highest reviews to create a list of products your customers love the most (and offer a special holiday discount on all them to show some love back). valentine's day email marketing ideas Join the holiday love fest by celebrating how much your customers mean to your brand and the love they’ve expressed for you.  

    7. Valentine’s Business Tips

    Admittedly, this one’s a little meta ­– you’re reading a post on Valentine’s Day ideas for businesses as we speak! If you’ve been reading along so far wondering what content ideas make the most sense this time of year for B2B businesses, then here we are. Write content that will help your business clients make the most of the holiday this time of year. That could include marketing tips, ideas for special events to offer, or ways to make your customers feel special when they’re in your store this year. If you’ve got ideas that can help your clients make more money this Valentine’s Day, then get to work sharing them. valentine's day marketing tips blog post ideas People want to feel special on Valentine’s Day and buying things often becomes a part of that. If your content can help provide real value to your audience as they’re working out their Valentine’s Day plans, there’s a good chance they’ll turn to you when making their purchases for the holiday as well.
  • 8 Valentine’s Day Marketing Ideas for Your E-Commerce Website

    Wednesday, January 31, 2018 by
    prep your e-commerce site for Valentine's Day

    Prep Your E-commerce Site for Valentine's Day

    Any holiday associated with gift giving presents opportunities for e-commerce businesses. Valentine’s Day is no exception. People spend a total of $18.9 billion for Valentine’s Day gifts and celebrations, with each person spending around $100-$200 a piece to please their loved one. If any of the products you sell would make sense as Valentine’s Day gifts, then you should be thinking about how to make your website work extra hard this February so you can tap into some of that spending. Here are a few steps you can take to get your e-commerce site ready for the holiday of love. best WordPress hosting

    1. Identify and highlight your most gift-worthy products.

    Go through your product offerings to identify the items that make the most sense for someone to buy as a gift for a significant other. Create graphics and copy for your homepage and other relevant pages on your website to highlight these products as great Valentine’s Day choices for anyone who visits your website during the weeks leading up to the holiday. For someone struggling to figure out what to buy their partner, you’re making it easier for them to see their options and make a decision, which makes it that much more likely for them to click through and make a purchase. Take a look at how Amazon does it: Amazon's Valentine's Day Gift Shop ecommerce valentine's day example

    2. Bundle relevant products together to make better gifts.

    Some couples will be hesitant to buy a product for Valentine’s Day that they fear will seem cheap or like it’s not enough for the occasion. One way to overcome that concern is by packaging multiple products together. For example, let’s say you sell soap, bubble bath, and candles. Each one of those products on their own might not seem like much of a gift – imagine just getting a bar of (admittedly nice) soap for Valentine’s Day – but packaged together into a nice-looking gift basket, they’re suddenly an attractive Valentine’s Day option. Go through your product listings with an eye for items that can be combined into even better products together than they were apart. And make sure you include these combo-products in the list of items you highlight throughout the website leading up to the big day.  

    3. Offer Valentine’s Day specials.

    Everyone likes to feel like they’re getting a good deal. If anything that’s especially true on Valentine’s Day, since many people are looking for gifts that seem expensive or fancy without necessarily wanting to spend a huge amount. So give your visitors what they want. Offer them high-quality items that will clearly make great gifts at prices that won’t leave them broke going into March. Promote your specials on the homepage, to your email subscribers, and throughout the rest of your website. And make them time sensitive to encourage shoppers to order faster, rather than putting it off until it’s too late.  

    4. Create Valentine’s Day themed content.

    While content marketing is a long game, that doesn’t mean it can’t be put to good use for seasonal marketing. Use your blog and any other content platforms to push out content related to Valentine’s Day. Think about questions your customers are likely to have and challenges you can help with. You could put together a Valentine’s Day gift guide (with some of your own products included), write a blog post on great date ideas (maybe including an idea or two that involves one of your products), or create a video on how to make tasty sweets for your partner (that happen to use an ingredient you sell). Not all of the holiday content should necessarily promote your products directly, but make sure it’s relevant in some way to your brand and what you sell. You can provide helpful information to potential customers, bring new visitors to your website, and improve your SEO for Valentine’s Day related searches all at once.  

    5. Offer affordable fast shipping.

    For any gift-focused holiday, timing matters. Giving someone a gift on February 16 just won’t play out the same way as getting it to them on Valentine’s Day itself. For e-commerce sites, that means the worry about products shipping in time can make visitors hesitate to press that “buy” button. The best way for you to overcome that objection is to make it clear when your customers will get their products. For early shoppers, post on your site how long they have left to put in their order and still get it in time using the cheapest shipping option, as in the Spreadshirt example below. For late browsers, promote the shipping option they need to choose for guaranteed delivery in time (Choose 2-day shipping to get your order before February 14!). valentine's day shipping deadlines And if you can afford it, make those shipping options affordable. Expensive shipping costs are a big cause of cart abandonment, and you don’t want to lose a sale at the last minute because the shipping doubles the total cost of the purchase. Look for ways to make the cost of shipping affordable for both you and them. That could be a flat fee, free shipping for orders over a certain amount, or free shipping for Valentine’s Day orders made by a certain date. If you can remove that barrier to purchase, you can count on more sales.  

    6. Offer free or affordable gift-wrapping.

    You know the whole point of most Valentine’s Day purchases is that they’ll be given as gifts. If your customers can receive the products already fully wrapped, you’re removing another pain point for them and making their life easier. Free gift-wrapping can earn you some serious good will and make people more likely to buy, but even just making it an affordable add-on can make buying from you this Valentine’s Day a better experience that makes them more likely to come back to your brand in the future.  

    7. Keep your marketing inclusive.

    Valentine’s Day is very couple-centric, and most marketing reflects that. But heterosexual couples aren’t the only ones that celebrate Valentine’s Day, and making your marketing more inclusive is a way to stand out and reach part of the market other brands often forget. Single people spend money on Valentine’s Day too. Whether they use the opportunity to celebrate friendships or invest in self-care, they’re an audience worth considering in your marketing as well. valentine's day online spending by recipient And remember that not all couples that celebrate Valentine’s Day are heterosexual. If you make your marketing all about gifts for “him” and “her,” you’re leaving out a lot of potential LGBTQ customers. Look for ways to craft your marketing messages so that they include everyone.  

    8. Optimize for mobile.

    Optimizing your website for mobile shopping should be second nature to you by now, but it’s at least as important that all of your Valentine’s Day online marketing be mobile friendly as it is the rest of the year. About half of all Valentine’s Day e-commerce searches come from mobile devices, according to Bing’s data. Make sure the promotions you use for Valentine’s Day work as well on a mobile device as they do on a desktop, so you don’t risk losing half of your customer base to a bad user experience.  

    To your Valentine's Day success...

    Even if you don’t sell candy and flowers, you may be able to make Valentine’s Day into a success for your brand. Valentine’s Day means different things to different people and romance and self-care aren’t one size fits all. Think about your audience and what gifts and product options are likely to be most meaningful to them on Valentine’s Day and create your marketing campaign for the holiday based on that.
  • 7 Essential SEO Tips for Any E-Commerce Site

    Monday, January 29, 2018 by
    seo tips for e-commerce sites

    7 SEO Tips for Your E-commerce Site

    Any business that makes money through its website has to make SEO a priority. Showing up in the search engines when someone’s looking for what you sell is quite simply one of the best ways to make sure customers can find you. But those spots on page one for popular e-commerce search terms are competitive. It takes some real work and know-how to make your website one of the ones in the running for those top spots. Here are seven things you should be doing to improve your e-commerce website’s SEO so you start reaching more of your customers. best WordPress hosting

    1. Do keyword and topic research.

    Keyword research is an important step in any SEO plan because it’s one of the best ways to learn what your customers are thinking about. If you base your SEO efforts around assumptions of what people are searching for, then you could end up putting a lot of effort into trying to rank for the wrong things.  Keyword research shows you what people are actually looking for on the web, both in terms of the specific phrasing they use and the kind of topics they’re concerned about. There are a number of tools that can help you in this step. The top of the list is Google’s Keyword Tool, which pulls directly from Google’s data on what search terms people use with the most frequency. While the information provided is geared toward people using Google AdWords for pay-per-click advertising, it’s also useful for people planning their strategy for SEO. Google Keyword Planner You can put in a list of keywords related to your business that you’ve brainstormed and get an even larger list of related terms back from the tool. And you can input keywords you’re interested in to see how they compare in terms of traffic and competition levels. There are also a number of paid tools you can use to get even more detailed keyword information and help you organize the keywords and topic ideas you come up with in your research, such as the Moz Keyword Explorer and SEMRush. And it’s smart to devote part of your time during this step going directly to the source. Do customer surveys to find out questions and interests your audience has and the language they use to describe them, and talk to your customer service department to get a good list of the most common questions and comments they hear from your customers. Your keyword research should form the strategy of your SEO plan, but to be clear here, that doesn’t mean doing a lot of keyword stuffing. That’s an old-school SEO tactic that can hurt you now, and Google’s recent move toward Latent Semantic Indexing means that they’re better at recognizing what webpages and content are about based on context clues. So you don’t need to use the same term five times on your page to get the point across, but knowing the best terminology to use is still valuable.  

    2. Always use on-site optimization.

    This is luckily one of the easiest parts of SEO. For every page on your website, you have a number of spots in the html you can optimize based on the terms you’re aiming to link for:
    • URL – The URL of the page should reflect the content on the page and to include the keyword you most want to rank for. As an example, if you have a page that’s focused on organic pet food, your URL could be something like
    • Title – Your title tags should always be used to clearly communicate what’s on the page and incorporate your chosen keyword. That’s good for your readers and your SEO.
    • Headings – Using headings in your content is a good way to make your content more structured and readable. It also gives you additional opportunities to incorporate relevant keywords. Make use of those <h1>, <h2>, and <h3> tags.
    • Image alt tags – For every image you include on your website, you can add an image alt tag which gives you one more place in the page’s html to signal what the page is about to the search engines.
    • Image titles – Before loading an image to your website, take a minute to give it a name that uses your target keyword.
    • Meta description – Your meta description won’t influence how well your website ranks, but it will show up in the search results page, giving you a chance to use the teaser text to convince searchers to click.
    Surprisingly, not all websites bother with this part, so it’s an easy way to get a little bit of ahead of any competitors falling down on the job.  

    3. Make sure your site structure is intuitive.

    Your site architecture is how your website is organized. A simple website (left) may have a menu with five main categories, and a few pages included under each category. An e-commerce site (right) with a lot of different products may have hundreds of categories and subcategories and thousands of product pages.
    example of simple site structurewebsite architecture example
    The more complicated your website is, the more important it is to make sure that you organize it in a way that’s both intuitive to your users and makes sense to the search engine algorithms. A good rule is to come up with a plan that groups related pages together in categories that make sense to your average site visitor, while keeping everything within a couple clicks from your home page. So you don’t want a product page to be grouped inside a category that’s a subcategory of a subcategory of a subcategory – you want to keep it simpler than that.  Ideally, you plan out your site structure in advance, but if you missed the boat on that, take some time now to sit down and work out the main categories present on your website now so you can start organizing the pages you already have better and have a structure defined for the ones you’ll add in the future.  

    4. Provide detailed information on your product pages.

    Product pages that only have a product’s name or just a line of description don’t give you much chance to signal to the search engines what the product is or what it’s about. On a related note, it doesn’t tell your potential customer much about what makes the product worth buying. Take some time to craft descriptions of your products that provide more information to readers and search engines on what the product is and the types of features and uses it has. This gives you a chance to let the search engine algorithms know more relevant terms to associate with the page (although you still want to be careful here not to keyword stuff!), while also providing useful information to your prospects. Here's a great example from L.L. Bean: example of detailed product description on ecommerce site

    5. Create relevant, high-quality content.

    All that research you did back in step one wasn’t just good for figuring out which keywords to focus your main website pages on, it will also form the foundation of a good content strategy. Content has a hugely important role to play in SEO for a couple of main reasons:
    • Publishing fresh content lets the search engines know your website is current and up-to-date – Google doesn’t want to rank some old site that no one’s updated since 2011 that could be full of outdated information.
    • It gives you the chance to start targeting a high number of long-tail keywords. These are easier to rank for and the more you start to rank for long-tail keywords, the stronger your website authority will be in the eyes of Google, helping you to over time rank more for more general, competitive terms.
    This part of SEO is hard and requires time, money, and planning. But without it, you’ll have a hard time getting very far. Start working on a content strategy for your brand that answers the questions your audience has and incorporates the keywords you compiled in your research.  Make sure the content you create is high quality and provides information that’s useful to your audience. If the content isn’t something your audience would want to read or view, then it won’t do its job.  

    6. Promote your content.

    You have to create content to be competitive in the search engines these days, but unfortunately, so many other brands are already doing so that just creating great content isn’t enough. You also need to do the work to get your content in front of people. That means promoting it on social media, sending it to your email list, and may even mean paying for ads that get it in front of people. This part is especially important if you’re in the early stages of your content program. You’re competing with brands that already have traction in the space that you don’t have, so you need to put extra effort into getting those first followers who like and share your content. If you have patience and put in the work, you’ll likely see those numbers grow exponentially over time.  

    7. Build links.

    Not that everything else on this list is easy, but this step might be the hardest part of doing SEO. You can control what goes on your own website, but it’s harder to convince other websites to change what’s on their site for your benefit – and that’s what you need to really demonstrate your authority to Google. Having other high-quality, relevant websites include links back to your website on their own site is hands down one of the biggest factors in how Google decides who to rank. While this is a big topic with a lot of different tactics you can try, there are a few good strategies to start with:
    • Guest postingIf you create content for another website for free, you’re providing them with value, which may make it worth it for them to let you include a link back your website. Look for websites in your industry that have big followings and accept guest posts and start pitching.
    • PR pitches – PR people have been doing this kind of things for years, while not always with the focus on a link. Look for journalists or writers who write about topics that relate to your product or content you’ve created and pitch them on a topic that’s a good fit for their audience that also relates back to your brand. You’ve got to be thoughtful in what you pitch to who for this to work, but it can get results.
    • Look for name mentions without links – Look for examples around the web where your brand or product is mentioned without a link included and reach out to the webmaster to ask them to add one.
    • Look for bad links – If you can find broken links that used to point to content or products similar to yours, you may be able to convince the webmaster to update their website with your link instead.
    Link building takes some time and leaves a lot up to chance, but the links you manage to get can do a lot to improve your website’s authority and increase your rankings.  

    SEO and Your E-commerce Site

    SEO isn’t easy, but for e-commerce websites that live and die based on how accessible they are to potential customers, every little bit you can do to help people find you will make a difference to the sales and revenue you achieve each year.