I requested Victor Karpenko, the CEO of Ukraine-based SeoProfy, to explain the widespread natural search errors of ecommerce retailers. Most are technical, he instructed me, including, “You may reply 99% of any search engine marketing query by taking a look at competing, high-ranking websites.”
To Karpenko, analyzing opponents is essential search engine marketing analysis. He ought to know. He based SeoProfy in 2010 in Kyiv. It’s now a worldwide search-engine-optimization chief with 200 workers, refined inner instruments, and a roster of spectacular shoppers throughout a number of industries.
The complete audio of my latest dialog with Karpenko is embedded beneath. The transcript is edited for readability and size.
Sensible Ecommerce: What are the widespread search engine marketing errors of ecommerce retailers?
Victor Karpenko: Most search engine marketing errors are technical, akin to structuring an internet site with the proper classes, hyperlinks, and key phrases. Most errors occur on the preliminary setup, throughout the analysis section. You may reply 99% of any search engine marketing query by taking a look at competing, high-ranking websites.
Right here’s an instance. I lately spoke with a consumer who sells pillows and mattresses on-line by way of WooCommerce. He requested me if he ought to transfer to Shopify to acquire higher rankings.
To reply, he ought to search on Google for key phrases akin to “foam pillow” and take a look at the highest 10 outcomes. We’ve a plugin that exhibits the CMS of these websites. He may see 5 opponents utilizing WooCommerce and one other 5 with Shopify. He might slim the search additional by analyzing the highest three and learning their knowledge and commonalities.
This method — analyzing ways of profitable opponents — solutions just about any search engine marketing query.
Past the CMS, we might analyze totally different parameters for the highest outcomes, such because the variety of hyperlinks, content material dimension (what number of phrases and the way it’s optimized), and web page velocity, which Google calls Core Internet Vitals. (Google doesn’t disclose all of the details about a web site’s web page velocity, by the way.)
Search Console gives plenty of important data a few web page and a web site — key phrases within the textual content, inner and exterior hyperlinks, and way more.
We depend on Ahrefs, Majestic, and Semrush, too. Utilizing competitor evaluation, we take a look at the dynamics of different web sites’ hyperlinks — what number of hyperlinks, how lengthy it took to build up, and what number of pages are impacted. From there, we are able to estimate what it could take to rank on web page 1 and the way lengthy.
URL age is one other essential issue. If a competitor’s URL age is, say, two years and you might be simply beginning, it’ll probably take a while to construct web page belief and rankings.
PEC: You talked about instruments — Search Console, Ahrehs, Majestic, Semrush. Does a service provider want all of these?
Karpenko: We’ve roughly 200 workers, so we use many instruments. For hyperlinks, we primarily use Ahrefs and Majestic. For key phrases and search quantity, we use Semrush. We use a search metrics software to get knowledge. We take a look at cell and desktop search outcomes. Google says its rankings are mobile-first, however many companies analyze solely desktop knowledge, which will be inaccurate.
The crucial elements for an ecommerce web site (or any web site) are whether or not you may have sufficient hyperlinks and content material, whether or not the hyperlinks are pure, whether or not they have anchor textual content, whether or not the textual content is over-optimized or under-optimized, and whether or not the technical components want fixing.
PEC: Are you able to elaborate on the technical components?
Karpenko: Contemplate your sitemap and whether or not your web site has an indexing API, which notifies Google when pages are added or eliminated. The robots.txt and .htaccess recordsdata are necessary, too. Take a look at titles, descriptions, headers (H1, H2, extra), and breadcrumbs. Analyze how inner hyperlinks are distributing authority all through the location.
PEC: Say I’m a longtime service provider about to launch a brand new line of merchandise. How would I obtain excessive natural rankings for these gadgets?
Karpenko: Go step-by-step. First, gather key phrases and separate them into teams. Prioritize which merchandise you need to rank organically for, then put collectively key phrases for that group. Subsequent, examine for search intent. Kind a key phrase in Google and see what pages are rating.
If an article ranks within the high 10, it’s most likely not one of the best concept to attempt to rank an ecommerce product web page for that phrase. It’s higher to ask that article web site to insert a hyperlink in its article. That may put you within the high 10; you’ll get site visitors straightaway. And don’t tackle the excessive authority shops akin to Amazon, Goal, or Walmart. Give attention to opponents just like yours.
Decide the highest 15 opponents from a key phrase group, and slim it to 5. Take a look at belief and think about this group’s area and URL parameters. I might use Majestic’s Belief Stream and Quotation Stream. URLs with a belief ratio of greater than 2 often don’t rank nicely. Over-optimized web sites usually rank poorly. We collect that belief knowledge and assemble the key phrases. We’ll analyze which opponents rank for them, what number of of these key phrases they use, and their primary web page or product class. Then we take a look at the content material. We analyze content material construction from the scale of the web page to the Schema.org markup to headings, H1 to H6.
Take a look at what number of phrases are between H1 to H6. What’s the code? The content material will be checklists, pictures, quotes, or feedback. what they’ve in widespread. You may glean one of the best practices from high web sites. After that, construction your web page. A retailer with 100 classes must prioritize. You may’t rank for all the things from the start. Manage the primary classes and pages, add a number of tweaks, after which process your designer for a mock-up.
It’s essential to design a web site after implementing search engine marketing ways, not earlier than. In any other case you’ll redo stuff. As soon as we now have an search engine marketing technique, we code after which write and analyze textual content utilizing a software akin to SurferSEO or Copywritely.
PEC: You’re the founder and CEO of SeoProfy, in Ukraine. Inform us concerning the firm.
Karpenko: We’ve round 200 workers. Roughly 75% are in Ukraine, all through the nation. The conflict impacted us. We stopped working with the Russian shoppers. We completed the duties promised them after which stopped. That was about 25% of our general income. It was hurtful, however we didn’t lay off any workers.
The primary two weeks of the conflict have been tense. Our human sources division coordinated with all the employees to see how everybody was doing, the place they have been, and if anybody wanted assist, akin to relocating. Issues are extra steady now.
So far, none of our workers have acquired accidents from the conflict. A few of our individuals stay in Kyiv, however they’re protected and don’t need to go away. We’ve adjusted and adopted a type of darkish humor. A crew member may say, “There’s a siren. We have to go to the bomb shelter.”
It’s arduous to search out good expertise. We don’t need to hearth individuals. We’ve a plan to outlive.
PEC: All of us worth our Ukrainian colleagues. How can individuals attain out and assist you?