Discussion 2: Advice for Finding and Hiring an Ace SEO Expert in Ecommerce
Tips for finding and hiring an ace SEO expert for e-comm website? I tried Fiverr and… had to get a refund 😞
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[filtered from 54 Answers]
So..as an ecommerce expert, I own an agency and yes we do Search Engine Optimization (SEO), but it would be most helpful to you to understand how to qualify who is giving you good information and who is blowing smoke up your backside. You will have a tough time finding anyone on Fiverr and Upwork if you have no clue how they work, what they will clearly do, and if they are doing backlinks for you – if they are using white hat ways and proven strategies. Otherwise, you're risking more than just the cash you pay them. They can destroy your rankings. SEO isn't a "thing." SEO is a group of processes that include the technical structure of your site and navigation, your on site content and internal linking strategy, social distribution, and MAY include a backlink acquisition strategy. I say may because many stores are quite successful and have good rank without any intentional effort to seek backlinks.
I will also add that if your site isn't designed to convert well, then everything else you do with marketing, including SEO will be dramatically less effective. So much so that we don't accept poorly done sites because you will be unhappy with the sales generated by our effort. We don't like unhappy clients.
The fact you have lots of hands raised here without a soul asking to see your site and determine a baseline need is scarily telling. IF someone will sell you services without that evaluation they are not working for you, they are working for themselves.
Love your content/views/willingness to share Lori
Patricio » Smith
Me too! I always love to read posts from Lori, Mew and Mike. Really valuable stuff for someone intermediate.
I won't recommend hiring a Virtual Assistant (VA) for a job if you do not know the basics of that particular field.
I myself hired a lot of VAs if you need help we can discuss (not offering any service) just a discussion if it can help you.
the only way a VA works is if the hiring person or manager can advise, teach and develop a strategy. I can allocate tasks to a VA, and while I don't use mine for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) yet, I will. I cannot teach strategy. I'm still struggling to teach that to my VAs. It's even harder if they aren't familiar with the marketing and native tongue. They also take supervision.
I can have a VA do my 301 redirects and pull reports for an audit. I can't have them figure out how to write a compelling meta, understand how to correct technical deficiencies on site. I can have them post to social. I would never have one do my link outreach or write content for my site or a client. a VA is VERY limited for SEO if done well.
Bharath » Lori Appleman
Finally someone who makes sense. Thank you.
Lori Appleman 🎓 » Bharath
I actually remembered that there is at least one person in this group who is VA who actually does seem to know her stuff. Enough so that I tried to hire her but was unsuccessful. However, based on my experience that's exceptionally rare. I also haven't seen her actually work.
Bharath » Lori Appleman
I'm a fellow ecom biz owner and I struggle to find someone too. I just wrote to the OP on this and hope she finds value in what I shared. I think she needs to understand and be aware of what the strategy involves before she chooses an agency or a freelancer. Else she is just gonna hope for a miracle worker and be disappointed like most ecom biz owners (myself included)
Hi miss Lori Appleman
! So much learning I get from just reading the comment thread! 🙂 We currently run a dropshipping/ecom biz
with around 30 staff doing purely sales online thru fb and ig and I was wondering as a business owner in Asia how can I maybe start to open opportunities for covid-stricken but hardworking people around my area as VAs for other biz owners. The wage around our office in the Philippines is only at around $10 a day but these are hardworking and intelligent people hungry for opportunity. I know most of the people in the group are already well-versed in SEO so I'd like to apologize in advance if it's out of context 😃
Lori Appleman 🎓 » Gerard
I can't tell you how to open your business but I will tell you there is a solid demand
Thank you so much for entertaining Lori Appleman
! That's more than enough I appreciate it! 🙂
Hanif » Lori Appleman
that totally makes sense, but the issue you have mentioned like meta and technical errors, i guess this should be a part of Virtual Assistant (VA) and if he/she doesn't know about it you should change your VA immediately.
Recently we have hired an AFFILIATE CONSULTANT as a VA and he knows his stuff, he just make the strategies and followup with other resources who are actually doing all the execution. So yes, for VA you need to define the task very clearly
Bharath » Irena
As a fellow ecom biz owner (not a service provider), I've been in the same boat. We really got 2 options.
a) Shoot in the dark. Don't have a darn clue what is needed to rank and why. Pay an agency, Virtual Assistant (VA), SEO guru and hope they work a miracle.
b) Learn the basics of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Understand the different moving parts within the SEO strategy. Understand why things are done the way they are done (not necessarily how they are done since that could take your focus away from primary business ops). Learn what to expect and measure outcome. Then finally hire someone or an agency to keep the needle moving.
The difference between Option A and Option B is that you actually understand and make sense of the strategy in Option B rather than expect a miracle worker. Since you comprehend it, you as the business owner now know how to measure it. You understand what strategies impact traffic and how to drive traffic and how it converts to prospect and sale. You understand your buyer journey and why a certain post ranks higher on Google than other. You understand how people move from top of funnel to middle and bottom. You understand conversion rate optimization (CRO) elements and why they are necessary.
Now finally the strategy actually makes sense to you as a business owner.
At this point I would like to hire an agency and seek 100% clarity on my goals/outcomes and how to measure them. To the degree of knowing which keyword i wish to rank for and what i would do to rank for it. What the estimate traffic for it at position 1. How long it would take to get there and what metrics should be monitored for continuous improvement.
This makes it easy for both us as business owner and the agency/VA you bring on board. It easier to pay someone, hope for a miracle and keep fingers crossed. But keep in mind, no one is gonna be more invested in your business than yourself. If you don't know to measure the outcome of activities, its the same as faith and belief as opposed to outcome.
Good luck. If you do find a good agency, spread the good word on them please. People like me value the client referrals a lot. Lori Appleman
Please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.
Even when delegation makes sense, which is most of the time, I am with you in that I believe that having a good basic understanding helps you hire smarter.
Tips NOT to get scammed" STAY AWAY FROM Fiverr AND UPWORK.
Good SEO users are normally found "underground". Good SEO users don't need advertisements. But most importantly, look at their previous tracked history of performance. Perhaps within your niche. If you find a GOOD SEO guy, chances are they've worked quiet few niches, so they have case studies (beware of fakes).
Ultimately a good SEO, perhaps will first go over an audit with you, and explain your main issues. From there you have a decent understanding.
Hope it helps 🙏
not quite as it doesn't tell me how to find someone who is working "underground"
Vee » Irena
Well, the answer itself suggests some digging itself. You asked how to find "ACE SEO users", but without specifying what you'd expect at least from an "ace", I guess pouring sales yesterday? In this case, you run a quick Google search and click on all the ads on top 🙂
I gave you some general outlines on how to spot one, if you want to find one, it takes a bit of research, or you might have some luck if someone recommends you someone else's.
Another way, simply to allow someone to run a quick audit and what they'd do to improve. I guess from your post you've never hired an SEO, therefore I'd suggest perhaps rephrasing and listing your requirements if you'd like more help. In that case, you'll get more targeted answers.
This may satisfy you: Make a Blog Section to Strengthen the eCommerce
Discussion 1: Ten Steps for SEO for Jewelry eCommerce
Ecommerce SEO Questions
Dear SEO community,
I manage an eCommerce family business, jewellery niche. We are doing great with facebook ads. However, I feel that we can do much better with a good SEO strategy in place.
Up to know we optimized category pages and wrote over 100+ blog posts and we are getting 300+ visitors daily from Google search. With 0 backlinks I achieved the results attached in the image.
Now I'm planning to start building backlinks and my questions are:
1. What is the best way to build them for an eCommerce store?
2. What pages of my eCommerce store shall I use when building backlinks: homepage, Category pages or blog pages? We are selling unique products, so I can't link to product pages since we delete them often.
3. Anyone can point out a SEO eCommerce expert to follow?
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here is a comment from Marty Marion on a post from an year ago which i saved and whenever i start designing my strategy for e-commerce businesses, i make sure to cover them all with my own mix of knowledge that comes after understanding the niche
and believe me it works to an extent that some of my clients make really good sales monthly. (can't say the number coz it'll become a nasty pitch from a resourceful comment 🤣)
"here's my approach for your anonymous client, given the info you've provided:
In e-commerce with many products, (think aggregator marketplace like Rakuten), the key is a combination of:
1. Category level Search Engine Optimization (SEO) (based on the various product trend categories) and fast path through conversion, so on category top level pages, Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) must be part of the SEO path.
2. Intensive use of buying-intent page titles and H1s, not core-level keywords.
3. Intensive internal cross linking across related categories and from product PDPs to category pages.
4. Dynamically updated user site map (not the XML site map), with long-tail and buying-intent keywords hyperlinked to appropriate pages; look at the depth and organization of this one, but organize in terms of the various product trends or categories:
5. On-page content: on top-level category pages, by trend or product type, 100 – 150 words of full-sentence content, including 2 hyperlinks: one exact match (brand name / site name) linked to home page, one exact match to a page named something like "hottest products".
6. On PDP pages content: 50 – 60 words of product description (minimum) with 2 internal cross-links: one exact match brand / site name to home page, one exact match to the category page that product is in.
7. Image metas – for trendy products, which might get a lot of searches, I'd ensure proper metas for images, to exploit the opportunity of image search, and in alt tags I would include the domain or site identifier.
8. Custom 404 page for when trendy products are sold out.
9. Insanely well written meta descriptions.
10. Assuming he has NO SEO (which is not true, it's just un-optimized), once deployment of the right SEO tactics are engaged, should expect a minimum 3x increase in demand over a 4 to 6 month period. Thus, fast path to conversion is essential.
With any additional information, there are probably adjustments to the above, and additional tactics."
Old Navy | Shop the Latest Fashion for the Whole Family
Thank you Saroosh for re-posting this info. I am very happy to help if I can… quite a lot of experience in ecom and fashion… Sasha Skibinskiy feel free to PM me if you like…
No thanks man
it has helped me generate huge sales for my clients 🙂
I will get you a beer if we ever meet 😃
Dean » Saroosh, Marty Marion interesting – i read the bit about the cross linking from individual product pages 1 to home page 1 to product page it is in, i can see how that would get 1000s of internals to the home page and boost to product pages – i don't see that done in the example though – as for the example is the purpose of the index (which is basically a mega menu) is it for link building to?
Also 150 words content for top level categories doesnt seem a lot – is it not better to gauge the level of content of sites in the top 10-20 positions?
Just curious as i do a lot of this but never done product linking before
hey Marty Marion Saroosh, I have a few questions.
1-What is meant by " CRO must be part of the SEO path."?
2- Can you give any example of " Intensive use of buying-intent page titles and H1s, not core-level keywords."?
3- CAn you please explain this in a little more detailed "Image metas – for trendy products, which might get a lot of searches, I'd ensure proper metas for images, to exploit the opportunity of image search, and in alt tags I would include the domain or site identifier."?
Thanks in Advance
Skibinskiy » Saroosh, Marty Marion Thank you very much!
There are quite a few strategies you could use when it comes to E-commerce.
Some I can think of , off the top of my head:
Quick wins – suppliers, clients, other businesses (like companies that clean jewellery, maintain expensive watches, etc)
influential bloggers – there might be people in the region who have a fairly successful blog and social following. Some of them may even be customers already. Could get a review of a jewellery piece and get a backlink. They may ask for money, but could probably just give them a discount off their order or something.
Good quality content – now this pretty much an umbrella where you need to use your imagination. Too much to type here, so I have a whole article which talks through some ideas:
And depending on the content, it may act purely as 'link bait', or others may be stuff that's a bit more relevant to your audience.
That ties into question (2) , the backlinks you build are going to depends on the technique you're using , and what's relevant to the person you're reaching out to. If it's a link bait piece – it might only be to your homepage or a category page. Whereas a review piece from a blogger , you could it directly to a category page.
And if you're going to have blog content planned out , you'll be able to build links to those blog posts instead. And remember you can link to your category pages from the blog posts, so that authority from those links will trickle down.
(3) i think I'm alright! But i think one thing you need to look at (no matter who you work with), is to figure out if the content on your blog is good enough to build links to.
Link Building Techniques for eCommerce sites | Amit Digital
I don't know if you could do it with jewelry but one way we have gotten backlinks is to send products for free to influencers and ask them to write a quick review of our product on their blog. Sometimes they will, other times they will post your website link on IG or another platform and you will get solid traffic from it.
1. Priorities: Blogs Post > Categories and Homepage.
2. Try to add your website(homepage) in the directories(small ones and the big ones) for organic ranking boost and referral traffic.
3. For link building, do the competitive analysis first, see where your competitors have already got the do-follow link, approach them for writing a guest post over there and get a link. This will help you get your ranking up for certain keywords.
4. Do the keyword analysis from Ahref, Webmasters, Keyword planner to see which keywords can help you in giving the customers and try to rank on that on the basis of their volume and relevance.
5. Reach out to the other niche people like the Fashion industry where you can collaborate and get the link for the category which you want to rank for.
6. Write about the long tail keywords as your blog post to get highly targeted customers.
7. Use quora, Reddit like platforms to converting the prospects into customers by moving them down the funnel.
Thank you Nav Charan Singh!