10 SEO Strategies All Ecommerce Store Owners Should Follow

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10 SEO Strategies All Ecommerce Store Owners Should Follow

This post was written by my buddy Neville Medhora. If you don’t remember him, he was a featured guest on episode 3 of my podcast. He’s also a former multiple eCommerce store owner and a world renowned copywriting teacher.

Most people don’t know this but he was also my costar in the first Harold and Kumar movie:

Steve Neville White Castle

So without further ado, here’s Neville!

From 2001 to 2011 I owned a rave company called HouseOfRave (I sold it in October of 2011 so if it looks weird, don’t blame me)!  But I did make a good living off it, and learned some tricks in the process.

I’d say the absolute #1 method to get more sales for my online store was to rank higher in the search engine results.

Products that ranked #1 made a lot of money.  HAPPY :-)

Products that DIDN’T rank never made as much money.  SAD :-(

People are most likely to buy right as they are searching for a product.  So obviously dominating the search engine results for your products would be optimal.

Well, here’s my top tips to help you dominate the search engine results!!

1.) Use Proper “Title Tags” And “Description Tags”

These are the most important things to get right on your site.

For example, on Steve’s website MyWifeQuitHerJob this is how his Title and Description tags show up in Google:

Steve Title Tags

Those are basically the ONLY TEXT GOOGLE SHOWS in the search results, so you better make sure it’s relevant!

This will not only make for better SEO rankings, but also get more people to click.

So if you’re selling a USB Rubber Ducky, you better make sure you at least have those words in your Title Tags and Description tags so they compete!  Checkout all the results, they ALL have “USB Rubber Ducky” in the Title AND Description tags:

Steve Rubber Ducky

2.) Make Your Link URL’s Easy To Read:

You know the actual product link for each page?  Those are pretty important too.

It’s best to call your page something like:

  • whatever.com/usb-rubber-ducky
  • whatever.com/usb_rubber_ducky
  • whatever.com/usb-rubber-ducky.html
  • whatever.com/usb_rubber_ducky.html

It’s NOT best to call your page:

  • whatever.com/934834fjw.html

If you’re a robot trying to crawl through a website, which of the sites above would you think is more relevant for a USB rubber ducky?  Obviously the one with a nice usb_rubber_ducky.html kinda name.

I won’t go deep into this SEO stuff here, but having clear URL’s is generally best practice.

3.) Make Product Videos To Get The 1st Result:

Guess what Google loves more than giving users relevant search results?

Giving relevant search results with their own properties such as YouTube!

Steve Video Ranking

I remember the first product video I ever made was for Oggz.

I did NOT want to be on video at the time.  So I made some dumb video of these Oggz Eggs being surrounded by fire.  Then I set the soundtrack to Journey.  Check out how ghetto it was:

I’m not sure whether to be proud or embarrassed of the video!  But gimme a break….this was my first product video ever and it was 8 years ago….BUT ALMOST OVERNIGHT I JUMPED TO THE FIRST SPOT ON GOOGLE FOR IT!

Simply because no one else had a video, and YouTube video results are super-favored by Google.  Even till this day, you can dominate the search results by adding a video with a relevant title.  You can even take ghetto videos with your phone and upload them.

4.) Properly Name Your Product Images:

This is another simple thing you can do.

Make sure your images are named and tagged properly.  So if we are selling Finger Lights, make sure the names are clear, something like:

  • whatever.com/images/finger-lights.jpg
  • whatever.com/images/finger_lights.jpg
  • whatever.com/images/color_changing_finger_lights.jpg

Basically don’t call your image:

  • whatever.com/images/xuyd72yg82.jpg

People love images.
Google also loves images.
Google puts them in the “Images” results, as well as the normal search results, which means free exposure:

Steve Image Search
Steve Image Search Regular

Make sure your title tags on your images are relevant too.  So for finger lights we’d obviously set the “Title” (or “alt”) tags to “Finger Lights” or “Color Changing Finger Lights”.

5.) Re-naming Products:

There was a product from a manufacturer called “The Fantastic Hand Held 2 Headed Light Show”

I thought the name was lame, plus I wanted to dominate the search results.  So I followed my own advice and:

  • Changed the name to “Double Sided Spin Show”
  • Named the images along the lines of: ….double-sided-spin-show.jpg
  • Named the image title tages: Double Sided Spin Show
  • Made a YouTube video called: Double Sided Spin Show (old video link from Oct 2008)
  • Made the URL: double-sided-spin-show.html

Steve Spin Double

Within less than a week I had complete SEO domination!  And when people would search the web for the same product…..guess who they found??  (hint: ME!!)

6.) Re-Purposing Products:

My favorite example was Rave Balls.  I literally INVENTED the term around 2007 (bahaha….I actually Google’d “Rave Balls” and I’m STILL #1)!!!

There was this popular selling product that were actually light up golf balls…..but people were buying lots of them from HouseOfRave to use as super-durable (and waterproof) lights on the dance floor.  I never thought of this!

So originally the name was boring and irrelevant: Light Up Golf Balls 

Steve Lightup Golf Balls

Since these worked so well as a rave party toy, I called them: Rave Balls!

Steve Rave Balls

The image I used was a .gif image that showed these little golf balls could change color at the touch of a button:
Rave balls

People went berserk for Rave Balls!!  The new name was:

  • Easier to understand.
  • More fun.
  • Had the word “balls” in it (which I personally thought was hilarious).

…..but the most sneaky thing about this change was:

If you Google’d the term “Rave Balls” I completely 100% dominated the search results.  That equated to mo’ money!

Let’s just say I sold a decent amount of “Rave Balls” :-)

7.) USE .GIF IMAGES (Animated images)

I’m not saying use gif images for all your products, but sometimes a tasteful .gif image helps explain a product much better, like these:

Accent Light Rope

I would only use these if your products would be benefited by a .gif.  Sometimes they are really catchy on a website.

8.) Add Some Freakin Copy!

I can’t tell you how often I see a product advertised like this:

Zero Effort Copy


If you want some of that SEO juice from google, you’re going to have to write some descriptions or have some text on the page.  It helps your customers AND your SEO.

For certain products with lots of uses, I would post on the product page about them or in email.  Like for the finger lights I wrote stuff like:

Good Copy

Once again…..this isn’t just for SEO purposes, but also helping your customer out.  They may have never ever thought about some of these creative uses.

9.) If You Put It All Together:

If a product is well SEO’d, the images are properly made, and you have a video linked, and you’re selling a sort of unique product….you could potentially 100% dominate the search results  😀

SEO Domination

This means way more money and exposure for your store.  Always a good thing!


So this list of 9 techniques is all good and dandy.  But let’s say our good buddy Steve Chou wants his eCommerce business to rank well for something like the keyword “Personalized wedding napkins”.

So my best way of getting a competitive keyword like this ranked in the search engines would be……

Send samples to C-Level bloggers!

So the best way to get to the top of the search results is to get quality links from other websites.

But hooowww to do that?

Well you can either spam a bunch of blogs and say “HEY!!!!!  PUT MY PRODUCT ON YOUR SITE!!!!!” ….or you can spend some time and effort and get crazy awesome results.

For these steps I’ll use the examples of Steve Chou’s business Bumble Bee Linens.  Let’s assume he’s trying to reach the top of Google for “Personalized wedding napkins”.

First Step.) Identify the target blogs you want quality links from.

No one is gonna write articles about your product all willy-nilly.  It don’t work like that. ESPECIALLY not the big guys!  Don’t ask the editor of Vogue Online to write about your napkins and expect it to happen.

However there ARE tons of C-Level blogs and sites always looking for fresh content.  So go out and find some-o-those blogs and keep a big list of them in a spreadsheet.

I simply Google’d around for “Best Wedding Blogs” and found loooaadddss and looaaads of them:

Blog 1

Second Step.) Contact 5-10 blogs via email or phone…..and ask them where you can send them some fancy-pants personalized napkins…..for free.
Find their email or phone….and if that doesn’t work….just find their Twitter contact and try over Twitter.

Blog 2

Send them an email saying:
From: Steve Chou
To: Practical Weddings
Subject: address to send?
Hey Meg, love the site.  

I wanna send your team some personalized wedding napkins.  So far I’ve got:

The names are monogrammed into the napkins and they make awesome gifts.

Send me any extra names you want, and also the shipping address.

My way of saying thank you!

Steve Chou – Husband, father, and Asian Man.

Third Step.) Send them the gifts with a nice note (take pics of the products first)!  
Go ahead and box everything up, write a nice note, don’t TRY to promote anything.  You don’t wanna come off as pressuring them to write a post yet.

Blog 3

Fourth Step.) Followup with a pre-written blog post they can use.  

Send this email:
From: Steve Chou
To: Practical Weddings
Subject: get the box yet?

Hey Meg, I sent off the monogrammed napkins!

I enjoy all the stuff you write on Practical Weddings, me and my wife are definitely followers.

Our business is all about making personalized wedding stuff (like the napkins we sent).   Based on our sales (from about 2,000+ orders) these are actually for some reason SUPER POPULAR in Oregon and California for outdoor weddings.  Weird pairing huh?

We wrote a blog post about this.  I attached it in WordPress format if you ever wanna use it.

Once again, love your stuff, thanks again Meg!

Steve Chou – Husband, father, and Asian Man.

P.S.  Feel free to contact us if you need anything: 650-492-4617

In this blog post you would include:

  • The blog post source code they would just paste into their wordpress and click “publish”.
  • Preferably it would an awesome blog guest post talking about the different uses for “personalized wedding napkins” or some examples of create “personalized wedding napkins”.
  • It would have pictures (that are linked from your site) in the blog post.
  • The pictures would ideally be watermarked with THEIR site’s name to make it look great for them.
  • There will be ONE link in the blog post copy like this: “This set of personalized wedding napkins was sent to us from Steve at BumbleBeeLinens.  Thanks Steve!”

Blog 4

Fifth Step.) Try to get at least half the places you send to post about you.
When I’ve done this in the past, my success rate was an astounding 5-out-of-7 places posted!!

It’s how back in the day I dominated some search results like “Oggz” even over behemoths like Wal-Mart!

I know this last part seems like a lot of work……but if you have a profitable product category and want to be #1, this is actually a relatively small investment (I spent less than $300 to get a #1 spot that lasted years).

Now if STEVE could do this….you can too.  You can AT LEAST do tips #1-9 in very little time.

Good job Steve!

Blog 5

Neville Medhora

P.S.  If you wanna learn more about selling with good copy through your site, you can signup to site at KopywritingKourse.com for free.  

P.P.S.  Drop me the link to your store or a specific product below, and I’ll go through and check it out to see how to improve it and leave you a comment back.  Peace!

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23 thoughts on “10 SEO Strategies All Ecommerce Store Owners Should Follow”

  1. Great tips Neville!

    One more thing, I love optimizing category pages when it comes to SEO’ing ecommerce sites.

    1. Thanks Dennis!

      Optimizing the category pages is good too…..fortunately I think MOST ecommerce suites out there already do this.

      Also I like to make sure all products have a little breadcrumb trail at the top.

  2. Loved this post, Neville! And, I have to admit to watching your “Rave Balls” video…quite entertaining!

    I just launched my eCommerce store a couple weeks ago and am getting ZERO organic traffic. I rank great on Amazon but can see that ranking on Google is an entirely different animal.

    I’ll work on putting into practice some of the tips you outlined here. Specifically, I need to check the image links to make sure they are good and get after some of those C-bloggers!

    Got a lot to do…


    1. Thanks Reeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

      Glad you liked my balls. RAVE balls that is.

      And yes, if you just a launched a store selling products similar to those already out there, you WILL NOT RANK very quickly. The only way to start ranking is to build up legitimate links, and one of the best ways is to go after some c-level blogs.

      I originally did that with HouseOfRave through sending samples…..but also participating in public forums and occasionally dropping a link to my products (however that only helped very little with rankings).

      Think of your personal eCommerce site as one distribution channel. You should DEFINITELY start promoting on different channels also like Amazon/Ebay/Etsy. Any extra exposure is really good.

      Also those other channels already have tons of traffic. And since you’re competing for the word “Beer Koozie”….it might be hard to EVER get rankings with some of those much larger competitors.

      Best of luck Ree!

  3. That youtube video is awesome. It makes complete sense that Google would favour YouTube. I remember someone selling BBQs on a previous podcast was having a lot of success with product videos.
    The gifs are an awesome touch, too, especially in the glowing rave stuff space.

    1. Yeah Anne……google DEFINITELY favors content that keeps you on it’s own system. I mean, who wouldn’t :)

      Plus a video can also be a super powerful sales tool to convince someone should buy something.

      Use this info wisely!

  4. Thanks for these tips! We’re just getting started with our website, and this information has been extremely helpful! Thank You!

    Would love any tips you have for how we could improve our site: http://www.chilkacraftperu.com


    1. Great article, Neville! I don’t think it would have occurred to me to make a video for a product.

      Something readers should be aware of, though, is that using a copyrighted song in your video is a bad idea because you cannot use it without paying for a license. While the most likely scenario if your infringement is discovered is that you’d be told to take the video down, you could face a lawsuit. Here’s a story about a photographer who used a Coldplay song in a wedding video that went viral on YouTube: http://www.pdnonline.com/news/Wedding-Photographer-4188.shtml The photographer settled out of court with Coldplay for an undisclosed sum of money. Other photographers and videographers have also been threatened with lawsuits.

      If you feel like you really need music for your video, you’d be better off asking a local musician for permission to use a song of theirs in exchange for some publicity or a small licensing fee. Or you could license royalty-free from a service such as Triple Scoop Music, here: http://triplescoopmusic.com

      1. Hey Karen! Thanks for the suggestion……I made that product 8 years ago very quickly and never thought about that then.

        Since then I’ve never used a song in a video that was copyrighted. Good point.

        But the videos are ALWAYS a good idea!

    2. Hey Sarah,

      I would first say that your site is fine….you just need more traffic. An easy way to expand that traffic is by hitting up different distribution channels where there ALREADY IS traffic.

      These are:

      Post some of your products on all those sites and test how they do.

      Make sure to use titles with words in them like “Peruvian Belt” or “Peru Handbag” (or whatever the products are) so you can get some hits from search results.

      Otherwise with a brand new ecommerce store you won’t start ranking very quickly without GOING OUT AND GRABBING customers from other channels or blogs.

      Best of luck Sarah, comment if you need anymore suggestions or have questions!

  5. Wonderful advice. I am planning on adding some graphic / web design templates for my web design clients to download / buy and I’ll make sure to take into account ALL your tips here. These do make a lot of sense, even if we sometimes tend to disregard some.

    1. Awesome, glad you’re taking action Ramona!

  6. Thanks for sharing such great advice Neville. My favourite was on blogger outreach as that’s something that I’m currently working on.

    1. Oh man that’s a HUGE part of building an audience. When I first started blogging I never participated in any of the sharing that other bloggers did. Then I noticed a lot of those bloggers quickly surpass me since I wasn’t part of the group.

      Had I just been a little more open and friendly to other bloggers, I could’ve reaped big rewards!

  7. Great article Steve, A lot of useful information here. I agree on the videos about products. It really helps a lot, Youtube is definitely a great tool.Thank you

    1. Yup, YouTube is amazing for several reasons:
      1.) It’s free!
      2.) The videos give your buyer a better sense of what they’re buying.
      3.) Bonus SEO doesn’t hurt either :)

  8. Great SEO tips, all of them play a pivotal role in SEO. I still don’t understand how some websites don’t customize their urls, H1 and meta titles, they’re the basics of SEO.

    1. Thanks Alan!

      Some websites don’t do that, but I think it’s less and less. Major platforms like Shopify and WordPress generally automatically have proper seo titles in their structures.

  9. Neville,

    Thank you so much for your insight, great article! I really want to have my wedding veils featured on smaller wedding blogs but would it be necessary to send a veil considering the person I’m sending to may already be married?!

  10. Hello Steve,

    We just created an Online Store offering Erotic Accessories for Women and Men,lingerie,sexy toys,etc I really like to read your blog and articles, they are very useful and informative. Any tips on how to make the best out of the erotic niche 😛 ?!

  11. Hey there Neville & Steve!

    Love the article, loads of fabulous advice!

    In regards to SEO, would you make pages like the Terms and Conditions, Privacy Policy and Refunds pages visible to search engines? What effect does hiding them have?

    Many thanks


  12. Hey Neville, thanks so much for the steps. I’ll definitely be implementing them!

    Could you please take a look at my site http://www.sgstyle.sg and give some comments on my seo? Thank you!

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