Do you have an e-commerce store? How is it performing? Online marketplaces are the ultimate outlook of digital marketing. In 2015, online sales hit $341 billion in the US alone. This was a significant growth of 14.5% from the previous year.
With over 110, 000 e-commerce stores in the market, the competition is getting really fierce. To achieve the anticipated growth in sales, your e-commerce store must be carefully designed to enhance navigation and visibility. You need to put special focus on beating the giants though SEO.
Why SEO in e-commerce?
Optimizing your e-commerce site for organic search traffic is very crucial for raising sales. This is what the top online retailers have been focusing on. Here are some relevant facts you need to know;
- About 44% of buyers start their shopping with an online search.
- Approximately 1/3 of online retailer traffic comes from SERPs.
- 26% of online purchases flow from organic search traffic.
- The top ranking pages in Google Search Engine Result Pages get over 32% of search traffic (This is almost double the traffic that goes to the sites on the second page).
- From a monetary view, search engine traffic has a great influence on approximately $150 billion in revenue of all unique users. For example, Amazon has a monthly user base of 82 million.
These facts demonstrate the importance of perfecting your SEO to increase sales. As you embark on this crucial SEO journey, the target should be outsmarting e-commerce giants. Here are some tested and proven tips that every e-commerce store owner should use to win more.
Work on quality and regular content
Focus on quality
In SEO marketing, content is king. Google has been working on its algorithms to guarantee its users of greater UX. In online retailing, people are extra sensitive to quality. They will rarely buy an item after simply bumping into it. The first thing is searching for related content. By posting quality content, you not only add value to the site and product but also create unique trust for sustaining traffic and sales. But how do you maintain top-notch quality for all content generated for the site?
- Make sure to focus on a specific target audience by researching it comprehensively.
- Identify and answer issues that affect the target audience.
- Carefully structure the content for greater user engagement.
- Pick the right keywords and ensure to point at the specific products and services.
- Carefully pick the topics, craft the titles, sub-headings, and content ideas for natural flow from one section to another.
Enrich the quality of regular posts
One specific debate that has dominated the SEO arena for years is the link between quality and quantity. While a lot of marketers insist that SEO content quality is the core, the reality is that they are only half-way right. That is correct. The truth is that quality and quantity content are inseparable.
If you post only two articles on your e-commerce site, the traffic looking for new info will be deflected to competitor sites. In one of the studies conducted by Hubpost, the results established that websites that posted 16 articles weekly received 5X more traffic than those that only did 4 articles. To be more specific, here is an account of how regular content can help your e-commerce beat the giants in the market today.
- Regular content helps to increase your website ranking.
- Posting regularly helps to grow the website’s keyword profile.
- It helps to increase the website’s social media content.
- Keeps regular clients coming back.
Notably, as the reality of regular content emerges, SEO experts indicate the difficulties they face in crafting quality content. In many cases, it required a lot of to follow metrics, craft campaigns, find influencers, and follow an organization's administrative considerations. Therefore how can an e-commerce store maintain a high output of top-notch content? Here are some great tricks that will work for you;
- Set an e-commerce editorial calendar to know when new content is due.
- Explore every topic in details because many topics revolve around the same issues. Therefore, you will not need to re-research for every piece.
- Create a highly reliable buffer so that articles are only released on schedule as opposed to posting everything at once.
- Work on the e-commerce content in batches.
- Outsource content writing services for your e-commerce site.
Optimize your e-commerce site for mobile search
When Google recently announced the index divide, it caught many by surprise. However, the writings were always on the wall. With over 50% of traffic coming from mobile devices, search engines such as Google rightly indicated the preference for the mobile index. This is the way to go for e-commerce stores. By making your content available on mobile devices, a big percentage of those searching for related products and info will never miss the store. You should particularly focus on the following;
- Ensure the website is properly optimized.
- Understand the user personas with a particular focus on mobile devices.
- Design an appropriate mobile app.
- Make sure to run an aggressive mobile marketing campaign.
One thing that every e-commerce store owner should appreciate is that though there is a great bias towards the mobile index, the desktop users are still important. This means that ample efforts should be directed to them as well.
Identify and rectify duplicate content in the e-commerce store
Duplicate content is a very serious problem in e-commerce stores. It is a situation where similar content is shown in several locations on a website. The impact is search engines getting confused about the page to rank. In e-commerce stores, this problem is very common and disastrous to SEO efforts.
The main cause of duplicate content includes site's session IDs, URL parameters used for sorting and tracking pages, page syndication, and comment pagination. The danger of duplicate content can be very dire. Often, your site’s page can easily get relegated to the back pages on SERPs and ultimately compromise reaching any significant conversion. Other impacts include exhausting the crawl budget, diluting link popularity, and showing unfriendly URLs.
As an SEO expert targeting to outdo the e-commerce giants in your niche, you need to be on the lookout. Notably, some of the causes are not due to your mistakes. Rather, they arise from the site design and operations. Therefore, here is what you can do to avoid duplicate content;
- Always identify and redirect the website’s duplicate pages.
- Utilize rel-canonicals to tell the search engines about the preferred page when several versions of the same page are available.
- Use 301 redirects for all the pages you have moved permanently.
- Be extra vigilant with sites that publish your e-commerce site content. Make sure they use rel-canonicals to point back to the main pages on your website.
Extend the search to alternative search engines
Though Google has dominated the search market for many years, a good e-commerce store owner should never stop there. Other upcoming markets are rising in popularity very fast. For example, Bing has a market share of 20% of the US search market. Your SEO cannot afford to ignore any potential client. The additional traffic might be the missing link to break even, hit the million mark in sales, or surpass the immediate competitor.
The main search engines to focus on outside Google include;
Boost your SEO with influencer marketing
The top e-commerce giants in the market today are visited by hundreds of thousands of people looking for products. After reaching the coveted top status, the associated trust is enough to keep driving new clients and sales. How do you outdo the top stores? You must be smarter! This is why you need to boost the e-commerce with influencer marketing.
About a decade ago, the online marketplace was not very widespread. Many people only needed to read about an item before deciding to buy. Now, the landscape has shifted so much. The modern client wants to be persuaded to buy. The seller has to demonstrate that the product on the shelf will deliver highest possible value. This is where the influencers come in.
Influencers are experts in your industry who command a lot of following. They have won trust over time, and users easily believe them when it comes to buying from marketplaces. By roping the influencers, their followers can easily become your clients. Remember that influencers will not simply help to drive sales; they will also improve the brand image in the industry. To get more from an influencer, ensure to do the following;
- Only pick the most influential expert in the industry.
- Be specific on the objectives of roping the influencer.
- Review the progress of the influencer involvement regularly.
- Learn the tricks used by the influencer and apply them after the contract is over.
Use business reviews to win trust and drive conversions
When Zandesk released their recent study results, one of the most significant findings was that approximately 90% of buyers use positive reviews from previous clients to decide to buy. This makes the reviews a very crucial component of any SEO effort, especially for e-commerce stores.
The current digital era is being defined by people who have experienced a product. Google-My-Business Reviews is a great way of taking reviews to the next level. It is a new and free tool from Google that allows users emphasis on their pages in search results. You can also use other top review sites to take the good message of the store to the target audience.
While top e-commerce giants such as Amazon have perfected using on-site reviews to their advantage, new platforms have to follow the same trend and target influencing users. To get more reviews and ensure they work for the site, here is what you need to do.
- Only allow those who have used the product to do reviews.
- Ensure to respond to feedback and reviews that give negative impressions.
- Use the reviews to identify weak areas and work on improvements. Do not forget to communicate to users about the changes.
- Ensure to share the reviews widely especially on social media and other marketing platforms to drive high-quality traffic.
Carry a comprehensive competitor backlink analysis
One thing that SEO experts agree on when targeting to win a bigger market share in a market is comprehensive competitor analysis. You need to review what the top giants are doing to craft better strategies. The best place to start when dealing with e-commerce stores is analyzing the backlinks from the competitors.
Backlink analysis allows e-commerce marketers to uncover all the patterns that the top competitors have been applying. To carry this analysis and get results put together in an actionable manner, you need the right tools such as the Open Site Explorer or Majestic.
Using these tools, you can easily identify and act on the following;
- What is delivering great results for the competitor?
- The patters applied by the top e-commerce giants to win more traffic and conversions.
- What you can do to leverage your operations for better results.
Once you understand how the competitors are operating, enrich your SEO strategies to drive change and get better results. If unsure about how to redefine your strategy for better results after competitor backlink analysis, consider seeking assistance from an expert.
Target the featured snippets
While the top giants work on optimizing sales, you need to focus on cutting the market share by winning more traffic and persuading followers to convert. On top of working hard to get better ranking, you also need to target hitting position zero (featured snippets). This greatly increases the e-commerce’s site appearance and click-through-rates.
To get featured in position zero, one needs to identify common questions in his niche and crafting the best answers. You also need to research the target audience and ensure that the site answers what they need.
At a time search engine optimization is undergoing rapid changes, your success is pegged on moving at the same pace. You need to remain on top of things by staying on the positive side of the search engines. One new addition that will work wonders for you is the featured snippets.
This is a very useful SEO method for e-commerce stores because it allows marketers to link and understand their target clients. The objective is creating a system that makes clients associate with you all the time. Think of a client who buys an item from your store and gets so much attached that he does not even bother looking elsewhere for new items. Even during low moments, such clients will never leave, but help to provide solutions. To achieve this, you can follow these three strategies;
- Raise the brand awareness and distinguish yourself as an expert in the niche. This means selecting the best products and starting discussions about related services. For example, if you are selling fitness products, create the forum for discussing fitness related programs and associated issues.
- Attach a blog to the website to communicate and make clients raving customers. Here, you want to ensure that clients are getting more than they wanted. If a client bought a washing machine, the blog could follow with maintenance and related posts. As a source of the info they want, the satisfied client will never stop inviting friends to see the product and referring others to the site.
- Make the e-commerce a platform for discussing products and the results achieved by clients. Whether a client is looking for home theater or cryptocurrency mining hardware, the communication platform will make the store unique. Of course, you will be there to correct any misinformation and ensure that clients are satisfied.
The secret to community engagement is ensuring that all the clients are highly satisfied and can take the message to other clients. Unlike reviews where clients often write and go away, communities remain intact. With time, they become like a growing snowball rolling downhill in winter. They attract more people until everyone notices how reliable, trusted, and satisfying your site is.
The final take
Taking on the e-commerce giants in the market is not a simple task. But it can be achieved by trying to understand them. You need extra determination and holistic understanding of SEO applications to drive more traffic and guarantee users of better UX. Remember that it is not simply about sales, but building a lasting brand image that can work for the stores in years to come. Start using the outlined tips and maintain consistency for better results.