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Essential Guide for Conversion Rate Optimization in Ecommerce – 7 Step Guide Which Will Skyrocket your Shop Sales
We mean by conversion a desired action the visitor takes upon visiting a website.
Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO – industry accepted acronym) represents the process of optimizing a website for the desired action we want the visitor to take.
Conversion Rate is calculated depending on the case scenario of our website. For example if the desired action is to complete a form we divide the number of people that successfully registered the form by the number of unique visitors that page had.
Usually the term refers to ad clicks and it’s calculated by dividing the total number of conversions by the total number of ad clicks that were tracked.
For example, if you had 50 conversions from 1,000 clicks, your conversion rate would be 5%, since 50 ÷ 1,000 = 5%.
Conversion Rate Calculation for Ecommerce:
- CRO procedures have impact on Ecommerce KPI’s
- Ecommerce KPI’s have impact on net turnover
- Final impact of CRO is seen in company’s profits
- CRO done BAD sees no positive change in profits (profits stays the same or you see a drop)
Conversion Rate Optimization Guide Check:
Who Are Your Customers? Define your audience
Having a beautifully crafted website, good prices with carefully picked products is not enough. In order for sales to reach maximum efficiency you need to know what your customers are searching for and what do they expect as buying options.
A better understanding of your customers can be acquired through customer surveys as a post-sale service and direct chat interactions.
Home Page Optimization
Showcase your products like a merchant master
Be sure you are presenting the best-selling products and the trend-setting items for your niche on the homepage that can ensure a quick visitor engagement when landing on your store’s homepage. This decision will have a direct impact on lowering the Bounce Rate, considerably reducing it. Also make sure that the best-selling products have an information-rich product description and the product picture quality is best.
Offer more that one payment option
Always make sure to offer more than a single payment option, you can integrate payment with Paypal, Cash on Delivery, payment by Credit Card, Checks, Western Union, Money Gram, Escrow etc.
Reinforce your USP (Unique Selling Point)
Be sure you write down a text snippet with a short description on you homepage that will also reinforce your USP – include reasons why should a customer buy from your shop, your short storyline and other interesting details you could offer your customers about your business value.
If you have a fantastic product to sell be sure to reinforce your USP with a great product video or video review of that product.
Localize your store to specific countries
If you acquire international traffic and you can ship products worldwide, a notification pop-up based on visitor’s IP geo-location would be advised in order to notify that customer that you are currently shipping to his country of residence.
Product page optimization
This is where you grab people’s attention for clicking on the CTA. This page is mainly important because the first conversion step begins here and continues on the cart and checkout pages.
High Quality Product Images – Watch out for Image SEO
Get high quality product images (minimum 800px resolution) and remember to optimize them for the “alt” and “title” attributes. Also consider choosing descriptive filenames for the product images. These would be the basics of a good on-page SEO for images.
A well optimized product image example would be:
<img title="”raspberry" src="http://domainexample.com/uploads/photos/raspberry-pi-3.jpg" alt="”raspberry" />
Remember to use keywords in filename, alt tag and title tag of the product images.
Based on the fact that the search algorithm for Google Images is less complicated and works within primary on-page SEO ranking factors and less on backlink signals, this could be a great opportunity to increase your organic traffic with less effort.
Take in consideration the search relevance of the page where the image is shown, Google’s algorithm scans for keywords in the text surrounding the image. Also, the image caption is a great opportunity to describe what is shown in the image, taking in consideration keyword inclusion.
Quick SEO checks for Images:
- Img filename – be sure to include keywords
- Img alt attribute – be sure to include descriptive keywords of what its shown in the image
- Image title – works exactly like a page title, has to be representative for what is shown in the image
- Image size – should not affect page loading times
- Image surrounding text – the image ranking algorithm scanes for img’s sorrounding text
- Image caption
- Basic On-Page Seo for the page where the image is shown
Pay attention to your product’s description
Your product page represents a great SEO opportunity. Writing a useful, detailed-rich and keyword oriented description could mean a lot of search engine organic traffic entering your website for your product pages. Avoid using scrapped product descriptions from other sources on the internet or importing through data feeds short supplier generated product descriptions.
Also here you can link out helpful information like product size charts, return policy or shipping information.
Product videos or 360 product photography
Product images carry a lot of importance especially in some retail niches, like fashion, where an eye for details is essential. Also a high-zoom function is useful for those type of customers picky on details.
Larger e-shops use services like webrotate360.com that offers interactive 3D CAD & 360° Angle Product Photography for products.
Also this functionality can be acquired through plugins depending on your Content Management Systems. There are a few plug-in-s for WordPress that do a great job integrating with Woocommerce (ex: https://woocommerce.com/products/woocommerce-360-image/)
You can find a bigger list of plugins for various Ecommerce CMS’s ( Magento, Woocommerce) here: http://bit.ly/2pCWmh4
Product page functionalities – size charts, size calculators, color eyedrop picker, smart product suggestions.
Also, some fashion retailers use suggested related products in order for the customer to buy the whole look.
So for example if you are selling shoes and t-shirts you could filter the product related suggestions to output products for the same brand. If the customer is loyal to that brand it’s a better chance of converting him to buy more than 1 product.
Product’s delivery time
In most cases customers are keen to know the exact delivery date of their products. Since it’s hard to predict an exact delivery date, big e-shops like Amazon use delivery time ranges of 1-2 days.
This should be shown exactly on the product page after the customer has pressed the add to cart button. (in case you don’t redirect him automatically to the cart page – in this case you can show it in the checkout process)
Enable Out Of Stock Notification
If a product isn’t available anymore or there is a stock limitation on product acquisition, don’t delete the product page (avoiding 404 pages), rather set an “out of stock notification” clearly stated on page.
If you have some information regarding the product restocking date it would be nice for the customer to know when it’ll be restocked. Also you can prompt an e-mail form, guiding the visitor to enter his e-mail so that he can be notified when the product will re-enter stock.
The add to cart button needs to differentiate itself from the other navigational buttons on the website and it needs an eye-spotting color.
A good color guide for the CTA buttons was written on Optinmonster’s blog and can be found here. Colors are directly linked to the psychological state of the visitor so please be advised to use A/B testing when implementing changes.
Usage of breadcrumbs (navigational links)
Most e-commerce CMS’s come with this predefined functionality, helping the user for an easier navigation through category, subcategory and product pages. These links also helps the search engine spider to a better understanding of the internal link architecture of the website.
Well structured Product Pages
When your adding or removing information blocks from your product or category pages pay attention to the overall structure to have a logical reading flow, also try including keyword as higher as possible on the HTML page.
For example on the category pages you can add a short keyword rich description for that specific category.
The information should be structured in orderly blocks that fit together as a whole (try avoiding blank spaces on product pages).
Try reducing the number of categories or subcategories as much as possible. Use buying intent keywords for category names. Order categories properly.
For example if you are selling handbags, belts, scarves and wallets don’t create 4 different main categories. Instead, create a single main category named “Bags & Accessories” and try to include the subset in sub-categories for “Bags & Accessories”. Take in consideration that the less click options you give the visitor on categories, the bigger the chance for him to find what he’s looking for.
Category names should be picked as close as possible to the user’s natural search intent language (check with website internal product searches – to see what are the customers searching for on your shop). The category order should be matched with product type popularity for your niche.
Tagline & Logo
There isn’t much to say about the SEO-perspective of the logo, but the tagline (small text under the logo – in most cases) should be short, descriptive for your business and include main project keywords.
Also, keep in mind that you can use this tagline to reinforce your Unique Selling Preposition (USP) here.
Internal Product Search
Your search bar can represent the first step the visitor takes upon starting his conversion journey. This box is so special you have to do A/B testing on form color, sizes, shape in order to see what works best on your niche.
Functionalities nice to have:
- Autosuggest (Autocomplete)
- Covering misspellings and plurals
- Be sure the search box hashes through categories and other taxonomy your CMS has
- Handles long tail semantic searches with no issues
- Avoid returning “no result pages” – if a query doesn’t return the expected output be sure to offer related product recommendations.
Checkout Page Optimization
In most cases optimizing this page should be the incipient of the CRO process because it’s the final step in the conversion funnel. Optimizing this page should require less programmatic effort and maximum efficiency in ROI.
Proper field markup & automatic prefill where possible
Your checkout page’s fields should be clearly stated as being optional or mandatory. Also for a easier and a faster completion time you should use automatic prefill where possible (zip code, city). User errors in form completion (must be outputted next to the error field – not down the page) shouldn’t be a breaking step in the checkout process, you should let the user know where he’s made a mistake and allow him to continue down the checkout funnel (let users forceproceed on checkout process).
Also make sure you have the options of guest checkout or checkout with Facebook Connect available for the page. The account registration should be set on optional and by default the customer should checkout with Guest Checkout. (try avoiding as much as possible the requests for data input on the checkout page ). If the customers choses to create a new account be sure to make the Newsletter opt-in automatically.
The password selection for the create account button shouldn’t place limitations like the use of special characters or capitalizing first letter, it’s good for security but it slows down the checkout process.
Also make sure you have clear CTA’s on this page (“Continue to next step” button or “Place order” button). Also keep in mind that the “Place Order” button is the most important CTA on this page so make sure it stands out on the page. The process steps should be treated as navigational links on the checkout process.
The form field for card data input would be nice to have a separator for the 12 digit card account number and a limit of 12 chars input in order to guide the customers for a faster credit card data input.
Let customers choose preferred delivery times
If the your webshop works with its own stock or you can give specific information regarding the delivery times, you can allow the visitor to pick and choose on a calender selector located on the checkout page the exact delivery time of its order.
Picture above is a snippet of Delivery Time Picker for Shipping for Woocommerce which can be found on Codecanyon with 29$.
10 key points on a holistic approach for CRO for Ecommerce
- Clear shipping policies, clear return policy, complete details on contact page (company info, phone number, e-mail address, live chat support, business address map, company legal details etc)
- Offer free shipping above a certain order value (be sure to properly display this sales opportunity text on the homepage)
- Check the e-mail templates (registration e-mails, autoresponder e-mails, user password reset e-mails, order shipped e-mails, confirmation e-mails)
- Enable Open Graph data and show social media signals (Facebook Page, Twitter Followers, Instagram widgets etc)
- After the order is placed, show an information rich thank you page that contains contact data or details about delivery times and special offers you currently have running.
- Don’t leave the 404 page template by default – try to enhance it
- Signup with Google Merchant Center /Google Trusted Stores
- Educate the visitors about the purchase
- Create an impressive about page
- Optimize e-shop for fast loading and high security
- Leverage browser caching
- Optimize images
- Serve scaled images
- Combine images into CSS sprites
- Minimize redirects
- Enable compression
- Minimize request size
- Use Virtual DNS
Although mobile traffic retains a growing slice of total website traffic – 32% in overall traffic, the revenue that comes from mobile is just 16% while desktop traffic represents 59% of traffic and generates 75% of the total website revenue.
Poor Conversion Rate on Mobile – Why does this happen ?
38% ~ of US consumers rate small screen as the biggest common frustration for the lack of conversion on mobile,
35% ~ say that ads deter the conversion
32% say that the “pinch and zoom” functionality is annoying
- Other factor that lead to mobile poor conversion rate are the slow performance or poor navigation
Ecommerce KPI’s to watch for , but vast majority ignores:
Benchmark your metrics against the retail industry/your niche to understand your results with a nice slice of context.
Above the fold vs below the fold – debunked myth
Higher conversion rates have nothing to do with whether the button is above the fold, and everything to do with whether the button is below the right amount of good copy.
Users will scroll down if what they see above the fold interests them enough to keep them reading.
Back in the glory days of newspapers, the fold played a crucial role in grabbing the attention of viewers in order to encourage them to purchase the paper. Bold headlines and eye catching images bombarded readers to pique their interest. This concept transitioned into web design, where designers make sure to place important information and imagery above the fold.
Case scenarios for above the fold content:
- Presold prospects who already want what you’re offering when they arrive. A code redeemer, a form register for health insurance, resume data form etc
- Uncertain prospects Most cases scenario, average product/service pages
- Uncertain prospects + an offering that requires some explanation to see the value of Long sales pages that present a lot of text, videos and consumer testimonials in order to convince you to buy something or subscribe to a service)
How to Hire the Right SEO Company
Understanding the steps that your hired SEO service would go through (in order to increase your rankings) is always recommended, especially if you want to make sure that you’re hiring the proper people to handle the entire process for you. In order to find the most ethical SEO services around, you’re going to have to ask yourself a series of questions. Not only that, but you’ll need to refer towards outside sources of information (all of which is going to be covered in this guide). If you’re in need of affordable SEO for small business purposes, you’re probably going to be relatively conscious with your money. You don’t have the budget available that’s needed in order to just hire the most expensive option, hoping for the best. I wouldn’t even suggest you go about doing that, anyways. Your local search SEO tactics could definitely be improved upon through the use of ethical SEO services, but finding them isn’t all too easy (well, before you’ve learned everything I have to teach you, of course!).
There are a lot of services out there that will claim to offer up an amazing SEO deal, which is a down-right lie. The abundance of lackluster SEO services available on the market today is absolutely stunning, as they seemingly out number respectable services 2 to 1. This only makes the process of filtering out the bad apples that much more important, but it’s also a process that takes a bit of practice in order to perfect. You need to know the traits you should be looking for, as well as other dead giveaways that are related to a great service.
Why Is It Such a Big Deal?
When it comes to your SEO campaigns, you never want to find yourself in a position set up for failure. If your SEO company is doing their due diligence, and being one of the best ethical SEO services that they claim to be, you should always be able to generate traffic. We all know that traffic is the ultimate goal for any entrepreneur, because it’s the first step towards making a conversion. SEO can never be lackluster when it comes to projects you’re both serious and passionate about, as there is just no way that it will be able to sustain any sort of success. In order to keep a brand popular, or even just sell a certain product, you need to keep it in front of peoples’ faces.
If you hire a great service, they’ll always ensure that your content is optimized, and your backlinks are always kept in check. For example, let’s just say that you’ve opened up a brand new business. You have a great location and a brand new lease on a restaurant, all of which are fine and dandy – except absolutely nobody knows who you are. The competing restaurants have already been spreading rumours about your kitchen, making sure to double-up on their SEO and marketing budgets. Not only will people be more likely to go and eat at your competitors, but you might not even get a chance to begin that ascension to the top.
If you don’t want to get beat out quickly, you’re going to need some ethical SEO services on your side. I’ll talk about why you want to make sure they are ethical in the next little segment.
Ethical: Is It Really Something to Worry About?
We all know about karma, right? Whenever you do something bad, the balance of life will come around in full-circle and hit you with something bad as well. Even if you aren’t the type of person to be spiritual and believe in karma, SEO services that “play by the book” should be the ones you seek. There’s a big difference between Blackhat and Whitehat, both of which have their specific benefits. Blackhat SEO is something that a lot of people take part in, and even some of the largest brands around (that’s right, even one’s you’ve purchased from before!) have made use of the process. It’s common standard to some people, whereas others wouldn’t dare touch it; it’s a matter of preference most of the time. Like I said before though, it’s like karma – if you play dirty, somebody is bound to get you right back.
There’s a big difference between the two different types, so I’m going to break it down really quickly. De cyphering between Blackhat and Whitehat is going to be important as you move along with handling your SEO needs. The main differences would be:
Blackhat – Using any sort of unethical process to get ahead of the competition (SEO-wise). This could come in the form of negative press, negative link building as a whole or even just putting a negative marketing campaign together. It could also be hiding extra keywords on your page, or anything related to spam. It’s sort of like trying to brute force your way to success, which works quite well in some cases. In comparison to Whitehat, this is the “evil side” of the playing field.
Whitehat – This is looked at as the “ethical” way of approaching SEO. For example, when you’re working on local search SEO needs, your SEO providers wouldn’t try and negatively attack the competition. Instead, they would put together a marketing plan that targets a new demographic, test a new product, build more links and create better ranks (and so on, and so forth). They do all of this the legitimate way, which is why it takes a little longer to build up ranks with Whitehat (although, most of the time, they stick around way longer). Looking at it alongside Blackhat, the Whitehat SEO process is pretty much the clean cut (common standard) variety of SEO.
How to Check If the Company You’ve Hired is Doing Their JOB!
At this point, you’ve found the company you want to work with. Not only do they offer reasonable rates, but the reviews they have online are quite good – so there’s nothing to worry about, right? Wrong! Giving the company the task to perform an SEO audit of sorts makes sense, because it allows you to know if you’re getting the most out of that manpower. Online marketing and businesses as a whole have become increasingly popular, which means that the need for high-quality SEO implementation has been growing with it. As a business, you can be paying quite a bit of money for your SEO services. Even if you’re going the affordable route, it still may cost upwards of $1,000 USD on a monthly basis. At the end of it all, it only makes sense to get your money’s worth; which is why you should check up on them every now and then.
You should be looking out for things like: new (and high-quality) backlinks, new content, title tags and meta descriptions that are well written and alt text for any relevant images. They shouldn’t just be implementing the basics; they need to get specific. Although I have a few suggestions, I’m not saying that your SEO provider isn’t up to par due to my requirements. These are merely suggestions, but they are quite legitimate ones. SEO is a serious business, and you need to understand the in’s and out’s associated with said industry.
This is the cornerstone of your SEO process. The company that you hire to handle the entirety of your SEO needs should understand the keyword research process, otherwise, you’ll be left in a pretty terrible position. The most ethical SEO services around will understand absolutely everything about keyword research, because cutting any sort of corner during this step is a bad idea. When you know what goes into the proper keyword researching process, you can compare the steps alongside your current SEO provider – if they aren’t up to par, I’d suggest that you scrap them! First of all, let’s talk about what the process is all about.
This is essentially the part of SEO where you’d be looking at different keyword terms, which are specific phrases that people would search through the use of popular online engines (Google, Yelp and such). There are plenty of online websites and tools out there that allow you to look up keywords, but the Google Keyword Planner is the most optimal one around right now. With this tool, you can look up statistics surrounding your target keywords; you’ll be able to check out the number of monthly searches and competition (among other things). You can’t just use any old keyword and expect to rank, and you always want to target multiples of them; this is all stuff that you should be keeping an eye out for when verifying your SEO service. The keywords that they make use of need to be:
Reasonably Competitive – Some of the best keywords around are going to have competition, but they aren’t going to have too much of it. If they have a large number of monthly searches, but the competition being suggested is way out of your league, they might not be the most ideal fit for your SEO.
Monthly Search Numbers – The number of monthly searches that surround a specific keyword are essentially going to determine the amount of potential traffic it can bring in. These are people that are specifically searching for these phrases, so you always want to maximize the number that you’re seeing in this regard.
Sensible – Some of the time, you’ll come across an SEO service that is completely incompetent. So much so, that they take it upon themselves to target “Toronto customers” as a keyword. They didn’t take your industry or target demographic into account, and they definitely didn’t look at the competition to monthly search ratio. The keywords need to make sense!
Backlink Building: SEO Services
Backlink building is another large part of the SEO process. When you hire ethical SEO services to handle your needs, they’re going to go about the backlink building process in the proper sense. They won’t take any short cuts, and they definitely won’t go about building an abundance of improper links. The links need to be coming from trustworthy (and quality/authoritative) websites, as that’s going to have search engines thinking you’re in the same flock. Birds of a feather flock together, and you definitely don’t want to be flocking with the little, low-quality birds.
In order to check up on your backlink profile, you can use a bunch of different SEO tools available to you online. Moz actually has a fantastic one, which I would suggest you check out. It’s really easy, all you’ve got to do is type in your website address and be blessed with an abundance of backlink information. Backlink building is ideal for not only local search SEO needs, but global goals as well. You want to see a consistent building of backlinks from your ethical SEO services, all of which are coming from high-quality websites.
What Should I Be Looking For?
There are two major terms that you’ve got to keep in mind when verifying an SEO company, which would be “External Backlinks” and “Referring Domains”. It’s actually fairly simple, as “External Backlinks” is referring to the number of external links currently pointing towards your website. In regards to “Referring Domains”, it would be a reference to the number of how many websites provide said external links (the “Referring Domain” is actually considered to be much more significant than your External Backlinks).
Providers of SEO services need to be persistent and quick when they’re working with your backlinks. They have to be removing the bad ones (which could be built by your competitors) and replacing them with good ones, or just building new and higher-quality ones in general. If an SEO company is claiming that they work with link building in their strategy, you should be seeing a significant increase in the number of Referring Domains within the analytics. If you don’t, you should probably be questioning your SEO company (and potentially hire replacements). Some other quick tips I’d have to throw out there would be:
- Always check the quality of the links they’re building. Even if it starts great for the first week or two, there are services out there that will just get lazy. Not only that, but they may be stretching their resources thin – when that happens, they try and replace quality with quantity (as opposed to a perfect balance of both).
- Don’t be afraid to speak up! When it comes to link building or content, if you notice a problem, be sure to say something. The success of your project could be at stake, and it’s well worth being a bit of a nuisance to keep things flowing.
- Do your due diligence, and always read the fine print. If it’s too good to be true, odds are that’s exactly how stuff will pan out. If they promise to provide you with 100 backlinks every single day, but don’t talk about the quality – you already know it’s going to be of the lesser quality, if not complete spam.
What Makes a Backlink “Good” (and When Should You Call Out Your SEO Provider)?
Great backlinks are going to come from trusted sources, as that’s really the only efficient way to go about building them. Search engines are already looking at these pages as a reliable source of information, so anything associated with them is treated likewise. If you have a say in what’s going to be on the linked page, you could always try and make sure that there’s high-quality content involved. Most of the time, when you’re building backlinks on high-quality sites, they offer up pretty good content; however, if you were going through a PBN building process, that’d be an entirely different situation.
It isn’t just the page that’s being linked or linked from, it’s the amount of traffic being provided by the link itself. A lot of people who are inexperienced in the field of SEO will think that building a massive number of links is what you’re looking for, which is wrong. You want links that actually provide boatloads of traffic, which means that if you need to build a lesser number of links (yet maintain a higher level of traffic activity), so be it. If your SEO company looks like it’s not going this route and just being lazy with their link building process, call them out!
New Content: SEO Services
Content is going to be the life of your online project. That’s why people are paying a pretty penny for professional writers to pen their content, as it’s something that will resonate with the readers. In order to have an effective SEO process, you need a service that also provides stellar content writing. Even if you’re not in the book industry, writing is important for online sales. It helps give the customer a visual of what they want to buy, or even what they plan on doing with the purchased product. It gives them a reason to stick around on your website and maybe (hopefully) even make a purchase. If your SEO budget is rather limited, it’s going to be tough to find a high-quality writer that you can have faith in.
Things to Look Out For (Content)
- Blog sections are something that you should watch out for, as they offer up quite a bit of backlink juice. If the SEO service you hired is taking it upon themselves to create high-quality blog posts, and then link them back to your project page, you know that they’re doing it right!
- Meta descriptions and meta tags are both important pieces of content, but are often overlooked. Meta descriptions are the small passages of writing that appear when your link is displayed on search engine results, so it could very well be the difference between more traffic, and no traffic at all.
- Title tags, because it just isn’t right without them! The pages on your site deserve to have a unique title to them, and that goes for every single page. There’s a supposed limit of 55 characters that should be followed, so look out for that as well.
- Relevant alt image text, because SEO doesn’t just stop at the writing of an entire article piece. The images that you use on your webpage have filenames and other properties to them, and those need to be accounted for. Make sure you’re saving the images named as something related to your SEO project, or even following target keywords that you’ve selected.
Reasonable SEO Help Isn’t That Hard to Find!
There are tons of ethical SEO services out there that offer an amazing set of benefits. Not only will they get the job done right, but they’ll do so in both an affordable and timely manner. I’m not saying that every single SEO service is going to try and shaft you, but I am saying that there are ones like that out there. In order to make sure that you aren’t going through with an ineffective SEO process, it helps out to verify the SEO providers that you’ve ultimately gone with. If they aren’t doing a good job, you can just do some more research and replace them with somebody much more deserving. I’ve given you all of the information needed to ensure that your SEO process is being handled by professionals, now it’s just a matter of applying yourself.
Throwing money at an SEO service and just hoping to rank isn’t ideal. It can put you in a bad position not only financially, but in regards to your project as well. Working countless hours and spending an abundance of money truly does suck when there’s no payoff, so make sure that you aren’t being let down by your SEO providers. Verify their services and ensure the growth of your business! Affordable SEO for small business use isn’t just something to be considered as a “cheap alternative” – there are plenty of legitimate providers out there that have reasonable rates. My question is: are you ready to make use of them?
What Is “Competitive Analysis”?
Competitive analysis is the process of analyzing your competitors, which are the people you’re trying to run against in specific markets. If you’re somebody that is interested in providing a website that sells shoes and such, you’ll be going head-to-head with all of the other consignment stores and such around the world. As a result, it’s always a good idea to analyze the competition and see what’s trending (in regards to some of the better brands on the market).
If a company is incredibly successful, odds are you’re going to be analyzing their ways quite thoroughly. There are many different aspects of competitive analysis that need to take place, which is what we’ll be covering here today. Google SEO keyword analysis isn’t the only thing you’ll need to ponder, as there are plenty of other things that could help propel a company into popularity.
In order to put together a successful business, you need to be taking initiative when it comes to marketing. To make the most out of your marketing campaigns, you’ll have to understand what makes your target demographic tick – as well as look at what as been successful before you. This article is going to cover how you can go about handling the competitive analysis process, as well as cover terms and phrases that might pop up throughout the entire ordeal. Without the right information under your belt, competitive analysis is going to be the most difficult thing you’ve ever done for your business.
How Important is the Property Marketing Plan?
If you’re asking this question, it’s quite obvious that you don’t know how much weight a marketing plan can bear upon your success. Marketing plans are essentially in order to make sure that your business is in good hands, especially when you’re jumping into a relatively competitive industry. If you aren’t ready to effectively market your products or services, then you really aren’t going to get anywhere major.
There’s a reason why some of the largest corporations that the world has ever known sport an abundance of commercials. We all know their brand name and logo because they keep it all in front of us, consistently running advertisements on television and the internet (among other things). The right marketing plan could grace you with things such as:
More Customers – When you have a high-quality marketing plan set in place, you’re going to notice an increase in the amount of sales/business you’ve been seeing. More customers are going to translate into more money, which is critical (and essentially what you’re striving for, these days).
More Experience – Once you’ve put together a single marketing plan, it’s going to get easier and easier. As time progresses, you’ll understand how certain industries tick, and you’ll be able to navigate them (on a marketing level) with complete ease.
More Freedom – The better the marketing plan you put together, the more popular your business is going to be. When you’re a household name, people are automatically going to be drawn towards your services/products. This allows for more freedom when it comes to marketing, as well as many other traits.
In order to curate the right marketing plan, you’ll have to have the right people on your payroll, as well as an abundance of information on the industry at hand. If you’re an expert in your respective marketing industry, you already have an upper-hand. Use that to your advantage and appeal towards the competitors.
Identifying the Competition
This is the portion where you’ve got to identify the competition at hand. If you plan on entering the sports equipment market, you don’t need to be analyzing a technological company; it’s all about maintaining relevancy. If you notice any successful sport equipment business around your local area, try and add them to the target list. From there, you can expand out and look at some of the largest brand you can find within the industry.
When you’ve got a few targets you want to look at, try and see everything from the customer’s point of view. What products are they offering that many other places don’t? What’s the building like? Are the staff friendly? You could ask about 100 different questions right off of the bat, all of which should be taken into account.
You should also probably be worried about looking at it from a business point of view, as that’s how you’re going to be perceiving it most of the time. Is it a difficult industry to navigate? Are there enough potential clients to keep your business in good standing? Look at some of the assets they withhold, and try and plan out how you can compete against them in the marketplace. In order to make the most of your SEO competitor analysis process, you need to figure out their weaknesses. This will allow you to thoroughly plan out (and execute) the right steps needed to succeed.
Going Through a “PEST” Analysis
One thing that I would seriously recommend, is going through a PEST analysis. PEST is an acronym which stands for ‘Political, Economic, Social and Technological’ – it’s a test that looks at the 4 different traits and fields that could be associated with your competitors. You go through a PEST analysis to make sure that you’re well-aware of your competitors’ pro’s and con’s, and when they plan on making a drastic change. When you mix this with the use of the right SEO competitor analysis tool online, you’ll have a lot of important information to work with.
This is pretty much the practice of knowing whenever your competitors make a change, or anything PEST-related changes. If they release a new advertisement campaign, you’ll know about it; and if they release a new product, you’ll know about that as well. Not only that, but you might even be able to build upon a marketing strategy of your own (through the use of inspiration from competitors). The PEST process should keep you in tip-top shape, and always updated when it comes to competitor-related releases. It’s important that you’re not only on top of the target demographic, but the people you plan on going up against as well.
Political – If your competition has a political influence of any sort, local mayor candidacies and such might have an effect of how well they do with marketing.
Economic – Money is always going to be something that is taken into account, regardless of what you’re doing with your life. It makes the world go around, and it definitely has a drastic impact on marketing campaigns. If there are economic problems within a business, odds are there are going to be changes.
Social – Look at their social media presence and see if they’re consistently growing. If so, how are they doing it? When are they posting? What are they posting? There are a lot of questions to ask here, especially since social media is so popular these days.
Technological – Changes in the technology being used (in regards to a business) may have an impact on the way they approach the industry. Look out for changes, and jump on top of anything that might drastically benefit your brand.
Questions to Ask Yourself
There are a few questions that I would suggest you ask yourself before diving into a marketing battle, especially if you’re in one of the industries that has a lot of potential competition to take into account. Keyword research SEO services can give you the right keywords, but they won’t allow you to naturally beat out your competition – that’s what analysis is for. The questions I would suggest you ponder to yourself would be:
Who are the competitors you’re going up against? – You need to know who you’re ultimately going to be challenging. As a result, it’s important to identify the proper competitors.
What kind of products or services are they offering up to people? – Figure out what they have to offer, as well as look at some of their most popular options. This will help solidify the amount of popularity that these things sport within your market.
What types of past strategies have they worked with? – By looking at the past strategies that they’ve made use of, you might be able to determine exactly how they’ve maintained their success over the years.
What does their market share look like? – If they hold a hefty amount of the market share, you can bet your bottom dollar that it’s going to be a pretty tough competition.
Are they incredibly aggressive/well-funded when it comes to advertisements? – The more money they have to blow, the harder it’s going to be when you’re looking to “overthrow the top brands”.
Are they very competitive? – If they’re ready to compete, you can know that it’s going to be a battle before you even get into the meat of things. It’s nice information to have, and can prove relatively useful in the future.
Do their strategies directly affect your business as a whole? – If they’re going things that are going to have a direct impact on your sales or advertising techniques, it needs to be taken into account. It doesn’t mean you should avoid the market altogether, as opposed to just take a much more secure stance.
Do you share strengths and weaknesses? – If you share strengths and weaknesses with a successful company, odds are you can follow exactly in their footsteps.
Are they a large threat? – If they serve as a large threat within the marketplace, it’s going to be a relatively large hurdle to overcome.
These are a few questions that should give you a better insight on your competitors, which will allow you to make the most of SEO competitor analysis process. It can very well be the difference between turning a bit of a profit, and really raking in the cash; as a business owner, you always want to turn as much of a profit as possible. Money is the name of the game, and when there is money to be made, there is going to be competition. That’s the way of the world!
PPC – How Are They Doing It?
A lot of businesses rely on PPC (pay-per click) advertisements to keep them in the popularity realm these days, which is going to make things much tougher. For example, some industries are going to call for a much higher rate when it comes to a PPC campaign. Not only will PPC ads help you drive traffic towards your projects, but it’s also much easier than trying to constantly outrank your competitors. The only thing is that you need a reasonable budget to work with. Analyze the PPC process that your competitors are taking part in, and try to work with it for your own gain. Google AdWords is the most optimal tool out there for PPC purposes, and the ‘Analyze Competition’ tool (which is strictly used for Google AdWords purposes) will make things even easier. It allows you to monitor your competition and compare your PPC campaigns to theirs. Even if your competitors are still constantly beating you out, you’ll at least be able to learn from them.
Use the keyword research SEO process to determine which terms you could be targeting for your PPC campaigns, and then see if your competitors are applying them as well. If they are, you’ll know that you are on the right track!
Comparing the link profile that you sport alongside your competitors is necessary, as it allows you to see how many backlinks they’ve built (as well as where these backlinks are pointing to). In order to make the most out of your SEO practice, comparing competitor link profiles to your own is a process that you should keep consistent. Constantly update it and figure out whether they’re making a major push or not, because it could be the difference between maintaining your current spot, or getting pushed off the block. If you can potentially spot any major link building activity, you could combat it with some of your own. In order to keep your brand renowned and popular, you’re constantly going to struggle with the competition; this is just another aspect to aid you. Link profiles shouldn’t be looked at as the only way to go about optimizing your SEO process, but comparing one another is always good.
On-Page Optimization (and Why They Take Such a Long Time to Handle It!)
On-page optimization is something that you should be taking a look at as well. Notice that a certain webpage was built with keywords in a specific location? Maybe they have a section where the most popular product is currently present? There are plenty of ways to go about optimizing the on-page SEO of your websites, and it’s one of those things that is quite easily forgotten. On-page optimization could follow things like:
How long is the content that they are using (word-wise)?
What types of keywords are they focusing on for individual pages?
What does the layout look like?
What colour scheme are they using?
How many pages are present?
On-page optimization has the ability to go above and beyond those few questions, but it’s up to you to understand what the competition is doing to get ahead. If you see fit, you can draw inspiration from your competitors to better your own page. Make sure that you don’t copy them step for step, meaning that you don’t use the same colour schemes in the same sense (among other things). You should always strive to make changes, as opposed to just blatantly copying the next person up; ideas that are just regurgitated in a brand new from might not always provide a splendid return. Innovate and create as you please, especially when it comes to using the competition as a reference.
Where Else Can I Gather Information?
The internet is a vast place, and will offer up a lot of information about your potential competitors. If you want to get serious about gathering and researching, it’s a good idea to broaden your mental horizon. There are a lot of different information sources out there, and plenty of them are going to offer up some pretty intricate insights. Some of them are going to be relatively obvious, whereas others are going to leave you scratching your head a little bit. Check out some of the most optimal information sources on the planet:
Advertisements – We touched on this a little bit already, but your competitors’ advertisements can give away a lot of information. You can get a feel for the type of budget they’re working with, as well as the customers that they are looking to target. It will tell you the price point they’re offering up, as well as the different products and services available as well.
Sales Pamphlets/Brochures – Have your competitors ever handed out a pamphlet or a brochure of sorts? Well, they’re the perfect place to fish out information in regards to your competitors. They’re trying to make a sale with these things, so it’s going to show; price, product and service, location, and even give you a feel for the type of advertisements that your competitor will be putting out.
Databases (Reference Books) – Census organizations are always going to offer up a plethora of information, such as; the Quarterly Financial Report for Manufacturing, Mining and Trade Corporations, or even just Economic Censuses.
Magazine/Newspaper Articles – Is there an article talking about your competitors unveiling a new service? Maybe they’re just letting people know about their brand new pricing change, which gives customers more bang for their buck. It could also tip you off in regards to any future implementations that may occur, or even just reveal some negative information about them. In most instances, ethics are going to be thrown out the window when it comes to competition; especially for those business owners that seemingly lack morals! In any case, it’s still good information to know of. Visit your local public library and look up some stuff on your competitors; odds are you’ll hit a gold mine of sorts.
Annual Reports – Annual reports are conducted on a yearly basis, meaning, you’ll have an entire years-worth of information to skim through. This should allow you to identify the financial information behind your competitors, like how much product they were able to sell that year. It’s also going to show you how much of a profit they’ve turned! If you’re competing against a privately-owned corporation, you may be able to get annual reports from a friend who owns stock in said company.
Observe – Head out to the local retailer and observe some things for yourself. Don’t try and put on a character or person of sorts, as that’s downright deception (something that competitors don’t take kindly to). If you have a product being distributed out to retailers, you can check the shops to see what the inventory is looking like. Compare how many products of your brand are on there, versus the products of your competitors.
Competition Analysis in a Nutshell!
There are a lot deeper things to cover when it comes to competitive analysis, but that’s all stuff you’re going to handle when the time rolls around. For now, you can understand just how important it is – as well as how to actually go through the process yourself. There are a lot of potential entrepreneurs out there that just want to stay ahead of the game, and this is something that can help them achieve that. In order to compete with the big corporations and competition, you’ll have to think like them. They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, which is definitely the case here; you want to be just as successful (and respected) as the competition you’re going up against. Never back down from a challenge, but be reasonable with your expectations! The analysis is so that you can make calculated risks, in a sense – something that could seriously benefit just about anybody.
When it comes to producing high-quality content for your online endeavours, there are a lot of different ways to approach the process (especially through the use of a user experience SEO service). One thing is for certain, you always want to make sure that you’re putting the best possible content you could on your websites.
This goes for just about any potential project, whether it’s an E-Commerce site or a simple blog page. As a content writer myself, I’m well aware of what it takes to write the ‘perfect piece’ – but the process might be different for you. As an individual, the way you approach writing is going to vary, and that’s why we’re here to talk about as much as we can (in regards to producing high-quality content).
We’re going to look at some content strategy tips today, as well as a few other things that are SEO related. Your content is the key component to a successful online project, and it’s important that you remember that.
If you’re already into the entire “online marketing” thing, you’re well-aware of the important surrounding your content. If you don’t implement the right keywords, or even make it so that your pieces are too long, it’s going to affect your SEO process.
If your SEO is poor, it’s almost always going to ensure that your profit margins (or success in general) is poor as well. The content itself is about 75% of the battle, while the SEO portion is going to fill in the gaps – both of these are going to determine whether or not you reach your goals.
Understanding Exactly What “SEO Content” Is
If you have absolutely no idea what we’re talking about when we say “SEO content”, this is the section for you. Online marketing has changed quite a bit over the past few years, and people are now aware of how much money goes into this industry on a daily basis. You have the ability to make millions of dollars on the internet (from the comfort of your home!), but it’s going to take a lot of planning – as well as a thorough understanding in regards to SEO content. Three main questions are going to be answered in this section, and those three questions would be:
- What exactly is SEO content?
- How many different types of SEO content (if any) are there?
- What should my approach to SEO content be?
SEO content is going to either make or break your marketing project, so we’ll start off by talking about what it is as a whole.
SEO Content: Explain It Already!
SEO is a term that refers to ‘Search Engine Optimization’, something that you’ll learn to live by in no time at all. Content is referring to any sort of writing or information that may be present on the web, and that tends to present itself in the form of written articles and blog posts (as well as sales pages). User experience SEO services are meant to look over your content and ensure that you’ve gone about implementing everything in the right light, but it doesn’t hurt to understand the process yourself. SEO content appeals to the search engines online like Google and Bing!, and as a result, could bring a lot of traffic to your website.
There are some phrases you need to be familiar with in order to get the most out of your online endeavours. Failing to comprehend (and learn more about) these things will make producing high-quality SEO content much more difficult, so don’t cut any corners! Take a look at the following:
Keyword Research – This is the process of researching the proper keywords. In order to generate traffic through the use of search engines, you need to be implementing searchable terms into your content (these searchable terms are known as “keywords”). You may even go through an SEO competitor analysis process at this point.
Keyword Optimization – This is essentially implementing the keywords in the right sense, as in the proper amount of times and in the right places.
Content Promotion/Organization – Whenever you post a new piece of content, you should be promoting it accordingly. Not only will it help build links that point to the content, but it also provides ‘social media juice’. The organizational aspect is just making sure the right content is on the right pages, and things among that nature. Content optimization for SEO is very crucial.
What Kinds of ‘SEO Content’ Are There?
Well, there are actually a lot of them. In many cases, it’s going to be a written piece – but that doesn’t limit marketers from making use of videos and pictures. Any ethical SEO service that was worth their weight in gold knows about these different platforms. The different types of SEO content that you could make use of would be:
SEO Articles – This is your typical type of article, one that you would see on a news website or some sort of feature. It’s going to pop up on newspaper-related websites, as well as the ones that follow a magazine sort of flow.
SEO Guides – Guides are usually longer pieces of content (much like this one!), and they need to go in-depth when it comes to explaining the information being offered up. Guides are usually going to be broken up into a few different pages, but there are plenty of instances where one incredibly long page is used. The perfect example of this would be an Amazon buyer’s guide, or even “How to Make a Million Dollars!”. You can post a tidbit of the guide itself and ask for opt-ins (e-mails to build e-mail lists with), or just release the entire thing for free; this is great for leads, but not-so-good for SEO purposes.
SEO Slideshows – Have you ever found yourself on a website, looking at one of those “Oh Wow, Look at These Celebrities from 20 Years Ago!” pages? They have slideshows with little to no written content implemented, but it still works out because they use a series of related images. SEO in this right would be the names of your files, the titles and captions being used, and even how high-quality the pictures are.
SEO Blog Posts – Blog posts are probably the most common form of SEO content, mainly because there are a lot of people out there with “money blogs”. These are posts that can engage the user at a higher rate than most other options, and they’re perfect for creating an authority website. Blogs aren’t always going to be the main focus of your SEO endeavours, but should consistently be produced as ‘support’.
Product Pages – Product pages are ideal for retail/E-Commerce projects, because you’re going to be selling a plethora of goods online. If the potential buyers are looking at your site and see nothing but grammatical errors, they won’t feel like making a purchase; so don’t cut corners here. A great product page has the ability to act as not only SEO content, but even a PPC landing page as well.
Glossaries – These are for more specified niches, as they will hold terms directed to an abundance of information related to your product/project at hand. Things like terms for cooking, fashion related terms, or anything of that nature.
Directory – This is where you’ll post an abundance of links related to your product at hand – if you’re selling baseball equipment, the directory would focus on links that bring potential buyers to baseball gear links (that’s a random example, of course!).
There are a lot of different ways to approach your SEO content needs, it’s just a matter of figuring the right blend for your project. Sometimes it’s going to call for an abundance of product pages, whereas other times it’s going to have a dire need for glossaries or directories.
The Creation of Content
Hiring the Right Writers
Whenever you’re looking at the writing process as a whole, there are almost way too many variables to look at. As an amateur writer, you’re going to have a tough time handling the need for high-quality content – that’s why it’s always best to hire somebody who understands the niche at hand. If you’re looking into producing content that would relate itself to technology, you’d want to hire a technology expert.
There are an abundance of writers out there, and all of them are looking for work (most of the time, anyways); so coming across an expert of sorts isn’t the hard part. However, you need to be willing when it comes to spending money. Most expert writers aren’t going to come cheap, and that means you’ll have to make an investment. If you’re in this business to make a profit, you already know that investments are necessary – that rings especially true when talking about content.
Make sure that the writers you’re hiring are more than capable of handling the potential workload, you can do this by giving them a test run with one or two pieces of content to start. These writers will more than likely know about content optimization for SEO purposes, which is going to tie in perfectly when it comes to rankings.
Some people will tell you that the “perfect length” for a piece of content is around 500 words, but it’s going to vary from project to project. One project may call for an abundance of blog posts that are all around 500 words each, but others may call for something much more technical – certain projects may have a need for much longer pieces. In the end of it all, you want to engage as many users as you possibly can; user experience SEO juice is one of those things that you really need to strive for.
If visitors feel like a piece is too long, they’re going to cut it short and just leave your website. If they feel like it’s too short, it won’t seem as if the content is filled with enough information. Finding that perfect middle-ground can be hard, but as soon as you’ve done it, you’ll never need to question the length of your content ever again.
When somebody is fond of your content, it makes them more willing to share it. People who love reading and learning things from a technical aspect will love longer pieces, and share those pieces with like-minded people. If you’ve got a website dedicated to computer programming, your content is probably going to be longer; if you’re focused on list articles and viral content, it’s going to be shorter.
Picking the Proper Keywords
Keyword research is one of those things that shouldn’t be taken lightly, especially when you’re trying to strive for the most optimal results possible (SEO-wise). Whenever you’re looking at keywords, you want to look at the competition surrounding them. If there’s a monthly search volume of around 15,000, but the keyword competition seems very high, it might not be the optimal choice for you. Some writers will offer a keyword selection service, but it’s always good to pick them for yourself – find ones that have a reasonable number of searches per month, but don’t pose too much of a difficulty when it comes to rankings (unless you seriously think you’re ready to compete!).
After you pick the right keywords, you can hand them over to the writer that you’ve hired and have them implement them within the content. There are other things to worry about like keyword density and such, which should probably be an entire section in itself. Keyword density will determine how many times the keywords appear within your content – it isn’t always mandatory, but some people like to use it as a way of optimizing content all the way through. There are even some content optimization services available that would take a look at your content, and then suggest specific edits for SEO-purposes.
It isn’t easy by any means, but it’s an integral process of creating the perfect content for your projects. Not only is it going to look better on your website, but it will also promote your page naturally/organically throughout search engines. You’re already improving your rankings, without even making any links.
Editorial Calendars (Properly Planning Your Content Schedule)
When you’re already aware of who you’re going to be targeting, as well as why you’re going to be doing so, it’s important to put together an editorial calendar. This is essentially a schedule that plans out when you’re going to be posting new content, as well as pointing out which type of content needs to be posted. It lets your content creation process stick to a routine schedule, which is incredibly important if you’ve got a blog page that you need to maintain. Not only that, but it allows you more time to provide your readers with high-quality content, as there will never be a need for content randomly popping up. If you want to create a posting schedule of sorts, I would suggest you try these tips and tricks out:
- Use an Actual Calendar (Google Calendar) – Use something like Google Calendar to map out the content posting schedule you want set in place. If you’ve got a team of writers, or content curators that come up with everything themselves (and posts accordingly), you’ll be able to easily e-mail them the schedule on a weekly to monthly basis.
- Create Sought After ‘Features’ – When you’re producing content, try and produce something that’s going to be featured at least every single month. If you run a tech blog, try and suggest the most popular tech item that has been released that month – or if you run a cooking page, try and suggest recipes that are vegetarian-friendly every single Monday.
- Plan Ahead of Time – Plan ahead of time, but not too far ahead. You should have a schedule that offers up a reasonably scheduled timetable when it comes to your content, but you should also be ready for any breaking news. If you produce content months in advance, but something big happens (that you want to cover), a new piece would have to be produced anyways. Not only that, but your marketing goals may change throughout the schedule, or even the staff that was working on the project.
These are the types of tips and tricks that would help out with conversion funnel optimization, as it helps build up a natural flow of followers/readers. When you mix all of these with ethical SEO services, there isn’t a lot of stuff that you couldn’t accomplish. Since you know the process of how to produce SEO content, as well as the many different types of SEO content available, it’s time to look at a few other traits that relate themselves to everything else.
In order to ensure that your content is of the highest quality, there are a few different phrases you should know about. The first one being “Content Freshness” – which is essentially how new the content you’re posting happens to be. Search engines are constantly looking for brand new content, which means the more content you produce on a daily basis (without sacrificing quality), the better! This doesn’t mean you should spam, however. Take a look at the following:
Content Freshness – Google has a little something known as QDF (Query Deserved Freshness), which is very important to keep in mind. If a search term has become increasingly popular within a short period of time, Google will give it the QDF clearance – this is a way of searching to see if there is any fresh content related to that search term. To keep things simple, if there’s something in pop culture that you want to create content about, it’s more than likely going to be a great idea; as the QDF boost should give you better standings when it comes to SEO (or, at least, give you the opportunity to do so).
Content Quality – The quality of your content is obviously something that needs to be accounted for. Low-quality content used to be okay for churn and burn projects, but search engines have become incredibly smart these days; they can almost always tell when a piece of content is low on quality (and this is an automated process). Not only that, but there are also manual checks on websites that have decent rankings. In order to keep your SEO in as great of a standing as possible, it’s crucial that you keep the content quality at the top of your priority list.
Content Research – Use the competitors within your niche to an advantage! When you’re looking to start-up a new project, reference some of the successful brands and companies before you. Look at the tone and the keywords that they’re using, and figure out whether you want to apply it to your project or not. The keywords that they’re using may be very competitive, but they’re definitely going to sport a lot of monthly searches.
All in all, there are almost too many things to take into account when you’re trying to create high-quality content for SEO purposes. Hopefully the content strategy tips I’ve given you today were enough to point you in the right direction, if not keep you ready for the future of content creation in general. The right use of experience SEO service would make all of this easier, of course; so it’s always a good idea to look around for help.
There are tons of seasoned online marketing veterans that offer up a solution service, and all of them know what it takes to reach the top. In order to be a successful online marketer, you’ve got to understand how SEO content is created (at a high-quality level). If you don’t, you’re pretty much failing to practice what you preach – something that really isn’t going to resonate and provide stellar results. Take your time and ensure that you can produce high-quality content, trust us on that one! It’s better for not only the people you’re marketing towards, but yourself as well.
A Few Things to Be Validated While Auditing E-Commerce Sites (for SEO)
How to Be “Perfect” (In a Sense!)
Your website is pretty much the final stand when it comes to the battle being fought (the conversion battle, of course) – and that’s why you’ve got to make sure that it’s being accounted for in the right light. When you audit an E-commerce site, you’re going to see exactly where everything is put in place; as well as how effective these placements happen to be. Today, I’m going to speak upon the different aspects of E-commerce websites, and how you should be auditing them in your SEO process.
You can’t have a lackluster SEO process, that’s pretty much one of the bonafide ways you can ensure your companies’ demise. If you don’t have a strong stance in regards to your SEO, there are going to be a lot of cookie crumbs left at the table. A site audit is exactly what it sounds like, looking at an overview of your E-commerce page and making changes where they are necessary.
The website auditing process can be a lengthy one, but it’s one that you must never avoid. Without properly identifying the problems, there’s no way you’ll be able to completely rid your website of them entirely either. Some problems will seem as if they are miniscule, and others are going to seem like they can completely break the way things have been working. Whatever the case may be, just be ready to make at least a few different changes to your E-commerce website.
Duplicate Content – Why is it Such a Big Deal?
Duplicate content is one of the worst things you could be putting on your E-commerce site, or any website that you want to have some SEO-power. Duplicate content is literally one of the highest negatively impacting E-commerce website problems you could be hit with, and that’s why the content going on your website needs to be curated and posted by true professionals. The people that are looking to purchase your products usually only interact with the descriptions themselves. Product descriptions are a crucial component to any successful E-commerce company, and that means you need to be taking a look at them when conducting an audit of your own. Can you imagine what you would think, if you went out to dinner and kept getting the same plate over and over? Regardless of what you ordered, or even how much money you had paid – it’s always going to be the same dish. That’s what duplicate content is like.
It’s a big deal because Google said so, and whatever Google says, it happens. Google is pretty much the leading search-engine organization to be considered, especially since they have an abundance of different technological advancements planned for us in the future. Every single E-commerce website is essentially built to please the system known as Google – and Google has stood very strong on their stance in regards to duplicate content. They don’t want high-ranking websites to show off duplicated content, so SEO penalties are being dished out the keep things balanced.
SEO penalties are really tough to break away from, and they could even completely abolish an E-commerce project before it truly gets off of the ground.
Consistency: Creating a “Pleasant Pattern”
When people are surfing through your website, you should be trying to keep things as consistent as possible. This means that all of the font being used needs to stay the exact same through and through – unless you’re looking to highlight a specific tid-bit of information. You should always have consistent imagery and branding throughout your pages, as that allows people to have a visual aid to their purchasing needs. Every product should have a high resolution picture, and they should always be of the proper product (there are cases where an E-commerce site is looking to list thousands of products, and the pictures don’t always match up).
Whenever you’ve got a button linked to make a purchase, or any sort of CTA (call-to-action) button on your E-commerce website, it needs to stay the same. You should also be looking at the vibe/tone of your websites’ content, as it needs to stay the same as well. It isn’t very professional to have one of your E-commerce pages talking in a joking manner, whereas another is going to be much more serious and straightforward. Think of what tone you want to run with, and stick to it!
Clueing in on consistency is a critical endeavor to be a part of, so ask yourself; are my pages consistent enough to:
- Show every single font/color in the exact same manner throughout every single page?
- Are the buttons and purchase links properly placed (and remain consistent) on your product pages?
- Whenever you have a promotion, is it properly displayed and accounted for?
- When you show some sort of credit card icon for payment, can the customers actually use those options?
How Do I End Up Using Duplicate Content?
It’s really simple – somebody provides you with it (or you just accidentally implant some within your E-commerce page). For example, a lot of themes and other types of E-commerce websites won’t have individual product descriptions for their sales. This is a must, as it will not only add unique content onto your page, but it will also give consumers a better sense of what they’re trying to purchase. That pretty much applies to anything else content-related within your website; never leave it at the default value. Even if you’re only changing two or three words, sometimes that’s all you need – but it’s a good idea to get into the habit of re-writing things completely.
Sometimes, you may just link the wrong page to a specific URL – giving Google the though that you’re using duplicated content. Be sure to go through every single page on your E-commerce website and identify the different phrases of content within. It’s important that every single page is 100% unique, or else you won’t be dealing with a powerhouse SEO process (which is something you always want to be doing, mind you).
A quick overview:
Product descriptions need to be accounted for and unique at all times. These are the items that you’re trying to sell, and a lack of descriptions (or, in many cases, completely unique descriptions) is just a lack of professionalism.
Make sure that you’re using your robot.txt to hide any unwanted pages from Googles’ prying eyes. They have a way of finding almost everything, whether it be positive or negative – the robot.txt will allow any duplicated (or seemingly duplicated) pages to avoid the crawling process.
Use markers (like a “^”) when you see duplicated content, and gather up all of the pages that are a problem – that way, you’re able to make one massive edit (as opposed to an abundance of little ones). You could miss out on things otherwise.
What is a Canonical Tag?
Have you ever noticed that some portions of your website need to stay the exact same, almost every single time? That’s where Canonical Tags will come into play, as it’s pretty much identifying permanent parts of the E-commerce site to Google. This allows Google to overlook these pages as a problem, but it also allows you to get the most out of your website. If you have a webpage being pointed toward a specific URL, and then proceed to put an abundance of different pages on that exact same URL, there’s going to be an issue. Google will split all of the traffic that you receive between the abundance of pages, and the authority power behind your E-commerce website will plummet; almost immediately.
Google will index all of your pages as a duplicate, and thus, you’ll be dealing with the nasty penalties that people can be dealt. When you use Canonical Tags, Google will not only ignore these permanent pages – but you won’t need to worry about getting flagged/penalized in the future (due to these particular pages, of course).
Getting Canonical Tags WRONG
A lot of the readers currently delving into the heart of this matter aren’t going to understand what Canonical Tags are, so I’m going to clear the air really quickly. It’s essentially like tagging the pages you want Google to index as a permanent residence of your E-commerce websites; and it just so happens to be incredibly simple.
EXAMPLE: http://www.coolbeans.com/ & http://www.coolbeans.com/home.aspx (both the same page, but two different URL’s)
It’s relatively lengthy to explain the entire Canonical Tagging process, so feel free to Google that on your own time. Google says that they try their hardest to ensure that the best possible URL is being indexed, but this is the best way to ensure the results you’re craving come to life.
Auditing Your Backlinks
You need to manage your backlinks in a sense that they are your spam folder – you’re always going to get a spam, and it’s up to you to completely delete it for good. If a backlink has been built to point towards your website, and it’s acting in a negative manner, you’ve got to disavow it. This means that Google will disregard this link when it crawls your website, and the negative impact of said link won’t be shared with your E-commerce page.
The links are pretty much a way to strengthen your SEO presence, especially when it comes to E-commerce websites – this means that there’s a higher chance of people purchasing a product through your pages. By auditing your backlinks, and figuring out which ones are going to be on the “disavow list”, you’ll be making sure that your E-commerce page always has its best foot forward.
Backlinks to look out for would be:
- Anything related to sex/sexually enhanced pills – that is, unless, your E-commerce website happens to be selling products of the same type.
- Incredibly spam-like links, that have terrible TLD’s associated with them or even just bad content in general.
- Any sort of content that is trying to plagiarize any sort of company/ product, let alone a very large one (like a fake Facebook advertisement pointing towards your E-commerce site).
- Anything that you wouldn’t place there yourself, or even just have associated with your E-commerce page.
Creating “Categorized Pages”
An E-Commerce website needs to have categories displayed at all times, because there’s going to be a lot of different products to sift through (both in the manner in which they are used, the price and even the manufacturing brand). The buyers need to be able to find their way around the website, and that comes in the form of categorized pages. People will be able to search for specific products that they’d like to see, as well as specific price ranges and such.
While it’s important to think about this portion of your E-commerce website, it does allow for a much higher chance of developing duplicate content. The more pages that you need to be dealing with, the more risk you’ll be taking duplicate content-wise. When you’re using filters and such, by Canonically Tagging the “view all” filter, you’ll be indexing the proper page for Google. With that being said, there’s always a chance that going through the “category paging process” confuses Google a little bit.
That’s usually why people tend to completely build up their websites before letting them go live, and fixing things in the middle of a project push is never easy to do.
For the Sake of the Consumer
As a consumer, you’re always going to want the most efficient way of going through the shopping process. This means that you want a clean cut website, that also offers up an abundance of features and searching options.
Communication is Key
Communication is a big factor when it comes to conversion rates, and that means you’ll have to integrate social media platforms onto your E-commerce page. This gives people the opportunity to share their favorite products with friends and family, or anybody else for that matter; it also gives your website another opportunity to reach a broader audience. Organic growth is the best type of growth, and that’s what social media can help deliver to you – it’s only a matter of actually setting everything up. From Twitter to Instagram, there are companies out there that make sure their social media presence is relatively large. It’s 2016, and your marketing campaigns need to reflect the technological changes that our society is going through.
Think about how easy it is for a customer to navigate through your website, or even just how hard it is to actually go through with a purchase. It’s nice to have a website that looks fantastic, but when a customer can’t even make sense of product descriptions (or anything else related to your page), there is going to be a lack of sales. Communication is going to equal sales, regardless of what industry you happen to be working in. Customers don’t want to waste time on your website, they want to see the product they’re looking for in a timely manner. If they don’t see it almost immediately, odds are you won’t be making a sale. Use CTA’s (call-to-actions) to your advantage, and be precise with the content that you’re posting on your pages. Communication is a two-way street, but you still have to hold up your end of the bargain.
Take a look at your website, does it have the necessary traits? Can it:
- Allow a customer to figure out what industry your E-commerce page is based in, almost immediately?
- Keep the message short and simple – easy enough for anybody to understand?
- Direct the customers through the steps of making a purchase properly?
Meta Tags & Meta Descriptions
Meta descriptions are essentially the portion of your website that are visible on the results pages of search engines (or, if you want to get fancy and use acronyms, SERPs). This means that almost every single person who comes across your website is going to read it – as Google (and other types of search engines) account for a lot of the traffic that your E-commerce page is going to see. When you do a poor job on your meta tags, you’ll notice it within your conversion rates. People don’t want to visit a website that doesn’t have a professionally worded meta description – it just doesn’t seem right.
Meta descriptions should be contained and short (but sweet) – you need to make it so that the consumer really wants to visit your page after reading the small excerpt. Appeal towards the conversion side of things, and use words that will have consumers peaking their curiosity levels. You want people to think that you’ve got exactly what they are looking for, and that’s what gets them to click.
Every single one of your pages should have a specific meta description, as well as unique meta title tags. If you aren’t completely aware as to how well your meta tags are being implemented, you could always make use of the “Google Webmaster” tool. It will let you know if you’ve got any duplicate meta tags to get rid of!
There are a variety of different types, in regards to meta tags; do a bit of research and make sure that you’re using the proper type.
Audit of Your “Online Reputation”
E-Commerce pages are only going to be worth as much as their online reputation allows them to be. There are plenty of ORM (Online Reputation Management) services out there that will make sure you’re in good standing; but that isn’t always the most obvious option. Try and figure out how to track every single review being given on your website, and then use that to your advantage – there are tons of different website applications and such that allow you to add reviewable products to your E-Commerce page.
Listen to the feedback that’s been given to your products, and try and better the website itself. Not only that, but try and remove products that are for sale in which people post negatively themed reviews. If a product isn’t producing well, and the people are letting you know about it, odds are your online reputation is going to be at stake. Appeal towards your consumers in a light that makes you out to be caring and courageous – unafraid to change something it isn’t working out.
Your online reputation is going to require a lot of work, especially when you want to make sure people understand how confident and efficient your E-commerce website is built to be. Your online reputation is going to be based off of many different things,
- Respond to every single review you can! This gives off a professional and personal vibe in regards to your website. Not only that, but if some isn’t satisfied with your service as a whole, it will be an opportunity for you to promise them better service in the future (and hopefully, saving a customer in the process).
- Make sure to always communicate your promotions and such through social media outlets, or anywhere else that your customers will be able to see it – this is one of the best ways to become a professionally established brand online.
- Remove any sort of negative press from your marketing campaigns, even if it happens to be unintentionally “bad”. We’ve all been there, just fix the issue as soon as you can and everything will be alright.
Without a trustworthy aura and presence online, your E-commerce site isn’t going to get very far. If you want to build an empire of your own, one product at a time, it’s going to take some proper online reputation management.
All in All: You Have the Ability to Create the Perfect E-Commerce Site!
Most people audit their E-commerce websites and don’t think about the information being given to them, at least, not all of it. This article should keep you aware of the many different things that take part within an E-commerce website audit, and that’s not even the entire book on that matter. There are still plenty of other things to consider, like your local SEO endeavors or even just the kind of customer service that you’re providing the consumers (as in, live customer service).
Running an E-commerce page of your own is relatively difficult, but once you’ve gone through the auditing process, you should have a clearer vision on what’s necessary to succeed. If you have to expand your brand in a global manner, the SEO power of your page is going to speak volumes towards future investors. It’s 2016, and that’s allowed for a lot of different companies to work their way into the spotlight. You can do the exact same thing, it’s just a matter of whether you’re willing to work as hard as everybody else has.
Don’t let anybody tell you that your E-commerce website is perfect after the first set-up process. Google is constantly changing the way SEO-power is being accounted for – which means a well-timed E-commerce SEO audit is more than reasonable (at any rate).
The post Critical aspects to consider while doing an eCommerce audit! appeared first on SEO Nick.
In order to get the most out of your SEO process, you’ve got to ensure that your domain is suitable for the project at hand. SEO isn’t something that you can just slap together, and it usually calls for an abundance of professional help to take place. In regards to your domain name, it’s something that helps people identify your brand online – but that’s only skimming the surface of what is needed to be covered. You’re going to be putting a lot of money into these authority sites (or, at least, what you hope will turn into authority sites); which is why it’s crucial to capitalize on your SEO efforts at every possible point.
Keeping Up with the Times!
When speaking about your domain name, it’s going to come with a lot of variables. Not only will these variables come in abundance, but they may even change on certain occasions. This is information that is held in high regard, but usually incredibly difficult to obtain as well. We’re going to look at how you can grow your company in more ways than one, all through the use of your domain name. It may not seem like much right now, but it’s going to be a key piece in the success your business will see.
It’s 2016, and that means you’re going to have to adapt; most people who refuse to do so get left in the dust. It’s a lot more about the entire picture, as opposed to just the old fashioned way of conducting business. Having a strong online presence is pretty much a must these days, and the lack of one is almost like planning for the inevitable failure of your ventures. Some people are going to want shorter domains, so that consumers find them easy to remember; others are going to find interest in the much longer variety (due to the fact that they need to be specific). It’s all about preference, like most other things associated with internet marketing and having an online presence in general.
The Basic Breakdown
Let’s talk about three main attributes that make up a domain, as that should give you some more information to work with. Take a look at these negative attributes, and then apply them to your domain name process as you please; pretty much, just ensure that you avoid all of these things at all costs.
- Hyphens – Hyphens are a big problem when it comes to purchasing a domain name, as they appear a little more spammy than your traditional domain. Separating words really isn’t that important, seeing as domain names are all one word anyways; in most cases, people only use hyphens to rip off other ideas/websites.
- Improper TLD’s (Top-Level Domains) – TLD’s are the ending to your domain names, and they can have a very drastic effect on your SEO efforts. For example, when you work with a website that end in something like .com or .co.uk, you’re going to have a lot more credibility (and ranking power). Lesser known TLD’s like .cc, .ws and even .info are something to avoid – in most cases, these are websites that are incredibly frugal with the amount of credibility and honesty they’re offering.
- Length – The length of your domain name is also very important, and drawing it on and pushing it to more than 15 characters is a no-no. You should avoid lengthy domain names, and you definitely don’t want to go over 15 characters. Short domain names allow the consumer to remember it easier, as well as share them; there is also a much smaller chance of pushing through with any sort of typo.
Domain names have lost a little bit of their “SEO-juice” when compared to the past, but they still hold a pretty decent amount of necessity. Completely forgetting to think of a unique and SEO-ready domain is just silly, and you don’t want to get into that habit.
Determining Your Needs
When it comes to making sure your domain is following SEO protocol, you have to get a hold of specific information. For example, you’ll want to apply your brand name to the domain; it just makes sense. When people go to your website, they’ll be thinking of the words representing your brand. It’s consistent advertising in its finest form, and that’s why the internet is such a business-conscious place to be working with. If you want to go the alternative route, and completely avoid your brand name (which some people do for specific projects), that’s okay as well.
Your brand name should pretty much always make an appearance in the domain, but the sale of domains and URLs has been around for a very long time now. If you have a traditional or commonly named brand, you may find it tough to actually find a domain that’s short and to the point. If you have to get a little lengthy, just make sure it isn’t going overboard. Some of the most important traits to think of before you get into to domain name selection process would be:
What Direction Are You Going? – Are you trying to put together an eCommerece website? Or is it something that’s going to be labeled a little more “artsy”? The form of your website and the demographic that it appeals to is going to be important to keep in mind, otherwise you may find yourself missing on potential growth. If you have to appeal towards the more technical crown, be straightforward; if you’ve got space to be creative, don’t be afraid to do so (but be ready to plan for some rather unique keywords in the process).
Online Presence is Essential – It’s pretty much a known fact that business needs a website these days; at least, if they want to stay in business for more than a few weeks (or days, who knows?). Without a strong online presence, you won’t be able to appeal towards the billions of people living on this planet. That’s something you just really can’t miss out on! Are you ready to get into the process of maintaining the website associated with your domain? Updating it and brushing up on the SEO profile, among other things?
Domain names come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, but without proper planning, there’s no telling just how quality your choice is going to be.
Keywords are important for SEO purposes, and that pretty much pertains to every single aspect of SEO. If you want to create some content for your website, you need to have keywords; when you’re looking to figure out the perfect domain name, guess what? That’s right, keywords! It’s no secret that keywords are going to be a very constant variable within your SEO process, as a matter of fact, it’s always going to be there. These are the specific phrases that people are searching for within engines like Google or Bing; and these are the phrases you need to be focusing on.
Keywords aren’t always the same for every single domain name, and that’s where a little bit of research is going to come into play. If you’re completely oblivious as to what keywords are, this section is going to bear a lot of “fruit” for you to snack on (mental fruit, of course!).
What Exactly are “Keywords”?
We’re going to get into a pretty technical example here, but trust me, it’s for the greater good. When you talk about keywords and what they have associated with them, it can seem like gibberish at first; that’s okay, just bear with me.
Every single domain name and website (well, everything in general on the internet that has words) can be associated with keywords. For example, let’s just say that your website is called “www.incrediblycoolhats.com” – this means that every single keyword associated with your domain name needs to pertain towards hats (that are more than likely incredibly cool, mind you).
- Local Keywords – These are keywords that would have to do with the local way deal of dealing with things, as in; “buy hats in x”, where X would be the local region that you’re planning on covering. Local keywords are crucial because they allow you to appeal towards the immediate crowd, those being consumers close to you. Domain names almost never have these, unless you’re creating a very specific page (like a bunch of carpenter sites that cover numerous cities).
- Competition Levels – Keywords are going to have a lot competition to battle against, regardless of what industry you happen to be in. The world is a big place, and that means there are going to be a lot of people trying to make a living online (or just build their online presence). As a result, you’ll be fighting for the top spot. Research your keywords with the tools available to you (we’ll get into that a little later on), it’ll be easier to ensure your success as things move forward. The “Google Keyword Planner” is the perfect tool to keep in mind, and it’s what most people turn towards for help.
Why Do I Need Keywords?
Without keywords, you won’t be able to appeal towards your preferred demographic. There’s a reason why people research their keywords in abundance before working with them, as it’s something that people have become accustomed to. A domain name without any keywords is fine, but only if you’re looking for a branded domain name.
Branded Domain Names
What Are They?
When you think of incredibly large companies like Nike or Adidas, their domain names are pretty straight forward. Not only will it be simple and to the point, but there’s a reason they’re allowed to follow this suit – that’s because they’re so popular. If you’re already an established name in the industry, all you have to do is use your brand name for the domain. Not only will it already have some SEO power behind it (as you already carry a relatively strong presence with your name alone), but it makes figuring out your domain name a much easier process.
You can only make use of a branded domain name in specific scenarios, as you never want to do it when you aren’t a popular brand. Doing so is going to result in less than stellar results when it comes to your SEO analytics, and you always want to put your best foot forward.
When you’ve got a domain, and a plethora of pages that you want to get out there, sub-domains can become one of the most – for example, when you use a TLD in which .us appears, there are different sub-domains to apply to every single state within the USA. It’s essentially a domain that is part of a larger domain, which is useful for a variety of different reasons.
Budgeting for Your Domain Name
The budget behind your domain name selection needs to be figured out beforehand, as there are usually annual fees associated with keeping a page live (for hosting, anyways). You need to factor that in, but you also need to factor in any additional costs that may pop – like I said previously, having a very common brand (word-wise) can be a blessing, but it can also be a burden. If you really wanted something that was short and simple, but very effective, you may have to pay a pretty penny for it.
For example, let’s just say that you wanted a domain like ‘www.cool.com’ – seems easy enough to purchase, right? Domains have been sold ever since the early 90’s (and maybe even earlier), and that’s lead to an incredibly expensive adventure for you to embark upon. Domain names that are simply one word are well worth the amount of money people pay for them, and trust me, there are people out there willing to pay well up to 6 figures for something like that.
If you can’t afford it, you’re going to need to look at other options. There are always going to be more than reasonable options to choose from, it’s just a matter of your personal preference – as well as whether or not the money is there. Pricing is usually based off of:
Current Popularity – If a website is very popular, it’s going to cost a lot of money to buy the domain name associated with it. This is mainly due to the fact that by using this domain name, you’ll already have access to an abundance of potential customers – they’ll already know about the domain name, and have it memorized on top of that.
Length & Longevity – If the domain name is incredibly long, the price is going to be hit rather hard. If it’s over 15 characters, but still somehow manages to sport a relatively strong profile of potential customers, it still might be worth an investment (but that’s completely up to you). Short and sweet is the key, as those are the domain names that last for extended periods of time.
Effectiveness – If you have a business that relates itself to the sport of basketball, you don’t want to try and get your hands on a domain name related to soccer or football. That would not only confuse the people visiting your website, but it would essentially be a waste of money – it would also have a very negative impact on your SEO endeavors. All of the stuff within your domain names pages would pertain to the wrong sport, and Google would become aware of that feat.
There you have it! All of the information presented to you today should help with any questions you could conjure up. Domain names aren’t the easiest thing to manage, that’s for sure; but they’re always going to be very critical to the success of your online practices. If you want to sell a service or product through the use of the internet, you need to make sure your domain names are always following proper SEO protocol. Take the time needed out of your life to actually prepare in the proper sense, so that you’re setting the brand up for success (as opposed to failure). Everybody wants to do something that relates itself to the internet, and that means domain names will always reign supreme.
They are the very first thing people take notice of when visiting your website, and it’s also the thing that most people are able to easily remember. If you want to become a household name in the year 2016, it’s going to take an efficient and well-planned out domain name. Don’t allow outside influences to negatively affect your project, focus on the task at hand and keep a tunnel vision of sorts. The only person who can stop you from success, is the person you look at in the mirror every single morning.
Keep your head high, your domain names SEO-efficient and your conversion rates as high as possible! Internet marketing is the wave of progression that everybody wants to ride, but you can’t do that without SEO-conscious domain names.
In the world of E-Commerce websites, you’re going to be dealing with a lot of different variables. As a result, you aren’t always going to find it easy to manage your page – and that’s okay. In order to make the most out of your E-Commerce project, you’ll have to focus a reasonable amount of your time towards the SEO aspect of it all. In order to put your best foot forward, it’d be ideal for you to try and minimize the amount of SEO errors you’re dealing with.
When I say minimize, I pretty much mean “try and completely avoid them!”. SEO errors aren’t going to benefit your website in any way, shape or form; that’s why there are company’s out there that can earn millions of dollars in revenue through the act of providing SEO services.
Today, we’ll be taking a deeper look at 9 different errors that could surround our E-Commerce project. These are the types of websites that are relying on the “intricate details” to truly become successful, and that means you’ll need to be assertive and attentive. You should be consistently looking at trends and other things, as that’s going to improve upon your SEO practices immensely. This is going to be a relatively long article, and it’s going to follow E-Commerce websites that have had to deal with SEO errors of their own in the past – some of which will even apply to me on a personal level!
This is going to be a relatively long article, and it’s going to follow E-Commerce websites that have had to deal with SEO errors of their own in the past – some of which will even apply to me on a personal level!
Without further ado, let’s get into the 9 SEO errors that you should be keeping an eye out for (in relation to your E-Commerce website). At some point throughout this article, you should find yourself correcting and perfecting specific details of your project page.
Create Intuitive Product Descriptions
The descriptions that are related to your products need to be not only detailed, but coherent and comprehensive as well. In my past experiences with E-Commerce projects, the product description is important for more than one reason. In the end of it all, you want your website to have as much content on it as possible; and you want that content to flow (as well as be high-quality in general). Most stores that carry clothes and such will have either no product description, or just a very poorly written one. When this is the case, customers aren’t exactly aware of what they’re trying to purchase.
Without descriptions, you won’t be selling as many products – as people just won’t be interested enough. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the lack of a product description could lead to an abundance of problems SEO-wise. Don’t butcher the chance of your E-Commerce website making it all the way to page 1, make sure that you’re creating product descriptions for every single listing on your project page.
In order to create effective product descriptions, it’s probably in your best interests to figure out how much content you need. Look at a blank product page on your website, and count all of the words being used in your navigation settings. As long as your product description is longer than all of those combined, you pretty much have absolutely nothing to worry about (well, it’s just used to keep a much heavier SEO-weight for your unique product descriptions). All in all, make sure that you are:
- Writing high quality descriptions that not only explain the product, but do so in a timely and effective manner
- Don’t copy any of your product descriptions from another website, as duplicate content is one of the biggest negatively-based SEO protocols that you could assert; you always want your content to be unique and brand new
Test your descriptions and figure out which ones will work the best; this means checking up on things like the word count (as too much content in the description could have a negative effect on things).
Descriptions Done Wrong: Using the “Manufacturer Description”
When it comes to using the wrong description, you can never go any more wrong than you would with the manufacturer’s description. This is the description that most people avoid, and anybody who is serious about their SEO endeavors already knows to do so. When you use a description that has been produced by the manufacturer themselves, you’re going to be completely filtered out of the search engine results. You’re probably thinking; “How am I supposed to know about all of that? Just how crucial can it be?”. Truthfully, most people know that unique content is king.
When you copy and paste content into your projects page, you’re going to be hit with less than stellar results. These descriptions are going to be panned over an abundance of different online stores, so avoid using these descriptions at all cost. The rule of thumb is to completely create unique content, and nothing other than that; scraping content is a very big problem these days.
It’s going to be a hard thing to manage, as creating thousands upon thousands of unique descriptions can get tedious. That’s why most people just rely on external services to take care of their product description needs, but it isn’t always the case. If there’s no way for you to provide a specific page with unique content, just slap a “No Index meta tag” on them.
There’s certain situations where you wouldn’t want your descriptions to actually pop up, and that’s where you can take it upon yourself to keep them filtered. You can do this by applying the manufacturer’s description, or even just through other means. Ultimately, you want to have as much unique content as possible; so if you can’t completely write brand new descriptions, just keep them away from prying eyes.
You don’t want to have your website looking spammy in general, so it’s a good thing to always brush up on your optimization techniques. SEO is a practice that can make (or break) your project, and descriptions apply to that in more than one sense.
Product reviews will pertain to about 50% of your sales, just take a look at Amazon. Whenever you look to purchase something online, you always look at the reviews beforehand – this allows you to understand what the product has to offer, and even see what it’s like from a “real person” perspective. These product reviews apply to things like online shops and forums pertaining to specific hobby and item-types, and they’re incredibly helpful for various different reasons. Amazon implemented a high-quality review system that has people looking into their products a little deeper, and it is a good reason as to why they are so popular nowadays (and the sheer fact that online shopping is so sought after).
Reviews are very useful, as you won’t waste your money on products that are lackluster – and as somebody who owns and runs an E-Commerce website, they can allow your consumers and visitors to really enjoy the shopping experience you’ve provided for them. Product reviews will allow you to do many things, but they’re great for customers (and website owners alike) because:
- You have the ability to create unique content within your store through product reviews, and the more unique content you’ve got, the better; SEO errors related to spun or copied content are always severe. Product reviews will help you avoid that!
- These reviews allow the product pages on your E-Commerce site to stay alive and well, as there will constantly be people reviewing the products you’re selling. Search engines are constantly looking for stuff like this to keep you at the peak ranking possible; so anytime you’ve got an opportunity to update your website, it will improve upon you SEO endeavors quite nicely (so make sure you make the most of any opportunities given to you).
It doesn’t really matter what type of products you’re looking to sell on your E-Commerce page, reviews will still be a relatively important idea to keep in mind.
Optimize Your Product Pages Properly
When you place your product pages on the site, try and identify which products are going to be more appealing towards people and keep them in front of everything else. Also, you need to be working in keywords – this means the title and the description need to be optimized effectively before you post the product up on your site. Use the keywords in the title of your product, the headlines of articles pertaining to your website and just the content as a whole. For example, if you’re trying to sell kitchen countertops made out of marble, “affordable marble kitchen countertop” may be a keyword for you to target.
Image alt tags and H1 headings are SEO-friendly, and will keep your product pages in good standing when it comes to search engines. If you don’t include keywords in the proper sense, you may very well be posting products that people aren’t actually searching for (in the most technical sense of the process, of course). With all of that out in the open, here are some ways for you to optimize your product pages:
Make sure that you’re always using model numbers (of specific makes in regards to products) for your titles and H1 headings
- Make sure that you’re always going to include specific brand names within your title tags/H1 heading processes
- When it comes to the image alt tag information factor, you should always be sure to fill it out!
- NEVER stuff your product pages with keywords (which is where you’re just constantly repeating the keyword over and over again)
- iFrames are a problem when it comes to displaying content, so be sure to avoid that at all costs – be sure that your content is also implemented on the proper page (as in, don’t have the wrong products’ content on the wrong page)
All you have to do is keep an open mind, and always apply keywords to your content!
Using the Wrong Titles (Non-Unique)
The titles being used on your product pages need to be unique, as this will help search engines identify your E-Commerce website as an individual entity. You won’t get mixed up in the space of “limbo”, and you’ll always have a healthy habit of putting in the proper titles. At the foundation of SEO as a whole, there are keywords and titles – by making sure your titles are always up to standard, you’ll be improving upon your SEO practices significantly. Title tags are in HTML format, and most successful sites (like AutoTrader or even just Amazon) make sure to implement them; almost like an incredibly healthy tick of sorts.
Creating title tags means that you have to approach everything with a unique sort of edge, but it’s a tough job when you sell an abundance of products that are very similar. When it comes to this, you’re probably going to be repeating your keywords quite a bit – and that’s why creating unique “key phrases” is ideal. Search engines will overlook the fact that you’re using the same keyword so many times, but the key phrases will come in and make everything work seamlessly.
Most online shoppers will look for a specific key phrase, as opposed to just a singular keyword. When you want to come up with efficient key phrases, you could always apply this little technique; name of the brand – model number/name of the product – and finally, the type of item it happens to be.
Make sure to always take a look at your customers needs/wants, and always be sure to appeal towards their native tongue. Take a look at what language your most popular customers/regions happen to speak, and then apply said information to the content .
Duplicate Content is a Problem
Duplicated content is a massive problem when it comes to the SEO needs of your E-Commerce websites, just ask anybody who has dealt with that on a personal level in the past. Duplicate content not only negatively affects the SEO standings that your website is going to show, but it will also have an effect on the amount of money you’ll be bringing in every single week. If the search engine doesn’t properly index your E-Commerce website, there isn’t going to be a lot of traffic flowing in from the search results – that’s why removing duplicate content is a necessity of sorts.
There’s a higher probability of not only retaining a higher search engine ranking (due to the removal of duplicate content), but people are just going to notice as a whole. The customers shopping on your website are going to realize that there are unique descriptions for every single product, and it gives them a little more insight before they make a purchase; the more knowledgeable they feel, the more likely they are to make a pre-determined purchase! Get into the habit of creating pages with completely unique content, because Google is going to make it a major focus moving forward with future updates. The days of being able to spin content and still rank are long gone, and that means you have to make adjustments.
Speaking of adjustments, that leads me to my next SEO error that most E-Commerce websites commit.
Make Sure You “Stay Hip” (Update Your Website!)
Your website isn’t going to update itself, and that means the job is left on your desk (well, virtual desk, of course). Web pages can retain their ranks, as long as they are being properly monitored and touched up; you can bet your bottom dollar that there aren’t any websites from 1994 still hitting Google’s first page. It’s a numbers game, but it’s also a game of rolling with the punches – a lot of people are going to get with certain “SEO penalties”. These usually occur when you commit one of these errors listed within this piece, so it’s a good thing you’re reading through; avoiding these errors (and frequently reading up on what brand new Google updates focus on) is a must.
Google has been hitting websites with duplicate and spun content relatively hard in their new updates, but people are always looking for new ways to work towards the first page. Some methods work for extended periods of time, while others are outed and taken over by Google’s moderation team. One thing is for certain, you can’t go wrong with high-quality content; and Google is making sure people are aware of that. If you don’t have a high-quality writer on your team, you might want to think about getting one! When you’re looking to stay ahead of the curve, make sure you only use “Whitehat” methods. I know the payoff can be somewhat tempting, but the penalties for getting caught using a Blackhat method are way too steep.
Google is not only looking for ways to keep webmasters on their toes, but they’re also trying to rid the internet marketing/E-Commerce world of the bad guys.
Create a Sharing Button (or ‘Social Toolbar’)
Word of mouth is a very powerful thing, trust me on that one. Having the ability to share a product they’d like, or maybe even someone else would like is a big deal for the consumer. It not only gives them an opportunity to tell other people about your website, but it also gives you a better chance at a conversion. The more eyes on your product, the better; so sharing is a pretty obvious feature to include within your E-Commerce website. It’s amazing for SEO in the sense that more traffic will be drawn to your website, and from more locations/regions. Having a lot of activity go on within your website is great for Google rankings, as Google is always looking to keep the most popular and efficient websites at the front of the flock.
Make sure people can tweet out your website and the links associated with it, as well as many other social platforms (like Facebook, Instagram if it’s applicable, Pinterest and especially Google+). Some people say that Google is leaning towards companies and E-Commerce pages that have a popular Google+ presence, so it doesn’t hurt to cover all areas of sharing.
Internal Linking W/ Blog Posts (and Product Pages)
Want to give your SEO campaign a quick shot of power? Post some blogs with internal linking included, but make sure they are of the highest quality. Google always wants to see quality within the content, and if it has to associate with your page (in this sense, it would be with internal linking), it needs to be high-quality. If you aren’t willing to sit down and write out some blog posts on your own, you need to be willing to dish out the cash for someone else to do it. High-quality content usually doesn’t come cheap, but the return is well worth the investment. You’ve got to spend money to make money, so feel free to budget out a decent amount of cash for your writing needs.
The internal links need to be surrounded by reasonably placed keywords, and even linked within the keywords themselves. Try and have the blogs posted on popular blogging websites, or just create a blogging platform of your own. Write up some buyer guides and link your products inside of them, or even just create a “Featured Product” page on your website. Whatever you can do to create internal links, you should be doing it; but always make sure that they aren’t going to come off as spam.
You can have a post that has specific products from your E-Commerce page being linked within, and then you can have an entire page dedicated to them. It’s up to you to decide how far you want to go with it, but just know that there is some serious SEO-juice to be had here! You never want to go overboard, unless you’ve got an abundance of unique content coming out of the woodwork. If only creating internally linked product pages for your E-Commerce SEO site was easy!
There you have it – make sure you soak up everything I’ve written here today. Odds are you’re going to need it when you decide to get serious about your E-Commerce SEO needs.