11 SEO Trends To Increase eCommerce Sales
SEO Can Help Increase Sales in eCommerce
For something that has barely been around for two decades, eCommerce has taken the world by storm. Most people are perfectly happy to order almost everything they need online instead of braving stores, wielding shopping carts, and hauling bags around. People have many reasons to do all their holiday and household shopping through eCommerce platforms with the packages delivered straight to their door.
The big question is how can your eCommerce store get a bigger slice of the thriving online market?
One of the best ways to build your online sales is through SEO which, if used correctly, can efficiently bring customers to you who are ready to buy and want exactly what you have to sell. In addition to ensuring your site is set up properly from a structural perspective (meta tags, title tags, etc.) all you need is a list of keywords and a few clever strategies to find SEO success.
1. Do Your Keyword Research
The first place to start with any SEO project is your basic collection of keywords. These are terms that your customers might type into a search box when they want to buy your products. If, for instance, you sell decorative glass sculptures, your keywords would naturally include “glass”, “sculpture”, “interior decorating” and perhaps a few more unusual terms that fit the same bill like “paperweight” and “fishbowl”. Of course, for every keyword, there are dozens of possible variations, synonyms, and long tail (those three and four keyword phrases which are very specific to whatever you are selling) combinations that could apply. Remember when putting together your initial list of keywords that your goal is to predict the search terms of people who need your product but may not know it yet.
2. Use a Keyword Tool for Ideas
If you run out of steam brainstorming search words, turn your attention to the variety of online tools which can help you both explore possible search term variations and identify which terms are currently trending. There is a careful balance in SEO between what is popular and what is useful and your strategy should include both categories. Google has a variety of keyword research and suggestion tools and there are also several third party tools which will brainstorm keywords with you.
3. Think Like a Customer
One of the biggest challenges for eCommerce SEO is lining up your efforts to suit the selection of product you offer. If you just sold pillows, for example, all your keywords could have to do with sleeping, pillows, or neck pain but if you sell many different kinds of items, expect to have a longer list of keywords. The key is to think like a customer who wants what you have to sell. Customers who know what they want will ask for category, product, and brand names and even specifications like size or material. Customers who aren’t sure yet will ask by typing in features like colors, texture, or function.
4. Customer-Centric Website Design
As an eCommerce business, it’s important to remember that your website is your shop. Everything about it needs to guide visitors toward becoming customers, especially the navigation. Use a very clear arrangement of navigation bars, tabs, and categories to help your customers get around and find what they’re looking for. Narrow down product searches by category and specifications for them and offer helpful tips on how to get exactly the right size or package.
5. Use Helpful Internal Links
If there’s one thing that both SEO and browsing customers appreciate, it’s a well-placed internal link. The ideal use for links is as breadcrumbs and a way to make helpful suggestions. Many eCommerce shoppers enjoy a list of similar items to help them narrow down their own search. You can also use internal links to reference things like policy, service, shipping, or sizing pages.
6. Internal Search and SEO
When you’re a relatively large site, optimizing for searches isn’t just about Google and inbound marketing. You also want your own internal search function to come up with useful results. This means you’ll want to optimize every product page and blog to ensure that users looking for content on your website from the internal search function find what they need. Fortunately, because the search bar is on your website, you can also tweak the feature to have more helpful responses to search terms that relate to your products.
7. Add Breadcrumbs to Navigation
Customers moving around the site for the first time have a reasonable chance of getting lost or overwhelmed. Others may simply want to back-track to a page they were looking at before without searching for it all over again. This is where breadcrumbs come in handy, another feature that is greatly appreciated by search engine crawlers and is, therefore, good SEO.
Breadcrumbs are a list of links relating back to where you’ve been. In some cases, they are presented as your position in the site architecture, like “Clothes”, “Women”, “Tops” for example. Or they can be arranged based on exactly where you’ve been for the last few jumps which would look more like “Black Cardigan”, “Blue Cardigan”, “Blue Hat”. Both of these functions can help your customers get around and will improve their shopping experience.
8. Check for Technical Errors
No essay is written typo-free and no web page is written without errors, especially when you’re concerned with SEO, a topic that is more complex than it seems. While there are several options, one particular program by the surprising name of Screaming Frog is fantastic for letting you know where the errors are in your web page architecture like broken links and missing header tags. It can also be used to do a little cleanup while other errors will be yours to handle.
9. Manicure Dead Pages
Once you know where dead pages are from running a quick technical audit, it’s time to decide what to do with them. The last thing you want is a visitor browsing around thinking about buying only to hit a dead page with no convenient way back to their shopping cart. Manicuring dead pages and what your 404 page looks like can make a huge difference. Make sure to keep the browsing experience smooth and to give your customers a quick and easy way to return to the page just before they hit missing content or a closed item.
10. Write Unique Content for Every Product
Repeat text is a big no-no in SEO, but this means that if you sell many very similar items that the old copy-paste description trick simply isn’t going to fly. If you want to make it more likely that customers will be SEO-transported directly to the correct product pages, it’s best to write unique description content for each one. This doesn’t have to be difficult and it’s alright if the descriptions all look similar as long as you mix up the phrases and facts a little bit. If you do need to repeat the same details for many products, consider making a chart instead.
11. Encourage Internal Comments and Reviews
Finally, nothing kicks up website activity and improves the density of your best keywords like comments and reviews. Take a page from Amazon’s highly successful book and encourage customers to review your products right there on the page or in their delivery confirmation emails. Have places on the site for discussions, question-and-answering, and public customer service. This will increase your relevance via traffic and engage your audience to really think about and discuss what they thought of your products. The more reviews and comments, the better.
When your storefront is online, everything becomes at least tangentially related to SEO and building sales are no exception. Naturally, you need SEO to generate more search engine ‘foot traffic’ and accurately targeted SEO to ensure that your leads find exactly what they came for.
For more great tips and tricks for boosting your eCommerce business or assistance mastering the strategies described in this article, contact us today.