Blogs by date "10/01/12"
3 Cues That Define Solid Ecommerce SEO Services
In today's global market of SEO professionals, it's not easy pinpointing who to pick for ecommerce SEO services. Many SEO's come across as legit experts and can pitch a sound search program. But the truth of the matter is there are many misleading SEO mischiefs who fail at providing the best practices of ecommerce SEO.
I've been in the organic SEO profession for almost 6 years now. And although that's not a lot of experience compared to some SEO experts, I've learned that this industry is full sleazy scumbags who churn and burn their clients. In some respects, these sketch-meisters have given the organic SEO profession a bad name.
The good news is these unethical SEO service providers are dying breed thanks to the diligence of the Google Webspam team. In short, Google is constantly evolving the practices of ecommerce SEO, and as a result, only the strong service providers are surviving.
So if you're on the hunt for a professional ecommerce SEO company that you can trust, in this article I share with you three cues that define solid ecommerce SEO services. These hints will help you recruit a credible, honest, and capable team of SEO experts to optimize the web presence of you ecommerce site.
Custom Content Creation
One of the best indicators that a search company is offering solid ecommerce SEO services is if they provide custom and quality content creation. As most of us know, content is still the king of organic search marking, however it's the context that's changing.
Although still important, keyword rich webpages (inside pages of the core site navigation) are not as effective in the SEO game as they used to be. It's rather the content that you market and share that holds the most meaning for SEO and inbound marketing. This entails quality blog posts and articles, images and infographics, videos, and other forms of rich media. Content that's highly relevancy and offers value, such as educational and informative product profiles, wins the game for SEO.
Your ecommerce SEO service provider needs to get intimate with your brand and offering, enabling the creation of top-notch content.
Social Media Integration
In accordance to creating superb content is promoting and sharing the content with your audience. This underscores the essence of incorporating social media marketing with your organic SEO and content marketing strategy.
Google's search engine algorithm is continuously changing, and one aspect that's evident is the impact social signals (Likes, +1's, Shares, Tweets, etc.) are having on web ranking.
As a result, incorporating social sharing icons on your content is key to maximize your ecommerce SEO potential, especially for product pages.
Social media integration entails much more than just slapping up some icons and calling it good. Ecommerce social marketing is an exhaustive endeavor in itself, but it pays considerable dividends in retaining customer loyalty, as well as honest credibility in your ecommerce brand.
Because social media is having such a profound influence on Internet marketing, many companies specialize solely in social marketing services. Yet some ecommerce SEO providers incorporate these services in their arsenal as whole - which can help bring unity to various online marketing strategies.
Focused on Conversion-Orientation
What separates sufficient ecommerce SEO companies from awesome SEO providers is their ability to optimize the site for greater conversions. With online stores battling the fierce competition for customers, web traffic from SEO is often times just not enough. A powerful organic SEO strategy will encompass conversion rate optimization, or CRO.
The main focus behind conversion optimization for ecommerce sites is to generate compelling calls-to-action that lead to successful conversion goals. This can be a simple as a more visible "Add to Cart" or a graphic that shows a sales incentive.
Your ecommerce SEO service provider should go above and beyond to ensure that you site is producing sales, not just traffic. Some organic search marketing experts might disagree with me on this one, but I strongly feel this is the cornerstone to providing excellent services and keeping clients happy.
SEO for ecommerce sites is by far one of the most challenging and perplexing areas of search engine marketing. It's very important that you get very familiar with what your prospects are offering so that you invest in quality ecommerce SEO services that yield sustainability results and desirable ROI.
About the author This article was written by Tyler Tafelsky, one of our SEO experts here at ClickCentric SEO. Tyler is highly engaged in all aspects of ecommerce marketing and offers a wealth of knowledge in the SEO profession. You can contact Tyler directly via email at email@example.com or Connect with Tyler on Google+
How to Use Google AdWords "Enhanced Sitelinks" to Bolster Paid Search Performance
The sitelinks extension in Google AdWords is a powerful way to help maximize the real estate of your paid search ads. In essence, the sitelinks extension enables paid search advertisers to display links to certain pages within the website.
During the early stages of testing, Google claimed that ads that included sitelinks experienced an average of 30% greater click-through rates. Additionally, for more broad-based keyword targets, sitelinks can also help facilitate conversions by taking users to a more specific landing page (a big bonus for ecommerce advertisers.)
The advantages of using sitelinks continue to grow. Now, Google will display "enhanced sitelinks" on select keyword searches that are very relevant to the advertiser.
Currently, enhanced sitelinks are automatically generated by Google, so they may vary in appearance. Nonetheless, you'll want to take advantage of sitelinks and try testing this Google AdWords ad extension. Below I show you how to do it.
Setting-Up Sitelinks Extension
Upon creating a new campaign, you'll want to enable the checkbox under the section "Ad extensions" that reads, "Sitelinks: Extend my ads with links to sections of my site."
For existing campaigns, click into the "Ad extensions" tab in the main AdWords interface of the campaign. Next, choose to view the Sitelinks extension, and proceed to set-up a "new extension."
Each sitelink that you implement should have a unique landing page, in addition to having one ad to match each sitelink. In order for the sitelinks to work properly, users must omit the "http" when entering URL's.
Depending on how keyword relevant the query is to the site, ads may display two, four, or six sitelinks. Mobile ads will show a maximum of two sitelinks.
Google suggests keeping the text for each sitelink short and concise to maximize the number of links that can be displayed in each ad.
Last Word on Enhanced Sitelinks
Enhanced sitelinks are in their early stages of adoption amongst advertiser. They will only appear in ads that are directly above the organic search results, otherwise known as the premium placements.
Paid search advertisers can increase the likelihood that their enhanced sitelinks will be displayed by improving their Quality Scores and/or increases their max bid. Stay tuned for more insights and strategies on leveraging sitelinks and other ad extensions in Google.
3 Ecommerce SEO Tools Employed by the Pro's
Ecommerce SEO is long-term endeavor that demands a solid set of SEO tools and resources. In essence, having the proper SEO tools can reveal a world of insights and make process far more efficient.
Ecommerce stores can be extremely deep, making it challenging to prioritize SEO tasks as well as pinpoint SEO weaknesses. As a result, investing in the right arsenal of tools can be complete game-changer.
In this article, I will share with you three ecommerce SEO tools that can make optimizing your online store much easier.
Open Site Explorer
Open Site Explore is a web-based tool that was developed by the reputable team at SEOmoz.org. The emphasis of Open Site Explorer centers on link data, or information surrounding the backlinks of a particular domain. This includes metrics based backlink sources (such as the authority of the domain and the link). Open Site Explorer also offers insights on social signals stemming from Facebook, Google+, and Twitter.
As these off-page SEO elements continue to grow in importance, the data surrounding backlinks and social signals is immensely valuable for SEO's. Open Site Explorer is very popular tool that's free (with limited access to information) and very easy to use.
As one of the most advanced tools for ecommerce SEO, the SEO PowerSuite offers four different software programs that each target a specific sub-set of SEO. The programs included in the SEO PowerSuite help facilitate both on-page and off-page SEO, as well as keyword reporting and analysis. Below is a brief summary of each software program.
- SEO SpyGlass - This program will perform a scan of all of the backlinks directing to a particular domain. SEO SpyGlass will generate a report that includes valuable link data metrics about each backlink (such as the sources of backlinks, Google PageRank of the sources, backlinks' anchor text, etc.)
- Rank Tracker - Rank Tracker helps make keyword reporting much easier by seamlessly checking a domain's keyword rankings. The program compiles the results in a clean report that serves as wonderful deliverable to share with others.
- Link Assistant - Although any form of link building is now viewed as “gray hat SEO,” Link Assistant helps make your SEO link building hat a bit whiter. This program makes the effort of pinpointing relevant and quality link partners much easier.
- Website Auditor - Website Auditor will scan and evaluate the content and overall on-page SEO quality of a specified domain. This audit can help find issues of duplicate content, broken links, and other problems that may be hindering SEO performance.
SEMRush is a handy web-based resource designed for both SEO and paid search advertising. In addition to helping with keyword research and analysis, SEMRush is also a powerful tool for competitive analysis and developing sound SEO strategies.
After submitting a website's domain at www.semrush.com, you can view a wealth of metrics surrounding the site’s keyword rankings and overall presence in the SERPs. The tool offers valuable keyword data about each search query (or keyword phrase), such as the keyword's competition rating, average monthly search volume, and overall search trends.
Paid search advertisers can learn which keywords a competitor is bidding for in AdWords and the position of the competitor’s ads in the SERP (per keyword.) Similar to the other Open Site Explorer, SEMRush offers both free and paid versions. It's great SEO tool to do quick analysis on the fly and we highly recommend bookmarking the tool for easy reference.
Ecommerce SEO: Why Top Rankings Just Don't Cut it Anymore
It's no secret that search engine optimization is a highly competitive industry – especially when it comes to ecommerce. With thousands of SEO companies out there to choose from, it's important for businesses to keep in mind what's really important in measuring the success of your SEO campaign. It's not top rankings. It's the number of conversions that come from achieving those top rankings.
Some ecommerce SEO companies are narrowly focused on working to gain high organic search rankings for their clients, but they're overlooking another essential element that seasoned ecommerce Internet marketers know plays an equally significant role in the overall success of the campaign – optimizing the website for conversions and not just rankings.
So what goes into the conversion optimization element of ecommerce SEO? First, we must define what constitutes as a conversion for the ecommerce website. The most easy to determine conversion is for a user to make a purchase from the website itself.
However, there can be other conversions that come from the website including email list signups, filling out a contact form for more information, or just enticing users to make a simple phone call. Granted, each “conversion” from the website can actually be categorized in different stages of the overall “Conversion Funnel,” as you're guiding users who simply provide an email address or phone number or ask for more information into an eventual sale, which is the ultimate end “conversion.”
So what are some ways that you can optimize your ecommerce website for more conversions? Below I'll list out several ways your ecommerce Internet marketing company should be optimizing your website for better conversion rates.
Conversion-Focused Product Landing Pages
Having a conversion-oriented landing page for your products applies to both organic SEO and paid search for ecommerce websites. Ecommerce SEO companies can utilize a variety of on-site and off-site SEO techniques (such as deep linking SEO) to get your product landing pages ranking high in the organic search results, but once a user lands on that page, enticing the sale is a must.
A conversion-focused landing page can have several helpful and interactive elements for the user. In the example below, this home brewing supplies website has a variety of great features that help sell this brewing kit to the end user.
Along with the typical product descriptions, images and availability, they've added customer product reviews, Facebook likes and a video describing what to expect from the brew kit. These are great conversion optimization strategies for the product landing pages.
Simple Product Navigation
The amount of products and product categories varies from one ecommerce website to another. Some sites carry only a couple dozen niche products, while other ecommerce sites have thousands of products that fall under one of a hundred different categories.
From a conversion optimization standpoint, keeping your products and product categories as concise and easy to navigate as possible is crucially important. Your users have to be able to easily find the products their looking for in order to buy them!
Other than condensing your product categories to the minimum number of categories necessary, there are certain website design elements that come into play as well that can improve the overall usability of the website. The site below is a prime example of an ecommerce site that is extremely easy to navigate.
The top level categories are very simple (Men, Women, Hike & Camp, Shoes, etc.) and every product category under those top level pages are listed on the flydown menus. This makes finding exactly what they want incredibly easy for the end user. Alternatively, the user can search for a product that they're looking for in the search box just to the left of the top level navigation.
To further the user experience, this website has included easy to use sorting features where the user can sort products by price, color, discount or ratings.
Offer Discount Codes and Other Deals
Online shoppers love a good deal. Once you've driven the user to your website, offering them a discount or special offer is another incredibly effective way to get that user to convert into a sale.
Design a compelling call to action that offers your website visitors a special discount code that they can use on their order to get a certain percentage off their total order. You can also lure a site visitor to place an order by offering free shipping for orders over a certain dollar amount or for orders that are placed during a specific time period.
Showing special pricing on your product landing pages is also a great way to capture a sale and increase your conversion rates.
No matter what type of products your ecommerce website sells, it's critically important that you select an ecommerce Internet marketing company that understands the ins and outs of not only getting your website positioned well in the search engines, but also knows how to optimize your website so it drives conversions and ultimately a solid ROI for your marketing dollar.
This guest post was written by Chris Everett, Principal of Captivate Search Marketing in Atlanta, GA. You can connect with Chris via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Google+.