Blogs by date "07/01/12"
Why Being an Educator Wins for Ecommerce SEO
For many product-related keyword categories, the ecommerce SEO playing field is fierce with many big budget retailers dominating the SERPs. Although these competitors may be intimidating for your organic SEO efforts, there are usually ways to get around them. Being an educator is one.
Successful SEO for ecommerce sites demands a good understanding of the buying behaviors of online shoppers. A vast majority of online shoppers are better defined as browsers, or info seekers who are still in the pre-purchasing phases of the buying cycle. These individuals are purely seeking information to help aid their decision.
Common pre-purchasing behaviors of online browsers include:
- learning as much as they can about the product before they buy it
- seeking out unbiased reviews of the product
- comparing the features of similar models
This is when being an educator is clutch for ecommerce SEO. Instead of optimizing only product pages, maybe you can optimize a page for reviews? Or perhaps a product 'FAQ' page? Or Video? To help get your creative juices flowing, we provide a couple examples of how being an educator wins for ecommerce SEO.
Superb Use of a Sub-Domain
Just the other day I was doing some research for a new pair of running shoes, particularly for triathlon. I've been noticing a lot of the pro triathlete wearing Newton running shoes, so I decided to learn more about what makes this brand so special. I submitted the search query 'newton triathlon shoes' in Google.
The first thing I noticed was www.TriSports.com dominating the top two search listings. But what really stood out was this listing at the #5 spot: "Genious..,"
I thought to myself as I delved into highly informative write-up (with the subtle "Buy Now" button) all about Newton's new MV model shoe. TriSports created a sub-domain called the TriSports University which profiles certain products with very thorough analyses. In essence, the write-up was a thorough review that touched on many of the specific details that the average shopper wants to know.
It covered how well the shoes perform under certain conditions, all of the minute features and benefits of the shoes, as well as the primary pitfalls of the product. Not only did this write-up help my decision on buying the Newtons (in which I did,) it made me perceive TriSports as a trusted ecommerce store that knows what they're doing.
Owning it with Rich Media Reviews
The organic search listings for product-related queries can be a bit overwhelming, especially for broad searches like "arcteryx jackets reviews." One form of rich media that makes a prominent appearance in the search results is video.
Creating and optimizing review-focused videos is a great way to capture search engine exposure (naturally, without building links.) The search results shown above reflect the keyword query "arcteryx jackets reviews." The listing that really stood out to me was the video.
The creator of the video (www.missionreadyequipment.com) does a good job at explaining some of the features of a couple different Arcteryx brand jackets, however the company fails to provide a good call to action. Nonetheless, their video has earned over 14,000 views and it holds a great ranking for a very popular search.
Additionally, the video is educational and speaks to a very specific target market. The practice of creating review-based videos can be momentous for ecommerce SEO and organic search marketing.
The trick is to optimize videos to maximize there organic SEO potential. In addition to keyword optimizing the video properties, a good way to do this is create a video sitemap on your ecommerce website. In a nutshell, search engine like Google love video sitemaps and they help to get your videos found in the organic search listings.
Blogging All About It
While looking for costume ideas on some 'sailing clothing' sites for sarcastic 'yacht club' party, I came upon a well-optimized ecommerce site called Point Loma Outfitting. I saw that they had a blog, so for sh**ts and giggles I thought I'd take a peek.
I noticed they had a blog post about "Camet sailing clothing" with a video as the many feature of the post. Naturally, my organic SEO instincts directed me to Google where I searched that exact phrase match 'camet sailing clothing'.
Sure enough, Point Loma was sitting pretty at the #2 spot, along with the video they featured in their blog post at #5. I decided to glance at the blog again to test its true effectiveness. After seeing a blog post about the arrival of the new 'SLAM Force 4 Series Foul Weather Gear', I decided to search the phrase 'slam force 4'. It turns out that Point Loma is killing it.
In addition to the company's impressive display of video SEO, they seem to understand the power behind content marketing via blogging. I tip my hat to the organic SEO's of Point Loma. Well done.
Be More Than Just an Ecommerce Site. Be an Institution.
Educating potential customers can instill a high degree of trust and credibility in your ecommerce store. Additionally, offering valuable content can naturally earn link popularity for the benefit of organic SEO. The underlying takeaway to becoming a good educator for ecommerce SEO: be creative in what you offer, and strategic in how you offer it.
This article written by Tyler Tafelsky, one of our Ecommerce SEO Specialists here at ClickCentric SEO.
Optimizing Landing Pages for Greater Conversions
The landing page (also known as the "lead capture page") is where visitors land after clicking on an online advertisement or link. The landing page is the first impression visitors have of your website and what you have to offer. It is thus very important that your landing page is optimized for exceptional usability and conversion orientation.
When it comes to ecommerce Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising, landing page optimization demands constant testing. It is only through split testing where we able to determine which design concepts and page layouts are working, and which are not. The optimization and testing of landing pages is not rocket science, however having the right resources and experience is key.
In addition to analyzing data for testing (typically via Google Analytics,) other skill-sets that accompany landing page optimization are copywriting, web design, and usability. Before we dive into the fundamentals of optimizing landing pages, we must underscore the importance of landing page dedication. That is, it's best to get as specified and targeted as possible with landing pages.
In most cases, especially for ecommerce sites, this will call for the design of dedicated landing pages per advertisement (or ad group from a Google AdWords perspective.) Having dedicated landing pages can not only increase the consumer relevancy and conversion potential of your advertising efforts, but having highly focused landing pages can also increase your AdWords quality scores (which can help to reduce cost per click.)
Understanding Consumer Behavior
The purpose of the landing page testing and optimization is to determine the best ways to influence buyers’ behavior. Understanding the human nature of consumers is a key consideration. A framework that describes stages of customer behavior and interests was pioneered by Elias St. Elmo Lewis back in 1898, and the same concepts are still used today. These four stages, commonly referred to as AIDA, may sound like marketing 101; however each emphasize a stage of customer behavior and can offer insights for development of landing pages.
- Awareness: The first stage is the realization by the customer that there are several possibilities/actions available.
- Interest: The consumer shows preference and selects one of the possibilities/courses of action.
- Desire: The enthusiasm of the customer grows in the course of action chosen.
- Action: The customer acts and begins to enjoy the benefits of the option/course of action chosen. There should be flow and continuity in the landing page decision making model so that the progression of the visitor is properly supported through all the steps. In essence, you want to get to know you target market as best as possible to determine how they proceed through each step. For that reason, the stages of AIDA must be aligned with certain visitor types.
Know the Nature of Visitors
The different visitor types are:
- Browsers: These are people with unmet needs, but are not quite certain what they truly want.
- Evaluators: These are people who are searching for more detailed supporting info and who know enough to compare different options.
- Customers: These are people who have completed transactions in the past and whose satisfaction level has to be maintained until they come for another transaction.
- Transactors: These are people who have already decided what they want to buy and who are now in the process of making the transaction.
The marriage of AIDA and visitor type can also apply to different time frames and scales of tasks. A potential customer may interact with a site several times before making the final decision. On the other end of the spectrum are is short-duration decisions or micro tasks that take a few seconds only.
Fortunately, Google AdWords now enables marketers to see and assess such data to determine the various touch points that may contribute to sales. In summary, visitors should be given what they want when they reach a landing page.
Define key visitor types of you target market and define the most important conversion tasks (or desired action) for each type. Ideally, you'll want to dedicate conversion oriented landing pages to the ads at hand (as well as consumers.) As a result, your ecommerce PPC efforts can flourish.
Optimize Your Ecommerce Marketing Efforts
Virtually all ecommerce sites rely on a blend of online marketing and advertising to capture more customers. Nowadays it's becoming even more challenging, for the competition has become very intense and simply establishing a good ecommerce website will not guarantee its success.
In essence, ecommerce marketers must be creative and strategic to earn an edge over big competitors. There are several strategies that will help to ensure your ecommerce website attracts quality traffic that is more prone to convert.
Below we share three of the most powerful strategies to help optimize your ecommerce marketing efforts
- Offer incentives: Most online shoppers are thrifty in that they often seek the products with the best prices. In short, the average customer will buy from an ecommerce website that has a good deal. It is thus important to employ such marketing efforts creatively without investing a great deal of ad dollars. If you want to offer incentives without breaking your bank, consider leveraging second tier products as promotional pieces. Typically offering incentives and promotions of Incentives not only encourage customers to buy, but they also ensure that your customers return as well as recommend you to others. Email and social media marketing for ecommerce sites is a great way to promote incentives to both new and existing customers, depending on the nature of the campaign.
- 2) Take advantage of social media: Social networking sites, video sharing sites and other social media platforms have taken the Internet by storm. There is immense value in using social media to leverage and manage customer loyalty for increased brand awareness and website promotion. Social media brings you greater conversion potential since you will be getting targeted web traffic for minimal investment. This is mostly because only those individuals who know what you are offering will end up on your website. Social media is also advantageous in that it allows you to get valuable feedback from customers as well as engage and interact with customers on a personal level. The trick is post only valuable, unique content on your Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and/or Pinterest accounts. The content of your social posts should be engaging and interesting, and more times often than not, encourage users to take action. You could make games and contests to get more people to engage with your ecommerce site. You could also attract new customers by offering an irresistible offer or coupon. Be proactive and engaging and this will motivate your fans, followers, and subscribers to spread your brand image through sharing and the likes.
- Optimize marketing for mobile: More and more people are using the Internet on mobile devices. In fact, statistics show that up to 79% of U.S. customers use a smartphone to compare prices, locate retailers, find product information, and make online purchases. There is also a significant number of people who are using other mobile devices like PDAs and tablets for shopping. Take advantage of this by ensuring key pages of your ecommerce websites are mobile-friendly. In some cases a custom mobile application could be the best investment for ecommerce marketing. It is also important to ensure that the checkout process from mobile devices is secure and straightforward. When making a mobile-friendly ecommerce store, ensure that the platform has such exclusive mobile features like mobile store promotions via emails, check-ins, SMS offers, and GPS localization. Mobile website optimization is a critical consideration for ecommerce sites, and it's becoming even more important as mobile becomes even more popular.
The competition in ecommerce marketing is growing to be more intense year by year. Not only is it difficult to pursue ecommerce SEO and other forms of search engine marketing, but simply establishing a web presence and solid customer bases is a challenge in itself. Before you unleash you ecommerce site or web marketing campaign, be sure to have a sound ecommerce strategy in place.
This article written by Tyler Tafelsky, one of our Ecommerce SEO Specialists here at ClickCentric SEO.