Blog items tagged with "conversion-optimization"
Ecommerce SEO can be a complex undertaking that demands a higher degree of effort and consideration compared to typical websites. In addition to optimizing a robust site (that may contain hundreds and thousands of pages,) ecommerce SEO is typically more keyword competitive as well.
In short, there's just a lot that goes into the SEO process for an online store. Although the best results are attained with a professional ecommerce SEO company, there are a number of on-site SEO tasks that can be handled in-house by a webmaster or tech-savvy marketing team.
In this article we share several SEO processes that are essential for ecommerce sites. Think of all of these processes as your ultimate SEO checklist for your ecommerce store.
Your Ecommerce SEO Checklist
- Define keyword optimization naming convention - This doesn't sound as technical as it may seem. A "keyword optimization naming convention" is simply the semantic structure of words that you use for essential SEO elements (namely the Meta Title.) Because ecommerce sites are often so deep with pages, it's best to write a consistent naming convention for the Title and other parts of a page. A good place to start in developing SEO-friendly naming conventions is with the brand name and then the primary keyword phrase (or product name.) So your naming convention formula might be "[Brand] [Product Name] | [Ecommerce Store Name]" (e.g. "Nike Flex Trainer 2 Shoes | EcommerceShoeStore.com.") You can also apply naming conventions for URLs, Meta Descriptions, and other important content elements with SEO value.
- Always write unique page copy - One of the biggest SEO mishaps that ecommerce stores face is duplicate content. This often stems from using generic product descriptions provided by manufacturers. The problem is that the same product descriptions are found on various other websites (perhaps even competitors'.) As a result of using generic content, the SEO value of your product pages is significantly diminished (if not entirely obsolete.) Instead, take the time to write unique and compelling product descriptions. This might demand the help of an experienced copywriter, but the investment is usually well worth it.
- Keyword optimize media files – Most individuals who know a thing or two about SEO are familiar with keyword optimizing the ALT tag for images. However only few keyword optimize the entire file before uploading it to the website. To do this, name your media files with respect to your keyword targets (which is typically logical for product page image.) Additionally, you can modify the properties of images to be more keyword relevant. Right click the image or media file, select properties, and populate the title, sub-title, tags, description, and comments of the file to reflect your keyword targets. This helps maximize the SEO value of your pages when you go to upload the files.
- Optimize for faster load speeds - Beyond the scope of SEO, optimizing your ecommerce website for fast load speed enhances user experience (which aids in conversions.) Although there is some SEO value to having a quick load times, most value is seen for conversion optimization. Faster load speed is achieved by minimizing the HTML code and optimizing robust media files. By taking the time to strip unnecessary code and reduce the file size of images and video, you can significantly improve your website load speed.
- Start content marketing (if you haven't already) – Content marketing is the glue that holds your social media marketing and SEO efforts together. In a nutshell, you can create informative, inspiring, and enlightening videos, articles/blog posts, or images/graphics, and share the goodness with your social media followers. Awesome content earns social authority and gets linked-to naturally. As a result, you can leverage content marketing to both increase your keyword rankings and grow your social media following.
- Integrate social media icons - There's no question that social media is having a game-changing impact on SEO. Tweets, shares, likes, +1's, pins, and other "social signals" are becoming stronger ranking factors. In essence, social signals tell search engines that humans are digging it, so it's worthy of higher rankings. In addition building a presence on relevant social media sites, integrating social media icons makes it more efficient for visitors to like your content, particularly product pages, the homepage, and blog posts.
- Build a HTML sitemap - The HTML sitemap serves as the index of your ecommerce site, and is considered by many SEO experts as the second most important page of the website (next to the homepage.) Although visitors rarely use the sitemap, it's very important to search engine spiders and SEO in general. The issue with ecommerce websites is that a complete sitemap can sometimes contain thousands of pages. When this is the case, you can create segmented sitemaps that focus on specific product categories. From you primary HTML sitemap, you can link to each segmented sitemap. This is a great solution for SEO and helps to keep your online store in good shape for crawling and indexing.
Although there's a lot more that goes into ecommerce SEO than the processes mentioned above, this is a solid starting place to get the ball rolling. On-page SEO is only a small piece of the puzzle, however by respecting the potential behind content marketing and social media, you'll be well on your way to executing some momentous off-page SEO strategies.
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.