Blog items tagged with "optimization"
Here at Click Centric SEO, we're focused on shaping what defines the "best ecommerce SEO company". That query is actually a popular keyword phrase that is searched in Google (most likely from ecommerce stores and other ecommerce SEO companies checking their rankings.) Let us be honest: we're really interested being the best SEO company for ecommerce sites.
In actualization of our core competencies here at Click Centric SEO, we've defined the ideal SEO program for ecommerce sites. It's a cohesive blend of technical SEO, website optimization, backlink building, and social media marketing.
Technical SEO centers on the nuts and bolts of your ecommerce site - HTML coding, scripts, Schema, etc. While there are many approaches to technical SEO for ecommerce sites, there are a few primary areas worth mentioning.
One of which is renaming URLs to be keyword relevant (and 301 redirecting the old URLs to the new). Instead of sloppy URLs like /product-id=321/, it would be more advantageous for SEO to have URLs that read something like vintage-cycling-jerseys (or whatever the keyword targets for each page page.)
Schema is also vital component of technical SEO that's becoming increasingly important, especially for competitive ecommerce SEO landscapes. Schema is dedicated sub-set of HTML markup that is used to define certain pieces of content on a page.
There are various tags that tell search engines what a
page is all about (i.e. Brand, Product, etc.) as well as what specific parts of content are on those pages (i.e. Price, Units in Stock, etc.)
Schema can give your ecommerce SEO program a significant advantage over your competitors. Although Schema has been active for a couple years now, most ecommerce SEO's have yet to leverage Schema. In an effort to be the best one of the best SEO providers in the business, we value Schema and technical SEO a key components to our ecommerce SEO services.
Website optimization is similar to technical SEO in that the central focus is to improve the performance of your site from a technical and usability perspective. Website optimization is best defined as strategic mix of techniques to:
- "optimize" the content of your website to ensure it's unique, keyword relevant, compelling and speaks the voice of your brand
- improve site load speed and how fast your pages render (load speed can actually correlate to better rankings)
- enhance the usability and blueprints to your site's navigation
- integrate a conversion rate optimization (CRO) strategy and intelligent use of call-to-actions (CTA's)
In short, website optimization is the foundation to actualize the fullest potential investing with ecommerce SEO. Without the latter pillars deeply rooted into your website, the other SEO components will have limited potential.
As the powerhouse to any SEO program, links that come from social profiles, blogs, websites, directories, etc. (and direct to your website) are like votes of credibility and popularity. Earning and building links from authoritative and relevant sources can drastically increase your domain's authority. In other words, domain authority and backlinks improve your ecommerce site's potential to rank in Google.)
Additionally, the link anchor text can also impact keyword relevancy. See the example above of a "keyword-optimized backlink" that intentionally use keywords in the anchor text. While some keyword-optimized anchor text is good for ecommerce SEO and improving rankings, it's vital to ensure a natural balance of links - in terms of the source and the anchor text of those links.
A natural looking backlink profile for ecommerce website would include links from various sources (i.e. articles, review sites, blogs, press releases, web directories, etc.) Further, creating a natural backlink profile uses variety of anchor text (i.e. www.DomainName.com, (Brand Name), Click Here, (Product Name), Website, etc.)
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing has profound influence on SEO, and as a result, it's an integral component to us becoming the best ecommerce SEO company. Social signals (shares, likes, tweets, pins, +1's, etc.) are like backlinks in how they function to attribute quality content that may be worthy of increased search engine rankings.
The social media marketing of our SEO company focuses on the following action items.
1. Optimize your brand's social profiles - establishing, claiming, and/or verifying your Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook, and Pinterest is the starting place to organizing your social media presence.
2. Follow influencers - sharing great content ultimately contributes to your popularity and growth. We can help by fully managing or consulting your team with strategies on how to go about connecting with other influential people, brands, and organizations.
3. Establish various content sources - pinpoint several websites and blogs to pick great articles worth sharing. Ideally, the blog on your ecommerce site will the strongest asset for an SEO-driven social media strategy.
4. Create a social media posting schedule - In addition to defining how many posts to do in a week, try to cap your daily posts at 2-3. At minimum, shoot for 2-3 per week on each social platform.
The best ecommerce site SEO company can help your business achieve these objectives by providing done-for-you ecommerce SEO services or consulting programs. At Click Centric SEO, we offer both of these options to improve your social media and ecommerce SEO efforts.
Actualize Your Ecommerce SEO Strategy
If you're interested in help increasing your brand's search engine exposure, then learn more about working with our experts at Click Centric SEO and contact us. We can help you actualize your ecommerce SEO strategy for sustainable rankings that generate results.
Here at Click Centric SEO, we often focus our work on ecommerce SEO and search marketing (PPC advertising, etc) Any yet, when we work with ecommerce clients, we advocate a more cohesive approach that centers on managing an ecommerce brand's complete web presence.
Parallel to the evolution of SEO and Google's algorithmic changes is the needed to embrace a comprehensive strategy that focuses on various aspects of web marketing and online brand building. Web presence management is one of the best ways to define this new approach as it takes into account several key variables which we go into greater detail below.
Embracing Web Presence Management Cohesively
What's different about web presence management compared to other forms of managing and building an online brand is cohesiveness. This approach brings together several aspects of Internet marketing and branding, and each work together in unison to grow a company's online presence.
The questions below reflect the primary components of web presence management. Answering each questions honestly might shed light on where you can improve the optimization and management of your ecommerce brand's web presence. For additional resources for web presence optimization, visit our sister company, WebPresenceGroup.net.
Are You Investing Enough In Social Media?
Investing in social media comes in many forms, such as:
- investing time and energy building a social media presence on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc.
- investing in social media advertising to reach new people to grow your audience
- investing time and energy finding quality content to share
- investing in the interaction and engagement with your audience
The social media presence of your ecommerce brand will ultimately influence its growth in many ways, particularly SEO and domain authority. How?
This is the role having a content strategy will play in web presence management.
Do You Have A Content Strategy In Place?
A content strategy is the glue that holds together your social media and SEO efforts. The creation of kick-ass content that resonates with you target audience provides the tangible means of having something awesome to share on social media.
Not only can this awesome content conjure a lot of likes, shares, tweets, and other social signals (making your content more legit in the eyes of Google,) but any links stemming from your content can be magnified, especially when they direct to key money pages or product pages on the cusp of high rankings.
While there are many ways to embrace content marketing and creating a content strategy, get creative and tap into interesting means that will spark the interests of your target audience. For ecommerce, in-depth articles, product review videos, image-packed and idea-rich blog posts are just a few good places to start.
What Are You Doing To Improve Your Search Engine Presence?
Sure, you've done some SEO on your ecommerce site and made your product pages are keyword relevant. But that's just 20% of the SEO equation.
What are doing off-site to support your SEO objectives (i.e. link outreach, network, blogging, etc.)?
Are you experimenting with PPC advertising to market your money products on search?
Where are most of your links coming from and how can you diversify your site's backlink profile.
Again, web presence management centers on cohesiveness and exploring all avenues to cultivate success. Focusing only on link building, or only on social, will only pose limitations in the growth of your web presence.
The future of online marketing is changing. Diminishing are the days when keyword optimization, link building, and other traditional SEO strategies were all that was required to successfully rank in search engine results. As we enter 2015, SEO will slowly fall by the wayside as savvy Internet marketers use a new term: web presence optimization.
What is Web Presence Optimization?
Web Presence Optimization (or "WPO" as many are starting to call it) is a new online marketing strategy where businesses optimize content across all online platforms they are involved with. This is mainly via business blogs, social media pages, press releases, or the business website itself. Businesses now have to converge all their advertising platforms to improve their online brand visibility.
Why is WPO Approach Important to Business?
The greatest revelation in eCommerce today is that consumers are no longer looking for flashy advertisements but tangible information that can be used to make crucial purchase decisions. Consumers want to be educated about the product beforehand and know what they can gain from it. In other words, consumers want fresh, discoverable and relevant content about any product or service they are interested in.
Web presence optimization takes the focus away from mere advertising and channels it into building concrete and entertaining content that will generate new leads while maintaining old ones. This is not to say SEO is completely being tossed out the window. SEO is still at the core of internet marketing, only that WPO aims at spreading the various strategies of SEO on all search platforms used by internet consumers.
Components to Optimizing a Solid Web Presence
As a business, the first step to successfully initiate web presence optimization is to put more effort in its three key aspects namely content marketing, social media and search engine presence. Search engine presence will still rely heavily on the usual SEO tools to ensure your business remains visible to consumers on Bing, Yahoo! or Google.
Search engine algorithms have grown stricter and require diligent use of SEO techniques and strategies like generating backlinks, content keyword optimization, and SEO mapping to increase organic search listings. If you need your online content or social media campaign ranked highly in SERPS (search result pages) then you will need to pay attention to your search engine presence approach.
Content marketing is the new secret weapon for the business yearning to push through the cut-throat online competition and rich a substantial client base. Consumers are in need of new information every day thus it's the mandate of the business to update their content on blogs, article directories or press releases.
Google will also rank great content high-up on search results boosting your brand visibility. Content marketing accomplishes what advertising could not-educate consumers about the product, get them to like the product and trust it enough to buy it.
Social media is where business happens most today and every ecommerce company is looking for new ways to get users engaged on social media to create leads. Social media offers a ready advertising platform for company products and also an avenue to continue your content marketing strategy to potential clients. Your social media sites will require visibility in search engines. This means you will employ both SEO tools and fresh content marketing skills to get customers to notice your brand.
Web presence optimization is the future of business and all its three aspects-content marketing, social media, search engine presence- integrate together to boost brand visibility for businesses.
Optimizing product pages is an integral aspect of ecommerce SEO. But many search marketers are stuck in rut as to which elements of a product page need to be optimized.
Most of us know the basic tags for SEO: page title tag, Meta description tag, etc. So in this article, I highlight 5 HTML tags that you might not be including in your on-page optimization.
Schema Product Markup
If you're new to Schema, then I highly suggest you visit Schema.org and freshen up. Using Schema's structured data markup enables you to better communicate a page's content to search engines. In short, it's a game changer for ecommerce SEO.
There are specific schemas for products. These can not only help your product pages rank harder, but also display rich snippets in Google's search results.
Think of the Rel=Canonical tag as means to tell search engines the most important pages on your site. In some cases, particularly on ecommerce sites with 1000's of pages, duplicate content (or very similar pages) can exist. Often times, this can discount SEO value to the page your really want getting all the love and attention from Google.
Tell Google "this is the page to crawl, index, and rank" and implement the Rel=Canonical tag on your optimized product pages. It's super easy and potentially an SEO game-changer depending on your website.
Image ALT Tag
The image ALT tag is intended to be alternative text for those viewing a page that doesn't render an image. The ALT tag should reflect what the image is, but it's constantly abused by SEO's and keyword stuffers. Just don't leave it blank. Write at least something in for your ALT tags.
The nice thing about product pages is that the images being used are typically very keyword relevant. For this reason, it's legit to use keywords in the image ALT tag for these pages. If you have multiple images, vary your ALT tags with keyword variations. You can take the practice of image optimization even further by using these strategies.
Header 2's, 3's and 4's
Introduce some depth to you product pages by including more elaborate descriptions. Not only are unique, creatively-written product descriptions essential for SEO, but they also sell and can inspire visitors to make a purchase.
When separating ideas and paragraphs, use H2, H3, and H4 tags where appropriate. This is good practice incorporate in all aspects of on-page SEO.
Strong, Italics, Underline Tags
Text styling tags, like the strong (bold), italics, and underline tags, are some of the most under-used HTML tags that can help with both SEO and CRO. Wrapping keywords and phrases in these tags can help to emphasize greater meaning and value in certain words on your product pages. Not only does this practice help signify keywords of value for SEO, but creatively using text styling makes for a better user experience.
About the Author:
Tyler Tafelsky is an ecommerce SEO analyst at Click Centric SEO. In addition cycling and blogging at BetterTriathlete.com, Tyler is well-versed in multiple facets of organic search marketing, particularly link generation, content strategy, and social media marketing.
No matter how much a fancy website you may own, in the end it always comes down to its usability.
In case you are not sure about the usability of your website, check the 2-3% rule. Do the 2-3% of the visits on your website get converted into sales?
If not than definitely you would have to rework on your website, to make it more user friendly and effective in selling.
Here is a complete potpourri of various steps and techniques that you can follow, in order to optimize the usability of your ecommerce website.
Steps That You Can Take to Improve the Usability of Your Website
If, as per the data, only 3 out of 10 orders on your ecommerce website are seen through completion, of course there is a room for a lot more that can be done. Here we shall be discussing various ways in which you can optimize your website, offer a better user experience and subsequently improve the sales of the same.
Optimize Your Website for Faster Loading Time
Your website has at most 3 quick seconds to load on the browser of the user, otherwise no one is going to sit around and wait for your ecommerce website, while it takes forever to load.
So, remove any unnecessary animation or flash designs, optimize the images on your website and ensure that your website is a quick loading one.
Reconsider the Layout
Follow the conventions – over the period of time, there has come to be an ecommerce website union of the sorts.
They follow similar practices, have a similar layout, so that the users do not get intimidated and find it rather easy to navigate through and use various different websites.
You may think of applying the widely followed practices on your website as well.
These include – Logo on the top left side, hyper linked to the main page, a contact us page, which offers contact information such as Name, email address, postal address etc., the right side as the link to check out page.
These conventions will make the users more comfortable and hence will enhance the user experience.
Wisely use the text – the right blend of text can further increase the experience a user has. Do not use morbid type of fonts and also do not get extra flashy with the same. By the very nature, it gets a bit difficult to read through the website, hence ensure that the size of the texts is optimum enough to be read. Also, avoid long paragraphs, try to follow the KISS principle [keep it simple, silly!]
Condemn unnecessary graphics – unnecessary graphics only adds up to the over all weight of the website hence increased the loading time and also distract the users from focusing on the main content and highlights of the website. Keep the brand logo of your website and the pictures of what you are selling, rest everything is simply unnecessary.
Rework on the Navigation
Effective organizations – you need to make it very easy for the users to find the products.
Do not leave them unguarded in a maze of product pages etc, rather be their torch bearer.
Organize the content of your website rather skillfully and the entire journey should appear to be as smooth as boating in still waters.
Work certain conventions out – there should be certain aspect of your page, which should not change and also should be easy to find. Like, the links of the previous page or the next should always exist on each and every page and that too at the same locations. Similarly the checkout button – it should be easiest to find and should exist at the same right hand corner, on all of the pages.
Offer users a menu bar – the menu bar will make it considerably easy for them to flip through various pages of your website, it should have the home page, Contact Us page and other critical pages.
Streamline the Order Process
Give them clear cut, specific information – nobody’s a fool when they are shopping online. We are all well aware of the online frauds and cyber crime and hence it definitely gets a bit difficult to trust the online medium, regardless of how easy and effortless it is.
In such a tight cryptic scenario, if you hit them up with hidden information, add hidden costs and inflate the prices at the point of checkout, the users will only simply abandon your shopping cart.
KISS, KISS and more KISS – well, there are people who can never get enough of it, but this time round we are talking about the principle we already discussed – Keep it simple, silly!
Though it is such a simple concept to follow, yet a lot of websites simply refuse to follow it; especially when it comes to the check out process. Usually, the checkout process takes at least 5 pages, simply because as an online merchant, we want to get as much information from the users, as we possibly can manage.
However, what we don’t realize that every page in the check out process gives an opportunity to the user to abandon the entire page and leave it right in the middle.
Thus, work on the checkout process. Do not ask repetitive questions, which would force the users to type the same information again and again. Also, match their shipping information with the billing data and there fore, fill in the shipping details automatically, so that the users do not have to type the same. Lastly, it will be good to show some sort of a progress bar, which will show how much far they have reached in the checkout process.
Do away with the registration – there are websites that require the customers to register first and then place their order. If you have one such website, you are only inviting much more steps and inconvenience for the users. Do away with any such formality and your may add a handful amount of loyal customers to your kitty.
Ask for Feedback
One of the basic lessons that one learns in the business school is that consumer demands have no end. No matter how far you go to please them, they would definitely come up with something or the other that went amiss.
Ask for their feedback anyway. Their feedback will give you a reality check on where you stand. Do not be swayed with the criticism or the acclaim, always try to read between the lines and test the waters on your own.
I hope these certain guidelines or tips (in whatever way you take it), would help you to boost up your sales. We are waiting for your reviews and views in comments section.
About the Author:
This post has been contributed by Mr. Praveen Sharma, an Sr. Associate – Internet Marketing at Daffodil Software Ltd., a company specializes in magento ecommerce website development and other cms development services. You can get in touch with Praveen on twitter @i_praveensharma.
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.
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.