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8 Tips to Propel Your E-commerce Business Forward with SEO Digital Marketing

There is a popular moral exemplified in the hare and tortoise fable:

Slow and steady wins the race. SEO digital marketing for an e-commerce business isn’t exceptional in most cases.

Customers aren’t always easy to engage. According to experts, the average rate at which carts are abandoned is currently 69.2 percent.

So, it takes commitment, implementation of a variety of effective marketing strategies, and patience to reach your audience, increase traffic to your e-commerce store, and increase sales.

Slamming your audience with aggressive advertorial messages can overwhelm your target buyers, or even worse, irritate and be a huge turn off for them.

Instead, effective SEO digital marketing boils down to reaching your prospects repeatedly over time, create a lasting relationship, and eventually getting them to trust your brand.

Organic search is one of the most valuable sources of traffic for an e-commerce business. However, it’s frequently neglected. Andy Hughes at Caffeinated says “From substandard content to website architecture that lessens search visibility, most online stores make rookie mistakes that end up compromising their search engine ranking for competitive keywords, increased traffic, and attracting new customers.”

Do you want to propel your e-commerce site using proven SEO digital marketing strategies?

In this article, I focus on highly effective SEO strategies that can help you achieve your objectives.

1. Use high-traffic keywords (generic) for product categories

Different product keywords fall under several categories. These are keywords such as type, color or product model, and generic phrases that describe the product. For instance, ‘Men’s football shoes’ is a generic keyword whereas ‘Nike Air Foamposite’ is a specific keyword associated with a specific product.

Consider using the product keywords for the product pages on your website. Then, you can target the generic keywords using the product categories. Thus, before you begin building your e-commerce store, it’s important to create a website architecture that allows you to use generic search phrases as product categories.

Note that the generic keywords are likely to receive a high search volume. Thus, it’s wise to use such phrases as a product keyword as it will funnel the e-commerce store visitors towards the products they need.

For instance, you can optimize a page for keywords like ‘hedge trimmers’ like Reviewlatest does. Then, link this page to products that have been optimized for their specific model name and number.

A major benefit of using your category pages as the funnel is that they will direct all internal searchers towards the products they need. Besides, these pages attract external searchers and help them discover relevant products they might be looking for.

2. Identify and deal with duplicate content issues

Most e-commerce stores have numerous pages. One common problem facing these stores is duplicate content. Product descriptions appear on category pages, product pages, PDFs, archive pages, and more. That makes it difficult for the search engines to detect the original source of the information on your e-commerce store.

Unless Google can identify the page that ‘owns’ each piece of content, the search engine will always struggle to work out where and how to rank your e-commerce store on the search results.

Fortunately, you can easily fix this mistake. First, establish the right source of all pieces of content used across a variety of pages on your site. Then, ensure each page contains original content. Most e-commerce stores tend to copying product descriptions and promotional copies from the product manufacturers and distributors. This results in duplicate content appearing on numerous e-commerce stores.

Keep in mind that original content is important for better search engine ranking. Therefore, take the time to create original, top-quality content for your site. Once you start outranking some e-commerce giants, you will thank yourself for the efforts.

3. Use Long-tail keyword

Research has proved that the top 10,000 key phrases in Google’s index get less than 20 percent off all search traffic. That implies that the long-tail keywords (less searched keywords) receive more than 80 percent of the traffic from search.

Therefore, it’s wise to optimize your e-commerce store pages for long-tail keywords.

4. Use high-traffic, under-utilized keywords

As said earlier, giant online retailers like Amazon often use generic keywords as product categories. If your competitors are still using the exact keywords you’re using, then, outranking them becomes a challenge. Luckily, most e-commerce stores ignore high-traffic generic key phrases, offering you a distinct advantage.

These keywords are often subcategories or product variations that can generate great traffic each month but are too small for giant e-commerce stores to prioritize. That means optimizing your pages for such keywords offers your site the ability to outpace your competitors and probably the giant stores.

5. Make sure that your pages load fast

Page load speed is one of the factors that search engines consider when ranking websites. If your website pages load faster than your competitors, then, you will be rewarded a high rank in the search engines.

Note that optimizing a page load speed is associated with short-term costs. For instance, you will need a professional developer. However, the long-term benefits in terms of SEO and conversion out weight the cost of hiring a professional developer.

6. Double check the e-commerce store’s on-page optimization

Most e-commerce stores aren’t configured for on-page optimization. Thus, configuring your e-commerce platform for on-page SEO will drive your site a notch higher in the search engine rankings. Make sure that your content, title tags, images, and other aspects of on-page SEO are handled excellently.

7. Use social media

Effective social media marketing is all about consistently sharing the right content that is relevant to your audience and engage your customers and prospects always. Avoid spreading yourself thin by using every existing social media platforms. It’s wise to focus on channels that your target audience is using.

8. Don’t ignore email promotions

Design your e-commerce store in such a way that your customers can subscribe for regular updates. This will allow you to send them highly customized regular promotional emails. Remember, your customers are interested in how your product is likely to benefit them. Thus, they will be more interested in email promotions that offer great discounts and other details about products that meet their interests.

Slow and steady will win the race: E-commerce industry is associated with a steep competition but using the right SEO digital marketing strategies in the right way will help you outpace your competitors in the long-run. Using diverse, proven SEO strategies will improve your chances of success.


Catherine Park is a professional Content Writer and a blogger with full of energy and positivism. She is expert in writing exclusive contents on business and technologies that are helpful for large enterprises, SMEs and business startups.

8 Mistakes That Could Be Ruining Your eCommerce Site

The world of eCommerce has become increasingly more competitive as customer preferences have entirely changed the digital landscape.

The competitive nature of eCommerce is multifaceted: Not only are you striving to beat your competition, but you’re also fighting to keep your shoppers’ interest. 68% of customers will end up abandoning their shopping carts. The responsibility falls on eCommerce merchants to prevent people from leaving before they check out, while also devising a strategy to win back customers that have abandoned their carts.

So, let’s look into some of the most lethal mistakes eCommerce merchants make, and what you can do to avoid them.

1. Not Being Clear About Your Shipping Costs

“Surprise” shipping costs are one of the easiest ways to lose your shoppers and are ranked as the highest source of cart abandonment. When it comes to your website’s availability to convert shoppers through the checkout process, shipping, and any other relevant cost information, must be stated as early on as possible.

Not being clear about your shipping costs will only hurt your conversion rate. Roughly 28% will abandon their shopping cart if they’re surprised with unexpected shipping costs. This means you’re losing one out of every four shoppers on your site just because you weren’t clear about your shipping costs.

Keep in mind how buyers psychologically operate. They consider the product, whether they like how it looks, how will it fit, how much does it cost, and is it worth it. By the time a shopper places an item in their cart, they’ve not only thought of multiple different reasons they should and shouldn’t buy, but they’ve also likely shopped around for alternatives.

Over time, a feeling of fatigue develops. Each new decision doesn’t receive as much thought or merely is more challenging to make. When a new variable comes into play, like a $7.99 shipping cost, many shoppers will either take a break from shopping, because the decision is stressing them out, or will just abandon the search altogether.

This is why it’s imperative to be clear about your shipping policies on every relevant touchpoint—meaning your product pages and even your website header. If you offer free shipping, you’re missing out on the vast potential of attracting shoppers if you’re not advertising it on your site as well.

Paying for shipping is not a novel idea, and shoppers understand that. Sure, if you advertise your shipping costs, you might lose a shopper or two at the beginning of the funnel, but you will ultimately boost your conversion rate since they wouldn’t convert anyway.

2. Not Optimizing for Mobile

Mobile shopping is expected to reach 27% of all online shopping by the end of 2018, yet many merchants have sites that are ill-equipped for mobile shoppers. The numbers behind mobile shopping’s growth are staggering. By the end of 2017, over 2 billion global mobile phone users will have made some form of mobile transaction, up from 1.6 billion this year.

Merchants using platforms such as Shopify and BigCommerce don’t have to worry as much about this since many of the templates offered are mobile-responsive. The cause for concern is merchants that are using custom solutions that look great on desktop, but which just don’t cut mobile. This is why it’s important to understand how your store looks on every size screen, and that it is built to be mobile responsive.

Many merchants are aware of and understand the growth of mobile but, for some reason, they just don’t act on it. As mobile continues to grow and shoppers continue to utilize multiple devices to make a purchase, merchants that fail to optimize for mobile will be left in the dust trailing behind mobile-friendly competitors.

3. Not Having Enough Payment Options

Payment options play an obvious role in your checkout process: If a customer can’t give you money, you won’t make a sale. This seems like a somewhat silly reason to lose a customer, especially after you’ve worked so hard to perfect every other detail of your checkout process and marketing efforts.

There is no shortage of different payment options, and the more you have, the higher chance you will have of making the sale. For starters, you can’t go wrong with all major credit cards, PayPal, and Google Wallet. There are even some eCommerce sites that welcome BitCoin and other cryptocurrency payments as well!

An issue that arises from having multiple payment options is that merchants might end up creating several CTAs such as “Checkout with PayPal, Buy with Google Wallet, etc.” Simple design tweaks such as a drop-down menu during the checkout process can offer your users the same flexibility in a seamless and clean manner.

4. Having a Chunky Checkout Process

Shoppers in the digital age have a penchant for instant gratification. This means that once your shoppers have made their decision, they want to flow through your checkout process seamlessly. View each additional step or visual distraction in your checkout process as an obstacle that the buyer has to maneuver around. Any friction means potentially losing a sale, and each bit must be removed wherever appropriate.

Creating a perfect checkout process comes with ruthless experimentation and data analysis. Understanding how your shoppers interact with your checkout process is must-know knowledge for any eCommerce merchant.

Everyone in the eCommerce world is, by default, competing with giants such as Amazon.com, which are capable of spending billions of dollars a year just to test and refine their checkout processes. Merchants who fail to optimize their checkout will end up having their market swept up from under them.

5. Using Manufacturer Product Descriptions

A huge problem that runs rampant in the eCommerce space is that many merchants are using the same product descriptions that come from the manufacturer. This means that thousands of merchants are selling the same products, using the same pictures, with the corresponding descriptions, at likely the same prices.

While this may work for some, it’s no way to build a brand. Product descriptions are your opportunity to let your brand’s voice flow and capture the shopper’s interest and imagination. As more and more merchants realize the importance of having high-quality product descriptions, whether purely for the benefit of ranking higher in search engines or increasing conversion rates, merchants that fail to do so will be forced to compete solely on price on goods that look commoditized.

Additionally, using product descriptions from the manufacturer can create SEO trouble for you down the line. Manufacturer product descriptions will not only give you any SEO points, but they could also get you penalized for using duplicate content.

6. Unclear Value Proposition

Your value proposition is the number-one thing that helps a consumer understand whether or not they should purchase something from you. This is an opportunity to communicate both your product’s value and your brand’s value.

A value proposition is a concise, clear statement that:

  1. Delivers specific benefits in a way that allows shoppers to quantify the value of your product.
  2. Tells your ideal customer why they should purchase something from you and not from your competition.
  3. Explains how your product will solve your shoppers’ problems.

It’s critical that your value proposition is written in a language that is natural to your shoppers. It should feel like an organic extension of the conversation already going on in your shoppers’ heads. It’s tough to stumble into a perfect value proposition voice; however, with some practice and research, it becomes much more attainable.

For example, merchants will often browse and communicate with other people on forums such as Reddit that are specific to their industry. Even if you are interested in your products yourself, assume that there are multiple angles and perspectives that must be accounted for.

7. Using Lackluster Images

A few years ago, using manufacturer images and lackluster product pictures barely passed. Today, merchants are taking every opportunity possible to differentiate themselves and create a more attractive and appealing website for their customers.

Many sites are investing into professional photography and product videos because they work very well. Humans are visual creatures, and they want to see what they are buying. The better your images can capture the essence of your products and answer your shoppers’ questions, the more likely your shoppers will be to make a purchase.

Additionally, shoppers who have a better understanding of what the product looks like and how it functions will be less likely to have a reason to return it in the future. This means that investing in high-quality images will not only boost sales but will decrease the number of returns and logistical headaches you would otherwise have to deal with.

8. Not Using Dynamic Retargeting

Dynamic retargeting is an extremely efficient way to deliver relevant ads to your customers. One of the biggest mistakes eCommerce merchants make is not utilizing retargeting ads—because not doing so simply just leaves too much value on the table.

Retargeting is an ad strategy that allows merchants to target shoppers that were previously on a specific part of your site. For example, if a shopper were looking at your “Nike Elite Socks” product page, a retargeting ad would show up on Facebook, or elsewhere, reminding them of the product.

There are a few big reasons failing to use dynamic retargeting ads could be ruining your eCommerce site:

  1. First of all, not using retargeting ads means all your money and effort spent on raising awareness and customer acquisition goes to waste when a shopper leaves. This keeps your advertising and marketing costs high, which eats into your profit margins.
  2. Online shoppers frequently abandon their searches simply because there are too many distractions online. If a shopper leaves your site, it doesn’t mean they aren’t interested; they could still be very engaged with and want to purchase something from you, but the cards are stacked against you regarding attention. Retargeting ads allow merchants to get a second crack at making a sale—and these second chances add up.

Personalization and customization pay off. Retargeted ads are 70% more likely to convert than all other types of advertising. They are also 10x more likely to be clicked than any other type of ad.

Final Thoughts

eCommerce will continue to evolve along with customer preferences and digital trends. Merchants that can adjust quickly and keep themselves at the forefront of eCommerce best practices will be able to thrive, instead of trying to survive as each year becomes increasingly more competitive.

Perhaps the most insidious part of these mistakes is that they can be so easy to make if you aren’t careful and regularly benchmarking your site to industry leaders. If you find yourself guilty of making a few of these mistakes view this as an opportunity to prime your site for the future. Keep an eye on your analytics and KPIs to see how they improve as you put the above solutions into action.

 


Ron is the CEO of Visiture and spends his time leading his team of evil geniuses to get more results for his customers. His passion is helping eCommerce business owners and marketing professionals navigate the search marketing landscape and use data to make more effective decisions to drive new traffic and conversions.