There’s no doubt that rising to the top of Google ranks should be a priority for all businesses and brands, but it’s especially crucial for e-commerce sites that rely on online visitors to make money.
We recently attended the 2016 Online Advertising and SEO Conference in Sofia, Bulgaria to scope out the hottest SEO and advertising trends. Here’s what we learned about how e-commerce sites can step up their SEO game and make their search engine rankings skyrocket.
First, consider these striking statistics:
- Mobile commerce (m-commerce ) is growing 3 times faster than e-commerce (42% m-commerce growth vs. 14% e-commerce growth). Currently one-third of all online purchases happen on mobile devices.
- Though people spend most of their mobile time on apps, that doesn’t mean they spend their money there. Most mobile purchases happen via web browsers on mobile websites.
- People use their phones on average 100 to 150 times per day. These are the so-called “micro-moments” where smartphones serve as personal assistants. People search for directions, for a good place to eat, or for a nearby store or service. Searches containing the phrase “near me” have grown more than 30 times compared to 2011.
- Omnichannel users (people who use several channels to interact with a brand) spend 3x more money in the store vs. other users.
- The importance of the brand is huge — the more branded searches there are, the higher that brand will rank for non-branded searches.
Three Must-Haves for Online Retailers in 2016
1. Responsive design is not enough anymore if you’re selling online.
Mobile users are seeking a completely new experience, which you’ll need to provide if you want to successfully sell on mobile devices.
In order to create a mobile site that satisfies users, keep these features in mind:
- Great images which load fast. High quality images sell, and site speed is what will keep your visitors on the site.
- Write your product details as if you’re describing the item to a blind person — the color, the shape, the sizes, the feel of the material, how you can use it, etc.
- Make mobile conversions as easy as possible — keep users logged in, offer them discounts, show when they qualify for free delivery, etc.
You’ll also want to incorporate these features into your strategy:
- Good structure: categories, products, clear pathways
- Technical SEO
- Content optimization
- Information for the search engines (structured data)
- Social media information and links
- Analytics tracking/Conversions tracking
- Strong UX and CRO elements
2. Being in front of your users in the precise moment they need something (usually on-the-go) is what matters for your business.
When today’s users want something online, they want it NOW, and they want it to come easily. That said, it’s more important than ever for businesses to stay top of mind and make themselves readily available. If they don’t, users will often go for the easiest, fastest option that they can get their hands on.
Some tips for gaining immediate visibility with interested users:
- Claim and optimize your local listings to show up in maps results
- Advertise on local searches to reach users in your area
- Use technology to customize your ad messages. For example, if you sell 5,000 products you can use an .xml file to create ad copies with specific product names and discounted prices — these searches will have few occurrences but high conversion rates.
3. Convert more visitors into buyers.
Attracting people to your site is a great start, but it won’t matter in the long run if you can’t convert them from visitors to buyers.
- Use remarketing advertising to remind your users of the products they’ve visited on different channels — Facebook, Google Display, etc. Don’t forget to limit the frequency of the ad to 1-2 per day to lower customer annoyance rates!
- Try to collect visitor email addresses because email marketing still holds the top position for highest conversion channel. Try a headline with a product discount in exchange for email address.
- Use simple email reminders for people who’ve abandoned their shopping carts to finish their purchase.
Without a strong SEO strategy in place, e-commerce sites can miss out on valuable clicks and sales opportunities. With these helpful tips, you can craft a solid online strategy that gives your brand visibility and brings buyers directly to your site.
Need some help getting started creating an SEO strategy for your ecommerce site? Contact The Search Guru today for a complimentary SEO session!