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5 E-Commerce SEO Marketing Strategies That Bring Results

5 E-Commerce SEO Marketing Strategies That Bring Results

ecommerce strategies

There is no doubt that Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is now an essential component of digital marketing strategies for businesses. For e-commerce websites, SEO is vital for survival because a growth in user traffic supports their business model by driving sales. Nearly 93% of all online activity begins with a search. E-commerce stores need to tweak conventional digital marketing efforts to bring in more traffic, increase revenues and expand their operations.

Here are 5 e-commerce SEO marketing strategies that bring results:

  1. Community Forums and Reviews

For 88% of consumers, reviews on online forums carry the same level of authenticity as personal recommendations. An effective SEO technique essential for e-commerce sites is to create a community forum where consumers can sign in and provide reviews on products and initiate discussions with other users. This platform serves many purposes.

Firstly, content will be provided by the users themselves, they will discuss their experiences with different products. It will be original content that by itself will help your site rank higher. That also means that once you’ve created the forum and have it running, new and highly valuable content will be added by the users themselves while costing you nothing.

Secondly, this strategy will automatically increase your link-building efforts. Once the forum reaches a threshold activity, consumers will begin to share links on social media platforms, creating inbound links to your site. Ranking algorithms take into account the number and quality of inbound links. Due to bot activity on random forums, search engines have been giving more importance to the quality of content associated with inbound links.

Hundreds of thousands of reviews on various products will immediately establish trust and credibility with new site visitors who will be more likely to purchase your products.

An increase in inbound links will lead to more traffic coming from social media through referral links. This will add to the traffic generated through search engines. Consumers trust their friends’ recommendations more than anything. This surge in activity on social media regarding your site will build your brand image and recognition. As a byproduct of following a community forum strategy you will be reaching out to new audiences, free of cost.

  1. Site Architecture

As your e-commerce business expands your site will become more complex and difficult to navigate. If users are unable to find the product they want within a few clicks they will be discouraged and would leave the site. A ‘flat’ hierarchy based on product categories will help users easily get where they want, indirectly aiding your SEO strategy. Simple navigation also encourages users to spend more time on your site and look at other products.

Here is an example of a ‘flat’ architecture for e-commerce stores.

Place all your products into distinct product categories. Once the category pages have been created, you can simply add new products under the relevant categories. If your store sells numerous products you can also create subcategories.

Instead of random URLs, make sure the URLs make sense to the users. They should follow a logical, easy to follow pattern. Most common template used by e-commerce sites look like this:

https://storesite.com/categoryname/subcategoryname/productdescription

If there are multiple links between the homepage and other pages, search engine algorithms will be less efficient in finding and indexing those pages. Minimize ‘deep’ links and also remove any duplicate product pages listed. Using internal links within your site helps SEO by relating pages to one another.

 

  1. Using Schema Markups

When consumers get information about the product color, features, size with their search results they are more likely to visit that page. Product information is made visible through the use of markups.

For example, without markups, a search engine will only display the numerical price of a product as it is mentioned on the webpage. But with the help of markups, search engines will understand that the dollar value is actually the product price. This helps search engine crawlers index the site to gather and display information in SERPS.

No special coding skills are required for you to optimize schema markups. Implementing markups is very simple. Google’s Structure Data Markup Helper provides a Graphical User Interface (GUI) which allows you to input the type of data, URLs and elements for markups. An HTML link is then generated for you to add to your site.

Research and find the most common schema markup types relevant to your business. Then incorporate as many as possible into your site. The schema markup strategy will ensure that search engines rank you higher among competitors.

 

  1. Mobile Crawling

The most popular platform used for purchases online is still desktop computers. But mobile phones are catching up. 40% of all e-commerce sales generated during last year’s holiday season were through smartphones. Most mobile users exit the site if the loading time exceeds a few seconds. Let’s demonstrate this in absolute terms for better clarity. At the current rate, e-commerce sales are projected to grow to $4.88 trillion and $1.952 trillion will be generated through smartphones. That is a staggering figure. Certain strategies are recommended by experts to tap into this huge market.

Google has announced that if your website is in the mobile-first index, the smartphone version of the website will be used for indexing and ranking. So if your traffic is primarily coming through smartphones, it is essential that you optimize your site for a smoother mobile experience.

The most important factor in determining rank is based on how responsive the site design is. Redirect links cause some technical SEO issues which slow down the site. Google’s Mobile Usability Test is a tool in Google Search Console, which tests your site and tells you whether users are having trouble accessing or using the site through phones. Alternatively, you can use Google’s Mobile Friendly test and generate a report detailing loading times, responsiveness, text sizes and compare these metrics with its own mobile friendliness standards.

You may be unintentionally blocking search engines from reading certain pages or resources on your site. If important information is blocked this can decrease your rank in the search index. Go to Google Search Console and check out ‘Blocked Resources’ to make sure you’re not getting in Googlebot’s way.

To further make sure that Googlebot did not miss any of the details on your site such as links, Flash content or images, simply visit Fetch as Google to learn what Googlebot can and cannot see when it crawls your site.

Flash animations are not compatible with smartphones. So make a habit of using HTML5 if you’re planning on adding fancy animations or embedding videos.

 

  1. Measuring SEO Success (Google Analytics and Ahrefs)

Just like any business process, after implementation, SEO efforts require analysis for further improving the strategy.

There’s a lot of data to work with when measuring SEO efforts so it is important to filter the bulk of data using relevant factors.

After cleaning the data, you need to shortlist a couple of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to analyze performance which clearly reflects the return on investments you’ve made. For KPIs, make sure that they are in line with the short and long term marketing objectives of your e-commerce business.

One key measure of SEO performance is reflected in the amount of Organic Search Traffic. This is the traffic generated from direct search results instead of ads or other referral links on the web. Google Analytics offers a comprehensive report of the organic traffic on a site. Understanding why some landing pages have a higher bounce rate than others can provide key insight into the site’s responsiveness and user behavior.

Keywords should be analyzed constantly as search engine algorithms are tweaked very often. When a certain page is ranked, lowering it may indicate a change in the algorithm. The best way forward is to experiment with different keywords to see which one works best.

Google Analytics also provides statistics on exit pages, where users exit the site. This can point out certain content on pages which is unappealing to your audience.

Data on social media shares can also be accessed using Google Analytics. Understanding the amount of traffic being generated by social media platforms can help in deciding which platforms require more attention.

About the Writer:

Joseph Dyson is an SEO expert at Search Berg, a firm that has overseen over 150,000 successful projects, helping companies build an online presence via its wide range of services such as outsource SEO services , reputation management services,  ecommerce SEO services, and more.


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