SEO for E-Commerce Sites: Advice for Increasing Conversions

SEO for E-Commerce Sites: Advice for Increasing Conversions

When selling goods online is your goal, excellent search engine optimisation is absolutely essential. In order to sell your products to your target audience, you’re going to have to reach them first, and that’s where SEO comes in.

So, here are a few tips for e-commerce websites that are occasionally overlooked but, when implemented correctly, will likely boost your traffic and fill those virtual shopping baskets.

Make sure your site is secure

This may go without saying, but it’s imperative to ensure your site is secured with HTTPS encryption, meaning that the customers know any data entered on the site is protected with an encrypted connection. If a customer sees a site is not secure, then it is doubtful they will feel comfortable entering their credit card information.

With Google now counting HTTPS encryption as a ranking factor, it is now more important than ever to have a secure site. You can read this previous blog for more information on the importance of HTTPS encryption.

Why e-commerce sites should have a blog

Writing a blog is something that not all e-commerce sites may consider as essential to their site, but it’s worth having a blog to help deliver entertaining and educational information to potential buyers.

A blog is effective for SEO for several reasons: it can help expand your site with excellent content, and therefore cause search algorithms to view your site more favourably. It can allow you to build your reputation as a reliable source of industry information, building credibility and trust in your business. And having a blog provides the opportunity to get backlinks to your site, and it’s easier to get high-quality backlinks to an informative, well-written page about your industry than it is purely to a product page. Plus, if you have a high ranking blog page, you can always include links back to your product pages.

In short, a well-crafted, SEO-friendly blog can drive traffic to your site, and you could be missing out on an influx of visits and sales if you choose to go without one.

Creating a blog

Always plan and compose your pieces with a clear goal in mind to give your writing a strong sense of direction. Ask yourself what you want your readers to get out of the article that is of value to them – would you be want to read about your subject matter? What would you find useful as a consumer? Once you have a goal to centre your content around, you’ll help ensure a good flow and strong structure to your article.

There are several topics for e-commerce blogs that shoppers are bound to find extremely useful. A good starting point is to find a frequently asked question that customers often have about your range of products and then answer it in detail. So, a site selling outdoor gear might choose to write a blog titled: “What essential items do I need for my hiking trip in the UK?”.

Shopping guides are another useful blog idea for an e-commerce site. If you sell a wide range of products where the differences may not be too apparent to the average consumer, you can write something that helps customers understand which is best suited to their lifestyle. For an online phone retailer, for instance, this could be something along the lines of “Choosing the perfect smartphone for you”.

While it’s of course great to use a blog as a chance to inform potential consumers of why they should be interested in buying your items, you shouldn’t write blogs that are exclusively designed to sell your products (after all, that’s what your product pages are for). Searchers are likely to view your brand as more trustworthy if you have content geared towards educating them in other ways. For example, if you have a site selling musical instruments, you could write a blog titled “Tuning your guitar: the beginner’s guide” or “Setting up your drum kit”.

Writing about exciting developments and new trends in your industry that are interesting and relevant to readers is another fantastic option, which you may then be able to link back to your products (as long as the link fits naturally in the piece).

Whatever topics you choose for your blog, as long as the content on your blog is well written and informative, it will help drive more customers to your site and deepen their understanding of your brand. In turn, this should hopefully increase conversions. In summary: the more in-depth your content, the better.

Have you thought about video?

While having in-depth text will undoubtedly boost your rankings, having a video on the page is a very effective way of making your content more visually appealing and demanding your visitor’s attention.

The great news is e-commerce sites are perfectly suited to having video, and some of the most useful videos to customers do not even need high production values.

You could do a product unboxing video, demonstrations of products, and how-to videos. Many shoppers find these kinds of videos incredibly helpful, and it’s common for people to search for a video related to a product before making the decision to buy it.

A lot of searchers also find it easier to digest information when it is presented to them in a short video rather than scrawl through a lot of text. According to Forbes, viewers are likely to retain 95% of a message when it’s provided to them via a video, whereas they only retain 10% when reading it as text. So if you have a lot of information you want to convey succinctly, perhaps a short, to-the-point video is the way to go.

To increase user understanding and engagement with your products, having a video on the page could be the element that gives you an edge over your competitors.

Crafting effective CTAs

CTAs or ‘call to actions’ are an essential part of getting conversions for your e-commerce site, and while they may seem very simple – just a short imperative phrase (command) on a button – a truly effective call to action button requires a great deal of thought.

The purpose of a CTA is to encourage users to take action after visiting a page on your site. In terms of e-commerce sites, this action is often purchasing an item. It could also be signing up to a newsletter that will provide them with details on your latest offers. Common examples of CTAs on e-commerce sites are buttons saying “Buy Now”, “Learn More”, and “Add to cart”.
Designing a CTA button requires careful consideration to everything from the colour of the button to the precise wording of the text so that you achieve the maximum amount of conversions.

When choosing the colour of a CTA, it’s best to aim for something simple yet visually striking (a talented graphic designer will be able to help with this). You’ll want to choose a colour that is suited to your brand and which allows the CTA text to stand out clearly from all other text on the page. You may want to test different colours to see if your conversion rate is affected at all. It’s best to have no visual clutter around the CTA, so be sure to make use of enough negative space to draw a viewer’s attention.

When it comes to the copy, again, keep it brief and straightforward. As mentioned above, using commanding words (“Buy Now”) will help invoke a sense of urgency, but you can also motivate users with language that’s a little more positive, so feel free to get creative. “Get Yours Today” sounds more exciting and causes the customer to focus on the product and its benefits more than “Buy Now” does (which can cause the user to think of the transaction and parting with money). Likewise, “Start Your Free Trial Now” is more engaging than simply “Sign-up”. If you have a form or perhaps a survey that you would like your customers to fill in, “Let’s Get Started!” or “Let’s Do This!” are friendlier alternatives to “Start”.

Consider also using the first person instead of the more commonly used second person as a way to make the user feel as they are in control rather than being ordered to do something; “Start My Subscription” may be more effective that “Start Your Subscription” or “Subscribe Now”.

Structured data for e-commerce sites

The purpose of structured data is to tell search engines what the purpose of your page is, which is necessary to help them accurately categorise your page and return it in the relevant search results to the right users. So, for example, by examining structured data, a search engine’s bots will be able to differentiate between an e-commerce page selling a smartphone and a page on a technology news site that could be only discussing smartphones and not selling them. To enable search engines to do this, you’ll need to add the appropriate microdata to the page’s HTML code. For an e-commerce site, the microdata can include tags such as “offers”, “product name”, “aggregateRating” and “price”. Schema.org provides frameworks for marking up product pages (as well as all other types of pages too).

What’s more, adding microdata to each of your product pages will allow Google to display essential information about your goods in the rich snippet on SERPs. For product pages, information appearing in the rich snippet can include the number of customer reviews and an average star rating, the price, and whether it’s in stock.

It’s crucial to note that while the addition of structured data does not affect your product page’s ranking on the SERP itself, enabling the rich snippet to display this useful information will make the result appear much more attractive to searchers.

Using the right analytics tools

Using the right analytics software, such as Google Analytics, will tell you vital statistics such as how long after a customer’s first visit to your site did they make a purchase, conversion rates (the percentage of visits that resulted in a completed purchase), and overviews of product performance and sales performance. The software will also tell you the number of products per each transaction and calculate the average value of a session.

By looking at this essential data, you can infer important information about the effectiveness of your site. For instance, you can gain an understanding of the products that sell well, providing insight into which of your advertising and marketing efforts are paying off the most. If you see that customers are making numerous visits before completing a purchase, then this may suggest that your site needs to be better designed to lead customers to the product pages, perhaps by following the above advice about creating great CTAs.

You can also compare monthly sales revenue to get an idea of whether there is a particular time of year your products are in higher demand so that you can then make predictions about your revenue. Analytics software can also tell you the source of your traffic – whether it’s organic, direct, or referred from a paid ad – which again will help you evaluate your SEO campaigns and identify and rectify weaknesses.

Content Marketing Strategy from the experts

BORN has had plenty of experience designing and writing SEO-focused content for e-commerce websites to help them convert browsers into buyers. While the advice given here covers a few key areas e-commerce sites may be overlooking, there are many other facets to a successful SEO campaign, and we can help you excel in all of them. BORN is made up of SEO experts who will help any online retailer keep potential buyers engaged from first visit to final purchase.

Contact our team today and find out how our e-commerce solutions can help you reach your customers and increase your sales.

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