How to rank on page one with an e-commerce website.
So, the one subject that everyone loves to a be an expert in. I’m going to cut to the chase here and that is, if you’re looking for a shortcut you’re going to be disappointed. From my experience I’ve tried both black hat and white hat techniques. In essence, the main aim of this article is to provide a sustainable SEO strategy.
Now, let’s start with Google. What is the primary business of the world’s most trusted search engine?
It’s to provide the user with the best results matching to the query entered.
What does this mean?
Well, if you managed to trick Google with your shitty website to be ranked up the top, it’s not in companies best interest to provide your website to the user. If you’ve ever stumbled upon some readings regarding SEO, you may of heard of the Penguin and Panda updates to Google’s search algorithm.
Wow. That was a lot.
Let me break it down for you. If you’re ranking page one today, you might not rank tomorrow. This is because Google is constantly updating their algorithm. For Google to survive day in and day out, its business is provide its user’s to the best website.
How do I keep up with Google’s algorithm?
You don’t. Let me introduce to you a strategy called content first. This strategy involves providing the user with best experience possible with your content.
There are two elements with this strategy that in my opinion are essential to the execution.
- Provide the user with unique and valuable content. With ecommerce, many product descriptions are the same. This is especially true with product specifications. But that doesn’t mean you should give up being unique with your ecommerce product data. Here are a few additions you can add to your product descriptions to spruce up your listings. Brand information, box contents, warranty information, buy now pay later descriptions, VIDEOS, buying guides, external links, reviews (are a big plus), links to your own blogs, links to manuals, contact links and more which I can’t think of at the moment.
- An extension to this is to provide lots of useful content. From my research, it appears Google favours websites with more words. Yes, this rule applies with a few caveats, but nonetheless, if you apply the first rule within the guidelines I mentioned then you should be fine. I guess what I’m trying to say, is don’t babble on about the same thing for eternity. Not only will Google notice this, but the user will go back to Google for another web page.
This leads me to my next point.
User experience is a huge issue when optimising for SEO.
If people love to use your website they will return. They’re going to search for your brand and click on your result when it appears against competitors.
But how do you achieve a good user experience?
There is a few ways, though I’ll explain this in a simple manner. In the retail and real world, if people aren’t buying from your website you usually:
A – watch their behaviour
B – ask questions.
Here are some solutions below:
A – They’re a few tools to use to help with potential buyers.
- Google Analytics
- Lucky Orange
- Optimizley (an advanced solution for (A/B testing)
B – use an online chat or just ask questions via email, in person or phone.
With the digital space, it is important to hypothesize on a regular basis.This is because the landscape of online e-Commerce is forever changing due to consumer demands. An example of this is the buy now pay later schemes which have dramatically transformed payments with online purchases.
This is a simple example, though there are many factors that can’t be ignored.
With e-commerce, there is a problem that frequently re-occurs with novice and professional websites. It’s the simplicity of the search flow.
I don’t know what exact percentages are but many users go straight to your search bar when looking for products on your website. With a clean user interface and experience, the user should be able to find the products they want QUICK.
The word quick is highlighted for a specific reason. In the world of nearly infinite goldfishes online (us humans), our attention span is low. The search bar is an essential first interaction and user’s are expecting more and more from websites these days. Here are a few tips below to lessen bounce rates for SEO and improve User Experience:
- Instant results in search bar
- Suggested results
- Large enough to see (yes this needs to highlighted)
- Even add a prompt in your search bar (eg: find everything here)
- Also Ajax filtering once search results are loaded.
The search page is just as important (sorry – there is more work). Here you will need to make sure your data is super clean. If you’ve got rubbish data, for example, a horrible category tree than don’t be surprised if your getting pathetic sales results.
Again, because lists are awesome – here are some guidelines:
- Provide a clear category tree data
- Provide attribute data (eg: features)
- Provide any relevant data may be necessary when a user searching for results
- Instant search results are required (us goldfish don’t want to wait too long
My last point, is branding.
Branding is, in my opinion, an undervalued topic of SEO that gets ignored constantly. It’s pretty simple, if you’re brand is recognised in the search results over other companies even though you may be ranked lower, it will help with your CTR in the long run.
I’ve seen this work first hand, with a multi-channel strategy. It is important not to ignore any channel and to respect it’s user’s and systems.
With a multi-channel strategy via some proposed channels you can boost your brand’s recognition.
Here are the channels not to ignore:
- Google AdWords
- Google Shopping
- Google Remarketing
All these combined will boost brand awareness and hopefully boost your sales. I’ll talk more later about how to use these channels to build an amazing sales funnel to work for you.
To conclude, don’t buy any crap from some SEO expert that is spilling out on the phone. They will try and sell you rubbish with a shortcut, but in reality, life doesn’t work this way.
I’ll end this blog with a saying in life, which applies to SEO.
What comes easy, goes easy.