Wednesday, 20 June 2012

SEO Tips For E-Commerce Sites

Top Optimisation Tips for E-Commerce Sites

Just how successful will you be if you bring your business online?

According to a marketing report for the first quarter of 2012 (1), search engines bring in plenty of customers for many sellers. The question is, is it a good strategy for you too?

Well, you will never know the answer unless you try it, right? But if you are unsure and needs convincing, have a look at these statistics.

  • Around 39% of shoppers come from search engines.
  • Around 1% of buyers come from social networks. This percentage is higher for most brand manufacturers at 2.1%.
  • On the other hand, year-on-year (Y-O-Y) revenues for several merchants are up by almost 20%, while site visits have increased by over 4%.
  • Additionally, engagement and conversion (when a user decides to buy after viewing an e-store’s products) rates are up by over 12%.
  • Around 12% of user-generated content (i.e. reviews) provide helpful insights, including product suggestions (at 20%, especially in positive reviews), to retailers.

What do you think? Are these figures enough to make you want to begin setting up your own online shop right away?

If that is the case, it is important that you know this – 75% of users do not look for information or scroll beyond the first page of search engine results.

With that said, you need to guarantee high webpage ranking for wider exposure and higher traffic rate. You can make this possible by paying heed to the following tips. 

Also Read - Rank Number One On Google 

SEO for E-Commerce Websites 

SEO Tips For E-Commerce Sites1. Create a system for customer engagement
As mentioned, reviews are very beneficial since these help in boosting your business. Additionally, they serve as unique content resources. You can collect feedbacks or comments from consumers by sending automatic emails or newsletters after successful transactions and requesting a review.

If you want, you can offer incentives (e.g. discounts, coupons, vouchers, etc.) on their succeeding orders to encourage them to give reviews. Then, you can mark these up with microdata to provide Google (and other search engines) clear context about your site’s content. Doing this also enhances click-through-rates since potential customers tend to choose links with the most reviews (see image). 

SEO For E-Commerce Sites

2. Place marketing videos
While producing these can take time, it helps greatly with your promotions. Additionally, they make product pages content-rich and link-worthy. They also aid with conversion rates, especially if you provide video demonstrations. Finally, they give your e-commerce site an edge against your competitors, particularly those who do not have this element.

As a tip, create a meta description and tag your videos. Most importantly, add related keywords to make them rank in search results.

3. Make a “Frequently Asked Questions” (FAQs) Page
This is a wonderful form of unique information for your website, especially if the queries come from interested or existing customers. It also lets you rank for long-tailed keywords and boost conversion rate, especially if you address a potential buyer’s questions.

4. Place social sharing buttons
The main reason for connecting your e-store to your networking pages is to give the consumers a chance to interact with you and their fellow shoppers. On the other hand, you can encourage them to share information about your business to their friends or groups. 

Also Read - Add Sharing Buttons
According to some e-commerce experts, you can add social media buttons to your newsletters or emails, so these will not appear distracting on your product pages. As a note, you have to ensure that the graphics do not hurt your page loading time. If they do, there is a huge possibility that possible buyers will turn away from your site, given that most users do not like waiting for a webpage to load. Plus, quick loading time is an important factor in algorithm indexing.

5. Provide search options
While some customers use your menu to find their way around your website, a few users prefer to type in their queries. This is when a search box comes in handy. To make this feature more effective, do not forget to place a product image to let interested shoppers have a good look at your offers whenever the results appear.

6. Add breadcrumbs

Breadcrumb SEO E-Commerce Site

Are you familiar with the Grimm brothers’ fairytale “Hansel and Gretel”? Hansel dropped breadcrumbs on the ground, so he and his sister will not have a hard time finding their way back home. This is the concept of a breadcrumb trail on your site. Through it, you can help the customers navigate to different webpages and find their way back to the homepage easily. It also helps with internal page indexing.

7. Write UNIQUE product descriptions
There is an emphasis on the word “unique” because an original description sets you apart from the other retailers selling the same merchandise. Now, while you are writing these short details, do not forget to include keywords and prices. By doing so, you can help your products rank in SERPs whenever users search for these.

8. Put images
The good thing about placing pictures is that you are providing the consumers an initial look into your merchandise. Moreover, you can rank for image optimisation, especially if you create descriptive filenames with each word separated by a dash (-). You must also include an ALT text. In addition to these methods, you can create an image sitemap and then, send this to Google Webmaster Tools.

So there you have eight optimisation tips for your e-commerce website. Hopefully, this information can give you an idea on how to develop and design your online store. But if you think that you need more insights, you can always seek the advice of a professional Web designer.

About the Author: Emma Tomlinson is the Head of Retail at Smart Traffic, a Bristol-based fast-growing private technology company with a team of SEO specialists delivering solutions and services to many clients across the globe.
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Gautham A S

Gautham A S is a personal tech columnist and blogging expert at TechGau.Org, one of the leading Tech, How-To and Blogging Tips blogs in the world..