With high street retail in a state of transition, eCommerce is something that lots of companies are or should be investing in right now. If you are a retailer, supplier or manufacturer this can be one of the easiest ways to bring digital transformation to your organisation and to increase revenue.
In recent months global lockdown has created an unprecedented moment for eCommerce brands.
Here are some of the tactics that we are seeing across our clients and across the retail industry to help you come up with your next eCommerce play.
- Showcase Credibility
- Prioritise Your Pages
- Invest in your images
- Think mobile first
On 4 May 2020, Google released its latest Google core update. This caused a shake up across digital brands and content creators. Like the January update and the update before, Google’s main goal was to make the internet a more credible and accountable place to do business and connect. As a result, websites who can really demonstrate high expertise, authority and trust were able to increase visibility and therefore revenue during this time.
Amongst Optix Solutions SEO clients who implemented expertise authority and trust updates, we saw visibility games as high as 30 percent. Looking at the wider industry online retailers like Bloomingdales and asos, made gains of more than 30% following similar tactics.
How can you build authority on your website?
Here are some of the methods that I’ve seen deliver results for clients.
Encourage Customer reviews
One of the best ways to build authority on your website or to let your customers speak for you. If you have a strong collection of customer reviews then you will be able to demonstrate to Google and to other customers that you have great products and services. Opportunities for reviews of your business rather than your product, are available on Facebook, Google My Business, Trustpilot and more.
Once you have a collection of reviews can schema markup to add this into your website structure and help improve your CTR on search.
Showcase Companies Credits
Don’t be shy about your award winning brand. Don’t hide away your accreditation. You’ve worked hard to gain these accolades and they have are valuable tools to increase your credibility with customers onsite and with Google’s algorithm.
And for eCommerce brands in particular, aspects like customer service, delivery information and even basic information like your business HQ address and company number can work in your favour.
This might seem obvious, but in the quest to make beautiful, styled driven websites, this is often overlooked. Whilst sites without this information may be losing out on clicks without knowing it.
Shout about your team of Experts
As well as building confidence in your brand, it pays to reassure your customers that your company is full of knowledgeable brand enthusiasts. If you have a bricks and mortar outlet this is particularly useful for helping shoppers who might meet you in person to feel confident about your business. Share who makes up your team,how they represent your brand values and Google will thank you for it.
Prioritise your pages
Anyone on a marketing team will tell you that eCommerce websites are notoriously large. Making room for all of the pages, every product and variant you are taking quite a lot of digital real estate in the process. When Google comes to look at your website they need to be able to find the most important pages quickly. This means that you need to tell them which pages are most important and show them how to crawl them first with an optimised sitemap, clear robots.txt, and good housekeeping for removing old pages before they 404.
Optimising for site crawlability and crawl budget is an SEO task that I carry out for all of my clients to make sure that the site map is showing exactly which page are the most important. Without SEO guidance this is something that can be easily missed, but if once corrected the effects are clear and bankable.
Invest in your Images
There is a reason why online retailers invest in creating look books and custom imagery, because it yields results. Google favours original content and on Google Image searches. So your unique images are going to perform better than one which is duplicated from a rankings behemoth like Amazon.
How to SEO eCommerce Images
Creating custom photos take time and resource, so you optimise the images for your online shop by:
- Creating Custom Image Titles and Alt Tags
- Adding schema markup to your images
- Creating an image sitemap xml file
- Compressing your images or serve them from a CDN (as on Shopify) for speed
I’ve seen clients get an immediate rankings boost and sales boost by making these kinds of image improvements. And they should be applicable for businesses of all sizes.
and last but positively not least…
Optimise Your Shop for Mobile Purchases
Your shoppers, particularly your B2C customers are mobile first. Make sure your shop is as well. In the first instance this means ensuring that your mobile site is Clear, Responsive, Accessible, Fast, and Tested. For eCommerce sites I would also add that your site should be really really Easy to use.
It should be really straightforward for you customers to complete their journeys.
Think of how easy your last ‘1-click’ purchase was via Amazon Prime. Or how simple it was to buy new trainers on Ebay from your PayPal account. These friction-less purchase options can be the decision maker between one seller another. Amazon knows this and your business can implement many of these practices as well.
As eCommerce excellence shapes up to be the deciding factor of B2C business success for 2020, implementing these strategies should serve you well.