SEO & eCommerce
You may have heard that search engine optimization, or SEO, is not worth doing. SEO may seem a difficult thing to master, but it is still very important. SEO is what gets your website or Amazon page to show up in searches on Google and other search engines. Without SEO, you will not rank and you will not get any sales from people searching for your product. Many of the top online businesses invest in SEO, and you should, too.
What Optimization You Should Be Doing
SEO is all about visibility for your online business, and bringing traffic to the page where people can buy your products. These are the different main aspects of SEO that you should be actively doing to increase the number of visitors you get.
On-page SEO refers to the optimization of the content within your website. Off-page SEO is any kind of optimization you do outside of your website. This includes social media activity, engagement on other websites, and the like. Good SEO leads to a better chance of getting a higher ranking on the search results pages. This leads to greater visibility to those who search for your product. The vast majority of people will not look past the fold of the first page of results. You need to be pretty high up there to get a significant number of clicks.
First, optimize your product descriptions. The most important rules of content optimization are as follows:
- Create 100% unique text as much as possible. Copying text from other websites will get your page flagged. Even using your own listings on Amazon or anywhere else on the web will be considered plagiarism. Reword each instance to have unique content every time.
- Have complete information on each of your products, but keep it simple. The visitor should be completely satisfied with your explanation. Compose the descriptions in a manner that is easy to understand. Craft your descriptions so that you have the best combination of easy language that gives a complete explanation. Search engines like to see a substantial amount of content on web pages, so write it all out even if your customers won’t be likely to read it all.
- Target your ideal customer, and appeal to their emotions. Compelling product descriptions will always focus on what the customer needs and wants. You need to know who they are before you can effectively do this. Describe the features and benefits of your products in a way that zeroes in on filling those needs and satisfying those wants. Naturally, you should be talking more about the benefits of your product and have the features there almost as a second thought.
- Speak the customers’ language. Leverage reviews, questions and other comments on a variety of sources to learn how your targets think and what they care about.
Group your products into collections so that it’s easy for your visitors to find the range of products they are looking for. This is also a good way to show them what else you have to offer. They may search for a particular product but find that they also want another one that you have. In addition, SEO is not an exact science. You may rank for a certain page that is not exactly what your customers want. Instead of leaving, they will see the collection page and browse there to find the best match.
Other Text Content
Product pages are not enough to truly engage with your target customers. You need to tell them about who you are and why you so what you do. Tell your story in an attractive About page with a few images and a lot of authenticity. Create more long-form content in a blog section or at least on a few other static pages. Start with the story of your best-selling products, or the products you know are awesome but that you can’t seem to get attention for. Go in depth about how that product attracted you when you found it. Talk about how that product is made and what kinds of reactions you go when you showed it off. You can create hype this way to get more people interested. Do additional pieces regularly to add value to your readers, build authority, keep the search engines interested, and keep people coming back.
You need great images to attract attention and inspire confidence in your products. Here are a couple of best practices for images:
- Use only high-quality images. You have between 10 and 30 seconds to make a good impression. Before reading anything, people tend to scan visual content to see if it is interesting enough to go deeper into. Good visuals – professionally done if possible – will attract them and lead them to read for product specifics. Don’t rely on your smartphone to do the heavy lifting.
- You at least need a reasonable DSLR camera to capture suitable images. You should also have a lightbox if you want to do your visuals in-house. Don’t be afraid to use filters and other enhancements as long as the result still genuinely represents your product.
- Good images mean clear expectations. You can greatly reduce the numbers of returns you have to deal with when you can show your products clearly from all angles. Keep your ideal customer in mind when you shoot these different angles. This way, they will not be easily misled and take more interest in your products. They will also be more confident in their purchase and recommendations to others.
- Create photo collections, called lookbooks. Shoppers will be more attracted to your products if they can clearly imagine themselves happily using the product. Add one or two of these in-use images to your product page to supplement the images that focus on the product itself. Don’t be afraid to get creative here. Create as real a scenario as you can. You can also use videos to better achieve this.
Time is gold now more than ever. Customers don’t have a lot of it, and you have to provide them with a faster way to understand your product. Video is the best way to do this. Here are a few ways to leverage video:
- Create how-to videos that show the benefits of your quality product while explaining how to use it. Hitting two birds with one stone is always a good way to go. Value your targets’ time and you will reap the rewards.
- Use video for emotional appeal. When you leverage video over still images, you can create more powerful sequences with compelling audio that will really wow your targets.
- Provide context. A range of good images will also provide your customers with a story rather than just a flat image. They will be able to visualize using the product and how it will make their lives better.
Shoppers today are very smart, and they want real proof before they make a purchase. They don’t believe what sellers say anymore. The best way for them to know if your product is really great is to see what other people are saying about it. You need to have an excellent review tool on your website to showcase your customers’ comments. Here’s what it should do:
- Display customer comments prominently. Your visitors should be drawn to your product reviews. The text should be easy to spot and read. A ratings component is a major plus factor so that readers can see how your product scores at a glance.
- Display customer details. Readers should be able to see the person behind the review. It adds to your social proof and the general credibility of the review.
- Integrate seamlessly with your website. Not all tools are created equal, so you need to test and find out which ones work best with your website platform and layout.
- Create space on your home page where you can manually upload special reviews from outside sources. Use this space to showcase exceptional reviews to put them in the spotlight.
- Use your reviews to go back and tweak your content to make it even more appealing to your ideal customers.
Socials is where everyone hangs out. These platforms are a great place to find your ideal customer. You can market here to showcase your products and you can engage to build loyalty and trust. This is a very important component of your overall strategy to increase sales. Social media also helps boost organic search engine rankings. Make sure you are active on socials and you have optimized your content there.
- Target customers on socials. Research where your ideal customer hangs out and leverage the 1-3 best platforms.
- Build platform-specific visuals. Learn what the best practices are for posting content on your best platforms.
- Learn the culture. Every social space has its own culture, and you would do very well to blend in. You can still stand out to grab attention, but you have to respect the culture to be accepted.
Once you have a good amount of blog content about your products, you need to market it. Backlinks are very powerful tools to get the search engines to pay more attention to your site. You can reach out to other websites on your own, or use a specialty PR agency. Here are a few guidelines:
- Create original content. When you offer to write a blog post for another site, make sure that it is not just a copy of something that you’ve already posted. This will not be good for you when a link points back to the plagiarized text.
- Offer content that provides value to their readers. When you share a piece that you published to other sites asking for them to share it with their audiences, make sure that it’s relevant. It must provide value to their audiences.
- Offer to create content for them. Offer to do a guest post for free in exchange for a link back to your website. Research the site you are contacting. Learn what content they offer or what they might be lacking. Suggest a few topics that they can choose from and explain why you think it will be good for them. Ask them if they have any guidelines that you should follow and what their specific process is.
- Limit your outreach to authority sites. You want to accumulate only quality backlinks. This means getting links from websites that Google has already marked as authority sites, or sites with high value content. This will contribute to your own domain authority.
- Track your links. You need to make sure that you are getting good quality links. You also need to see that you are not unintentionally spamming by overdoing it.
Small Investments, Big Returns
Whether you choose to do it all yourself or outsource it to professionals, your optimization activities don’t have to cost an arm and a leg. You can develop good SEO habits on a small budget. The important thing is that you start applying these tips today so that you can start reaping the benefits.
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