Like it or not, a great product doesn’t sell itself. And that’s especially true of a product on the web. It takes a website that’s been optimized for search engines – otherwise called SEO – to get your product in front of the right buyer who is ready to purchase.
SEO requires a consistent and steady effort similar to a personal relationship. Before your site can climb to the top of Google’s results page, you may need to commit some time to it. Without an integrated SEO strategy, an ecommerce site risks jeopardizing your rank upon a results page, where it can be eaten up by new competitors that have entered that space or those that are playing the Google game and winning. Both of these scenarios result in loss of business.
Get prepared. Here are a few points to gauge if your website is hurting sales.
Search Engine Optimization is a set of best practices for the web. Adhering to SEO is a way to drive traffic to your site via organic search engine results. In a nutshell: it’s a to-do list of items to put your site at the top of a search engine’s results page (SERPs) where more people see it. Better/higher rank equates to more site visitors, which ultimately leads to more sales.
There are a bunch of search engines: Bing, Yahoo, DuckDuckGo and a handful of engines in China. But for our purposes, we’re going to focus on Google.
Optimize for Google
It can’t be overstated: Google is king in the US in regards to search. It carries roughly 95 percent of mobile and 90 percent of desktop searches. On top of that, it handles 67,000 searches a second. If you’re only able to optimize for one search engine, make it Google.
Written On-page Content
First item: check your on-page content for word count. An analysis by backlinko.com found top-ranked pages for a query have an average of 1,890 words. In most cases, an essay-length page is overkill. And the right word count depends on the subject. A good item description can be a few hundred words – so long as it does a good job describing the product and includes the right amount of keywords.
Building a site’s on-page content was included in the website strategy for SallyeAnder, a New York-based maker of handmade personal skin and home solutions that are 100% hypoallergenic. They had a lot of success with their site, but wanted a refresh. Part of our plan was to create more detailed descriptions of their beautiful products. And we drew upon their origin story to write content for a landing page.
Content With Style
Another item is to be sure all pages are backed up with Meta descriptions and incorporates H1 and H2 headings. Google uses these to sort pages. If your Content Management System (CMS), such as WordPress, allows for it, write a catchy meta description. It doesn’t affect a page’s SEO, yet it appears on a SERP and can attract a visitor to your site. Here’s a good guide.
Local is the new way to search. Local searches are rising, and make up nearly half of all Google queries. More importantly, local is a third of searches on a mobile device. Of those, one-in-three searches are done right before a store visit. To hang a price tag mobile search, it will drive $1.4 trillion in local sales by 2021. It’s a big market to consider.
If you’re digging for local-related keywords, consider this: terms such as “nearby” and “closest” are falling, while 82 percent of mobile shopping includes “near me” in the query.
Don’t let your site lag. By one estimate, the average speed of a top-ranking site is 1900ms. A slow-loading page can irritate users and send them off the site.
In one study, a 500ms connection led to a 26-percent hike in user frustration, and an 8-percent fall in engagement. While that’s a stat about internet speed – not your site – it shows how big a factor speed is to users. It’s a part of a good customer experience. Here’s a test to find your site’s speed.
Lock it Up
Finally, make it secure. Most people, 84 percent, won’t buy on an unsecure site. So check your site’s URL. An unsecure site begins with “http”, while a secure site has “https”, with an “s” for secure. Go here to take steps to make your site secure.
Optimizing an ecommerce site can be a tall order. And we’ve just scratched the surface in this post. If you’d like to get your ecommerce site into shape, give the experts at Ashworth Creative a call. We’ll gauge the health of your site, and find ways to put your brand and its products in front of the right customers.