Irish consumers are far more likely to buy online than in-store, according to one 2018 Ipsos study. This research panel also found we’re the most frequent online shoppers in the world. It’s estimated we’ll spend €7.8 billion online this year.
This opens the door to a world of opportunity for Irish retailers. The demand for ecommerce is there, but often times, we are not there to meet it. This is why we must begin to focus on ecommerce optimization.
Think of your own personal online buying experience. You have a product in mind that you’d like to buy, so you research it online. You browse through retailers to determine who offers the lowest price for the best value.
The kick is that you’re likely only seeing retailers that have optimized their page. Those who don’t optimize their site fall far into the pages of our search engine rankings.
To generate any traffic, a product page must have the following 13 features.
When shoppers are looking for your product online, what keywords are they using? You must know which keywords generate the most traffic so you can optimize for the best results.
Search engines measure a variety of factors when determining a page’s rank. They’ll consider the relevance of a page, with a strong emphasis on keyword density. Other factors such as frequency and popularity also play a large role.
There is no reason to ignore keyword research, considering the vast amount of resources available to measure its success. Google itself offers two viable tools for identifying search queries and finding keywords.
Aside from Search Console and Keyword Planner, you should also make use of Unamo SEO. This service measures, analyzes, and improves your website’s visibility through competition research.
Once you determine which keywords your audience searches for, formulate descriptive product names. These labels have a strong effect on the results of your search rankings.
Accurate product names are tight and informative. They don’t leave a reader wondering the specifics of your product. Instead, they’re unique enough to differentiate your product, without going overboard with information.
For example, let’s say you’re a clothing boutique who is listing a blouse. If you have only one variation of that blouse (i.e. one colour), you could list that in the name. But, if you have multiple patterns or colours of that blouse, you’ll want to say there are variants.
If you’re still struggling, you can turn to Google and search for your product. See how the top ranking pages name their products. You don’t want to copy verbatim, but study how the name flows together.
Once you land a visitor on your page, your work is only half done. You still need to create a strong-worded description to drive home the value of your product.
List any major features or specifications that are of relevance to a buyer. Think of where your audience finds value–what are they looking for in this product? Make sure to include a list of these specific benefits.
Get creative by using more descriptive information about the product than we’re used to seeing. You could talk about the product’s origins, how it’s created, or even the maker’s inspiration.
Also, if you’re a reseller, don’t copy and paste the manufacturer’s description. It won’t help search results, plus, there’s no guarantee they’ve optimized the content.
Crafting effective page titles is another fundamental element of search engine optimization. This strategy not only boosts page rankings but it also increases click-through rates.
You must consider how your audience interacts with a search engine result page (SERP). What kind of information draws their attention? What kind of information do they consider click-bait?
Each page title must be specific and relevant. They should be around 70 words long and serve as an accurate reflection of the content page.
Make sure to use the most important keywords near the front of the title. Also, do not duplicate keywords, as search engines flag for keyword stuffing. Page titles need to flow as natural as any piece of content.
Meta-descriptions are another crucial factor in landing those key clicks. Like page titles, meta-descriptions need to be unique and accurately reflect page content.
When writing an effective meta-description, many marketers rely on the 150/150 rule. This disburses the content into two offerings. The first 150 words provide the most essential information on a product. The second 150 is for any supporting information if needed.
It’s imperative these descriptions highlight any information a reader would want to know. You should incorporate some key selling points, such as price or product use, to stand out.
You may choose to use keywords in the meta-descriptions to increase click-through rate. But, keep in mind, keywords here do not increase page rankings.
On the internet, customer reviews are as valued as word-of-mouth advice from a friend. You should encourage previous customers to leave reviews of your products after purchasing. You can incentivize them with future discounts.
Opening this space for previous customers proves your credibility. A new buyer can read about how valuable your product is and if it lives up to its claims. They can also learn how you handle things like shipping, customer service, and returns.
Buyers are more apt to trust someone who has a review page, with decent ratings. Don’t worry if not all your products have a 5-star rating. Perfect ratings seem dishonest to a buyer, as some companies fabricate fake reviews.
In ecommerce, your presentation is everything. Your product descriptions need to be more than lists and verbiage or you’ll miss out on quite a few sales.
One of the limitations to online retail is you can’t hold or really see a product before buying. Very few are willing to spend money on a product they know little about.
A gallery of professional images gives buyers a better visualization of your product. You could also incorporate some video footage to show how customers can use your product.
Make sure you properly name your media and use appropriate alt-tags. This is a great way to increase your search rankings.
The ultimate purpose of ecommerce optimization is to make a sale. A strong call-to-action encourages a buyer to take that final step and add your product to their shopping cart.
For that reason, you need to highlight this function more than others on the page. A buyer shouldn’t have to skim through a page to figure out where this CTA is. It will have the greatest effect if it can stand out amongst other features.
It’s encouraged to get creative in other CTA forms. But, you should strive to keep your check-out process as simple as possible. Use appropriate wording such as, “Add to bag” to avoid any confusion.
Page response times are a make-it or break-it factor to any website, ecommerce or not. Nothing is more frustrating to a reader than when a page takes forever to load. So, unless you have full-time IT support, you’ve got to hire someone to monitor your site speed.
Ideally, your page should respond within 3 seconds or less. When meeting with providers, make sure to inquire about their guaranteed uptime.
Also, you should look for a provider that offers 24/7 support on issues related to your server status. You never know when your site will crash or when a potential data threat could arise. Nothing would be worse than a down period on Black Friday or Cyber Monday!
Your website automatically generates a URL whenever you post a piece of new content. But, you’re missing out on some serious SEO value by not restructuring the wording of these links.
Using both a domain and a subdomain can better improve your search results. But, don’t get too crazy with the number of folders you use. It’s not necessarily harmful to your search performance, but it does look sloppy to have too many.
You’ll also want to keep these descriptions as readable by humans as possible. Engines can now leverage advanced user data to improve our searching experience.
Shorter URLs are more effective than longer URLs, so keep the copy neat and clean. If possible, you can match the URL to the product name to eliminate any confusion for a reader.
How you present your product price can also lead to greater sales. Let’s take a look at how American home furnishing retailer Williams Sonoma accomplished just that. They were having a difficult time selling one of their breadmakers due to perceived high costs.
So, they added a side-by-side comparison of that breadmaker to a more advanced model. The premium model was nearly 1.5 times the cost of the basic version.
Once they added this comparison, sales nearly doubled. Buyers flocked to the former unit because they perceived it to have a low cost for its value. Small alterations like this can help get your hard-to-sell products off the shelves.
Another tweak you can make is to reduce the amount of copy you use on your pricing page. To avoid overwhelming a buyer with unnecessary information, highlight the product’s selling points.
Live Chats on product pages are an easy way to reduce how many customers abandon their carts. A common reason people choose not to buy a product is due to confusion or unanswered questions.
Although you may already have the answer to some questions on your page, most customers prefer to communicate with a real person. Responding quickly and effectively to customer questions is helpful for increasing sales.
If you don’t have the staff for around-the-clock support, create automated messages. Enable bots to respond to messages with customized responses. Walk through a buyer’s process to answer any common questions they may have.
The ability to make purchases through mobile platforms is important to Irish consumers. In fact, 30% of consumers expect their mobile phone will be their main shopping tool in the future. Providing for a mobile-first experience is a must if you wish to remain competitive.
There are plenty of different ways to optimize a page for mobile search. You’ll want to refigure the best page titles and descriptions for mobile search. This metadata should be shorter than its desktop version, as mobile space is limited.
Also, you’ll want to determine whether there is a difference in search terms. If so, you need to integrate these keywords and phrases into your mobile content.
If you have a brick-and-mortar store, get familiar with localization. This helps shoppers in your area looking to find nearby stores. You may also want to offer a discount for in-app or mobile purchases to drive more online purchases.
Ecommerce optimization is essential to businesses with an online presence. Don’t throw a product page together without an understanding of the user experience.
Using the above strategies will help you stay ahead of your competition. These tips ensure your website runs well and generates the most search engine traffic.
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