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Ecommerce SEO 2018/2019 Tips - 4 Surefire Ways to Increase Your Traffic
For stores gearing up for the 2018/2019 holiday season, remember that now is the time to start on this, as it can take several months for SEO efforts to pay off.
Make your product pages as good as your actual products!
If you think about it, your product pages on your website are a direct extension of your product, so it makes sense to treat it as such. Google can’t actually evaluate your product, it can only evaluate what you and others say about it, so this part is key to SEO. Below are some ways you can easily optimize your product pages and get that coveted #1 organic spot by gaming the system a little bit:
This is not the place to copy and paste what’s on the outside of the box and call it a day. Your product page should describe in detail what exactly your product is, what it does, why it’s better than the competitors’ product, and why they need to buy it today. Include all the common keywords (and variations) that are associated with your product (The Google autosuggest dropdown and the “related searches” list at the bottom of the search results page is a good starting point.) Note your descriptive content MUST be unique to your site and not appear anywhere else on the web! Google doesn’t like duplicate content, to put it lightly.
We’ve found that for most products it’s best to use an informal and folksy tone (think of it like you’re describing the product to a friend). Nobody likes stiff corporate speech and buzzwords, eeck. A few hundred words for your product descriptions is usually fine, but for certain products you may need to write up to 1,000 words, or more. A good starting point can be to check whoever is ranking #1 in your niche and see how they’re going about it.
A must-have! If you don’t have reviews for every key product on your site, figure out a way to get them ASAP. Amazon and other big sites have spoiled customers and nobody buys anymore without seeing a healthy amount of reviews on any given product page. So whether it’s giving out products for free to friends and family, or sending it to bloggers and other influencers, figure out a way to get reviews and remember to follow-up via email and actually ask for the review (include a link in your email to the product review page to make it easy for them).
Duh. And don’t just re-use your existing product photos. Make some new ones, and make them amazing. Your product page on your site should be a repository of the best possible images both for your product and for the entire niche itself (e.g., lifestyle picture and use-cases).
People love videos, but don’t make them too long! Sometimes 30 seconds is the max you can get away with, sometimes 1 minute, but don’t make the mistake of making boring 5min+ videos of just you talking. Videos need to be about the product and the value that it will create for the buyer.
Cigars International is a retailer that does an amazing job in all of these areas we just mentioned. Here’s an example product page: https://www.cigarsinternational.com/p/rocky-patel-connecticut-cigars/1411967/ This page is pretty much a perfect ecommerce experience, and we don’t say that lightly. Note the separate tabs for all key areas: “the product”, “deals”, “true to size photos”, “customer reviews”, “Staff reviews” and “Q&A chat” You may not even be a cigar smoker, but take a look at this product page and you might just be enticed enough to make a purchase! Best of all, there is a mobile version of each page that doesn’t shortchange the mobile visitor (it includes all the content that is on the desktop site! Along with a link back to the desktop version.)
Build backlinks by doing something (anything) to get media coverage.
A marketing consultant we know was recently working with two companies who manage senior living communities in different cities. Both companies had similar SEO goals and both were given similar coaching and recommendations for how to build links (get mentions) for their websites. The first company started working on it and updated their website, blogged weekly, reached out to a few local organizations and got pretty decent backlinks and Google rankings within their city. The second company ignored the advice completely… and took 10 senior citizens to Burning Man (a huge weeklong art and music festival in the middle of the desert). Everybody and their mother (literally) talked about them and linked to them... You can follow someone else’s best practices, or you can do something new and awesome completely on your own. Which would you rather do?
Put on your Mad Men hat and write some amazing ad copy for your Meta Tags.
You can have the best SEO in the world and get that #1 ranking you’ve always wanted, but it’ll be gone within a week or two if you don’t have enough people actually clicking on the thing. CTR (click through rate) is a make or break factor in 2018 with Google and we’ve seen companies in the #5 and #6 spot beat out the top two companies after doing nothing more than optimizing their product meta tags.
- To best illustrate, which of these listings would you rather click on?
- Gray has the #1 organic listing for the keyword “titanium iphone x case” whereas Caviar continues to move downwards since the time we began tracking it and is currently on the second page at position #13. Clearly gray has the better listing in this example. Some obvious, and not so obvious reasons why:
- Gray’s listing resonates better with searcher intent. Both companies sell cases in the $700-$1500 range, however Gray does a much better job at nurturing this exclusivity. For example, the “Advent Collection” is a catchy and exclusive name. Additionally, titanium products are closely associated with the aerospace and the tech industry which most searchers for this product would be aware of, as is the fact that titanium is a very strong metal. Both aspects are addressed in the meta title and meta description resulting in search result satisfaction as well as curiosity.
- Registered trademark. Always a great idea to include the ® or similar symbol if your product has one. Chances are your competitors don’t have it, and you can get a quick win and stand out among the other listings.
- Bounce rate. We may be wrong, but we doubt most searchers looking for a titanium iphone case want anything to do with the logos of heavy metal bands being a part of their new iphone case. A few seconds on the Caviar landing page and most visitors (like us) will bounce. Do you agree? https://caviar.global/aksessuary/chehly-caviar/titanium-cases
- Disclaimer: Meta Title and Meta description not the only thing influencing these two company’s rankings of course, but Caviar likely has no chance to ever beat Gray if they keep this running this listing for this particular keyword. The user signals would ensure this even though Caviar has a very popular website and brand around the world for their other products.
Hire a Pro
SEO is pretty straightforward and there is a lot of actionable information available online, all you need is to be interested and have some time. If you’re short on one or the other though, you probably should bring in some outside help. If you have a large store with many products (or product variations) things can go sideways with a few missplaced clicks (think canonical tags, faceted navigation, and redirects) and you won’t even know something’s wrong besides seeing your rankings slowly drop week after week. If you’re making a living from an ecommerce store(s), we’d highly recommend you at least get an SEO check-up from a trusted resource before the holiday season gets underway.
- One recommendation would be Christopher Koszo, our friend and SEO consultant from Search 1 Agency who contributed to this article and has a great track-record in e-commerce SEO and growth hacking. Another would be the Moz Recommended SEOs list which over 50 vetted SEOs and agencies throughout the US.