Not only are SEOs battling just to maintain rankings, but we’re challenged on a daily basis to be creative and distinguish ourselves from the competition, generate compelling content with share-ability, and ultimately, drive traffic and revenue for sites all at the same time. To complicate matters, organic traffic and revenue from that traffic are increasingly at risk of penalties and increasing competition. And Forrester projects that the e-commerce market as a whole will increase to $279 billion in 2015.
So, how do you fight dips in rankings AND get ahead of your competitors before the biggest revenue months for e-commerce sites? Don’t fret, it’s still possible to do now, but it can be time-consuming if you don’t plan ahead. Check out a few simple strategies below to get started:
Publish content on your category pages.
This may seem like common sense, but a lot of e-commerce platforms pose difficulties with regard to adding content on landing pages and category pages. Sometimes it’s harder than it seems. Even if you’re just adding 1-2 sentences of copy per page, you’re telling both users and search engines what they can find on that page. And you’re capturing users who are early in the buying cycle—they’re not exactly sure what they want yet, but your category page tells them what they can do to narrow their search. For example, if you sell phone cases, targeting your iPhone 5 page with iPhone-5-specific keywords will help the consumer find the exact product they are looking for. That leaves room to optimize your other product pages with more specific terms. Which leads me to my next point …
Use long-tail keywords for your product pages.
Again, common sense. But think about it: The more detailed your search is, the more likely it is you know what you’re looking for. Which means your chances of converting are MUCH higher if you find the answer to your query. Conversion-rate optimization dictates limiting as many clicks as possible between the user and the end goal. If a consumer knows exactly what he/she wants, the consumer can find your optimized product page and add the right product to the cart almost immediately.
Use internal site search to your advantage.
If set up properly, site search reports in Google Analytics will allow you to look at exactly what users are searching for from within your site. This can give you some great insights regarding what is popular or what is not as easy to find on your site. The best part about this is you can see and respond to it as quickly as you want to. This might mean making a product more visible in the navigation or the home page, or even creating a new page to find the product more easily. You should use discretion because you still want to maintain an organized navigation process, but the possibilities are endless!
Go after some serious links.
These days, it’s just as important (if not more important) to gain authoritative links from other sites as it is to optimize your internal pages. So, what can you do? Try something new! Build a page or a visual piece of content unique to your industry that users will identify with and want to share. The goal is not to be sales-y, but rather, make your products easy to buy. Don’t sell your products directly, but make the content relate-able and include a link back to a product page if it’s relevant. Then share it in as many places as you possibly can: social media, blog posts, your email list …
What SEO for e-commerce strategies have worked for you in the past? Sound off in the comments!
Prepare for the August 2014 shopping search transition with Google Shopping and data feed optimization: