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A new year is around the corner and we might see some new things in 2017. Four CEOs of leading Nordic ecommerce companies share their thoughts on what they think will be the key ecommerce trends in 2017.

According to Marcus Fredricsson from Swedish car service portal Mekster, dropshipping is over. Customers have stronger demands, which makes convenient shipping options more important. “Today more customers disqualify online retailers who send goods directly from suppliers, particularly in cases when the goods come from different suppliers since they then need to spend far too much time to collect the goods in different batches”, he says.

Focus more on logistics

The CEO also thinks smaller online retailers must be prepared to partially loosen the customer relationship and focus even more on the logistics so they can successfully offer their products through international marketplaces like Google Shopping and Amazon. “You need a tremendous control of the supply chain logistics to satisfy customers.”

 

Fredricsson also thinks highly of virtual reality. “Although the ecommerce industry hasn’t found a way yet to utilize the technology, I think they will take on VR in a big way in 2017.”

Cut out the middleman

Cut out the middleman

Christoffer Tyrefors from Cykelkraft, Sweden’s largest online bicycle shop, thinks online retailers can do more themselves and only pay for actual delivery and thus cut out the middlemen. “Ecommerce players should find fundamental profitabilities of their core businesses and therefore needs to stop paying money to intermediaries.”

Rely less on Google and don’t get eaten

He also thinks Google has become way too powerful and online retailers are more dependent on the search engine than ever. “The ecommerce industry is feverishly looking for ways to reduce the importance of search, which in practice means to build brands. To build a brand requires something which happens to be the third major ecommerce trend in 2017 and that is: eat or get eaten”, he says, referring to large online market places that are being rolled out globally and the dominance of Google in the entire purchase process funnel. “Volume will become even more important. It translates to economies of scale, and with economies of scale it is easier to build the brand.”

 

Performance and sales will align more in 2017

Sven Hammer, CEO of monitoring platform Apica System thinks the B2B shopping experience will become more like B2C, as business-to-business retailers take advantage of all the actions the business-to-consumer industry took to improve their business models and shopping experiences. In less positive news, he thinks DDoS will continue to flood ecommerce website with disruptions and targeted. His third predicted trend is focused on analytics. “A platform that performs faster will lead to higher sales – a 100ms increase in page load can increase sales by 1 percent. Performance and sales will align more in 2017 as organizations establish KPIs like web/cloud/app performance to increase profits”, he says.

Salesman

The last CEO, Torkel Hallander from ‘ecommerce factory’ Nordic Etail, thinks SMR, “Sales Man Replication”, will become the new buzzword. “When ecommerce websites start acting like the world’s best salesman, shoppers will get a better experience and spread the world, but retailers will also increase their conversion rates and higher margins as result.”

Mobile engagement will increase influence over ecommerce

He also predicts mobile engagement will increase its influence over ecommerce. “Functionality for shopping mobile will reach new heights, selecting and choosing products, moving between devices, payments will be easier etc… but more importantly, the critical-mass hurdle for people to start realize they can do it in their phone has been passed: once you have purchased one thing in your phone, you will start wanting to do it all in the phone.”

Lastly, he thinks online stores and digital marketing will become even more targeted. In order to satisfy the customer and as a result maximize sales, online retailers will design their website presentation and their offering more for individual customer preferences, behaviors and purchasing power.

Author:  Ecommerce News

Source:  https://ecommercenews.eu

Categorized in Market Research

In today’s competitive business landscape, higher SERP ranking has become one of the most important challenges to e-commerce sites. Let’s have a look at some reports of renowned online marketers. According to a data generated by Custora, 26% of ecommerce orders come from search engine traffic. Kissmetrics reports that 30.5% of all ecommerce traffic originates from search engines and according to NChannel, 44% of online customers start their shopping experience with search engines.

Therefore, it can be concluded that it’s hardly possible for e-commerce businesses to sustain without SEO. If you don’t have a solid grasp of SEO tricks and tips, you won’t be able to make it to the top, thus missing out on significant revenue. To many people, ecommerce SEO may seem quite simple but under the hood, there are lots of interrelated factors that have to be monitored and modified in a planned way to increase conversion rate. In this comprehensive guide for e-commerce sites, we’ve jotted down seven highly useful techniques that can be used to leverage SERP visibility.

  1. Keyword Research

Keyword research is of immense importance when it comes to developing a successful ecommerce SEO campaign.

  • Researching the big daddy first – Amazon: Let’s see how you can utilize the largest online ecommerce site Amazon for keyword research. First, type your product’s keyword in the Amazon’s search bar. Now, Amazon provides a list of long tail keywords that not only convert better but are less competitive too. Repeat the procedure to find keywords for your important products. These procedures are a result of researches conducted by Backlinko, which is a leader in building next-level SEO techniques. It’s common for a number of ecommerce site owners to optimize the category pages through random keywords. Though this process has some advantages, it’s not absolutely perfect. It’s important to note here that though category pages might not have benefits over product pages, they too generate some sales. Therefore, take your time to find unique category page keywords.
  • Researching Google Keyword Planner: With Google Keyword Planner, you can make well-informed decisions about the keywords ideal for your business. This tool provides a comprehensive range of features to help you pinpoint a keyword’s popularity status, generate lots of keyword combinations in no time and remove low-volume searches. It isn’t a paid search tool and the data generated by it is immensely useful for ecommerce SEO. Keyword Planner enables you to research the following:SEMRush: SEMRush helps you to identify the keywords that are doing well for your rivals. To complete your keyword research, you need to maximize its reach and to maximize the reach, you should incorporate a mix of keywords used by your competitors too (that suit your business well). SEMRush measures the SERPs for the rankings of keywords you’re looking for. Once you’ve identified your keyword ranking, review the sites with bigger keyword footprints. You should stay away from incorporating smaller brands because of their comparatively smaller presence in SERPs.
    • Average monthly search amount for a certain period.
    • Keyword ideas based on your landing page, product category or a specific phrase.
    • Trends of search volume for keyword(s) over time.
  • Watch out for keyword cannibalization: Keyword cannibalization is a critical problem that occurs when the architecture information of a website heavily depends on a single key phrase or word. In some cases, it can happen unintentionally and due to a number of reasons like pagination. Though some webmasters intentionally optimize various pages with a single term to strengthen SERPs visibility, in reality, this effort leads to lower SEO effectiveness.

 

  1. Making improvements to the website

html

It’s very important for you to improve your website as much as you can. An improved website not only helps in search engine crawling, indexing and its ranking but enhances visitor experience as well.

  • Checking for existing site errors using Screaming Frog: Identification of existing site errors greatly helps ecommerce site owners to understand and rectify any poorly functional component or area of their websites, thus enhancing the sites’ online performance. With this check, you can have in-depth insights of your website and tweak the components obstructing your website’s present performance. Normally, a complete site audit seems to be an uphill and time-consuming task but tools like Screaming Frog has made the task easier for pros and newbies alike. Screaming Frog comes with an extremely user-friendly interface that helps you perform site audits easily to identify any existing errors.
  • Changing the Title Tags and Meta Description of the products: Unquestionably, primary keyword of your product/service has to be there in the title tag of your page. But if you want your product/service to be present in long tail searches, add modifiers like ‘best’, ‘cheap’, ‘review’, ‘online’ etc. Rather than making a simple title tag, add words that people generally use when searching for similar products/services you offer. Meta description is the text that appears under the hyperlink of your page when it appears on SERP. Leverage this by inserting attractive text as meta description for your products.
  • Optimizing the images and their tags: Just because the word out there in the market states that the crawlers from Google are not that adept at dealing with images and cannot understand the context they have been used in, people generally presume that this one concept of having the Alt tags for images can be overlooked. This is not so, and in disobeying this simple rule they might miss out on the little brownie points that Google might have vested upon them. Learning about the image optimization technique is a chance that you give your site to get friendlier with the search engine gods. Miss it and you miss your points as well.
  • Getting the rich snippets right: Adding rich snippets is probably the easiest way to show up on Google’s first page. As an ecommerce site owner, you can leverage one of the most attractive rich snippets namely reviews. Implementation of Schema markup on the ecommerce product pages helps you to obtain eye-catching snippets. Schema markup is a kind of special code that needs to be added to specific pages on your website. This code provides the search engines with better understanding of the page’s content. Remember that it’s not guaranteed that search engines will exhibit the rich snippets but addition of appropriate Schema markup increases the chances.
  • Internal linking: Google rates websites with valuable internal links favorably. The lesser clicks a visitor has to make to reach a desired page, the better. Therefore, it makes sense to link each page to other relevant pages in your site. Use of breadcrumbs not only improves a visitor’s journey across your site but also helps Google navigate throughout the site.
  • Page loading speed: Once the errors have been taken care of, you should concentrate on improving the page loading speed. With a slow-loading website, it’s not possible to hold visitors for a long time. If your website takes more time to load than it should, you have to try to improve the site’s speed. Reduction of file and image sizes, use of a different CMS and buying more server space are some useful solutions.

  1. Content for your products

content

Many ecommerce business owners underestimate the importance of valuable content for their products and the focus mainly encompasses the technical aspects of the site. But in reality, valuable content for products is equally significant to increase your conversion rate.

  • Product description: You can simply copy and paste the product descriptions from the manufacturer’s website or can repeat existing content but this is neither desired nor effective. Rather, you should concentrate on writing unique product descriptions which will help you boost the conversion rate. While writing product descriptions and texts for images, include targeted keywords which will help to increase relevance scores of the pages.
  • Consumer generated content:Encourage your customers to leave reviews for your products. That’s because more reviews are synonymous to more content and continuous reviews mean fresh content, which greatly would help in improving your site’s SEO. Besides, customer reviews act as original proofs to your prospective customers when it comes to becoming assured of the quality of their desired products. You may receive negative reviews which you may think as detrimental for your ecommerce business but in reality, these reviews help you improve your site and in turn, boost your future sales. You can feed customer reviews into the rich snippets and increase visitors’ movement across your site.
  • Removing duplicate content: Many ecommerce business owners face issues with duplicate content when it comes to their websites’ mobile versions. Duplicate content not only cause SEO issues but also affects SERP ranking adversely. Use of responsive website design could give an ideal solution to this problem. A mobile responsive website seamlessly works on any device including desktop and mobile phones. Use of advanced SEO techniques such as canonical tags helps you weed out duplicate content issues. Canonical tags help search engines to understand that a certain page is an exact copy or a copy with little variations and thus, the page shouldn’t be treated as a unique one. Use duplicate content checkers to identify and take preventive measures to avoid having similar content from other websites.

 

  1. Social media

Ecommerce SEO techniques always remain incomplete unless you make your product pages socially sharable.

social media

Addition of social sharing buttons helps your products to increase their social exposure. You can also add custom sharing phrases like asking questions for the same purpose. Leverage social media to monitor your brand through Google Alerts is another useful strategy, which would let you obtain quality links related to your site. Remember to include targeted keywords in your Google Alerts to keep a track of your competitors’ activities.

  1. Outreach and link building

To increase SERP visibility and awareness of your brand, you should use content outreach and link building. These help in identifying individuals, influencers and organizations related to your industry and connecting with them, thus building a healthy relationship.

influencer

  • Product reviews: Connect with bloggers by following their blogs regularly and keep in touch with them through emails and social media platforms, share their posts, leave important comments to develop relationships. Request them to review your products and offer enticing incentives in return.
  • Video reviews: Submission of video reviews of your products can help you increase SERP visibility of your product pages. Video sites like YouTube, Metacafe and Vimeo are considered to be good traffic sources when it comes to prospective customers looking for visually engaging reviews. This can also help in boosting organic and relevant traffic because of their high trustworthy nature.
  • Competitor’s link: A successful ecommerce SEO campaign strategy should include analyzing the competitor’s link as it helps you to understand the keywords responsible for their higher ranking. Try to obtain links from authority domains or pages where your rivals are acquiring links from. Use tools like ‘Open Site Explorer’ to track the links of your competitors. Before engaging with the sites, remember to remove any site with low DA score from the list as this may affect your SEO performance.
  1. Google product search optimization

google

Though your ecommerce site’s product pages can show up in standard web search, there is a more useful way to increase your SERP visibility. Google product feed is a data source of the meta data of your products that you submit to Google’s Merchant Center. Remember to submit adequate information about your products to the product feed to make them more useful and specific to user searches. Here’s how you can optimize the product search.

  • Submit a comprehensive product listing with as many specific details as you can.
  • You can manually submit individual products or else, if you want to submit the entire product database, do so using Google’s API.
  • Include images in the listing.
  • Ensure that your feed stays up-to-date.
  • Consider Google Base to improve your search listings’ quality.
  • Modify your content in accordance with seasons like holidays, winter etc.
  • Use standard categories.
  • Link your Google Merchant Center account to AdWords account and consider using Google’s Product Extension Ads to attain more control over your SERP visibility. In AdWords, you can include your product data feed to promote your products straight away in your ads. These will feature as product extensions.

  1. What do I do with obsolete/expired products?

expired

Every ecommerce site has some products that have expired permanently. It mainly happens in fashion clothing or consumer electronics when older products/styles are replaced with newer products/styles. Though you can simply remove that specific product page, it will affect your SEO performance. Here are some useful solutions that you can try in this regard.

  • Redirect to the parent category: If you’ve relevant products that serve similar purpose like the expired product, you can redirect your visitors to your parent category.
  • 301 Permanent redirect: If you’ve replaced the expired product by a newer one, use 301 permanent redirect that redirects the expired product’s URL to the newer product’s URL. It also helps Google understand that you want the newer URL to get ranked instead.
  • Reuse URLs: If your ecommerce business consists of generic products, you can reuse the URLs to increase your SERP visibility and retain the page’s authority.
  • Complete delete: In case you want to permanently delete an expired product’s page like deleting the URL, page and the content, use 410 status code that informs Google about the permanent removal of the page.
  • Preserve informational pages: Certain informational product pages should be reserved to act as a valuable guideline for existing customers who may look for certain information, service and help through these pages.

Ecommerce businesses often face issues when dealing with ‘out of stock’ products. Here are three easy ways to resolve this.

  • Clearly display ‘out of stock’ messages to let the users know the unavailability of the products.
  • Display ‘shop more’ messages that encourage visitors to look around your website.
  • Display ‘related products’ messages that help users find similar products.

 

Conclusion

Ecommerce site optimization is a bit different from the way general web marketers work to increase SERP visibility of various websites. For an ecommerce site, improving SERP visibility may be triggered by various reasons but the ultimate goal is to increase conversion rate. It’s important to note here that SEO for ecommerce sites isn’t a one-time occurrence; it’s an ongoing process instead. Major search engines keep modifying their algorithms to bring the best suited results to the searchers. So, you’ll also have to keep yourself updated about the modifications and change your strategy accordingly to reap the benefits of higher SERP visibility. Though various other strategies are there to leverage SERP visibility, the above mentioned ones are proven and the most-used when it comes to improving your ecommerce site’s performance.

Source : http://www.business2community.com/

Categorized in Internet Technology

In a previous post, I outlined my complete guide to optimizing product category pages. While those pages can be great for attracting searchers who are still deciding what specific products they want (and are critical to the sales process,) ultimately they are just “pass-through” pages. Their job is to get the visitors to the actual product pages.

But you can also have visitors bypass those category pages altogether when a more specific intent of their search is clear. That can be done by making every e-commerce product page a landing page for searches specific to that product. No sense trying to get searchers to land on a page that displays all products when their search already indicates which product they want!

To get these product specific searchers directly to the specific products they are looking for, optimization is key. Here’s how…

Assign a Master Product Category

As with optimizing product category pages, optimizing product pages starts with categorization. The last post addressed the need to create strong navigational categories. Now we need to put those categories to use. That’s simple enough. It’s just a matter of determining which categories each product belongs to. But we have to take this one step further and assign each product a single master category.

When products fit into more than one category, many content management systems create a unique URL for each product and category assigned. That means that one product can have more than one valid URL, based on the categories it fits into. This can turn into a major duplicate content problem.

Let’s assume a site visitor is looking for a book on how to build a deck. They are going to need lumber, concrete, a circular saw, and a book on how to do the job. We’ll focus only on the book, which can be found by following any one of these four possible paths:

  • Home > Lumber > Books> How to Build a Deck
  • Home > Building Materials > Books > How to Build a Deck
  • Home > Tools > Books > How to Build a Deck
  • Home > Books > Decks > How to Build a Deck

This is simplified, of course, but in order to place the book in those four categories, what you will often wind up with are four different URLs:

  • http://www.site.com/lumber/books/how-to-build-a-deck.html
  • http://www.site.com/building-materials/books/how-to-build-a-deck.html
  • http://www.site.com/tools/books/how-to-build-a-deck.html
  • http://www.site.com/books/decks/how-to-build-a-deck.html

That’s four “pages” competing for placement for the same keyword search!

The solution is to assign a single master category for each product, while allowing as many other categories as desired. It is this master category that determines the one and only URL for the product.

  • http://www.site.com/books/decks/how-to-build-a-deck.html

It doesn’t matter how the shopper ultimately finds the product because the URL (and supporting breadcrumb trail) will default to this master category.

You’ll likely have to get a programmer involved to make this possible, but it’s definitely worthwhile. That said, there are a couple of less desirable alternatives if the programming option is too costly for you.

Alternative Solution 1: Remove all category classifications from the product URLs, in which case it would look something like this.

  • http://www.site.com/products/how-to-build-a-deck-book.html

rather than

  • http://www.site.com/books/decks/how-to-build-a-deck.html

Notice that the category name is no longer relevant, and a new category has been created for all products. The drawback to this option is that by removing product classification from the URL, you lose a small but vital search engine relevance signal.

 

Alternative Solution 2: Implement a canonical tag that points to the master URL for that product. Using the canonical tag to correct duplicate URLs relies on the search engines to properly follow the instructions provided, which they may or may not do. I’ll go into this in further detail a bit later.

One Product, Multiple SKUs

Some products come in multiple shapes, sizes, colors, and other variations. Essentially, they are the same product, with a slight difference. But those differences can require their own SKUs. For many systems, every SKU gets its own page and URL, which can make for a lot of URLs!

Below is an example of a site that has 52 different styles, 19 colors, and 5 sizes all for the same “t-rex hates” shirt design. Let’s do the math on that…We are looking at 4,940 unique URLs for what is essentially the same product.

product-variables

We can actually trim that number back a bit because, in some cases, the different styles do (or should) constitute a unique product. How do we determine when this should be the case? Think about the shopper. Is there a strong chance they will search for a “t-rex hates jersey” versus “t-rex hates golf shirt?” That’s quite possible. Therefore, we want those searchers to land on a page that already has that style prominent. This site already, smartly, does that.

But we still have the color/sizing issue. Searchers are far less likely to search using those criteria. Even if they do, the one landing page/URL will suffice. But on this site, we get a new URL for every variable.

Here is a sampling of the URLs:

  • www.site.com/trex-hates_tshirt?productId=1321218904#color=navy/white&size=medium
  • www.site.com/trex-hates_tshirt?productId=1321218904#color=green&size=x-large
  • www.site.com/trex-hates_tshirt?productId=1321218904#color=red&size=3x-large tall

Ideally, you’ll have a single product page/URL that allows the visitor to select their size, color, or any other variations being offered. There is no reason for the URL to change with each selection, even if a separate SKU is required. The database should track which variables are selected and send the appropriate SKU through with the order.

Here is a site that does it this way. Notice the change in SKU based on the selection of the shirt size.

product-variables2

product-variables3

As I said above, not all systems work this way and may require extensive reprogramming. But be aware, this is the best possible fix, and the most error-proof one. But, should you refuse to accept this mission, there are (less attractive) alternatives:

Alternative Solution 1: Implement the canonical tag. The canonical tag on each of these size/color variations would consistently point to the “primary” URL. That’s the solution this site uses, they have their canonical tag pointing to:

  • www.site.com/trex-hates_tshirt?

The only time this changes is when you click on a different shirt style, which I already noted makes sense because you do want those as unique landing pages.

Alternative Solution 2: Use Google Search Console to ignore all the parameters on the end of the URLs. What are the parameters? Everything from the “?” and beyond. The URLs above have three parameters: Product ID, Color, and Size. You can tell Google search console to ignore each or all of these.

By doing this, you’re basically telling Google to only consider what should be the canonical URL and nothing more. The downside to this solution is that it is specific to Google. You’ll then have to do the same thing with Bing.

You also need to be very careful that you don’t ignore parameters that are necessary. For example, if the system also uses a parameter to determine shirt style, you want to make sure you are not excluding that in Search Console. Otherwise, you’ll wipe out all of these great landing pages from being found in search.

Also, if product ID is important, you don’t want to tell search engines to ignore that, either. Looking at the URLs above, I would have thought that the product ID was an essential parameter, but it’s not. The same product shows with or without it, which means you do want it excluded from consideration.

Always be careful when messing with search engines and parameter indexing. You have to know what you’re doing or you can really screw up your ability to get key pages indexed. 

Implement Canonical Tag

I’ve already mentioned the canonical tag as an alternate solution for a couple of issues above, but I want to address it in more detail here. I consider the canonical tag to be nothing more than a band-aid solution for those previously mentioned issues. But it is also smart to use it as a backup solution that should be implemented across the board regardless.

The canonical tag is a simple line of code that tells the search engines which URL they should be indexing, regardless of the actual URL they are on. It is designed for sites that have these duplicate content/multiple URL issues. Here is what a full canonical tag looks like:

The search engines use the canonical tag as a signal, but not a directive. Which means they can choose to ignore it if they want. And they will if they believe that the content on the URL being indexed is different enough from the content on the canonical URL.

This is why I don’t consider it a pure fix. You can tell the search engines your preference, but you can’t force them to adhere to it. That leaves your site vulnerable to duplicate content issues.

Yet, even if you are implementing your permanent fixes, it’s still a good idea to implement canonical tags across the board. All it takes is someone linking to your site using a URL with added parameters (such as for tracking purposes) and the search engines can then grab that URL for their index. Without even knowing it, you have duplicate content!

Write Unique Product Titles and Descriptions

Unless you have come up with your own line of products, the products you sell are very likely similar or the same as the products being sold on hundreds of other websites. Which means you’re likely getting your product descriptions from the manufacturer. And this means you are publishing duplicate content on your site.

 

When search engines see hundreds of products with essentially the same title and description, they have to decide which one of those pages should rank over the others. That’s what the algorithms do by nature, but by using these duplicate product descriptions, you are losing the advantage of being unique. Essentially, you are taking one of the primary ways that search engines determine the value of your site over others completely off the table! Which means you’ll have a hard time getting your product pages to rank over your competitors.

If you can–and I know that this is very time-consuming for sites with lots of products–write unique titles and descriptions for each and every product. This is your opportunity to stand out from every other site selling the same thing. Find your voice and put that into everything you sell. Be fun, be creative, and by all means, add value!

Alternate Solution: If you can’t write your own unique content for your products, you’ll have to rely on user-generated content. That is, getting your customers to create content on these pages for you. So, while we are on that topic…

Allow User-Generated Content

Even if you already have unique titles and descriptions for all your products, allowing your visitors to contribute content to your pages gives you an additional advantage. Not only does it give search engines a reason to keep coming back to reindex the pages, they’ll do so more frequently. And the added UGC can also help push you further up in search rankings.

User generated content comes in various forms. You can decide which are right for your site, but I would consider each of them and implement any and all that you can:

  • Reviews: Allow shoppers to write their own reviews of your products/services.
  • Ratings: Similar to reviews, you can also have shoppers rate the products.
  • Questions: Some shoppers might have questions that they need to have answered before they’ll be willing to buy the product. Giving them a space to ask those questions not only increases the likelihood you’ll get that sale, it also will likely help others with the same questions.
  • Stories: Let visitors post their own experiences with your product or service. This is less of a review than it is a way to highlight creative ways your products were used and what solutions they solved for others.
  • Pictures: Along with stories, you can let your visitors post pictures that illustrate your products in use.
  • Videos: If you allow videos, some users will use this for any and all of the above. They can post a video review, tell their stories, and show the product in action. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video has got to be worth so much more!

Implement Schema/Structured Data Markup

Structured data (or schema) markup allows you to tag certain content with appropriate coding that then allows search engines know how to “interpret” that content correctly. Remember, what visitors see visually is often the result of fairly complex code. Search engines can only read the code and try to interpret it visually, but don’t always get correlations of data.

For example, you may see a SKU number quite obvious on the page, but that number can be buried in code that the search engines are trying to decipher. Structured data allows you to highlight this and other critical pieces of content so there is no ambiguity.

Here is what some schema markup looks like:

structured-data

Where do you use structured markup? Here are just a few options specific to your product pages:

  • Product name
  • Product image
  • Product description
  • Brand
  • Reviews
  • Ratings
  • Special Offers
  • SKUs
  • Price
  • Currency
  • Availability
  • URL

Using structured data for each of these areas leaves no room for interpretation and tells the search engines exactly what each is. Another benefit, though, is getting rich snippets in search results. Google will often pull information from your structured markup and include it in the search results, such as description and ratings. Having these shown in the search results can increase clicks and help sell your products.

 

User-Focused Optimizations

Thus far, the strategies addressed in this post have been issues related to search engines. Of course, each of the optimization strategies outlined above is great for users as well, but now let’s address a handful of user-focused optimization strategies for your product pages.

Consistent Layout

The layout of your product pages should be relatively consistent across the board. Occasionally, you have a group of products that requires unique information for which you need to create a new template, but as best as possible, keep all product pages looking the same. This allows shoppers to become familiar with a single layout so they can easily breeze from product to product gathering needed information.

Multiple Image Views

Many product images can be enhanced by providing multiple views of the product. Of course, this isn’t necessary for all products, but if you have something in which a different angle view helps the visitor get a better feel for it, then this will improve the shopping experience. Either the visitor will be more apt to buy the product because they have a more complete visual, or it will reduce product returns from someone buying something that wasn’t what they wanted. Either way, you win.

product-views

Product Availability

Nobody wants to add a product to their cart only to find out later they can’t get it. Provide some kind of indicator as to whether the product is or is not currently available. If stock is limited, displaying the number of items remaining can be a good motivator to purchase sooner rather than later.

product-stockMultiple Image Views

Keep your add to cart buttons in close proximity to the product information. You’ll want to check different screen sizes and resolutions on this as these variables can move information and buttons to places you would not have imagined. Considering all variables, making sure that the correlation between product and button is clear.

You also might want to have an option to add the product to a wish list, or save it for later viewing. If the shopper isn’t ready to buy, this can be a nice reminder the next time they log in. Similarly, provide an option that allows the visitor to forward the URL to themselves or a friend for later viewing, perhaps on a different device.

Security Assurances

Every shopper–especially when on your site for the first time–has a trust hurdle to overcome. If they can’t overcome those hurdles, the chances of you getting a sale are pretty slim. Your job is to alleviate their concerns in as many ways as possible to the point where they no longer have reasons to say no.

product-security

Here are some trust issues that you need to overcome:

  • Do you take credit cards?
  • Do you take my preferred form of payment?
  • Will my personal information be protected?
  • What is your return policy?
  • Do you offer any guarantees?
  • If I have a problem, will I be able to reach a real person?
  • Will my personal information be secure?
  • Will my information be used to spam me?

Addressing each of these issues will remove the hurdles that get in the way of the purchase. Once these are eliminated, the decision whether or not to do business with you becomes much easier.

Cross Promotion

Cross promoting products is a great way to increase the average order size. Most shoppers come for what they want, but if they see something else of value during that interaction, they just might add more products to their cart.

product-promotion

Keep Shopper Shopping

Imagine with me for a second that you’re in a grocery store. But the store doesn’t allow you to keep your cart with you as you browse the aisles. Instead, you have to leave the cart at the end of each aisle as you go down and browse the products on the shelves. Every time you grab an item to put in your cart, you have to walk back to your cart at the end of the aisle. And to top it off, you can only add one product at a time.

If any store did that, you probably wouldn’t return, no matter what kind of great deals they offer. But this is exactly what websites do when they force visitors into the cart page every time they add an item. That forces them out of the aisle and back to a cart somewhere completely different from where they want to be.

 

When products are added to the cart, provide a notification that it’s added, but let the visitor stay exactly where they are to continue shopping. When they are ready to look at the cart, they will. Otherwise, let them shop!

Facilitate Socialization

In the age of social media, shoppers are more likely to share a product to their favorite social platform than they are to leave a review. In fact, they’ll often post a mini review on their streams so long as you make it easy to do so.

Providing socialization buttons gives another way for visitors to interact with your brand and become evangelists for your products.

product-social

You also might want to make it easier for your customers to get updates about new products and sales. You can easily facilitate this by adding a Twitter or RSS feed that regularly pushes out new content and items that have just gone on sale. You might be surprised to find that these feeds may become more popular than your regular social channels!

E-Commerce Tracking

Finally, no optimization would be complete without making sure your e-commerce tracking is installed and properly working. This provides you with the best opportunity to fine tune your shoppers experience on the site, removing barriers and increasing sales.

Optimizing your product pages can often be the most valuable time spent on marketing and promotion. And the great thing about optimizing these pages is that 90% of it can be handled via a template. Instead of having to optimize hundreds or even thousands of individual pages, optimize the product template and the bulk of your work is done!

Image Credits

Featured Image: Image by Stoney deGeyter
In-post Photos: All images by Stoney deGeyter
All screenshots by Stoney deGeyter. Taken August 2016.

Source : https://www.searchenginejournal.com

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