It’s never too late to change, even if you’re looking for a fresh new start with a website. Ecommerce vendors will be evolving virtually on a constant basis as they go forward with adjusting to new technologies and the growth of their business.
By now you’ve either heard of or have been using WordPress as a content management system. Its transformation over the last decade has been astounding, becoming one of the most sophisticated, adaptable, and even user-friendly platforms. At $25 per month for a business site, it’s a phenomenal bargain.
What makes it even better? A boat load of extra options. Plug-ins for WordPress can increase its functionality and convenience to the point where your site is practically running itself. And they offer up handy features that you would otherwise have to search for and install separately.
If you’d like a primer on starting or upgrading your WordPress site, check out this guide.
By now you’ve at least explored the concept of creating a website that shows your brand at its best, and forms the foundation of conducting commerce through cyberspace. And since the ultimate goal is to make your site viewed and read by as many people as possible, you’ll need to learn how to crack the code of becoming search engine optimized. The balancing act of utilizing search-optimized syntax and offering readable, relatable, and compelling verbiage can be a challenge. Ultimately, though, it can make or break your success as an ecommerce merchant.
Do you feel as if you can’t keep up with current best practices and trends influencing site engagement? You’re not alone. It’s not a simple task, but it needn’t be prohibitive. Thanks to generous experts, the web is rife with outstanding resources on every aspect of SEO for operations of all sizes.
Put yourself in the shoes of a prospective customer and spend some time evaluating what it is about online merchants you’ve shopped in the past. What was great about their presence? Their interface? What made you shy away from navigating around a particular entity’s page? These basic first-hand experiences can help you set up a presence that works for you.
Leveraging User-Generated Content
Successful merchants hype the concept of “word-of-mouth advertising” It’s hard to dispute the value of satisfied customers singing your praises to other potential clients, and making it an element of an overall marketing strategy is a win-win. But in the digital era, there are greater opportunities to engender positive input from people who are giving a thumbs-up to people they don’t even know.
Through social media and review sites, happy clientele can boost your rankings in search engines and make your brand become known to millions. The mining of user-generated content is recognized as equally important to your outreach through advertising, website excellence, and devoting countless hours to employing search engine optimization’s best practices.
And it works.
An oft-used example is the now infamous Coca Cola Co’s clever bottle labels that featured common first names. Consumers went wild for the homey idea, snapping images of themselves imbibing with a personalized bottle. That viral campaign cost the corporation absolutely nothing, and generated a windfall of invaluable advertising.
If you’re not a Fortune 500 mega-corporation, you’re not alone. The rest of us need to expend more elbow grease into successfully employing user-generated content. Organic customer input doesn’t fall in your lap, but it’s not that difficult to find.
If you’re like most small business owners, you understand the importance of SEO. But when it comes to implementing this important strategy, it can be hard to know where to turn.
After all, you’re an entrepreneur— not a technology wizard. The rules seem to change more often than you change your socks. And if you’re not quite ready to hire an expert to figure it out for you, you may be struggling to figure out on your own.
So, what are some easy strategies you can implement today to improve your search engine ranking and gain more business?
Optimize Keywords for RankBrain
When it comes to SEO, most are well aware that using the right keywords is essential. Every piece of content on your website should begin with keyword research to determine the common phrases your potential customers are searching for.
RankBrain has changed the game a bit. Google uses this artificial intelligence algorithm to deliver search results based on search intent and user feedback. And because RankBrain can understand what words mean, it’s more in tune with what users are looking for when completing an online search.
This algorithm strongly ranks content based on Latent Semantic Indexing, or LSI, keywords. These include any words or phrases that are strongly associated with your chosen topic. This might sound complicated, but never fear. Finding such keywords to include in your content is as easy as a simple Google search.
For example, if your topic is home décor, simply type “home decor” into Google and scroll to the bottom of the page to the related searches. This section reveals common search phrases associated with home decor, giving you examples of LSI keywords:
Remember when writing was somewhat pedestrian and simple? When presenting compelling and provocative prose to draw audience attention was solely a factor of how you string sentences together? You can suspend that, at least partly. Key in a migration of communications from print to digital is the necessary intrusion of technology, which means wording sentences and ideas in a way that they are captured and rechurned through algorithms on search engines.
But it’s possible that the race to tap into somewhat robotic Search Engine Optimization (SEO) may be a bit premature. There are still arguments to be made for focusing on the human target as opposed to a reliance on converting your input to a system that delivers ordered results.
By now you’re envisioning your 9th grade composition teacher’s pleas to embrace a conversational voice. Turns out there’s still a solid argument for that, because the predominant search entity, Google, still evaluates text for its readability and adherence to rules of approachable writing.
Here’s a rather protracted guide of how Google attempts to legitimize and rank search criteria.
High on Google’s list is a reputation-based evaluation. How trustworthy is the source? How much expertise does the writer have? Low-quality submissions that are not verifiable will be ranked lower.
And make no mistake about it: Google employs human beings to assess these things.
Whether you’ve been doing business online for 5 years or 5 minutes, you’ve probably utilized some form of content marketing to reach potential customers. It’s all the rage these days, and it’s easy to see why.
After all, a consistent output of quality content has immense potential. It has the power to grab prospects’ attention, gain their trust, and elevate you as an authority in your niche - which, if you’re doing it right, leads to increased sales, a loyal customer base, and more money in your pocket. (Cha-ching!)
Perhaps you’ve focused on social media; on likes and shares and building a community to promote your brand. Or perhaps you’ve found your efforts better spent on growing your list and creating killer email sequences to get people clicking and buying. Maybe you’ve found success in blogging, in reaching people through original, thought-provoking written content. Or, if you’re like most business owners, it’s likely a combination of all of the above.
Last year, many SEO experts looked at the upcoming changes to Google’s method of ranking websites.
The most notable trends were:
Let’s explore what each trend means as well as 10 ways to boost your SEO strategy.
Responsive Sites Aren’t Mobile-First
Mobile-First Indexing is Google’s answer to one of the biggest substantial swings in recent consumer behavior.
In 2018, 57% of all traffic is from mobile devices. Ranking will now focus on mobile sites not desktop sites. It’s not enough to have a smartphone and tablet friendly responsive site. It’s now essential to be mobile-first for better ranking.
Maintaining SEO, or search engine optimization, during a website redesign is tricky to handle. Search engines are constantly scouring the web for updates to content, making it important to manage changes and stay relevant.
Usually during a website redesign, code and pages are altered. This makes it vital to properly handle the updates to your website so SEO and growth are not affected negatively.
Let’s take a look at 6 quick tips you can use to stay on top of your SEO while undergoing a redesign.
1.Create a URL Backup
A lot of the changes that are made during a redesign affect your website’s URL re-structure. With all of the work you’ve already put into SEO, don’t risk losing your standing: The URL structure of your website can be easily downloaded through plugins, such as the updated sitemap on the Yoast SEO plugin. This creates a backup, just in case there is an issue with the new changes.
2.Use a Temporary URL
Under the same premise as the first tip, completing your redesign on your existing website can cause problems. The best way to avoid visitor and other potential issues is to set up a copy of your site under a temporary URL.
Doing this also allows you to check the status of your current website and make sure that it is fully optimized – you can review broken links, features, and update your CSS.
Once the redesign changes are complete, you can switch the domain or update your website with your new changes.
Considering the grueling hours you poured into building a website that works for you and represents your business in its best possible light (or the dollars you spent paying someone else to do it), the last thing you want to envision is a lack of interest among actual visitors. But it’s a thing, and it happens more often than not. If you’re honest with yourself, you’ll admit that you have done it many times in the past—followed a link to a site and then simply moved on.
In the vernacular of web commerce, that’s called a “bounce.” Cute word, but it’s something we hope to avoid. And stat collectors measure the frequency of these in the form of bounce rates. The higher your bounce rate, the more you may want to take note, and figure out what you can do to retain first-time or regular visitors.
It goes without saying that ecommerce merchants are far more affected by bounce rates than conventional businesses who happen to have a web presence. Your business lives or dies by engagement and ordering. Here are ways to measure your bounce rates, and tips on how to reduce them.
If you host your website on a WordPress CMS, you may or may not be aware of the enormous supply of valuable plugins that you have access to. With more than 55,000 plugins available for seemingly everything about your website, it can be very tricky to identify the most ideal options for improvement. Here, we’ll highlight the five plugins most valuable for satisfying and managing SEO needs.
First, let’s start with big-picture, all-in-one plugins.
It’s hard to talk about WordPress SEO plugins without looking at Yoast SEO. Since 2008, it’s been available as an all-in-one solution for improving SEO, with a variety of tools and features geared toward pushing sites toward the top of the search results. It includes templates to ensure you’re correctly handling titles and meta descriptions, while also helping to focus in on writing SEO-friendly content. A favorite feature is its snippet preview, which allows you to see how your pages appear in search results, before publishing them. Additional content is available through Yoast SEO Premium.