A message to ecommerce merchants: your diligent efforts to run a thriving business and gain satisfied customers may pay off in a way you’d never imagined, by just putting one strategy to use.
By now, collecting and publishing customer reviews is a household concept. Studies show that consumers making a first-time purchase decision often divert their eyes automatically to the review score, even if they do it subconsciously. This might not be a fair measure of a product or service, but get used to it. It’s here to stay.
But there’s something you haven’t considered, and it is a big deal. Customer reviews posted on your site will improve your SEO (search engine optimization) rankings. Algorithms in Google alone show how advantageous that can be.
When customers offer detailed reviews of a product, they may include a specific word string of the function or features of their purchase. Example: “I was searching for a good wireless mouse that would pair with my keyboard for smooth operation” just happens to be a keyword string that registers. The phrase “good wireless mouse” reflects a common search phrase that potential buyers enter into a search engine. Boom. You’re there.
Want some motivation to give this a try? Here are stats collected by Brightlocal.com:
How to hook buyers with a high-converting websitE
Far from the days when advertising was limited to an alphabetical listing in the Yellow Pages, or a pricey newspaper display ad, the modern era of internet-based commerce opens up untold opportunities to harness technologies and reach customers without emptying the bank account. Strategic coding formulations now digitally link sellers to buyers who may be poking around cyberspace to find just the right purchase.
But with a sea of competition, bringing your business to the attention of consumers whom you know you can satisfy is not enough. You need engagement. That requires turning a look into a sale. It’s called a conversion.
When you convert searches and page views into a proactive behavior, you begin the process of earning a customer. The critical part is learning how to use your web page to convert as many customers as possible. And here’s how to do that.
Recently, we were talking to a colleague and everything was about driving traffic to their site. And all I could think as we had this conversation was that traffic isn't everything. It's great, don't get me wrong, but if traffic doesn't lead to sales, is it really worthwhile?
Nope. Not really.
And it got me thinking about how to turn traffic into conversions. And as I was trying to put together a post about exactly that, I came across an article on Search Engine Watch that is precisely what I was looking to convey. So instead of rewriting, I'm going to send you all to their site to read more about the small things we can do to turn traffic into sales.
How to Increase Conversions: Ideas, Tools, Examples
I think there's a lot here that we can put into use almost right away to create an uptick in conversions -- which is really the whole point, right?
Optimizing for voice searches is a great new strategy
Let’s face it: Gen-Xers are masters at pounding out text, rapidly, on the tiniest of device keyboards. The rest of us stumble through frustrating errors, many of which launch hilarious misfires thanks to autocorrect. But there’s nothing silly about understanding that voice control will continue to permeate the computer use experience for all groups.
The mercurial rise of digital voice assistants on smartphones and—most recently, lovely Alexa from Amazon—is a good indicator that we’re moving into an era that is at least partly keystroke free. And why not? It’s quick, convenient, and increasingly accurate. What merchants are discovering is that it can also be profitable.
Think it’s a longshot? Fasten your seatbelt. OC&C Strategy Consultants recorded a month of sales rates for 2,000 Amazon-posted products, and found that voice-powered devices and products totaled $1.8 billion in domestic retail revenues in the year 2017. They predict that number will increase to $40 billion by 2022.
Big players such as Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Apple have jumped ahead of the game to integrate voice searching on their platforms. The most searched brands are ranked at the top for voice searches. Maintaining a presence on these seller sites, in conjunction with optimized voice search strategies, will put you far ahead of the game.
If the calendar hasn’t tipped you off to the upcoming holiday season, then a growing spate of TV commercials will. The retailers’ most prolific season seems to start earlier every year, and it’s never too soon to jump on board.
Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, and even Festivus—all these marquee events bring out the generosity and giving spirit in consumers worldwide. And as the ratio of onsite purchasing versus online sales continues to shift, it’s even more important to rev up for a hot holiday commerce opportunity.
You may have some sentimental ways to make your end-of-year sales period special, and that’s critical for your brand. But if you’re open to some tips from experts, pay attention to these specialized strategies.
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.