“How soon you can rank my products on Google?”
Question was not new for me. But I was stuck for a moment when a lady of new E commerce start-up revealed me of her expectations.
I started searching for a convincing answer and before I explain she laid me down again with,”How much should I spend in Digital media?”
In contrast I was convinced that, any answers that I’ll give will go in vague, until and unless I don’t elaborate her first on digital marketing trends & concepts.
US e-retailer market for the first time blew past with more than $300 billion thresholds in 2014.
US National Retail Federation trade group revealed its economic forecast and projected retail sales, excluding automobile, fuel and food-service sales to increase by 4.1% in 2015 and also shown its expectations on non-store sales category to soar between 7% to 10%.
Now let me share how these figures were made possible by “digital marketing” and “digital attribution channels”.
“E-commerce being the quick & scalable money model-& hence convinced the top notch investors to pump-in
I know like mine your gadgets are also flooded with discounts and offers. Start-ups and brands are pumping money on huge ATL and BTL activities.
Google’s listing are now become more attractive with PLAs. And apart from paid listings; goals of all brands are to shift their listings higher and higher in the organic SERPs.
I am not a huge fan of Adwords investments; it’s just like pumping petrol on fire. As soon as you will stop investing you will extinguish your traffic flame.
On the contrary by making yourself to rank on Google organic listing; you have the possibilities in-hand
to harvest traffic in the longer run.
Although it’s obvious that to get maximum business out of the market you need to establish a firm balance in your paid, content & organic marketing strategies.
I generally opt for equal budget attribution and these variables are subject to change based on soars of organic channels.
Organic # SEO but also refers to content marketing, content outreach, PR distribution, Leadership promotion & influencer outreach, referral networking & brand building
Paid# Google Adwords but also refers to all CPC & CPM model campaigns
A lot has been published and discussed on forums for eCommerce growth hacking. Hence I’m not going to elaborate those common practices but in-contrast covering major points which are normally overlooked.
On-page Optimization & SEO Analysis
As a SEO Consultant I cannot suggest to give cold shoulders when it comes to On-page Search Engine Optimization. On-page changes are widely mistaken and holds no thumb of rule for perfect optimizations.
Even though below are some awesome researches and tips you must known.
On page optimization starts with Keyword Research.
On-page optimization of any website starts with the keyword research and for E-commerce you might not have many options left for keyword variations.
Even though you must have concrete plan of your goals and you should have clear understanding of the terms that you are planning to promote and target.
Login to Adwords account, locate “Tools” and click on “Keyword Planner”.
For the sake of post and understanding let’s assume that you are selling “Wind Instruments” and start your search by entering this term on “Your product or services” and hit “Get Ideas”.
Again hit “Keyword Ideas” at the middle of the screen and you will see some set of keywords & suggestions, and it’s bit obvious that you will like to go with “Wind Instruments” as it has three times more searches than “Wind Instrument” (Singular variation).
I am not saying that targeting singular phrases will not rank you for plural keywords, but by targeting right keywords you can harness maximum search potentials and traffic bit easily.
Also evaluate whether “brass wind instruments”, “Chinese wind instruments” and others makes sense for your business.
For better clarity on keyword research I have already published a post; must check 9 Ultimate Keyword Research Junctions-Long Tail & Semantic Keyword Research Guide
Product is same but have search variations, so how will you use these keywords for your on-page optimization processes?
Don’t worry for better clarity I have explained the same at upcoming points
Competition Analysis- To understand What works
Before we move ahead it’s important to understand that different keywords have different levels of competition and whatever worked for you might not work for me.
Even though you need a ground to start and here comes the role of competition analysis into play.
Find some of your leading competitors who have good online stand on Google.
For the sake of post I am taking the example of bbcshop.com; lets analyze “Audio Books” section of bbcshop.com for on-page optimization.
Google site:bbcshop.com “audio books and you will notice set of pages which are equivalent to “audio books” and on the basis of these populated results you can identify the themes on which you can lay down your on-page foundations.
Inference of the above research: You may wish to cover the topic-
- Audio & Audio Books
- Children, Kids & Family Audio Books
- Doctor Audio & Talking Books
- Learning language Audio Books
Apart from this you can also note down the presentation of keywords in the Title of Webpages.
This is the beginning.
Follow these steps for all your keywords and try to cover at-least 5 websites which have strong online presence & popularity.
Now lets cover best practices of Image Optimization in the next point. This is something by which you can manage your singular & plural search variation.
Image Optimizations on E-commerce Portal
Before I explain the best practices of Image optimization, allow me to explain it’s benefits first-
- Image optimization makes web-page more palpable, especially for search engine; and this holistic approach as a whole makes entire portal to rank higher in the search result.
- Apart from Organic search listings, it also helps to generate traffic from Image search results
- It allows you to replicate the importance of webpages from some particular terms which are sometime not possible to mention across the webpage
“Alt” tag visible below covers almost entire image optimization attributes & this is the tag around which you can play to make your product and images more search engine friendly.
So How to optimize?
- Use descriptive alt tag for your images; for example- alt=”Golden Chinese Wind Instrument at Store”; by this you can not only cover your singular & plural variations but also you can help the search engine to understand the product and pages
- Smartly choose the names for your images; for example instead of DCMOMAGE4.jpg use the terms which actually describes your product
- Note that the size of images must not affect your web-page load time; For more detail please check 5 Easiest Way to Optimize Load time & gain SEO benefits & Designing On-page Optimization structure
Duplicate content & Title Tag Optimization
Title is something which appears on the top of browser and visible on Google SERPs; this is an important on-page element and adds surplus ranking benefits, if optimized properly.
<title>Best Title for My Ecommerce Web Page</title>
This is something which is very descriptive and holds no one-size-fit rule to create best optimized title tag.
But for me best titles must have these factors-
- Title helps search engine to understand major theme of your webpage, hence your major “keywords” and “terms” must be incorporated at your tag.
- Title is visible at Google SERPs, and this is something which drives CTR, so wisely choose and create very compelling title.
- Google displays upto 55 “Title-characters” in SERP, so try to limit your creativity around 55-60 characters. This is again not a rule as sometime Google picks title from the content.
- Titles are now query dependent in 2015, so don’t worry if your embedded title are not populated in SERPs
- In case you are brand, try to leverage your brand name in the Title, as this can positively impact your CTR
- Being the first point of communication, Title defines entire user experience so it’s vital to add Emotional impact and readability.
Meta descriptions & keywords are now obsolete and holds no ranking signals; but again, descriptions are something which are visible on SERP and helps to drive CTRs. So usability & SEO Consultants strongly recommend to create compelling description tag.
Again I’ll suggest to analyze the search results and I am sure you can get maximum ideas and creativity out of there.
And at any stage if you have problem handling “Out of stock product” from SEO perspective, then you must check Ecommerce Do’s & Don’t- Handling Out of Stock Products.
Wrapping it Up
For me website ranking is not the goal; goal is visitors coming to the website and making transactions; and believe me great UX strategy is only possible when you know your customers. Check out this to understand websites UX-user experience components.
Google ranks valuable, useful and helpful pages.
To get ranking you need to be the best among all results; not just in-terms of on-page & off-page optimizations but also in terms of quality deliverables- “that is making users to stick and convert from the source”.
And the key ingredients are: highest quality of content, highest trusted authority, great user interface & great product and service.
This post was highly focused on on-page optimizations & at my upcoming post I’ll cover link popularity mechanism; so stay connected.
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