When it comes to increasing brand awareness and driving sales, many e-commerce businesses turn to paid search or social ads to reach their audience. What most don’t know, or often forget, is that organic search is the second biggest source of traffic for e-commerce websites (after direct search), and the winners are those who are able to rank high on Google search results pages (SERPs).
SERPs are the pages on Google that list websites most likely to be useful or contain information relevant to a search query, the higher your website is at the top of a SERP, the better. We often tell our clients that your SERP ranking is your shop’s digital storefront. A high-ranking site is like a store located amongst high foot traffic, with an eye catching and appealing storefront, while a low-ranking site is a store that is hard to find unless you know the exact address.
A holistic SEO (search engine optimisation) strategy can help improve your SERP ranking and increase e-commerce conversions in the long-term, all without the ongoing costs of paid advertising. While there are many SEO tactics to consider, here are a few of our favourites that can give your site a boost in 2021.
1. Prioritise user experience
User experience (UX) refers to the experience a user has when interacting with your website including efficiency and ease of use. An indicator of good UX is a low bounce rate, and a high average of ‘time spent on page’ – these are all things Google takes into consideration when determining SERP rankings!
A slow page load speed, confusing information architecture, and an interface that is not mobile friendly, all make for a negative UX and should be reviewed as part of an SEO strategy.
2. Adhere to the three-click rule
Speaking of UX, a good e-commerce site should be organised in a way that guides users from the homepage to the intended product page in less than three clicks. Not only does this make your site easy to navigate for users, but it also makes it easier for Google to crawl and index your site (technical speak for when the search engine discovers and assesses the web pages of your site and processes the content so that it can be searched for).
Having your product pages three or less clicks away from the homepage also concentrates your link authority. Since your homepage likely has the highest authority (and ability to rank) it can pass authority to other nearby pages through links. The further a page is from the homepage; the less authority is passed, so keeping your project pages as close as possible improves their chances of ranking on SERPs.
3. Answer FAQs
How often should I water my indoor plants? What is the weather like in Perth in July? There are hundreds of frequently asked questions (FAQs) for each product category. Identifying the FAQs with the highest search volume within your category and including them within your page content can help improve your SERP ranking. You might even land the highly coveted Google ‘snippet’ spot, located at the very top of the results page.
Content that directly answers FAQs also have a high likelihood of containing long tail keywords (keywords that are more like a phrase than a bunch of disjointed words). Long tail keywords are commonly searched for through ‘voice search’ which has become increasingly popular over the past few years.
4. Attract your local audience
If you’re a business with a brick-and-mortar store, you might want to include your location so that users know they have the option to access your products and services in person as well as online. We suggest ranking for location focused keywords (e.g., custom hats Thornbury), for each suburb or state that you have a store in.
Even if you do not have a physical store, ranking for the city you are based in can help give customers an idea of shipping times and costs, making you an attractive option for local residents. Learn more about local SEO here.
5. Target consumers who are ready to convert
If you already know a thing or two about SEO, you know how important it is to rank for relevant keywords. But not all keywords will have an equal impact on your bottom line. If your goal is to increase sales, you’ll want to consider the search volume for each keyword (the more popular the keyword you’re ranking for is, the more people your site will appear in front of), as well as who is searching for it.
Each group of keywords can be assigned to a specific stage of the sales funnel. For example, broad keyword phrases such as ‘best gaming laptops 2021’ are likely to be searched for by users in the discovery stage of the sales funnel, while product-specific keywords like ‘Asus ROG Zephyrus G1’ are likely to be searched for by users who have done the research and are ready to make a purchase. Ranking for keywords targeting the latter stages of the sales funnel are more likely to give you the sales you want.
These are just a fraction of the SEO tips we have up our sleeve. Consult with our SEO specialists for more information on how you can get your site ranking high on SERPs and improve e-commerce sales in 2021.