Traffic to your website can be hard to get, so make sure visitors convert as much as possible
Implementing quality site search can improve conversion rates by 5–6x. Including elements such as CTAs and a system that corrects spelling errors can have a significant impact
Think about category pages, like aisles, and sub-categories such as shelves within those aisles
Breadcrumbs not only enhance user experience, but can also help improve search engine rankings by helping search engines understand your site structure and relevancy.
Many estimates put the number of ecommerce websites at over 12 million. This is a large number of websites that offer a wide range of products and services. Businesses face many challenges when trying to get traffic to their sites. It is important that they convert as soon as possible.
It doesn’t really matter what the rest of your website looks like, if the pages on the commercial side aren’t up to scratch, you could be losing leads.
We mean any page that generates revenue. This includes product pages, service pages, category pages, and checkout pages. Even a small change can make a big difference in the revenue generated by these pages.
Would you have thought that adding a video to product pages would increase users’ likelihood of adding a product to cart by 144 percent?
This article will discuss five ways that ecommerce websites can increase their traffic and, most importantly, convert more customers. Let’s start with the most important and under-appreciated.
1. Prioritise your site search
According span styling=”font-weight 400 ;”>, 30 percent of ecommerce customers use the site search. This engagement indicates a higher level in purchasing intent and should be capitalized on. Why?
These searchers are known to have a higher level of buying intent than average visitors who don’t use site searches. They’re 5-6x more likely convert.
A tool that could increase conversion rates by 5x would make someone extremely rich. However, the tool would also be very expensive. This is instead found on almost all site builds but it’s not used in most cases. Even though site search optimization has resulted in conversion rates increases of 43 percent.
How can you optimize search functionality?
Include a CTA (call-to-action) in your search bar. This will encourage users to search or just explain what the bar means for users who are more advanced. Here are some examples of major online brands:
Source : Depop
Source : ebay
They are encouraging the user to use the bar by educating them in the first sentence of each one. These also provide information about what they offer beyond products. It’s great copywriting, and the eBay example supports the brand’s character. You can buy and sell any product you like there.
Misspellings can also be handled by a great site search. A website might list items as “red shirt”, but many people will simply search for “red shirt”. You’re losing sales if your site search doesn’t display the same products for both.
Also, you want to ensure that new searches or applying filters don’t create indexable URLs. You can test this by running a search on your site and then looking at the URL for the search string. This is basically the URL that was before you searched. Copy this URL into Google to see if the pages are being indexed/show up in the search engine result page.
You might find that each search is being saved to a new page for every query (which we have seen many times before), which could lead to huge crawl bloat. Search engines such as Google have a very short attention span. It is not your intention to distract them by irrelevant pages such as these, so ensure you do not index them.
Flexible options such as Fact Finder, Doo Finger and SLI Systems offer flexibility that works out of the box. These options are ideal for small businesses with limited resources. Elastic Search and Solr, which are open-source options that can be used for more functionality in larger companies, are great choices. However, they require significant work. They can be completely bespoke but it can be overwhelming for businesses that don’t have the resources or time.
2. Plan B is for products that are out of stock
Online sales of most products are limited. Every product is susceptible to running out of stock, regardless of how much stock you have. This is part of ecommerce and can often be a sign that a product is selling well. However, you need to have a plan in place for when it happens.
A potential sale can easily end when the customer sees that the product is out of stock. The best ecommerce shops will realize that this doesn’t necessarily mean the end of a customer’s journey. Just because a product isn’t in stock doesn’t mean it can’t be purchased on another.
Even if the usual meat feast pizza that you used to buy online is not available, it doesn’t necessarily mean you aren’t eating pizza anymore. You’d rather look for similar meaty pizzas from another brand. This same mindset is applicable to other products.
You should first consider the importance of related products on pages other than stock. John Lewis offers this example:
Source : John Lewis and Partners
The outdoor set is currently out of stock. However, they immediately suggest similar products to satisfy the customer’s needs. It’s also important that they are high up on the page. People may quickly click away if they see that a product they are interested in is not in stock. Having similar products at the top of the page means you have a better chance of getting their attention before they leave.
You should include related products as well as a communication channel with customers so they can be reached when the product is back in stock. It is not enough to assume that customers will remember your website and visit it again in a few weeks. They’re more likely to find the product elsewhere and then give you their money.
Although they can still look elsewhere, you can ask for their email address to communicate directly with them for marketing purposes and let them know when the product is available. This allows you to not only draw customers back to your page for purchase but also lets you sell more products via email.
If a product is no longer in stock, and you don’t plan on restocking it, consider removing it form your sitemap. If you have a 2018 calendar for sale, it may be out of stock. It is very unlikely that they will come back in stock. This would allow search engines to ignore it and instead concentrate on the pages you want Bing and Google to see.
3. Create a category structure that makes sense
A considered and effective category/sub-category structure is essential for online stores. This helps search engines and users understand your products and most important pages.
Customers would search blindly for the items they want if there weren’t aisles in supermarkets. There wouldn’t be any structure or space to take initiative. Instead, there are frozen aisles and canned aisles. Fresh aisles allow you to find fresh peppers or french fries. There are shelves that can help you narrow down your search once you’re in the aisle. While there wouldn’t likely be a tomato aisle in this aisle, a shelf with tomatoes in the fresh aisle makes perfect sense.
Think about category pages as aisles, and sub-category pages as shelves within those aisles when working with an online shop. This should make shopping online as easy as possible.
Take stock of your largest categories and zoom in on them to find your sub-categories. You may not have enough products for a sub-category.
Toby Dean is the Associate Director of SEO for Add Person . He believes that “a rule of thumb” states that “if you have more than 25-30 products within a category, it may be a good idea to sub-categorise it down to increase relevance, rankings, and UX.”
Customers will not look at page 9 of a category page like they do with Google search results. Customers will be able to find the right products by using sub-categories. This might look something like this for a clothing shop:
Clothing > Men > Jumpers
These are equivalent to a supermarket with all their food in one aisle. Good luck finding what you are looking for in that space!
4. Include breadcrumbs
Breadcrumbs shouldn’t be on every product or category page. These breadcrumbs show the user’s journey, from the root category page to the current page. As an example, suppose you were looking at a product page for a rollneck jumper. You might see “Clothing> Men> Jumpers> Roll Neck Jumpers” near the top.
Each one should be clickable so that the user can go back as far as they want. This greatly improves navigation and allows users to quickly “turn around” and return to the original path. This increases conversions and decreases bounce rates.
Habitat An online furniture retailer, uses this technique to great effect on their pages:
Source : Habitat
It also assists in transferring link equity across all pages from a search engine perspective. Google will be more likely to consider a page important if it detects more internal links. Including breadcrumbs will allow you to link to multiple pages at once. This will allow them to quickly understand your website structure, which will make it easier for you to rank for relevant keywords.
These tips don’t require a whole section, but they could be key to increasing traffic and conversions.
Add trust points and reviews to product pages
BrightLocal’s survey found that 91% of consumers aged 18-34 trust online reviews more than personal recommendations. Your product pages should contain reviews and testimonials of customers.
Sell to customers with photos and videos
Now, shoppers expect more than one product photo. Shoppers want to view the product from multiple angles, in different uses, and in both a video and photo format. A study showed that shoppers who saw video on product pages were 144% less likely to add the product to their shopping cart.
Add filters to pages.
Although some ecommerce platforms offer this basic feature, many others don’t. Keep this in mind when creating filters for your products. A size filter may be required for websites that sell shoes. A vegetarian-friendly filter may be required for websites that sell food. No matter what niche you are in, every page should be able to sort by price or ratings.
Optimized copy is essential for ecommerce pages after a Google update caused some websites to lose their rankings. You can attract organic traffic by using keywords that match the intent of your customer and convert them while they are there. This will allow you to satisfy search engines while also proving you are relevant to their searches.
Think brand-focused web pages
If you are getting lots of brand-specific searches and interest, it may be worth creating a page dedicated to that brand and connecting all relevant products to it. This will establish your relevancy in these searches and allow you to collect all the relevant products.
Matthew Rogers, Head of Campaign Management at Add People in Manchester is a 14-year veteran of marketing. He is also a member of the Click Z Collective Advisory Board.
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Search Engine Watch’s first post, Five Must-Haves for a Conversion-Proofing Ecommerce Website appeared first on Search Engine Watch.