Ever since the smartphone became a thing, everyone and their cousins twice removed have used some form of e-commerce. But what exactly is it?
In a nutshell, we can say that any transaction conducted through electronic means, like the internet, is e-commerce. Something as simple as purchasing premium access for a streaming service (hello Netflix!) is e-commerce. And did you know that during 2017’s Black Friday Sale, Americans spent well over five billion dollars online?
In other words, e-commerce is big business. Four out of every ten purchases are now made online. Millennials already make 54% of their purchases on the interwebs, with the other generations making 49% of their purchases online.
These numbers all prove the same thing: as a business, you need to invest in your e-commerce. This means sprucing up your website to make sure everything is shipshape for your customers, so they won’t have any trouble navigating through your site. To do this, and increase your traffic in the process, you need to maintain good SEO practices. And as Jayson DeMers said: search engine optimisation is proven to have the biggest ROI amongst e-commerce campaigns.
Businesses should take advantage of this as fast as possible. But how?
It’s time to prioritise mobile views of your website…
Two years ago, the search engine that dominates 60% of all online searches (just in case it isn’t obvious for you, it’s the almighty Google) started to prioritise indexing the mobile version of websites. Google acknowledged how users were leaning towards using their phones while browsing, and they thereby dramatically altered the way they rank websites.
This means that loading speed, the readability of your content, meta data, and all other information about your website’s mobile version will be taken into account when deciding how high you appear on Google’s SERPs.
I think they made a rather good call here, considering that at the start of 2018 there were already more than 3.7 unique mobile users on the planet.
What should you remember for your mobile website?
- Avoid Flash, Popups and other software that might not be compatible with certain mobile devices. These can take forever to load, plus they are super annoying. Look pal, it’s 2019 – please don’t be that guy who still uses Flash.
- Ensure your content is clearly visible without your users having to zoom in to read.
- Always ensure that your links have some spaces between them, you don’t want them to appear so close that your users might select the wrong one.
Target longer keywords…
In short, choosing the right keywords means you’re making it easier for your target audience to reach your website. Always opt for specific rather than generic terms.
Interestingly enough, half of all searches in 2018 were at least four words long. This should tell you that customers very often have a clear picture of what they want to buy, and they only want to see results matching what they have in mind. Therefore, e-commerce websites should be targeting long-tail keywords as part of their SEO efforts, as this has the biggest chance of matching your customers’ intent.
Think up unique and eye-catching title tags…
Title tags, which are different from titles, are embedded in your site’s HTML code. These tags are what’s presented to the users on the SERPs – in other words, they’re clickable headlines that take the user to your page.
Always make sure that each title tag is unique. If crafted well, your title tag alone can increase the clickthrough rate of a certain page by 20%. But creating amazing title tags for each individual product can be hard work indeed, especially as products with the same manufacturer might have repeated tags.
Again, the key to solving this is to make use of key phrases instead of keywords, which make them more specific and will better fit each individual product.
Always focus on user experience…
When it comes to SEO, usability is one of the biggest factors for satisfying your visitors (and the almighty Google, too!). Focusing on usability will ensure that your previous customers are more likely to visit your website again for their future expenditures.
It takes less than 0.05 seconds for your users to form an opinion about your website; make sure it’s a good one.
Remember to interlink within your own domain…
Interlinking is putting links on your page that leads to other, similar pages on the same website. This improves both rankings and sales, as users find it can help them when they’re looking for several items for a single purpose.
You can find excellent examples of interlinking on Amazon. Imagine you’re looking up tents on their website, after finding your tent you would see under “customers were also interested in” links to sleeping bags, mosquito repellent or other things that might prove helpful when braving Mother Nature.
Considering that Amazon accounted for 44% of all US e-commerce sales in 2018, it would be wise to emulate their best practices.
But hey, don’t forget social media!
Your main website is obviously where all the magic happens (or at least the actual transactions!), but it’s still imperative to look after your social media reputation. In fact, 84% of people who shop online admit to checking out social media profiles before making an actual purchase.
- Facebook accounts for 85% of all social media purchases
- 75% of people who saw a well-targeted ad on Instagram admit to take action immediately after seeing the post
- There are 1.45 billion active social media users who log in every single day, so it’s the perfect place to tap into potential customers.