The advent of Covid-19 has rewritten the rulebook for retailers all around the world as consumers have turned from shopping in stores to moving onto...
Three SEO writing tips to drive traffic and increase sales
You can design the best website there is out there, but how can you make sure your store gets found? Here are three fundamental ways to implement SEO practices for e-commerce websites to boost traffic and increase sales.
What is SEO and why do you need it?
SEO refers to Search Engine Optimisation, a practice that helps improve website traffic by optimising content to be easily discoverable. Search engines such as Google uses bots also known as crawlers to find new and updated content to store in their database for indexing, then further ranked based on relevancy to search terms.
You may now have a shiny new website, glossy images and products all listed – now waiting for the money to roll in. The problem is, you can design the best website there is out there, but how can you make sure your store gets found? Google may be a resourceful tool but with infinite pages of results, your website is not guaranteed to be found – which is why you need to implement SEO practices. 85% of consumers begin their purchase journey on a search engine which proves the fundamental importance of being listed effectively on SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages).
Improving your page’s SEO is a long-term process itself, yet crucial for growth. Not only does it help your site become visible, but it can also draw traffic from new customers. Typically, Cost per Acquisition (CPA) in doing so can be expensive with other ad forms, but simply applying SEO best practices can be a low-cost marketing solution with no fancy plug-ins, add-ons or services needed if done by self to build organic traffic. Otherwise, a quicker route to the top can be achieved through Search Engine Marketing (SEM) by bidding with other competitors to be pinned as top featured results and charged on a pay-per-click (PPC) basis.
Three ways to improve your SEO
Before we get started – a quick and essential tip is to ensure your e-commerce site has HTTPS (Secure HyperText Transfer Protocol) enabled on your server, which essentially encrypts data e.g. form details and credit card information is secured as search engines favour secured sites and slightly boosts higher in ranking.
Another thing to bear in mind most importantly is that – not all search engines are equal. Google may be the frontrunner with four billion users (given that there are 4.39 billion internet users) and almost 70% of the search engine market has been monopolised by Google. However, other search engines also need to be considered such as Bing, Yahoo or other localised resources such as Baidu for China, Naver for Korea etc. Additional efforts can also be placed in other rising search engine platforms such as DuckDuckGo, a private browser, and EcoAsia, a search engine that plants trees per search.
At Techsembly, we’re strong advocates for localisation so always do your research beforehand to prioritise efforts by listing on search engines your target audience and markets are using.
1. Keyword Research
Begin by using a keyword research tool such as Google Keyword Planner, Semrush or Ahrefs to discover which terms competitors use, and what your consumers search for. You can also conduct a manual search on Google or whichever preferred platform and keep track of suggested keywords as a DIY method but you won’t have the data and analytics to support you, as opposed to the latter suggested.
Going by gut instinct is also not suggested because what and how you typically search for things may not be the same for others, especially in other countries that may be using different key terms. Whereas with keyword research tools, you can review search volume, trends, cost-per-click (CPC) rates etc., with additional recommendations to nail consumers’ search intent for effective conversion. Using the right keywords not only help search engines understand your page but also helps people find what they're searching for.
Keywords are also differentiated by short-tail and long-tail formats (e.g. gin v.s. gin for Christmas) where the latter consists of three to five words to enable more accurate and direct results. Understanding popular key terms can help you specifically formulate targeted and intent-based keywords for an effective reach and avoid bounce rates. Keyword research tools can help indicate search volume, keyword difficulty and any other related terms that can narrow down the search. Search engines favour those where users stay longer on-page, and will rank higher in relevance.
It is recommended to first prioritise the brand page for awareness and product pages with high margins to match consumers’ search, thus leading to quality traffic and better conversions.
2. Product Copy
Product copy is important as not only does it provide informational guidance but also helps convince consumers to purchase. Keep product copy short, descriptive and to the point under 300 words – not just for SEO purposes, but also for the sake of readership. Rather than just listing your product for what it is, use keyword tool platforms to help add on additional key terms within the URL, title tags (e.g. H1), image alt text and description to optimise your SEO.
Don’t just write out the features, but also list out the benefits it will give the buyer from purchasing your product. First, you helped users find what they're looking for - now inform them and prompt a purchase decision with informative and accurate descriptions that will improve their lives with your product. Turn passive descriptions and features into life-transforming benefits.
You can solicit a copywriter for marketing speak but also keep it simple and not overly decorated to enable easy search terms for transactional purposes. The goal is to have the relevant key terms for the product page to appear as a direct answer to a consumer’s search enquiry. However, one thing to note is to avoid using manufacturer’s descriptions as many vendors will equally use the same copy on repeat as search engines less favour duplicated content. Create unique SEO product descriptions as duplications may not get recognised and flagged by search engines due to the volume of identical results.
Featuring consumers reviews and ratings not only helps with boosting credibility but also provides additional content on its own. Their feedback helps generate more keywords that align with your brand and product can help boost ranking in SERPs due to the density of the targeted keywords, enabling an increased clickthrough rate (CTR) due to better user intent match.
Ultimately, write for the buyers and not for the bots.
3. Consistent, Quality Content
Rankings take time to build up, but creating value-rich content such as videos, blog posts or social posts etc. can help raise brand awareness. Injecting popular keywords into content can match with consumers’ search requests and purchasing intent to drive conversion. The output of content is meant to be informative to assert credibility for consumers to slowly build trust in the brand and return as a purchasing consumer down the line.
Studies show the average person consumes around 100,000 words a day – excluding work material. Given that, the importance of writing simple and direct information to the point will assist in conversion. Within your website and content, you have meta tags which are information about your website in the form of HTML code snippets for search engine crawlers to recognise. Header tags, for example, help categorise and break up content for the reader, but also maximise your search engine placement. Essentially headers categorised as H1, H2, H3 etc. will enable crawlers to rank each header by importance to improve search results.
Meta descriptions also need to be filled, which describes and summarises the content of your page under the page title result within a SERP. Tying up all of the above tactics mentioned above, you can optimise search results by tailoring the titles, meta descriptions and H1’s to customise by different search enquiries to boost higher relevancy. Images are also not to be neglected and each should be labelled with image alt text to explain what each image is for SEO purposes. The standard format is to include the primary keyword, action words and a compelling USP (e.g. free shipping, award-winning etc) to be more compelling than competitors for a successful CTR.