12- Sep2017
Posted By: DPadmin
180 Views

Don’t follow the leader: Avoid these 5 common e-commerce SEO mistakes

Competitive research is an important part of any SEO program — after all, it’s a zero-sum game that we’re playing. However, there is often a tendency for companies to become fixated on what dominant competitors in the marketplace are doing. The assumption is that because they’re getting the most SEO traffic, they must be doing things right.

In many industries, it is true that the high SEO traffic sites really are doing an exceptional job. But in the world of e-commerce, this is often not the case. Many of the highest traffic e-commerce sites are doing things that are objectively bad for SEO. It turns out that a strong backlink profile and other prominent brand signals can make up for an awful lot of mistakes.

Getting things right for enterprise e-commerce SEO can be really challenging. You often have to merge very different sources of product data into a single system and make everything work. There are more pages than you could ever curate manually. And in most cases, SEO is not the largest driver of traffic and may have to take a back seat to other priorities. It’s tough.

Eventually, people are going to figure out how to address the issues that make e-commerce SEO so cumbersome and hard to scale. Sites that apply these new techniques will gain an advantage, and then everyone will race to copy them and this article will be outdated. I believe that point is still some years away.

Until then, there are opportunities to gain an SEO advantage over most of the major e-commerce players by simply avoiding their most common mistakes.

1. Faceted navigation disasters

When faceted navigation isn’t controlled, you can often end up with more category URLs, by orders of magnitude, than total products on the site. Clearly, something is wrong with that picture.

On the other end of the spectrum, you have companies that are so scared of creating too many pages that they noindex their entire faceted navigation or canonical everything to the root page. Doing this can prevent indexation of potentially valuable pages (usually ones with two or one attributes selected) and it still may not fix the crawl problems that their navigation poses.

There is a middle path, and few try to walk it. While fixing your filtered navigation is an entire topic of its own, a good starting point is to consider using dynamic AJAX sorting for thin attributes, so users can refine the product set without changing the URL.

2. Slow site speed

There is plenty of readily available data about the impact of site speed on conversion and bounce rates. A couple of seconds can make an enormous difference in user engagement. So why do retailers seem to be competing to load the most external scripts? The retail market is underinvested in speed and overinvested in lag-inducing features that often have marginal benefits and may even serve to overwhelm the user.

My experience is that the SEO benefits of page speed are not yet as substantial as the conversion optimization impact. With all the information Google is sharing about the user benefits of fast, streamlined sites, it’s only a matter of time until speed becomes a more prominent ranking factor. However, when UX impact is also taken into account, there’s no reason to wait.

3. Reliance on XML sitemaps for indexation

If there is one simple piece of SEO wisdom that every enterprise manager should remember, it’s that each page needs to have a crawl path to have a chance to rank for competitive queries. There are many unique and exciting ways (from the perspective of someone who is paid to fix websites) that sites are able to orphan a large percentage of their product or other important pages from their browsable architecture.

Possibilities include broken pagination, creating nearly infinite URL spaces, and any form of link generation logic that doesn’t systematically ensure that every product has a crawl path.

If you’re unsure about whether you have an adequate crawl path, crawl your site and see if all your important pages are showing up. If you are not able to do a complete crawl of your site, that means either that you have too many pages or you need a better crawler. If you have a very large site, you likely need help with both. And if you’re spending lots of time looking at the sitemaps dashboard in Google Search Console, wondering why your pages aren’t being indexed, it’s most likely because they don’t have a good crawl path.

4. Using tags completely wrong

Many e-commerce sites have conflicting tagging signals on their category pages and tagging structures that are suboptimal. I have seen at least two Fortune 500 owned e-commerce sites that were making all the pages on their site canonical to the home page, which is equivalent to telling Google that none of the other pages on the site have anything else to offer. I have seen more sites than I can count on one hand do their pagination tagging incorrectly, which is surprising, because it’s a plainly spelled-out specification.

I suspect that Google’s assumed omniscience sometimes hinders the careful adoption of standards. People think they can get it close enough and Google will figure it out. Sometimes they do. Sometimes they don’t. And sometimes, even if Google can figure out all your mistakes, it’s still a loss — especially if they are having to crawl extra pages to do so.

5. Ugly URLs

Here’s a thought experiment. Let’s set SEO aside for a moment and look at two different URLs that we might see in a SERP:

Site 1: www.madfancylad.com/c/armani-fedoras

Site 2: www.bromendous.com/search?product%20line=fedora&brand=Armani&REFID=23ghaWHY23093482

Which site seems more likely to make things easy for their shoppers, and which site seems more likely to make things easy for themselves? What kind of conscious and unconscious assumptions might a shopper make about each?

My experience is that short, clear and concise URLs tend to rank well and get more traffic than long, parameter-laden addresses. There are some correlational studies that support this observation. I don’t consider any of them definitive — but I know what I would choose to do for my site.

Source: Don’t follow the leader: Avoid these 5 common e-commerce SEO mistakes

11- Aug2017
Posted By: DPadmin
662 Views

10 Awesome Evergreen Content Ideas for E-Commerce Websites

Beef up your e-commerce website with evergreen content. Here are some great evergreen content ideas and inspiring examples to grow your traffic and sales.

E-commerce websites depend on conversions (lead and revenue generation) to survive. That’s why pushing out evergreen content is crucial for staying relevant today.

What is Evergreen Content?

Evergreen content is basically a piece of content that doesn’t rely on current trends to be helpful or be of interest to its intended audience. Simply put, evergreen content is informational or reference material that remains useful and relevant long after it’s been published on a site.

This kind of content is vital, especially for e-commerce websites that rely heavily on business sales to stay on top.

Take, for example, a site selling clothing and accessories. Shirt styles and dress designs may come and go, but product size charts and care instructions remain standard.

Related: Why You Need to Create Long, Evergreen Content

Investing in creating a pool of evergreen digital assets for any e-commerce website almost always result in a virtuous cycle of robust traffic generation. Given that these assets cover topic areas that are not time-sensitive, making it easier to scale visibility through organic search and continuously earned social sharing (and linking).

Ultimately, an evergreen content approach can put you in a position wherein your social followers, email subscribers, brand advocates, and sales can grow in number – almost automatically.

How to Create Evergreen Content for E-commerce Websites

Start by creating content based on keywords your target customers generally look for – such as “best bluetooth speakers” or “makeup tutorials.”

Do keyword research using Google’s Keyword Planner and Google Trends to identify topics that your target market constantly wants to learn about.

Google Trends 'Techncial SEO' Screenshot

Avoid presenting viewers with big blocks of pure text. Enrich your content with visualizations, such as infographics, visually appealing product images, and in-use photographs to generate more interest and keep readers scrolling to the end.

Present content in other formats (e.g. slide presentations and videos). People love these because they won’t have to read as much to get the information they need.

Know what your competitors are creating. Offer a better user experience and make your content a better reference for the same information (10x content). Add bonus tips, resourceful links, and other relevant information that will appeal to your audience.

Make sure your content is unique and comprehensive. Be as extensive and in-depth as necessary when providing product or industry knowledge. Make it your professional goal to have the best evergreen content about that topic to genuinely become an authority in your space.

Update your content if necessary, especially if you’re building lists and compiling tips.

Related: Cost-Effective Ways to Create Content and New Content Trends

To paint a better picture of what you can do to beef up your e-commerce website with evergreen content, here are some great evergreen content ideas and inspiring examples.

1. Useful Guides Related to Your Products & Categories

Instructional materials benefit not only users looking for information but also your SEO efforts. Guides provide a venue for you to insert keywords you want to rank for naturally.

EffottlessGent's Guide to Color Combinations

Take a look at this evergreen guide on clothing color combinations from Effortless Gent – see how it can be used all year long for different kinds of clothing?

2. Well-Designed Product Videos & Manuals

Product descriptions are good, but consumers also want to see how things work and look like, and how to use and care for them properly.

Sample Product Illustration

You would do well to include shareable product videos and user manuals in your e-commerce site, such as this video on the feature-filled Baubax travel jacket and this neat manual on the same product.

3. Product Size Charts

Size charts aren’t only useful for shoes, bags, and clothing; they also come highly recommended for sites selling tools, furniture, and other items where dimensions are relevant.

Take for example this size chart and buyer’s guide on choosing a snowboard from online retailer Evo.

4. Actionable Success Stories & Case Studies

“That’s nice, but does it really work?” This is one of the questions consumers usually ask before they get convinced to click that “Buy” or “Add to Cart” button.

To make it easier to convince potential customers, you can include success stories and case studies to your site.

You may have customers who have reviewed your product or shared how your product addressed their need – contact them and ask for details, and ask them for permission to share their story.

When sharing case studies and success stories such as this onefrom Shape.com, make sure to highlight how your product(s) helped in meeting your customers’ needs.

Shape.com Sample Case Study

When people with the same needs read about how others were able to find satisfaction or overcome challenges using your product, there’s a bigger chance that they, too, will purchase and use your product.

5. Industry-Specific Glossary

Niche markets would often have its own jargon or set of concepts, so it’s a big help to interested consumers if you have an industry-specific glossary on your site.

SaleHoo ecommerce Glossary

A prime example is SaleHoo’s glossary of e-commerce, wholesaling, and drop shipping terms.

6. Data-Driven Resources

Users like not having to switch from one website to another to get the information they need, so it’s up to you to research the info and collate it for them so they won’t have to leave your site.

There’s plenty of publicly available data (such as those from government websites) you can use to create content that will resonate well with your target market.

The Fastest Growing Industries in New Zealand per Region [MAP]

One example is this handy resource about working in New Zealand from moving company comparison and quotation site MovingPros.

Visual content – like infographics and other forms of visual guides – is another content format that e-commerce site owners and marketers can explore in sharing timeless stories/tips (take one Bid4Papers’ extensive visual guide to the most common spelling, grammar, and punctuation mistakes).

7. User Tips & Hacks for Products

Product hacks present interesting ways to maximize the use of an item, even something as simple as a binder clip.

Even those people who do not have the item shown in the hack would be enticed to buy one, and recommend the tips and tricks to friends.

Cook's Coffee Maker Hacks

It’s always an amusing and amazing experience to know about the many uses of a certain product, especially if the content comes with images and/or videos. Take a look at this article on coffee maker hacks to see what we mean.

8. Comprehensive Checklists

Traveling, cooking, DIYing? There’s a checklist for that – or there should be one – on your site.

If you sell outdoor gear, create a checklist on what every responsible camper should have.

If you’re offering auto repair services, make an extensive list of what car owners need to check or what should be in every car’s emergency kit.

Eagle Creek's Ultimate Travel Packing Checklist

As an example, here’s an ultimate travel packing checklist from Eagle Creek.

9. Curated Lists of Products, Services & Resources

Another way to add valuable content to your site and share some link love in the process is to curate lists of products, services, and web resources that complement your own offerings.

For example, if you’re selling art materials, make a list of online drawing tutorials, watercolor demos, and other resources.

CreativeLive's List of Photography & Videography Classes

CreativeLive did this by making a page containing various photography and videography topics, classes, and informative blog posts. Check it out here.

10. Be Effective

Be more than just creative, be effective!

LivingSpaces's Product Q&A Section

Even simpler additions to your product pages can turn them into evergreen content assets. Just see how LivingSpaces make each of their product pages helpful by including a Product Q&A section on these transactional pages.

Summary

These are some of the best evergreen content ideas you can use on your e-commerce website.

You can also answer reader FAQs and provide industry advice via how-to articles and lists of tips.

Making evergreen content allows you to essentially automate your sales and marketing efforts months or even years after your content first went live. So create and use it to maximum advantage!

Source: 10 Awesome Evergreen Content Ideas for E-Commerce Websites – Search Engine Journal