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How To Make Your Own Ecommerce Strategy

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How To Make Your Own Ecommerce Strategy

As an online store, you drive traffic online. This means that, when people search for products or services related to what you sell, you want your business to appear in their search results. Enter ecommerce SEO.

Read on to learn more about ecommerce SEO, why it’s important, how to create an ecommerce SEO strategy, and discover tools that will help you with your process.

What is ecommerce SEO?

Ecommerce seo is the process of making your online store visible in search results so that people doing searches related to what you offer are likely to come across your website. An optimized ecommerce site is more likely to rank highly in SERPs and drive organic traffic.

Ecommerce SEO is important because 60% of people research a brand online before making a purchase. When your site is optimized, they’ll be able to find your product pages in search results and learn about what you offer. When people can find your site and learn about what you offer, they’re also more likely to make a purchase.

This type of SEO is not that different from general SEO. Still, you will focus your efforts on optimizing your site to benefit your products, like writing high-quality and keyword-rich product descriptions.

Ecommerce SEO Strategy

1. Keyword Research

Your ecommerce SEO process should begin with keyword research for your site, especially for your product pages.

This research will help you learn the words most commonly used when people search for products related to your business. You’ll then want to use these keywords in the content on your site, so Google learns when to surface your website in SERPs and so searchers know what they’ll find on your page when they click.

The image below is a product page from Supergoop for one of its sunscreen products, Unseen Sunscreen. The brief product description uses keywords that people often search for when researching sunscreens: invisible sunscreen, scentless sunscreen, SPF 40.

supergoop

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You can also conduct keyword research based on your competitors to see what they’re ranking for that you aren’t. Ahrefs Content Gap Tool is a high-quality option for doing this, and you can enter the URLs for your competitors and get a full report.

2.On-page SEO

On-page SEO elements help search engines understand what’s on your site pages, like your content and HTML elements. These elements often include your keywords, so keyword research is always the first step.

1. Meta Titles

Meta titles are the headings you use to describe what’s on your page content. When you write them, you’d want to summarize the main topic of your page with a related keyword. The image below is an example from Shopify, an ecommerce platform for businesses, where the meta title describes exactly what the business is for: selling online.

shopify-May-13-2022-09-54-01-53-PM

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2. Meta Descriptions

Meta descriptions are snippets of text in SERPs that describe what’s on specific pages. It helps searchers assess if the page is relevant to what they are looking for. This summary is only visible in search results, and when writing them, you should include your target keywords.

The image below is an example of a meta description from Dollar Shave Club that reads, “Everything you need in the bathroom – from razor blades to grooming products – automatically delivered to your door. It doesn’t get any simpler than that.”

dollar shave club

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Within your meta descriptions, your ecommerce store can also greatly benefit from including reviews and star ratings for your products as it helps you build trust. You can do this by using review snippet schema markup.

3. URL Structure

Your URL structure refers to your subdirectories and slugs that categorize your website. Best practices are to keep your URLs simple, use relevant keywords, and always hyphenate your slugs.

The hierarchy of your URLs should be clear, so browsers and search engines know when your pages are getting more specific.  

Let’s take HubSpot URLs as an example. The HubSpot domain is hubspot.com.

If you’re researching HubSpot’s marketing software and its specific tools, the URL becomes hubspot.com/products/marketing, where

  • /products is a subdirectory
  • /marketing is a slug

Telling Google that /marketing is a product page that gets more specific. Then, if you’re interested in the social media management software, the URL becomes hubspot.com/products/marketing/social-inbox, where

  • /social-inbox is an additional slug for a specific tool within a specific product

4. Product Descriptions

Product and category descriptions clearly explain what your product is. When writing them, you want to include the keywords you’ve gathered in your research.

On the Social Media Management product page from HubSpot, the product is described using relevant long-tail keywords that people will often search, like publishing content, social media ROI, and monitoring social mentions.

5. Structured Data

Structured data is the code on your website that explains the content on your page to help with indexing. You want to add structured data markups to your product pages to ensure optimization.

Google has an entire database of product-related structured data for shipping information, offers, pricing, and product availability — really anything you need to sell your products. You can simply copy and paste it into your site’s schema markup, add your unique elements, and check if it’s valid using the Rich Results Test.

6. Images and Image Alt Text

All ecommerce websites should use high-quality images to display their products. While they help drive a sale, images with the right keywords and descriptive alt text can help you show up in search results and image packs.

For example, here’s an image from the WordPress website with the alt text “Devices showing the WordPress mobile app.” The alt text describes what’s in the picture, and the description allows it to show up in image search results for WordPress Mobile.

wordpress-May-13-2022-09-55-13-70-PM

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3.Technical SEO

Technical SEO is what makes your site run and easy to navigate. For ecommerce sites, focus on optimizing your website speed.

As you likely include a lot of text to describe your products, images to show off your products, and maybe videos for product demonstrations, your site can take a long time to load. Aim to compress all files on your site to ensure they can load fast enough that browsers aren’t frustrated and waiting for results. Conversion rates drop by an average of 4.42% with each additional second of load time, so this is critical.

You also want to make sure that your code is clean because it can impact load times. All SEO practices work in tandem, so using the correct structured data can help you ensure your code is clean and easy for bots to read.

4. Backlinks

Backlinks, also known as off-page SEO, are important for ecommerce sites as they drive traffic. Seek out backlinks from sources with positive reputations, are authoritative, and relate to what you offer.

Some popular strategies for getting backlinks are reclaiming unlinked mentions of your business, getting mentioned in listicles, and using high-quality images that sites can use to link back to your content.

A creative way to get backlinks for an ecommerce site is through collaborations with influencers or affiliates. They can promote your products and share links to your site with their audience.

5. Optimize For Mobile

Optimizing your ecommerce site for mobile is a must for your SEO strategy, as mobile devices generate about half of all global website traffic and 41% of web traffic.

Responsive mobile design is how you ensure your ecommerce site can adapt to whatever device a visitor uses. This means mobile buttons that resize, images and graphics that scale, typography, and text size — really anything that can change based on the size of someone’s screen.

Ecommerce SEO Audit

Your ecommerce SEO audit will monitor the same elements that make up your strategy. Running one is beneficial because you’ll get a checklist of improvements to make that will benefit your rankings once you finish.

Here are some questions you can use to guide yourself during your audit.

Keyword Research

  • Which keywords do you currently rank for? 
  • What keyword opportunities can you pursue?

On-Page SEO

  • Do you have descriptive meta descriptions? 
  • Are your meta titles related to your page content? 
  • Do your product descriptions use target keywords? 
  • Do your product descriptions clearly explain what you’re selling? 
  • Do your images have descriptive, keyword-rich alt text? 
  • Do you use product-specific structured data? 
  • Is your structured data valid by Google’s standards?

Technical SEO

  • What is your current page speed?
  • Are your images compressed?
  • Are your videos compressed?
  • Is your schema markup clean?
  • Has your site been indexed by Google?

Backlinks

  • What current backlinks do you have?
  • Are your current backlinks from authoritative sources?
  • What websites can you get backlinks from?
  • Do you have any unlinked mentions to claim? 

Mobile Optimization

  • Are your images scalable?
  • Are your graphics and vectors scalable?
  • Is your text scalable?
  • Does your website automatically respond to different device sizes?
  • Does your website pass the mobile optimization test?

Ecommerce SEO Tools

  • Keyword Planner is a free tool that helps you conduct keyword research for writing rich product descriptions. 
  • Google’s Mobile Optimization Test helps you ensure your site is responsive to screens of all sizes. 
  • PageSpeed Insights will tell you your site’s current speed and give suggestions on how to improve your score. 
  • Rich Result Test analyzes the structured data on your desktop and mobile site to ensure it’s valid for rich results. It tests specifically for Google SERP features. 
  • Squoosh to compress the image files on your website.
  • Ahrefs to conduct keyword research and analyze your competition. It’s a paid tool that also offers other high-quality SEO features for auditing your entire site, monitoring your rankings, and identifying opportunities to improve your rankings. 
  • SEMrush helps you find opportunities to strengthen your backlink profile and optimize your site for local SEO.
  • SEO Site Checkup is a full-service paid tool to help you test your meta titles, preview your site in Google SERPs, run responsive image tests, and create SEO-friendly URLs.

Over To You

Quality is the only SEO method that will get you anywhere, so make sure the information you put out there—whether on your own page or on directories and other publications—is the best possible quality you can provide. With the  methods outlined above, your ecommerce site will benefit from better SEO results.

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45 Free Content Writing Tools to Love [for Writing, Editing & Content Creation]

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45 Free Content Writing Tools to Love [for Writing, Editing & Content Creation]

Creating content isn’t always a walk in the park. (In fact, it can sometimes feel more like trying to swim against the current.)

While other parts of business and marketing are becoming increasingly automated, content creation is still a very manual job. (more…)

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How data clean rooms might help keep the internet open

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How data clean rooms might help keep the internet open

Are data clean rooms the solution to what IAB CEO David Cohen has called the “slow-motion train wreck” of addressability? Voices at the IAB will tell you that they have a big role to play.

“The issue with addressability is that once cookies go away, and with the loss of identifiers, about 80% of the addressable market will become unknown audiences which is why there is a need for privacy-centric consent and a better consent-value exchange,” said Jeffrey Bustos, VP, measurement, addressability and data at the IAB.

“Everyone’s talking about first-party data, and it is very valuable,” he explained, “but most publishers who don’t have sign-on, they have about 3 to 10% of their readership’s first-party data.” First-party data, from the perspective of advertisers who want to reach relevant and audiences, and publishers who want to offer valuable inventory, just isn’t enough.

Why we care. Two years ago, who was talking about data clean rooms? The surge of interest is recent and significant, according to the IAB. DCRs have the potential, at least, to keep brands in touch with their audiences on the open internet; to maintain viability for publishers’ inventories; and to provide sophisticated measurement capabilities.

How data clean rooms can help. DCRs are a type of privacy-enhancing technology that allows data owners (including brands and publishers) to share customer first-party data in a privacy-compliant way. Clean rooms are secure spaces where first-party data from a number of sources can be resolved to the same customer’s profile while that profile remains anonymized.

In other words, a DCR is a kind of Switzerland — a space where a truce is called on competition while first-party data is enriched without compromising privacy.

“The value of a data clean room is that a publisher is able to collaborate with a brand across both their data sources and the brand is able to understand audience behavior,” said Bestos. For example, a brand selling eye-glasses might know nothing about their customers except basic transactional data — and that they wear glasses. Matching profiles with a publisher’s behavioral data provides enrichment.

“If you’re able to understand behavioral context, you’re able to understand what your customers are reading, what they’re interested in, what their hobbies are,” said Bustos. Armed with those insights, a brand has a better idea of what kind of content they want to advertise against.

The publisher does need to have a certain level of first-party data for the matching to take place, even if it doesn’t have a universal requirement for sign-ins like The New York Times. A publisher may be able to match only a small percentage of the eye-glass vendor’s customers, but if they like reading the sports and arts sections, at least that gives some directional guidance as to what audience the vendor should target.

Dig deeper: Why we care about data clean rooms

What counts as good matching? In its “State of Data 2023” report, which focuses almost exclusively on data clean rooms, concern is expressed that DCR efficacy might be threatened by poor match rates. Average match rates hover around 50% (less for some types of DCR).

Bustos is keen to put this into context. “When you are matching data from a cookie perspective, match rates are usually about 70-ish percent,” he said, so 50% isn’t terrible, although there’s room for improvement.

One obstacle is a persistent lack of interoperability between identity solutions — although it does exist; LiveRamp’s RampID is interoperable, for example, with The Trade Desk’s UID2.

Nevertheless, said Bustos, “it’s incredibly difficult for publishers. They have a bunch of identity pixels firing for all these different things. You don’t know which identity provider to use. Definitely a long road ahead to make sure there’s interoperability.”

Maintaining an open internet. If DCRs can contribute to solving the addressability problem they will also contribute to the challenge of keeping the internet open. Walled gardens like Facebook do have rich troves of first-party and behavioral data; brands can access those audiences, but with very limited visibility into them.

“The reason CTV is a really valuable proposition for advertisers is that you are able to identify the user 1:1 which is really powerful,” Bustos said. “Your standard news or editorial publisher doesn’t have that. I mean, the New York Times has moved to that and it’s been incredibly successful for them.” In order to compete with the walled gardens and streaming services, publishers need to offer some degree of addressability — and without relying on cookies.

But DCRs are a heavy lift. Data maturity is an important qualification for getting the most out of a DCR. The IAB report shows that, of the brands evaluating or using DCRs, over 70% have other data-related technologies like CDPs and DMPs.

“If you want a data clean room,” Bustos explained, “there are a lot of other technological solutions you have to have in place before. You need to make sure you have strong data assets.” He also recommends starting out by asking what you want to achieve, not what technology would be nice to have. “The first question is, what do you want to accomplish? You may not need a DCR. ‘I want to do this,’ then see what tools would get you to that.”

Understand also that implementation is going to require talent. “It is a demanding project in terms of the set-up,” said Bustos, “and there’s been significant growth in consulting companies and agencies helping set up these data clean rooms. You do need a lot of people, so it’s more efficient to hire outside help for the set up, and then just have a maintenance crew in-house.”

Underuse of measurement capabilities. One key finding in the IAB’s research is that DCR users are exploiting the audience matching capabilities much more than realizing the potential for measurement and attribution. “You need very strong data scientists and engineers to build advanced models,” Bustos said.

“A lot of brands that look into this say, ‘I want to be able to do a predictive analysis of my high lifetime value customers that are going to buy in the next 90 days.’ Or ‘I want to be able to measure which channels are driving the most incremental lift.’ It’s very complex analyses they want to do; but they don’t really have a reason as to why. What is the point? Understand your outcome and develop a sequential data strategy.”

Trying to understand incremental lift from your marketing can take a long time, he warned. “But you can easily do a reach and frequency and overlap analysis.” That will identify wasted investment in channels and as a by-product suggest where incremental lift is occurring. “There’s a need for companies to know what they want, identify what the outcome is, and then there are steps that are going to get you there. That’s also going to help to prove out ROI.”

Dig deeper: Failure to get the most out of data clean rooms is costing marketers money


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Ascend | DigitalMarketer

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Ascend | DigitalMarketer

At this stage, your goal is to generate repeat buys and real profits. While your entry-point offer was designed for conversions, your ascension offers should be geared for profits—because if you’re serving your customers well, they’ll want to buy again and again.

Ascension offers may be simple upsells made after that initial purchase… bigger, better solutions… or “done for you” add-ons.

So now we must ask ourselves, what is our core flagship offer and how do we continue to deliver value after the first sale is made? What is the thing that we are selling? 

How we continue to deliver value after the first sale is really important, because having upsells and cross sales gives you the ability to sell to customers you already have. It will give you higher Average Customer values, which is going to give you higher margins. Which means you can spend more to acquire new customers. 

Why does this matter? It matters because of this universal law of marketing and customer acquisition, he or she who is able and willing to spend the most to acquire a customer wins.

Very often the business with the best product messaging very often is the business that can throw the most into customer acquisition. Now there are two ways to do that.

The first way is to just raise a lot of money. The problem is if you have a lot of money, that doesn’t last forever. At some point you need economics. 

The second way, and the most timeless and predictable approach, is to simply have the highest value customers of anyone in your market. If your customers are worth more to you than they are to your competitors, you can spend more to acquire them at the same margin. 

If a customer is worth twice as much to you than it is to your competitor, you can spend twice as much trying to acquire them to make the same margin. You can invest in your customer acquisition, because your customers are investing in your business. You can invest in your customer experiences, and when we invest more into the customer we build brands that have greater value. Meaning, people are more likely to choose you over someone else, which can actually lower acquisition costs. 

Happy customers refer others to us, which is called zero dollar customer acquisition, and generally just ensures you’re making a bigger impact. You can invest more in the customer experience and customer acquisition process if you don’t have high margins. 

If you deliver a preview experience, you can utilize revenue maximizers like up sells, cross sales, and bundles. These are things that would follow up the initial sale or are combined with the initial sale to increase the Average Customer Value.

The best example of an immediate upsell is the classic McDonalds, “would you like fries with that?” You got just a burger, do you also want fries with that? 

What distinguishes an upsell from other types of follow up offers is the upsell promise, the same end result for a bigger and better end result. 

What’s your desired result when you go to McDonalds? It’s not to eat healthy food, and it’s not even to eat a small amount of food. When you go to McDonalds your job is to have a tasty, greasy, predictable inexpensive meal. No one is going there because it’s healthy, you’re going there because you want to eat good. 

It’s predictable. It’s not going to break the bank for a hamburger, neither will adding fries or a Coke. It’s the same experience, but it’s BIGGER and BETTER. 

Amazon does this all of the time with their “Customers Who Bought This Also Bought …” But this one is algorithmic. The point of a cross sell is that it is relevant to the consumer, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be aligned with the original purchase. What you don’t want to do is start someone down one path and confuse them.

You can make this process easy with Bundles and Kits. With a bundle or a kit you’re essentially saying to someone, “you can buy just one piece, or you can get this bundle that does all of these other things for a little bit more. And it’s a higher value.”

The idea behind bundles and kits is that we are adding to the primary offer, not offering them something different. We’re simply promising to get them this desired result in higher definition. 

The Elements of High-Converting Revenue Maximizers (like our bundles and kits) are:

  1. Speed

If you’re an e-Commerce business, selling a physical product, this can look like: offering free shipping for orders $X or more. We’re looking to get your customers the same desired result, but with less work for them.

  1. Automation

If you’re a furniture business, and you want to add a Revenue Maximizer, this can look like: Right now for an extra $X our highly trained employees will come and put this together for you. 

  1. Access 

People will pay for speed, they’ll pay for less work, but they will also pay for a look behind the curtain. Think about the people who pay for Backstage Passes. Your customers will pay for a VIP experience just so they can kind of see how everything works. 

Remember, the ascension stage doesn’t have to stop. Once you have a customer, you should do your best to make them a customer for life. You should continue serving them. Continue asking them, “what needs are we still not meeting” and seek to meet those needs. 

It is your job as a marketer to seek out to discover these needs, to bring these back to the product team, because that’s what’s going to enable you to fully maximize the average customer value. Which is going to enable you to have a whole lot more to spend to acquire those customers and make your job a whole lot easier. 

Now that you understand the importance of the ascend stage, let’s apply it to our examples.

Hazel & Hem could have free priority shipping over $150, a “Boutique Points” reward program with exclusive “double point” days to encourage spending, and an exclusive “Stylist Package” that includes a full outfit custom selected for the customer. 

Cyrus & Clark can retain current clients by offering an annual strategic plan, “Done for You” Marketing services that execute on the strategic plan, and the top tier would allow customers to be the exclusive company that Cyrus & Clark services in specific geographical territories.



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