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What You’re Doing Wrong With Facebook Advertising

What You’re Doing Wrong With Facebook Advertising

The first thing to do after setting up your business is to set up a Facebook Page for it. A Facebook page is essential as it is a platform for you to connect with your audience as well as posting content updates for your followers to see. A Facebook page is a portal for your business to the digital world. It is also where you do your Facebook advertising to reach out to your target audience.

Perhaps Facebook advertising is not a stranger to your business anymore. You could be using it for the longest time, but it just seems like it’s not working at all. You could be spending dollars on it, but it looks like it is not bringing you any sales or return in profit. Here are some common mistakes made by business owners when it comes to Facebook advertising.


1. Broad And Wide Target Audience

You may think that reaching out to 3 million people will help spread awareness of your business. We are not wrong to think that everyone is a potential customer and we should reach out to them. However, we want to reach the correct target audience and spend every penny’s worth on your advertising. Why pay to reach the wrong target audience?

Try narrowing your target audience with important information such as age, gender, interest, and behaviors. These are the few key elements you want to look for in your potential customers. A size of 500,00 to 1.5 million people is good to start for any online business.


2. Not Patient 

Be patient with facebook ads

We know that digital marketing is the present and future of marketing and it has been proven to work better. When you spend an amount of money on digital advertising, you want to see relevant results. However, sometimes it takes a little patience to see the potential outcome. When you plant a seed, do you expect a beautiful plant to grow the next day? It takes a lot of patience and dedication for something to grow.

It can feel like you are losing money by the minute at the beginning of it all. What you don’t know is that you are actually gathering data and insight at the beginning of digital marketing. Do not give up just yet. It can be tempting to pause or tweak your ads but try to be patient until you’ve reached 1000 people. You will get enough data to analyze and learn from your ad’s performance. With those data and insight you’ve collected from the Facebook ad, you’ll know what to improve one and tweak from then.


3. Failing To Monitor Your Facebook Ads

Monitor Your Facebook Ads
Take these Facebook ads as the seed you’re planting. In order for the plant to grow, you need to water it and make sure it has enough sun. Monitoring your Facebook campaigns is a must for a successful campaign. It’s tempting to just leave it all to Facebook’s automation tools, but keeping an eye on your audience’s engagement is vital. Read the comments and check out the likes of the post. Is anyone sharing or liking your content? If there are only a few, it’s time to consider changing your content.


4. Not Abiding The Image-to-Text Ratio


You have a fabulous and prominent image you want to include in your Facebook ads. Pause just a second and take a look at the image. Is it abiding the 20% rule that Facebook had set?

“Upload an image to determine how much text is in your ad image. If the proportion of text to image is too high, your ad may not reach its full audience.
We make exceptions for certain kinds of products being advertised. Visit our Help Center to learn about exceptions, see examples of images with text, and get more guidance.”

What Facebook is trying to say is, less is more. You want your image to be the focus of the ad and having too much text next to your image will not reach out to your potential audience. Instead of cramming your text your image, display them in the post as a caption of description.


5. Not Utilizing The Value Of Your Ad Spend


You can do so much more than just getting sales from your Facebook ads. Even if your Facebook ads did not bring much profit or sales to your brand, there are other values you can gain from it all.

Some of the things you can obtain are:
-Retarget visitors to your site in the future
-Get more likes and comments on your post to build your social proof
-Make use of those comments and engage with the audience who commented.
-Invite those people who have liked or commented on the post to also like and follow your Facebook Page.

 

Conclusion

There is so much you can do with your Facebook ads and you can squeeze the value of your spending. Avoid these five mistakes in the future and you will gradually see an improvement in your ads. It takes a while for you to start mastering these tips and tricks but the result will be fruitful and productive.

If you need a kickstart and don’t know who to consult with, feel free to contact us at wanting@weave.asia.

Why do you need to invest in Digital Advertising?

Why do you need to invest in Digital Advertising?

Are you starting up a new business? Or maybe you own one at the moment? Do you intend to take your business to the next level of success? Of course, you do! To get your business to succeed, you will need to start with a  strong marketing strategy. Perhaps you have done all kinds of traditional marketing and advertising, but it just seems like it is not enough and not as productive as you expect it to be. Have you tried advertising digitally? If not, now is the time to be a part of the new marketing and advertising era- Digital Marketing and Advertising

Some businesses are still skeptical and reluctant when it comes to new-age marketing and advertising because they think that it is a risk to take. But what they don’t know is that they are missing out on a huge chunk of prospects because they are NOT doing any digital marketing or advertising. We know it sounds intense and severe but let’s face it, digital marketing is indeed taking over traditional marketing.

Does your business own a website or e-commerce platform? If your answer is no, we have some news for you. There is a saying that goes “If I can’t find it on the first page of Google search, it does not exist.” And with that, your business is nonexistent because you are not present in the digital world. 

Allow us to provide you with reasons why investing in digital advertising is crucial and vital to your business.

1. The internet is forever

An average person spends at least 6 hours a day on the internet searching for information

Internet and everything online will continue to exist and expand throughout time. The internet has taken over a lot of platforms, especially providing information and such. An average person spends at least 6 hours a day on the internet- searching for information, keeping up with news, shopping, and everything else. How often do you find yourself going on the internet to look for something and the search results gave you all the answers. So if you are doing this yourself, why not invest in digital advertising to build your brand and spread the information about your business as well?

2. Target a much more precise audience or customers

Traditional marketing is very vague and does not impact customers a lot, now even more so. Why so? Because traditional marketing is too general and vast that people tend to overlook it. With digital advertising, you get to focus on your targeted audience and potential customers. Once you know your brand products and services are suited to what demographic, you can easily choose who and how you want to advertise your business to them. 

The advantage of the internet is so many social media platforms can provide you with information about users that comes to good use when you want to advertise. When a 28-year-old female is logged on to her Facebook account and was reading an article about nourishing foods for toddlers, Facebook will be able to figure out the user’s age, gender, and interest. This will then come in handy to you if you own a business that sells baby clothing or products related. With this, the chances of a targeted audiences like these purchasing your products are higher because you sell something of their interest.

3. You only pay for what you need

Digital Advertising: Spend only what you need

The other great thing about digital advertising is that you spend only what you need within your budget. Unlike traditional marketing where you splurge and you are unsure if the advertisement would even work, digital marketing is a guarantee to reach out to potential customers with the amount you are willing to pay for and for how long. Google charges a fee only when someone clicks on your ad and visits your website. And by this, it means you only pay for the ads that are working and best of all, there’s no charge to display your ads on the internet. 

4. Results, results, results

Since you only pay for ads that have been clicked, this gives you data on what how efficient digital advertising works. One of the many advantages of digital advertising is you get to see results and also track them. You have the ability to compare which ads are doing well and what works for your ads. All these without having to splurge a lump sum of money without getting any clear-cut results. With digital advertising, you get to analyze what demographic your ads are attracting and how far these people go through in your website. Best of all, you can measure your results live, at any time and anywhere.

These are just a few reasons why you should invest in digital advertising. It is proven that digital marketing works, regardless what the nature of your business is, it will help boost your business and brand. The benefits of using digital advertising are obvious and straightforward. Your business gets to remain competitive whilst not burning a big hole in your pocket, and it is fair game in the digital world. It allows your business to have the potential to grow and expand in the future. 

Does reading this article makes you want to dip your toes in digital advertising? Don’t know how or where to start? Don’t worry! Weave Asia is all ears and ready to help you start somewhere with arms open. Email us at hello@weave.asia and we will provide you with the best solution to your company’s advertising needs.

Purpose of a good website

Purpose of a good website

It’s never a bad idea to have a website for your business. A website is one of the most important elements of digital marketing at the moment. Owning a website gives your business online credibility and it somewhat shows that your business is real and legitimate. Owning a simple website can already generate sales to your business. Bear in mind too that a good website is vital. What are the functions of a good website then?

 

Build Credibility To Your Business

Build Credibility To Your Business

 

That’s right. As we mentioned just now, having a website can change a whole perspective of your business. Imagine this, when someone has heard of your brand or company name and they want to find out more about your business. Their first instinct is to go on the internet and search it up. When there is no result shown on the internet about your company, it will automatically plant a thought in your potential customers- this company does NOT exist. 

This might seem dramatized or exaggerated but it is true. However, when your website pops up first on the search results, it gives a sense of “relief” to the potential customers. This shows that your company or brand is legitimate and trustworthy. One important thing to pay attention to is the first impression your website gives to its visitors.

Keep in mind that your website can be simple but it has to have elements that will build credibility. It needs to exude professionalism, a good reputation and most important of all, it is user-friendly. Another thing that always slips the mind of a business website is how it is on mobile. Remember, most of us use our mobile phones for everything so be sure that your website is mobile friendly as well.

 

Tell Your Story

tell-your-story

People go on a website to check out more information on the brand and company. They are not just on your website to see the design and colors of your website. The moment they click on the link to your website, it is an opportunity for you to tell your story and sell your products within that couple of minutes. Show the human side of your company or brand by sharing your story of how it all started and why you do what you do. People love a good story because they feel connected and relatable. Sneak in some reasons why they should choose your company or brand for your products or services.

 

Address Frequently Asked Questions

Before deciding to click the “Add to Cart” or the “Check out” button, every potential customer will have a few questions on their mind. After running your business for a while, you will get a hang of the usual inquiries they have for you. Get familiarized with these frequently asked questions and address them in your FAQ page. Provide detailed answers to these questions to save yourself and your potential customers some valuable time.

 

Highlight Your Services

Describe your products or services clearly on your website especially on the products page. Potential customers want to know as much information and details of your products or services when they are on your website before they decide to engage with you. Once they know what to expect from your company or brand, they will become your returning customers and also most likely to recommend your company to their peers.

 

Generate Income For Your Business

Generate Income For Your Business

If your website is not an e-commerce website and you’re not selling your services or products on your website, it should still be generating money and sales to your company. The great thing about having a website is that it is a 24/7 retail shop for your company. It’s always available for potential customers to check out your products and services. Your FAQs are there for them to have a look should they have any inquiries. Better yet, if you have a live chatting bot to assist them readily.

 

Increase Your Clients Base

How can you reach out to everyone on the internet? How to make your brand or company known to the people out there who should be knowing about your products? With a website, you can use search engine optimization (SEO) to increase the visibility of your website. Increasing the visibility of your website will then attract more visitors and more importantly, potential customers! With the right techniques, your website will be on the top of the search result page in no time.

 

Conclusion

It’s only logical to have a good and functioning website if you have an up and running company or business. Digital marketing is the new marketing that actually works for all businesses. It would be a shame to not jump on the bandwagon and be introduced and seen in the digital world. Get yourself a proper and good website for the better.

Marketing Post COVID-19 – What’s the Next Step for Your Marketing Strategy

Marketing Post COVID-19 – What’s the Next Step for Your Marketing Strategy

COVID-19 has impacted the economy unprecedentedly. In the wake of economic turbulence from the impact of this viral pandemic, marketers are anticipating lower budget and higher goals for businesses. At the same time, traditional brick and mortar businesses are also forced to adapt to a drastic digital shift following the new norm of social distancing. To study the impact of COVID-19 on marketing and what to expect in the near future, SEO and content technology company, Conductor has conducted a North American survey that involves experts in the areas of Content, Search and Digital Marketing. 

This survey had 317 respondents in these primary sectors: B2B (24%), Retail (12%), Healthcare (11%), Media (10%). The remaining 43% were distributed across travel and hospitality, consumer technology, financial services, insurance, automotive, e-commerce-only, manufacturing and other industries.

From this survey, it is found that 65% of marketers anticipate a decrease in their annual marketing budget, while 86% predict that marketing goals will be harder to reach from here onwards. While decreased budget is currently most marketers’ top concern, staff cuts and channel limitations have also become the top perceived threats to marketing performance.

In the face of these challenges, more and more marketers are turning to Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), believing it to be a more important tool of marketing during this unprecedented time. At the same time, marketers are also gearing up to cut back on high-cost areas, such as paid media advertising and inessential headcount. 

In the time of global recession, the survey shows that one-third of marketers would choose to skimp on high-cost advertising and, in turn, increase their investment in low-cost channels, such as SEO. 65% of marketers also predict that SEO will become increasingly important during this time — something that is also corroborated by Google when it demonstrates a rise in searches for “SEO”.
On top of that, 66% of marketers also report that SEO was a top-performing channel in 2019, alongside Email Marketing and Content Marketing.

As a conclusion, the coming months are expected to see marketers reducing their overall spending while increasing their investment in low-cost/high-ROI channels like SEO. Forester has estimated that spending US$1.3 million on organic search can give an organisation an equivalent value to spending US$12 million on advertising placements.

In the future, companies will turn to digital content for brand building. According to prior research, consumers are also 131% more likely to immediately buy from a brand after they consume early-stage, educational content. 65% of consumers also feel that a brand is more trustworthy after reading a piece of educational content from the brand. Soon, SEO will also be moved in-house in order to cut costly agency retainers. In the coming months, more and more companies will start to manage their SEO internally. 

If you are a company in the midst of embracing this digital shift and keen to know more about SEO and how it can work for you, don’t hesitate to contact us for a consultation. We look forward to helping you achieve your marketing goals against all odds.

Your Guide to e-commerce SEO for 2020

Your Guide to e-commerce SEO for 2020

If you run an e-commerce site, you will be aware that having a ranking at the top of search engines is a high priority. It gives you better visibility and a competitive edge among your other business competitors.

While paid search can place you at the top of the SERPs you there, the long-term cost to remain there may not be sustainable. You need the number one spot, and eCommerce SEO can help you achieve this.

In this step-by-step e-commerce SEO guide, we will explain everything you need to know about SEO strategy for e-commerce websites and provide tips and strategies that will help you optimize your site effectively. Here are the main topics we will cover.

Why SEO Is Important for Your eCommerce Site

SEO is a critical necessity for e-commerce websites. Your products need to rank higher than your competitors, and they need to display the right way so potential customers can find the products they need in the SERPs and choose your site to click on. 

When done right, e-commerce optimization strategies will help you rank highly, and your pages will provide the best solutions to a user’s search intent. Optimizing eCommerce sites can yield an ongoing, free source of high-converting organic traffic to your site.

This means less reliance on advertisement spending, a plus for any online business.

In a 2017 study conducted by SEMrush on how e-commerce companies drive traffic to their sites, the results show 38% of retailer traffic comes from organic search. SEO will help increase your organic search traffic, and help your e-commerce site rank higher in search engines. With so many users using Google to research purchasing decisions, both at home and on the go, need an optimized website and product pages.

Keyword Research for e-commerce Websites

The core of any effective eCommerce SEO optimization strategy starts with keyword research. Making sure you are targeting the right keywords is essential to your SEO efforts. Focusing on the wrong target keyword can negatively impact your impressions and bring low-converting traffic to your business.

The Initial Steps of Keyword Research

The first part of an e-commerce SEO strategy involves listing your category and product pages and then identifying and mapping, on a page-by-page basis, the keywords to target.

Product-Focused Keywords

For e-commerce keyword research, your strategy should prioritize product-focused keywords, taking into account your homepage, product categories, and blog content — this means also ensuring you are targeting keywords based on a medium to high search volumes that are strongly relevant to your brand and not too difficult to rank for. 

Buyer Intent

In a recent SEMrush post, Sandeep Mallya broke down search intent:

Your focus should be on choosing transactional keywords over informational keywords. Why? Because your main priority is ranking for keywords that lead people to purchase, and transactional keywords typically lead to high conversions rates. 

How do you find them?

Consider buyer intent. Buyer intent refers to the intent beyond the consumer’s keywords when searching online, which reflects where they are in the buying cycle.

For example, someone searching for a relatively broad keyword (also known as a ‘head’ term’) such as ‘men’s shoes’ is likely to be at the top of the funnel (the research stage), meaning they are still probably assessing the options available, and not ready to buy yet.

Someone looking for ‘black men’s running shoes, size 42’ strongly indicates they are ready to purchase, due to the specific, detailed nature of their keyword (and would be considered a long-tail keyword). This is what we call commercial or transactional intent, and what your e-commerce SEO keyword research should hone in on.

Keyword Research Tools for eCommerce SEO

Using keyword research tools can help dramatically simplify the process of finding keyword ideas when it comes to optimizing e-commerce sites. Let’s take a look at some of the most commonly used by the SEO community.

SEMrush Keyword Magic Tool

The SEMrush Keyword Magic Tool provides access to a global keyword database with over 17 billion keywords and is particularly useful for finding semantically related long-tail keywords. 

These are important to target, as they represent keywords with less competition than broader terms, and they have potentially a higher click-through rate thanks to the intent behind them. 

By using long-tail keywords, you can also slowly build up authority and begin ranking for a valuable main keyword that has high search volume, but competition is reasonably difficult due to e-commerce giants dominating the SERPs for it.

To find these in the Keyword Magic Tool, simply select the Related tab to find keywords related to your main seed keyword. 

In the example below, you can see the search volume, trends, keyword difficulty to rank, CPC, and more for the term ‘coffee table.’ You also get options for phrase match, exact match, and related keywords, which can help you narrow down terms related to intent.

SEMrush Keyword Overview

SEMrush Keyword Overview, this tool provides an in-depth analysis of a keyword’s value, as well as its search volume (national and global). It also shows the number of results, possible SERP features, competition level, as well as providing related keyword questions and variations. 

Amazon Suggest

Using Amazon can be an excellent way to generate long-tail keyword ideas. Simply enter a keyword related to your site, and Amazon will provide a list of suggestions surrounding this keyword.

Google Keyword Planner

Google Keyword Planner can be used to look at the commercial intent and search volume of a chosen keyword.

For e-commerce sites, you want to target medium to high competition keywords. You can see this on Google Planner by checking the keywords competition rating, which shows how competitive bids are for that keyword in Google Ads. 

To determine the commercial intent of a keyword, you should also check out the Top of Page Bid, which shows how much advertisers are spending on a single click for paid ads. The higher the bid, the higher the commercial intent.

Google Suggest

Type in your selected keyword in the search engine and find highly relevant keywords to your brand through the autocomplete suggestions. In the example below, you can see that when I type ‘mens shoes uk’, it provides long-tail terms related to my keyword, based on what users have been searching for.

By scrolling to the bottom of the SERPs, you will also find additional related searches based on what users have searched for in relation to your original keyword.

How to Map the Right Keywords to Your Pages

The next step of e-commerce SEO best practices involves identifying which keywords to use from your research that will help you outrank your competitors.

You want to avoid highly competitive keywords that are almost impossible to rank on. When it comes to SEO for new e-commerce stores, this is critical to remember. Instead, prioritize ranking for less competitive keywords on particular product and category pages to get your brand noticed in the SERPs. 

Identifying keywords on a page-by-page basis is recommended but time-consuming. Therefore, it is advised you start with the most important pages on your site, using Google Analytics data or the SEMrush Organic Research tool to help you do this.

Where to Start

Start with looking for the primary keyword you want to optimize for by looking at ones you already rank for, which can be done by using the Organic Research tool. The tool also shows you which URLs are ranking, as well as traffic, search volume and traffic percentages, which you should take into consideration when choosing keywords.

Additionally, you can export keywords to see every domain’s rankings for competing keywords.

Next, look on the SERPs to verify that product and category pages are ranking for your keyword. If that is not the case, then it is time to select a new head keyword.

Keyword Gaps Between Competitors

The SEMrush Keyword Gap tool can also help you identify where to map keywords by providing a keyword comparison of up to five competitors. The tool also shows you where the best opportunities lie, identifying total keyword overlap, common keywords as well as unique keywords you are ranking but that your competitors aren’t.

With your final list of chosen keywords for individual categories and product pages, you can optimize them through on-page SEO. Later in this guide, we will explain step-by-step how you can do this. 

Long Tail Keywords for e-commerce Sites

We have mentioned long-tail keywords a few times already, but why are they so important?

Carrying out long-tail keyword research should be seen as just as critical as searching for head keywords. While they are less competitive due to their lower search volumes, they typically have higher conversions, and a greater likelihood of increasing targeted traffic to your site. 

Here is an example of both kinds of keywords to explain the difference between the two:

Head keyword: buy chocolate

Long-tail keyword: buy organic fruit and nut dark chocolate 

Long-tail keyword research also provides an additional ranking opportunity for your e-commerce site. For valuable long-tail keywords found during the research stage that do not weave easily into an existing product or category pages, you can use them in your content marketing efforts.

We will discuss effective eCommerce content strategies later on in this guide.

Site Architecture for e-commerce Websites 

Optimizing your site architecture by simplifying its structure is a fundamental part of any successful SEO strategy, for both usability and crawlability purposes. For eCommerce sites, this means making the navigation of your site user friendly and search engine friendly. 

But how? Organize your site in a way that enables visitors to only make a limited number of clicks (the rule of thumb being three or less) to get to any product from the homepage.

By doing this, you will improve the user experience and help to reduce bounce rates, which can result from frustrating navigation on websites. 

From an SEO perspective, you will also make it easier for search engines to crawl your site (important for ranking) and preserve link authority. This becomes diluted the further a product page is from your homepage, which is typically the most authoritative for e-commerce sites — and concentrated authority is one of the ways you can help your e-commerce pages rank.

Here is what you should be doing instead: a scalable, flat site architecture that links to the top category pages, which is easy to browse for visitors and also to crawl for search engines.

Optimize Your URLs

For ranking higher in the SERPs, you need to optimize your URLs to make them user and SEO friendly too. These should be clear, relevant, and involve your target keywords, if possible. 

You should avoid using long URLs, as they are harder for Google’s crawlers to read.

What does an optimized URL look like? Choose a short, to the point URL that follows a similar structure to what is seen below:

www.thebestclothesever.com/sweaters/yellow-sweater-polka-dot

Steer clear of creating a URL that has too many numbers, which makes it hard to read and does not aid the user experience as the numbers do not add meaning for the consumer.

Below is an example of what not to do:

www.thebestclothesever.com/c23/i-12240485859403/yellow-sweater

On-Page SEO for eCommerce Websites 

Optimize Your Title Tags

Title tags (also known as page titles) have considerable SEO potential due to their huge impact on a page’s CTR, as they inform people and search engines what the page is about. You will have seen them as the blue clickable titles in the SERPs.

An optimized title tag should be between 55-60 characters long, descriptive, and use target keywords. Your store name shouldn’t be first; remember search intent. 

Optimize Your Meta Descriptions

Meta descriptions are the content that appears directly below the title tag in the SERPs, meaning they also play a vital role for click through rates. But how do you optimize them?

We have a full guide here, What Are Meta Descriptions and How to Write Them, but here are some quick tips.

  • The meta description length should be approximately 150 characters.
  • Each description should be personalized to the page.
  • Be precise.
  • Explain exactly why a shopper should choose your site. Featuring perks (free shipping, save X% on.. buy-one-get-one) is one of the ways you can grab a visitor’s attention. 

Optimize Your Images

Page speed has been identified as a ranking signal by Google, and a common reason for slow loading pages for e-commerce sites is large image sizes for product pages. Slow page speeds also affect bounce rates. 

You can fix this by compressing images (preferably using PNG or WebP formats) to reduce their file size, using platforms such as TinyPNG. Aim to keep images under 1 to 2MB in size.

Optimizing images doesn’t stop there. You should also look at editing the filename for SEO purposes. By making the file name more descriptive, it makes it easier for search bots to understand what the image is.

Instead of adding an image to your product page called IMG125403.png, use the product name and a relevant keyword (if possible), such as sweater-red-polka-dot.png

Another part of image optimization involves alt-text. This is a line of code that informs the browser what is in the image and SEO crawlers read them. Consequently, when it is relevant, it is recommended to include your keyword in your alt-text for search results. Be concise and avoid keyword stuffing.

Add Unique Content to Each Page 

If your site features thousands of products, adding unique content will take a lot of time, but there is, unfortunately, no way around it. You want and need an optimized e-commerce business given the huge amount of competition. Search engines require content to be able to understand it and rank it accordingly, making it important for SEO.

We recommend focusing on your most important pages first. For category and product pages, you should be looking at writing at least 250-500 words for each of them, and it needs to be unique. 

Content Ideas

Besides the product description and your chosen keywords, you can describe in detail any features the product has, awards won, comparisons to other products, and FAQ sections.

Optimize Your Content for Head Terms and Long-Tail Keywords

When writing high-quality content for your products and categories, this is the time to use both types of keywords for an effective e-commerce search engine optimization plan, using the chosen keywords you compiled in the research stage. Remember that a long-tail keyword has a conversion rate that is 4.15% higher than a short-tail one (source: Search Engine Journal).

Add Schema.org Markup 

Implementing Schema markup is used to help Google understand your content as well as help potential visitors navigate your site. It can also result in a higher CTR of up to 30% (Search Engine Land), resulting in further sales. 

Some of the most common schema properties include:

  • Reviews and rating schema
  • Product schema
  • Breadcrumb markup
  • Business details including contact
  • Product availability schema
  • FAQs

 

Focus on Internal Linking

Internal linking involves linking to other pages on your site. It can boost your SEO as you can choose your own anchor text, helping you to rank for your chosen keyword, as well as improve the user experience by suggesting related pages to browsers.

Make sure you are only linking to relevant pages and vary anchor text when you do so.

The Internal Linking report, found within the SEMrush Site Audit tool, can be useful for identifying potential problems with your internal link structure.

Optimize CTAs on the Page

Motivate visitors to take action on your site through engaging CTAs that provide benefit to your users. SEMrush’s On-Page SEO Checker can help you do exactly that, by finding on-page SEO ideas based on the top 10 real-time competitors for your keywords. 

How to Identify Technical Issues on Your Website

Fixing technical SEO site issues is vital for e-commerce sites, as it can sometimes be the main difference in ranking between you and another very similar competitor. 

SEMrush’s Site Audit Tool is a website crawler that can help e-commerce owners uncover technical issues their website is facing, of which eCommerce sites can be particularly prone to due to having many product pages. 

 For e-commerce sites, our Site Audit Tool can help you find:

  • Duplicate title tags and meta descriptions: so they can be updated in order to create unique and relevant tags and descriptions for users and search engines
  • Duplicate content: which can affect ranking, and link equity, and result in traffic losses.
  • Slow page load speed: which can impact bounce rates.
  • Broken internal links: which are bad for usability and can signal to search engines that a website is of low-quality.
  • Broken internal images: which harm the user experience.
  • Returning 4xx codes: typically due to broken links, which impact SEO due to crawlability issues.
  • Low word count: which may not be satisfying the user search intent, impacting ranking in the SERPs.
  • Links on HTTPS pages leading to HTTP pages: which could negatively affect page ranking.
  • Pages missing Schema.org markup: having this markup increases the chance of content appearing in SERPS.
  • Pages containing JavaScript and CSS files that are too large: which impacts page load speed time.

How to Fix Common Technical SEO Issues on e-commerce Websites

Duplicate Content

This issue can be found under the Crawlability reports on the Site Audit tool. Duplicate content is one of the most common SEO issues for large e-commerce issues, as many often have thousands of products on their site, leading to many site pages. But it can lead to crawl waste, impacting the crawlability of your website.

Duplicate content should be avoided when at all possible. If you find them or it is unavoidable having them, here is what you can do:

  • Use canonical tags to signal to Google which product page is the main page.
  • Use indexing for pages that do not generate search traffic or robots.txt whilst carefully targeting offending parameters.
  • Have an up-to-date Content Map to identify where duplicate content exists.
  • Hide the duplicate within the original.

Thin Content 

Thin content frequently occurs with e-commerce sites, thanks to the challenge posed of writing unique content for many similar products. The Site Audit tool can alert you if this occurs on your own (under ‘Warnings’) by flagging pages that have a low text to HTML ratio. 

You can fix this by creating detailed product descriptions to make your products stand out to users and search engines alike and aim to make content at least 500 words in length.

Deep Pages 

Pages that are more than three clicks away from the homepage are referred to as deep pages in your site architecture and are to be avoided. This is because a simple flat structure improves the site crawlability and overall user experience.

You can find these by using a filter on SEMrush Site Audit (under ‘Crawled Pages’> Filter: Crawl Depth’ is ‘4+ clicks’) 

There are multiple ways to fix this, including adding feature-based navigation (e.g.. featured products) to your homepage.

Page Load Speed

Page speed issues can be found under Site Performance on the SEMrush tool or under Site Audit > Issues.

eCommerce sites can be impacted by site speed issues for a variety of reasons, such as large image file sizes, slow hosting, and bloated code on e-commerce platforms.

Page load speed can be fixed by:

  • Optimizing images with compression: through sites such as TinyPNG.
  • Use a CDN: increase your loading speed, as well as make your site more secure.

Missing / Broken Canonical Links

Missing canonical links that have not been implemented correctly can affect crawlability by impacting efficiency. This is because setting a rel=”canonical” element on your page can inform search engines of which version of a page you want to show in SERPs, but an incorrect or broken one can lead to confusion for crawlers.

When running the Site Audit Report on your site, there are a variety of checks relating to canonical tags, including flagging pages with a broken link and AMP pages that have no canonical tag.

 

Wrong Pages Ranking 

This happens when you optimize two product pages for the exact same keyword, known as keyword cannibalization. For example, a category page ranks instead of a product page or a blog post ranks instead of a product page.

This can lead the wrong page to rank, or even worse, not have either page rank at all due to the confusion it causes for search engine crawlers.

Review content beforehand and identify the strongest of the pages (based on metrics including visibility and traffic), and come up with a different optimization strategy for other pages — or you could remove the others (using 301 redirects to their URLs) so that only one page is left.

If removing is not an option, use rel=”noindex” tags or canonicalization instead.

HTTP Issues

The HTTPS report in the Site Audit highlights security issues, such as links on HTTPS pages leading to HTTP pages. The tool also alerts users on website architecture problems relating to HTTP.

HTTP issues may occur with eCommerce sites that have moved their domains to HTTPS. HTTPS is an important ranking signal; therefore, addressing HTTP errors is critical for SEO purposes.

No Schema markup

The tool also checks for markups, informing you of what percentage of your website uses Schema (microdata only). 

For e-commerce sites, not implementing rich results is to miss out on a valuable chance to stand out from your online competition in the SERPs. Research by HubSpot shows that it can increase click-through-rates by up to 30%.

Adding relevant structured data from Schema.org can help to boost an e-commerce site’s visibility, and it is easy to set up.

Content Marketing for eCommerce Sites 

Create Content Your Audience Wants to Share and Link To

Having a blog to support your e-commerce site is an excellent opportunity to use informational long-tail keywords from your keyword research, and creating high-quality content based on them and existing product pages.

Stuck for ideas? SEMrush’s Topic Research tool can also help you generate ideas for new articles and topics to write about by finding topics and questions with strong SEO potential. 

Leverage the Power of Social Media

By publishing compelling content often and sharing it across social media (as well as enabling social media ‘share’ buttons for product pages), this will likely positively impact your product and category pages in the SERPs.

This is because building your social media presence helps create site authority. Growing customer recognition, as well as accumulating backlinks from other sites through these channels, sends the signal to search engines that your site is authoritative.

Partner Up with Influencers and Brand Ambassadors

Influencers and brand ambassadors are those within your industry (that aren’t direct competitors) that have either a high domain authority achieved through their website, or have a large following on social media, usually on Instagram, YouTube, or Twitter.

Working with people others trust is worth it for e-commerce sites, boosting sales and traffic. On average, for every $1 spent on influencer marketing, brands make a $6.50 return on investment (source: Tomoson). Influencer campaigns take various forms, such as the one below. 

In this Instagram post, Kimberly Espinel (a plant-based food blogger) partnered with muesli firm Dee Muesli to create recipes using their product and shared them with her followers.

Influencers also fulfil an important SEO purpose, too — valuable backlinks. The fundamental aim is to have them link your product from their site, which can be achieved by building a relationship with them. You can do this in a myriad of ways, including sharing and commenting on their posts, sending free products, or simply contacting them outright.

Make sure that any links include a rel”sponsored” attribute, as Google views products gifted to influencers or brand ambassadors as being paid. Without this attribute, the link violates Google’s webmaster guidelines.

Using Video Content

Including videos in your content marketing strategy is an absolute must. 90% of consumers say that video content helps them with their purchasing decisions, and in the graph below, it’s clear that order values increase in accordance with the number of products viewed.

What’s more, these can be repurposed across multiple channels, making them a worthwhile investment.

Link Building for e-commerce Sites

Links remain one of the top three ranking factors for Google, which is why it is critical to have a solid SEO strategy for an online business.

Find Broken Links to Your Pages

Through the SEMrush Backlink Audit Tool, you can identify backlinks you have to your site from other authoritative sites, identify any broken links, and then reclaim them.

Find Sites Linking to Your Competitors But Not Your Pages

The SEMrush Backlink Gap tool can help you compare up to five competitors’ websites, listing the referring domains that are driving links to these sites. This tool also reveals gaps between link building strategies amongst your competitors, providing you with a great chance to reach out and build further links.

Research Groups and Events on Social Media

Unique referring domains matter when it comes to building backlinks, but how else can you find them besides the Backlink Gap tool?

Finding groups or events related to your niche on Facebook is one route to look into. Similar to using influencers, you can offer your products and ask if these could be featured within the group, or in coverage of an upcoming event.

However, don’t forget you need to focus on attracting high-quality inbound links, as you could be penalized by Google if a number of low-quality ones are linking to your site.

Get Links from Your Suppliers or Distributors

This is an easy way to get an authoritative backlink. If you are a reseller or retail eCommerce seller, contact the supplier or distributor that creates lists informing people where they can purchase the products and ask for yours to be included too. This example below of Tabitha Simmons vendors is the type of list you want your site to be on:

Organize a Creative Campaign to Promote a Product

Product PR can have a huge impact on SEO if done correctly. Take a look at the Missguided case study created by Rise at Seven PR. Spotting the opportunity to create an engaging story on dog jumpers that the ecommerce site sold (which at the time had a low product URL ranking), the PR found a similar women’s jumper on the site and matched them. 

It was an immediate success. After launching online on social media, it landed over 30k engagement in just under an hour, before becoming a full-blown campaign and gaining over 60 links from US, UK, and EU publications.

As a result, Missguided has now gone from position 30 for dog jumpers to the number one ranking position in the SERPs in just a few months.

Guest Posting 

SEO for an e-commerce site may include guest posting too. In a recent survey we carried out involving 850 SEO professionals on the most effective link building strategies, guest posting still remained the most popular tactic, recommended by over 53% of those questioned. 

The value of guest posting is that not only can you increase the visibility of your site through this type of link, but you can also link back to them too, making it a win-win for both. But make sure that this guest posting is relevant to your industry or niche.

Looking for more link-building tips and ticks? Take a look at our link building for SEO guide to find out more about SEO techniques for e-commerce websites.

Local SEO for eCommerce Websites

Local SEO for an e-commerce website refers to optimizing your products and business for location-specific search queries. Therefore, local SEO is only relevant to those with physical stores. But with 46% for all Google searches looking for local information (source: HubSpot), it is vital for those who do to have a solid local SEO strategy in place.

Here is how to increase your chances of appearing in a local search result.

Create a Google My Business Listing

Not having a Google My Business page is missing out on a huge visibility opportunity for your brand in a local search result. Claim your business and ensure you take the time to fill out all Google My Business sections. 

In the example below, you can clearly see all business information Google has found, and it even includes product information, but the business is not claimed. They are missing an opportunity to add a lot of information.

Build Local Citations 

One of the main Google My Business ranking factors is prominence in the local area, which you can build through local citations (online mentions of your company and location). It is recommended to look out for niche-specific directories in your area — you want to aim for mentions from the most authoritative business listings for your site.

eCommerce SEO: Some Final Best Practice Tips 

Ensure Your Site is Secure

Making sure your site is using HTTPS rather than HTTP is critical for eCommerce stores. Not only does it ensure encryption of your site so that users’ personal details are secure, but it also counts as a ranking factor.

Optimize for Mobile First

As our research on e-commerce growth shows, mobile traffic now dominates eCommerce globally. 

In 2020, Google announced the switch to ‘mobile-first’ indexing, meaning it is vital for e-commerce stores to make sure sites are mobile-optimized now more than ever. 

This means providing users with a fully responsive site on mobile and paying attention to site speeds too. Otherwise, you could lose sales. 

Optimize Pagination

For e-commerce sites, pagination typically comes in the form of ‘load more’ buttons or numbers of product pages at the bottom of the page. 

Optimizing pagination to be as search-friendly as possible is necessary for eCommerce sites, especially those with many products. These can often have deep site structures, which affect crawlability and should be avoided.

Want to find out how to optimize pagination? Take a look at our advice for SEO-Friendly Pagination Strategies for eCommerce here.

Optimize Your Checkout Process

Providing a great user experience is hugely important for SEO and for return custom. One of the best ways of doing this is by making the checkout process as easy and fuss-free as possible. 

Encourage Your Customers to Review Your Products and Services

Online reputation management counts. For eCommerce sites, that means online reviews matter more than ever before: 85% of consumers trust them just as much as a tip from a friend or family member. They also count as a ranking signal.

Send a follow-up email after a customer has received your product requesting a review or create a small pop-up on your site that encourages users to leave a review without too much effort required (such as a signing-up). 

SEMrush’s Brand Monitoring tool can also help you keep an eye on your online reputation.

Deal with Out of Stock and Discontinued Products

If an item is out of stock, you want that specified on a page and add a recommendation for similar products. You can also include a “contact me when it is available” option. Never take down a page when a product is out of stock!

#SEMrushChat

If an item is discontinued, but the page ranks highly, you have two options:

1). Leave the page and make it a comparison page or a historical page with info about the product that people may need later. Provide options to similar items on your site.

2). Redirect the page to another page.

A 301 redirect takes users and search engines to a new URL. If you delete a page and don’t redirect or if you use them incorrectly, it can impact your SEO due to indexing errors — it affects traffic as well as the overall user experience. Check out our guide to learn how to implement 301 redirects.

Summary

SEO strategy for eCommerce websites can be complex and take time to carry out, but if you follow our advice provided in this eCommerce guide, it is certainly worth the effort. Through thorough and correctly-implemented optimization, you can yield potentially far higher click-through rates and sales than through paid search. 

Source: The Definitive Guide to eCommerce SEO for 2020

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