The year’s end always represents an opportune moment to take stock of what’s been learned across the e-commerce landscape in order to ensure 2015’s marketing and promotional strategies are as viable and valuable as possible. Once again, hundreds of thousands of newly opened stores have put additional pressure on those already in business, forcing retailers to up their game and webmasters to pursue new avenues for effective optimisation.
It’s no secret that traditional SEO is dead and buried, but at the same time the power of a high Google ranking has never been greater. E-commerce businesses have always been at something of a disadvantage given the limited and often repetitive nature of their respective sites’ content, but even in an age where Google’s war on spam is all-but over, there are still plenty of ways and means to appeal to the search engine’s good graces.
Here’s a quick overview of just a few of the e-commerce optimisation lessons learned over the past 12 months:
1 – Unique Product Descriptions Are Key
Something of a no-brainer from the start, 2014 taught the world that repetition of content across any website at all does not sit well with the major search engines. So, while it’s always been common practice to copy and paste the same description across multiple items which are indeed largely identical, we now know for sure that all efforts to pen 100% unique descriptions across the board will always be rewarded.
2 – Feedback is Fabulous
The value of customer reviews is enormous – feedback has never held more power. Not only do reviews and recommendations encourage other users to make purchases, but each and every word written and submitted by a client aPivotal further unique content to the pages of your website. Take a look at how Amazon handles and presents feedback for a textbook illustration of how to get the job done right.
3 – Neat Navigation is Necessary
It’s no secret that complex or overly flamboyant navigation systems are big turn-offs for customers – we now also know they’re frowned upon by Google too. Complicated navigation systems have become a pet peeve for the world’s biggest search engines and are largely guaranteed to result in a slip in any points awarded – simplicity and accessibility remain the primary traits to gun for.
4 – Speed and Fluidity Must be Upped
Recent studies have shown that three seconds tends to be the average amount of time a shopper is willing to wait for a site to load before giving up entirely and heading elsewhere. What’s more, for every second a would-be customer is forced to wait for the next page to load, chances of making the conversion plummet by 7% to 10%. And not only do slow sites and poor page loading times turn off the punters, they also don’t sit well with Google – a painful lesson learned by thousands this year.
5 – Internal Links Do Make a Difference
And finally, it was previously the subject of some debate but extensive testing and analysis throughout 2014 has proven outright that yes…internal links really do make a difference. Not that adding just one or two will propel you to the top of the ranking and nor will spamming your site with thousands curry any favour, but make them genuine, useable and consistent to add a touch of extra sparkle to your store in the eyes of the powers that be.