Running and maintaining an ecommerce store can be much harder work compared to a business profile page. This is due to the amount of products you have to add to the store, and with the frequent rates that products go out of stock with new product lines coming in means running an ecommerce store can be a full time job on its own. More products = more content right? Well, usually… unless you run off to your suppliers website and rip off all of their pictures and content. That’s much quicker, right?
Unless you are aware of the problems you can run into when you start your very first ecommerce store then I have no doubt that you are going to run into one of them along the way. It is up to you to educate yourself beforehand so you can see the warning signs if any appear. It is a sensible and tactful approach that many successful store owners have used, so rather than diving in at the deep end, they have done their leg work first and avoided all potential hurdles.
Below you can see some of the problems you may run into, and also some tips to help you increase your sales conversion rate.
Duplicate or empty titles & descriptions
Don’t run before you can walk…
To fill your empty ecommerce store can be quite a bit of work, so usually a lot of people try to populate it with products very quickly, just to get it up and running. This is where mistakes will be made, because if you rush to populate an ecommerce store you could leave empty title and meta description tags, which are two vital elements that count towards your SEO and conversion rates. Firstly, the title has always been a ranking factor when it comes to SEO, so you need to create a unique 6 or 7 word title that best describes your product, making sure that your product keyword is a part of the title.
The description doesn’t count as a ranking factor in SEO, but it does have other uses. Try creating a description that SELLS and not one full of keywords. The reason for this is because your meta description is the snippet of text that appears under your title when somebody types in a search query that triggers your listing. You can include several call-to-actions, and maybe even prices, because if you know you are undercutting your competition, the price in the snippet may entice people to click on that advert as it is the best price they have seen so far. A very well written meta description can increase your CTR% (Click-Through-Rate%) of your landing page.
Missing product descriptions
Where is all my content at?
If your page is missing content, and unless your product has a really unique search, then you might as well just stop your SEO right now Content is the key here to squeeze just about everything you can out of your product landing pages. If you have a very well written product description, not only will it help with your SEO, but it will also increase the sales ratio of your products. Keep it in mind that when writing a good description you need to keep semantics in mind, as this will help to trigger related searches. There are still too many people out there obsessed with top keywords that they are blind to what really makes an ecommerce website convert better, and that is long-tail keywords, as they are far more targeted towards the product.
Keep your keyword expectations real
Obsessed with keywords? Read on…
There are many reasons why business owners obsess over keywords, and it is not always due to making more sales. Believe it or not, I have had clients that are more concerned with knocking the competition off top spot, just to satisfy their ego rather than make sales. This is not the right way to market a website. Okay, it is fine to track a bundle every now and then, just to satisfy some of the curiosity building up in your mind, but if you let yourself get too carried away with keywords then you could actually be holding back your stores true potential. Keywords can be a misdirection, taking your focus away from what really matters for your website, and that is quality sitewide content. A lot of website and business owners are slowly figuring this out, but they are still in a small minority. Treat every single product and category page equally as they are going to be the key to unlocking your stores true potential.
Groan, not again?
Write proper content, don’t copy & paste it from elsewhere, for an ecommerce store it is not helping you to make sales. You don’t have the time? Then outsource it or pay somebody in college or university to write some for you, or use a freelancer website such as People Per Hour. Each page of content is an investment in your website and it will eventually count towards your stores overall authority with Google. There are some exceptions, such as content aggregators or blog owners who wish to republish your work on their website (usually within the blogging community), but for an ecommerce store it is a no-no.
I will be fair though, these days Google are far more lenient towards duplicate content than they once was, but it will still be holding back the true potential of your store. Unless you have built up a really strong authority with Google then duplicate content is something you need to stay clear of.
Incentives and discounts
Everyone loves a bargain…right?
Improve your conversion rates with limited time only discounts & incentives. How often have you wondered why you were getting all that traffic but not many sales? Quite often? Start thinking about conversion rate optimisation (CRO), the process of improving the conversion rate of your website by utilising various techniques and split testing data to get the best out of your website.
Do people like your products and service?
Encourage your current crop of customers to leave a review on your website of the product they have bought from you. One good review can be the persuasive factor that will convert a browser to a buyer, and maybe even into a repeat customer.
Also ask them to review your business on review websites. People are wary of where they purchase from these days so they always look for reviews of both the product and your service on review websites such as Trustpilot or Review Centre.
Multiple pictures & videos
Well, what does it look like from the side?
Upload more than one picture of the product if you can, showing different angles or even different colours. One picture may not be enough to convince a potential buyer to purchase the product. There are plugins you can use these days that will zoom into a picture as soon as somebody hovers over it with their mouse cursor.
Alternatively, if you have a live preview in the form of a video you can show the product off to your visitor. It has been proven that videos can keep people on your website for longer periods and can even count towards the decision to purchase the product, thus increasing conversion rates of your landing pages.
Mobile Friendly Website
It doesn’t fit in my mobile phone screen – why not?
On April 21st 2015 Google released an update that targets mobile friendly websites and offers them an advantage in the search results. Now, this update was heavily publicized by the media, some even going as far as calling it mobilegeddon. They painted it as a massive update, ‘as big as Panda and Penguin’ some were reporting.
Well, the impact was not that great, because quality content still ruled the roost over mobile friendly websites. Google did state that they were releasing an update on April 21st 2015 that would use a mobile friendly tagged website as a ranking factor in ‘mobile results only’.
Although this impact was not massive, it is still important that you have a mobile friendly website. First and foremost, for your visitors usability, and secondly, even if the ranking factor is small, it is still a slight advantage that you never had before.
Overall, the more work you put into your ecommerce store, the more rewards you shall reap!