At 156Digital we like to help you turn your site into an e-commerce dream. Many small companies we talk to really struggle to drive sales online. The problem that a lot of sites have is that they can have the world’s best product, but they just haven’t invested in making sure that their pages are optimised for search engines.
With 52% of e-commerce sales coming through organic searches by consumers there is a vital need for you to carry out Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) on your website. By carrying out some of the basics of SEO you will undoubtedly see traffic increase to your website, and with it sales of your products will increase.
Let’s take a look at an example of a site where SEO work hasn’t been carried out to see where the problems can occur.
We took this example from the Shopify forum. The owner of the site was asking why they weren’t getting much traffic through to their store. A review of the SEO for the site revealed a number of problems that we would recommend making changes to in order to boost traffic.
The first real problem that we see is that it appears that no keyword research has been done. It looks like whoever has developed this page has labelled the product as a hat. It should come as no surprise that ‘hat’ is a pretty popular search term. In turn, Google brings up 1,880,000,000 search results for ‘hat’. That’s One Billion, Eight Hundred and Eighty Million pages. What are the chances of getting your small company to the top page of results? Quite literally one in a billion (and more!)
Solution:Target niche keywords that your customer are likely to search for. In the example we see that the product has been described as a ‘Strapback.’ A search for ‘Strapback hats’ brings up far less results, in fact just 0.03 of the results brought up for ‘hat’! Whilst there may be fewer searches, this narrowing is more likely to see you reach the customers interested in your product.
The next problem that we see is that the title and meta description aren’t too appealing. Why are these important? Titles and meta descriptions are what a search engine serves up to a user when they perform a search for products or services as the image below shows.
So what’s wrong with these on the page we are looking at? The title of the page is ‘Cross Bones Hat | ClasickSociety.’ The title is the first thing that a potential customer is going to see, so it makes sense to include a unique selling point or call to action in the title of your page. It should also include the keyword for the page at least once. It’s mentioned that one of the USP’s for the site is that all of the products are hand stitched by local artisans in California. Taking that into consideration we might change the page title to:
“Cross Bones Strapback Hat | Hand Stitched in California | ClasickSociety.”
Let’s break down that title. We have the keyword in there (strapback hat) and a Unique Selling Point. We even have space to put the brand in. Also note that the title is written in ‘Title Case’ where the first letter of each word is capitalised. This helps it stand out more on SERP’s results pages to potential customers.
So what about the next part, the actual page description? Again, this needs to be built around persuading the customer to click the link to your page. Again, we need to include the keyword to increase the relevance of the search result to the consumer. We should also include some details about the service that we are providing.
Let’s look at the current meta description. Currently the description for this page is ‘Black Hat Front: White Cross-bone Logo Back: Red & White Embroidery & Clasick ‘AKA ** StrapBack , Dad Hat, Pol Hat **”. Again, this is something that needs urgently addressing. There’s nothing that tells us about the USP of the hat, the keyword isn’t evident and it’s unlikely to draw anyone in. We have 150 characters to really sell our product here. Take a look at the meta description we’d suggest.
‘Black ‘Crossbones’ Strapback hat just $22 – 20% off while stocks last. Proudly handmade in the USA. Fast Shipping with International Shipping available.’
Again, let’s break down the meta description. We’ve been careful to once again include the keyword for this product in the meta description. We’ve also included the price which will be important if we are targeting buyers – as well as nothing that it’s on sale and adding a sense of urgency. We’ve also added the brand’s USP in the meta description once again and provided further information we think customers might look for.
The best way to think about your title and meta description is that it is your shop window on the Search Engine results page High Street. If it isn’t designed in a way to entice customers in, then you aren’t likely to get many sales.
Another problem with this page is that it is lacking a true product description. In essence, it might not be seen by search engines as being very useful at all and may result in the page not being indexed on Google. The product description should be where you really entice the customer to buy your product or service. Think about the questions that you get asked on a regular basis by customers and really try to answer these. The more relevant content you can put on your pages the more likely it is a customer will buy from you. Don’t forget to include your keyword in the product description.
As a rule, search engines understand that e-commerce pages might be a little short on text and may repeat certain elements throughout the site. For example, you may repeat the shipping process throughout your site. Google won’t see this as ‘thin content’ so don’t be afraid to put it in. Where Google will penalise you is where it sees content from other sites merely copy and pasted onto your site.
Finally, think about the product image. Ideally, this will be saved with your keyword in the file name. It can also be worth using a software program designed to reduce the file size of pictures (irfanview is a great tool we use.) This will help your product images load much quicker, which can again be a key factor in people leaving your site.
It’s becoming easier than ever to start your own business to sell products online. The difficult part is developing your website to really get great traffic coming into your website and you should always consider the importance of SEO when developing your website.
Don’t have the time or technical skill to handle your sites SEO? At 156Digital we offer professional SEO Services in Cheshire and it is our aim to help small businesses reach their potential online. If you would like to talk to us about improving your sites SEO then simply use our contact form to get in touch.
One question we get asked by prospective clients is ‘Are SEO Services Worth It?’ Our answer? Absolutely! We firmly believe that SEO Services are the key to a healthy Digital Marketing plan and without an investment of time and money in SEO then you will struggle to bring in new customers online.
Where the distinction lies is the price between paying for Good SEO Services and those who don’t really understand what they are doing. We’ve spoken before about how you can waste money on SEO Services by employing the wrong people to do the work for you. Good quality SEO work, as we provide at 156Digital can be the difference between a profitable online business and a business failure.
So why do we think SEO Services are worth it? Let’s talk about three points that will convince you that investing in SEO is a must!
Look at the example above. How do you think that Debenhams, New Look and House of Fraser got into those positions? Luck? There’s no luck involved at all. Those three companies have invested heavily in making sure that their pages meet SEO best practice. The result? They move up the search rankings and are more likely to be found by people interested in buying blue shoes. It’s been reported that 22% of sales online are driven by organic search making it the biggest driver of sales digitally. If you want to ensure that this organic traffic is finding your website then you need to invest in SEO.
You don’t need to be targeting big products. Even small, local businesses need to invest in SEO to ensure that local users can find them on the internet. The amount of clients we speak to who bemoan the lack of activity on their sites who haven’t invested in SEO is staggering. Without really engaging in SEO activities (leaving your site either not in search engine rankings or left way down) your site will be unable to fulfill its potential as a great source of leads for your business.
There are some that will argue that instead of investing money into SEO that you should just pour money into pay per click advertising. Their rationale is that you will get to the top of the Search Engine rankings anyway and that you can do it far quicker.
The problem with that rationale is that it ignores the importance of the page that a user is sent to. The user needs to have a good experience when they get to a landing page, and user experience is the central tenant to SEO. If you are determined to spend money on PPC then it is far better to split your budget and spend some on improving the SEO on your pages before launching any campaigns. Why? By investing in existing pages the content on them can be made more likely to convert a user to a customer. Plus, Search Engines will look at the quality of a page when determining how much they pay per click. If you invest in SEO Services and improve the quality of these pages beforehand then it is far more likely you will pay less for your campaigns and get a better return on investment.
By paying for SEP Services you get the advantage of another set of eyes looking at the way you are marketing your business. It may transpire that way you describe products isn’t they way that the general public search for them. It’s things like this that an SEO Expert will give. Also consider the time that you can spend more productively on making your business better in other areas if somebody else is looking after the SEO.
If you don’t want to be competitive online, want to pay far more for other services and waste your tme trying to get your page to rank, then no, SEO Services aren’t worth it. But, if you want to make the most out of your website and want to spend your time productively elsewhere then they are absolutely worth it!
So what are you waiting for? Either use our contact form or give us a call on 01270 768821 today and take the first steps towards your website bringing in even more traffic with great SEO Services.
When it comes to building organic search traffic to a website we are seeing a growing trend in small businesses to outsource their digital work to SEO ‘Experts’ found on the likes of Fiverr. From talking to people that have used these types of sites the main draw has been the low price you pay. As you can see in the image above there are people on the web offering to ‘skyrocket your rankings’ for under £5!
If you are one of those people that have outsourced work to ‘SEO Experts’ in the past you will know that the results you get aren’t anything to brag about. Simply put, Search Engine Opitmisation isn’t a ‘one-size fits all’ type of practice where one tactic can be repeated across multiple sites. A lot of the ‘experts’ that you will find on these websites will use the exact same formula regardless of the type of website. This can cause your website to contain irrelevant information which could in fact damage your search engine rankings.
As hosting company 123-reg.co.uk said in this recent blog search engines are looking more and more for high quality content. This is something that these so called ‘Experts’ just do not offer. What do we mean by that and what examples can we give? We’re glad you asked, let’s talk about where these ‘Experts’ fall down.
59% of British Consumers have been put off by a website that contains poor grammar and spelling. That should be enough to convince you of the importance from a consumer standpoint. Quite simply, if your business doesn’t come across as professional and competent then your website will have a hard time converting those users into buyers. It’s something that Search Engines have picked up on too. In it’s guidelines on what makes a high quality webpage Google specifically mention ‘Grammar or spelling mistakes’ as being a barrier to developing a high quality page.
The standard of English used by these so called experts is nowhere near the level it needs to be to develop a high quality page. Don’t believe us? Check out this description that one of these SEO Experts gave of his business.
As you can see there are a massive number of grammatical and spelling errors in that small section alone. Could you imagine this guy updating all your pages for you? We are in no doubt that potential customers would be put off and search engines wouldn’t be too keen on your pages either. Many of these so called Experts have English as a second or even third language. They are unable to write to the high quality standard that customers clearly want to see.
When it comes to Search Engine Optimisation you need a fluent English speaker if you want the best results for your business. Likewise, if you are launching a foreign venture you would need a fluent speaker of the language of the market you are trying to launch into.
Ask any Digital Marketing Expert what one of the most difficult aspects of their role is. The answer will almost certainly be link building. A link is a sign that somebody endorses the quality and content of a page and it’s something that search engines really like. The amount of work that goes into finding the right people to link to a page can be a tedious one and takes a lot of skill and perseverance. So, how can these ‘SEO Experts’ offer 1000 links to your website in a little under 24 hours. Most of them will have developed scripts to websites that offer to link to your website for absolutely free (they make money off ad revenue) and don’t tend to get that many actual hits at all. It’s very similar to when companies were buying fake followers on Social Media – on paper it looks like the company is far more popular than it is, but misses the actual point of having legitimate followers or links! Again, the likes of Google have cracked down on these unnatural linking practices and really devalued links that come from these types of websites. By asking one of these so-called experts to link your website to these sites you are asking for trouble.
‘Keyword Stuffing’ where a Keyword will be added to a page multiple times is also a common tactic used by these so called experts. Again, Search Engines are clued into these types of tactics and are actively discouraging people from using it. They suggest that the need for high quality output precludes the need for keyword stuffing and if your site gives users the experience they are looking for then there will be no need for this kind of tactic.
SEO is forever changing. As we’ve already discussed there are several tactics that were perfectly acceptable a number of years ago which have come to be frowned upon. Not just that, but when changes are made on your site there needs to be continual monitoring to ensure that the changes that have been made have indeed worked and to continue to make changes if they aren’t successful. Plus, Search Engines are constantly rolling out changes to how it ranks websites. SEO isn’t a job that can be done once and then left. You need a relationship with a company that will be looking out for your best interests and be proactive in adapting your website to best practice.
The relationship factor is a total non-entity with the ‘experts’ we have been talking about. Once they’ve got the money off you for this job, they are on to the next. There is no lasting relationship, nor is there any understanding about how your industry works which could help drive even more traffic to your site. In many ways by paying an agency you are paying to gain another set of eyes to look after your business.
Hopefully we’ve brought to light some issues with these so called SEO Experts that you will consider when you are looking for help with your page rankings. There really is no ‘fast-way’ to the top other than creating quality content which really connects with your audience. Remember the old proverb ‘Buy Cheap, Buy Twice.’ You are far better off finding a agency that you can meet face to face and develop a working relationship with.
156Digital are a Digital Marketing Agency offering SEO Services in Cheshire. With experience in working with companies who have been conned into buying inferior SEO ‘solutions’ we talk with a lot of experience when it comes to cleaning up after cowboys. We even offer a free consultation to companies within 30 miles of our offices in Cheshire as to how we help improve their traffic flow.
If you’d like to chat to us then either fill in our contact form or give us a call on 01270 768821. WE’d love to hear from you and get your company moving forward!